Data from the 'Collectio Rerum Ecclesiasticarum' from the year 1842.




Data from the 'Collectio Rerum Ecclesiasticarum' from the year 1842.

The place: SCARBOROUGH.     Church dedication: ST. MARY.     Church type: Discharged Vicarage.

Area, 2,160 acres. Borough of Scarborough. Population, 8,760 *1; Church-room, 1,500 *2; Net value, £243. -The town of Scarborough was part of the ancient possessions of the Earls of Albemarle. William le Grosse, Earl of Albemarle and Holderness, inclosed the whole plain of the rock with a wall, and also built a tower at the straight passage thereof, which, in process of time, falling down, King Henry II. caused to be built in the same place a great castle.

The Church was given by Richard the First to the Abbey of the Cistercians at Albemarle, to which it was appropriated, and a Vicarage ordained therein in 1321 ; and on the Dissolution of that Alien Monastery, it was, temp. Henry IV., given to the Priory of Bridlington, to which it was appropriated. After the Dissolution, the Rectory was granted by the Crown, in 1538, to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in tail male. This entail became extinct in 1551. It was afterwards successively leased to Walter Whalley, Robert Whalley, and John Awdley. It appears to have been again vested in the Crown. Queen Elizabeth presented in 1602. In 1608, the Earl of Huntingdon and his wife presented. In 1613, it was granted, under the Great Seal, to Francis Morris and Francis Phillipps, and their heirs and assigns, on payment of twenty pounds yearly to the Vicar. Under this grant, John Earl of Bridgewater and his wife presented in 1630, and the Earls of Bridgewater successively until 1708, when William Thompson, Esq. of Humbleton, presented, and the patronage is still in that family, now in the person of Beaumont Lord Hotham. The endowment is not given by Torre ; his first Vicar was instituted in 1227.

Impropriators, the Corporation of Scarborough.

The Church was valued in Pope Nicholas's taxation, at £106. 13s. 4d.; in the new taxation, at £40; in the King's books, the Vicarage was valued at £13. 6s. 8d.; and in 1818, at £60 per annum.

Augmented in 1816, with £1,200, and in 1817, with £600, both from the Parliamentary grant, by lot.

A decree in the Exchequer in Easter Term, 3rd Jac. I., relative to tithes, is unreported.

The fishermen of the town of Scarborough formerly paid to the Rector the twentieth part of all fish caught by them at sea, in lieu of the tithes of the said fish, wheresoever the same might be sold ; but the Corporation took upon themselves the payment of the tithe of fish, as an encouragement to the fishery, and since purchasing the tithes, &c., have altogether relinquished the tithe of fish *3.

24th February 1762, faculty to erect an organ.

15th September 1779, and 28th July 1808, additional burial-grounds were consecrated.

29th September 1820, faculty to new roof part of the Church, and to make other alterations therein.

An Inclosure Act for Falsgrave was passed 13th Geo. III.

The glebe house was returned in 1818 as unfit for residence, " being too small ;" and returned " unfit," in 1834.

The Register Books for baptisms commence in 1672; and for marriages and burials in 1689.

The Church or Grammar School. This appears to have existed previous to the year 1648, when it was removed by an order of the corporation, (in consequence, as supposed, of the demolition of the old school house during the siege of the Castle,) to a part of St. Mary's Church, called Farrer's Isle, which was directed to be made fit for a school-house, and where the school has ever since been kept.

Gregory Fysh, by will, in 1640, bequeathed to this school a close, containing 1a. 2r. of land, for the continual support of four poor scholars of his own kindred or near alliance ; and if none such, then the scholars to be chosen by the minister, or the overseers of the school.

The corporation are in possession of an extract from the will, in an ancient manuscript ; and in Gent's History of Hull, the benefaction is stated to be recorded on a tablet at the north end of the Church, but the tablet has been since removed, and the will cannot be found, either at York or Canterbury.

At the time of the Report, the master had, from the period of his appointment in 1786, declined teaching any free scholars, on the ground, that in a copy of the will which he had obtained from an agent of some branch of the family, no such condition was annexed to the gift of the land. This copy had been subsequently lost or mislaid, and could not he produced to the Commissioners ; but their opinion was, that as the corporation copy was confirmed by the tablet and the uniform practice of the two preceding masters, it was obligatory on the master to teach four poor children as free scholars.

Francis Thompson appears to have given £100 to the corporation in 1692 for the school, but the trusts do not appear. Up to 1821, the interest (viz., £5 per annum) was paid to the Vicar, and was so entered in their books, as paid for the use of the school, but the Vicar considered himself as entitled to the money as lecturer. In 1821, the corporation suspended the payment, and contended that the interest might be laid out in repairs, or otherwise to the use of the school. The Commissioners gave it as their opinion, that the interest should be paid to the master of the school. The corporation claim the nomination of the master, but Mr. Irvine was appointed in 1786 by the Vicar ; but the corporation never formally. recognized his appointment.


Sir John Lawson, who died in 1665, gave £100, the interest to be paid by the corporation yearly on St. Thomas's day to the poor of Scarborough. This sum, with £40 given by -- Conyers, and £20 by Alice Chambers, is vested in the corporation at five per cent. interest, and the money distributed, with the sacramental money, among the poor by the churchwardens.

Thomas Sedman, in 1714, devised a house and garth as an hospital for six poor people, to he placed therein by the corporation. Also a close, the rent of which, after deducting 20s. for repairs of the hospital, to be distributed annually at the Church door of St. Mary's, on the 1st day of May, to all such poor as frequent the said Church.

William Magginson, in 1697, devised a close; the rent to be distributed to the poor on May-day. The land altogether comprises 4a. 2r. 32p. The corporation provide for all repairs over and above the 20s. per annum.

John Farrer's Hospital. Two cottages under one roof, near the Low Conduit, given about 1627, for occupation by poor widows. Three poor persons are placed in this Hospital by the corporation, who also keep the building in repair.

North's Hospital, in Tollergate, inhabited by five poor persons, appointed by the corporation.

St. Thomas's Hospital, founded by Hugh de Bulmer, temp. Hen. III., contains thirteen tenements, with a small garden to each, occupied, rent-free, by poor persons nominated by the corporation.

Burgh's Hospital, in Dumple-street, occupied by a poor widow, nominated by the corporation.

William Robinson's almshouse, rebuilt by the corporation, and let for £1. 1s. per annum. When the expenses are liquidated, the rent will be applied to the use of the poor.


Elisha Trott's Hospital, founded by will, dated 10th August 1697. Two tenements, each occupied by a poor widow. Endowment : rent of an acre of land.

Cornelius Stubbs's almshouse. A tenement occupied by two poor persons, placed therein by the Vicar and churchwardens ; and there is an annual rent charge of 10s. for keeping the building in repair.

Richard Allatson's charity, in 1717. Rent of dwelling-house and 38a. 0r. 10p. of land at Weaverthorpe, distributed by the churchwardens and overseers at Christmas, either in money or coals, among the poor not receiving parochial relief.

James Rickinson's charity, by will, dated 20th April 1711. rent charge of 26s. per annum out of a certain close, called Church Close, to the poor. This close is supposed to be one which was in 1786 vested in John Parkin, since deceased, whose descendants conveyed the same to the Rev. Samuel Bottomley. Mr. Bottomley purchased without notice of the charge, and the Commissioners thought, there was not sufficient means of re-establishing the payment.

Joseph Taylor's charity, by will, dated 4th May 1810. Free dwellings for fourteen aged poor persons, erected with £750, part of the sum of £1,000, less £100 duty, bequeathed for that purpose. The bequest was void, under the 9th Geo. II. cap. 36, but Messrs. Isaac and George Mennell, the residuary legatees, consented to the payment of the legacy. There are thirteen trustees, of which at least two are required to be Quakers. The interest of the residue, being £150, forms a fund for repairs, and is placed on mortgage. The testator also left a legacy of £100, the interest to be applied in educating with a small portion of learning, not exceeding one or two years, as many poor boys as the interest would admit of. This is placed on mortgage, and thirteen or fourteen boys are educated for two years at the Lancastrian school. The testator also devised a close, containing about three acres, the rent to be applied in the purchase of coals for the poor. The devise was void in law, but was carried into effect by the heir at law. About eighty poor families (including those in the different hospitals) receive four metts a-piece in December or January.

Merchant Seamen's Fund and Hospital. This is a branch of the general institution incorporated by the 20th Geo. II. cap. 38. Fifteen trustees are annually chosen by the owners and masters of ships belonging to the port of Scarborough. Every seaman belonging to the port pays sixpence a month. At the time of the Report, there was also the sum of £400 in the three per cent. consols. Every seaman's widow receives 3s. a month, and also 1s. additional for each child under fourteen years of age. About one hundred and fifty persons per annum are relieved.

Merchant Seamen's Hospital. This contains apartments for twenty-five aged seamen, or widows of seamen. The inmates receive no benefit from the seaman's fund.

Trinity House. This is an ancient building in St. Sepulchre street, with apartments for twenty poor persons of the same description as those in the Seamen's Hospital. Part of the building is let, and applied towards repairs, as is also the rent of five small tenements in Merchant's-row.

Thomas Bell's gift, by will, dated 27th May 1773. Interest of £200 to the poor. In 1821, the bank failed in which the principal was lodged, and no dividend had been paid at the time on the Report.

William Solit's gift, by will, dated 2nd November 1812. Dividends on £189. 15s. 6d. late navy five per cents ; to be divided among the inmates in the Seamen's Hospital, and a further sum of £40 like stock was bequeathed by Mr. Williamson in 1820, which was sold, and the produce carried to the general fund, out of which the repairs are provided for.

Estates for the Repairs of St. Mary's Church. These have from very ancient times been in possession of the corporation, and are supposed to be the lands called Church Lands, recognised and comprised in a grant of land to the corporation from King Edward III. by charter, dated 2nd November 1353. The annual rental, at the time of the Report, was about £48. 7s. 8d. -Vide 11th Report, page 780.

There were formerly other Churches not parochial in Scarborough, belonging to the Hospitals of St. Nicholas and St. Thomas. There were also four Convents, with Churches or Oratories belonging to the same, viz.:-

Convent of Black Friars, founded before 13th Edward I.

House of Franciscans, commenced about the year 1240.

House of Carmelites, said to have been founded by King Edward II.

Alien Priory of Cistercian Monks, founded before the 4th of King John, and given to Bridlington Priory 1st Edward IV.

Hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, founded temp. Henry II. by Hugh de Bulmer.

St. Nicholas's Hospital, for poor brothers and sisters, founded by the burgesses of Scarborough.

A post town.

Torre's MS., page 859. Abp. Sharp's MS., vol. ii. page 239. Nonae Roll, page 240. Testa de Nevill, pages 368. 375. Bawdwen's Domesday Book (Walesgrif), pages 10. 71. 173. Mon. Angl., vol. vi. pages 192. 639. 1496. 1545. 1581. Burton's Monasticon, pages 56, 57. 75. 199. 256. 336. Hinderwell's Scarborough. Gent's Hull. Young's Whitby, page 644. Hutton's Tour to Scarborough. Eastmead's Rievallensis, page 344. Cole's Filey, page 3.

*1 Viz. Falsgrave, 391 ; and Scarborough, 8,369. Falsgrave excluded in the return in 1834.

*2 In 1818 returned at 1,700.

*3 Audley v. Fiddey, 1 Wood, page 1i. Thompson p. Field, 2 Wood, page 154.

From the original book published by
George Lawton in 1842..
OCR and changes for Web page presentation
by Colin Hinson. © 2013.