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The Ancient Parish of CAWOOD

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"CAWOOD, a market and parish-town, in the wapentake of Barkston-Ash, liberties of St. Peter and Cawood, Wistow, and Otley; 5 miles from Selby, 7½ from Tadcaster, 10 from York, 12 from Pontefract, 186 from London. Market, Wednesday. Fairs, Old May day and September 23, for horned cattle, &c. Principal Inn, the Ferry House. Pop. 1,127. The Church, peculiar, is a vicarage, dedicated to All-Saints (see Churches for photograph), in the deanry of the Ainsty, value, p.r. !34. 14s. Patron, the Prebendary of Wistow.

Cawood was formerly one of the chief places of residence of the Archbishop of York, who had here a magnificent Palace or Castle, in which several of the bishops died. It was obtained for the see of York from King Athelston, in the 10th century, by Archbishop Wulstan. Alexander Nevil, the 45th Archbishop, is said to have bestowed great cost on this palace, and in have adorned it with several new towers. Henry Bowett, the 49th Archbishop, built the great hall; and his successor, Cardinal Kempe, erected the gate House, the ruins of which are all that remains of this once magnificent building.

The celebrated Cardinal Wolsey, after residing here a whole summer, and part of the winter, was arrested at this place, on a charge of high treason, by the Earl of Northumberland, and Sir Walter Welsh. The Earl had orders to conduct him to London, for trial, but his death at Leicester, on his journey, terminated the business.

                 . "Full of repentance,
                 Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
                 He gave his honours to the world again,
                 His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace."

In 1642, this castle was garrisoned for the King: and was surrendered to Sir John Meldrum, for the use of the Parliament in 1644; and two years afterwards was dismantled by order of Parliament. --Drake, Rapin, &c.

In 1724, Mr. Wm. James built an hospital here, for four poor people, and endowed it with land at Skirlaugh, (East Riding) value, 20. per annum."

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson 2007]

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