"MALTON, (or New Malton), a parish and a borough and market-town in the wapentake of RYEDALE, North riding of the county of YORK, 18 miles N.N.E. from York, and 213 N.W. from London, containing 4005 inhabitants. This town is of great antiquity: the Roman roads that lead to it, the remains of intrenchments yet visible, and the coins and other relics which have been, and are still, occasionally, discovered, denote its former importance as a Roman station, though the name by which it was distinguished is not known. After the Conquest a castle was built here by one of the family of De Vesci, but it was destroyed by Henry II., and on its site a castellated mansion was erected by Ralph, Lord Eure, in the reign of James I.; of this edifice, the lodge and gateway alone remain. The town was wholly burnt, in 1138, by Archbishop Thurston, who besieged it for the purpose of dislodging the Scots, who had seized and garrisoned the castle; it was rebuilt by Eustace Fitz-John, in the reign of Stephen, and the epithet New was then given to it, by way of distinction from Old Malton. The town is agreeably situated on rising ground, northward of the Derwent, which flows through the adjacent vale, and forms the boundary between the East and North ridings; it is about half a mile in length, clean, and well built. A theatre was erected in 1814, and there is a handsome suite of assembly-rooms, to which a subscription library and news-room are attached. The. summit of an eminence, called the Brows, at a short distance, affords an agreeable promenade, and commands a fine prospect of the course of the river and the vale, which is terminated by the Wolds. The river is crossed by a handsome stone bridge, which connects this place with Norton. In the first year of the reign of Anne, the Derwent was made navigable from New Malton to the Ouse; thus affording every facility for the conveyance of corn, butter, hams, and other kinds of provision, which are here shipped for Hull, Leeds, Halifax, and other places; from the former, articles of grocery are brought back, and coal, woollen cloth, stuffs, &c., from Leeds. Here arc two iron foundries, and some small manufactories for linen, hats, gloves, and pelts; malt also is made to a limited extent. The market is on Tuesday and Saturday, the latter being the principal day, and it is one of the best in the county for all sorts of provisions, horses, black cattle, and tools for husbandry. Fairs are held on the Saturdays before Palm-Sunday and Whit-Sunday, and October 10th and 11th. The market-place is spacious, and is divided into two parts by the townhall, the shambles, and St. Michael's church. The chief officer is the lord's bailiff, who is appointed at a court leet, held for the manor. The general quarter sessions for the North riding are held here; during the sitting of the court, on January 12th, 1785, the central beam of the sessions-house gave way, whereby upwards of three hundred persons were precipitated into the area below, in consequence of which several died, others being maimed for life. The borough sent members to parliament in the 23rd and 26th of Edward I., when the privilege ceased for a time, but it was restored in 1640, by an order of the House of Commons, since which period two members have been regularly returned; the right of election is in the householders, in number about five hundred; the bailiff is the returning officer; the influence of Earl Fitzwilliam is predominant. The borough comprises the parishes of St. Leonard and St. Michael, the livings of which are perpetual curacies, with that of Old Malton, in the archdeaconry of Cleveland, and diocese of York. The spire of St. Leonard's church,, which is in the form of a truncated cone, is said to have been left incomplete by the architect, lest any addition to it might overbalance the whole edifice. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Methodists, and Unitarians. A spacious workhouse has been erected, and is conducted on a systematic and profitable plan; the poor are furnished with tools, and are obliged to work at their respective trades; the manufacture of linen is somewhat extensive in it. At the foot of the Brows is a mineral spring, the water of which possesses similar properties to that obtained from the wells at Scarborough."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]