"RICHMOND, a parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire, 200 cm. 262 mm. from London, has a good stone-bridge over the Swale, which encompasses near half the T. and by reason of the rocks forms a natural cataract. It had the name from the fruitful mount whereon it was built by Alan, one of Will. the Conq's. generals, who for his valour was rewarded with this earldom, and all the N. W. part of Yorkshire towards Lancashire, called Richmondshire. He built a castle here, the tower whereof yet stands; the chapel and demesnes of which he gave to St. Mary's Abbey at York, as did his grandson the tithes of the mills here to the cell of St. Martin's, near the T. The tract round it, called Richmondhire, though it has many Ts. and villages, is barren, rocky, and mountainous; but affords plenty of pit-coal, lead, and brass. The T. is large, has 2 Chs. and is fortified with a wall. It was annexed to the Duchy of Lancaster in the R. of Rich. II. as it still continues. It is a Bor. which has sent burgesses to Pt. ever since the 2d of Edw. III. is governed by a mayor, recorder, 12 ald. 24 C.C. and their officers, who keep courts for all sorts of actions. The mayor is chosen on Jan. 13, by the 13 free companies of the tradesmen. It has a plentiful Mt. on S. for cattle and all provisions; and Fairs July 7, Sept. 13 for cattle, the 14th for other commodities, the 15th and l6th for horses, and St. Thomas's-day. It has 3 gates leading to 3 suburbs; and had formerly a mon. the steeple of which yet remains. Many of the houses are built of free-stone, and the streets are well-paved. It has a great trade with yarn stockings and woollen knit caps for seamen. There have been several Es. of Richmond, even in the royal families; but it first gave title of D. together with that of Somerset, to Henry Fitzroy, natural son of Hen. VIII. but he dying without issue, K. Ja. I. created Ld. Lodowic D. of Lenos, E. of Richmond, and afterwards D. He dying also without issue, was succeeded in the title by James Stuart, D. of Lenox and E. of March; who was succeeded by his son, Esme; and he by his cousin-german, Charles E. of Litchfield; who dying without issue, the title lay dormant, till Cha. II. created Cha. Lenos, his natural son by the Dss. of Portsmouth, D. of Richmond and Lenos; whose descendant, the present master of the horse to the K. now enjoys that title, together with that of D. of Aubigny in France, which devolved to him on the death of his grandmother, the Dss. of Portsmouth. This place is noted for annual horse races."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Stephen Whatley's England's Gazetteer, 1750]