New Malton in 1843
New Malton is a parliamentary borough and market-town in the wapentake of Ryedale, in the North Riding, abut 214 miles from London, 17 or 18 miles north-east of York, and 22 miles south-west of Scarborough. It is situated on the north bank of the river Derwent, over which is a stone bridge to connect it with the suburb of Norton, and which here forms the boundary between the North and East Ridings. The borough comprises and is co-extensive with the parishes of St. Leonard and St. Michael, but for parliamentary purposes it unites with the adjoining parishes of Old Malton and Norton in the return of two members.
Both of the parishes of New Malton, with that of Old Malton, form a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Cleveland and diocese of York, with a gross income of £198. The churches of St. Leonard and St. Michael are supposed to have been originally chapels to Old Malton, which is presumed to have been the mother parish and church ; and the former has a tall spire, the upper part of which has been left unfinished, in the form of a truncated cone, lest, according to the popular story, its weight should prove too great for the edifice. The town also contains places of worship for Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, Primitive Methodists, members of the Society of Friends, and Unitarians ; numerous schools, including large Lancasterian and national schools, a spacious workhouse for the Malton Poor-Law Union, which comprehends 68 parishes ; a large market-place, including a town-hall ; a neat theatre, built in 1814 ; and a handsome suite of public rooms, in connection with which are news-rooms and a subscription library.
There were formerly two market-crosses, both of which are destroyed. The town is generally well built, and is favourably situated on an eminence ; and it has a brisk trade, which is greatly aided by the river Derwent, that stream having been made. navigable to Malton, under an Act of the reign of Queen Anne, and more recently to a higher point. The principal articles of trade are corn, bacon, butter, and other agricultural produce, which are sent down the river, and coals, various articles of general consumption, and woollen goods from the West Riding, which are brought up to the town.
The market-days are Tuesday and Saturday, the latter being the principal, and well attended from a considerable distance; and there are several annual fairs - on the Monday and Saturday before Palm-Sunday, for horses and cattle, the Saturdays before Whitsuntide and the 15th of July, and the 10th, 11th, and 12th October. The quarter-sessions for the North Riding are held here, and this is one of the polling-places for the county members of that Riding. The borough sent members to parliament in the reign of Edward I, after which it appears not to have been represented until 1640, since which time it has continued to elect two members. The right of election rested, prior to the passing of the Reform Bill, in the burgage holders, inhabitants, who were rated to church and poor, and there were about 625 electors at the time of the Boundary Reports ; the number registered in 1839-40 was 558. The bailiff is the returning officer. The population of the parishes of St. Leonard's and St. Michael's was 4,173 in 1831, and 4,021 in 1841 ; that of Old Malton, at the same dates, 1,204 and 1,296 respectively.