New Yorkshire Gazetteer (1828) page 304
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to have been first fortified by Agricola.
The Emperor Adrian, so early as the
year 124, took up his station at York.
The Emperor Severus came into Bri-
tain to repel the incursions of the Ca-
ledonians, and after chasing them back
to their mountains, died here in
211 ;
his obsequies were celebrated with ex-
traordinary magnificence; the body be-
ing placed upon a funeral pile, his sons
applied the lighted torch, and his re-
mains, reduced to ashes, were collected
in a porphyry urn and carried to Rome.
It is somewhat uncertain, whether the
three mounts, a mile north-west of the
city, called Severus’s Hills, are natural
elevations, or were raised by the Roman
army in commemoration of this great
commander. In York, Constantine, on
the death of his father, assumed the
purple; but it is now generally ad-
mitted, that Eboracum did not give
birth to this celebrated emperor. Lit-
tle further is heard of York till after
the departure of the Romans; it suf-
fered various vicissitudes, and was
nearly destroyed to its foundations by
the irruption of the Scots and Piets ;
and during the whole turbulent period
of the heptarchy, from the civil wars
that incessantly prevailed, it always be-
came the prize apd the prey of the con-
queror. In the ninth century, how-
ever, after the union of the kingdoms
of the heptarchy, York became the seat
of a considerable commerce, as well as
of the little portion of letters which
then prevailed in the kingdom. Dur-
ing the Danish invasions it was again
burnt to ashes; gradually reviving, it
continued in a flourishing condition till
soon after the Norman conquest, when
the inhabitants calling in the Danes to
their assistance, endeavoured to shake
off the yoke, and put the garrison of the
citadel to the sword; a dreadful retri-
bution followed, as William the Con-
queror, enraged at the indignity, razed
the city to the ground ; it again slowly
recovered its importance, but in the
reign of King Stephen, 1137, was once
more totally destroyed by fire. The
history of York, till this period, may
be considered as decidedly melancholy,
but thenceforward it enjoyed for some
ages the blessings of peace and pros-
perity. A most shameful and merci-
less persecution of the Jews took place
in the year 1190, when many of that
devoted race took the desperate reso-
lution of slaying themselves, with their
wives and children, to escape the re-
morseless hands of their hypocritical
enemies. York, from its convenient
situation, has often been the seat of
political interviews between the kings
and nobility of Scotland and England.
In 1527 Edward III. ordered his ar-
my to rendezvous here, in order to
oppose Robert Bruce: a terrible quar-
rel broke out between some Hain-
aulters, who attended John Lord Beau-
mont, and the English archers, in
which many on both sides were slain :
the next year the marriage of Edward
was solemnized in the cathedral, and
the quarrel was renewed between the
Hainaulters and the English. During
the wars of the Roses this city was fre-
quently the rendezvous of the hostile
armies ; after the battle of Wakefield
the head of Richard Duke of York
was placed on the top of Mickle-gate
Bar, but this horrid spectacle was
removed after the success of the
battle of Towton. The city sincerely
adhered to the Yorkist interest, and
was never thoroughly reconciled to
the Lancastrian monarch, Henry VII.
The suppression of the religious houses
by Henry VIII. was a terrible blow to
the grandeur of York, and seriously
injured the temporal, as well as spi-
ritual, prosperity of the town. In or-
der to make some amends for the losses
and depredations committed, the court
of the Lord President of the North was
erected at York, by Henry VIII., in
1537 ; this court was empowered to
hear and determine all causes north of


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