Beverley is a market town, civil parish and the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The town is noted for Beverley Minster, Beverley Westwood, North Bar (a 15th century gate), Beverley Racecourse and the oldest grammar school in the country, Beverley Grammar School. Its namesake serves as the origins for the cities of Beverly, Massachusetts, and, in turn, Beverly Hills in California.
The town was originally known as Inderawuda and was founded around 700 AD by Saint John of Beverley during the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. After a period of Viking control, it passed to the Cerdic dynasty, a period during which it gained prominence in terms of religious importance in Great Britain. It continued to grow especially under the Normans when its trading industry was first established. A place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages due to its founder, Beverley eventually became a notable wool-trading town. Beverley was once the tenth-largest town in England, as well as one of the richest, because of its wool and the pilgrims who came to venerate its founding saint, John of Beverley. After the Reformation, the regional stature of Beverley was much reduced.
In the 20th century, Beverley was the administrative centre of the local government district of the Borough of Beverley (1974–1996). It is now the county town of the East Riding, located north-west of Hull, east of Market Weighton and west of Hornsea. According to the 2001 United Kingdom census the total population of the urban area of Beverley was 29,110 – of whom 17,549 live within the historic parish boundaries. The population of the parish had risen to 18,624 at the time of the 2011 United Kingdom census.
As well as its racecourse and markets, Beverley is known in the modern day for hosting various music festivals throughout the year, and also food festivals. In 2007 Beverley was named as the best place to live in the United Kingdom in an "Affordable Affluence" study by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Wikipedia articles carries on to expand this history.
During the Middle Ages, Beverley was governed by aldermen known as the twelve keepers who oversaw the general running of the town and the maintaining of law and order. The borough corporation was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 and formed the local government of the town until 1974. In 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, the former area of Beverley borough was merged with Beverley Rural District and Haltemprice Urban District to form an enlarged Beverley borough in the county of Humberside which ceased to exist in 1996. Since then it has formed part of the new East Riding of Yorkshire unitary authority, where it is the county town, as it was before 1974.
Beverley was represented in the Houses of Parliament by the Member of Parliament of Yorkshire until Beverley was given parliamentary borough status from 1563. Beverley was able to elect two MPs for its entire time as a parliamentary borough; the right of election was vested not in the population as a whole, but in the freemen. Elections became notorious for their corruption, to the extent that the constituency was abolished in 1870 and incorporated into the East Riding constituency. During the 1950 general election a Beverley county constituency was created, covering half of the East Riding, with Bridlington covering the other half. It became part of the Haltemprice constituency in 1955, until it reverted to the Beverley constituency in 1983. Since 1997 Beverley has been part of the Beverley and Holderness constituency.
The ecclesiastical parishes of Beverley were originally named Beverley St. John (the minster), Beverley St. Martin, Beverley St. Mary and Beverley St. Nicholas. The parishes of St. John and St. Martin merged in 1546; those of St. Mary and St. Nicholas merged in 1667. (F. Youngs, Local Administrative Units: Northern England (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991), p. 513.). These two parishes were also Registration Districts for Births, Marriages and Deaths following the introduction of civil registration in 1837, and also for the censuses. The parishes ceased to be Registration Districts in 1936 when these powers were taken over by the civil parish of Beverley. The whole of Beverley was in the wapentake of Harthill.