Bawtry in 1835
Bawtry, a market town and township which is generally considered to be in the West Riding of Yorkshire ; part of the town is, however, in Nottinghamshire. Bawtry is in the parish of Blyth, and partly in that of Scrooby. That portion which is in Yorkshire belongs to the lower division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill ; the portion which is in Nottinghamshire belongs to the wapentake of Bassetlaw. It is 153 miles N. by W. of London, 8 miles S.E. of Doncaster, and 44 miles S. by E. of York.
Bawtry is situated on a slight eminence which gradually slopes towards the river Idle, eastward of the town. This river was considered an important one previous to the improvements in inland navigation. Falling into the Trent, the Idle formerly conveyed in boats the lead of Derbyshire, the hardwares of Sheffield, and the agricultural produce of the vale of the Don, to Gainsborough, Hull, &c. A better conveyance for these goods is now found by the navigation of the Don and the Ouse. The road from London to York passes through the main street of Bawtry, in which there are some very respectable houses. The whole town is cleanly and cheerful in appearance. The population is 1,149. The chief employments of the people are those connected with agriculture : and the retail shops are chiefly supported by the neighbouring rural district. The market day is Thursday. The church, which is small, is subordinate to that of Blyth. There is a national school at Bawtry, which is supported by subscription, and which furnishes instruction to about 100 children ; and there are two dissenting meeting houses. The mansion of the Dowager Viscountess Galway is situated at the southern extremity of the town. It is adorned with pleasure-grounds, which are interspersed with flower-gardens, groves and plantations. An elegant aviary contains a choice selection of birds.
Dr. Hunter says (History of the Deanery of Doncaster) that "The position of Bawtry, on the great north road, occasions it to have the appearance of activity and business." Formerly, when the sovereign, or any member of his family, travelled with more state than at present, they were usually met at Bawtry by the sheriff of the county with a train of attendants.