MALTON, or New Malton, a parish in the wapentake of Rydale and part in the liberty of St. Peter's; 9 miles from Pickering; 18 from York; and 22 from Scarbro'. Malton actually contains two parishes, St. Leonard and St. Michael (see Churches for photograph) but these, together with St. Mary's in Old Malton make a single living. Market, Saturday. Fairs, -see below. Bankers, Messrs. Bower, Brown, Dewsbury, and Thompson, draw on Messrs. Curries, Raikes, & Co. 29, Cornhill; North-Riding Bank, Messrs. Hague, Strickland, & Allen, draw on Messrs. Barclay, Tritton, & Co. 54, Lombard-Street. Principal Inns, New-Talbot, and White-Horse. Population St. Leonard, 2,339 St. Michael, 1,666. Total 4005. The Churches are perpetual curacies, in the deanry of Rydale. Patron, the Archbishop of York. The population of New Malton, within the Borough, amounts to 4005 souls.
Malton is one of the most ancient Brigantian fortified towns in this part of Britain. The early importance of this station is shown by the number or ancient roads which point to it. The Romans planted here one of the numeri, or cohorts of the Legio, sexta victrix called DERVENTIONENSIS, and changed only the termination of its British name, to CAMVLODVNVM. This name, by abbreviation, became the Saxon MELDVN, pronounced MAIDEN, and Maiden Greve Balk, is at this day one of the boundaries of Malton.
The river Derwent here, and at this point alone, touches the foot of the DEIRAWOLD region; a considerable breadth of marshy ground, formerly impassable, intervenes between the river and the Wolds in every other part of its course, and at this point was the river most readily passed by a broad but shallow ford; at this day we know of no other ford on the northern border of the Wolds, except that named by the Saxons Staengfordes, afterwards Staengfordes bryege, now Stamford bridge.
No fewer than six Roman roads may be traced by military and other remains to this station. Numerous Roman coins, both silver and copper, of various Emperors, for a long period have been, and are yet found here; and on the opposite side of the river, entrenchments for the defence of this once important pass are also visible. Fragments of, and entire urns, some containing Roman coins and fine red ashes, and also many pieces of their pottery, with figures in relief, on paterae, pocula, are found here. The Camulodunum of the Roman Britons became a royal villa to king Edwin in the Saxon era, and here the life of that monarch was preserved from the assassin, by his faithful Lilla.
The great Earl Siward, who defeated Macbeth, was one of the lords of Malton; and after the Norman conquest, the baronial family of Vesey, built here a castle and a priory for Gilbertine canons, of both which there are remains at this day. The Castle was one of those short lived structures which Henry II. demolished; but during its existence, the town was burnt down, by Abp. Thurstan, when he laid siege to it to dislodge the Scotch, and the name of New Malton commenced on the re-building of the town. On the site of the castle, Ralph, Lord Eure, built a noble castellated mansion, which he finished at the conclusion of the 16th century; and it is remarkable, that its duration was as short as that of the castle, for his lordship's two grand daughters not agreeing respecting the property here, the mansion was pulled down, and the materials divided between them, by Henry Marwood, Esq. the High Sheriff of the County of York, in 1674; the lodge and gate-way, however, were left as a monument of the folly and vindictiveness of family feuds, or to show what the mansion had been.
Mary, the youngest of these daughters, was married to William Palmer, Esq. of Linley, in this county, who in right of his wife, possessed the manor of Old and New Malton, which he, with others conveyed to Sir Thomas Wentworth. On the 20th of May, 1728, the Hon. Thomas Wentworth, Knight of the Bath, obtained. the title of Lord Mallen, and six years afterwards was created Marquis of Rockingham. His lordship dying on the 14th of December, 1760, was succeeded in his title and estates by his only son, Charles Watson Wentworth, Marquis of Rockingham, who dying on the 1st of July, 1782, his nephew, Earl Fitzwilliam, succeeded to the manor of Malton, and his other principal estates. Malton was a corporate borough, and governed by two bailiffs, until the reign of Charles II., when a writ of quo warranto, to which the inhabitants pleaded prescription, deprived the burgesses of its privileges, for judgment was given in favour of the Crown, and a new charter has never been applied for; since that time, the Court Leet, and Court Baron of New Malton appoint a nominal borough Bailiff, and two Constables, and exercise the usual jurisdiction of those courts.
Malton sent members to parliament so early as the reign of Edward I.; and at that period the Prior of Malton was elected a representative, who, on his return from parliament, was arrested for debt, but, pleading a privilege of exemption in going and returning from parliamentary duty, he was liberated; this is perhaps the earliest claim of the privilege by a member of parliament. This borough now sends two members to parliament, elected by the householders, paying scot and lot; the number of voters being about 500. The present representatives are, Lord Duncanon, of Margaret street, Cavendish-square, London, and of Roehampton Surry, and John Charles Ramsden, Esq. of Newby park, near Boroughbridge.
There are two parochial chapels here to Old Malton, one of them dedicated to St. Leonard, and the other to St. Michael; the former of which has a tall spire, which has been left unfinished, in the, form of a truncated cone. Earl Fitzwilliam is the patron, and lessee of the tythes under the See of York; the Rev. William Flower, A.M. is the incumbent, and the Rev. C. A Binns, the assistant curate. The other places of worship are, for the Society of Friends, the Presbyterians, the Independents and the Methodists.
There is also a Theatre, erected in 1814; besides a handsome suite of public rooms, in Yorkersgate, to which are attached a Subscription Library and News-Room. About a quarter of a mile to the SW. of New Malton, is a mineral spring, similar in its properties to those of Scarbro', and is said to be a very efficacious chalybeate. Malton is a brisk market town. The town stands on an eminence, overlooking the river which runs through a beautiful vale to the South East. A handsome stone bridge connects this place with Norton, the river forming the boundary between the East and North Ridings, in the reign of Queen Anne an act was passed, under the authority of which the Derwent was made navigable up to this place, and corn butter, bacon, &c. are conveyed in large quantities from hence to Hull, Leeds, Wakefield, and London; while from Hull are returned salt, sugar, and groceries of different kinds, and coals, and all sorts of woollens brought here from Leeds, and other parts of the West riding in considerable quantities. The market here is held every Saturday, and is numerously attended by the families and farmers from the surrounding country to a great extent. Formerly there were two market days, the other on Tuesday, and the stone basis of two market crosses yet continue; one where the present market is held, and the other in the Low street, where fish is now generally exposed for sale. There are also five fairs annually: viz. Monday and Saturday before Palm Sunday; Saturday, before Whitsuntide; Saturday, before the 15th of July; on the 11th and 12th of October; and on Saturday before Martinmas day. The first is famous for the exhibition of horses, and much attended by South country dealers; and the others on account of the great show of cattle, are frequented by a vast number of farmers and graziers.
John Topham, a learned antiquary, was a native of this place; and in an humble situation under the late Philip Carteret Webb, Esq. solicitor to the treasury, acquired such a knowledge of ancient hands and muniments, as raised him to a place in the State Paper-office. His publications in the Archaeologia are numerous. He was elected F.S.A. in 1767, and treasurer in 1785, also F.R.S. in 1779. He died at Cheltenham, Aug. 19, 1803. --Gent Biog. Dict. --Nichols' Lit. Anecdotes vol. II.
[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]