"NORTHALLERTON, an ancient market town, borough & township, in the parish of its name, wapentake of Allertonshire, North Riding, is 221 miles from London, 82 n. from Manchester, 32 n.n.w. from York, 16 e. by s. from Richmond, the like distance s. by w. from Stokesley, 9 n.n.w. from Thirsk, and 8 n.e. from Bedale ; situated in a delightful valley, watered by the river Wiske, and amidst lands highly cultivated --- the higher grounds presenting views most extensive and luxuriant. The manufactures carried on here are linens, to a small extent, but the main trade is confined to supplying the inhabitants of the town and its vicinage with the usual articles of domestic consumption and wear. Northallerton has possessed the elective franchise since the reign of Edward 1st; the right of election was in the burgage holders. Lord Harewood and Miss Peirse being in possession of a great portion thereof, returned the two members for many parliaments, and until the new Boundary Act (an appendage to the Reform Bill) added the township of Romanby, and chapelry of Brompton, to the constituency of Northallerton, and disfranchised it of one member. The consequence was, at the general election in 1832, Captain John George Boss, R.N. of Otterington hall, a reformer, was returned, after a severe contest with a relative of Miss Peirse.
The Bishop of Durham's bailiff is the returning officer. By the same act, Northallerton is appointed one of the stations for receiving votes at the election of members to represent the North Riding of the county. The Bishop of Durham is lord of the manor, who holds, by his steward, a court leet. The quarter sessions for the North Riding are held in the court house, on Monday in the weeks appointed by the act of parliament. The office for registering deeds for the North Riding is situated here. The sessions house is a modern and handsome building, and the prison, erected on the plan recommended by the late Mr. Howard, is convenient.
The parish church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is a spacious edifice ; the benefice is a vicarage in the patronage of the Dean and chapter of Durham, and incumbency of the Rev. George Townsend. Here are also a chapel each for Wesleyan methodists and independents, a free grammar school, one upon Dr. Bell's system, and an alms house for six poor widows. The market is held on Wednesday, and the fairs on the 14th of February, for horses, horned cattle, sheep, leather and woollen cloth ; September 5th and 6th, and October 3rd and 4th for cattle, and the second Wednesday in October for cheese. The entire parish of Northallerton contained, in 1821, 4,431 inhabitants, and in 1831, 5,118, of which number 3,004 were returned for the borough and township."
"BROMPTON, is a chapelry, in the parish of Northallerton, one mile and a half from it, and included in that borough. Celebrated in martial history as being the spot where was fought, in 1138, the great battle between the English forces, under William, Earl of Albemarle, and the Scots, under David, which was called 'the Battle of the Standard,' so named from the peculiar ensign which was raised by the English, and consisted of a cross at the top of a long pole, placed in a sort of wheel carriage, around which the English army formed itself in a compact body. But it was stratagem that gave to the English the victory; for the Scots king advanced to the attack with such impetuosity that he bore down all before him, and penetrated to the rear of the English, who, terrified at his success, began to fall into disorder, and gave way, when their total defeat was prevented by the stratagem of an old soldier, who cutting off a man's head, erected it on the point of his spear, and calling aloud, 'behold the head of the Scotch king,' rallied the troops and renewed the battle. The Scots, confounded at this apparition, and dispirited by the flight of the Caledonians, fought no longer with alacrity, but began to give ground in all quarters; nor could David, who fought on foot with undaunted courage, bring them back to the charge. The population of the chapelry, by the last census, was 1,510."
"ROMANBY, is a township, in the parish of Northallerton, about three quarters of a mile from that town : it is said to derive its name from the circumstance of the Roman road passing by it. The township contained, at the last census, 325 persons."
[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]