Wednesday morning, from Doncaster to Ferry Bridge, 10 miles. For the first part of the stage, the soil is very cold, and lies high; a good deal of common ground lying waste. For the first time, I saw a good many of the Cheviot breed of sheep, both ewes and hoggs, that had been sold last back-end, but had been poorly maintained. Here, for wonder, I see them laying lime on the ground. Ferry Bridge is a fine low standing place on the side of a river, but I have lost its name. Here a great many small crafts come from the east, sometimes on the river and sometimes on the canal. I breakfasted with the passengers of two different stages. We made a strange medley; some had tea, some coffee; some cold meats, ham and eggs, some toast and butter; others plain bread, some biscuits. Before we had finished the horn sounded to mount. There was strange work, many deficient bills, from 1s 2d to 1s 8d. One young man fell into a convulsive fit; nobody knew him, and he was left to the care of the housekeeper, and every one went his own way. This house carries on brewing, farming, and post house to a great extent. They have a separate house on each side of the gate, two waiters, two chamber- maids, and a number of different people in the stable yard. This is 175 miles from London. There is a very fine bridge being built over the river, fine mossy ground on the banks; the finest freestone quarries here I ever saw, as also lime-stone ones.
From Ferry Bridge to Tadcaster, 12 miles. A small town with little appearance of trade. The soil this stage is very middling, but well farmed. They have most of their cattle still in straw yards something strange all the way. They give their cows and other cattle hay, laid down on the very best pastures, at this date; yet they eat it very clean up. This must be owing to the fineness of the hay. It is all made from rich, old lands, and very well won. Horses like it well, and feed greedily.
From Tadcaster to York, 9 miles. This is a large city, and has been strongly walled: has strong arched gates. A river divides the city. A good many small ships deliver their burdens here from every quarter. They have a castle or citadel, and a great number of very fine buildings about it in the form of a large square. Here debtors are confined, but seem quite comfortable, and have room to carry on their different employments. In the castle they hold their courts of justice. It is all divided into elegant apartments, fitted up for judges, juries, witnesses, counsel, and other people concerned. In the castle there are a good many antique things deposited. It has been enlarged and improved of late years. York Minster is one of the largest cathedrals in Britain; its length within walls is 400 feet, its width 170 feet, its height in proportion. The workmanship is of the best kind. The paintings on the roof, and painted figures all the glass are wonderful – Moses, Aaron, Abraham, all the prophets and evangelists in full size, and done life-like. The organ is one of the finest I ever saw or heard. Went in to hear evening prayers, as they style the service. The whole company consisted of the man who read the prayers and a chapter of the Bible, eight singing boys, seven other people, and myself. The music was very good, still, it had the appearance of some prelude to a play rather than divine service. There is very little business (I mean manufacturing) carried on here agreeable to the population. A great many country gentlemen spend the winter months here with their families. The streets are very confined and ill-paved. A great many elegant shops, but seemingly doing but little business. They have weekly markets for store sheep for eight months of the year, and for fat sheep and cattle all the year round. A great many dealers or drovers live all round. The population after all is not equal to Manchester, nor near to it.