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Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: James Boswell
James Boswell (or Bosvill) was King of the Gypsies, he is buried in Rossington. Millers/Langdale's “Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire” (1822), says: “In the church yard, was a stone, the two ends of which are now remaining, where was interred the body of James Bosvill the King of the Gypsies, who died January 30, 1708. For a number of years, it was a custom of Gypsies from the south, to visit his tomb annually, and there perform some of their accustomed rites; one of which was to pour a flagon of ale upon the grave.”
Local legend says that Boswell lived in Sherwood Forest helping travellers and gypsies. Also that his grave was opened some months after his burial so that his black cat could be buried with him, and that a ghostly cat still appears on the churchyard wall.
There was a tradition was of gypsy pilgrimages to his grave for more than 100 years, including a rite of pouring a flagon of hot ale into the tomb.
Entered By http://www.donny.co.uk/Doncaster/news/index.php3?ID=376 of James Boswell's Ghost Black Cat
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