Some information about Victorian families and people living in the town drawn from obituaries, funeral reports, family histories and the 'sketches' that appeared in the Yorkshire Gazette under the general heading of 'Bygone Maltonians' 1910-1912. Let me know if you would like something about your family included here or a link to your own website. Click on the first letter of the surname in which you are interested to see the entries.


A Wife Wanted

A notice to the following effect was posted at Malton on Tuesday 2nd December 1834: "This is to give notice, that a certain gentleman, of Malton, is in immediate want of a wife. He is about five feet nine inches in height, of good complexion, and of respectable appearance, and would wish to be the partner of a lady about forty years of age, who is possessed of personal attractions, and a moderate fortune. Address J.S. Yorkersgate, to be left at the post-office, Malton. - P.S. The gentleman has made many very great efforts, which have not proved successful." [1]
[1] Leeds Times, 6 December 1834

And Another

On Monday, the 22d of October laft, at Malton, Mr. R. Wood, of the Blue-Ball public-house, of that place, to Mrs. Sarah Murrill, late housekeeper to John Webb Wefton, Efq. Guildford, Surrey. - We have to notice, that this marriage took place in consequence of an advertisement for “A WIFE,” which appeared in the York Herald, in July laft. The advertisement being read by the lady’s maid, the immediately fhowed it to the housekeeper, telling her it would be a good match for her. After come little correfpondence, an interview took place at Grantham, and the lady was brought down to Malton, to fee the fituation. Every thing proving agreeable, the marriage was fpeedily consummated.-Seldom has any circumstance happened at Malton, which has excited more curiosity and attention; there is scarcely a person in the town or neighbourhood but has been at the Blue-Ball, to pay their refpects to the bride, who is a very handfome and moft refpectable woman.- Our Correfpondent concludes: “This modern way of procuring a wife, is much liked here; and I doubt not but you will have many more applications of the kind.
York Herald Saturday 10th November 1804

At Malton, Mr. R. Wood, of the Blue Ball public house there, to Miss Sarah Mureill, late housekeeper to John Webb Weston, Esq. Guildford, Surry. This marriage took place in consequence of an advertisement for “A Wife,” which appeared in the York Herald of July last, and promises much happiness to the parties. the bride is a very handsome and a very respectable woman.
the Scots Magazine, 1 November 1804

Malton Rural Postman

William Moore joined the postal service at Malton aged 20 years. Reports of his retirement in 1906 state that for 33 years he walked the route from Malton to Minthorpe and Langton. He describes the amount of mail as having trWilliam Mooreebled and his bag at the end weighing some 2-3 stones [1]. In 1900, residents of the villages he visited presented him with a purse of gold [2]. He died in 1909, being found dead in bed. Altogether he was employed at Malton for over 40 years as rural postman and was said to have walked nearly 230,000 miles performing his duties. Except on Sundays he walked around 20 miles a day [3]

[1] Dundee Evening Telegraph, 26 November 1906
[2] Yorkshire Evening Post, 14 May 1900
[3] Dundee Courier, 15 September 1909

Malton People Database

With over 5,000 entries the Malton People Database contains snippets of information about those who lived in Malton up to the early 1900s. These include references to newspaper mentions (bankruptcies, court cases, accidents etc), entries in trade directories and anything else which might be useful to family historians. This can only be an index so please check the source so that you will know if more detailed information is available. Click on the first letter of the surname in which you are interested to see the entries.


Memories of Malton

Thomas Baker compiled “Memories of Malton and Some of its Inhabitants in the ‘Sixties and Onwards”. The date of writing is assumed to be the 1920s - ‘sixties refers to the 1860s! This may help with interpreting Census information as although not comprehensive covers how some streets and the occupation of shops evolved. The work has sections for each major street/area of the town and the introduction is as follows:
“It has often been suggested to me that a few observations on Malton and some of its inhabitants in the “Sixties” and onwards would prove interesting not only to the older but also to the younger generation of Maltonians, and after much thought, and diffidence, I have decided to give my impressions of Malton during the last 65 years in order to show what improvements have been made in the structural appearance of the old town. I will try to give a true reflection of the transformation which has been effected during that period. Of course, I realise that it will be a very difficult task to undertake as I have no data to go upon except my own recollections; that is to say, I have not any notes or diary of the alterations as to the exact times when the old buildings have been pulled down and the new ones erected. I will, however, endeavour to deal with the alterations made in the various streets of the town, and will first take”

Malton in the 1840s

Articles and correspondence describing reminiscences of people, businesses and appearance of the town in the 1840s as recorded in late 1907/early 1908 in the Yorkshire Gazette. See here.

Flint Jack

Flint Jack
Old Maltonians will remember one or more instances of “Flint Jack” (alias Edward Simpson) being before the Malton magistrates for some kind of fault. On 24 March 1871, for instance, he was tried in what was then Mr. Simpson’s office, before Mr. H. J. Lesley, for sleeping in a stack near the town. His defence was that he had no money to hire a lodging. He was sent to Northallerton Gaol for a month, with hard labour. In this and in other cases, drink was his undoing.
I have an indistinct remembrance of seeing “Flint Jack” in the town, and I treasure an old pamphlet published at the “Messenger” office in 1877, which gives some account of his life. The writer of this pamphlet tells us that
“throughout the British Isles, Flint Jack has nonplussed the geologist, the archaeologist, and the historian; his life is one long imposture (fortunately, now well understood), and his victims are found in every grade of society ... ... Jack’s dupes are found alike in the curator of the British museum, and in the curiosity fancier of the Yorkshire village.”
Edward Simpson was a native of Sleights, near Whitby, although I understand that that pretty village is not anxious for the fact to be known! And in the “Whitby Repository” (1863), in an outline of Flint Jack’s life given by himself, Jack said he “believed” he was born at Carlisle, and that he had wandered from there to Hexham, Sunderland, and Newcastle, and finally to Scarboroug. Probably, however, these statements were as much fabricated as were some of Flint Jack’s antiquities! As a youth he showed his intelligence and enterprise by dealing in fossils, and so far as can be ascertained traded fairly in his profession. The first wrong course he took was when he endeavoured, at the suggestion of Mr. Dodgson, of Whitby, (in 1843) to imitate a British barbed arrow-head. The instrument he selected for forging flints was discovered almost as much by chance as the way in which the Cave Men discovered some of their weapons.
In 1884, Flint Jack appeared at Bridlington and began to manufacture British and Roman urns, some of which he sold in Scarborough and other places. He set up an ancient pottery of his own on the cliffs, and afterwards at Staintondale. His first visit to Malton was about 1846, where he set out to deceive Mr. Pycock, the antiquarian, who later on purchased an “ancient piece of armour found by Jack near Cawthorne Camps” – really nothing but an old tea tray picked up in Pickering! Then followed a “Roman milestone” and various inscribed stones, the former being sold to Mr. Copperthwaite at Malton.
The alleged mile-stone bore the inscription “IMP CONSTAN EBVR” round the Christian symbol. It was wet, dirty and heavy, and seemed a genuine antiquity. The British Museum Authorities were quite puzzled by it, and the stone remained a mystery until Flint Jack’s escapades became known.
Unfortunately, Jack now began to drink. “Till then,” he confessed later, “I was always possessed of £5. I have since been in utter poverty, and frequently in great misery and want.”
Hi journeys extended into the eastern counties, to Peterborough, Cambridge, Newcastle (where he sold out his accumulation of “fossils” at the Museum). And Ireland. Scotland was too hard a nut for him to crack. The Scots, he said, were “too canny. My journey would hardly bear expenses.”
His actual downfall followed an unwise explanation of his methods to a joint meeting of the Geological and Archaeological Societies in London. He had the satisfaction of astonishing many learned men at the evening meeting, but the news of his forgeries spread right through the country and prevented sales. Some of the articles he made were so exceedingly near the originals that experts stated that it was almost impossible to tell which were the originals and which the copies.
One of the most laughable frauds was perpetrated on Mr. Charles Hartley, the Malton chemist. Jack called upon him in 1864 with “the tooth of a mastodon,” which he said was taken from Kimmeridge clay in a brick yard in the Marishes. Unfortunately, someone who had known what Jack was doing stated publicly that the grinder had been found among a cargo of foreign bones received at Mr. Wise’s bonemill, and had been stolen by Jack and converted into his famous relic!
Flint Jack carried an old greasy hat in one hand, and in the other a small bundle tied in a red cotton handkerchief. He had plenty of assurance, which no doubt materially assisted him in his objects. The engraving at the head of this article shows the nature of the man better than any description which could be given. This portrait was taken by the desire of Mr. Stevens, the hon. curator of Salisbury Museum, in 1863. The late Mr. Edwin Hall, of Malton, also published a photograph of this strange character. In addition to the history of his life already mentioned, a friend has shown me the following pamphlets:- “Flint Jack: A Memoir and an Appeal,” by Llewellyn Jewitt, F.S.A. (1867); “Flint Jack: With an examination of his Cranium.” By professor Fowler (published about 1863 by William King, of Whitby; and Professor Fowler’s “Examination of the Cranium of Flint Jack,” reprinted from the “Malton Messenger,” 21 Aug., 1869.

Malton Butcher’s Cricket Team

Cricket Malton Butchers v Westow_smallClick on the thumbnail to see the scorecard of the match played 28th May 1902 at and against Westow Names mentioned: C Coverly, B Nicholson, S Stockdale, Nendick, J Bradley, F Mitchelson, H Bradley, H Botterill, T Bradley, H Sturdy, HC Clapison. As reported in the Malton Gazette Saturday June 7th, 1902
Castlegate Magazine Club Run by RJ Smithson around 1900 this was a circulation list for magazines. Names on the list include: JJ Megginson, Mrs Abrams, Robert Bartliff, Mrs Cawood, Mr Hartley, Mr Slater, RTG Abbott, Thomas Hopkins, Mr Sadler, Ernest Russell, Chas. Russell, Mr Estill, Mrs Sherlock, Rev. Wright. See the rules etc here.

The Charles Dickens Connection

The connection between the author Charles Dickens and Malton was twofold. Firstly, through a solicitor, Charles Smithson, who practised in Chancery Lane. Dickens was godfather to one of Smithson’s daughters. In 1844 when Smithson died, Dickens attended the funeral. For more information see the Smithson website.
The second connection was through his brother, Alfred Dickens. He was an engineer.

At the Malton Sale Rooms on Tuesday, Messrs Boulton and Cooper offered for sale the residence known as Greengage House, the property of the executors of the late Mr. Richard Snow, together with an adjoining dwelling house. This was where Charles Dickens visited his brother Alfred, who was engineer during the construction of the York and Scarborough Railway. The property was withdrawn at £1,150.
Hull Daily Mail, 23 September 1914

The Town Bellman

The quickest way of getting news round the town was via the 'bell man'. This was an official position whose duties extended to walking the streets, ringing his bell, and shouting the news. The Yorkshire Gazette of Saturday 12th July 1845 reports '… a little boy, about four years of age … was missing in the morning, and after searching for him all the day, the bell-man was sent round in the evening ...' Those who have held the position of bellman include:
1840 On Tuesday the 2nd inst., at New Malton, aged 79, Mr. Wm. Forster, shoemaker. He was bellman for the borough, and many years the leading singer at the Independent Chapel, and was much respected (death notice, Yorkshire Gazette, Saturday, 6th October, 1849)
1857 On Monday, aged 50, Mr. George Wells, fishmonger and town bellman, Malton (death notice, Leeds Times, Saturday 31st January, 1857)

Town Crier

Joseph Horsley was Malton Town Crier. He died on 15 March 1860 [1]. Inquest at Blue Ball Inn, aged 69, left house early in the morning for the purposes of crying ‘fish’ for Mr. Coates, the fishmonger. Got to the corner of Spital street and fell on to the stall of Mr. Etty, shopkeeper. Had complained of chest pains and leg swelling. Dr Hartley suggested he had died of disease of the heart [2].
Robert Coulson, cordwainer, became the town crier in April 1860, holding that role for thirty five years when on his death it passed to his son-in-law Barnby Knaggs. He was succeeded by Herbert Bullous who died in 1934 [3]

[1] Leeds Mercury, 17 March 1860
[2] Leeds Mercury, 20 March 1860
[3] Leeds Mercury, 9 April 1934

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