"CAWOOD, (formerly a market-town) a parish partly in the liberty of St-PETER-of-YORK, East riding, but chiefly in the lower division of the wapentake of BARKSTONE-ASH, West riding, of the county of YORK, 9 miles S.W. from York, and 187 N.W. from London, containing 1127 inhabitants. This place was the residence of the archbishops of York, having been given by King Athelstan to Wulstan, the fifteenth archbishop; and here they had a magnificent palace, or castle, in which several of the prelates lived and died, and in which Cardinal Wolsey was arrested by the Earl of Northumberland, on a charge of treason, in the reign of Henry VIII. This castle was dismantled, and in part demolished, at the conclusion of the parliamentary war, since which time, being abandoned by the archbishops, it has remained in a state of gradual dilapidation, and has nearly fallen into ruin; the remains of the great gateway, and some few fragments, are now the only vestiges. -The town is pleasantly situated near the western bank of the river Ouse, over which is a good ferry: the houses are neatly built, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. There is a manufactory for hop-sacking. The market, which was on Wednesday, has been discontinued for many years: fairs for cattle are held on May 12th and December 19th. The quarter sessions for the liberty of Cawood, Wistow, and Otley, are held here; and the Archbishop of York, and the magistrates for the division, hold a court of session twice a year for the trial of felonies: a. manorial court is held under the archbishop. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Wistow in the Cathedral Church of York, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £1400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean of Ripon. The church is dedicated to All Saints. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A charity school for boys and girls was founded, in 1731, by the Rev. Samuel Duffield, who endowed it with land now producing a considerable annual income; and £12 per annum are paid to a schoolmaster for the instruction of five poor children of this parish, out of an estate producing £213. 9. per annum, vested in trustees for the repair of the highways, and the preservation of the embankments. Dr. Harsnett, Archbishop of York, who died in 1631, gave land for teaching five poor boys, and an additional plot for apprenticing boys. An almshouse was founded about 1723, by William James, Esq., who endowed it with land producing £76 per annum, for four aged persons, who receive each a yearly stipend of £18."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]