Now, it might not seem like a stretch to think of a certain community of people from Doncaster knocking back the Buckfast and speaking gibberish, and it turns out, it’s all just part of their ‘heritage’. And while we might all sit confidently with the knowledge that Doncaster is part of Yorkshire, it turns out, it’s technically a part of Scotland. Bonny Donny, eh?
The small South Yorkshire town’s Scottish history dates way back to the 12th century (1136, to be specific), when the town was signed over to King David I in the Treaty of Durham, and it was never officially given back – despite a whole lot of scraps between Scotland and England since then (we’re looking at you, Mary).
The town was signed over by King Stephen of England over 900 years ago during King David I’s attempted takeover of Northern England – a pretty petty drama that one could describe as an irrational ordeal, looking back. Turns out, the whole thing started because David had been living the sweet life as the protégé of Henry I, that was until the King died. After that, he pretty much embarked on a war path in the name of Henry I’s daughter, Matilda, and desperately tried to uphold his inheritance and build his own realm. Why? Because Matilda was the heir to the throne, and was robbed of the title by cousin Stephen while pregnant in Anjou. Honestly, the Middle Ages were unbelievably dramatic.
According to historians, Doncaster was never actually signed back over to England – despite Henry II taking control of the area 21 years later. Not only that, but Prince Henry of Scotland is actually credited for making the town a borough, and though it’s recorded that Doncaster was returned to the English between 1154 and 1156, there’s actually no documentary evidence of this.
While the whole thing is considered to be a bit of a historical anomaly these days, the 12th century blip could affect the town should Scotland gain independence – a desire that appears to be growing within Scottish citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Better get stocked up on the Haggis and Buckfast, I suppose.