Bradford is a village in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The village, located on the south side of the Merrimack River, was annexed to the city of Haverhill in 1897. Bradford has its own post office and zip code: 01835.
"The territory included within the limits of Bradford was originally a part of Rowley and was first known as "Merrimac Lands," and "Rowley Village by the Merrimack," and then as "Merrimack," which name was changed to Bradford at a town meeting held Jan. 7, 1672, in memory of Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, several of the settlers having emigrated from that place.
At a session of the General Court held May 27, 1668, it was recorded: "In ansr to the petition of the inhabitants of Rouley liuing ouer against Hauerill, the Court, hauing considered the peticon, pervsed the towne of Rouleys grant to the petitioners, heard Rouley deputy, and also considering a writing sent from Rouley, wth what els hath been presented in the case, doe finde that there is liberty granted the petitioners by the towne of Rouley to prouide themselues of a minister, & also an intent to release them from their towneship when they are accordingly prouided, and therefore see not but this Court may grant their petition to be a towneship, provided they doe gett & setle an able & Orthodox minister, & continue to majntejne him, or els to remaine to Rouley as formerly."
The first town meeting was held in 1668, the "orthodox minister," Rev. Zechariah Symmes, of Charlestown, already having been secured. The meeting house was erected in 1670. The town first paid a colonial tax on October 13, 1675.
On March 8, 1850, part of its territory was set off and incorporated as the town of Groveland.
On January 4, 1897, the town of Bradford was annexed to the city of Haverhill.
The population of Bradford at different periods was as follows: 1765, 1125; 1776, 1240; 1790, 1371; 1800, 1420; 1810, 1360; 1820, 1600; 1830, 1856; 1840, 2222; 1850, 1328; 1895, 4736."