"THIRSK, a parish, parliamentary borough, post and market town, a part within the liberty of St. Peter's, in the wapentake of Birdforth, North Riding, county York, 7½ miles from Northallerton, 11 from Ripon, and 23 N.W. of York. It is a junction station on the North-Eastern railway. The town is situated on the Codbeck, a branch of the river Swale, and nearly in the centre of the Vale of Mowbray. This stream, which is here crossed by two bridges, separates Old Thirsk from the more modern part of the town. The latter once contained the castle of the Mowbrays, built about 980, and razed by Henry II. after the rebellion of Roger de Mowbray. In the old town, which alone is included within the limits of the borough, is the space called Elm Green, where the elm tree formerly stood, under which the members were chosen to represent the borough in parliament, and where it is said Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and lieutenant of the county, was killed by the mob in the reign of Henry VII. The parish includes the borough of Thirsk, the townships of Carlton-Miniott, and Sandhutton. The town was never incorporated, but is a borough by prescription, under a bailiff chosen by the burgage-holders, and sworn in at the court-leet of the lord of the manor, which is held at Michaelmas. The borough returned two members to parliament once in the reign of Edward I., and regularly from Edward VI.'s time; but since the passing of the Reform Act it now sends only one, the bailiff being the returning officer. The new bounds include Towerby, Carlton, and four other townships. The town is well paved and lighted with gas, and contains three banks, a savings-bank, market-house and cross, mechanics' institute, and union-workhouse. Petty sessions are held every Monday, and a county-court monthly. The police station and justice hall are situated in Westgate. There are several corn-mills, tanneries, maltings, iron foundries, brick and tile works. The Poor-law Union comprises 40 parishes or places. There is a small extent of common. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of York, value £137, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was built out of the castle ruins, with the exception of the porch on the S., which has been recently rebuilt. The interior contains three sedilia, and several old tombs. In addition to the parish church are the district churches of Carlton-Miniott, Sandhutton, and Sowerby, the livings of which are all perpetual curacies, varying in value from £310 to £115. The parochial charities produce about £39 per annum. There are a British, charity, and infant schools. The Independents. Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists have chapels. The union poor-house is situated in the Sutton Road."
"CARLTON MINIOTT, (or Carlton Islebeck), a chapelry in the parish of Thirsk, and wapentake of Birdforth, in the North Riding of the county of York, 2 miles to the W. of Thirsk, its post town. It is situated near the North-Eastern railway. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £125, in the patronage of the archbishop."
"CORLTON ISLEBECK, a chapelry in the parish of Thirsk, in the wapentake of Birdforth, in the North Riding of the county of York."
"SAND HUTTON, a township in the parish of Thirsk, North Riding county York, 3 miles W. of Thirsk. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £115, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church is dedicated to St. Mary."
"SOWERBY, a chapelry in the parish of Thirsk, wapentake of Birdforth, North Riding county York, 1 mile S. of Thirsk, of which it is a suburb. The village, which is extensive, is situated on a branch of the river Swale, near the Great North of England railway. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £310, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church is a cruciform structure with a square tower containing three bells. The parochial charities produce about £5 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013