Samuel Walker

Mr. Samuel Walker, who was born in Malton in 1818, was essentially a man of the people. He rose from the ranks as truly as did Charles Dickens, whose pen portraits of lawyers have become the possession of the novel-reading world.
Mr. Walker’s early years were spent at the lawyer’s desk, in the office of the late Mr. Alfred Simpson, solicitor, of Malton, and it was undoubtedly here where he got that insight into the law which stood him in good stead in after years. When, in 1843, Mr. Simpson retired from the important position of Clerk to the Malton Board of Guardians, Mr. Walker was elected his successor. Eleven years later he was appointed Clerk to the then newly-formed Board of Health, and it was perhaps specially in this position that he came to be best known and appreciated.
The offices Mr. Walker occupied were very numerous. He was indeed a “pluralist,” albeit a very conscientious one. On the introduction of the Highway Act into the North Riding he was appointed Clerk to the Malton District Highway board. He was also Clerk to the New Malton Burial Board, the Rural Sanitary Authority, and the Assessment Committee of the Union. He was super-intendent registrar of births, deaths, and marriages in the Malton Union, and a familiar figure at the Northallerton Quarter Sessions, of which he was “Crier of Court.”
Mr. Walker was respected by the whole town, and had many friends among all classes of the population. He took great interest in, and was a prominent member of, the Floral Society; he was also a vice-president of the Malton Literary Institute. In his later years he showed much interest in the Norton Chrysanthemum Society. One of the earliest brethren of the Camalodunum Lodge of Freemasons, he participated actively in the work of the lodge of which, at one time, he was the Master. He was a great admirer of cricket and all manly sports, and his name appeared regularly in the lists of vice-president of several clubs. In fact, anything and everything tending to the moral and social well-being of Malton found in Mr. Walker a consistent patron. He heartily loved his native town, and spared no effort in advancing its prosperity.
SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, XIV, Yorkshire Gazette, 18 December 1911


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Sir William C. Worsley Bart

“He was an honest English Churchman, and his standard of religion was the Prayer-book and the Bible expresses the general view of the late Sir William Cayley Worsley, Bart., of Hovingham, who died 10 September, 1897. When, only two years later, the new reredos of Caen stone in the Parish Church, erected by public subscription to his memory, was dedicated by the then Archbishop of York, the speaker dwelt upon the strong and bright expression of countenance possessed by his friend, his happiness and earnestness of character, his open-handed generosity in every good work, and his cheerfulness of speech.
The Worsley’s sprang, I believe, from a village of the same name near Manchester. Sir William was born in 1828 and succeeded to the baronetcy in 1879. Twenty-four years previously he was called to the Bar, a few months after his marriage to his cousin, a daughter of the late Marcus Worsley, of Conyngham Hall, and later of Terrington. His first wife died in 1893, and three years later he married Miss Phillips, of Greenwood, Ripon. There was no child by either marriage, in consequence of which, his nephew, the present Sir W.H.A. Worsley, succeeded to the estate.
On several occasions Sir William C. Worsley sought Parliamentary honours. In 1868 he fought the then Borough of Whitby against Mr. W.H. Gladstone; in 1880 his battle was pitched at Malton against the hon. Charles W. Fitzwilliam; and in 1885 he attempted Salford against Sir Benjamin Armitage. On all occasions he was unsuccessful, largely through the strong local influence of his antagonists, but perhaps partly because of the unbending strength of his own convictions – a most honourable trait in his character.
I remember hearing that in one of the Malton elections, a living Maltonian asked Sir William if he allowed his tenants liberty of action. The candidate replied “what, on horse-back, or what do you mean?” at which there was loud laughter for there had recently been a horse-case with which the interrogator had been connected and in which he had made some claim to an ability in horsemanship which he did not actually possess.
Another Maltonian who was present at the declaration of the poll in 1880 says that the successful candidate, when returning thanks for his election, committed himself to the following statement: “I think when Sir William lies down on his couch to-night he will say to himself:
‘Here lies Sir W.W.
Who will no longer trouble you.’”
The cheering when this couplet was uttered was, I understand, more deafening than on any other occasion when a Fitzwilliam has been in Malton!
Sir William qualified as a magistrate in 1857, and was chairman of the Malton Board of Guardians for some years. He took a deep interest in the volunteer movement, and was always glad to accommodate the local Volunteers in his park. Undoubtedly he specially loved to be about his own estate and was a practical agriculturist, farming nearly six hundred acres. He was a deputy-lieutenant for the North Riding of Yorkshire.
Many charitable objects had Sir William’s strong support, two of the chief of these being St. Anne’s Convalescent Home, Bridlington, and the St. Stephen’s Orphange, York. Above all, the baronet was a good worker in the cause of the Church.
SPECTATOR

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Joseph Wrangham

Joseph Wrangham 1832-1874 was, like his father (also Joseph), a chemist and druggist, with a shop in Wheelgate. His nephew, George (Wrangham) Hardy was a descendant of the marriage between his sister Ann, and George Hardy, the actuary at the Malton Savings Bank. George Wrangham Hardy was initially Joseph's assistant, later becoming his business partner, and succeeding him to the business around the time of his death on 3rd March 1874. Joseph died suddenly, aged 41, and it was supposed that he had died from an overdose of ‘hydrate of chloral’ which he was known to take to alleviate pain. The coroner ordered a post mortem to be carried out which Dr. Young performed. He concluded that death was due to syncope, the result of pulmonary enlargement and that there was ‘considerable disease of the internal organs sufficient to account for death’.[1]
See also the report of the Inquest [2]
[1] York Herald, 5 March 1874.
[2] York Herald, 7 March 1874


William Wrangham

Mr. William Wrangham was born at Sherburn, where his father was a farmer, and was sent to Captain Darling's school at Thorpebassett. After leaving school he was apprenticed to a draper in Hull. His apprenticeship over, he was employed as assistant to the well-known Mr. Henry Pickering, of Malton - at that period the leading draper of the district. Tiring of the drapery trade, which he had never really liked, he started as a wine and spirit in partnership with Mr. G. Hardy, trading under the style of "Wrangham and Hardy." This partnership did not last long, and he carried on the business under his own name, becoming district agent for Tetley's, of Leeds.
when the one-time famous tanning firm of Priestman's was dissolved and their extensive premises became for sale, Mr. Wrangham purchased the property and established there the Crystal Brewery, which he carried on for many years with success. About fifteen years ago he amalgamated his business with the old-established firm of Messrs. J. Russell and Sons, under the style and title of Russells and Wrangham, Ltd.
Mrs. Wrangham was the daughter of Mr. Newlove, a well know Yorkshire farmer, and predeceased her husband. A retiring man, Mr. Wrangham took no position in public affairs, but in private life he was always ready to help both with money and in other ways. As an employer of about he was highly respected, and his men and clerks were generally "fixtures." It may be truly said, "that those who knew him best loved him most." He had a kind word for everybody. Unlike most Maltonians, he was a keen reader, keeping an eye on the best new books which were being published - especially travel and the most notable works of fiction.
In politics Mr. Wrangham was a Conservative, his honest conviction being that Conservatism was best for all parties. He died 23 June, 1910, at the age of 87, after an illness of some years duration, three sons and two daughters surviving him. He was buried in the Malton cemetery and his funeral was very largely attended, represent atives of nearly every family in Malton and norton being present. His thin, wiry figure and cheerful nature were sadly missed in the town. G.W.H.
Bygone Maltonians, VII, Yorkshire Gazette, 23 November 1912

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Thomas Wray

Adult Maltonians will never forget the short figure of Mr. Thomas Wray, and his cheery, if somewhat unusual, manner of speaking. As I write, I seem to see him walking along the street with the help of a stout stick, intent on the business of the hour. If memory serves me right, he was using a second stick when his beard whitened and the years grew upon him.
It was said, when Mr. Wray died in 1902, in the seventy-fifth year of his age, that everyone who knew him loved and respected him, and I believe that these were no conventional words. Even the men who had to pay rates and taxes, and were called upon for their money by Mr. Wray, learnt to respect the breezy, happy spirited man, and allowed themselves to be pleasantly relieved of cash which they would fain have kept in their own pockets! No one likes to pay rates, but many of us do it willingly if the rate collector goes the right way about it.
This was not Mr. Wray’s original occupation. He began his business career in a printing office at Ripon, and always, I believe, showed an interest in the ways of compositors and journalists. For many years he was agent at Old Malton for one of the two local newspapers, but by most of us he was generally known as the “village schoolmaster.” He trained at Cheltenham College, and for thirty-six years laboured to bring up the youth of both sexes in Old Malton wisely and well! “The village all declared how much he knew” – to quote a well-known line from Oliver Goldsmith. Many of his old scholars occupy good positions in life, and by their achievements and character testify to the excellence of the work which this one-time schoolmaster did. He lived for fifty years in one house.
The next important feature of Mr. Wray’s life in Malton was his secretaryship of the Gala, lasting for 43 years, during which period our popular show steadily improved in quality and financial success. I was a regular attender of it in those days; enjoying the flowers, interested in the live stock, and boy-like, invariably excited by the special events provided by Mr. Wray in the shape of wonderful bicycle riders, performing clowns, and conjurers. But the greatest year to me was when the gala was held behind “The Lodge,” by permission of the Hon. H.W. Fitzwilliam.
Still another public service performed by Mr. Wray comes to my mind in the shape of the training he gave to the St. Mary’s choir. He was choir master for over 20 years. Mr. Wray was also one of the oldest members of the Loyal Rockingham Lodge of Oddfellows.
During his later years Mr. Wray was a victim of sciatica, but, as I have already said, he lived to an old age. Many people gathered at his funeral to testify to their appreciation of, and oft-times indebtedness to, his life amongst us.
He left a considerable family, of whom Mr. G.W. Wray, the chemist, is the best known to Maltonians. Mrs. Wray still lives at York, with one of her three daughters.

SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, I, Yorkshire Gazette, 12th October 1912

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Robert Wyse

Mr. Wyse was what I should call an “impenetrable” person. Those who, like myself, never knew him intimately often wondered what “the inner man” really was. His substantial presence (reflected in the photograph taken in latter days, when I knew him), business like features, and steady way of going about things were a kind of wall which forbade admittance to the man within. Even the flower which he usually wore in his buttonhole seemed different from other flowers. Many people in our town used to refer to him as “Gentleman Wyse” – in which soubriquet there lurks the suggestion that he was felt to be a little removed from the mass of men.
Mr. Robert Wyse was born at Highfield in May of 1819, and was the son of Mr. William Cotton Wyse. He went to Auburn Hill in 1854, and I never pass the house and grounds now without thinking of their one-time owner. These grounds by the by, are different from most others inasmuch as they contain some of the ruins of a beautiful monastic building. Perfect taste would not allow of their presence in such surroundings, but would have left them in their original site, or endeavoured to restore them there. They seem to claim for Auburn Hill more than can be accorded to that delightfully situated house.
In their long life at Auburn Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Wyse were not cheered by the presence and development of children, and when the time came, in 1896, for Mr. Wyse to leave the affairs in which he was so interested, he was succeeded by his nephew, Mr. R.T.G. Abbott, the present chairman of the Norton Urban Council, who had been many years in business with him.
All of us are familiar with the fact that Mr. Wyse was known far and wide in Yorkshire as an estate agent and valuer. He possessed a marvellous power of measuring up the timber on estates. It is said that on one occasion he was asked how many feet there were in a certain piece of timber and answered 80; in the result he was only a few inches out!
The most important local undertaking with which Mr. Wyse’s name is connected was the erection of St. Peter’s Church, whose site he provided, and also contributed the sum of £1,300. Those who are most intimately acquainted with the difficulty of raising large sums of money in a small town will best appreciate the value of the assistance thus given.
Mr. Wyse served on the Malton Local Board before Norton began its independent existence, and was always interested in the affairs of his town. If not one of the “makers” of modern Norton, he was at any rate keenly desirous for its welfare and progress.

SPECTATOR Bygone Maltonians, No 26, Yorkshire Gazette, 16th March 1912

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