DONCASTER: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1750.
"DONCASTER, a parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 123 cm. 155 mm. from London, has a ruinous castle, and 2 bridges over the Don; from whence the name. About anno 760, it was burnt down by lightning, but is now a noble, spacious, populous T. 'Tis very ancient, and formerly sent representatives to one of our conventions. 'Tis a corp. consisting of a mayor, recorder, 6 ald. and C.C. K. Jam. II. gave them a charter, which was brought to the town-hall in great pomp, with a train of 300 horsemen. It granted Fairs on Febr. 2, and Nov. 15; besides those on July 25, and Aug. 10, which it had before; and the Mt. on Tu. for cattle, corn, &c. As it stands in the road from London to York, here are several very good inns. Its mfs. are knit waistcoats and petticoats, gloves and stockings. There is a large causey beyond the bridges, because the r. is apt to overflow its banks. Here are the remains of a great Roman highway; and the old horse-course in the neighbourhood is noted for races. Here is an hos. which was founded, and richly endowed, by Tho. Ellis, who had been 5 times mayor. There is the following odd inscription on the tomb of a person here, who gave Resington-Wood to the public, viz. " Howe, Howe, who is heare ? " I Robin of Doncastere, " And Margaret my Feare. " That I spent, that I had; " That I gave, that I have; " That I left, that I lost. A.D. 1579. " Quoth Robertus Byrks, who in " this world did reign threescore " years and seven, and yet lived not " one." This T. gave title of Visc. to the Lds. Hay, in the Rs. of Ja. I. and Cha. I. and that of E. in the R. of Jam. II. to James D. of Monmouth. There is a pleasant road from hence to Bautre, which never wants repair; and a remarkable old column, called a Cross, at the end of the T. with a Norman inscription on it. Here was formerly a priory, and a chantry."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Stephen Whatley's England's Gazetteer, 1750]