Introduction

Prominent in the Market Place is St. Michael’s Church parts of which remain from Norman times. Market day in the 1850s was Saturday and a selection of hostelries provided for the attendees: the Black Bull, Kings Head, Black Swan, Fleece, Golden Lion, Green Man, Old Globe, Old Talbot, and Royal Oak. Many carriers offered their services from these inns on a Saturday. The Town Hall is also here, along with a pump, a number of shops, and the stone market cross.

Cattle Market

It was reported in 1885 that the issue of the sanitary condition of the cattle market had been a topic of discussion. The Local Board wanted it asphalted, paved with setts or cemented. Earl Fitzwilliam's solicitor had written declining to meet the request [1]

[1] Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, 26 November 1885

The Town Hall

The Town Hall, in the Market Place, is a large plain stone building, to which a new wing was built in 1855, by Earl Fitzwilliam. In front of the new part is a stone balustrade or balcony, to be used at elections, or on occasions when public assemblies are to be officially addressed. The interior of the new wing contains a good flight of stone stairs, and some ante-rooms. In the lower story of the old part of the building are, the board room of the Guardians of the Poor, and their clerk's office; the office of the Board of Health; and the Superintendent Registrar's office. The upper story contains the Court room, in which the Magistrates hold Petty Sessions every alternate Saturday; and in which the County Court is held monthly before William Raines, Esq., judge [1].

The Town Hall, not a very imposing building, though it has proved a very useful adjunct to the town. Formerly, in addition to its various offices, the Magisterial Court was held there, and prisoners were brought from the police station in the Cattle Market and tried for their offences, and after being well and truly tried and sentenced, they were taken back and located in the cells until Monday morning, when they were invariably taken to either Northallerton or York by train, to undergo their penalties. The court day, as now, was held on alternate Saturdays, except when there were five Saturdays in the month, then on the last Saturday.

The town's business is still conducted there, and also the meetings of the Rural District Councils for both the North and East Ridings. The Board of Guardians, prior to being merged into the Guardians Committee under the Local Government Act, 1919, held their meetings there for many years; and there was a lot of other public business transacted within its walls. Mr. Samuel Walker was the first Town Clerk that I remember, and at his death, Mr. George S. Cattle, who was his head clerk, was appointed in his place, and he held the office until his demise in 1928. Mr. Cattle had a long experience of Poor Law and Local Governement administration, and showed, great ability in dealing with the ever-increasing demands made upon him by the changing methods of administration, and his death was much deplored by his fellow townsmen. Mr. J.L. Chapman, clerk to Mr. Cattle, was appointed in his place, and consequently succeeded to the various appointments held by his predecessor, but eventually relinquished his position as clerk to the then Guardians and the Rural District Councils of Malton and Norton on account of the increasing business connected with these bodies, but retained his appointments as Clerk to the Malton Urban District Council, Fire Brigade Committee, and Superintenden Registrar, etc. Mr. George Harker was appointed to the vacancies occasioned by Mr. H. Chapman's resignation of these offices. Mr. Harker soon afterwards received another appointment at Beverley under the East Riding County Council; and Mr. T.W. Preston succeeded him at Malton. [2]

[1] City and Topography of the City of York and North Riding of Yorkshire by T. Whellan & Co, 1857

[2] Memories of Malton and Some of Its Inhabitants in the Sixties and Onwards


Memories of the Market Place

What follows has been taken from Thomas Baker's 'Memories of Malton and Some of its Inhabitants in the 'Sixties and Onwards'. The date of writing is assumed to be the 1920s - 'sixties' refers to the 1860s!

High Side

The Fleece inn was occupied by Mr. James Simpson, and St. Michael's House, now occupied by Mr. Rhodes, dentist, was tenanted by Mr. Edward Rose, wine and spirit merchant. Dr. Joshua Hartley resided next door. He had an extensive practice, both in town and country, always rode in a gig and never wasted time in getting to where he was required. He was designated as 'Kill Hoss Jos.,' for he used to wear out many horses by reason of his extensive practice and the pace at which he drove. I have seen him drive round Butcher Corner fro Yorkersgate into Castlegate at such a rate that only one wheel of his gig has been on the road. He was much respected and beloved by the poor. Though sympathetic to an extent, he nevertheless was brusque in his manner at times. I remember a patient calling upon him for advice about chest trouble. He asked what his ailment was, and in reply the patient said he had severe pains in the chest, and that when he pressed on this bone (indicating the bone) it hurt him. The doctor then unexpectedly burst out with the expression - 'Then why the devil do you press on it!' When on his rounds to patients he used to take one step only across the footpath from his gig, and bounded into the house, and upstairs without any ceremony or announcement. He was a tall, athletic figure, though you seldom saw him walking; when you did, he was always in the same hurry as when he was driving. The King's Head Hotel, adjoining, has been much improved in appearance in late years, owing in great measure to a fire which occurred there some few years ago. The shop now occupied by Mr. Halton, tailor, was in the occupancy of Mr. Stubbs; and Mr. Parnaby succeeded Mr. Nelson, sadler. This shop is now occupied by Mr. J. D. Dodsworth, house furnisher, who had to remove from his Yorkersgate premises on account of anticipated alterations in this part of Yorkersgate. The house next door had for its tenant Mrs. Tom Read as a millinery and dressmaking business; and Mr. Woolnough was the proprietor of the Assam Tea Warehouse. Mr. John Lee was the landlord of the Black Swan; the shop adjoining, which has now been merged into the Black Swan Hotel, was in the occupancy of Messrs. Spiegelhalter and Fais, watchmakers. The Shambles are the same as years ago. The Golden Lion was conducted by Mr. John Ruston; and Mr. Witham. Draper, was the neighbour. Mr. Walter Taylor was the tenant of the butcher's shop now occupied by Messrs. Stephenson and Sons. The Midland Bank was then the York City and County Bank; and Mr. W. H. Rose had the wine and spirit stores now in the occupation of the Scarborough and Whitby Brewery Company. The Black Bull was tenanted by Mr. Wray, and at his death was carried on by his widow and daughters; whilst next door was a wine and spirit merchant named Taylor. The shop now occupied by Mr. J. C. Wilson was tenanted by a Mr. Wood as a draper. Mr. Wood, if I mistake not, was a near relative of Mr. Joseph Wood, of Cropton, who was murdered by Robert Charter. The murder case, known as the Cropton Murder, created much excitement, not only locally but throughout the country, as it was of a particularly horrible nature.

I have been informed that the watch making business of Mr. Kirby, whose premises adjoin those of Mr. Wilson, was commenced in a shop situated where the Green Man Hotel passage now is, and later transferred to the shop adjoining the premises now occupied by Mr. Channon, architect, on the opposite side of Market Street, and afterwards moved to the present more accommodating premises. Mr. John Anderson, gunsmith, succeeded his father, and the premises now occupied by Mr. Sadler, newsagent, were tenanted by Mr. Spaven, as a boot and shoe maker. Mr. John Farrow, painter, lived close by, and the business is now in the hands of Mrs. Wilson. Mr. Mennell succeeded his father as a saddler; and Messrs. Leefe & Sons also followed the business of watchmakers and jewellers of their father. The shop now occupied by Mr. Hornsey as a drapery establishment was formerly tenanted by Mr. George Hill as a cabinet maker, and later by Mr. Dosser in the same line of business. Structural alterations have been effected in Messrs. Clough & Sons' shoe shop, which was for many years Mr. Shepherd's paint shop, behind which Mr. George Foster had a mineral water works, and was entered through a narrow passage. The house and shop where Mr. Clough now lives was occupied by Mr. John Ruston, confectioner, and adjoining him, where Mr. Moon has his business, was Mr. Edward Taylor’s, seedsman.

Low Side

Where Messrs. Hepworth's shop now stands was formerly a little, low built, two-story shop in the occupation of Mr. Severs, painter; he being followed by Mr. Shepherd, also painter; and Mr. Frank Langborne lived where the Conservative Club now is. Mr. Abram had a shoe shop adjoining, and Mrs. Langdale, milliner, was next door. The Royal Oak had for its landlord Mr. Bielby, followed by Mr. John Potter, his widow, and then son succeeding. This house had a long connection with the Potter family, being especially well-known for its excellent catering. Mr. Potter had an extensive business as a caterer at one time, securing the tender for Doncaster and other race meetings, and he was well and actively supported by his wife. He was privileged, through catering for royalty, to have the Prince of Wales' feathers displayed over his door. The licence changed hands quite recently, and has now Mr. Sam Waud as landlord. John had always a penchant for money making, and his first 'commercial' undertaking was in conjunction with his friend Tom Brand. They erected a tent in the yard of John's father, who then lived in Norton where Mr. Morrell's garage is, and laid a floor of wooden planks, and commenced a 'Threepenny Hop,' otherwise a dancing saloon. Tom filled the role of orchestra with his fiddle, whilst John was M.C. and doorkeeper. Whenever I could raise the price of admission I became one of the patrons, and it was here that I first learned the art of dancing. The dances most popular at that time were: - Quadrilles, Lancers, Caledonians, Polka, Waltz, Saraband Waltz, Schottisch, and Varsoviana. The dances were much enjoyed by a good company, and the venture proved a great success. It will thus be seen that both John and Tom commenced their successful careers from small beginnings, and that each proved to be endowed with business aptitude. Tom eventually became landlord of the Royal Oak at Norton, and then developed into a brick and tile manufacturer, and now owns the Brick and Tile Works at Norton.

The shop, now in the occupation of Messrs. Fitch, & Co. as a furniture department, was then occupied by Mr. William Talor as a gentleman's outfitter and draper. Mr. Robert Goldthorpe lived at the other side of Chancery lane, and was a draper; and the chemist business now in the hands of Mesrs. Laverack & Sons was then owned by Mr. Jefferson, succeeded by Mr. James Buckle. Prior to Mr. James Fitch coming to Malton, the shop which he originally took was occupied by Mr. John Foster, as a hatter. Mr. Tobias Field lived next door and carried on the business as an athletic outfitter. Mr. John Shepherd occupied adjacent property, and at his demise his son James continued the painting and decorating business, and still resides on the same premises. Messrs. W. Wilson & Sons, corn factors, had a flour shop next door; and they were followed by Mr. Coulson, who was proprietor of a refreshment room, which was well patronised by farmers, hucksters, etc., attending Malton markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Old Globe Hotel, now demolished, was then in the tenancy of Mr. Jonathan Rieveley, who as previously stated had removed from Yorkersgate. He was followed by Mr. William Killingbeck. This house changed hands many times.

Mr. George Pycock, a noted antiquarian, had a workshop adjoining. The Misses Lucas had a children's school next door, and Mr. John Wardman, cab proprietor, lived in the next property. Mrs. Wardman had a confectionery and eating house business, and was noted for her hot pies. Mr. Neil Piercy, another well-known antiquarian, occupied the next house and shop; whilst Mr. George Smith, a tea dealer, was his neighbour. Mr. William Plowman followed Mr. Smith, and carried on the same business. Mr. George Spencer, a once fashionable and noted tailor, was tenant of the next house and shop. Mr. 'Billy' Cattaneo had a toy shop adjoining; and next to him lived a Mr. Hudson, barber. Mr. John Gibson, architect, lived where Mr. Channon now has his offices.

Centre

The shop now occupied by Mr. Snowden, tobacconist, was then in the hands of Mr. Amos Livesey, who also was schoolmaster of the Infant School in Greengate, now the Wesleyan Day School, and he was assisted in his teaching by his daughter, Miss Matilda, who always wore her hair in long curls, which overhung her shoulders. Next door to Mr. Livesey was a watchmaker named Arden, who had a deformity in either a wooden or a short leg and had to walk with the aid of a crutch; he nevertheless was enabled to mount the steps into the singing pew of the Malton Wesleyan Chapel every Sunday, for he was a regular attendee, and possessed a rich bass voice. Mr. Tom Watson at that time was the organist. Where Mr. Edwards has his photographic studio, Mr. Robert Bartliffe, solicitor, had his office; and adjoining him was Mr. Wilson; and the next shop. Now the Balloon Yeast Stores, was a photographic studio in the possession of Mr. Boak, of Driffield.

Where Mr. Parke now has his offices was also tenanted by Mr. John Robinson, tailor; and Mr. Rutter had a grocery business next door. It was in front of these premises where the cannon stood prior to its removal to the top of Yorkersgate. There was a temperance hotel adjoining Mr. Rutter's premises; Mr. George Cressy, barber, being in possession of the house and shop adjoining, and now occupied by Mr. John Birdsall. Mr. Bellerby was the proprietor of the rope and twine shop, and he was succeeded by Mr. Woodall. Later the business was formed into a limited company under the title of Woodall & Sons, Limited.


Fire

The Yorkshire Gazette of 29 April 1913 reports a serious fire in the Market place with damage to the Kings Head and the adjoining draper's shop of Mr. Foster.

My Image

1908 Improvements

The Yorkshire Gazette of 24 October 1908 reports that at Messrs. Fitch & Co's establishment "large new plate-glass window frames have been put in, with the result that more effective window displays are now obtainable. This same article states that the front of the shop of Mr. John C. Wilson has been re-built, giving an improved appearance to the Finkle-st. entrance to the Market place.

Hirings

MALTON STATUTES - on Saturday last, it being the occasion of the first day of the statutes, or hirings, there were a great number of servants assembled in the market place, as also of farmers and masters, which made the public houses very busy, and the town to where a bustling appearance. Wages were about the same as at other hirings lately held at neighbouring towns, and we are told a great number of servants were engaged. We observed some striking examples of the effects of “intoxicating liquers” on the unsophisticated rustics, but we have not heard anything untoward occurring beyond what is usual on such occasions [1].

[1] York Herald, 21 November 1840


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