Robert Bankes

When first I joined the reading room of the Malton Literary Institute I was a little afraid of the erect elderly curator who could speak so searchingly about things which my young mind had not then grasped. And with fuller knowledge I am aware that Mr. Bankes had a very considerable acquaintance with literature and art. He was of the old school, thorough in method, somewhat conservative in outlook, devoted to the objects which he espoused, and full of reverence for the arts and sciences.
Mr. Bankes was a great reader. If I had always followed his advice about books I should have economised my time and should be a wiser man than I am. He had no remarkable set of books to recommend (when will Malton make an effort to provide and maintain a really good Public Library?), but from the volumes at his command he chose the best books for those of us who asked his advice – and sometimes for those who did not!
How well I remember Mr. Bankes walking up and down the pavement in front of the Literary Institute, dressed in tight fitting frock-coat, and with the inevitable silk hat on his head. With the passing of Dr. W.T. Colby, Malton has lost the last of her citizens who were hardly ever seen by the public without this particular sign of great-ness.
And this reminds me how I have heard that once when Mr. Bankes came down the yard between his tailor’s shop and the Institute the clothes line which had been left up for use caught his hat and brought it to the ground. Whereat Mr. Bankes said that the next time the line was left out there he would cut it down (although it belonged to a neighbour!). The line was left out again and Mr. Bankes was as good as his word, with the result that on the next washing day his wife had to provide another clothes line.
Mr. Bankes was fond of the drama, and was chosen as the chief comedian in one of the amateur dramatic rehearsals got up in Malton in his day. Once, going to a rehearsal, he asked who was to be the villain of the piece, and when told that X-Y was selected for this position, said with scorn, “What, X-Y – to be the villain, and he but a flaxen-haired tenor!”
On another occasion, when playing “Poor Pillicoby,” Mr. Bankes forgot a portion of his part and, walking majestically to the wing, said, in a manner which was taken by most people to signify that he was speaking his part, “hand me the book!” Eventually this caused some amusement, whereupon Mr. Bankes observed with a professional air, “It is frequently done.”
The old amateur dramatic lass had among its members Miss H. Holmes, Mr. Bankes, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Jonathan Taylor, and Mr. John Marshall.
For the few who remember these dramatic recitals, there are many who are grateful for the work Mr. Bankes did at the Literary institute, and it is fortunate for us that, although deprived of his help, Miss Bankes continues to preside at the library of the Literary Institute and thus continues for us the services which her father performed so long and so well.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, Yorkshire Gazette, 12th February 1913


Robert Bankes

(Funeral Report) Died Thursday 26th March 1891, was a tailor, librarian and caretaker of the Malton Literary Institute and died after a long illness, resulting from paralysis and natural decay. Deceased was a well-known public character, and in his time had shared fully in the public life of the town. He was one of the first members of the Camalodunum Lodge of Freemasons, being initiated when the lodge was opened at Malton in 1856, and was a P.M. and P.P.G.O. of the body. When first the volunteer movement was begun deceased also enrolled himself, and took the oath of allegiance when the Malton corps was formed in May, 1860. He attained the rank of colour-sergeant before he finally retired, owing to the age regulation. Deceased had great musical and dramatic talent, and in his younger days frequently appeared before the public as an exponent of both arts. He was also an industrious member of the old literary and Philharmonic Society. He was a genial and very pleasant companion, well read and witty, and his popularity secured him many friends. For 35 years he held the position of librarian at the Institute, and took much interest in its welfare under all phases. Deceased was a son of Thomas Bankes, a schoolmaster of the town in the olden days. He leaves a widow and grown-up family.
The remains of the deceased gentleman were interred in Malton Cemetery, in the presence of many friends and relations. The funeral cortege was headed by the vice-president, secretary, committee, and members of the Malton Literary Institute; next came the professional and tradesmen of the town; and immediately in front of the hearse the Worshipful Master, past masters, and brethren of the Camalodunum Lodge of freemasons. Some beautiful wreaths and crosses were sent by friends of the deceased. The rev. R.W. Elliott, vicar of St. Leonard’s conducted the burial service. After his death, one son, Thomas, continued as a tailor, living in Castlegate [1]
[1] 1891 Census
Funeral Report – York Herald, 30 March 1891


W.E. Bosomworth

In the days when Malton counted as a very important team in the cricket field, I used to steal down to the old cricket ground opposite the railway station and gaze at the heroes of that day: men who were as great to me as cricketers, as Hector and Ulysses were as warriors. Freeman, Emmett, Iddison, Frank, Firth, Brown, and Tinsley were in great favour, but Bosomworth, the professional, was our delight. His balls were a wonder to us, with their long reach, great pace, and oftentimes bad break. The last time I ever saw him was in 1877, on the occasion of his benefit match between Malton and Leeds Clarence Club. Most of the men I have named were playing for Malton on that date.
I seem to remember that after he gave up cricket he had something to do with the Railway Hotel at Norton, and that for a period he was in partnership with Mr. King, the Malton auctioneer. He died in 1891, aged only 44 years.
Bosomworth, who was one of the most hard-working professionals our club ever had, was a native of Carlton Husthwaite. The Malton Club introduced him to notice as a cricketer at the time, I believe, when he was a clerk in Mr. Herbert Wise’s bone mill. In 1872, he had his first trial by Yorkshire in the Colts’ match at Sheffield, and a few years later he played for Yorkshire in the Yorkshire-Lancashire match. That was not his only appearance for his county, and when one of the Australian teams was over and a Malton eighteen had the honour of facing it on the field, Bosomworth was the only bowler to make an impression upon the visitors. Of his twenty-nine overs, sixteen were maidens, and he got five wickets at the expense of only 25 runs. This illustrates the fact that bowling was Bosomworth’s forte, although he was a useful bat. He became Malton’s professional in 1878, and in that year we did not lose a single match, although we played such teams as the Yorkshire Gentlemen and Scarborough.
I have not kept my eye on Malton cricket during the last twenty years, but I believe I am right in saying that with the disappearance of Bosomworth, the glory of Malton somewhat faded in the cricket field. I think I noticed, the other day, the statement that only three of the “Malton 22” who played the Yorkshire County Eleven, 10-12 June, 1875, are now living. These three gentlemen are: the Rev. E.A.B. Pitman (now of Stonegrave), Mr. B. Frank (Pickering), and Mr. T.P. Longster.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, Yorkshire Gazette, 12th April 1913


William Botterill

"The man with the big voice" was not only known by everyone who lived in Malton and Norton, but had quite a national reputation. Several amusing stories are told about this, as, for instance, one concerning a traveller to Whitby, who, hearing a resonant baritone voice calling out "Malton," put his head out of the window and said, "That's a rare voice, lad; what does tha get to thee supper?" Mr. Botterill replied in tones of thunder which reverberated throughout the station, "Gunpowder, lad!" Another story is told to the effect that a stranger to the district, travelling from York by a slow train, got out at Hutton station and asked for the Whitby train, having made the mistake through hearing Mr. Botterill's voice bawling out at Malton, "Whitby trains on the left," just as his own train was running into Huttons Ambo!
A more eloquent tribute to Mr. Botterill's power lies in the fact that in 1891 Messrs. Lloyds tried to get him to leave Malton for the Royal Exchange, London, where they wanted a man whose voice could be heard in a room one hundred and twenty feet long, and correspondingly high.
When Mr. Botterill's desire to retire from the railway was expressed, quite a large number of people in different parts of the country wrote to ask if they would be allowed to join in presenting him with some kind of testimonial. Eventually a special presentation was arranged, being presided over by the then stationmaster, Mr. Thompson, April 1899. The gift decided upon was a marble clock with bronze ornaments.
To most of us who are now living, Mr. Botterill was known as the "ticket collector and the man with the viice," but his history included other things than this. In 1855 he joined the 7th Royal Fusiliers at York, and immediately went out to the Crimea. When the lamentable war with Russia was over he transferred to India and took part in the Frontier War in 1863. On state occasions Mr. Botterill would wear the medal he had received for service in India. His military life lasted for thirteen years, when he came into connection with the North-Eastern Railway Company as one of the first policemen they employed.
With his passing away from Malton the station hardly seemed to be the same to those of who had been brought up with the idea that whatever else was there, Mr. Botterill would be at his post, and that his loud voice would be heard telling us what trains were coming in and going out, and where they were to be found, and still hear strangers inquiring for 'the man with the voice" as the York train nears our town.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, Yorkshire Gazette, 29th March 1913


Robert Boulton

One of the best known men in our town and neighbourhood was Mr. Robert Boulton. His clean-shaven upper lip allowed one to estimate at its full worth the shrewd cast of his face, and his strongly built figure signified the dogged perseverance which characterised his career as sportsman and auctioneer.
My own remembrance of Mr. Boulton is associated particularly with his later days when gout troubled him and made his stout walking-stick indispensable, until the time came when he was rarely seen except in his phaeton, which took him hither and thither through the countryside from his house in Castlegate.
Our premier auctioneer was a man of few words, but when he spoke he was always “on the spot.” I have been told that his father was one of the finest judges of sheep in the three Ridings, so that probably he inherited the power of giving a well-balanced verdict on every subject which he studied.
Mr. Boulton was a Maltonian by birth. From a house in Newbiggin his father moved to the Black Bull Inn, and when Mr. Boulton married in 1871 he chose the only daughter of another Maltonian landlord, Mr. Barker, of the Wentworth Arms.
As a young man Mr. Boulton was an excellent cricketer. He played with the noted Langton Wold Club, dissolved when the Wold was ploughed up. By most of us, however, he will be especially remembered as an expert curler on the ground behind the railway station. His attachment to this sport began with old Mr. I’Anson, who introduced it into Malton.
As a coursing judge he had a great number of engagements, and the increasingly high position of the firm of Messrs. Boulton and Cooper (now in Mr. William Cooper’s capable hands) is a testimony to his ability as an auctioneer.
We Maltonians owe Mr. Boulton a great deal for his energy in developing the fat stock sales which are now such a feature in the district. In 1868 these sales were held every fortnight only, but in 1891 Mr. Boulton started the weekly sales, which he steadily developed, assisted first of all by Mr. Constable, and from 1888 onwards by Mr. Cooper, until now considerably over 10,000 head of fat cattle, 79,000 fat sheep and lambs, and 10,000 pigs are sold annually in the Malton mart. Buyers from as far off as London are to be found there, as well as many gentlemen from West Riding towns, an eloquent proof of the business ability and foresight of the present head of the firm.
Mr Boulton died in 1901, leaving a large blank in the business life of a wide agricultural area.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, XVI, Yorkshire Gazette, 18th February 1911

Robert Boulton

Robert Hartley Bower

In the 70s and 80s, a familiar figure in Yorkersgate was that of Mr Robert Hartley Bower of Welham Hall, who would often be seen standing on the steps of the East Riding Bank (now Beckett’s Bank) conversing with colleagues or friends. He was a public spirited man, interested in all matters calculated to promote the welfare of Malton and Norton, and greatly missed when he died in 1886 at the comparatively early age of 53.
When a young man, Mr Bower was in the Army for a short time. He qualified as a magistrate in 1862, and succeeded to the Welham estate four years later. Probably most of us have forgotten that his father was Deputy Lieutenant of the East Riding, and that when he drove into Malton it was usually in grand style: with a four in hand, like the ‘old’ Earl of Carlisle.In 1874, Mr Bauer sought Parliamentary honours in the old Borough of Malton, arguing that the representation of the town had been in the hands of the Lords of the Manor too long, and making a brave fight against his friend, the Honourable C.W.W. Fitzwilliam. Although he and his party treated the opposite side very courteously, and there was nothing to find fault with in the personal relations of the two candidates, the then agent of the Fitzwilliams refused at any rate once to allow Mr Bower to hold his meetings in the Corn Exchange.When you met the electors, Mr Bower was introduced by Mr TW Revis. D. L.., who reminded the audience that the candidates family had been in the district since 1750. Mr. Bower spoke very plainly of the poor treatment in the town by the Fitzwilliams, and received the support of, among others, Mr. Christopher Sykes M.P., a personal friend of the then Prince of Wales (afterwards Edward III). At the declaration of the poll, when the Liberal candidate was returned by a majority of 129 votes, it was evident that the popular wish inclined to Mr Bower. At the election in 1879, Mr. Bower declined to stand as the Conservative candidate ‘for private reasons’, but actively supported the candidature of Sir W.H. Worsley.
The interest shown by the Bowers in Malton was reciprocated when the disastrous fire occurred at Welham Hall in January 1881 for. Immense relief was felt when it was ascertained that Mr Bower and others present at the time were not in any way injured.
The Welham estate was submitted to auction at the Talbot Hotel in August of 1890, when the family left the district, to the great regret of all multi onions and their neighbours across the water.Mr Bower married Miss Marcia Kaye, daughter of the late Sir J. Lister Kaye surgery list K. Bart., And resided at Firby Hall and Sutton cottage, before going to Welham Hall. After the fire at the last mentioned residence, he returned to Sutton cottage, where he died. He was principal partner in the East Riding Banking Co., Chairman of the York Fire and Life Insurance Co., and held high office among the Freemasons. The Bower Memorial Schools at Norton are one evidence of the close connection between that town and Mr. R.H. Bower, at whose funeral the Dean of York preached an eloquent sermon, published afterwards by Mr Bradley, then proprietor of the Malton Gazette.The chief constable of the North Riding, Major Robert Lister Bower, C.M.G., is the eldest son of the late Mr. R.H. Bower, having been born at Firby Hall in 1860. Malton and Norton people will always have an interest in his career, and hope that his distinguished past (he fought at Tel-el-Kebir, took part in the Suakim and Soudan expeditions, and commanded infantry sent to Sir C. Wilson’s relief) will be followed by a yet more distinguished future.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, V, Yorkshire Gazette, 3rd December 1910

My Image

Thomas Britton

Ever since I was a lad I have been familiar with the well-defined figure of Mr. Thomas Britton, and with his passing away there goes one of the many links which connects us of to-day to the Malton of long ago.
I first formed Mr. Britton’s acquaintanceship in the chandler’s shop of the older Mr. Stabler, and even then the foremen chandler seemed an aged man! This establishment on the high side of the Cattle Market was, in spite of its odours, a paradise to me, for it was full of mystery of all kinds. Even after the lapse of several decades I have the smell of the chandlery in my nostrils, and can see each step of the process by which the candles were made. But my great remembrances of Mr. Britton are neither in connection with the making of candles nor with the selling of tea (which he practiced later on in life), but with the temperance cause in Malton and district. Whilst no one would claim for our deceased townsman the post of leader in this fight, everyone who knew him and his work would agree in saying that he could always be relied upon to oppose the liquor traffic tooth and nail; and, after all, it is by the faithfulness of men such as Mr. Britton that great causes are brought to a successful issue.
Since 1850 when Mr. Britton first became a Temperance advocate, the consumption of alcoholic liquor has decreased very considerably per head of the population. The only figures I have by me concern later times still. In 1890 the per capita consumption of beer was 80 gallons a year, which by 1909 had decreased to 25.8 – and Mr. Britton had a hand in this. Along with other Temperance workers, Mr. Witham, Mr. Henry Taylor, Mr. Moon and his son, Mr. Henry Pickering, and others, he waged a good fight for teetotalism.
Mr Britton was born in Appleton-le-Street in 1822, and may be said to have commenced his active life in Slingsby, where his father was a tallow chandler and small farmer. He had therefore lived during five reigns, two of them of a most eventful character.
Although Mr. Britton’s parents were Anglicans, early in life the subject of this sketch began to attend the Methodist services, which at that time were held near where Slingsby Station now stands, in a disused tradesman’s shop. I saw it stated recently that the lady owner of this property was in the habit of opening her window, next door, in order to listen to the preaching whilst she sat by her own fireside – an incident which reminds one of how Judge Fell used to sit in his room at Swarthmore Hall, with the door open, listening to George Fox and other Quaker preachers declaiming the truth in the dining room.
For more than 70 years Mr. Britton has been an active worker among the Wesleyans, and he will be much missed by the Connexion in the Malton and Norton district. May there be many more men who will follow in his footsteps by being earnest in pursuit of the truth and by using every gift they have in the highest service!
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, Yorkshire Gazette, 18th January 1913

Thomas Britton

Alfred Brown

When I think of the history of the good old game of cricket as played in Malton, Alfred Brown, one of several brothers well-known in our town, immediately comes into my mind. He was one of the cricket heroes of my boyhood’s days, a valiant wielder of the bat and a cunning bowler. Did he not, when only sixteen years of age (in 1869), along with twenty-one other Malton men, successfully play the All England Eleven?) And was he not with the Colts, three years later, when they fought the County?
Bramall Lane saw him in the English team the same year, working with both bat and ball in their fight again Surrey, and he played at any rate twice for Yorkshire at the Oval. When the Australians first visited England – what a day that was! – he was in the field at Malton. I have been told that right along from his early boyhood Alfred brown took to bat and ball much as a duck takes to water, and had it not been for an unfortunate physical weakness brought about by bowling there is little doubt but that he would have done even greater things than he did accomplish in the cricket field. As it was, he shared honours with men like Freeman, Iddeson, Bosomworth, and Emmett, who were his contemporaries in Malton cricket annals. On one occasion, at any rate, considerable excitement was caused in the town by a single wicket match in which Mr. Brown was victorious over Mr. John Hicks, of York, by an innings and 19 runs.
Alfred Brown was, too, an all-round man. He was an excellent athlete. Whether it was high jumping or the short sprint he was a universal favourite, and he could throw the cricket ball for a matter of 122 yards. It is still remembered in Malton how he tied at 4 feet 10 inches when jumping with Mr. R.L. Dixon, of Cambridge, neither of the competitors being able to outjump the other.
When Mr. Brown was compelled by the state of his health, to give up athletics, he still retained his interest in healthy sport of all kinds. One sign of this was the shop he established in Wheelgate; another, the various ways in which he kept in touch with cricket and other individual sports. He was the secretary of the Malton Cricket Club for some years, and a member of the Malton Curling Club, the Talbot Bowling Club, and so on.
In private life Mr. Brown was loved by a large circle of relatives and friends, who deplored his death at the early age of forty-six years, in November 1900. He left a widow and four children. The elder son, Mr. Roy Brown, still carries on the business of an athletic outfitter, and is also following in his father’s footsteps as a cricketer, being one of the most consistent scorers for our local cricket club.
SPECTATOR

My Image

Thomas Burt

The house now occupied by Mr. A.E.B. Soulby was for many years the residence of Mr. Thomas Burt, whose old-time courtesy of manner and willingness to assist philanthropic and religious movements earned him an honourable place in our town.
Visitors to “The Brows” – Brus in the vernacular – would usually find Mr. Burt, trowel in hand, at work in his beautiful garden – his chief and absorbing pastime. They would seldom leave without having been shown around, or invited to carry away with them some of its store of flowers. Anon in their wanderings in the town, they would find it difficult to identify the grey-haired, erect, carefully clothed gentleman whom they would sometimes meet with the “labourer” in the garden! I have reason to remember him and his family with special interest, for some of the happiest “parties” I ever attended were those given at Christmas time at the Brows. These were the occasions, par excellence, when Mr. Burt unbent and became again a lad with lads – and lassies.
Thomas Burt was born at Leadenham, Lincolnshire, in 1823. He was educated at Ackworth School (which had among its scholars John Bright), where he earned the reputation of champion skipper, runner, and kite-flyer! He went for a short time into the milling trade at Hull, but relinquished this in favour of the drapery business, in which for many years as wholesale dealer and warehouseman at Wakefield he was very successful. On retiring from this in 1867 he came with his wife and son to Malton, the birthplace of the other members of his family.
Mr. Burt did not take any particularly active part in the public affairs of our town. His energies had been entirely absorbed in his active business life, and what he sought, and what his health demanded, was relaxation. For a few years he rode regularly to hounds.
A good Quaker at heart, much of his time and means were devoted to the interests of the branch of the Society of Friends’ Retreat, York, never failing in attendance except through ill-health.
Mr. Burt died at Malton in 1892, and shortly afterwards, his widow removed to Darlington, where she now lives. His only daughter, who had developed into an active and able worker in the Society of Friends, died there last year. One of his sons, Mr. Edwin Burtt, lives at Pickering, and the other, Arthur H. Burtt, D.Sc., at York.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, XIV, Yorkshire Gazette, 11th January 1913

My Image

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