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Was a comparatively late developer among the great English cities. Its situation was determined by the river Sheaf joining the Don: William de Lovetot built a castle in the angle in the 12th cent. together with a bridge. As early as the 14th cent. Sheffield had a national reputation for cutlery, since Chaucer's Miller from Trumpington had a ‘Sheffield whittle’, a short dagger or knife, in his hose. Its development as a great steel town depended upon local supplies of iron, the water‐power of the Loxley, Rivelin, and Porter, as well as the Sheaf and Don, and sandstone for grinding. Camden's Britannia (1580s) found Sheffield ‘remarkable, among many other places hereabouts, for blacksmiths, there being much iron digged up in these parts’. The Cutlers' Company was granted a charter under the master cutler in 1624. By 1801, Sheffield, with a population of 31,000, was the tenth town in England. It was given parliamentary representation by the Great Reform Act of 1832, acquired a town council in 1843, and by 1861 was fifth largest, with 185,000 people. It became a city in 1893, gained a university in 1905, and was given cathedral status in 1914.

Subjects: Literature.

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