Wapentake of Ryedale - Rural Deanery of Malton - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
Malton is a small market town on the north bank of the Derwent, consisting of Old and New Malton, and, until Lady Day, 1889, also included the suburb of Norton on the opposite side of the river, and in the East Riding. It is the head of a poor law union, petty sessional division, county court district, and forms a division for the election of a member of the North Riding County Council. It is situated on the York and Scarborough branch of the North Eastern railway, 21¾ miles from the former place and 21 from the latter. Here also converge the branch lines from Thirsk and Driffield, the former 30 miles in length and the latter 20 miles. It is distant from Pickering, 9 miles S.; from Beverley, 31¼ miles N.N.W.; from Darlington, 52 miles S.E.; from Harrogate, 40¼ miles N.E.; from Huddersfield, 70¼ miles N.E. by N.; from Hull, 39¼ miles N.N.W.; from Leeds, 53¾ miles N.E.; from Sheffield, 74½ miles N.N.E.; from Whitby, 34¾ miles S.; and from London, 213 miles N.W. The estimated extent of Malton is 3,633½ acres (exclusive of water), of which about 110 acres are in New Malton, and the remainder forms the parish of Old Malton. The rateable value of the former is £7,495, and the population in 1881 was 3,453; and of the latter £10,839, and population 1,819. Earl Fitzwilliam is lord of the manor, and principal landowner of both parishes, in addition to whom there are in New Malton twenty-four small freeholders.
If the importance of a place were measured by its antiquity, Malton would certainly hold a very exhalted position. There are good grounds for believing that whilst primeval forests still covered a large portion of the district, there was here a very considerable Brigantian settlement, and many traces of these early inhabitants are still to be seen in the neighbourhood. Nor can it be doubted that the Romans had a station or camp here, though there is some uncertainty as to its name. Drake supposed it to be Camulodunum, and Allen, in his "History of Yorkshire," adopts the same opinion, and says that the Romans changed the termination of its ancient British name into Camulodunum. "This name," he adds, "by abbreviation, became the Saxon Meldun, pronounced Maiden; and Maiden Greve Balk is at this day one of the boundaries of Malton." It is now, however, generally admitted that Camulodunum was the capital of the Trinobantes, whose territory is represented by the modern county of Essex, and is identified with Colchester. Mr. Wright, in his "Wanderings of an Antiquary," places Delgovicia at Old Malton, and supports his views with very plausible arguments, but Dr. Young, the author of the "History of Whitby," and several modern antiquaries think there are better grounds for supposing Malton to be identical with the ancient Derventio, an honour usually assigned to Stamford Bridge. This station was on the Derwent, whence it derived its name, and according to the Antonine Itinerary, was seven Roman miles from York, which accords with the position of Stamford Bridge, whereas Malton is nearly three times that distance. But the Roman remains found at the former place show that it was an insignificant station compared with that at Malton; and as further evidence in favour of the latter place, no fewer than six Roman roads, it is said, may be traced by military and other remains leading to this station. Roman coins, urns, dishes, fibulæ, ornaments, bronze swords, and inscribed stones have been found, but none bearing an inscription that reveals the name of the station. One of these found at Norton, and engraved in Wright's "Celt, Roman, and Saxon" seems to have been the sign of a goldsmith named Servulus. It is inscribed FELICITER SIT GENIO LOCI SERAVOLE VTERE FELIX TABERN AM AVREFI CINAM; which may be thus freely rendered - "Prosperity to the genius of this place! O Servulus, enjoy thy goldsmith's shop in happiness."
The camp, the outlines of which are still easily traceable, is in a field on the south side of the Lodge, which stands on part of the vallum. It is quadrangular in form, measuring 1,000 feet by 660. A road led from the camp to the ford over the Derwent, and there was a small camp for its protection on that side.
Malton is said to have been a place of some note in early Saxon times, and one of the residences of the kings of Northumbria; and it was here, according to some writers, that Eomer, the assassin, attempted the life of Eadwine, who was saved by his faithful Lilla. But there is some doubt as to the locality of the occurrence; all that is known with certainty is that it took place in the royal villa on the banks of the Derwent (see page 26).
In the time of Edward the Confessor, Thirkil and Siward were lords of Malton; and at the time of the Conquest the manor was held by Gilbert Tyson, a noble Saxon and owner of Alnwick Castle, who fell in the battle of Hastings fighting for King Harold. The Conqueror disposed of the lordships of Ainwick and Malton with the granddaughter and heiress of Gilbert, in marriage to one of his own followers, Ivo de Vesci, whose daughter and heiress, Beatrice, was in like manner given by Henry I., with both lordships, to his favourite Eustace Fitz-John, The residence of the Tysons was at Alnwick Castle, but they had probably a seat here also, The de Vescis fortified the town and erected a castle on the site of the Roman camp. In the contest between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, Eustace Fitz-John espoused the cause of the latter, and delivered his castles of Alnwick and Malton to David, king of Scotland, the empress's uncle. The Scots placed a strong garrison in Malton Castle, and then laid waste the surrounding country, sacking the towns and villages. Thurstan, Archbishop of York, summoned the northern nobles with their retainers to aid him in expelling the invaders. In 1135 they invested and burnt the town, and then besieged and captured the castle. Eustace retreated into Scotland; but being afterwards restored to favour he rebuilt the town on the present site, and called it New Malton. It was surrounded by a wall, except where the river afforded protection, and was entered by four gates, the names of which are retained by the streets that formerly led to them; Yorkers Gate, Old Malton Gate, Green Gate, and Wheel Gate.
William, the son and successor of Eustace Fitz John, assumed the maternal name of de Vesci. Subsequently the barony of Alnwick was alienated; and the lordship of Malton came by inheritance to the Atons, one of whom had married Margerie, daughter and heiress of Warine, second son of William de Vesci. This line ended, about the year 1390, in three co-heiresses. One of them, Katherine, married Sir Ralph de Eure, and had for her share part of the town and lordship of Malton, except the fairs, &c. The other two co-heiresses married into the families of Bromflete and Conyers. In the reign of Henry VIII. the Cliffords and Conyers had New Malton in partition, but the Eures, or Evers, had possession of the whole lordship of Old Malton.
There is no absolute certainty as to the date of the destruction of the castle, but it is supposed to have been demolished by Henry II. Leland, who visited the place in the reign of Henry VIII., says in his Itinerary:- "The castel of Malton hath been larg as it apperithe by the ruins. There is at this tyme no habitation yn it, but a mene house for a farmer." Ralph, Lord Eure, the owner of Malton in the time of James I., built a large castellated mansion on the site, but its subsequent fate shows the absurd lengths to which litigation is sometimes pursued, even where the litigants are connected by close ties of kinship. His lordship left two granddaughters, co-heiresses, who could not agree as to the division of the property and the possession of this mansion. A long and expensive lawsuit followed, and in the end it was determined to pull down the house and divide the stones between them, which was done under the supervision of William Marwood, Esq., High Sheriff of Yorkshire, in 1674. But it would seem that some compromise had been effected before the entire demolition, as the lodge and three gateways were left, a standing "monument of the folly and vindictiveness of family feuds."
The further transmission of the property does not possess much interest, and may be very briefly traced. Mary, the youngest of the two co-heiresses, married William Palmes, Esq., of Linley, in this county, who, in right of his wife, obtained the manors of Old and New Malton, which he sold, in 1712, to Sir Thomas Wentworth. In 1728 the Hon. Thomas Wentworth, his successor, was raised to the peerage, by the title of Lord Malton, and six years later he was created Marquis of Rockingham. The second marquis dying without issue, in 1782, the manor of Malton and other estates devolved upon his nephew, Earl Fitzwilliam, from whom they have descended to the present owner.
The Lodge is an embattled building, the seat of the Hon. William Henry Wentworth Fitzwilliam, M.P. for Doncaster. The older part of the house has Tudor windows, with stone transoms. There are three large entrance gateways to the lodge, the centre and principal one being now walled up. A new southeast wing and other additions were made in 1878. On the spouting in the north-west corner of the older portion is the date 1604.
The town of Malton, or New Malton, is situated on elevated ground overlooking the vale of the Derwent. It is about a mile in length, and contains a few good streets and a spacious market place, but its trade, since the construction of the railway, has become very inconsiderable, as will be seen from the few industries enumerated in our directory. The Derwent was made navigable from Malton to the Ouse under the authority of an Act of Parliament, passed in 1701, and a considerable amount of trade was done with the port of Hull, vessels running regularly between the two places, but it is rarely now that a sloop is seen. The town, however, is still the business centre of the surrounding agricultural district, and the out-let for all the farm produce. The market is held on Saturdays, and formerly there was a second weekly market held on Tuesdays; fat stock sales are held each alternate Tuesday; and Fairs are held during the week preceding Palm Sunday, for horses; the Saturday before Whitsuntide; the Saturday before July 12th, for cattle; on the 11th and 12th of October; and on the Saturday before November 23rd, for cattle.
Malton was formerly a corporate town, and governed by two bailiffs, until the reign of Charles II., when, in answer to a writ quo warranto the inhabitants could only plead prescription, judgment was given in favour of the Crown, and they were deprived of their corporate privileges. After that the town was placed under the control of a borough bailiff, appointed by the lord of the manor. The government is now vested in a Local Board of Health, and the duties of the borough bailiff are merely nominal.
Malton was formerly a parliamentary borough, and was represented in the great council of the nation as early as the 23rd and 26th years of the reign of Edward I. It continued to send two members until the passing of the Reform Bill of 1868, which reduced its representatives to one; and by the Redistribution Act of 1885 it was deprived of its remaining member, and amalgamated with the newly-formed parliamentary division named after Thirsk and Malton. Its last representative was the Hon. Charles William W. Fitzwilliam, who sat in the liberal interest.
Malton Priory. - The most interesting feature of Malton, both from its historical associations and architectural beauties, is the Priory Church of Old Malton. It is but a fragment of a once glorious minster, but in ecclesiastical history it stands alone, as the only church in the country founded by a purely English Order - the Gilbertines - in which public worship continues to be offered. This Order was established in 1148, by St. Gilbert, a priest, of Sempringham, in Lincolnshire, whom Henricus Chrysostumus, a Cistercian chronicler, speaks of as "a man of apostolical zeal, of most severe and rigid life, in purity conspicuous, illustrious for his gift of prophecy, and the mirific performer of stupendous miracles." The Order consisted of monks and nuns, under the same superior, the former professing the rule of St. Augustine, and the latter that of St. Benedict. The dress of the canons was a black cassock, with a white cloak over it, and a hood lined with lambskin. The pious founder spent his life in works of benevolence, prayer, and mortification, "observing the fasts of the church with such rigidity that from Septuagesima to Easter, and throughout Advent, he not only abstained from flesh-meat, but even a morsel of fish never passed his lips." Attenuated and worn out with infirmities he died at the age of 106, and was buried within the priory church of Sempringham. The Order spread rapidly, and at the suppression of religious establishments there were 26 Gilbertine houses in the kingdom.
Old Malton Priory was founded by Eustace Fitz-John, in 1150, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The charter of foundation runs as follows:- "Eustace Fitz-John, to all the faithful in Christ, both in the future and present, salutation in Christ. Desiring to provide for the health of my soul, and of my children and parents, bequeath in perpetuity as a gift to God and the Blessed Mary, and the regulars of the order of Sempringham who serve God according to the rule of St. Augustine and the Apostolic constitution, a place suitable for religion, viz., the church of Malton, together with all its appurtenances, as well in chapels, lands, as in other things. I also give to them one carucate of land in the same town, together with my town residence. Besides, I give to them the church of St. Peter of Wintringham, together with my lean house in the western part of the aforesaid church, and two mill houses in the same village, with all their appurtenances, in tithes and in land, and in pasturage and in mill houses, and in right of water - in marshland - and in the commons and in the moors, and all other things and liberties which from ancient times belonged or were given to the church of Wintringham. Also the village of Linton, with all its appurtenances, both in fields and pasturage, as well as in all other things. All these things I have given to them for a perpetual possession, that they may freely and without molestation hold and possess the same without any toil and secular service, for the health of my soul and of my father and my mother, and all my ancestors and relatives, both living or dead, and I and my heirs will guarantee all these things against all men." Among the witnesses to this bequest were Henry, Archbishop of York, Robert (of the Hospital of S. Leonard's), Walter and Richard (chaplains), Warren, the clerk, William Latimer, and others.
He also gave to the canons of Old Malton the church of Brompton, in Pickering Lythe, with all its appurtenances, and mentions in the charter that this gift is for the health of the souls of Galfrid and Richard, his sons. It is witnessed by Wain, the chaplain; Richard, the chaplain; Adam, Abbot of Milsa; Robert of the Temple, and others. William de Vesci, son of Eustace, gave the churches of Malton and Anacaster, and the mill of Old Malton, and the right of fishing in the Derwent, and also an acre of land in the said town for making a tannery, and all the meadow and the east part of the apple orchard of Roger de Lasels in the same town; and after confirming all former gifts, grants part of the tithes in Stanislene and Thorgally and Newsam, all the tithe of the village of Brenda, two parts of the tithes in Helpingham and Catthorp, and of the chapelry of Saureby, near Tresk. He also gives two mill houses of Wintringham in the village of Linton, and two rights of tillage on Wintringham common, and all the enclosure of the ancient fishponds, and the chapel of S. Helen, besides a place called le Kerklote, and another near to Knapton, together with sufficient pasturage through the whole of his domain. These gifts were granted and confirmed to be held free from all secular service, to the said canons, for the safety of the said William and his son Eustace, and for "the soul of Eustace my father, and Beatrice my mother, and all my ancestors." Burga, wife of the said William, gave as much as is the right of a free woman, "the church of Langton with all its appurtenances, which is of my maritage, for the health of my soul, of William de Vesci, and of Eustace, our son." The wife of Roger de Flameville gave the church of Norton with all its appurtenances for the support of two canons. The hospital at Norton was also granted, and Roger de Flameville, through love of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of God, and through love of S. Nicholas, granted the church of the Blessed Mary at Marton and pasturage for 200 sheep, and all facilities for sheepfolds, &c., to the said hospital at Norton. Hugh, son of Roger de Flameville, confirmed the gift by his father of the church of Marton before he had given his sister Matilda in marriage to Robert de Hastings. King John, by his charter, for the health of his soul and that of his father Henry and all his relatives, gave to the church of S. Mary of Malton and the canons of the order of Sempringham, 160 acres of land in different townships. Richard II. confirmed all gifts. Among the amercements of H. de D. Neville in 1202 we find one to the prior and canons of Malton.
This priory was the most magnificent of all the Gilbertine houses, and, as we have seen, very richly endowed by the founder and others. Its first prior was Roger, whom St. Gilbert selected to succeed him as master of the order. On a cornice on the fourth pier on the north side of the nave is a singular inscription, which is supposed to refer to this prior; it reads thus, "ROGERUS PRI ORATE PRO BON. . . FRATRI CARI," with the name inverted and his rebus - a bolt through a tun. Some of the other priors have been notable men. One represented Malton in parliament in the reign of Edward I., and he is handed down in history as the first M.P. who is known to have pleaded the privilege of freedom from arrest for debt when going to, or returning from his parliamentary duties, In the British Museum, preserved among the Cottonian MSS., is a chartulary of Old Malton Priory, containing some valuable information. It consists of 297 folios of vellum, closely written, with rubricated initials, for the most part legible and in good condition. From internal evidence it would appear that the chartulary was begun in the year 1244, about a century after the foundation, and extends over a period of thirteen years. At the end of the volume are balance sheets giving an account of the different granges and farms, as well as of the priory itself. The annual expenditure in 1244 was £539 3s. 6d., and the receipts £540 3s. 7d., and there were outstanding debts to the amount of £80. At an inventory taken on the death of William, prior in 12%6, the property was valued at £1,027 5s. John, prior of Malton, was contemporary with Geoffrey, archbishop of York (1191-1207), and he was succeeded by the priors Geoffrey and William. It further contains, according to Mr. Wheater, the author of "Old Yorkshire," sufficient evidence for supposing that there were at Malton both monks and nuns (fratres et sorores), located in separate parts of the priory; but this hermaphrodite character of the convent is generally doubted.
There were several testamentary burials of importance at the church, ranging from 1344 to 1607, and included members of the families of Percehay (Lords of Ryton), de Lokton, Birlay, More, Eure, Tracy, Esyngwald, Stokeslay, Constable, Spenser, Baysinge, Lambton, and Hansley. Mr. Wheater tells us that "Henry Eure, Esq., who died in 1276, wills 'My body to be buried in the monastery of Our Lady, in Olde Malton, before the medys of the altar of Seynt John the Baptist, where the prest usith to say Confiteor.' The Rev. Newton Mant, in a paper on Old Malton Priory, says of this testamentary request "There is much piety in this expressed wish, for in the ancient ritual the celebrant, at the commencement of the Eucharistic office, said his confession standing below the steps which led to the altar, and Squire Eure, with due repentance for his sins, wished the resting place of his body to be associated with the act of contrition made by priest and server whenever the Holy Communion was celebrated." He further tells us that St. Gilbert, the founder of the Order, was buried in this church in 1189, but this is contrary to the opinions of the Rev. Alban Butler, the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, and others.
William, of Newburgh, relates a singular accident that happened at the Priory during some building operations, in 1197. A kiln, prepared for burning lime, was, in the usual fashion, extinguished at the close of the day. Around the kiln a trench, six or seven feet deep, had been dug, into which one of the monks, whilst watching or assisting in the work, slipped, in the darkness, and, as he made no effort to get out, a youth went down to his asaistance, and silently fell by the side of the corpse. A second youth descended, and he also succumbed. A fourth man, signing himself with the cross, the symbol of salvation, cautiously descended to see what was the matter, and immediately exclaimed "I am dying! pull me out!" He was only drawn up in time to save his life. They had all died from the effects of carbonic acid gas; but the existence of that element was then unknown, and the canons, puzzled at deaths so apparently inexplicable, were inclined to think some supernatural agency had caused the calamity.
At the Dissolution the monastery was surrendered to the Royal Commissioners on December 11th, in the 31st year of the reign of Henry VIII. An account of this is found in the Close Rolls at the Public Record Office. The surrender was made in the Chapter House by Robert, Bishop of Llandaff (visitor of the Gilbertine Order), and John, Prior of Malton, with the assent of the convent. There is no inventory extant of the Priory at the time of the surrender; but in the Valor, 26th Henry VIII., the revenues are returned at £267 7s., and the clear income at £197 19s. 2d. Henry VIII., after the Dissolution, gave the site of the priory to the Archbishop of York, but, in 1728, it was exchanged, by Act of Parliament, for the rectory of Molesworth, in Huntingdonshire, with Lord Malton, afterwards Marquis of Rockingham. The living afterwards came, with the estate, to the Fitzwilliams, who still hold it. The king seized all the riches and endowments of the priory, leaving not a farthing for the support of religious worship, and the church and monastic buildings went rapidly to decay. In 1636 the central tower was taken down, and some time subsequently an unrecorded fire appears to have destroyed the south aisle. The parishioners, in 1732, besought the permission of the Archbishop to take down the remaining aisle and the clerestory, and also to remove the choir, thus shortening and lowering the church, which, they urged, was three times too large for their requirements, and too heavy a burden to keep in repair. The work was forthwith carried out, and a mutilated fragment of the noble minster, raised by the piety of our Catholic forefathers, was left. The dimensions of the church were still further reduced, under powers of a faculty, obtained in 1782; and in less than 20 years the parishioners were obliged to apply for a faculty to erect a gallery, in order to increase the accommodation.
The first attempt at any systematic restoration took place in 1844, when what Mr. Mant describes as "a mean window, filled with vile glass," was inserted in the west end. Little, or nothing more, was done till 1877, when the remaining tower was repaired and strengthened by underpinning, at a cost of £3,000, contributed by the patron, Earl Fitzwilliam. The restoration of the remainder of the fabric was accomplished in 1889, chiefly through the zeal and exertions of the present vicar. The work has been carried out from the designs and under the direction of Mr. Temple L. Moore, architect, Hampstead, London, and now this "magnificent remain of one of the noblest periods of mediæval art," as Sir Gilbert Scott called it, will be preserved for many generations to come - "a memorial of the piety of our remoter, and of the neglect of our more immediate ancestors."
The old 17th century oaken roof has been replaced by a new one of the 15th century style, covered, externally, with strong lead, and the floor of the church lowered about four feet, to its original level. In doing this the bases of the Early English pillars of the south aisle, which had been hidden from view, were found to have been destroyed, evidently by the fire before mentioned. These have been restored according to the original design. The upper parts of the walls have been repaired, the parapets and copings reset, and the whitewash removed from the walls. The two easternmost arches of the nave have been repaired and strengthened with iron tie-rods. The unsightly gallery, which separated the western bay from the rest of the church, has been removed, and the two eastern bays have been appropriated to the choir and sanctuary. A low screen of oak and wrought iron divides the choir from the nave. The sides of the screen, extending as far as the projection of the chancel stalls, have richly moulded mountings and transome, and the panels filled with boldly carved tracery. The centre part of the screen is of delicately wrought ironwork, decorated in red and gold. There are three rows of stalls on each side of the choir, and in the back row, on each side, the old 15th century stall elbows and misereres have been placed, carefully cleaned from paint, and repaired. The designs of the others have been copied from stalls in the cathedrals of England. The back rows have solid screens behind them, and well-carved shades at the ends, and finished with a cornice and cresting. The nave will also be reseated with oak benches of an appropriate design. The east window, which was an unsightly modern erection, inserted in 1844, has been filled up - part of the stained glass which it contained having been moved into one of the windows in the tower. The east wall, above the altar, is covered with a lofty dossal, of woven material. The dossal is enclosed in a moulded wooden frame, and is surmounted by an elaborately carved vaulted canopy, finished with a delicate cresting. The whole of this is richly decorated in colour and gilding. The tower, which is used as the vestry, has been divided from the church by an oak screen. The panels of the screen below the transome are linen-fold, and the panels above are filled with richly carved tracery. A deep cornice, with carved pateras and a pierced cresting, complete the screen. The new font, which is of Tadcaster stone, and carved in an artistic design, is opposite the doorway, at the west end. It is intended, when funds allow, to place an oak dado, about six feet high, against the walls between the arches and the nave. The altar table (the gift of the vicar) is of oak, and very massive, and the super altar has carved vine leaf pattern, and shields with sacred monograms, decorated in a similar manner to the frame of the dossal. The altar cross is brass, enriched with crystals. The candlesticks and vases are also brass. They are the gift of a layman. A handsome chalice of silver gilt repoussé work has been presented to the church by Mrs. Kinnear. This is one of the most beautiful specimens of this kind of work that has ever been produced. The piercing, the repoussé work, and the enamelling of the sacred name and monogram are exquisite. The engraving round the six-fold base is also a work of art. Beneath is the inscription, "Dedicated by Susanna Kinnear to the service of the altar of St. Mary's, Old Malton, 25th March, 1889." The total cost of the restoration was £3,400, towards which Earl Fitzwilliam contributed £750.
The Church, when it stood in its entirety, must have been a magnificent pile. Its plan, which may still be traced, included nave, 142 feet in length, with aisles of eight bays, transepts, with two square eastern chapels, an aisled choir, beyond which was the sanctuary, square in form. From the junction of the transepts rose the central tower, supported by huge clustered columns, the bases and part of the shafts of two of which remain; and at the west end of the nave was a second tower, similar to the existing one, the base of which only is left. The western doorway, an exquisitely enriched Norman arch, springing from the capitals of seven columns, is one of the most beautiful examples of Norman work to be found in the country. Another fine Norman doorway may be seen at the east end of the north aisle, whither it was brought, and belonged originally to the chapter house. There is a circular headed doorway which led from the cloisters into the south aisle, and just within is the holy water stoup. This door now leads into the Abbey. On the south side of the nave may be traced the cloister, 102 feet square, along the west side of which was the refectory. Close by is a mansion built out of the ruins, and beneath it is a vaulted crypt, but to what part of the monastic buildings it belonged it is impossible to say.
Of the 26 Gilbertine monasteries suppressed by Henry VIII., 12 were in Lincolnshire, the home of the Order; five in Yorkshire; three in Cambridgeshire; and the rest distributed singly in the Midland Counties. Every one of these, with the exception of Malton, has nearly, if not entirely, disappeared, and thus this little Yorkshire town possesses a church unique in character, "a most valuable national monument" as the late Sir Gilbert Scott said, "the loss of which would be irreparable."
Connected with the Priory were three hospitals. One, founded by Eustace Fitz-John, the builder of the priory, stood at Broughton, about one mile from Malton. Not a vestige of it remains, but on the site called "Spital Hill," grow wild the hellebore and the soapwort, probably the descendants of the garden flowers of the monks. Another was founded by Roger de Flamville in the reign of Henry II., and was dedicated to St. Nicholas. It stood in the vicinity of the river, probably on the Norton side. The memory of a third hospital is preserved in the name of Spital Street; the crypt remains, and now forms the cellar of the Cross Keys Inn, but neither the founder's name nor the dedication has been recorded.
The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £150, including 60 acres of glebe, in the gift of Earl Fitzwilliam, and held, since 1874, by the Rev. Edward Augustus Bracken Pitman, M.A., Cambridge, and F.S.A. The register dates from 1600 The tithe rent-charge, amounting to £920, belongs to the patron. In the churchyard are some quaint memorial inscriptions.
Adjoining the churchyard is the Grammar School, a stone building in the Early English style, founded and endowed by Archbishop Holgate in 1546. The National School is a good stone building with a clock tower, erected in 1859, and considerably enlarged since. An Infant School was added in 1889 at a cost of £300.
The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have chapels in the village; that belonging to the former sect was built in 1824, and that to the latter in 1859.
The Cemetery, half an acre in extent, was formed in 1883, and is under the management of a Burial Board of three members.
New Malton comprises the parishes of St. Michael and St. Leonard, both of which were formerly chapelries under Old Malton. In 1855, by an Order in Council, they were constituted distinct and separate parishes. The Church of St. Michael is an ancient stone structure in the late Norman style, with a western tower built in the Perpendicular period. On each side of the nave is an aisle divided therefrom by four bays of Norman arches, and the arch leading into the chancel is also of the same character. The Church was restored in 1858 at a cost of £2,000, and again in 1888, when two small transepts were added, the galleries removed, and other improvements effected at a total outlay of about £3,000. The organ was also at the same time enlarged and placed in the north transept. The east window is a Norman triplet. In the centre light Christ is depicted as the Good Shepherd. This was presented by W. H. Rose, churchwarden. In the right light is represented Christ crucified, and in the left, Christ in Glory. The former was given by the parishioners, in memory of the restoration of 1883; and the latter is a memorial of Sarah Simpson, who died in 1848. Above the window is a circular one filled with stained glass in memory of Alfred Simpson, gentleman, who died in 1862. In the north and south walls of the chancel are single light stained windows, and the south aisle is lighted by four windows of the same style and character, all filled with stained glass. One, to the memory of James Smith, of Malton, who died in 1867, is a beautiful piece of artistic work. The subject is the raising of Lazarus; and the figures which form the group are most natural in posé and life-like in expression. Another window has just been added in memory of Elizabeth Rutter, who died in January, 1889. It is a copy of Sir Noel Paton's celebrated picture - Christ, the Light of the World - and is an exquisite piece of workmanship. The north aisle is lighted by three large and one small window, all pictorial. The windows at the west end are also filled with stained glass, the large centre one of three lights being a memorial of James Russell and Mary Ann, his wife. In the clerestory windows are emblazoned the arms of Tyson, Atton, Eure - former owners of Malton - Fitzwilliam, and also those of the diocese. These windows are adorned externally by zig-zag mouldings which run the whole length of the nave. The church will accommodate 675, and 532 of these seats are free, in consequence of a donation of £200 given by the "Incorporated Society for Building, &c., Churches." The registers date from 1571. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of Earl Fitzwilliam, and worth £195 a year with residence. Rev. George Arthur Firth, M.A., Christ Church, Oxford, vicar and surrogate, has held the benefice since 1855.
St. Leonard's Church is an ancient stone building, originally erected in the Norman period, but subsequently restored in later styles. It comprises nave, with north aisle; chancel, with an isle on the north side; and a western tower, surmounted by a slated octagonal spire, containing an octave of bells and a clock with chimes. An arcade of three Norman arches divides the nave from the aisle, and three arches of the same character separate the chancel from its aisle. These latter had been walled up some time after the Reformation, and were opened out during the repairs which took place in 1856. The chancel arch is also semi-circular. The lower part of the tower belongs to the Norman period, and is very much worn by the action of the weather. In the west front, above a three-light window, is a niche containing a rude figure of St. Leonard. The windows of the chancel are perpendicular, those of the nave and aisle, Norman, The ancient piscina remains in the chancel. The font is Norman and massive. The roof is flat and continuous over nave and chancel. On the walls are handsome monuments to members of the Walmsley, Donkin, Middleton, Walker, Thompson, Davey, Ellis, Elliott, Medd, Seller, Dickenson, Storr, and Wilson families, In the east end of the aisle is a curious brass to Arthur Gibson, brass and iron founder, of Maltom, who died in 1837. The deceased is represented in a drunken debauch with a bottle in his hand, and sundry glasses on a table. In another place he is shown kneeling at a desk, his hands joined in prayer, with an open book before him. Below is inscribed "Here lies one, when living, had his virtures and his vices; copy his virtues and shun his vices." The register dates from 1600. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of Earl Fitzwilliam, gross value, £190, with residence, and held by the Rev. Robert W. Elliot, M.A., Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
The Catholic chapel, dedicated to Saint Mary, is a plain brick building, erected in 1841. Adjoining the chapel is the presbytery, and in the rear, the school.
The Ebenezer Congregational chapel, in Saville Street, is a commodious brick building, capable of accommodating 700 persons. The Wesleyan chapel, in the same street, is a plain building, of brick, erected in 1811. The Unitarian chapel dates from 1715, and has a small burial ground attached. There are also chapels for the Baptists and the Primitive Methodists, and meeting houses belonging to the Society of Friends and the Plymouth Brethren.
The National school, situated in St. Michael street, was erected in 1857, at a cost of £700, and enlarged, by the addition of a class-room, in 1886. It is mixed. There are 300 children on the rolls. The Catholic school is also a mixed one, under a mistress, with 80 children on the books, The Wesleyan school (mixed) was erected in 1837, and has been considerably enlarged since. There are about 300 children in attendance. There is also an infant school belonging to the same body in Yorkersgate.
A cemetery, for the united parishes of St. Michael and St. Leonard, was formed in 1859. It contains five acres, and is tastefully laid out. There are two mortuary chapels. It is under the control of a Burial Board, of 18 members.
The Town Hall, situated in the Market Place, is a large, plain, stone building, enlarged and refronted in 1856. The Corn Exchange, in Yorkersgate, was erected by Earl Fitzwilliam, in 1845. It is a neat stone building, with a cut stone front, exhibiting four pilasters, with Corinthian capitals, supporting a pediment.
Malton Literary Institute and Theatre Royal, situated in Yorkersgate, was erected in 1814. It contains a museum of natural history and curiosities, and a subscription reading room and Library. The former is well supplied with the leading London and provincial daily and weekly papers, and on the shelves of the latter are about 2,500 volumes. The Malton Field Naturalists' Society hold their meetings here. On the basement floor of the Institute is the Masonic Hall.
The Malton Agricultural Society, which was established in 1873, holds its show on or about the last Tuesday in July; and the Floral and Horticultural Society hold an annual flower show and gala about the middle of August.
The Gasworks were erected by private enterprise in 1832, and four years afterwards, they were purchased for £4,000 by a proprietary company of £10 shareholders. In 1880, the Malton Gas Company was incorporated by Act of Parliament, with a share of loan capital of £60,000, of which, £25,000 is called up. The works have been much enlarged since their erection. There are three gas holders, with a total capacity of 160,000 cubic feet, and about 30,000,000 cubic feet of gas are consumed per annum.
Malton Poor Law Union comprehends 65 parishes and townships, comprising an area of 110,651 acres and a population of 23,031. The total rateable value according to the last assessment is £161,829. Of the total extent, considerably more than one half is within the East Riding, and will ultimately become a distinct union, In the North Riding are the following places:- Airyholme-with-Howthorpe and Baxton Howe, Amotherby with Easthorpe, Appleton-le-Street, Barton-le-Willows, Broughton, Barton-le-Street, Butterwick, Brawby, Bulmer, Crambe, Coneysthorpe, Fryton, Foston, Great Habton, Gauthorpe, Hildenley, Hovingham, Huttons Ambo, Henderskelfe, Little Habton, New Malton, Old Malton, Ryton, Swinton, Slingsby, South Holme, Scackleton, Sheriff Hutton with Cornbrough, Stittenham, Terrington-with-Wiganthorpe, Thornton-le-Clay, Wath, Welburn, and Whitwell. The following are in the East Riding:- Acklam-with-Barthorpe, Birdsall, Burythorpe, Buggleby, Eddlethorpe-with-Grange, Firby, Howsham, East Heslerton, West Heslerton, Kennythorpe, Kirkham, Knapton, Kirby Grindalythe, Leppington, Langton, Leavening, Mennythorpe, North Grimstone, Norton, Rillington, Raisthorpe, Scagglethorpe, Scampston, Settrington, Thirkleby, Thorpe Bassett, Westow, Wharram Percy, Wharram-le-Street, Wintringham, and Yedingham.
The Workhouse is a brick building, erected in 1789, and restored and enlarged in 1877. There is accommodation for 164; the average number of inmates is about 90.
The Railway Station is situated in the suburb of Norton on the south side of the Derwent, and a fine iron bridge erected by the Railway Co., connects it with the town. A little further down, this is crossed by a well-built stone bridge of three arches. During a flood in the month of November, 1878, the water rose so high at this point, that all foot traffic was suspended in the vicinity of the bridge, and people were carried across on lurries. The railway for some little distance was under water, and the passengers had to perform that portion of the journey by road to another train awaiting them. This flood is commemorated by an inscription, "November, 1878," and a mark cut in the wall, showing thc height to which the water rose.
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