Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. Geographical and Historical information from 1835.
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.
"SCARBOROUGH, a parish and borough and market-town, having separate jurisdiction, locally in Pickering lythe, North riding of the county of YORK, 39, miles E.N.E. from York, and 216 N. from London, containing, with the township of Falsgrave, 8533 inhabitants. The origin of this town has not been satisfactorily ascertained: it is supposed to have derived its name from the Saxon. Seem, a rock, and Burgh, a fortified place. No men- tion of it occurs in the Norman survey, attributable to its having been one of those towns which, in the sanguinary conflicts between the Saxons and the Danes, were laid desolate, or to its having shared in the devastation that marked the progress of the Conqueror. The earliest authentic record is a charter of Henry II., conferring certain privileges on the inhabitants; and in the reign of Henry III., a charter was granted for making a new pier at Scardeburgh, as it was then called. Prior to the construction of the pier, the town began to rise into importance, and was defended by walls and a fosse, of which some vestiges may still be traced. In the reign of Stephen, a castle had been erected by William le Gros, Earl of Albemarle and Holdernesse, which that nobleman was compelled to surrender to Henry II., who made considerable additions to it. In this castle Piers Gaveston took refuge from the attacks of the confederate barons, and for a considerable time maintained it against their assaults, till a scarcity of provisions obliged him to surrender. In this reign the town was burnt by the Scottish forces, who, headed by Robert Bruce, their king, made an irruption into England. Robert Aske, the leader of the insurrection called the Pilgrimage of Grace, made an unsuccessful attempt to gain possession of the castle, in 1536; and during Wyatt's rebellion, in 1553, it was surprised and taken by a party headed by Thomas, second son of Lord Stafford, who, disguising themselves as peasants, obtained possession of it: but it was soon retaken by the Earl of Westmorland, and Stafford and three of his accomplices being made prisoners, were sent to London, and executed for high treason. During the civil war in the reign of Charles I., the parliamentarian forces, commanded by Sir John Meldrum, besieged the castle, which held out under its brave governor, Sir Hugh Cholmley, for more than twelve months, and after the death of their leader, who fell in the assault, the command devolved upon Sir Matthew Boynton, to whom the fortress was surrendered, in 1645, upon honourable terms, after the exhaustion of its military stores. Col. Boynton, who succeeded Sir Matthew in the command of the castle, having declared for the king, it came again into the possession of the royalists; but the garrison mutinying, he was obliged to capitulate, and it was finally surrendered to the parliament in 1648, and soon afterwards dismantled. George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, was confined in it in 1665. During the rebellion in 1745, the castle was put into a state of temporary repair; and since that time three batteries have been erected for the protection of the town and harbour, of which two are on the south and one on the north side of the castleyard, and within the enclosure are barracks for the accommodation of one hundred and twenty men. This once formidable fortress comprised within the boundary walls an area of more than nineteen acres, and occupied the summit of an eminence three hundred feet above the level of the sea, which surrounds it on all sides except on the west, by which it is connected with the town, and on the north, east, and south, is a vast range of perpendicular rocks j the entrance is through an arched gateway, on the summit of a narrow isthmus, flanked by bastions, and defended by a draw-bridge within the gates, and a deep fosse. The principal parts now remaining are the keep, a square tower, the walls of which are twelve feet thick, and some portions of the semicircular towers which defended the ramparts, now falling rapidly to decay; some slight remains of the chapel are still discernible within the walls; the castle and its precincts are extra-parochial. The town is beautifully and romantically situated in the recess of a fine open bay, on the coast of the North sea, and consists of several spacious streets of handsome well-built houses, rising in successive tiers from the shore, in the form of an amphitheatre: the beach, of firm and smooth sand, slopes gradually towards the sea, and affords at all times safe and commodious sea-bathing, for which the town is celebrated. On the cliffs are many new and handsome houses for private residence, and numerous lodging-houses have been erected for the accommodation of visitors, who repair hither, either for the convenience of sea-bathing, for which the water of the bay, unimpaired in its quality by the influx of any stream of fresh water, is peculiarly favourable; or for the benefit of the mineral springs, the efficacy of which, in numerous diseases, has been for more than two centuries in the highest repute. These springs, which are saline chalybeates, varying in the proportions of their several ingredients, were for some time lost by the sinking of a large mass of the cliff, in 1737, but were recovered after a diligent search. The principal are the south and the north wells, situated at the base of the cliff, south of the town, near the sea-shore, where a convenient and handsome building has been erected for the accommodation of visitors. The water of the south well contains ninety-eight ounces, and that of the north well one hundred ounces, of carbonic acid gas in a gallon; the former is purgative, and the latter tonic. A fine terrace, one hundred feet above the level of the sands, forms a pleasant marine promenade. A handsome iron bridge of four arches on stone pillars, connecting the dissevered cliffs, in the chasm between which runs the stream called Millbeck, and affording facility of access to the spas, was erected in 1827: it is four hundred and fourteen feet in length, and seventy-five in height, and constitutes one of the principal ornaments of the town. Adjacent to the bridge is the museum, an elegant circular building with a dome, erected by subscription in 1829, for the investigation and illustration of the natural history of the district, and already displaying many most valuable specimens. There are five separate bathing establishments, where warm sea-water baths may be obtained at any time: three of them are situated on the cliff, and the others near the pier; they are under the super intendence of medical practitioners residing in the town. There is also a general sea-bathing infirmary, supported by subscription, for the use of poor invalids, who, on the plan of the infirmary at Margate, are boarded and lodged upon very moderate terms, and during their residence in it, have the gratuitous use of the waters. The theatre, a commodious and well-arranged building, is open during the season; and assemblies are held occasionally under the superintendence of a master of the ceremonies, in a handsome suite of rooms elegantly fitted tip for that purpose. A Scientific Institution is forming, to support which a considerable sum has been subscribed; the situation selected for the museum to be attached is on the cliffs near the bridge. The environs are beautifully diversified with hill and dale, and include much pictu- resque and romantic scenery; Olivers' mount, about a mile from the town, approached by a gradual ascent, forma a magnificent natural marine terrace, five hundred feet above the level of the sea, commanding an interesting view of the Castle hill, with its venerable ruins, the town, the harbour, and the piers on one side, and an extensive view of the ocean on the other. The rides are pleasant; and the salubrity of the air, and the numerous objects of interest with which the neighbourhood abounds, have rendered Scarborough a favourite place of fashionable resort. The town is supplied with fresh water by means of a reservoir, capable of containing four thousand hogsheads. The port is a member of the port of Hull, and its limits extend from the most easterly part of Flamborough Head, in a direction northward, to Peaseholme Beck, including all the sea-coast to fourteen fathoms of water, at low water mark. The foreign trade is principally with Portugal, Holland, and the Baltic, from which places it imports wine, brandy, geneva, timber, deals, hemp, flax, and iron; it carries on also a considerable coasting trade in corn, butter, bacon, and salt-fish, with Newcastle, Sunderland, and other places on the coast, and with the port of London for groceries. There are one hundred and seventy-three ships belonging to the port, averaging a burden of one hundred and sixty-four tons. The harbour, though confined at the entrance, is easy of access, and safe and commodious within; it is protected by two piers, of which the one was considerably enlarged by act of parliament obtained in the 5th of Geo. II.; it is one thousand two hundred feet in length, and forty-two feet broad at the extremity, and in the intermediate line varies from thirteen to eighteen feet in breadth. This pier having been found insufficient to prevent the accumulation of sand in the harbour, an act was obtained for the construction of a new pier, of which the breadth at the foundation is sixty feet, and at the curvature, where it is most subject to the action of the waves, sixty-three feet; it is forty feet high, forty-two feet in breadth at the top, and one thousand two hundred feet in length, and was designed by Smeaton, the celebrated engineer. To defray the expense of this undertaking, a duty of one halfpenny per chaldron was granted on all coal brought from Newcastle, with other duties on shipping frequenting the port. The custom-house, a neat building on the sand side, is under the superintendence of the usual officers; and three steam-packets touch at this port twice every week, on their passage between London and Edinburgli. The fishery was formerly carried on to a considerable extent, and was a source of great profit to the town, but has of late greatly declined. There are some establishments for shipbuilding, and several manufactories for cordage and sail-cloth. An attempt was made, in 1794, to form a canal, but it was never accomplished. The market days are Thursday and Saturday, the former for corn; the fish market is held on the sands near the harbour; the fairs are on Holy Thursday and November 22nd, chiefly for cattle. The borough received a charter of incorporation from Henry II., under which, ratified and extended by succeeding monarchs, the government is vested in two bailiffs, two coroners, four chamberlains, and thirty-six common council-men, assisted by a town clerk, a recorder, and subordinate officers. The bailiffs are annually chosen by the common council, and are justices of the peace within the borough. The corporation hold quarterly courts of session, for all offences not capital, and a manorial court every month, for the recovery of debts to any amount. The town hall is a spacious and commodioxis building, in which the several courts are held, and the public business of the corporation is transacted. The borough gaol and the house of correction, distinct buildings, are but ill adapted for the classification of prisoners; the former, chiefly for debtors, contains four rooms, and the latter only three, without airing-yards. The borough first exercised the elective franchise in the 23rd of Edward I., since which time it has regularly returned two members to parliament: the right of election is vested in the bailiffs and corporation; the bailiffs are the returning officers. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of the East riding, and diocese of York, rated in the king's books at £13. 6. 8., endowed with £1800 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Lord Hotham. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was anciently the conventual church of the Cistercian monastery, and was formerly a spacious and magnificent cruciform structure, with three noble towers: it sustained considerable damage during the siege of the castle, in the time of the parliamentary war, and retains but few portions of its ancient character; the present steeple stands at the eastern end. Christ-church, a handsome edifice in the later style of English architecture, with a square embattled towei4 crowned with pinnacles, and containing one thousand two hundred sittings, of which six hundred are free, was erected in 1828, at an expense of £5000, by grant from the parliamentary commissioners, exclusively of a local subscription of £3000, and the stone, which was the gift of Sir John V. B. Johnstone, Bart. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyan Metho dists, and a Roman Catholic chapel. The grammar school is of very obscure origin; in 1648 the corporation ordered a part of St. Mary's church to be fitted up and appropriated to its use, the expense of which was defrayed by the sale of the old school-house; the income, arising from donations of land and money, is about £12 per annum; gratuitous instruction is afforded to four scholars only. A society, consisting of about two hundred members, was established in 1729, under the patronage of Robert North, Esq., for clothing and educating the poor children of the town, which is, to a considerable extent, accomplished by weekly contributions of its members, and general subscription. The spinning school was established, in 1788, under the patronage of the ladies of Scarborough, for the clothing and education of girls, who are also instructed in useful domestic occupations; a Lancasterian school is supported by subscription, and there are Sunday schools in connexion with the established church, and the dissenting congregations. The Seamen's hospital was erected, in 1752, by the ship-owners of the town, for the maintenance and support of aged seamen, their widows, and children; it is supported by a contribution of sixpence per month from the owner of every vessel belonging to the port, for each person on board during the time the vessel is at sea, or in actual service, and is under the superintendence of a president and trustees, annually elected: the income of this hospital, arising from donations, is about £200 per annum. St. Thomas' hospital was founded by the corporation, for aged and infirm persons, and is under the direction of the bailiffs and common council; the buildings are low and of ancient appearance. There are also several amicable societies, and various charitable bequests for distribution among the poor. To the north of St. Sepulchre's street are the remains of a Franciscan convent, supposed to have been founded about the 29th of Henry III., and now used as a workshop. Among other monastic establishments anciently existing here were, a monastery of Dominicans, founded in the reign of Edward I., by Adam Say, Knt., or by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland; and a house of Carmelite friars, founded by Edward II., in 1319. Scarborough gives the title of earl to the family of Lumley."
"FALSGRAVE, a township in the parish of Scarborough, and within the jurisdiction of the borough of SCARBOROUGH, North riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile W.S.W. from Scarborough, containing 345 inhabitants."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]