"DONINGTON, a parish in the Shiffnall division of the hundred of BRIMSTREE, county of SALOP, 5 miles (E.S.E.) from Shiffinall, containing 330 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, rated in the king's books at £ 13. 6. 8. The Marquis of Stafford was patron in 1773. The church is supposed to have been built early in the fourteenth century, and the additions and alterations, though made at intervals, harmonize with the more ancient parts of the structure; at the foot of the rocky eminence upon which it stands is a spring, formerly called St. Cutbeard's, or St. Cuthbert's well. A free grammar school was founded by Thomas Alcocke, in 1627, at Donnington, then described as being in the parish of Wroxeter; to the original endowment other donations were made in 1658; it is open to forty boys of Wroxeter and Uppington, but at present, a few only are upon the foundation: two exhibitions at Christ Church College, Oxford, .are appropriated to this school, of which the late Dr. Douglas, Bishop of Salisbury, was in early life the master, where Richard Baxter, the non-conformist divine, and Dr.Allertree, Provost of Eton, received the elementary part of their education. Adjoining the parish is the extra-parochial place, Boscobel and White Ladies; it is regarded as within the cure of souls of the minister, and pays six shillings and eightpence in lieu of tithes and offerings; though formerly populous, there is now only the house celebrated as having been the hiding-place of Charles II., within a few hundred yards of which stood the oak, whose branches concealed the king, September 6th, 1653; no vestiges of this tree remain, but there is another close to its site, produced from one of its acorns, and distinguished by the title of The Royal Oak, the brick wall for the protection of which was superseded ten years ago by a handsome and lofty iron railing that now surrounds it. The priory of white or Cistercian nuns, dedicated to St. Leonard, is supposed to have been founded either in the reign "of Richard 1., or in that of John; at the dissolution it contained six religious, and was valued at £31. 1 4.: the nave, choir, and transepts of the chapel still remain, with a handsome Saxon arch over one of the doors; the interior is used as a burial-place by the Roman Catholic families in the neighbourhood."
[Transcribed information from A Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis - 1831](unless otherwise stated)
[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2015]