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SHEFFIELD: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1750.

"SHEFFIELD, a parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 115 cm. 140 mm. from London, a large, thriving, populous T. on the b. of Derbyshire, has a fine stone-bridge over the Don, and a Ch. built in the R. of Hen. I. It had a castle, built in the R. of Hen. III. in which, or else in the manor-house of the park, Mary Q. of Scots was prisoner, 16 or 17 years; but after the death of Cha. I. it was with several others by order of Pt. demolished. In 1673 a stately hos. was erected here, and endowed with 200 l. a year, by Gilbert Talbot, one of the Es. of Shrewsbury, (and Lds. of its manor); of whom many are interred in its Ch. particularly his great grandfather, who gave 200 l. a year for ever to the poor of the parish Here is a ch. sc. for 30 boys, and another for 30 girls. The Ld. of the manor, which is very large, is the D. of Norfolk, who has a prison here, and holds a court every 3 weeks. This T. has been noted several hundred years, for cutlers and smiths mfs. which were encouraged and advanced by the neighbouring mines of iron, particularly for files, and knives, or whittles; for the last of which, especially, it has been a staple for above 300 years; and it is reputed to excel Birmingham in these wares, as that does this T. in locks, hinges, nails, and polished steel. The first mills in England for turning grindstones were also set up here. The houses here look black, from the continual smoke of the forges. Here are about 600 master cutlers incorporated by the stile of the cutlers of Hallamshire (of which this is reckoned the chief T.) who employ not less than 40,000 persons in the iron mfs. and each of the masters gives a particular stamp to his wares. Here is a large Mt. on Tu. for many commodities; but especially for corn, which is bought up here for the whole West-Riding, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire. It has a Fair on Trinity-eve and Morrow; both which Mt. and Fair were obtained of Edw. I. by one of the Furnivals, who were Lds. of the manor. The parish being very large as well as populous, Mary I. incorporated 12 of the chief inhabitants and their successors for ever, by the stile of the 12 capital burgesses of Sheffield, impowering them to elect and ordain 3 priests to assist the vicar, who were to be paid out of certain lands and rents, which she gave out of the crown; and since this settlement, there have been 2 chapels built in 2 hamlets of this parish which are served by 2 of the assistants, while the 3d, in his turn, helps the vicar in his parish-Ch. Ja. I. founded a grammar fr. sc. here, and appointed 13 school burgesses to manage the revenue, and appoint the master and usher. A chapel was built here lately by the contributions of the people of the T. and of the neighbouring nobility and gentry, Just at the entrance of the Don r. into this parish stands the seat of the late Geo. Bamforth, Esq; called High-House; and near it an excellent spring, whose water is conveyed by pipes into Sheffield, whose inh. pay but a moderate rent for it. In the neighbourhood of this T. there are some mines of allom. The remains of the Roman fortification, bet. this T. and Rotheram, which is 6 m. lower down the r. are still visible; and here is also the famous trench of 5 m. long, by some called Devil's or Dane's-Bank, and by others Kemp-Bank and Temple's-Bank."

[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Stephen Whatley's England's Gazetteer, 1750]