The Ninth Earl of Carlisle

The sympathy we Maltonians all feel with the Carlisle family in their latest loss afresh raises memories of George James Howard, who died only last year.
I remember hearing the ninth Earl of Carlisle speak in public once in Malton, on which occasion he gave an exceedingly interesting address on Art. I was young then and not a little disappointed to find that the Earl looked just like any other man and did not wear his Coroney. Unlike his countess, the ninth Earl did not take any part in local government, and I should suppose that only a very small proportion of Maltonians ever knew him by sight.
George James Howard was born in 1843, and, whether in or out of Parliament, upheld without reservation the Liberal traditions of his house until the Home Rule split, when he joined the Liberal Unionist section. This was the beginning of a division on political matters between the members of the Carlisle household, but it is, I hope, unnecessary to say that the division went no further than this.
The Earl was an ardent temperance reformer, and formulated an original policy on this question which attracted considerable attention. One result of his and Lady Carlisle’s strong temperance opinions was the closing of the public-houses on the Castle Howard estates and the sale of the brewing plant attached to the castle.
Although a Unionist and a vice-president of the Tariff Reform League, Lord Carlisle opposed Mr. Balfour’s Licensing Bill, and was one of the few peers who supported Mr. Asquith’s Licensing measure. He was a supporter of the Public-house Trust movement.
To my own mind one of the most pleasing remembrances of the Earl’s public action is associated with the unveiling of the memorial statue to the late Sir William Lawson, about two years ago. The Earl spoke of the great pleasure it afforded him to be associated with his old friend, Mr. Burt (upon whom Newcastle conferred its freedom only the other day), in moving a vote of thanks to Mr. Asquith who was the chief guest. The Earl’s speech on this occasion revealed his love of Cumberland and Cumberland people, and the humility with which he viewed his own work for the temperance party. He was president of the Yorkshire Band of Hope Union at the time of his death.
The fact that this article is without a portrait is a sign of the retiring nature of Lord Carlisle. He loved his work, and to serve great causes, but he shrunk from publicity.
The Earl’s marriage with the young daughter of the second Lord Stanley of Alderley took place in the autumn of 1864. Here in Malton we have often had the advantage of the presence of the countess who is still a member of the Board of Guardians. She is a leader in much of the temperance work done by the women of England. They and many others in the land will mourn with her and her family in the double bereavement which has overtaken them.
On his death, the Earl left three sons and four daughters – Lord Morpeth, who succeeded to the title (and who died this week), was a Unionist like his father, and, in addition to being in the army and in Parliament, did good service as a University Extension Lecturer; Mr. Geoffrey Howard, the younger son, is one of the liberal Whips; the eldest daughter, Lady Mary Henrietta Howard, married Prof. Gilbert Murray the Greek scholar; Lady Cecilia Howard is the wife of Mr. Charles Henry Robert, M.P. for Lincoln; Lady Dorothy, the third daughter, is a public speaker in great request.
The ninth Earl’s chief interests were in relation to literary and artistic subjects, and many of his pictures were hung in the Grosvenor and other galleries. He was a trustee of the National Art Gallery, and it is interesting to reflect that befire his death he arranged for the Castle Howard Mabeuse to be offered to the country at a price much below its value. Many of his own pictures dealt with landscapes in Egypt, where he was a frequent visitor. He had a large studio built for himself at Palace Green, Kensington, where, and at Naworth, he spent most of his time when in England.
It is said that the Earl’s last public action was to lead the protest against the defacement of St. James’s Park, by the making of what were put forward as “improvements.”
SPECTATOR


Digby Cayley

A big man, with a direct and sometimes almost rough way of doing things was the late Mr. Digby Cayley, of Whitwell Manor, and formerly of Norton Grove. I remember as a boy being almost frightened at his forcible and autocratic methods, and should imagine that many grown men have flinched before them as, generations ago, on the field of battle, brave men gave way before the Cayleys of Brompton. And yet I cannot forbear expressing my opinion that such direct, strong natures are badly needed in our town and district to-day; the exact shade of expression is of little account if conviction and strength are there.
Mr. Cayley was the second son of Sir Digby Cayley, Bart., and was born in 1834 at The Residence, Ripon. He was educated at Doncaster, Rugby, and Cambridge. I have heard that whilst at college young Mr. Cayley greatly distinguished himself in all sports and pastimes, being known as “Cracker Cayley” for his prowess in riding and jumping in the steeplechases. Even then he was an expert angler, and he was also a very good shot.
Mr. Cayley married a daughter of the late Mr. Robert Bower, of Welham Hall, thus entering a family which was closely connected with Malton and Norton, and which we were so sorry to lose from our midst. Rather curiously, Mr. Cayley’s death took place exactly fifty-three years to a day after his marriage, and those who were present on both occasions say that each morning broke in a misty haze and ended in a flood of soft mellow light. Seven sons and seven daughters were trained up by Mr. and Mrs. Cayley; the second son, Commander George Cuthbert Cayley, was acting lieutenant on board the flagship of Admiral Tryon when she was sunk by the Camperdown off the Tripolitan Coast in 1893. The Commander was the only survivor saved by swimming. The eldest daughter is Mrs. Hall Watt, of Bishop Burton; two of the other daughters marrying respectively Mr. Coulthurst, of Brompton, and Mr. W. Cowan.
Mr. Cayley’s profession was that of land agent, and for many years he acted for some of the largest estates in Yorkshire. He began with the family estates at Brompton, Lanark, and in Wales, and was one of the trustees of the late Mr. Rivis, of Newstead House. For many years he practised in York, part of the time in partnership with the late Mr. Dyke, as valuer, and his services were largely employed by the North-Eastern Railway Company in buying land, including the purchase involved in the newly-constructed Gilling to Pickering branch line.
Among the prominent positions occupied by Mr. Cayley was that of director of the Yorkshire Insurance Co. An old friend, writing at the time of his death, stated that the Board meetings of those days rarely terminated without an amusing story by this particular director.
The Board of Agriculture also recognised his ability by asking him to act as arbitrator in difficult cases.
It was when in pursuit of his profession near Bedale that he had the misfortune to suffer the accident which broke his thigh, and from which he never absolutely recovered. Many of us, who did not know him personally, but who respected his character and worth, were genuinely sorry to see Mr. Cayley during the years of his life dependent on the services of an attendant and a bath chair for getting about from place to place. Otherwise, there was very little difference in the man himself: his force of character remained unabated, along with that power of getting at the heart of questions he had studied, which made him so well known in his prime.
Mr. Cayley was a great sportsman. Angling was his forte, and he often went on long fishing excursions into Scotland, and is said to have been one of the best fishers of the natural minnow. He came to Norton Grove on the death of Mr. Henry H. Forster, in 1884, and farmed there for some time, only leaving in 1909 when his failing health necessitated his leading a quieter life. This he accomplished in going to the pretty village of Whitwell, where he was among old friends.
In these days of aeroplaning it is interesting to remember that Sir George Cayley, the grandfather of Mr. Digby Cayley, invented a small aeroplane, driven by a screw in connection with a piece of twisted indiarubber. The same able gentleman also invented joints for wood limbs.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, VIII, Yorkshire Gazette, 30th November 1912


Samuel Chadwick

In the days before the Cottage Hospital came into being, when the building in which it is now housed was much smaller and no old cottages had been pulled down between it and Greengate, Mr. Samuel Chadwick and his family lived there in a pleasant garden.
To most of us he was known as an ardent lover of nature, a fellow of the Geological Society, a coal agent, a mining engineer, and an expert on bee-keeping. He was often about the town, his tall figure, his head rather lowered, his shoulders stooping, being well-known in Malton.
The museum of the Natural History Society in Malton is really a monument to Mr. Chadwick’s genius and industry, for the larger portion of the general collection is directly due to him. He was one of the founders of the society, and an enthusiastic supporter of that valuable little publication called “Naturalists’ Notes.” He frequently contributed articles to this, one of the most interesting of which was devoted to a description of the Malton Spa. Everything Mr. Chadwick undertook was done with enthusiasm. For instance, he was an extremely ardent member of the Malton Masonic Lodge and of the sister lodges at Whitby and Driffield. He was a past master in the craft, and had held high office in the Fitzwilliam and Royal Arch Lodges. Again, he used to take his bees on to the moors at Saltersgate every summer. What Elisha Redroff was to his bees in Tolstoy’s charming story, so Mr. Chadwick was to his. I cannot imagine them ever molesting their kind caretaker. On the contrary, I always think of them greeting him affectionately as they did the old Elisha.
The Malton Bee-keepers’ Association was one of the fruits of Mr. Chadwick’s love of bees. A local naturalist once told me an interesting example of Mr. Chadwick’s genius and industry. Although not a conchologist, Mr. Chadwick became much interested in the number of bands possessed by specimens of the Thelix Nomoralis, and with his children’s help collected nearly 10,000 specimens of this particular snail. Among these he found two individuals, each with six bands. One of these remarkable specimens is now in the Malton Museum, and the other was gratefully accepted by the authorities of the British Museum in London.
Mr. Chadwick was three times married, his third wife being the youngest daughter of the late Mr. W.G. Searle, of Norton, and by her he had several young children, who used to find their way to the Friends’ Meeting house on the Sunday evening where one wondered how they liked the almost invariable silence, broken occasionally by the late Mr. Henry Pickering or some younger “Friend.”
In 1895, to the regret of all his friends, and for everyone else who cared for the good of Malton, Mr. Chadwick returned to New Zealand to resume the occupation of sheep farmer, which he had followed when a young man in the early sixties. From time to time we were glad to hear of his prosperity in this work, and that he had been made a Justice of the Peace and was taking the lead in educational and other policies in New Zealand.
In the midst of all his activities death came somewhat suddenly as he sat at tea one day. He was interred at Armondville Cemetery, the Church of England burial service being conducted by Canon Webb, and a special Masonic service by brother R.R. Groon. Testimonies were given to the public spirit of Mr. Chadwick, and special mention was made of his work for public libraries, the help he had given to education, his interst in getting good roads, and so forth. As one of the speakers said, “His name will ever be kept green in the annals of the history of Waikopero.”
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, X, Yorkshire Gazette, 14th December 1912

My Image

Rev. C.J. Chapman

Mr. Chapman came to Norton in 1881 from Bridlington, where he was curate of the Priory Church. Almost immediately, he and Mrs. Chapman became warm friends with the folk of Norton and Malton. Their quiet, unassuming manner and great kindliness made quick way with everyone in our town.
Mr. Chapman will always be remembered as the originator of the new Norton Church scheme. Those of us who were least anxious for alteration to be made in the Church provision of Norton must acknowledge that time has shown the wisdom of Mr. Chapman’s action, for the old Church, hallowed though it was by the worship of many generations of good folk now passed away, and containing as it did in its graveyard the remains of relatives and friends of the then worshippers was inconvenient, in poor repair, and not so healthy as one could wish. The new Church, whilst a little way out of the town at the time building commenced, is now being closely approached by the population, and when completed will give dignity to an otherwise undignified town.
Most people have already forgotten the amount of work which had to be done to raise funds for the building of St. Peter’s Church. The site was given by Mr. Robert Wyse, of Auburn Hill, but practically all the work was undertaken by Mr. Chapman. He was honoured by the presence of Dr. Thomson, the then Archbishop of York, at the laying of the foundation-stone in 1889, and earnestly desired to see the building completed; but although that was denied to him, he had the pleasure of ministering in a portion of the Church for some years.
Mr. Chapman was greatly interested in the Bower Memorial Schools, and in such institutions at the Nursing Association and the Cottage Hospital. In earlier years he had taken an active part in the unsectarian Town Mission work. He was a broadminded Christian – which fact, together with his interest in in political questions, probably explains why he was not a persona grata with some of his parishoners. Everyone, however, who really knew the man – his warm heart, willingness to help, and earnest purpose – never let questions of this kind stand between themselves and the vicar.
Mr. Chapman was only 59 years of age at his death on 7 December, 1906. He left many genuine mourners in Norton, Malton, and the surrounding district.
SPECTATOR

My Image

C.H. Channon

Sudden Death of Mr. C.H. Channon
A Well-known Malton Architect
Collapsed at Harvest Festival Meeting
Widespread regret and sympathy has been aroused in Malton by the painfully sudden death of one of its best known townsmen in the person of Mr. Charles Henry Channon, Red Walls, Malton.
Mr. Channon, together with his wife, were attending the harvest thanksgiving services at St. Leonard’s Church, Malton, on Wednesday night, and during the singing of the first hymn “Come, ye thankful people, come,” Mr. Channon was taken ill and died immediately. Dr. H. de Mirimonde was called in, but could only pronounce life extinct.
Naturally, the painful incident caused a sensation and after prayers and a hymn the service was brought to a conclusion.

A PROMINENT ARCHITECT
Possibly no one was better known throughout the district than Mr. Channon, who was a prominent architect and head of the firm Messrs. C.H. Channon and Sons, of Malton.
He was a son of the late Mr. William Charles and Mrs. Sophia Louisa Channon, of Cheltenham, and was born on 3 June 1854. Educated at Cheltenham Grammar School he afterwards adopted the profession of architect and surveyor. He was made a Fellow of the British Architects in 1899, and became a member of the Council in 1902.
During the years 1901-2 he occupied the position of president of the York Architectural Society. He had strong associations with the Cathedral City for in 1883 he married Miss Helen Usher, daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Soord, York, and they had four children, of whom three survive.
Of his work as an architect many examples are to be found in the district. For many years he was the architect to Earl Fitzwilliam’s estate, Malton, and some years ago designed Red Walls, Malton, where he resided, the architecture of which has been universally admired.

A KEEN ARCHAEOLOGIST
Of late years his firm have done a lot of competition work and achieved considerable success in this direction. Naturally archaeology had in him a keen devotee, and he often accompanied various archaeological societies during their frequent visits to this part of the country.
On more than one occasion he has acted as cicerone, and has contributed valuable papers on Kirkham Priory and Old Malton Abbey. An authority on ancient buildings and architecture, his remarks were always listened to with the greatest interest.
As a member of the now defunct Malton Naturalist Society, he took a great interest in their efforts, and was always ready to place his knowledge at their disposal.
Of a charming personality and with a quiet, unostentatious manner he gained a wide circle of friends.
Anything connected with the life of the town had his hearty co-operation. He was a Freemason and a Past Master of the Camalodunum Lodge at Malton, and rendered good service in this capacity. A staunch churchman, he was for many years closely identified with St. Leonard’s Church, Malton. Here he worked conscientiously and for many years filled the office of church-warden.
His recreation consisted mainly of travelling and golf. Of the two, golf held a pre-eminent place in his affections, and he was one of the oldest members of the Malton and Norton Golf Club.

ON THE GOLF LINKS
His genial presence made him a general favourite with all members, and he was especially kind and considerate to new players, whom he encouraged by practical help. As late as last week he was on the Malton links playing his usual steady game.
For some time past he suffered from a heart affection following an attack of influenza. An inquest was found to be unnecessary.
Much sympathy is felt for Mrs. Channon and the members of the family. Mrs. Channon has also fully entered into the life of the town. Gifted with a good voice she rendered yeoman service to the Malton Choral Society for many years. One of her brothers was the late Mr. Alfred Usher Soord, York, the eminent painter.
The interment has been fixed for Saturday morning at Malton, a service to be held at St. Leonard’s Church at 11 o’clock.
Yorkshire Gazette 18 October 1926


Robert Clegg

c1806 - nnnn Grocer, tea dealer, coffee roaster and draper, originally from Bubwith. It is not known exactly when he opened his business in Malton or its original scope but he was in business as a linen draper, silk mercer, grocer, tea dealer and coffee roaster in August 1832 [1]. In March 1837 he is advertising for an assistant 'a steady, active, young man, who well understands the grocery and tea trade' [2]. Three months later he advertises for an assistant and an apprentice 'an experienced assistant (about 23 years of age) in the Drapery Department. None need apply but such as can obtain a most satisfactory Recommendation for Activity, Ability and Integrity. Clearly Robert had Wesleyan principles since the requirements for the apprentice were 'an Active Clever Youth, about 15 years of age … … He will have an opportunity of learning all the Branches. A Youth of Wesleyan Parents would be preferred. Premium not so much an object, as a suitable Youth.' [3] Robert achieved a good standing in the town and in December 1838 The Guardians of the Malton Poor Law Union, based on the prices and samples provided, accepted the tender for the following quarter of Robert Clegg, of New Malton, grocer, for supplying to the Workhouse, soap, sugar, cheese, candles, rice, tea, black pepper, sweet pepper and salt. The board also contracted with Mr. Clegg for supplying clothing for the ensuing quarter [4]. In 1840, Robert and his young family are shown in the census at an address in the Market-place. In the 1851 Census, his wife, Maria, and family are shown in Newchurch, Rawtenstall near Manchester. Robert, on census night was at an address in Mount Street, Blackburn. It seems likely, from the 1861 census, that his son William Brown Clegg has taken over the running of this business. Robert and family have now moved on to Tithebarn street, St. Paul's, Liverpool with his grocery business and the 1871 census sees him in Seaforth, Litherland. In 1873 Robert is reported as winning a tender to supply the West Derby Workhouse with candles, soap and soda [5]. The 1881 census shows Maria, his wife, to be a widow at the same address, with daughter Charlotte presumably running the business as she is described as a 'provision merchant'
Robert's life was not without tragedy, and in August 1840 he lost a young son, the coroner concluding ‘Accidental death by drinking sulphuric acid.’ [6] In September 1847, Robert lost another son 'On Thursday last, the 9th inst., at his father’s, at Manchester, aged 14 years, Robert, second son of Mr. Robert Clegg, late of Malton, and grandson of the late Mrs. Hannah Brown, of Howden [7].
After Robert's death there were bankruptcy proceedings against Charlotte Ann Clegg and Robert Plummer Clegg, provision merchants and wholesale grocers, 'trading under the style or firm of Robert Clegg and Company - a first general meeting of creditors being called in Liverpool for 20th January 1882 [8]

[1] see invoice here
[2] Yorkshire Gazette, 11 March 1837
[3] York Herald, 17 June 1837
[4] York Herald, 22 Dec 1838
[5] Liverpool Mercury, 25 September 1873
[6] York Herald, 1 August 1840
[7] York Herald, 11 September 1847
[8] London Gazette, 6 January 1882


E Clough-Taylor

In days gone by Malton Liberalism was better supported by the older families in the district than it is now. Year after year members of the Strickland family represented the town in Parliament in the liberal interest: and later on one generation after another of the Fitzwilliam family did the same. When the last of the Fitzwilliams who kept to the Liberal faith resigned his seat in 1884, the late Mr. Edward Clough-Taylor gallantly came forward to support the Progressive cause, Captain (as he then was) J.D. Legard being adopted as the Conservative candidate.
I well remember the meeting held in the Assembly Rooms in September of 1884, at which Mr. Clough-Taylor explained his political principles after Sir Frank Lockwood, M.P., had spoken. Mr. Taylor frankly accepted the title of Radical given to him by some of his political opponents, on the ground that he was strongly in favour of reforming and remodelling obsolete laws and adapting them to present necessities. He warmly praised Mr. Gladstone’s Midlothian speech as an enthusiastic follower of that great Statesman, and with something of the insight of a prophet, asserted with reference to Home Rule, which was at that time the question of the day, that the Liberal party should insist on the House of Lords not preventing the will of the country being done as expressed by the house of Commons.
I also remember how those of us who are earnest temperance workers were pleased with Mr. Clough-Taylor’s strong advocacy of that cause. Turning to the contemporary record of his speech that evening, I find the statement “drink is the cause of nine-tenths of the crime, poverty, and misery in the country.” Education was another of the subjects touched upon in the speech of the candidate, who was enthusiastically accepted by the liberal party. Unfortunately, as everyone in Malton knows, Mr. Gladstone’s Redistribution Bill took away the long-exercised right possessed by Malton of direct representation in Parliament, so that our town never had the honour of having Mr. Clough-Taylor as its member.
Mr. Taylor died at Coneysthorpe, after a lingering illness, in 1892, at the age of 70 years. His father was Mr. Edward Clough, of Kirkham Abbey, who assumed the name of Taylor under the will of his great uncle, the rev. H. Goodricke, of Sutton-in-the-Forest. The Kirkham estate came to Mr. E.C. Taylor in 1851 – three years after his marriage with the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Harrison, of Firby.
Mr. Taylor was educated at Harrow, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he successfully graduated B.A., and M.A.; and developed that entusiastic love of cricket which distinguished his early manhood. He played in the Harrow and Cambridge University elevens, and was one of the most constant supporters of the Langton Wold Club. He was a D.L. and a magistrate for both the North and East Ridings, and on the death of Mr. George Legard succeeded to the chairmanship of the Malton and Norton Benches. He used sometimes to say that he had completed his one thousandth attendance at the Court. I remember how, stirred up by some letters of a Slingsby Conservative, on a now-forgotten County Court case, Mr. Taylor vindicated himself and his colleagues from a charge
Of partiality in their administration of justice, in dignified terms which have some resemblance to a letter which recently appeared in the Press signed by two Newcastle magistrates! I also remember how, when the Salvation Army was being persecuted in our town (which some months ago did itself the honour of giving a public reception to the late General Booth), Mr. Taylor showed his catholicity of spirit and fair-mindedness by pointing out the serious nature of the offence involved in disturbing a body of religious worshippers.
The best known of Mr. Taylor’s family is Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Harrison Clough-Taylor, who is a Justice of the Peace for the East Riding of Yorkshire, and whose first wife was Lady Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll. For his second wife he married Lady Mary Stuart, daughter of the Earl of Castlestuart. Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor was A.D.C. to the Marquess of Ripon when that nobleman was Viceroy of India, and he now resides at the old family seat of Firby Hall.
There are few names in this list of Old Maltonians which should be remembered with more gratitude by Maltonians than that of the late Mr. Edward Clough-Taylor.
SPECTATOR

My Image

Dr Ernest Colby

We regret to record the death of Dr. J.G. Ernest Colby, which took place on Wednesday night, at Colwyn Bay, where for many weeks he had been lying dangerously ill suffering from septicaemia. Dr. Colby was removed from Malton to Leeds in August last for treatment, and subsequently to Colwyn Bay where, as well as at Leeds, he had receieved the most assiduous attention of several able and well known members of his own profession, and had been visited by Sir Lauder Brunton and other specialists, all of whose skill and efforts, however, proved unavailing.
Dr. Colby was only 51 years of age when stricken down last summer by the illness which, after a prolonged struggle exceeding six months, proved fatal. He was the eldest surviving son of the late dr. W.T. Colby, M.D., J.P., whom he has survived only about two months, and to whom his son’s illness was a great grief. Dr. Ernest Colby was educated at King Edward VI. Grammar School, Old Malton, under the late Rev. H. Garrett, M.A. (Oxon.). From there, in 1880, he went to Wadham College, Oxford, where he gained an Exhibition in Science, and proceeded to the degree of B.A., and later M.A. From oxford he went to “Bart’s” where he gained the open entrance scholarship in science, afterwards the junior scholarship in anatomy and physiology and the Brackenbury Scholarship in Surgery. He took the degree of M.B., B.Ch. at Oxford, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.R.C.P. (London), 1888, and F.R.C.S. (England) 1890, and D.P.H., Camb., 1894. He held the respective appointments of House Surgeon under Mr. Alfred Willett and Opthalmic House Surgeon to Mr. Henry Power at Barts.
Dr. Ernest Colby was the third generation of the Colby family to carry on practice as medical men in Malton, his grandfather, Mr. Wm. Colby, having been in practice in the town within the memory of a considerable number of Malton people still living. Dr. Ernest Colby joined his father in the Malton practice at the end of 1890, and soon acquired a wide reputation in the district as an able medical practitioner and skilful surgeon, equally attentive to and careful in his diagnosis and treatment of his patients of whatever station in life. The practice grew, and about 1902-3 Drs. Colby were joined for a short by Mr. C. Charnock Smith who, however, in 1904 left Malton to take up work in the South of England. At the end of 1905 Dr. W.T. Colby retired from practice and Dr. Ernest Colby was then joined by his present partner Dr. W. Vernon Shaw.
On the death of Dr. Young in June, 1891, Dr. Ernest Colby was appointed Medical Officer of Health to the then Malyon Union Sanitary authority, being a joint authority for the whole Union outside the Malton and Norton Urban District, and later, on the division of the district under the Local Government Act into two Rural Council areas, Dr. Colby was appointed and had since remained Medical Officer of Health to both Councils. He took a deep interest in the subject of public health, and was particularly insistent on the provision of village water supplies especially to the Street Villages between Malton and Hovingham. His annual reports to the Rural District Councils were models of clear, concise statement to which his scientific methods of preparing and dealing with public health statistics were so well adapted.
His premature death, in the prime of a most useful, valuable life, is an almost irreparable loss to the district. For some years prior to 1904 he never lost an opportunity of urging upon those interested in Malton and district the great need of some hospital accommodation and it was very largely owing to his personal efforts and initiative that the idea of a Cottage Hospital at Malton was, in 1904, taken up by a number of influential people, and successfully established, and which has since proved such an immense boon to the neighbourhood, where Dr. Ernest Colby’s skill as a surgeon was constantly at the service of the patients.
Dr. Colby married, in 1899, a daughter of the Rev. J.H. Mandell, Vicar of Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, who survives him, together with a young family of two sons and three daughters.
The funeral will take place at Malton Cemetery on Saturday, service at St. Michael’s Church 11.30.

Obituary, Yorkshire Gazette, 8 March 1913


Dr. J.G. Ernest Colby

(An Appreciation)
When I last saw “Dr. Ernest” I little thought that he was so soon to pass away from our midst. I knew that he was not a strong man, but, on the other hand, the great age attained by his father, and his own ability to “slacken off” in the work of his profession, always made me suppose that he would be with us in Malton for many more years, doing his work assiduously and well.
Beyond the smile and nod which we exchanged as we met on or near The Mount, it is some time since I talked with the Doctor. On this occasion we were in his surgery in Yorkersgate and got upon an interesting medical and educational problem. Then, as always, “Dr. Ernest” showed himself fully informed in relation to the present condition of his own and kindred sciences. A brother doctor, living in an important Yorkshire city, told me only the other day that he considered Dr. Colby to be one of the ablest members of the profession in the North of England, and of course everyone in Malton knows how much he was in request not only as general practitioner, but also as a skilful surgeon. Wherever there was a serious case of illness, demanding knowledge, experience, and unfailing attention, whether in cottage or in mansion, “Dr. Ernest” did his best. His papers on such subjects as the eye, showing exhaustive knowledge, were greatly appreciated by his confreres. He kept himself well abreast of the newest medical knowledge, and was an able teacher of others.
Dr. Colby’s work as medical officer of health to the Malton and Norton Rural Councils was valuable and would have been still more so if he had been able to persuade the respective Councillors that his moderate suggestions were not merely intended to be read and filed, but to be carried out! Possibly here lay one of the very few weaknesses which “Dr. Ernest” possessed: at any rate, it sometimes seemed to me that he lacked that overpowering concern about his work which makes a man, whatever his duty in life is, prosecute it uncompromisingly to the very end, regardless of the nature of the opposition encountered. “Dr. Ernest faithfully recorded deficiencies in matters affecting the public health, such as Housing, Sanitation, and the Water Supply, but too often he allowed the Councils to ignore his recommendations. Very possibly this was due to the overwork from which he sometimes suffered – for no man has a chance to do his very best unless he has time for consideration and planning and actual attack.
As I think of the experience, skill, and interest shown by “Dr. Ernest” in his great task of healing human ills, it seems difficult to take anything but a sombre view of that fate which has deprived us of his help, just as it has severely afflicted his wife and young family. But fortunately the day has now dawned when the religious teacher declares the impossibility of final loss in human experience, just as the scientist has always told us that matter is indestructible. We may, therefore, with good heart not merely proceed to console ourselves with this thought but respectfully and hopefully offer the same consolation to those who are most deeply and closely affected by Dr. Colby’s death.

SPECTATOR Yorkshire Gazette, 15th March 1913


William Taylor Colby

c1827 - 1912 Died at his home, Wentworth Villa, on Sunday 22nd December 1912, aged 85, eldest son of Dr. William Colby of Malton. Best known as Surgeon Lieut. Col. Colby and one of the 28 men who joined the Malton Volunteers when formed in 1859. Vice president of the Malton Constitutional Club, chief hobby was gardening and was a member of the Horticultural Society. Leaves three sons (two in medical profession) and two daughters
Hull Daily Mail – 24 Dec 1912


Joseph Coning

Mr. Coning, a native of Stockton-on-Tees, became one of the chief grocers in our town. In my young days his shop sign bore the words “Sewell and Coning,” but later on the style was changed to Coning only. From the shop house Mr. and Mrs. Coning removed to Castle Howard rd., where they were next-door neighbours to the late Mr. Andrew Taylor. This gentleman had then retired from the drapery business carried on by himself and his uncle, Mr. William Taylor, who lived in what is now Mr. Mitchell’s house, on the Mount.
Mr. Coning served for several years on the Malton Local Board of Health, and in other ways was fairly closely identified with the public life of the town – in this respect being of the same mind as his brother, Alderman Thomas Coning, whose public activities are remembered vividly by every citizen of York. If ever there was a fighter, Mr. Thomas Coning was one. In municipal matters he was a reformer, and his Liberalism was of the most robust order. Although not a “fighting” politician , Mr. Joseph Coning had the same blood in his veins, and showed the fact in his life in Malton. He was a vice-president of the Literary Institute, a director of the Gas Company, a member of the Poor Relief Committee, and of the Dispensary.
My memory recalls at any rate one rather humorous instance of Mr. Coning’s sense of right. The late Sir Charles Strickland and others of his household had been so thoughtless as to ride their horses on the bit of green between the villa residences of Messrs. Coning and Taylor and the road. They had done this more than once. Mr. Coning seized hold of the opportunity and wrote a letter to the local papers, in which he asked how Sir. Charles would like to see him (Mr. Joseph Coning) prancing on horseback in front of the drawing-room windows of Hildenley Hall. Unfortunately, the actual point of this letter – a worthy one, too – was largely lost in the delight of the picture conjured up for Maltonians of the writer attempting such a thing as riding on horseback, for Mr. Coning was no light weight, and had never been known to attempt equestrian exercise.
I have my reasons for saying that Mr. Coning was an exceedingly kindly man, thoughtful for others, and anxious to be serviceable. Those who had the privilege of being his guests can bear witness to the warmth of feeling and unselfish thought which characterised Mr. Coning, as well as his wife who sometimes revisits our town from her residence at Harrogate. Had Mr. Coning mixed with a wider circle of people, his powers would perhaps been of still more extensive use. He died in February, 1892, when his business was purchased by Mr. Clarke, of Thornton, whose son, Mr. J.W. Clarke, its present proprietor, is now vice-chairman of the Malton Urban Council.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, XII, Yorkshire Gazette, 2nd December 1911

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William Constable

I have had many teachers in my time, but none showed greater ability than did Mr. Constable. By this I do not mean that he was acquainted with modern educational methods, or was particularly skilled in pedagogy, or had a unique personality – but that, all things considered, he was an excellent schoolmaster. When, as I sometimes do, I look at the prize books presented to me at Mr. Constables’s school, my name and attainments written at length in his excellent script, I remember with some feeling the years I passed in the schoolroom in Chapel-st., and afterwards at his house in Newbiggin.
I suppose many Malton men who are in business to-day were educated at this school. Do they, I wonder, remember, as I myself do, the annual visits of the ventriloquist, and the lectures on popular science? Do they recollect the numerous half-holidays which Mr. Constable used to give us for personal reasons, such as that it was his or Mrs. Constable’s, or the assistant teacher’s birthday; or because the Lord of the Manor was to be honoured, or Malton Fair was being held?
Do they also remember the tall and thin Mr. Smith, with Mr. Constable’s only son and other members of the family whom Malton was genuinely sorry to lose in what was to many of us a day of gloom?
Before that day came, however, Mr. Constable gave up the profession of school-master in favour of a partnership with the late Mr. Boulton – a more remunerative profession, I have no doubt, but certainly not a more honourable one.
It is pleasant to dwell on the real service Mr. Constable did to his town by his work as schoolmaster. Let us not forget that fact. The profession is a noble one, whilst its emoluments are not so great as they ought to be. But we in Malton may be thankful for several instances of good schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, and certainly no individual citizens of our town had done more for us than those who have served in this way.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, IX, Yorkshire Gazette, December 1910


William Cooper

c1863 - 1923 We announce with deep regret the death of Mr. William Cooper, York House, Malton, head of the firm of Messrs. Boulton and Cooper, auctioneers and valuers, which took place at Seamer on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Cooper had been ill for some months, latterly residing, together with Mrs Cooper, with his son, Major A.P. Cooper, and daughter, at high Eastfield Farm, Seamer, although it was widely known that he was seriously ill, the news of his death came as a great shock amongst his many friends in Malton and the surrounding district.
The deceased, who was 59 years of age, was a native of Burythorpe, and joined the firm of Messrs. Boulton and Constable as cashier. On the latter leaving the business, Mr. Cooper was taken into partnership and on the death of Mr. Boulton the business of the firm passed into his hands. He was an ex-president of the East Yorkshire Valuers’ Association, and also of the North Riding Valuers’ Association, and for many years on the Executive Committee of the Malton Agricultural Society. For some years he was also a member of the Malton Urban Council, and of the Camalodunum Lodge of Freemasons.
A SKETCH
In business matters, the late Mr. Cooper was remarkably alert, and possessed an enormous capacity for work. Following his lease of the Malton Cattle Market, he not only developed it, but extended the operations of the firm in the surrounding district, building a well appointed and commodious auction mart at Seamer Junction, and taking over for a time the selling rights at Pickering Cattle Market, which later, however, he relinquished a few years ago. It will also be remembered that when Lord Downe offered his market rights for sale at Driffield they were purchased by a local syndicate. Mr. Cooper had long contemplated the co-ordination of the local and district cattle markets, and following up this development at Driffield he purchased from Messrs. Jarrett the Driffield Cattle Market. The announcement of the sale caused a great surprise amongst farmers and others in the Malton and Driffield districts, but Mr. Cooper subsequently re-sold to those using the market.
As an auctioneer, Mr. Cooper had few equals in the north of England. When he was in the rostrum he was a real live wire. Possessed of a powerful voice, many people in no way connected with the agricultural industry would stop and listen to him when he was selling. A thoroughly practical agriculturalist, he could instantly assess the value of stock that passed into the ring, and with a ready wit, he kept buyers and sellers in good humour, the seller invariably feeling in the end that every penny had been got out of an animal that it was possible to get. In a dragging cattle market it was his wont to say: “Nobody wants them to-day, when they’re cheap, and because you don’t happen to want them just yet; in a month or two, when you must have them and they will be dear.” And none disputed the logic. In addition to the business of auctioneers, the firm also has a very wide connection and high reputation as valuers, many large estates in this and other parts of the country having been disposed of by Mr. Cooper.
A further proof of his extraordinary capacity for work is furnished by his farming operations. He was the owner of Manor Farm, Broughton, about 200 acres in extent, a fair proportion arable, and the remainder grass. Here also he raised large numbers of fat cattle, pigs and sheep. A liberal feeder, there was always a keen demand for his well fleshed stock, which invariably topped the marked prices on the day of sale. In addition to the Manor Farm at Broughton, and the Seamer junction Auction Mart, he owned High Eastfield Farm, Seamer, some 500 acres in extent, farmed by his son, Major A.P. Cooper. He also rented West Wold Farm, Langton, and farmed land in close proximity to Malton itself. Altogether about 1,200 acres came under his farming operations. From a comparatively small beginning, he also developed the firm’s Vale of Derwent Horse Mart, Castlegate, Malton, until to-day it is regarded as one of the principal centres in North Yorkshire for the sale of horses, carriages, etc., the premises also frequently being used for the sale of furniture.
During the war, the late Mr. Cooper, intensely patriotic, rendered valuable assistance, not only to the locality and county, but to the country. In addition to having three sons in the war, his only daughter was frequently engaged in war work, whilst he was frequently engaged in the organisation and conduct of gift sales for the Red Cross, to which he also liberally contributed, and for which and other war charities he raised upwards of £10,000. It was a matter of much regret amongst his many admirers that his splendid services in this direction did not receive the recognition they deserved, notwithstanding his well-known indifference in the matter of honours. To the writer he observed on one occasion, in jocular manner: “They (pointing to one or two farmers) have just been telling me they are surprised I am not in this morning’s list of war service honours, and I’ve been showing them this stick (holding up a stout cane, on which was fixed a large number of soldiers’ identification discs). It was presented to me in a bit of fun, but do you know, I think a lot about it.” A presentation made to Mr. Cooper in 1917 is interesting. At the close of one of the Red Cross sales at Malton he was asked to put up for auction the ebony hammer he was using. This he did, and it was bought and re-sold many times, a good sum being realised. Subsequently, the hammer was returned to Mr. Cooper, a silver plate bearing the inscription: “Aug 1st, 1917. Presented to Mr. William Cooper for his kindness in selling at his marts, Malton, Seamer, and Pickering, for the Red Cross, realising £5,000.” That, it will be observed, was in 1917. A keen observer, and thoroughly reliable, Mr. Cooper’s opinion and advice were much in request, not only locally, but by the authorities, perhaps the last occasion on which his services were sought being the inquiry into the comparatively recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, for which purpose he went to London immediately preceding what has proved to be his fatal illness. During the time that the Government had control of the markets his opinions and advice were much in request by the authorities, and he did much in smoothing over the difficulties of a trying period.
As an employer, Mr. Cooper was a strict disciplinarian, but considerate and just, and it is a tribute to him that many of his employees have long periods of service. The same high qualities characterised his (missing due to paper cut) ployes, tenants, and all with whom he came in contact he was esteemed for his robust manliness, courtesy and kindness. His long illness was patiently borne, but his interest in the vast concerns of which he was the head, was maintained to the last. It was in the hope that it would cheer him in his illness that, at the last Malton Christmas Fat Stock Show, a message was conveyed to him through Major A.P. Cooper. On that occasion Mr. F.F. Lockwood, on behalf of the farmers, Mr. Clough, Whitby, on behalf of the butchers, and Mr. Alfred Bradshaw, on behalf of the dealers, gave expression to the regret felt at Mr. Cooper’s continued illness, and the hope that he would soon be restored to health. Mr. Lockwood especially paying a fine tribute to Mr. Cooper’s estimable qualities as a business man and as a citizen. It was a message in which all present joined, and endorsed in a round of applause which emphasised its sincerity.
In politics the late Mr. Cooper was a Conservative, unflinching in his advocacy of Protection, and to the Conservative party he rendered valuable service, not only in the Thirsk and Malton, but neighbouring constituencies. Unfortunately, however, at he last General Election he was too ill to take part in it much to the regret of a wide circle of political friends. A close thinker and forcible speaker, even opponents admitted and admitted the straightforward and fearless way in which he expressed his views. Always prepared for a question in earnest or in jest, swift in repartee, with an all-conquering smile and a veritable gift for turning the tables on an opponent, he was difficult to tackle in debate. Expecting no quarter, he gave little, but at the close had a cordial handshake and a bit of good-natured chat for any who had assailed him.
In recent years, he was so fully occupied with his vast business concerns, that he was unable to take an active part in local public bodies. He was, however, in earlier life, a member of the Malton Urban Council, and up to his last illness, keenly interested in the affairs of the town, the interests of which he did so much to protect and promote.
A pathetic circumstance, and one in which is reflected the thoroughness with which he undertook everything is given below. On his Broughton farm he had recently had erected, from his own plans, two very commodious cattle sheds, both of which have attracted attention, and the last of which had been completed during his illness. So recently as last week, on his instructions, the cattle in each shed were assembled outside and photographs of the whole taken for his inspection. A broken hedge he much disliked to see; neatness and cleanliness on his farms he insisted upon, and the great store he set upon trifles is shown by the fact that he is known to have carried half-a-mile from a field to the farm buildings, a horse shoe he had found.
At the last Malton Christmas Fat Stock Show it was said of him that he was a much missed man. To-day the full meaning of it is emphasised by his death, for it is rare to have the privilege of knowing a man so wide of vision, so big in mind and heart, and of such sterling merit as the late Mr. William Cooper, for whose widow and family there is widespread sympathy in their great bereavement.
THE FUNERAL
The remains of the late Mr. Cooper will be interred in Malton Cemetery to-day (Friday) service in St. Michael’s Church at 11.30 a.m.
Malton Messenger 20 January 1923

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William Copperthwaite

Born 18th May 1809, died Sunday 6th April 1890 at his residence Beech Grove, in Middlecave, Malton. Funeral Wednesday 9th April 1890. Interred in family vault in St. Leonard’s churchyard. Up to 1854 he was chairman of the Malton and Driffield Railway Company, and when it was absorbed into the North eastern Railway Company he joined the directorate until January 1889 when he resigned due to ill-health. He succeeded William Allen as steward over Earl Fitzwilliam’s estate at Malton, residing during that time at The Lodge. Was educated for the medical profession but did not practice. He was instrumental in forming the volunteer corps in late 1859 and was appointed its first captain, resigning in 1873. He was chairman of both the Local Board of Health and of the Board of Guardians. He was a Past master of the Camalodunum Lodge or freemasons, and P.P.G.S.W. of North and East Yorkshire, whilst in Bengal Arch Masonry he was P.R. of the King Edwn Chapter. Left one son, Mr. Harold Copperthwaite, engineer for the southern district of the North Eastern Railway Company.
Large funeral procession headed by Malton police, then Malton Brass Band, the Volunteers, Malton Fire Brigade, members and officers of the local Board of Health and Board of Guardians, professional men and tradesmen of the town, the general public followed by members of the Camalodunum Lodge of Freemasons. Next came the hearse, mourning coaches and private carriages, followed by the chief mourners including Mr. Harold Copperthwaite, Mrs. Dew, Mr. Dunning, Miss Copperthwaite, Mr. R. And Mrs. Copperthwaite, Mr. A. Copperthwaite, Miss Earle, Dr. Colby, J.P., Dr. Jones, the servants and other friends. Others present included Hon. H.W. Fitzwilliam, M.P., Mr. Gervase Markham (Lord Fitzwilliam’s agent), Mr. T. Preston J.P., Mr. W.H. Rose, J.P., and Mrs. Rose, several gentlemen representing the North-Eastern Railway Company, including Mr. H. Tennant ( general manager), Mr. C.N. Wilkinson (secretary) and others, Mr. R. Pearson and M.A. St. Clair Carnegy (representing the York Union Bank); the secretary, vice-presidents and committee of the Malton Literary Institute, members of the Malton Naturalists’ Society, several old servants on Earl Fitwilliam’s Malton Estate. Mr. Fitch, of Malton, was the undertaker.
York Herald, 7 April 1890
Leeds Mercury, 10 April 1890


Robert Coulson

The town crier, or bellman, is the man above all other men, whether orators or preachers, to gain the people’s ear. If he cries a lost dog or a purse of gold, or even the Urban Council’s notice that the water will be turned off, people run to the yard end, and listen breathlessly.
Mr. Robert Coulson, the official “crier” of Malton, was one of our best known citizens, and in my youth his rank seemed only subsidiary to that of the Borough Bailiff himself. In July of 1895 he died in the house in which he was born, in St. Leonard’s-lane (some of our older folk still call it “Sweep-lane”), at the age of sixty-six.
Mr. Coulson was a genuine Maltonian. He only once attempted to leave his native town – this after he had finished his apprenticeship as a shoemaker with a Mr. stamper, who had a shop somewhere near the premises of Mr. Thomas Baker, stationer, of Norton. Yet once Mr. Coulson nearly left Malton for good, for he accepted a situation at Helmsley, but he only stayed there a night, coming back next day in a flour wagon. He was never made to be an exile! His father was one of Messrs. Russell’s oldest employees.
It was as official bellman for the town for thirty-five years that Robert Coulson was best known, and in this capacity he will be remembered for many years. The following is a copy of his appointment:- “I, Alfred Simpson, bailiff of the Borough of Malton, in the County of York, do hereby appoint Robert Coulson, of New Malton, cordwainer, town-crier of the said borough during my will and pleasure, as witness my hand this twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty. – Alfred Simpson.
As is well known, once a year, at Michaelmas Fair, the only chartered fair in the town Mr. Coulson rode round to declare the fair open; first with Mr. John Boulton, and then with his son Robert. The proclamation respecting the fair was made near the Town Hall commencing with the familiar “Oyez, Oyez!”, and ending with “God save the Queen and the Lord of this Manor.” The bellman was mounted on a white horse, lent for many years by Messrs. Russell, and wore a new silk braided band.
Once a man knocked Mr. Coulson’s hat off and damaged it, for which he had to pay 24s – a rather dear joke!
For many years our town crier was the caretaker of the Baptist Chapel, and a constant worshipper there. He was greatly attached to the Rev. Joseph Rigby, the then pastor, who will be remembered by many who read these lines.
During Robert Coulson’s tenure of this office, the late Mr. H. Hudson used to attend chapel. There was a thermometer hung up and Mr. Hudson invariably used to go and look at its register. Now our friend noticed this, and he used in cold weather to play a joke by taking it down and warming it at the fire to run it up to a good register of heat; but in this practical joke he was discovered by the pastor, and Mr. Hudson was deceived no more.
Robert Coulson was not one of the best of scholars, schooling in his day not being so cheap as it is now, and he frequently used to ask passers-by to read him the notice he was about to cry; once read, he could remember every word. He was very fond of John Ashworth’s tales, and by relating these to the Sunday school children he could hold them spell-bound. Had he had a good education, he would have been almost an orator.
It may be said of Robert Coulson that he was one of the “straightforward sort” and highly respected by everyone – as was testified to by the large number of people who attended his funeral, which was conducted by Mr. Rigby. The office of town crier was passed on to his son-in-law, Mr. Barnby Knaggs, who now gives the various town cries with the same bell as Mr. Coulson used. Long may this historic office continue in such good hands!
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, Yorkshire Gazette, (date not known)

My Image

'Barber' Cressey

Of all the barbers I have known, George Cressey was most near to being a philosopher. As if it were yesterday, I can see myself settled in his snug saloon, a step or two below the ground level, looking at the line of shining razors above the fireplace, a picturesque shaving pot on the hob, and hearing the man of scissors ask whether I (a boy not yet left boarding school) thought money good or bad. With some nervousness, for I was not used to being consulted on such topics by people five times my age, I answered that money was a bad thing (by-the-bye, I don’t hold that opinion now!); whereat the wise old barber replied, ‘No, no, young sir, the wise King saith “Money is the root of all evil,’ which is a very different thing from saying that it is an evil itself.
Ever after that I was a bit afraid of Barber Cressey’s superior knowledge of the Scriptures and of life. But as I had always gone to the little Market-place shop from the time when I was the proud possessor of wonderful curls and could afford to lose my hair without a sigh, I continued the habit until I began my business life.
What a sturdy Nonconformist George Cressey was! He believed in Apostolic Succession, but in his mind this began with John Wesley and continued with Richard Reece, who put him on the full Wesleyan plan in 1849 or thereabouts. That was at Driffield, from which place he removed to Malton in 1863, the then Wesleyan ministers being the Rev. T.M. Rodham and H. Cattle; among “Locals,” G. Leefe (of Fryton), Thomas Calvert, and W. Massey.
Barber Cressey was, perhaps, a trifle too proud of the fact that he was the oldest local preacher in Malton circuit. But if to-day everyone attended to his church and chapel work as well as did the subject of this sketch, a trifle overmuch consciousness of the fact could well be forgiven. He was an energetic total abstainer. Perhaps his alert figure and sharp eyes were never so much on the qui vive as when temperance meetings were being held. It was in connection with this crusade, even more than because of their common membership of the Wesleyan body, that George Cressey came to know Charles Garrett. In his early days, George Cressey tried his hands at photography, but so far as I know did not continue the occupation, perhaps because his whole energies were concentrated on shaving chins, cutting hair, advising people to give up drink, and preaching the Gospel. Let no one laugh because I link together these very different works. I am a believer in honest labour of all kinds, and some of the work done for us idlers every day of our life, if well done, is worthy of more acknowledgment than it usually gets.
George Cressey died in June of 1906, his second wife having predeceased him by seven years. At his funeral I noticed representatives of the Church of England, Congregationalists, and Baptists, as well as Wesleyans, joining together to mark their respect for a true, if humble, worker in the town.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, No 23, Yorkshire Gazette, 24 February, 1912

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Daniel Crisp

When I was a boy I was sometimes taken to the ‘Mission Room” at the back of the then Temperance Hall (now the Church Institute), in Spital-st., where I used to listen with awe to addresses by Henry Pickering, Charles Witham, Henry Taylor, Mrs. Hardwick, Daniel Crisp, and others. There are many things I could tell about these “hot” gatherings, but for my present purpose this must suffice – that Daniel Crisp will always be remembered by me for his earnestness, and because he ended up his informal prayers with the petition that we all might, at last, “range the sweet banks of the Heavenly river and sing Hallelujah for ever and ever.”
Most of the Maltonians I have written about in this column have occupied better outward positions in the town than did Daniel crisp, but none of them had a truer heart in his bosom. There was no alloy in this man’s composition – at least none was left when I knew him. I see him now, swinging along the road behind a pair of “wheels” on which was a basket of aerated waters; or, in the early hours of a Sunday morning, struggling with a group of men over a lesson in the Gospels; or, walking down Low-st. to the Workhouse service with his somewhat ungainly stride, his watch-chain swinging from a loosely-fitting waistcoat, and his cheery voice sounding a warm greeting to everyone he met.
In his youth Daniel Crisp was a puddler, and there were sufficient romantic elements in his story to ensure the success of a narrative written by a south country gentleman who met him in Malton. I have heard him tell the story himself. His father died a drunkard, and his mother sent her boy to the public-house for her regular three-ha-porth. When he earned anything he bought beer for himself. He ran away from home when just over 14 years of age.
He worked at Ebbow Vale in those days, making good money but losing it, so that he had to go back to his mother, who loved him dearly, but he soon left her again. He gave up drinking, but was persuaded that he could not do his puddler’s work without it. At this juncture he married a fine young Welsh girl, he being then only 19 years of age and she 17.
After some years of hard struggle a welcome change came into their lives through the agency of the Primitive Methodists, at Aberdare. Daniel crisp was converted at a cottage prayer meeting, and his life became flooded with light! For twelve months his wife rejoiced because not a drop of drink passed her husband’s lips. They opened their little house for prayer meetings, and so many neighbours attended that they were crowded out. Then there came a re-action – brought about mainly through the temptations of so-called friends, who persuaded him to drink again. He moved to Middlesbrough, signed the pledge once more, dedicated himself to God afresh, and gradually bought furniture for his house. Then came a tragedy, the death of his wife, who had shared all his troubles, and this further sobered him. Eventually he married again, and his second wife – who still lives in Malton, and has long been known as a strong worker for teetotalism – helped her husband to withstand the temptations which still were often placed in his way.
Daniel Crisp spent the latter part of his life in Malton, with the exception of a short time during which he and his family lived in Leeds. He continued earnest attendance at the Mission so long as this was kept up. His death took place after a long and somewhat painful illness. Such men, hard-working, unknown, but full of faith in the real things of the world, form the backbone of a town.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, XIII, Yorkshire Gazette, 9th December, 1911

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