The subject of this memoir, Mr. A.J. Taylor, was born in London, the son of Mr. James Taylor, and the grandson of the Mr. Andrew Taylor who was the pioneer of the well-remembered drapery business in the Maket-place. He came to Malton in his boyhood and was educated by Mr. Charles Marshall, a noted schoolmaster of those days. At the close of his education he joined his uncle, Mr. William Taylor and carried on a successful business, under the firm of Mary Taylor & Sons. At the death of his uncle he disposed of the business and retired to Hollyhurst, one of the two residences he had erected on the Castle Howard road some time previously.
Mr. Taylor was a member of the newsroom of the Literary Institute, and I often wondered why he so frequently read the “Financial News” (to me a very dry journal) in preference to the “Saturday Review” or the illustrated papers!
His first connection with the local Board was in 1878, when he defeated Mr. Paul Hickes by 32 votes, in a contest in which Major Russell came out first and Mr. Henry Taylor second. He continued to represent St. Michael’s Ward when the local Board gave place to the Urban District Council. His knowledge of finance quickly brought him to the chair of the Finance Committee, and in 1895 he became chairman of the whole Council. This, of course, carried with it the position of Justice of the Peace, but later on he was formally made a Justice for the North Riding. His public work did not stop here, for he was a faithful Guardian and a member of the Assessment Committee of the Malton Union.
In politics Mr. Taylor was a strong supporter of the Conservative cause and helped to bring about the well earned success of the Conservative Club. Two years after the formation of the Camalodunum Lodge of Freemasons he was initiated into the Masonic mysteries, and in 1868 became its Worshipful Master. Later on he attained very high provincial rank. He was also one of the first to join the Volunteer Corps on its formation.
Among the most devoted churchmen of his time, Mr. Taylor certainly deserves special mention. He was a churchwarden of St. Michael’s parish and earnestly supported the restoration of the church carried out during the incumbencies of the Rev. Wm. Carter and the Rev. G.A. Firth. Under the latter he acted as secretary to the fund.
For the last few years of his life Mr. Taylor attended the Priory Church, Old Malton, and on his death, in 1904, at the age of 77, the Rev. W. Ingham, who conducted the funeral service, said they always saw in the deceased gentleman a single-hearted desire to serve for the common good and the public welfare.
The long list of town interests already given does not by any means comprehend all the work which Mr. Taylor did. He was much interested in the annual Gala and Agricultural Show, supported the Whitsuntide Horse Procession from the beginning, assisted in the very useful Savings Bank work, was a director of the Gas Co., and acted as honorary auditor in several connections.
In thinking of Mr. Taylor I always remember that, although he was not a native of Malton, he entered with ability and zeal upon the business of his predecessors in our town; and from what I have said it will be evident that he has left a mark upon its local government which will long endure.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, Yorkshire Gazette, 8th February 1913
Died of heart disease, interred in the Friends' burial-ground, Malton. Member of the Society of Friends and prominent teetotaller having been President of the Malton Temperance Society. He also took part in the Town Mission and the Adult School, and was a member of the Malton Local Board of Health.
Report - Leeds Mercury, 18 January 1888
When Mr. Henry Taylor died very suddenly, in 1888, a contemporary printed this testimony to his character and work: "By Mr. Taylor's death we have lost one of our most valued townsmen. He admirably exemplified the Christian ideal… Naturally unostentatious in his manner, he did not seek to win popular applause, but rather the approval of a "good conscience." That is a fair summing up of the career of the father of the present chairman of the Malton Urban Council, Mr Henry Taylor began his business life by making good the losses which several of his townsmen had suffered through his father's lack of success as a corn factor and miller, and every year he gave proof of his faith as a Quaker by illustrating in his own person the saying of Bishop Westcott, that George Fox "could not conceive of religion and morality apart … Justification was indeed a making and not an accounting just, not forensic but vital; and conduct was a sign of the fact."
Whether behind the counter of his Wheelgate shop (now in t he occupation of Mr. Fentress); or in the little office by? the flour bins, in which many a deed ? was planned; or labouring in temperance work; or taking part in the deliberations of the Local Board of health (of which he was a member from 1878 to 1881, when he was defeated by Mr. James Stabler); or promoting the interests of the unsectarian town mission; or taking his too brief annual holiday of a "grocer's week"; or speaking in the Friends' Meeting House - he was the same earnest single-minded man.
Being a Quaker he was a peace man, but this does not mean that he was lacking in courage. The saying applied to John Bright (who, by-the-bye, once went over the Wheelgate premises with one of his Priestman relatives and Mr Taylor), that "If he had not been a Quaker he would have been a prize-fighter," could not honestly be applied to the subject of this article. Nevertheless, Mr Taylor's conduct under such difficult circumstances as the Sunday afternoon attack on him and a companion at the Whitewall training stables, sufficiently illustrates his persons fearlessness. The Whitewall work was undertaken in the interest of the jockeys, who, I fear, too often responded in anything but and encouraging way. Yet Mr Taylor and Mr Wright persevered with the work of teaching and preaching and distributing literature, over a number of years.
Another trait in his character worthy of remembrance is his companionship of the weak. This sympathy for the poor and oppressed was the basal reason for the personal as well as financial support he gave to many local causes. It comes out interestingly in one of the few letters he ever wrote to the local press. Someone had asserted that the Malton Guardians left the poor inmates of the Workhouse without religious service on the Sunday as utterly as if they were a lot of Zulus in some South African Kraal. It so happened that Mr. Taylor had taken part in the Workhouse Sunday services for some five years, and he wrote to say that the duty had been a real pleasure. He added: "The Saviour's promise has often been realised - where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Mr. Taylor was an earnest member of the Liberal party, a good man of business, and always interested in the forward progress of the town. But his chief concern was for such objects as temperance peace, and the spread of a true spiritual religion. For many years he was the secretary of the Malton Temperance Society, and his support of the Town Mission was continuous and whole-hearted. Frequently he spoke at the railway gates on Sunday evenings, and, in winter, in the Mission Hall.
For myself, I always think of Mr. Taylor as a man who strengthened many hearts in our town, ministered to many human needs, and loved his fellows patiently and well.
SPECTATOR. Maltonians of Bygone Days, XV, Yorkshire Gazette, 23rd December 1911
Strictly speaking, Canon Taylor was not a Maltonian, but his venerable figure was so often seen in our town, and Settrington is such a little distance from us, that we may well rejoice in the notable work which he did, and preserve some details of it for the benefit of coming generations.
I was never introduced to the Canon; but I remember seeing him ride into Malton on a white pony, and my present veneration for men of letters dates largely from the feeling aroused in my mind when I was told that this old gentleman was the author of some of the most learned and useful books of the day. Little do the great imagine how their genius and achievements effect the multitude for weal or woe!
In Settrington, to which village Canon Taylor came in 1875, through the patronage of his wife’s uncle, Earl Brownlow, he was of course, much valued, but his interests were too numerous to admit of his making his mark as a parish priest. So far as I know, the chief memorial remaining of his twenty-six years rectorship is the tablet on the south side of the altar; but some Settrington people still cherish presentation copies of a sermon he once preached on the Burden of the Poor, and on the collected papers on Egypt which he contributed to the “St. James’s Gazette” in 1887-8.
It may almost be said that Canon Taylor inherited his love of letters. He was born in 1829 in the valley of Ongar, so closely associated with Cowper. His father wrote “The Natural History of Enthusiasm,” and biographical studies of Loyola and Wesley. Some critics spoke of him as “the greatest English lay theologian since Coleridge.” His sisters were Jane and Ann Taylor – pioneers in writing poetry for the young. His grandfather, also called Isaac, was the Independent minister at Colchester and Ongar, and an author of no mean repute. Small wonder is it that the Isaac Taylor who is the subject of this sketch was a keen student and an able writer! His works covered history, theology, biography, travel, and sociology, ranging from “Illustrations of the Private Life of the Ancient Greeks” (1884) to the well-known “Words and Places” (1865), and “The Origin and Primitive Seat of the Ayrans” (1889). The “Leaves from an Egyptian notebook” illustrated his love of travel; and to this must be added the fact that in his youth he was a daring climber, and one of the promoters of the Alpine Club.
Then, further, to emphasise this local author’s versatility, I have been told that Canon Taylor practised photography, which required far more patience and skill then than it does now; and that he was a lover of his beautiful garden at Settrington. No doubt this wide range of subjects was followed by disadvantages. It is admitted that while the Canon worked keenly he lacked something in thoroughness. He was fond of controversy and entered the lists with Freeman and others, not always to his own or his friends’ entire satisfaction.
It is difficult now to glean what was his power as a preacher over village audiences. All I have heard in Settrington suggests that he was listened to with attention, and the half cynical and almost humorous remark has reached me that he always indicated when the sermon was going to be too stiff for his congregation! He received all kinds of honours from English and Continental societies.
Of few men can it be said – as it might be of Canon Taylor – that he used his time laboriously and well, and encouraged many studies which could not possibly obtain for him that pecuniary reward which in those days falls to the share of the popular novelist, who, with slight exceptions, does not bring to his work one-tenth of the ability and endeavour which are entailed in the production of such books as those penned in Settrington Rectory.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, VI, Yorkshire Gazette, 16th November 1912
We regret to record the death at Newcastle-on-Tyne of Mr. Jonathan Taylor , a son of Joseph Taylor, corn factor and provision merchant, who occupied the shop which stood on the site of Mr. Fentress’s present establishment in Wheelgate, Malton.
Mr. Jonathan Taylor was the younger brother of the late Mr. Henry Taylor, and therefore the uncle of Mr. Alfred H. Taylor, J.P.
The late Mr. Jonathan Taylor was intimately associated with teh commercial interests of Malton, along with Mr. Edward Johnson (the father of Mr. G.F. Johnson, ironmonger), in the Derwent Biscuit Works, situated at the bottom of Castlegate, in the yard now occupied by Mr. Fish. The firm was known as Johnson and Taylor, and its business was a high-class one.
Mr. Jonathan Taylor leaves a widow (Nee Eliza Drake, of Malton), a son, Mr. Arthur E. Taylor, who is a corn merchant at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and a daughter. A second son, William, was drowned at sea many years ago.
The internment took place at Newcastle-on-Tyne on Tuesday, amidst much expression of sympathy. The Rev. A.J. Harrison, vicar of St. Thomas’s (where Mr. Taylor had for many years held the office of churchwarden) read the service.
Yorkshire Gazette, 4th January 1913
You could hardly ever go into the grocery and provision shop of Mr. Thomas Taylor, in Castlegate, without finding the proprietor at his place at the grocery counter – stout, red-faced, somewhat gruff to little boys, but always “on the nail” where his business was concerned.
Indeed, Mr. Taylor had few other interests in life. First and foremost he was a businessman. Originally, he confined himself to the grocery trade; then, if I remember right, he added the confectionery business fronting Railway-st. (now carried on by Mr. Clarke); and, thirdly, he established the vaults in Castlegate, which later on were sold to Mr. Jonas Dawson.
Mr. Taylor was not born in Malton; indeed, I fancy he would almost have resented any suggestion to this effect, for he was proud of his Cockney extraction, and would tell you how he first saw light, about 1830, within sound of Bow Bells. He came to Malton in 1846 or thereabouts, with his father and brother. When their father died Mr. Thomas Taylor joined his uncle in Castlegate, whilst Mr. Andrew Taylor went to his uncle William, a draper in the Market-place. At the deaths of the uncles both nephews succeeded to the respective businesses.
The Castlegate business was commenced in 1700, and claims the honour of being the first grocery establishment to introduce tea into Malton (in the reign of Queen Anne). I do not know what stories can be told of the way in which Maltonians used this first delivery of tea, but I expect they did as people in other places are reported to have done – poured away the brew and put the tea leaves on their hams, asking their neighbours in to partake of this extraordinary delicacy!
At that time the aspect of our town was very different from what it is now. At Butcher’s Corner, on the east side of Wheelgate, there was an old thatched building, with dormer-windows, part of which was used as an inn; and at the corner of the pavement there was a stout wooden post. Messrs. Laveracks’ building had a very different appearance in these far-off days. There was a shop window facing into Castlegate, but this was high above the road and full of small panes, as indeed were all our shop windows then. The door came next, and then a small shuttered windo. Opposite, Messrs. Snow’s present shop was in the hands of a bacon factor. Mr. Thomas Taylor’s premises were in a thatched house with picturesque gables, and the shop front was of a very quaint character. It would be worth money in those days, when people flock to establishments with the hall-mark of age upon them.
The only public work I remember Mr. Taylor doing was in connection with the Agricultural Show and the Gala, of both of whose committees he was a member. He was also one of the oldest members of the Camalodunum Lodge of Freemasons.
Mr. Taylor died somewhat suddenly in November of 1893, aged 63 years. He left two sons and several daughters, both the sons being still associated with the successful Castlegate business.
Malton Gazette, 28th June 1913
(Family Research) Thomas Taylor (senior) was born in Malton and died in 1853. A notice appears in the Yorkshire Gazette in September 1853 regarding ‘the late Mr. Thomas Taylor, of Malton, Grocer and Tea Dealer, Deceased’ requesting that all persons with claims or demands on the estate to send particulars to Messrs. Walker, Solicitors, and those who are indebted pay.  . An interpretation of the 1851 Census where his nephew, also Thomas, is shown as a 19 year old apprentice in the business, and the 1861 census, is that on Thomas senior’s death the business passed to his nephew. Thomas Taylor (the nephew) died 26th November 1893 (Funeral on the 29th), in his 63rd year, following a cold and congestion of the lungs. He carried on a well-known grocery and provision business in Castlegate, and a confectionery and refreshment rooms in Yorkersgate. One of the oldest members of the Camalodunum Lodge of Freemasons, being initiated in 1856, the year of opening of the lodge. In January 1882, there was a bad fire at the Castlegate premises which stood between the drapers' businesses of Messrs. Snow and Messrs. Jackson . In December 1893 the executors announced the forthcoming sale of the business, describing it as ‘Old established grocery and provision business, with an off wine licence, carried on by the late Mr. Thomas Taylor in Castlegate, Malton, and also the leasehold premises in Yorkersgate with the confectionery business carried on therein, and wine licence attached’  By the end of January 1894, Messrs. Boulton and Cooper were giving further information in their advertisement of an auction of the Yorkersgate premises and business ‘The leasehold shop and messuage situate in Yorkersgate, Malton, occupied and used by the late Mr. Thomas Taylor, for his business of a confectioner, and having an area of 93 square yards, with a back way into Chapel Lane, and also that yard, bakehouse and warehouse or shed, situate in Chapel-lane aforesaid, behind and near to the above mentioned shop ...... An excellent business, chiefly for cash ... and the same is still continued as a going concern and has a wine licence attached. The purchasers of this lot will also have to purchase of the Executor of the late Mr. Thomas Taylor, his stock, trade fixtures and utensils in and about the premises .... The lot is leasehold under the Earl Fitzwilliam ... at ground rents amounting to £30 per annum ....’ . The leasehold shop and messuage in Yorkersgate were bought at auction by Joseph Stamper who was Mr. Taylor's manager, for £1,100 .
 Yorkshire Gazette, 10 September 1853
 Report York Herald, 2 December 1893
 York Herald, 28 January 1882
 York Herald, 23 December 1893
 York Herald, 27 January 1894
 York Herald, 31 January 1894
1873 - 1923 On Friday, the death took place, at Greengate Cottage, Malton, of Mr. George Pinder Thompson, a well-known and respected tradesman, from a serious illness which he bore with great patience, but the end came rather suddenly. Mr. Thompson, who was 49 years of age, was a partner in the firm of Messrs Wray and Thompson, chemists, Malton and Norton. The eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Thompson, of Malton, he took a keen interest in the welfare of the town, and was a member of the Malton Quoit and Bowling Club, and the Malton and Norton Constitutional Club. – The funeral took place at the Malton cemetery on Sunday morning, and the respect in which he was held was testified by the large number present, all classes being represented … … (funeral attendees etc then listed)
Malton Messenger, 30 June 1923
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