1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Malton

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MALTON, a market town in the Thirsk and Malton parliamentary division of Yorkshire, England, 21 m. N.E. of York by a branch of the North Eastern railway. The town comprises Old Malton and New Malton in the North Riding, and Norton on the opposite side of the river Derwent, in the East Riding. Pop. of urban district of Malton (1901), 4758; of urban district of Norton 3842. The situation, on the wooded hills rising from the narrow valley, is very picturesque. The church of St Michael is a fine late Norman building with perpendicular tower; the church of St Leonard, of mixed architecture, with square tower and spire, has three Norman arches and a Norman font. The church of St Mary at Old Malton was attached to a Gilbertine priory founded in 1150; it is transitional Norman and Early English, with later insertions. Remains of the priory are scanty, but include a crypt under a modern house. In the neighbourhood of Malton are the slight but beautiful fragments of Kirkham Abbey, an Early English Augustinian foundation of Walter l’Espec (1131); and the fine mansion of Castle Howard, a massive building by Vanbrugh, the seat of the earls of Carlisle, containing a noteworthy collection of pictures. Malton possesses a town-hall, a corn exchange, a museum, and a grammar-school founded in 1547. There are iron and brass foundries, agricultural implement works, corn mills, tanneries and breweries. In the neighbourhood are lime and whinstone quarries.

Traces of a Romano-British village exist on the east side of the town, but there appears to be no history of Malton before the Norman Conquest. The greater part of Malton belonged to the crown in 1086 and was evidently retained until Henry I. gave the castle and its appurtenances to Eustace son of John, whose descendants took the name of Vescy. Eustace meditated the deliverance of Malton Castle to King David of Scotland in 1138, but his plans were altered owing to the battle of the Standard. The “burgh” of Malton is mentioned in 1187, and in 1295 the town returned two members to parliament. It was not represented again, however, until 1640, when an act was passed to restore its ancient privileges. In 1867 the number of members was reduced to one, and in 1885 the town was disfranchised. Until the 17th century the burgesses had all the privileges of a borough by prescriptive right, and were governed by two bailiffs and two under-bailiffs, but these liberties were taken from them in 1684 and have never been revived. From that time a bailiff and two constables were appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor until a local board was formed in 1854. In the 13th century Agnes de Vescy, then lady of the manor, held a market in Malton by prescription, and Camden writing about 1586 says that the lord of the manor then held two weekly markets, on Tuesday and Saturday, the last being the best cattle market in the county. The markets are now held on Saturdays and alternate Tuesdays, and still belong to the lord of the manor.