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SPROTBROUGH, a parish-town, in the lower-division of Strafforth and Tickhill, liberty of Tickhill; (the seat of Sir Joseph Copley, Bart.) 3½ miles SW. of Doncaster, 12 from Barnsley, 39 from York. Pop. 318. The Church is a rectory, dedicated to St. Mary, in the deanry of Doncaster, value, £44. 18s. 9d. Patron, Sir Joseph Copley, Bart.

This place is chiefly noted for having been the residence of the ancient family of Fitzwilliam. Sir John Fitzwilliam, who lived here in the reign of Henry V. caused a Cross to be erected not far from the Church, with these lines engraved on brass :-

"Whoso is hungry, and liste to eate,
Let him come to Sprotborough to his meate;
And for a night, and for a day,
His horse shall have both corn and hay;
And no man shall ask him when he goeth away."

In the Church, are several monuments of the Fitzwilliams and Copleys, who have been Lords of Sprotbrough for centuries.

Sprotbrough Hall was built by Sir Godfrey Copley, who was created a Baronet by King Charles II. in the 13th year of his reign. It presents a handsome elevation of stone, in the style of that period, exhibiting a degree of magnificence, not seen in modern houses. It contains a fine collection of pictures, procured by Sir Godfrey Copley. Sir Godfrey left a sum of money to the Royal Society, the interest of which was to be disposed of to any person, who should make any new discovery in art or nature, or perform any other work, which should be thought worthy of that reward. It is now changed into a medal. --Miller's History of Doncaster.

Here was formerly the Hospital of St. Edmond, called St. Edmund's Chapel, about one mile and a half from the Church, founded by ---- Fitzwilliam. It has now been demolished some time, and the materials used to repair farm Houses and barns. --Ibid.

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]