Trade Directories

Although directories may have been compiled one or more years before their publication date they are a very useful source of information. The changing incidence of occupations over the years is an indication of how the town was developing. If you are interested in a family then these directories can supplement census information or help you locate somebody in the census. I am not aware of any directories devoted solely to Malton. A list of Trade Directories and where you will find them is given here.
I have transcribed a small number of Trade Directories. Click to view one of the following transcriptions:

Local Tradesmen and Advertisements

In the 19th and early 20th centuries the trades carried on in the town were different to what survives today. I have collected a number of advertisements from local newspapers and also a small number of invoices and receipts. These are listed by name.

Or see an index here.

Shopping Week April 1922

Originated by the Malton, Norton and District Chamber of Trade and designed to encourage 'shopping locally.' See an article taken from the Malton Messenger here.

The Public Benefit Boot Co.

PB Mosaic
William Henry Franklin established the Public Benefit Boot Company in 1875, opening a shop in Hull. A number of branches were subsequently opened, and towards the end of the century there were mergers and acquisitions forming a sizeable business.
The shops were distinguished by large glass windows and mosaic thresholds. The Malton shop was in Saville street and opened around 1909/1911. The shop is now occupied by Harrison & Hargreaves and retains the mosaic threshold.


It was a relatively common occurrence for traders to become unable to pay their debts. The reasons included fraud, bad business practice, and misfortune (such as loss of stock through fire.) During the Victorian period commerce evolved considerably and attempts were made to reflect consequent changing needs in the bankruptcy law. In the period immediately before 1831 the management of the estate of a bankrupt was done by an assignee appointed by the creditors. For the London area, the 1831 Bankruptcy Act introduced the concept of a court appointed assignee, an Act of 1842 extending this to country areas. Formal bankruptcy could be avoided if either a certain majority of creditors (the definition of majority evolved with various legislation) entered a 'composition agreement' with the debtor where assets were sold and the proceeds used to pay the creditors so much in the £; or, entered into a 'deed of arrangement' whereby the debtor could continue trading, and pay his debts over an extended period.
For the benefit of creditors, announcements were made in The London Gazette summarising the status of proceedings. You can see an extract of the entries 1820-1868 from the London Gazette here. The Times, local newspapers and Perry's Bankrupt and Insolvent Gazette also contain bankruptcy announcements.


James Thompson of Yorkersgate was one of the Malton undertakers. In 1855 he is looking for an apprentice for his Joinery, Cabinet-making and Upholstering Business and in the same advertisement he thanks the public for ‘the liberal patronage he has received for his hearse’ ... continuing ‘experience has proved to him that reasonable charges are the best means of securing patronage; and he has now made arrangements for supplying the hearse at one-fourth of the usual charge, viz., 5s to Old Malton, which was formerly charged 20s. The hearse can be supplied without horses if required, as well as Mourning Coaches, Cabs, and every other Funeral requisite’ [1]. Mr Thompson also sold pianos, secondhand furniture, paintings and prints
[1] Malton Messenger, 2 June 1855


An Act of Parliament was passed in 1773 'to prevent the committing of abuses in the weighing and packing of Butter, in the Town and Borough of New Malton, in the County of York.' and can be seen here.

Co-operative Society

The roots of the Co-operative Movement probably lie with the Rochdale Pioneers in the mid 1840s. Malton may well have been a comparatively late starter (a society was formed in Settrington in 1874), and there is evidence of a failed attempt.

Late in 1884 a meeting was held in the Corn Exchange to consider the desirability of forming a Co-operative Society, Mr. Barker, an employee at Mr. Yates' foundry was appointed Chairman, Mr. Briddon, kitchen range fitter, of Malton, Mr. Dowson, goods guard and others addressed the meeting before it was adjourned until Saturday [1] It would appear that local tradesmen were apprehensive about the Co-operative Society becoming successful, and an interesting court case was heard in the summer of 1885 when Mr. Briddon claimed he had been illegally dismissed by his employer, Mr. Yates, iron founder, without notice … … 'because he had been instrumental in forming a Co-operative store in the town' He was claiming £26 damages for unfair dismissal and won the case. [2]

Eventually, the Malton & Norton Co-operative Society came into being on 21st March, 1901. The initial premises were the rental of an old brewery at 56 Castlegate (these were later purchased in 1908). A Mr. G Hillman was appointed manager, and Mr. G. Watson, a signalman, secretary. A dividend was paid in the first quarter. Sales during the first year were £3,769 and the membership was 285. In 1903, the range of goods offered was extended to include drapery, boots and hardware.

In 1908 a collective life assurance scheme was offered. In 1915 there was amalgamation with the Settrington society. Late in 1918 a further shop was acquired in Castlegate to house a boot and shoe department [6]. Also in 1918 premises were acquired in Rillington and Norton. The picture here is believed to have been taken outside the Castlegate premises in the early 1900s. Coop1 In 1921 the warehouse at the back of the Castlegate premises was destroyed by fire and when considering the options for continuing the business, rather than re-build, the society purchased property in Wheelgate including 21 cottages known as Wheelgate Square. Further information can be had in the societys’ Jubilee Souvenir 1901-1951 booklet.

Co-op MM 22041922
From the advertisement left [4],it seems likely that the Co-op purchased the building occupied by and the business of Taylor & Rowntrees who had ‘Stores & Cafe: Wheelgate House, Malton’ [3] This is confirmed in a report covering the opening of the new Wheelgate store on Saturday 7th October 1923 [5]. This refers to the
Pasted Graphic
buildings having previously been occupied by Messrs. Taylor and Rowntree, grocers, and by Mr. J.W. Robinson, pawnbroker. In opening the premises, Mr. George Cartwright said that "He was looking forward to the time when their premises would extend right down to the Butcher Corner"

[1] York Herald, 16 December 1884
[2] York Herald, 25 July 1885
[3] Yorkshire Gazette, 29 May 1920
[4] Malton Messenger, 22 April 1922
[5] Malton Messenger, 13 October 1923
[6] Yorkshire Gazette, 8 February 1919

Contact me | Sitemap
Business | Census | Land & Property | Maltonians | Newspapers | Old Pictures & Maps | Railway | River Derwent
Streets | Topics & Events | Town Guides | Walks | Sources
Apprentices | Banks | Breweries | Cemetery | Floods | Health | Industry | Photographers | Police & Fire
Pubs & Beerhouses | Secret Orders | Talbot Hotel | Utilities | Workhouse | World War One | Worship