"MALTON, (or New Malton) a market town and borough, in the wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding, is 214 miles from London, 84 n.e. from Manchester, 22 s.w. from Scarborough, and 18 n.e. from York. By the Saxons this town was named Maldune, and in Domesday Survey, written Maltun --- thus distinguished from the 'Malton' where the priory stood. In the reign of King Stephen it was laid in ashes by the army under Archbishop Thurstan, and when rebuilt acquired the name of 'New Malton.' It is pleasantly situated on the northern bank of the Derwent, and at the termination of a calcareous ridge, now called the 'Howardian hills.' The appearance of the town is neat and clean ; the market place is large and divided into two parts by the town hall and St. Michael's church. The country around is fertile, embellished by many genteel seats, and its agricultural state is very fine. The principal inn here, the 'New Talbot,' is most delightfully placed, having a commanding view of the river Derwent, and an extensive prospect of a rich and beautiful country ; the noble terrace and gardens, attract the admiration of visitors, many of whom (in the summer months particularly) are induced, by the elegant accommodations which this inn affords, and the beautiful scenery which surrounds it, to spend some time here on their way to and from Scarborough. In the 1st of Queen Ann, the Derwent was made navigable from this place to the Ouse ; thus affording every facility for the transmission of corn, butter, hams, and other kinds of provision, which are here shipped for Hull, Leeds and other places : from the former groceries are brought, and from Leeds, woollen cloth, stuffs and coal. Within the last two or three years many improvements have been made in the town, particularly by the gas works, from which the streets, almost all the public buildings, and most of the shops are now supplied with a brilliant light. The proprietors are Messrs. John and James Malem, who are also owners of several other gas establishments. Malton was formerly governed by two bailiffs, but was deprived of its corporate privileges by a writ of quo warranto, in the time of Charles 2nd, since which period its municipal authorities have consisted of a bailiff and subordinate officers, who are chosen at the court leet of the lord of the manor (Earl Fitzwilliam) held annually at Michaelmas. The privilege of returning members to parliament has been enjoyed by this borough since the 23d of Edward 1st ; the borough bailiff is the returning officer, and the present representatives are John Charles Ramsden, Esq. and Charles C. Pepys, Esq. The new Boundary Act (an appendage to the Reform Bill) defines the limits of the borough to comprise the parishes of St. Michael and St. Leonard, in New Malton, the parish of Norton, and the parish of Old Malton. The same act appoints Malton one of the stations for receiving votes at the election of members for the North Riding of the county. Among the members which Malton has at different times sent to parliament, it has to rank two most celebrated men, viz. Edmund Burke and Henry Grattan ; men, whose eloquence and talents have been the boast of their own and the admiration of other countries.
The places of worship are the two parochial chapels, of St. Michael and St. Leonard, and the mother church, at Old Malton, about a mile distant. The Wesleyan and primitive methodists, independents, baptists, unitarians, and society of friends have each a chapel, and there is an excellent national school for girls, and a free school for boys, supported by subscriptions. The living of Malton is a perpetual curacy, of which Earl Fitzwilliam is the patron, and lessee of the tithes under the see of York ; the Rev. William Flower (chaplain to the county gaol) is the incumbent, and the Rev. C.A.Binns the curate. Adjoining to the parish church at Old Malton, are the remains of a priory, founded in 1150, by Eustace Fitz-John, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, for Gilbertine canons, the revenue of which, at the dissolution, was 257. The market for general commodities is on Saturday, and another market, for the sale of cattle, has been recently opened by the lord of the manor ; it comprises about three acres of ground, and is situated near the other market place. The annual fairs are on the Monday to Saturday before Palm Sunday, Saturday before Whitsuntide, Saturday before July 15th, October 11th and 12th, and the Saturday before Martinmas day. At the first of these fairs is usually a fine show of horses, and it is at this period that the races are held. In 1821 the two parishes of St. Leonard and St. Michael contained 4,005 inhabitants, and in 1831, 4,173. Old Malton parish contained in 1821, 1,064, and in 1831, 1,204. Norton is a village, in a parish of its name, in the wapentake of Buckrose, East Riding ; separated from Malton by the river Derwent, over which is a substantial stone bridge. Considerable quantities of Roman coins have been discovered in the immediate neighbourhood ; and it is conjectured that at an early period of history this was a place of higher importance than it is at the present day. The neighbourhood of Norton is celebrated for the training of race horses ; some of the finest in the kingdom being sent here for that purpose --- there are four excellent establishments in this particular branch. The whole parish contained in 1831, 1,425 inhabitants."
[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]