Baker’s Chronology

George Brown of Norton wrote and Mr Thomas Baker published these volumes of a Chronology of Local Events in Malton, Norton, and District. The first two volumes covering 1869 to 1898, and 1899 to 1906 were priced at 1s and 6d respectively. They seem to both have been published in December 1907 [1] although revisions and further volumes were likely published. There can't be many towns where an individual has had the foresight to keep and publish such a diary.

[1] Yorkshire Gazette, 28 December 1907

New Malton Spa

In 1841, A.B. Granville wrote his 'Spas of England and Principal Sea-Bathing Places.' This included a 22 page chapter titled 'New Malton Spa'. Unfortunately there is very little coverage of anything specific to Malton except in the closing pages. 'The saline-chalybeate spring at this place was celebrated nearly two centuries ago. Attention was first directed to it by Mr. Simpson's 'Treatise on the Malton Spa' in 1669, and afterwards by the general work on mineral waters in 1734, by Dr. Short, of Sheffield... ... The water has been found highly efficacious in many chronic diseases; particularly affections of the liver, indigestion under its various forms, and general languor of the system. It is taken in doses of from one to four half pints, at short intervals; the early morning being considered the most favourable time for that purpose... ... This Spa, however, has ceased to be a resort to persons from a distance; which is rather a matter of surprise when (apart from the valuable properties of the well) we take into account the very superior and extensive accommodation at the hotel, and the attractive character of the surrounding country' Exactly where the well was I am not sure but it may be in the grounds of the Talbot Hotel, hinted at by 'The present handsome pagoda over the well was erected by the late Earl Fitzwilliam, about five and twenty years ago, and stands prettily in the gardens adjoining the hotel.'
Alternatively, it may have been in the grounds of Mr. G. Longster's property since in 1855 he is announcing in the local newspaper that he 'begs to inform his friends and the Public that the Spa and Spa Gardens are now OPEN for the present season' [1]
[1] Malton Messenger, 5 May 1855

Horse Procession

This started as an annual event in 1884, taking place on 2 June 1884 when £20 was offered in prizes. There were nearly 100 entries and the procession stretched nearly a mile. The concept behind it was to promote the well-being of animals. Afterwards in the Corn Exchange there was tea and a prize giving hosted by Hon. C.W. Fitzwilliam M.P. who commented ‘every animal shown evidenced great care and attention on the part of the driver, and perfect trust and confidence between horse and man.’ A full list of prize winners concluded the report. [1] The Horse Procession was traditionally held every Whitsun holiday Monday and was a chance to entertain people in the town, rather than them travelling into the country or to the coast. The procession would consist of the police, volunteers, fire brigade, Local Board and tradesmen to dress their rulleys, carts etc and parade through Malton and Norton. In 1885 the prize fund was doubled to £40. [2]

A detailed report of the 21st such event appears in the Malton Gazette dated 17 June 1905. The number of entries over the 21 years had grown from 90 to 161. The report describes the route taken by the procession, the issues caused by the frequent closing of the railway gates at the level crossing and ‘the difficulty too, was increased in consequence of the extent of the motor traffic.’ [3]

[1] York Herald, 7 June 1884
[2] York Herald, 26 May 1885
[3] Malton Gazette, 17 June 1905

Malton Golf Club

A public meeting was held in Malton Museum early in 1910 to discuss forming a golf club. Mr. G. Reed reported that a “fairly good ground had been secured, about one-and-a-half miles from Malton, near Roxburgh Farm, on the York Road.” It was 74 acres in extent, ample space for a nine-hole course. Mr. Gervase Markham was elected Captain. [1]

In March 1923, at a meeting in Malton museum, members met to consider the future of the club given that the lease was to expire in April 1924. The membership was reported as 36 men and 14 ladies. They thought the time had come 'to look out for a new ground.' Captain Gibson at Welham Park offered ground at a rental of £32. There was discussion about building bunkers, as should the golf club leave Welham, Captain Gibson did not want to have the problem of filling the holes in. The meeting concluded by resolving to form a new club with subscriptions at 40s for men and 21s for ladies; entrance fees to be 21s and 10s6d respectively. [2]

[1] Whitby Gazette, 18 February 1910
[2] Malton Messenger, 3 March 1923

The Sebastopol Cannon

Sebastopol Cannon
Where the war memorial is at the end of Yorkersgate once stood a cannon that was captured during the Crimean war. It was enclosed in iron railings by Ralph Yates a ‘number of years’ before 1888. A newspaper report [1] tells of Mr. Yates attending a Local Board meeting ‘to consult the board with reference to an account due to him for enclosing the Sebastopol gun and for the general improvement to the approach to the town in Yorkersgate. Although it was some years since the work was carried out applicant had not received the sum due to him.’ Mr Yates quotation for this work was originally £15 and he reduced this by £5 as his contribution [2]. A meeting of the Malton Board of Health in September 1879 originally decided ’to protect the Sebastopol Cannon on the York-road with an iron fencing, and to plant shrubs around it’ [3]

[1] Yorkshire Gazette, 3 March 1888
[2] York Herald, 1 March 1888
[3] York Herald, 25 September 1879


An Act of Parliament was passed in 1773 'to prevent the committing of abuses in the weighing and packing of Butter, in the Town and Borough of New Malton, in the County of York.' and can be seen here.

Longster's Spa Gardens

There were occasional events in 'Longster's Spa gardens' one such being advertised in the Malton Messenger of 21st August 1858.

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The Telephone Comes to Malton

It would appear that the telephone could have been in use around ten years before the telephone exchange in Malton was actually opened. Early in 1893 [1] it was reported that the National Telephone Company had begun to lay the trunk line from York to Scarborough, possibly two years or more earlier i.e. in 1890. However, the Earl Fitzwilliam did not allow the wires to cross the town. An opinion was voiced at the annual meeting and dinner of the Malton Farmers' Club when a Mr. Page, a corn merchant of York, spoke about the town and district suffering from the want of telephonic communication because Earl Fitzwilliam would not allow it to pass through … and further that no one man should have so much power in any town, village or hamlet as to cripple its trade.

A telephone exchange and call office was eventually opened at Malton on 25th March 1903 and looped in to the York - Scarborough trunk line. The exchange offered a service during the week from 5am to 10pm, and on Sundays from 6am to 10am and from 5.15pm to 7.30pm. There was no direct dialling. Rental of a line was very expensive with few, if any individuals being able to afford rental and the cost of calls. The call office at the Post Office gave residents the opportunity to try the service. Click here to see a transcript of the directory for 1903 which shows a significant correlation between the listing and the prominent landowners and businessmen of the time.
[1] Leeds Mercury, 14 January 1893


Malton and Norton have a long connection with racehorse training. The London Gazette in 1692 advertises "a plate as has been usual, will be run for on Langton Wolds, near Malton ... " The course was on the summit of Langton Wold - the last race was run there in 1862. A National Hunt course was constructed in Orchard Field and the first race ran in 1867 but the course was closed in 1870. In 1882 the first race was held a steeplechase track at Highfield. This was next to the I'Anson family gallops. In 1886 the National Hunt Steeplechase was staged at Malton for the first and only time. Malton trainers have produced winners of all the major races - starting with Blink Bonny who won the Derby and Oaks in 1857. More details can be seen in 'A Long Time Gone' by Chris Pitt which covers defunct racecourses, and 'Malton Memories and I'Anson Triumphs' by J Fairfax-Blakeborough for which a synopsis can be seen here


MR. F. RICHARDSON respectfully announces to the Inhabitants of Malton and the surrounding Neighbourhood that he has OPENED A DAY SCHOOL, in Yorkersgate, for the Education of Young Gentlemen, and hopes by strict attention to the Interests of his Pupils, to obtain a share of public patronage.
Terms per Quarter for Pupils under Eight Years of Age, 12s.; 8 to 14, 17s.; above 14, One Guinea. Latin and Greek each One Guinea.
The School will be RE-OPENED ON WEDNESDAY, the 15th instant.
Yorkshire Gazette, 4 Jan 1845

The York Herald of 5 January 1874 reports that 'a new elementary school is to be opened in the borough on the 20th inst.; the Wesleyans having stepped in to fill up the blank shown by the Governmental returns to be existing. Mr. Ryder, late of the Wesleyan Training College, has been engaged as master.'

A return of the children on the various school registers in 1891 [1] showed National School, New Malton 247; Wesleyan, mixed, 278, and infants 147; Catholics, 66; Old Malton National, 186; Workhouse school, 6.

The Malton Adult Schools were founded in 1875, and in 1882 a larger building was erected on the site of an old Friends’ Meeting-house. In 1906, an additional wing, containing billiard-room, classrooms etc., was erected [2]

For more information about the Malton Adult School see this article transcribed from the Yorkshire Gazette, 30 December 1905.
[1] York Herald, 14 February 1891
[2] Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 11 October 1906

Malton School

In 1823 [1] and 1824 [2] the Reverend John Carter was advertising the re-opening of the Malton School. In the latter case for the ‘Reception of Boarders, July 20th, 1824. Board and Education for Youths under 14, 26 Guineas per Annum.’
Previous to June 1828, a Mr. Leng had succeeded Rev. Carter at this institution and was more specific in his advertising as to the education that could be had:

MR. LENG, Successor to the REV. JOHN CARTER, respectfully begs leave to inform his Friends and the Public, that his School will open on Monday, July 21st., for the Instruction of Youth in the following Branches of Education:- Reading, Penmanship, English Grammar, Arithmetic, Book-keeping, Navigation, Mathematics, Geography, Use of the Globes, Latin, and Greek.
Boarders …. …. 26 Guines per Annum.
Exclusive of a moderate Charge for Washing and Linen. … …
Day Pupils ….. 4 Guineas per Annum.
A Quarter'
Yorkshire Gazette, 28 June 1828

[1] Yorkshire Gazette, 18th January 1823
[2] Yorkshire Gazette, 10 July 1824

Earl fitzwilliam, with his usual liberality and anxiety to promote the education of the rising generation, has contributed £300 towards erecting an infant-school at Malton, capable of holding from 300 to 400 children.
York Herald, 19 November 1836

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If a Victorian Maltonian found they wanted a new life, emigration to America and Australia was possible. In 1855 Kirton Waudby based in Wheelgate, was advertising emigration as an 'Agent to the American and Australian Line of Packet Ships' and 'begged to announce to such as are anxious to Emigrate that by applying to him all necessary information will be applied' [1]
[1] Malton Messenger, 2 April 1855

Coronation of Queen Victoria - 1838

Celebrations were organised and reported upon in the Yorkshire Gazette of 30 June 1838. An arch adorned with flowers, evergreens and the leaves of trees was erected across the road near the Talbot Hotel. On the top was a crown made of red and white flowers, and on each side of the arch was the word 'Victoria' made of white flowers. A procession took place consisting of the police, gentry, schools, friendly societies etc. An excellent and substantial dinner was provided in the Market place while the gentry dined at the Talbot Hotel.

Queen Victoria's Jubilee 1887

A lot of effort went into planning the local celebrations.

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1902 Coronation of Edward VII

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1937 Coronation Celebrations

Wednesday 12th May 1937 saw substantial celebrations in the town. The flag was hoisted at the Town Hall by the Boy Scouts at 8.45am. A United Religious Service took place at 9.00am at St. Michael's and from 10.15am there were children's sports followed by adult sports, a 'March of Children' headed by the Malton White Star Band and at 6.00pm a procession through the town. At 8.00pm there was a wireless relay of the King's speech and from 9.00pm to 3.00am a Grand Coronation Ball in the Milton Rooms. There were many prizes for the various competitions. See the Malton Council published programme booklet here. The back page gives the names of those involved in the organisation of the celebrations.

St. Michael's School

St Michaels School
(advertisement taken from a 1934 Schools Handbook). Situated in Yorkersgate, the school was for girls and took pupils on both a day and boarding basis. The
St Michaels School 2
photograph on the right was taken from the 1939 town guide.

Malton and Appleton Agricultural Society

This is believed to have been formed when a proposed Malton Agricultural Society was merged with that of Appleton-le-Street in 1873 [1] At that point it was agreed to hold the annual show alternately in Appleton and Malton. A meeting at the end of September 1875 proposed that the show should always be held in Malton since accommodation etc was limited in Appleton. This was a controversial proposal and the meeting agreed to postpone the decision until after the annual meeting in October 1876.

[1] York Herald, 2 October 1875

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Traffic in Malton over the years has often been a topic of conversation. The railway crossing causing queues of carts and pedestrians, and eventually motor vehicles. On 14 July 1906 a census was taken, from 8am to 8pm, of the number of trains passing through (155), the number of times the gates were closed (106), the number of vehicles, motor cars, motor cycles and cattle detained (605) and the number of passengers who went over the crossing (7,732). Following the report of the census results the railway company prepared some plans to replace the crossing with an over-bridge but nothing became of that [1].

[1] Yorkshire Gazette, 21 June 1919


So what was Christmas like in Malton 100 or more years ago. See what Malton traders were offering in December 1913 here and here.

Proposed Opera House

In 1912 a petition in favour of an Opera House in the Market Place had been signed by 266 residents. A counter petition had been signed by six. On the grounds that the safety of the public was not safeguarded Malton Urban District Council rejected the plans. [1]

[1] Yorkshire Evening Post, 1 August 1912

The Middlecave Windmill.

There used to be an old windmill for the grinding of corn in Middlecave, on the site of the Uplands. The mill was carried on by Mr. David Blair, grandfather to Mr. D.S. Blair, and a large number of the smaller farmers took their corn to be ground at this mill. If we remember rightly, the sails of the mill were blown off, and eventually the mill was pulled down and Mr. Ed. Rose built the Uplands on the site [1]
In 1862 this was operated by Mr. David Watson, whose wife Ann hanged herself 'after being in a desponding way for some time.' [2] Mr Watson can be seen at Middlecave in the 1861 census. However the 1851 census shows a David Blair as a miller in Middlecave and he returns in the1871 census.
[1] Malton Trades and Industries: No 3. Milling Yorkshire Gazette 25th November 1911
[2] Yorkshire Gazette, 23rd August 1862

Theatre Royal

A programme for 'amateur theatricals' at the Theatre Royal in 1888 can be seen.

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