Pontefract, or Pomfret, a pleasant market-town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on an eminence near the influx of the Calder to the Aire, 13 miles SE. of Leeds, 8 E. by N. of Wakefield, and 14 NNW. of Doncaster. It stands on the line of a Roman road, but seems to have arisen round its Norman castle, which, founded about 1076 by Ilbert de Lacy, was the scene of the execution or murder of the Earl of Lancaster (1322), Richard II. (1400), and Earl Rivers (1483), was taken in the Pilgrimage of Grace (1536), and during the Great Rebellion sustained four sieges, being finally dismantled in 1649, after its capture by Lambert. There are two old churches, a town-hall (rebuilt 1796), a market-hall (1860), a grammar-school of Edward VI. (1549), and large market-gardens and nurseries, the growing of liquorice for the lozenges called 'Pomfret cakes' being a specialty as old as about 1562. At Ack-worth, 3 miles south, is a large Quaker school (1778). Pontefract, called Taddenesscylf in pre-Conquest times, seems to have received its present name between 1086 and 1135; why Pontefract ('broken bridge') is uncertain, see Notes and Queries for 1886-87. The borough, chartered by Richard III., lost one of its two members in 1885. Pop. of parl. borough (1851) 11,515; (1901) 20,745, of whom 13,427 were within the municipal boundary. See works by Paulden (1702), Tetlow (1769), and Boothroyd (1807).