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York, Ainsty of York

Historical Description

York, a city, a parliamentary, municipal, and county borough, and an archiepiscopal see in Yorkshire. The city stands on Watling Street, on the river Ouse at the influx of the Foss, and at a divergence of railways in six directions, 25½ miles NE of Leeds by rail, 42 WNW of Hull, and 199 by road, but 188¼ by railway, N by W of London. It was a centre of Roman roads, coming to it in five directions; it is now a centre of railway communication from London to Edinburgh, and from coast to coast, and it commands seaward navigation by the Ouse, and very extensive inland navigation through the Ouse's connections.

History.-York was known to the ancient Britons as Caer Effroc, Ebrauc, or Eborac; to the Romans as Eboracum; to the Saxons as Eoferwic, Eurwic, or Yurewick; and it took its Saxon names from the river Ouse, anciently called the Eure or Yore, and retains them, by corruption, in its present name of York. The Brigantes are supposed to have raised it, toward the commencement of the Christian era, into the condition of a considerable town. The Romans made it an imperial colony, and the capital of Maxima Caesariensis; Agricola adopted it as one of his principal stations; Hadrian resided in it about the years 120-24; Severus was in it from 208 to 210, and died in it; Caracalla murdered his brother Geta in it in 212; Constantius Chlorus resided in it from 304 to 306, and died in it, in presence of his son Constantine the Great; and the Roman legion " Sexta-victrix " held it as their headquarters for about 300 years. Very many Roman relics have been found in it, including coins from Augustus to Gratian, inscriptions, statues, altars, urns, amphorse, pipes, tiles, fireplaces, bronze instruments, gold and silver ornaments, bronze and jet ornaments, tombs, a pavement, and a temple foundation stone; and Roman masonry, in part of the city wall and in a multangular tower, is still standing. Various native magnates, of doubtful authenticity, are recorded by old annalists to have held the city for a series of years after the retirement of the Romans. The Saxons, soon after their landing under Hengist, took it from the Scots and Picts. Arthur in 521, after defeating the Saxons, took unopposed possession of it, and is said to have celebrated here the first Christmas ever held in Britain. The Anglo-Saxon kings, first of Deira, next of Northumbria, made it their capital down to the time of Osbert. The Danes, under Inguar or Ivar, took it and nearly destroyed it. Athelstan razed a castle which had been its chief defence, established a mint at it, and made it the seat of the Jarls or Earls of Northumbria. Harold Harfager besieged it in 1066, but was driven off by King Harold.

The city was a seat of letters and of trade with the Continent before the Norman Conquest. The Normans, with but brief resistance, got possession of it in 1066, immediately after the Conquest, and they built a castle and raised other fortifications for its defence. The Saxons, aided by the Danes, retook it next year, and put the Norman garrison to the sword. The Conqueror denounced it as a nest of sedition, speedily retook it, and inflicted such terrible vengeance as almost entirely to depopulate the country around it and all northward to Durham. It revived considerably before Domesday, and had then 654 houses and many churches. It was burned, with its cathedral and with most of its churches, in 1137; was besieged by David of Scotland in 1138; was re-invigorated immediately afterwards, so as to have again a great trade with the Continent; was visited by Henry II. in 1160; was then the meeting-place of a parliament, and the place where Malcolm IV. of Scotland did homage for Northumberland; was visited by Henry II. again in 1171; was then the scene of William the Lion of Scotland, with his barons and prelates, doing homage to the English king; witnessed the massacre of 1500 Jews in 1190; was visited by Richard I., to meet William the Lion, in 1199; was visited by Henry III. in 1220, and was then the place of the Princess Joan's marriage to Alexander II.; was visited by Henry III. again, to spend Christmas with Alexander, in 1230; was visited by Henry III. yet again in 1251; was then the place of the Princess Margaret's marriage to Alexander III.; was visited by Edward I., for the restoration of its walls in 1291, and for the holding of a parliament in 1298; was visited by Edward II. in six different years, once to keep Christmas, once after the Battle of Bannockburn, and once to hold a parliament; was visited by Edward III. in five different years, twice to keep Christmas, once to marry Philippa of Hainanit, and once to hold a parliament; was the place whence Queen Philippa, in her husband's absence, marched to the victory of Neville's Cross in 1347; became a staple for wool in 1354; was visited by Richard II. in 1385 and 1389; was ravaged by the sweating sickness and the plague in 1390,1537, and 1604; rebelled, under Archbishop Scroop, against Henry IV. in 1405; was visited by Henry IV. in 1406 and 1408, and by Henry V. in 1421; and had, in Henry V.'s time, 2000 houses, 41 churches, 17 chapels, 9 monasteries, and 16 hospitals.

The city sided with the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses, and the citizens took part in the battle of Wakefield in 1460, and in that of Towton in 1461. Edward IV. is said by some authorities to have been crowned in its cathedral, and he was here in 1464 before the battle of Hexham, in 1471 before his march to Barnet, and again in 1478. Several of the events of these years figure in the dramas of Shakespeare. Richard III. visited the city in 1483. Henry VII. made a state entry into it in his progress in the north in 1489, and his daughter Margaret was here in 1503 on her way to marry James IV. of Scotland. The rebels of the " Pilgrimage of Grace" took the city in 1536, but were speedily subdued and their ringleaders executed. Henry VIII. made it The seat of his new Council of the North in 1536, and visited it in 1540. This council was instituted for suppressing disturbances arising out of the measures of the Reformation, exercised jurisdiction over all the territory north of the Trent, and continued to sit in York till abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641. The Earl of Northumberland, for an abortive effort in favour of Mary Queen of Scots, was beheaded here in 1572. James I. visited the city in 1603 and 1617. A great flood and a drought damaged it in 1614. Charles I. visited it in 1633, 1639, and 1640, and he removed his court to it on the approach of hostilities with the Parliament. His general, Cumberland, made it the headquarters of the royal army, his queen Henrietta Maria brought to it a supply of arms from abroad in 1643, his forces re-fortified it, and were besieged in it during three months of 1644 by Fairfax, and his grand army under Prince Rupert was irretrievably beaten on 2 July at Marston Moor within sight of its walls. The city eventually capitulated on 16 July, and it was visited by Cromwell both then and in 1650. General Monk came to it in 1659, and proclaimed Charles II. in it in 1660. The Duke of York visited it in 1666 and 1679. The citizens formally declared for the Prince of Orange at the Revolution. The Duke of Cumberland visited the city on his way from Scotland in 1746, and Edmund Duke of York in 1761. The British Association held its first meeting in York in 1831. Its jubilee meeting was also held in the city.

Among the natives of York have been Flaccus Ulbinus, Alcuin, Waltheof Earl of Northumberland of the llth century, the hermit Flower of the 12th century, Archbishop Ie Remain who died in 1298, Archbishop Waldby who died in 1398, the theologian Erghom of the 15th century, Admiral Holmes who died in 1558, the theologian R. Stoke who died in 1626, Bishop Morton who died in 1659, the annotator Poole who died in 1679, the Nonconformist theologians T. and J. Calvert who died in 1679 and 1698 respectively, the traveller Sir T. Herbert who died in 1682, the theologian and scholar Cartwright, the antiquary Fothergill who died in 1731, Bishop Porteous who died in 1808, the sculptor Flaxman who died in 1826, the antiquary G. Higgins who died in 1833, the painter W. Etty who died in 1849, and the Earl of Rosse, astronomer, Who died in 1867. Many noblemen, especially sons of sovereigns, have taken the title of Duke from York, and the first royal Duke of York was Edward III.'s son Edmund de Langley, created duke in 1385, while the last is George, only surviving son of the Prince of Wales, who was created duke 25 May, 1892.

Site and Structure.-The immediate site of the oldest parts of the city is a gentle acclivity, on the E bank of the Ouse, reaching its summit-level about 300 yards from the river. The environs all round to the distance of many miles are flat, low, luxuriant plain. Many pleasant walks, shaded by trees and in excellent condition, are about the city, particularly along the banks of the Ouse, and some of them extend for miles. The nearest hills are the Yorkshire Wolds, about 20 miles to the E. The city's structure, till about the commencement of the 19th century, was remarkably antique, and notwithstanding numerous and sweeping changes which have been made upon it, still presents a striking mixture of ancient features with modern ones. Walls encompass all its ancient portions, on both sides of both the Ouse and the Foss, dating from periods so remote as to include considerable portions of Roman masonry. They were partly restored, partly rebuilt in the time of Edward I.; suffered much injury in the siege of 1644, were repaired about 1669, fell gradually into great decay, were restored, paved with flags, and extensively converted into a pleasant promenade in 1831, measure 4840 yards in circuit, and from 12 to 17 feet high; continue over most of their extent to be in excellent preservation, and still have four principal and two smaller gates or bars, and about twenty towers. The oldest portion goes from Walmgate Bar to the Red Tower, and rests on rude, irregular, and very ancient arches. Micklegate Bar, opening on the London Road, appears to be Norman; consists of circular arch, square tower, and surmounting embattled turrets, crowned with statues; measures 26 feet in width of arch, 54¼ feet in width of tower, and 53 feet in height; had formerly a strong barbican or outwork, and was often surmounted by ghastly heads of persons executed as traitors. Bootham Bar, opening on the Edinburgh Road, is partly Norman, partly of the 14th century, and partly of the time of Henry VIII.; measures 46 feet by 26½; was deprived of its barbican and was on the point of being entirely taken down in 1831, but was restored and strengthened in 1832. Monk Bar (so re-named in compliment to General Monk at the Restoration), opening on the Scarborough Road, is Decorated English, and was pronounced by Britton " the most perfect specimen of this sort of architecture in the kingdom;" is loftier than any of the other bars; retains its portcullis, and consists internally of two storeys of vaulted chambers, formerly used as prisons. Walmgate Bar, opening on the road to Hull, is thought to stand on the line of Watling Street, and to take the name of Walmgate by corruption of Watling Gate; is chiefly of the 14th century; retains its barbican, projecting 56 feet from the entrance, and presents in other respects a similar appearance to Micklegate Bar. The Multangular Tower, now in the Museum Gardens, formed one of the angle towers in the walls of the Roman Eboracum; is proved to be Roman work, not only by the character of its masonry, but by the discovery of Roman legionary inscriptions in the lower courses of its interior; takes its name from having ten sides, forming nine obtuse angles, and consists of neat and regular courses of small square blocks of stone, with binds of five rows of red brick.

The portions of the city inside the walls are for the most part compact. The portions outside are partly compact, partly dispersed or straggling, and they send off outskirts in some directions to considerable distances. Most of the streets in the ancient portions are narrow and crooked, but some in these portions and many in the suburbs are spacious and straight. A fine wide street, called Parliament Street, is in the very centre; runs from an irregular but spacious thoroughfare called the Pavement, north-westward to an open area called Sampson Square, and serves as the marketplace. Several good and straight streets, but none so spacious as Parliament Street, intersect the narrower and crooked ones; good straight streets also lead beyond the walls along the principal thoroughfares. Many of the old streets have been widened, blocks of houses which formerly obstructed a view of the grand W front of the cathedral have been entirely removed, and other important improvements, both of a general kind and on buildings, have been made. The general architecture exhibits curious minglings of the ancient and the modern. The general aspect is pleasing, combining the picturesque appearance of the antique buildings with the comfort of the modern. The New Walk, along the Onse, from the vicinity of the castle downward, was laid out and planted with elms in 1733-34, and has a bath at St George's Field. The Esplanade is a similar walk along the Ouse, in the upper part of the city, extending from the Lendal Bridge toward the railway bridge, which is also a footbridge. The racecourse is at Knavesmire, about a mile distant on the London Road, and is the scene of largely attended races in May and August.

The Cathedral.-The Minster or Cathedral Church of St Peter stands within the NE angle of the city wall, on the site of a wooden church of 627, and of a subsequent stone cathedral of 767. It was destroyed by fire in 1068, and began to be rebuilt in 1069; ranges in date thence till 1472, comprises nave, transept, choir, Lady chapel, two W towers, a central tower, and a chapter house, and measures in total length, 486 feet. The fabric is lofty, spacious, vast, and rich; towers like a giant over all the city, lifts its three towers above the church steeples like forest oaks among an underwood, and looks in distant views like a sharply defined hill rising above the general level of the city's architecture. The nave is 264 feet long, 104½ wide, and 99½ high; the transept is 223½ feet long, 93½ wide, and 92 high; the choir with presbytery and other adjuncts is 223½ feet long, 99½ wide, and 102 high; the Lady chapel is 64 feet long, 100 wide, and 101 high. The W front is 109½ feet wide; the W towers are each 32 feet square and 202 high; the central tower is 65 feet wide and 213 high; and the chapter-house is 63 feet in diameter and 67 high. A fine Norman crypt of four aisles, each of three bays, is beneath the choir. Another crypt, partly Saxon and partly Norman, also beneath the choir, was discovered in 1829. The W front consists of a centre and two side divisions, and is adorned with various statues. The nave is of eight bays, and mainly Decorated English, with geometric tracery. The transept is Early English. The choir is of nine bays, and both it and the three towers are Late Perpendicular. The Lady chapel extends from the altar-screen to the E end of the cathedral, and has a great E window, 32 feet wide and 76½ high, with stained glass in about 200 compartments, and with very beautiful tracery in the upper part. The towers can be ascended, and the central one commands a most magnificent view. Damage was done to the pile by fire in 1829, to the value of £65,000, and again in 1840, to the value of £23,000; and restorations of the parts destroyed were afterwards made with admirable effect, while other improvements have been carried out, including a new series of stained-glass windows in the N transept, the refitting of the organ and the erection of a new one. The lighting of the building with gas has been very tastefully carried out. The principal monuments are tombs, effigies, or other memorials of Prince William de Hatfield, fourteen Archbishops, two Earls, Treasurer Haxey, the Hon. T. Wentworth, Dr. Burgh, Dr. Duncombe, late dean, who died 1880, Archbishop Thomson, unveiled Aug. 1895, and memorial windows to officers and men of the 61st and 94th regiments. The Deanery, the Library, and the Canons' residence are near the N side of the Minster. Part of the cloisters of the Anglo-Norman palace of the archbishops was discovered during the progress of the recent improvements. The present archi-episcopal palace is at Bishopthorpe, 3 miles from York.

Many of the churches possess interesting features, and but for the immediate vicinity of the Minster would attract much attention. All Saints, in North Street, is a mixture of Decorated and Perpendicular, and has a fine spire and some good stained windows. All Saints, Pavement, is said to have been originally built out of the ruins of the Roman Eboracum; had an octagonal lantern tower, with a nightly light for guiding travellers through Galtres Forest; was rebuilt in 1835-37, and now has a very graceful lantern tower. St Crux, which formerly stood at the comer of Pavement and Colliergate, was taken down in 1888. St Cuthbert's is Late Perpendicular, St Dionis or Denis is mainly a mixture of Decorated and Perpendicular, and has a Norman doorway and some good stained glass. The tower is modern. St Margaret's has a fine Norman porch, brought to it from St Nicholas' Hospital, and comprising four united circular arches, all curiously sculptured with figures, chiefly hieroglyphicaL St Martin's, Micklegate, is an old edifice with Roman stones in its walls, and has a steeple rebuilt in 1845. St Mary's, Bishopshill Senior, is Early and Decorated English. St Mary's, Castlegate, is of considerable antiquity, and has a fine spire 154 feet high. The church was restored in 1870 by the late Dean Duncombe. St Michael's, Spumergate, is partly ancient, but mostly rebuilt in 1822. The curfew is still tolled here every evening at 8 o'clock. Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, is old, and has some interesting ancient stained glass. St Helen's occupies the site of a temple to Diana, and has a handsome octagonal lantern tower. The church was restored in 1859, and the lantern and west end rebuilt in 1876. St Lawrence's was partly ruined in the Civil War, and has been taken down, with the exception of the tower, which has a Norman doorway. St Martin's-le-Grand is Perpendicular. St Mary's, Bishopshill Junior, retains traces of Early English, and has a tower either Saxon or anciently reconstructed on a Saxon model. St Maurice's was rebuilt in 1875. Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, or Christchurch, was rebuilt, excepting part of the E wall, in 1863. Holy Trinity, Micklegate, is of mixed style, and has a steeple rebuilt since 1651. The north aisle was rebuilt and a chancel added in 1887. St John's, Micklegate, is very old, was restored in 1850, and has remains of a steeple blown down in 1551. St Michael's-le-Belfrey takes its name from contiguity to the bell-towers of the cathedral; was built in 1535, in Late Perpendicular architecture, and restored in 1884, when a chancel was added. St Olave's, Marygate, is said to have been originally erected by Siward, Earl of Northumberland, who died in 1055. It suffered much in the Civil Wars, and was rebuilt in 1705. The chancel was rebuilt in 1879, and the tower subsequently restored. St Sampson's was rebuilt in 1845, except the tower, which existed during the Civil War; St Paul's, Holgate Road, was built in 1851, and enlarged in 1874; St Thomas', Lowther Street, Groves, was built in 1854; Clifton Church in 1867; Holy Trinity, Heworth,in 1868; and St Clement's, Nunthorpe Road, in 1874. The Congregational Salem Chapel was built in 1838. The Baptist Chapel, Priory Street, was built in 1867, and is in the Early Decorated style with a pinnacled tower. The Wesleyan Centenary Chapel was built in 1839-40, measures 90 feet by 68, and has a stone front in the Doric style. The meeting house, in Clifford Street, of the Society of Friends, originally built in 1718, was rebuilt in 1885. St Wilfred's Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in 1864, at a cost of about £10,000, is in the Italianized Gothic style; measures 111 feet in length, 59 in width, and 62 in height, and has a tower and roof-spire 147 feet high. St George's Roman Catholic Church, George Street, was erected in 1849. There is an Ursuline convent in Blossom Street, outside Micklegate Bar, with chapel and school attached.

Parishes, &c.-The livings in the city, or connected with it, are the rectories of All Saints in North Street; gross value, £150 with residence (population, 1241): All Saints Pavement with St. Peter the Little and St Crux (united in 1885 with the church of All Saints as parish church); gross value, £298 with residence (1128): St Cuthbert; net value, £267 with residence (3222): St Denis with St George; gross value, £242 with residence (3024): St Margaret with St Peter-le-Willows; net value, £223 with residence (1935): St Martin Micklegate with St Gregory; gross value, £210 (645): St Mary Bishopshill Senior; net value, £180 with residence (7109): St Paul, Holgate; net value, £227 with residence (6326): St Mary Castlegate with St Michael Spurriergate; net value, £188 with residence (914): St Saviour; net value, £144 with residence (1939): Holy Trinity Goodramgate with St John Delpike and St Maurice Bedern and part of Minster Yard; net value, £322 with residence (2193); Holy Trinity, Micklegate; net value, £153 with residence (2193): the vicarages of St Helen Stonegate (406); St John Ousegate; net value, £200 (517); St Lawrence with St Nicholas and New Fulford; net value, £300 with residence (7 5 66): St Martin in Coney Street; gross value, £163 with residence (383); St Mary Bishopshill Junior; net value, £284 with residence (3918): St Michael-le-Belfrey; net value, £272 with residence (1213): St Sampson with Holy Trinity in King's Court; gross value, £200 (1055); St Olave with St Giles; net value, £218 with residence (3515): St Thomas, gross value, £250 with residence (8208).

Public Buildings.-The Castle stands between the Foss and the Ouse, a little above their confluence. It dates from at least the time of the Romans, probably from those of the ancient Britons; was rebuilt by William the Conqueror, and again by Richard III., and is now represented chiefly by Clifford's Tower and by modern erections. Its walls enclosed an area of about 4 acres, with space to contain 40,000 persons. Clifford's Tower was the keep or donjon, took its name from one of the first governors, and was reduced by fire in 1684 to the condition of a mere shell. It consists of four conjoined segments of circles, with walls from 9 to 10 feet thick, standing on a high artificial mound engirt by a strong projecting modern wall erected in 1836; forms a prominent and picturesque object in the city's architecture, and commands from its summit an extensive view. The modern erections within the Castleyard include the Yorkshire Assize Courts, erected 1777, and Her Majesty's Prison (1826-38). The tower on Baile Hill, corresponding to Clifford's Tower on the other side of the river, no longer exists.

The Mansion House stands in front of the Guildhall, near the left bank of the Ouse, was built in 1726 after a design by the Earl of Burlington, has an Ionic front, and contains a banquet-hall 49½ feet by 27½, with portraits of three sovereigns and other historical personages. The Guildhall adjoins the Ouse, was built in 1446 and restored about 1840; is in the Perpendicular style, 96 feet long, 43 wide, and 29¼ high, divided into nave and aisles by two rows of oaken pillars, said to have been grown in the forest of Galtres, and has a number of modern stained glass windows. The assizes, quarter sessions, and court of record for the city, as well as the county court, are held in it.

The Assembly Rooms were built in 1730-36 after designs by the Earl of Burlington, are in the Palladian style with a portico, and contain a great room 112 feet long, 40 wide, and 40 high, in the Corinthian and Composite styles; another room 66 feet long, 22 wide, and 22 high; another room 43 feet by 15, and a circular room 20 feet in diameter, with a cupola. The Concert Room adjoins the Assembly Rooms, was built in 1824-50 by Atkinson and Sharpe; has Ionic pilasters, a figured frieze, and bronze doors, and is 90 feet long, 60 wide, and 45 high. The Theatre Royal occupies the site of St Leonard's Hospital, and was adapted in 1765 by Tate Wilkinson, the corporation, which now owns it, has refaced it with stone at considerable cost. The Merchants' Hall, in Fossgate, belongs to the Merchants' Company. St Anthony's Hall was rebuilt in 1646, and has an open timber roof of considerable beauty. It is now the premises of the York Blue-coat School, founded in 1705. The Freemasons' Hall, Duncombe Street, was built in 1863. The Cavalry and Infantry Barracks are in the SE outskirts. The former occupy a site of 12 acres, were erected in 1795-96 at a cost of £27,000, and were enlarged in 1861-69. The Infantry Barracks occupy a site of 35 acres, cost £150,000, and can accommodate upwards of 1100 men. The branch War Office for the North-eastern District is in Fishergate. A three-arched stone bridge over the Onse was built in 1810-20 at a cost of £80,000. It adjoins two spacious quays or lands for the delivery of goods, is 40 feet wide, and measures 75 feet in the span of its mid-arch and 65 feet in the span of each of the side arches. A one-arched iron bridge, called the Lendal Bridge, over the Onse, was erected in 1863; measures 175 feet in the span of its arch, and presents a general resemblance to Westminster Bridge. Skeldergate Bridge, near the castle, erected 1878, consists of three iron spans on stone piers. That on the Castlegate side opens by means of hydraulic apparatus to permit the passage of vessels. Several minor bridges cross the Foss. The railway station within the SW angle of the city wall is approached through a Tudor arch in the city wall, and was condemned toward the end of 1865. The new North-Eastern station outside the city wall was opened in 1877, is used also by the Great Northern, North-Western, Lancashire and Yorkshire, Great Eastern, and Midland railways, and is considered one of the largest and most convenient stations in Great Britain. It measures 800 by 234 feet, covering a greater area than St Pancras station. The station hotel of the N.E.R. immediately adjoins it. A spacious corn exchange, with a room 74 feet by 63, was built in 1868, and near it in Clifford Street is the Free Library, the foundation stone of which was laid by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales in 1883. The Post and Telegraph Office in Lendal was erected in 1884. It is a brick building in the Tudor style. The new Courts of Justice were erected by the Corporation in Clifford Street in 1892, the foundation stone having been laid in 1890 by H.R.H. The late Duke of Clarence.

St Mary's Benedictine Abbey stood within the area of the present gardens of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, outside the city walls, between Bootham Road and the river Ouse, occupied the site of a Roman temple of Bellona, and of a priory of St Olave founded about 1050, was begun to be built in 1088 by William Rufus, destroyed by fire in 1137, and rebuilt in 1270-91 by Abbot Simon de Warwick. It grew to be one of the most prominent abbeys in England, with mitred dignity and a seat in Parliament, which had fifty monks, and a yearly revenue of £2091 at the dissolution It gave place partially to a palatial edifice called the King's Manor, for the residence of the Lord President of the Council of the North, was further taken down in 1701 and subsequent years for the repairing or rebuilding of York Castle, St Olave's Church, Beverley minster, and other structures, and is now represented by very diminished but highly interesting ruins. The church was Transitional Early English, measured 371 feet in length, appears to have had a remarkably beautiful W front, and survives mainly in the N wall of the nave, with richly ornamented doorway and eight very fine windows. A Norman arch, now the entrance to the Museum Gardens, from Marygate, was the principal entrance to the abbey, and a curious stone and timber building, now restored and used as a museum for antiquities, is supposed to have been the hospitium for strangers. A wall was built by the monks for defence from assaults of the citizens, and is still partly standing. St Leonard's Hospital also stood within the area of the present Museum Gardens, was founded in 936 by Athelstan, was rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in 1137, became one of the largest and richest establishments of its kind in the N of England, and has left very interesting ruins, comprising the entrance passage, the ambulatory, and a beautiful Early English chapel. St Peter's Hospital in Mint Yard was erected in 1080-1100 by William the Conqueror and William Rufus, and has left some Norman remains. St William's College for priests, in Vicars Lane, was founded in 1252 by Archbishop de Grey, restored in 1460 by the Nevills, and has left an arched gate and some other remains. A Benedictine priory near Micklegate, a cell to Tours Abbey, was founded about the time of the Norman Conquest, and was long represented by a gate which was taken down a few years prior to 1869. A priory was founded about the time of the Norman Conquest by R. de Paganel, another priory was founded in 1202 by H. Murdac, a priory of St Nicholas was founded before 1405, an Augns-tinian friary before 1278, a Grey friary by Henry III., a Black friary in the time of Henry III. by B. Stapylton, a White friary in 1255 by De Vesci and Percy, a Crutched friary in the time of Edward II., a nunnery at Clementhorpe before 1145, a preceptory in the time of Henry I. by W. Percy, St Sepulchre's College before 1161 by Archbishop Roger, a St Anthony's Hospital in 1440 by J. Langton, an hospital at Bootham in 1314 by Dean Pykering, another hospital at Bootham before 1481 by J. Gyseburgh, an hospital at Fossgate called Trinity Hospital in 1371 by J. de Rowcliff, and an hospital of St Nicholas before the time of Stephen, but all these have entirely disappeared.

Schools and Institutions.-St Peter's Grammar School, Clifton, was founded in 1557 by Queen Mary, and the buildings now used, in the Tudor style, were purchased by the Dean and Chapter about 1845. The Free Grammar School, near the Minster, was founded in 1545 by Archbishop Holgate. The present buildings were erected in 1858. Next it stands the York Diocesan Training College for teachers, erected in 1846 at a cost of £12,000. The Boys' Blue-coat School and the Girls' Greycoat School have together accommodation for upwards of 100 scholars. The Yorkshire School for the Blind occupies the manor house, previously noticed in connection with St Mary's Abbey. It was established in 1833 as a memorial of William Wilberforce, and is supported by subscriptions and donations. The School of Art, St Leonard's Place, was established by government in 1842, occupies part of the buildings of the Corporation Fine Art Gallery, and is in connection with the Art Department at South Kensington, as is the School of Art, Clifford Street, which occupies part of the Public Library premises. Attached to the deanery on the north side of the cathedral is the Cathedral Library, of 8000 volumes. It contains many valuable MSS., two York Breviaries, a Bible of Edward I., and a number of rare printed books. The Public Free Library, Clifford Street, was opened in 1893 by H.R.H. The Duke of York. It contains 12,000 volumes for lending, and 3500 in the reference department. The Philosophical Society was founded in 1822, gives great prominence to matters of antiquity, geology, and natural history, and has within the Museum Gardens extensive premises built in 1827-30, with a Doric front, and containing lecture-room, library, and a very rich museum. The York Subscription Library was founded in 1794, and contains about 40,000 volumes. The Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Institution, near Bootham Bar, having an interesting collection of pictures, ancient and modern, was handed over to the York Corporation in 1891. The Institute of Art, Science, and Literature was also handed over to the York Corporation in 1891. The Church Institute and the Gentlemen's Club and Commercial Newsrooms are prominent institutions. The County Hospital was founded in 1740, was rebuilt in 1850, and has since been considerably extended by the erection of new wards, the Institution for Diseases of the Eye and Ear having been attached to the hospital. The York Lunatic Asylum was built in 1777, has a frontage of 132 feet, and stands in large grounds. A lunatic asylum called the Eetreat was built in 1794 by the Society of Friends, and stands on a plot of 14 acres. In it were first practically demonstrated in England the valuable results of kind and firm treatment of those suffering from mental disease. The pauper lunatic asylum for the North and the East Ridings stands at Clifton. There are eighteen suites of almshouse hospitals, and they serve for about 160 poor persons.

Trade and the Borough.-The city has a head post office, is a seat of assizes, quarter sessions, petty sessions, county courts, and ecclesiastical courts, and the headquarters of the North-Eastern military district, and publishes one morning, one evening, and three weekly newspapers. A general weekly market is held on Saturday, a cattle market on alternate Thursdays, a wool market on every Thursday from Lady Day to Michaelmas, a leather market on the first Wednesday of March, June, Sept., and Dec., fairs on the Thursday before 14 Feb., and before Palm Sunday, Whit Monday, 10 July, 12 Aug., and 14 and 28 Nov., and a horse show during the entire week before Christmas. There are five banks, a gas company, and a waterworks company, and York is the headquarters of the North Eastern Railway Company. The general retail trade is very large. Bell-founding was extensively carried on in York from the 12th century. No less than 300 bells are known to exist which were cast in the city. The trade became extinct about 1800. Glass staining was also a trade of the city, and specimens are now to be found in various parts of the kingdom. The manufacture of linens was at one time flourishing, but fell away. The manufacture of combs, brushes, shoes, saddlery, and glass is carried on, besides coach and railway carriage building, and there are tanneries, breweries, chemical and confectionery works, and iron foundries.

The Corporation of York claims to be a corporation by prescription. Its earliest existing charter is one of Henry II. In the reign of Richard II. The city was constituted a county of itself. It is now governed by a lord mayor, 12 aldermen, and 36 councillors, and has sent two members to Parliament since the time of Henry III. By an Act obtained in 1884, the municipal boundaries were extended by about 1580 acres, and there was a further extension in 1893 of about 140 acres. The corporation completed in 1895 new sewerage works extending throughout the city. The parliamentary and municipal areas of the city are co-extensive. Acreage, 3692; population (1891), 67,004; with the addition caused by the added area of 1893 the number is estimated at 67,926.

The Diocese.-The bishopric of York is alleged to date from at least the year 314, the archbishopric from at least the time of Paulinas. The archbishop places the crown on the Queen Consort's head at coronations, and since the latter part of the 14th century has been styled primate of England, while the Archbishop of Canterbury is styled primate of all England. Among the archbishops have been Paulinus, Chad, Wilfrid, and John of Beverley, who were canonized; Aldred, who made the Norman invader kneel to him for pardon; Thurston, who won the battle of the Standard; William, who died from a poisoned chalice and was canonized; Roger, the antagonist of Thomas a Becket; Geoffrey Plantagenet, the brave son of Henry II.; Gifford, who was lord-chancellor; De la Zouche, who took David Brace a prisoner in battle; Thoresby, who was lord-chancellor, and who extolled the hearing of God's word in English far above the listening to masses; Scrope, who was beheaded; Bowet, who was lord-treasurer; Neville, who was lord-chancellor, and was despoiled by Edward IV.; Rotherham, cardinal, lord-chancellor, and founder of Lincoln College, Oxford; Savage, the noted sportsman; Baynbridge and Wolsey, the cardinals; Heath, denounced in old age by Elizabeth; Hut-ton, whose sermons " pinned Elizabeth's shroud about her face;" Matthew, the punster; Monteigne, who won his preferment by a pithy saying to James I.; Neile, who was the last to burn a heretic; Williams, the pluralist lord-keeper; Frewen, the author of the " Whole Duty of Man;" Dolben, noted for facile extemporaneous preaching; Sharp, who plumed himself on the alternate study of the Scriptures and Shakespeare; and Blackburne, the buccaneer. Eleven of the dignitaries became cardinals. The cathedral establishment includes the archbishop, the suffragan bishops of Beverley and Hull, the dean and precentor, four residentiary canons, a chancellor of the church, a sub-dean, a succentor, four archdeacons, thirty prebendaries, a chancellor of the diocese, and the corporation of the sub-chanter and vicars choral of York Cathedral. The income of the archbishop is £10,000; of the dean, £2000; of each of the four residentiary canons, £700, but temporarily reduced to £400. The population of the diocese is 1,447,449. The province comprehends the dioceses of York, Ripon, Durham, Carlisle, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Chester, Wakefield, and Sodor and Man. The diocese of York comprises part of Lincoln, part of Nottingham, the whole of East Riding, part of North Riding, part of West Riding, and York City.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyYorkshire 
Poor Law unionYork 

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