I well remember that one of the most acceptable preachers in the little Mission Room behind the then Temperance Hall in Spittal-st., was Mrs. Hardwick, who generally came in a cab and had to be helped up the narrow path into the room where we all sat waiting expectantly. She and her husband, the rev. William Hardwick, were well-known person in Malton and Norton in the fifties, and as their life work was so entirely one I include both of them in one article.
The Rev. Wm. Hardwick was a type of the old-fashioned minister who donned the black silk cravat now superseded by the deep clerical collar, but even in the cravat Mr. Hardwick was distinctly ecclesiastical in appearance. He was born at Swinton on 9 March, 1801; was brought up a Primitive Methodist; and was one of its itinerant ministers for fifteen years. During this time he frequently walked ten to twenty miles a day on the Sunday and preached three times, besides preaching and visiting during the week. Few modern ministers essay such a task!
In the year 1838, after preaching on the sands at Cromer, in Norfolk, a lady presented Mr. Hardwick with a tract on Baptism (written by the Rev. T. Bane), and after perusing this, and the scripture “proofs,” he identified himself with the Baptist denomination. He was baptised by Mr. Bane and began his work as a Baptist minister at Brooke. After three years’ residence there he removed to Kilham, and then to Malton, where he was ordained in 1844, and remained pastor for six years. He then went to Gretton, in Northamptonshire, and later to Uppingham, where ill-health compelled him to resign his charge and return to Malton.
His pastorate at Malton commenced in 1843. One of his most appreciated sermons was preached from Rev. Xxii., 2, “The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” He applied his text to each type of hearer, and would look direct at them, uttering the words, “and there’s a leaf for thee, and a leaf for thee also ...” No doubt some of the audience found the opportunity not a little embarrassing!
Mr. William Hardcastle was a diligent and devout student of the Scriptures, and a man of great faith and prayer. He has frequently been known to spend three hours together on his knees, praying for people and causes. He died in 1870, aged 69 years.
Mr. Hardwick was blessed with a most helpful life-partner during his ministerial career, for his wife was one with him in all his work, a favourite preacher for miles around. Her services were in great request, and several of my readers will remember hearing her preach and give addresses. It is said that on one occasion Mr. Hardwick had to apologise at a morning service because his wife was unable to preach in the evening! The Malton Baptist Chapel used at times to be crowded with those who had come to hear her eloquent presentation of Gospel truth. Mrs. Hardwick was a well-known and busy temperance worker, and very frequently addresses meetings in the old Adult School and the Temperance Hall. On more than one occasion she conducted Temperance missions in the theatre. She died in 1887.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, No. 24, Yorkshire Gazette DDDDDDDD
Of all Maltonians none impressed me more than did the late Mr. George Hardy. His fine figure, autocratic manner, resonant voice, and his reputation as a schoolmaster (my father was one of his pupils) combined to exalt him in my eyes to an eminence above that occupied by the then Earl Fitzwilliam (whom I never remember seeing), and all our local nobility.
George Hardy was born in October, 1813, his grandfather being a Lincolnshire farmer. His father, Thomas Hardy, got employment on the farm of Mr. Monkman, of Wharram Percy, a member of an old and influential family of the yeoman class, whose farm was one of the largest in the neighbourhood of Malton and Driffield. Thomas Hardy had not been there long before he ran away with and married Miss Frances Monkman, the daughter of his employer.
George, their son, was sent to a Norton school kept by a well-known schoolmaster of the old class - Mr. Wood. After leaving this rather primitive place of education, he went to an uncle, a farmer near Lincoln, where he attended the Grammar School. Having shown great promise as a scholar, he decided to become a teacher and began work in the then famous school in King-st., Scarborough. At that time the town of Scarborough terminated at the Bar, between which and the small village of Falsgrave were fields and plantations. The North Cliff was bare, bleak, and desolate, and the South Cliff was a barren expanse of poor land without any building whatever.
George Hardy's next situation was that of head teacher to Captain Darling, who kept a private boarding school at Thorpebassett, where one of his boys was Mr. Jefferson, the chemist, who preceded Mr. Buckle in the Market-place. After leaving Captain Darling's, he commenced a day school in Malton, and from the beginning to the end of his scholastic career his school was always full. Soon after this he accepted from Mr. Comber, the actuary of the Savings Bank, a situation as assistant clerk, and on his chief's death was almost unanimously elected by the directors and trustees as the manager, or actuary, which position he held for above fifty years.
Mr. Hardy married Ann Wrangham, the eldest daughter of Mr. Joseph Wrangham, chemist, of Malton, who was one of the best known and most highly respected inhabitants of the town. By her he had two sons, who continued the old established business of their grandfather and uncle, and who also acquired the businesses of Jas. Atkinson, chemist; Charles Hartley, chemist (brother to the "old doctor"); and Geo. Foster, aerated water manufacturer, and amalgamated them with their own, trading as "Wrangham and Hardy," a firm widely known in the district, in the premises now occupied by Messrs. Wray and Thompson.
In the year 1874, Mr. Hardy gave up his school, retaining the management of the Savings Bank. On his resignation the scholars presented him with a signed address and a silver jug, as a small token of their esteem and respect.
Mr. Hardy acted as auditor for several Malton institutions and for the Pickering Savings Bank, and helped to wind up that institution several years ago. All kinds of people used to call on him for financial advice. His caution in advising others was as great as his want of it in his own affairs. The shipping craze which made many victims in Malton three or four decades ago, found in him an ardent follower and a persistent loser-hopeful to the last.
In 1895, owing to advancing years and comparative ill health, he retired from his position of actuary to the Savings Bank, and lived for some time at the house over Russell's Brewery in Castlegate, where he died in his 84th year, and was buried with every token of respect in a family vault in Old Malton Churchyard.
SPECTATOR Maltonians of Bygone Days, XIII, Yorkshire Gazette - January 28th, 1911
All Malton mourned Dr Hartley dead, but what is more remarkable, all Malton honoured him when living. He was years in front of his profession, although wanting in the medical degree required today. But his character was even greater than his skill, so that a few minutes’ chat with the ‘Old Doctor,’ as he came to be called by everyone, often proved better than any amount of physic! His belief in fresh air and water would astonish some today who think they are leaders in this idea. I remember that in a modest home whose windows he had ordered to be left open, the patient rebelled – but to little purpose, for when the Doctor next called his fist went through the nearest window in a twinkling, payment for the breakage followed that same evening! He stood over six feet, was erect as a silver birch, generally wore a frock coat in which his body was closely imprisoned, possessed an eye-glass which are used on solemn occasions, and had a direct, bluff way with him. He walked very briskly, as if that day was the last he had on earth, but long distances were down in a disreputable carriage, the scientific name of which I hardly dare venture upon. The horses he drove revealed the only fault in his character, for they were discreditable to a horse loving district, and gained him the terrible nickname of ‘Kill-Horse- Joe!’When a young man, Doctor Hartley’s hair and beard were black as jet. When old halo of white surrounded his head– and surely no Saint in the calendar deserved it more! He was so little with the Paul, never being known to send an appeal to anyone really in wWhen a young man, Doctor Hartley’s hair and beard were black as jet. When old halo of white surrounded his head– and surely no Saint in the calendar deserved it more! He was so little with the Paul, never being known to send an appeal to anyone really in what, that his fellow practitioners were not very pleased with him– and no wonder either. When, however, he was dealing with people who could pay and it gave little thought Tis convenience or time, they could charge with the best of them. One bad winters day he was summoned to a remote Dale, which he reached with difficulty through a terrible snowstorm. On his return he said to a friend, they had only overeaten themselves. If they had really wanted me at all, any time this week would’ve done. They will have to pay for it, though! If people would insist upon medicine when this was not needed, they would obey their request – but with coloured water! The surgery looked as if spring cleaning was unknown, and the waiting room were still worse, especially as the upholstery was something wonderful to behold. The old doctors treatment of his many and varied patients was discriminating, and in many cases even remarkable. To the most ignorant sufferer he could explain what it was absolutely necessary to know in order the proper treatment might be given, and he was a real tonic to the depressed. Young lady patient, very fearful about her heart, was reassured class; bless me, child, you’ve got a heart that will last few longer than you want to live exclamationThe old doctor was born in 1817, and died in 1902 at Brooks bank, Knowlton. In 1884 he was made a justice of the peace of the North Riding, and in 1889 he became Walton’s representative on the North Riding county council. To mourn his lost he left a widow and daughters – and many times that number of townships.
SPECTATOR Maltonians of Bygone Days, I, Yorkshire Gazette, December 5th 1910
Before the Old Doctor passed away, beloved of all classes in our town, Dr. Alfred had taken upon his own back the burden of the wide practice which the Hartleys enjoyed. He was not so self-revealing as his father; also he lacked that quality of brusqueness which usually accompanies a direct and frank power of expressions. Neither, of ocurse, had he that fund of experience of medicine, and especially of human nature, which the Old Doctor possessed in such a remarkable degree.
This is not said in depreciation of Dr. Alfred Hartley. No two men have the same qualities, and there were elements in the son’s character which were not so well represented in that of the father. The ofrmer was, of course, better acquainted with modern methods. Certainly he took more care of his horses! and possibly he was more painstaking than his father, at any rate in cases which were not of the most urgent type.
Dr. Alfred suffered a serious handicap in what was apparently excessive shyness. He would bolt upstairs to a room of a patient, and as quickly beat a retreat – just as if he were frightened to be found on the premises! Indeed it was almost impossible for any but strong-minded relatives to obtain a proper consultation with him. When he had to deal with shy patients, or their friends, the situation had an element of humour in it. I suppose that a doctor never ought to be shy or nervous – and yet the profession would have been without some of its great ornaments if this supposition of mine had been an actual law!
Dr. Alfred grew to middle age, and passed it wothout people realising that he was becoming an elderly man. You see, the Old Doctor was still in people’s minds (as he is today), and Dr. Alfred sat his back so straight, walked so erect, showed as few signs of age save in his whitening hair, that it came as quite a shock to realise that “young Mr. Alfred” was now becoming an old man. That he was unmarried accentuated the point.
Just when the fact of his increasing age was dawning upon us in Malton, we lost his presence alltogether. I remember seeing him on horseback on the Broughton road, and thinking what a perfect English gentlemen he looked and how happy a man must be who, like him, spends his life in all ?ting human pain; and then, when next Dr. Alfred engaged my attention, it was in connection with his very serious illness, followed almost immediately by death. It appeared that he had not been well, yet he’d persisted in riding out some distance to see a patient. This had increased the severity of his own malady, which quickly gained power and laid him low. It is easy to write these words, but hard to be content with such a result of faithful work, at any rate until one comes back to thoughts of the Great Healer, who is losing His life really gained it – and that of millions of others too.
I suppose a story similar to this might be told of many country – and town – medical practitioners, but if so it will never weary us. Sometimes we find fault with our doctors. We are not always able to take that view of their disinterested-ness which Ruskin gave us in “Unto This Last.” It is, therefore, well when we can dwell, as happily we in Malton often can do, on the self-sacrifice of one and another of their body.
Malton may be glad that she has had such a son – and such a father! He died on 16 January, 1907.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, No 4, Yorkshire Gazette, 21st October 1911
c1809-1891 Buried at Old Malton, 21st September 1891, aged 82, grocer and provision merchant of Malton. Oldest tradesman in the borough, had raised himself from comparative poverty to affluence. Although well-known he took no part in public matters, being of a quiet, retiring disposition. He was throughout his life a staunch Liberal and a Primitive Methodist. He succumbed to paralysis, to which he had been a victim for three years past. White's 1867 directory lists Robert's shop as being in Finkle street. In later years he ran the business with his son, also Robert. Kelly's 1889 directory states they had a shop in Wheelgate.
Report: York Herald, 22 September 1891.
Among the most useful people in our little town we must surely reckon the barber. He makes the toiler spick and span at the end of the week, sends the prosperous tradesman on his way rejoicing with smooth chin every morning, and is called in at that dread moment when, life having gone, it is desired that the face upon which relatives and friends look for the last time shall be seen as neatly as possible as it was in life. Then too, the barber cuts our hair when we have any, and then we become bald makes feint to do the same with what is left!
Mr. John Hide was one of Malton’s great barbers, as was his father, William Hide, before him, and his brother Frank.
But he was more than this. We youngsters who went or were taken to Mrs. Hide’s shop for fireworks, balls, and those miscellaneous things of which children are so fond – we youngsters had never a glimmering of the fact that Mr. Hide was fond of music (although we saw accordions, and tambourines, and fifes, and concertinas piled up on the shop shelves), or that he was attached to angling (although good fishing rods were purchasable there too). It is, however, a fact that both these businesses were inspired by the barber, who was a very fair naturalist, a good mechanic, and in all things an extremely intelligent man. In addition to being an excellent instrumentalist, Mr. Hide showed much ingenuity in the able way in which he mended fiddles. To his care was consigned the famous ‘cello played by old Bobby Leng, and now possessed by Mrs. Hide.
The town missed Mr. Hide when he died rather suddenly in January of 1902. He had been with an excursion to Leeds, and came back very cold and utterly exhausted. As he was sitting down to supper he fell, and so passed away. It is a matter of satisfaction, to us at any rate who love our old town, that Mrs. Hide is still able to preside over the Wheelgate shop, and that children yet wander there to buy similar things to those we went after so eagerly in our own youth.
SPECTATOR Maltonians of Bygone Days, XV, Yorkshire Gazette, February 11th, 1911
Fame is earned in many ways. Sometimes the title is given far too easily, whilst at other times it is wrongly withheld. Looking back upon the history of our tow, I am inclined to think that Mr. William Hodgson did more good in and near Malton than many men whose names are far better known. So far as I know, he made no fortune. In one sense, he did not initiate anything, nor did he reveal any brilliant social gifts which caused him to be remembered. On the other hand, he certainly left his mark on the agricultural trade of the district by developing the Farmers' Manure Company, with which he became so intimately associated - one of the best and most useful institutions of the kind in the North of England.
Mr. Hodgson was born at Whitby in 1836, and came to our town twenty-eight years later. For a score of years he acted as book-keeper for Messrs. James Russell and Sons, millers and brewers, and then, on the death of Mr. Edward S. Tayler, he succeeded to the secretaryship (which is also the managership) of the Malton Farmers' Manure Co. Those who knew him most of his work there said that he was built for the post inasmuch as he proved exceptionally successful in it, owing, possibly, to his considerable scientific attainments and his knowledge of agriculture and mechanics. He was, I believe, the first person who introduced the electric light into Malton, at any rate in a practical form; and, inspire of the eulogies on gas which the present chairman of the Malton Gas Co. regularly utters at its annual meetings, no one can deny that we are much better for having the light instituted in the town.
Mr. Hodgson was often asked to deliver addresses to farmers' clubs at Malton, Sherburn, Stamford Bridge, Sheriff Hutton, Bridlington, and other places; and he took an active part in the deliberations of the Malton Naturalists' Society. I think he continued to be slightly interested in the chipping trade of Whitby; at any rate in a sentimental sense. In one concern he did not prove successful - the effort to revive the biscuit industry in Malton. The complete story of that attempt and its failure has not yet been told. When this is stone, we shall probably find that no blame attached to that part of the work which Mr. Hodgson did.
Mr. Hodgson did not take any prominent part in the politics of our town. His business interests absorbed his time, with the exception that he was a loyal member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and was one of those all too few persons who construe membership to mean responsibility. In accordance with this feeling, he accepted the position of "manager" of their Day Schools, and he frequently took the chair at public meetings of the Wesleyan body; he also delivered several lectures on their behalf.
His death occurred in September, 1902, at the age of sixty-six, and the funeral took place at Whitby. He left widow (who died in 1906) and one son, Mr. G.W. Hodgson, who now practises as a solicitor in London and Whitby.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, IX, Yorkshire Gazette, 7 December 1912
The Borough Bailiff of Malton was an awesome figure to me when I was a boy. He was the personification of Rule. Queen Victoria was too remote from Malton and me to count, and I had not then heard of the Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire, neither was there any County Council to provide a chairman to look up to. Consequently, Mr. John Hopkins, the then holder of the ancient office of borough bailiff of Malton, was a person of consequence in my and other people’s eyes, and I felt it to be a great honour when he asked me to visit him at this house on the Brows, and was shown the nest which a precocious thrush had built in the letter-box in the heavy garden door.
In later days Mr. Hopkins lived at the Croft, Old Malton, where there still reside his daughter, Mrs. John Abbott, and most of her family. The last time I remember talking to Mr. Hopkins was in the meadow at the bottom of the beautiful garden there.
Mr. John Hopkins was born at Cross Hills, Morley, near Leeds, and began his business life with the Priestmans, of Thornton. His connection with Malton commenced with the establishment of a courier and leather merchants’ business, of which he made a thorough success. He was joined in this venture by his cousin, Mr. Thomas Hopkins, who will be affectionately remembered by those Maltonians who had the privilege of his friendship in the days when he had lost his sight and was afflicted with deafness. Other business enterprises had the support of Mr. John Hopkins, notably the Malton and Driffield railway line and the Malton and North Grimston Lime Company – the latter now owned by his grandson, Mr. Robert Abbott.
He took an active part in the public work of the town and neighbourhood, joining the Board of Guardians on its formation in 1836 and remaining a member to the time of his death. He was vice-chairman of the Board for a number of years. From 1854 to 1885 he was an active member of the Malton local Board, acting as chairman for some time, and taking special interest in the water supply scheme. He cut the first sod of the reservoir, some 48 years ago.
Mr. Hopkins, like so many other members of the Society of Friends, was much interested in education and was one of the managers of the British School. He was treasurer of the Malton branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society, a supporter of the Malton Dispensary, and much interested in al philanthropic movements. On the death of Mr. Henry Jackson, in 1864, Mr. Hopkins was appointed the borough bailiff of Malton, in which capacity he became the returning officer at Parliamentary elections and the resident head of the community. The office lost its dignity when Malton ceased to be a Parliamentary Borough.
Every Sunday morning regularly as clockwork Mr. Hopkins was to be seen, in company with his unmarried daughter, who now, I believe, lives at Harrogate, walking through the open door (since replaced by an iron gate) leading along a flagged way to the Friends’ Meeting House in Greengate, where he took his seat at the head of the meeting as an elder in the church.
He died in January, 1889, and it was interesting to see how very representative was the gathering which assembled at the funeral. Among those present were the late Right Hon. J.E. Ellis, M.P., several clergymen, solicitors, bank managers, the leading tradesmen of the t own, and members and officials of the Malton Board of Guardians and of the Local Board of Health.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, Yorkshire Gazette, 28th December 1912
Mr. George Hudson was born above what is now Mr. G.F. Johnson’s ironmonger’s shop, in Wheelgate, in 1823. Early in life he started a boarding school at Farsley. Near Leeds – the place, by the bye, where he met his wife, and to which Mrs. Hudson returned after the death of her husband.
From Farsley Mr. Hudson removed to Tottington, near Bury, in 1858. Here, in partnership with the Rev. James Hainsworth, he started, and for many years conducted with great success, a large boys’ boarding school. Tottington Hall proved too small and inconvenient for the number of boys received, and the college at Holly Mount was built in 1883.
When Mr. Hudson returned to Malton in he soon showed his interest in local affairs by offering himself for election to the Local Board, of which he continued to be a member until 1894.
In politics Mr. Hudson was an ardent Liberal, and many readers will have enjoyed talking to him on Liberal principles or arguing hard with him on the points dividing Liberals from Conservatives. Probably it is correct to say that the power of argument was one of the greatest gifts Mr. Hudson possessed. It was his custom to go to a fellow townsman, and, addressing him as “Friend,” at once engage him in a heated discourse. If the friend in question annoyed him in argument, he would prefix the word “bother” to the next paragraph of his attack: “Bother, friend” will long be remembered in Malton! Another trait which lingers in the memory is his fondness for his pipe. It used to be said that Mr. George Hudson smoked matches instead of tobacco, the idea in this saying being that he usually smoked as he talked, and paid so much attention to the latter engagement that he was always having to relight his pipe.
Of the few literary men inhabiting Malton in those days, Mr. Hudson was one of the chief. Next to arguing about politics, he loved to talk about a book – and the one he chose was sure to have distinct value. He and Mr. Matthew Dobson (who now lecture on behalf of a northern Temperance League) might often be seen together examining any new books which by some accidental circumstance happen to stray into a Malton bookseller’s shop. Mr. Hudson was a Baptist, and loyally supported the congregation in Well’s-lane. He died in 1897.
SPECTATOR Maltonians of Bygone Days, XXII, Yorkshire Gazette, 1st April 1911
There are many Maltonians who remember kindly John Hudson with real affection. His short figure and cheery face, which lost none of its hopefulness when his beard turned grey, will not soon be forgotten in our town. Mr. Hudson was born in Wheelgate, over the well-known ironmonger's shop, in July 1822. He was the eldest of thirteen children, all of whom lived to adult age. As four of his brothers bore the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Thomas, we might almost speak of him as one of the Apostles - and, what is more, his character would bear the designation. On Mr. Hudson's marriage he built himself a house on East Mount, but with his wife removed to the old family house in Wheelgate about 1880.
Mr. Hudson was a clever man at his trade - known favourably not only in Malton, but in a wide area round about. He was also a strictly honest man. I have heard it said that on one occasion a traveller while in the shop receipted an account which, upon investigation, turned out to contain an error of 5s in Mr. Hudson's favour. Malton's honest tradesman was absolutely uneasy until he could find out the address of the traveller in question and remit to him the few shillings that were not his. Whether large transactions or small were in question, the same upright conduct distinguished Mr. Hudson. It is a satisfaction that his business has descended to a nephew, who is guided by the same principles.
I sometimes wish that John Ruskin had known a man of the type of Mr. Hudson. If he had, he would surely have modified that classical reflection upon commercial men contained in "Undo This Last." Certainly we have had many tradesmen in Malton who made a continual effort to serve their customers without their primary thought being the gain likely to accrue to themselves.
John Hudson was closely identified, particularly in two particulars in our Malton life. He held high office among the Mark Masons, and he was a valued member of the St. Leonard's congregation. Mr. Hudson joined the Cammalodunum Lodge in 1867 (under the mastership of the late Mr. John Marshall), and, after filling various offices, was elected to the chair as Worshipful Master, in 1875. In Royal Arch Masonry he was M.E.Z. of the King Edward Chapter in 1881, and Past provincial Grand H. later on. He was also W.M. of the Fitzwilliam Lodge in 1885.
In the St. Leonard's connexion, Mr. Hudson was sideman, and from 1885 to 1889, churchwarden. He frequently read the lessons in a most impressive way, and he was a member of the choir for a longer period than I can tell. He had, indeed, a great gift of song in his magnificent baritone voice, and used to be much in request at concerts. He was a member of the Malton Choral Society, which did good service in our town for many winters. In this work he was following in the footsteps of his father - one of a notable band of instrumentalists. Among these were Will Foster (the clarionet), John and Thomas Leefe (bugles), John Bull (trombone), Bobby Pierce (cymbals), Tom Allison (the kettledrum). In those days Mr. Hudson senior played the fife or small flute, as it was then called.
Although the name of John Hudson would not come quickly to the mind when the leaders of Malton life of other days are being considered, there is no doubt that he was one of those who helped to keep the town to a high standard of life. One of those who knew him best left this testimony of his character: "He was one of the best men God ever made."
SPECTATOR Maltonians of Bygone Days, VI, Yorkshire Gazette, 10th October 1910
Mr. Henry Hurtley's father came to Malton to join Isaac Rowntree (who married a Smithson, of the Abbey House) in the business carried on in the old mill by the Priory Church. This Mr. Rowntree was a brother of Mr. Richardson Rowntree (whose daughter married Mr. Henry Taylor), and by his marriage, an uncle of the late Henry and Richard Smithson, of Malton, associated so intimately with the "Malton Messenger."
Mr. Henry Hurtley and his brother Dickinson were well known figures in Malton some thirty years ago. Henry Hurtley lived with his mother at Old Malton, and not long after her death, in 1874, married Miss Burtt, of York, a sister of the late Mr. Thomas Burtt, of the Brows. Dickinson Hurtley and his family lived at Ashfield House, now occupied by Mr. Lupton.
As certainly as Sunday morning came round, Henry Hurtley would be seen, stout and ruddy, walking stick in hand, with Mrs. Hurtley, on his way to the Friends' Meeting House in Greengate, where he sat "at the top of the Meeting," whilst his brother with his three sons preferred to remain towards the bottom of the room.
On the week-day, both brothers were as clockwork in attendance at their office in Hurtley's Mill - a busy hive so long as their business was carried on in it, but when they were compelled to emigrate to Hull, a derelict of industry.
When this happened, some of us thought Mr. Hurtley would feel "lost," but he quickly recovered himself, and presided over his firm's office in Yorkersgate, in the building lately burnt down, and here deaf old John Addison carried out the chief's orders. From this centre Mr. Hurtley would, as it were, radiate out into our little world, taking part in the affairs of the local Board of Health, sharing in the management of an elementary school, discussing the weather, on which he was an authority, or the latest step in politics. When he was elected Chairman of the Local Board, in the autumn of 1889, he said that he was reluctant to take the position, but was willing to do so under the circumstances and knowing that he might rely on the full support of the members in order to avoid "some of the scenes which had been such a disgrace in former times." In all town affairs Mr. Hurtley's judgment was most valuable. His gifts were of the order which are so badly wanted wanted to-day in public work, and his aims were always high and unselfish. He allowed himself to be nominated for the county Council in 1892, but was defeated by Dr. Hartley. There is no doubt that had he been returned, his ability in finance would have been of considerable assistance to the county.
Next to figures, Henry Hurtley enjoyed bagatelle (so far as I know, he never attained to billiards). He was equally delighted to talk to you about the latest ocean liner (her tonnage, dimensions, and speed) of the state of the grain harvest in the United States and Canada; of the effect on the price of Consols of any war which happened to be raging. Often, when welcoming a guest of an evening, he would delight them with good stories. None of these entertained me more than reminiscences of his own youth. He was at a boarding school for three years without once seeing his home. When he went, his hat and coat were stored away. On the morning of his return, he had given out to him a hat much too small for his head, and a coat which would not by any persuasion meet round his body! In graphic phrase he described to you his discomfort as he rode on the coach from Pontefract to York, with fellow passengers whispering to one another about the quaint fat, little boy whose clothes were so small for him!
At the back of Mr. Hurtley's extremely practical mind there were deeply spiritual thoughts. He said little, but it was clear that he felt much. He died in July of 1902.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, IV, Yorkshire Gazette, 26th December 1910,
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