PONTEFRACT: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1837.
"PONTEFRACT, a parish-town, and an ancient Borough and Market Town, celebrated in history for its once stately castle and powerful barons, and as a scene of many momentous events, is pleasantly seated on a beautiful eminence , in the upper division of the Wapentake of Osgoldcross, and the extensive Honour, or Liberty, to which it gives its name, 2 miles S.W. of Ferrybridge, 13 miles S. E. of Leeds, 9 miles E. by N. of Wakefield, 30 miles N. by E. of Sheffield, 24 miles S. S. W. of York, and 173 miles M. N. W of London. Its vicinity is famous for extensive gardens, nurseries, and licorice grounds, and has many handsome villas. The town is clean, spacious, and airy, and increased its population from 3,097, in the year 1801 to 4,832, in 1831; but by the Reform Act of 1832, the Borough has been extended to Ferrybridge, Pontefract Park, the Castle precincts, and the townships of Tanshelf, Monkhill, Knottingley, and Carlton, so that it now comprised a large district, and nearly 10,000 inhabitants, as will be seen in the second volume of this work, in which ample space is devoted to the History of Pontefract and its Baronial Liberty. The MARKET, held every Saturday, is well supplied with corn, &c., and a large cattle fair is held on the Saturday after the York fortnight fairs. Eight annual fairs, for cattle, &c., are held on the first Saturdays after Jan. 13th, Feb. 13th. And Sept. 12th; on the Saturdays before Palm-Sunday, Low-Sunday, May 4th, and Trinity-Sunday; and on the first Saturday in December. Her is also a large horse show on February 5th.
The MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT for PONTEFRACT ARE, Viscount Pollington, and John Gully, Esq.
CORPORATION AND OFFICERS (1837):- Wm. Moon, Esq. Mayor; Henry Taylor Esq., Recorder; Wm. Hepworth, Wm. Holme, Thomas Long, and Samuel Knight, Esqrs., Aldermen; M. Mitton, S. Hurst. W. Moxon, T. Walton, J, Muscroft, F.Barker, T.Belk, F.Dunhill, J.Robinson, J.Ramskill, W.Poskitt, and W. Parkinson. Councillors; H.J. Coleman Esq., Town Clerk; M. Mitton, jun., Clerk of the Peace; John Foster, Coroner; Joseph Foster, Sergeant at Mace; Charles Stephens, Gaoler; Joshua Pollard, Town Crier, M. Mitchell, S.Hurst , and W.Moxon, Esqrs. (the three first named councillors,) are Magistrates.
THE POST OFFICE is in Market street, and Mr. Wm. Nunns is the postmaster. Letters are despatched to London, &c., at before 10 morning; to Glasgow, Leeds, Halifax, and all parts of the north, at 5 minutes before 3 afternoon; to York, Hull, &c., past 12 noon; and to Wakefield, Huddersfield, &c., at 10 minutes past three afternoon."
[Transcribed from White's History, gazetteer and directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire 1837]