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LONDESBOROUGH

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LONDESBOROUGH, a parish in the wapentake of Harthill; 2½ miles N. of Market Weighton; one of the places claiming to be the ancient Delgovitia. The church is dedicated to All Saints (see Churches for photograph), and the living is in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire. Population, 244.

Here is an hospital founded and endowed by Richard, Earl of Burlington and Elisa, his Countess, for six poor old men, and six poor old women, who have a house and garden each, and 100L. laid out for them in coals, &c.

Londesbrough, according to Drake's opinion, is the ancient Delgovitic. The Roman road from Brough is continued in a direct line to Londesburgh Park. It is composed of materials very scarce in that country, and lies buried under a fine soil, about 15 inches. -Several Roman Coins of the middle and lesser brass have been found here; and a great many repositories for their dead, have been discovered in digging in and about the town, the park, and the gardens. The bones were found to lie in pure clean chalk, seven, eight, or more bodies together, side by side, very fresh and entire, though in some, not above twenty or twenty two inches deep, from the surface. Londesburgh was for several generations, one of the seats of the ancient and noble family of Clifford, Sir Francis Clifford, of Londesburgh, was High Sheriff of this county in 1600, as were many of his ancestors. Sir Francis Clifford succeeded his brother George in the Earldom of Cumberland. His son Henry, was the fifth and last Earl of that family, whose daughter was married to the Earl of Cork, from whom is descended the present Duke of Devonshire, who possesses this estate. --Drake.

About two years ago, this ancient Mansion was completely demolished, and the park disforrested. Lady Clifford, widow of "Black-faced Clifford" was interred at Londesburgh, where she died in 1491. A flat stone near the altar of the church, (the oldest memorial of that family now remaining) commemorates the event. --Whitaker's Craven.

This place is also remarkable on account of the following anecdote, relative to the family of the Cliffords. John, the twelfth Lord, being slain at Towton, fighting for the Lancastrians, left two sons very young, who, with their mother, resided at Londesburgh: To save her children from the fury of the Yorkists, Lady Clifford sent Richard, the youngest, into the Netherlands, and placed Henry, the eldest, with a shepherd, who had married one of her maids; this young nobleman was soon after removed from Londesburgh, into the mountains of Cumberland, where he remained in the capacity of a shepherd, till he was 32 years old, having never learned to read; when, in the first Parliament of Henry VII. he was restored, in blood and honour, to all his baronies, lands, and castles.

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]