WHITBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1750.
"WHITBY, a parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire, 12 m. N. W. from Scarborough, 50 m. N. E. from York, 185 cm. 227 mm. from London, is a well- built T. on the coast, at the mouth of the Esk, which has a custom-house, and a good harbour, with at least 100 vessels bel. to it, of 80 tons or more, and is much frequented by the colliers, the best and strongest vessels for the coal trade being built in its dock of any place on the coast. A great quantity of butter and corn is sent hence to London, and sometimes to Holland. This T. was in much credit formerly, for its spaw-waters; and some curious sncient coins have been dug up in its neighbourhood. 'Tis recorded that a council was held in a mon. here, anno 663, for settling the time for observing the festival of Easter. In Nov. 1710, a dreadful storm happened here, which did above 40000 l. damage to the shipping. Here is a Mt. on S. well supplied with corn, and all sorts of provisions. This place is noted for spiral stones, that have been found here in the shape of serpents, which by naturalists are called cornua ammonis. They are supposed to be petrifications formed in the earth by a sort of fermentation peculiar to the allom mines, of which there are several in the neighbourhood, that bel. to the late Dss. of Buckingham, to which some also ascribe the sudden remarkable falling down of the wild-geese that fly over those grounds. In the 11th of Edward III. Whitby sent 3 members to a council."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Stephen Whatley's England's Gazetteer, 1750]