"HULL, a parish in the E.R. of Yorkshire, 136 cm 169 mm from London, is in all writings called Kingston upon Hull, by reason of its situation on that r. and its being built by K. Edw. I. who, Camden says, made a harbour here, and granted the inh. many liberties; but the author of the addenda to Camden says, the walls and T.-ditch were made by leave from K. Edw. II. and that Rich. II. gave them the harbour. In the time of Hen. VIII. this T, was by Pt. erected into an honor; and in that of William III. enabled to erect workhouses and houses of correction. The first trade, that enriched it, was in Iceland fish, dried and hardened, the same that is called Stock-Fish, because it is carried on by a joint-stock. The Hull falls here into the Humber, just where the latter opens into the German ocean; so that one side of the T. lies upon the sea, the other upon land; but so low, that, by cutting the sea-banks, they can drown the country 5 m. round, Some say, it was incorporated by Edw. III. It was governed first by a warden, then by a bailiff, afterwards by a mayor and bailiff; and at last Hen. VI. granted it a mayor, 12. ald. a recorder, chamberlain, a water-bailiff and sheriff, with a T.-clerk, sword and mace-bearers; and that it should be a T. and Co. incorporate of itself. They had a privilege, it is said, to give judgment on life, though they do not now make use of it. The mayor has two swords, one given by Rich. II. the other by Henry VIII. who kept his court here for some months, and made this one of the 26 suffragan Sees, yet only one sword is carried before him. He has also an oar of lignum vitae, which denotes his jurisdiction as admiral within the limits of the Humber. It is fortified by a citadel, built in 1681, a castle, block-house, &c. Here are 2 Chs. several meeting-houses, an exchange, built in 1621, a custom-house, a wool-hall, and an engine to make water fresh. Here is a fr. sc. founded by John Alcock Bp. of Worcester, with a hall over it for the merchants, who have founded and endowed an hos. here, called Trinity- House, in which are maintained many distressed seamen, and the widows of seamen, both of Hull and other places, that are members of its port. In one of the apartments sails are made, in which the T. drives a great trade; and here is the effigies of a Greenlander in his canoe, who was taken, in 1613, by Capt. Andrew Barker of Hull. The T. is large, close built, well paved, and exceeding populous, and has a stately old bridge that goes over the Hull to Holderness, with 14 arches. Near it is the Greenland-House, built in 1674, at the charge of the merchants; but that fishery being not used here now, it is turned into a storehouse for corn, &c. Near it is another hos. called God's House, which was founded by Michael De la Pole Earl of Suffolk, in 1584, but was pulled down in the late civil wars, and since rebuilt. Here are other hospitals, or workhouses, for the poor, and a ch. sc. It is not only the most considerable place in this part of England for its inland traffick, but has a foreign trade equal to most cities in the Km. the customs being reckoned bet. 30 and 40,000 l. a year, and more merchant-ships bel. to it, than to any port in England, except London, Bristol, and Yarmouth. Its inland trade is the greater, by reason of the many large rs. that fall into the sea near it, by the Humber. By the Ouse it trades to York, and even almost to Borroughbridge and Rippon. By the Trent, Idle, Witham, Don, and Derwent, a great trade is carried on to Bautree, Gainsborough, Newark, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, and Litchfield; all the heavy goods of which countries, such as lead from Derby and Nottinghamshire, iron-ware from Sheffield, cheese from Warwickshire, Staffordshire, and even Cheshire, are brought down to this port, and exported to Holland, Hamburgh, and the Baltick, as also to France and Spain, from whence they make large returns in iron, copper, hemp, flax, canvas, Russia linen and yarn, besides wine, oil, fruit, linen, &c. from Holland, France, and Spain. And by all these rs. such a vast quantity of corn is brought hither from these Cos. that it exports more sometimes than even London itself. The trade bet. this port and London, especially for corn, lead, and butter, and the trade bet. this port and Holland and France, not only for all these commodities, but for the cloth, kerseys, and other mfs. of Leeds, Halifax, and other Ts. of Yorkshire, W.R. is such, that they not only employ ships, but fleets, the Hull fleets to London being generally from 50 to 60 sail together, and in time of war often 100 sail, or more. In fine, it is said there is more business done at this port, in proportion to its bigness, than in any other port of Europe; and it is certain that its merchants have as good a character, and as great credit, as those of any in Britain. K. Charles II. in 1667, granted it two marts a year, viz. July 10 and Dec. 10, and five days after each. Its other Fairs are Tu. in Whitson-week, July 22 to 25, Sept. 21 to 29; and its Mts. are Tu. and S, It formerly gave title of Earl, and now of Duke, to the family of Pierpoint. Abundance of herrings are taken here in the season."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Stephen Whatley's England's Gazetteer, 1750]