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Northallerton in 1843

Northallerton, formerly, and still occasionally written North Allerton, is a parish, parliamentary borough, and market-town, in the wapentake and liberty of Allertonshire, in the North Riding, about. 220 miles from London, 32 miles north by west of York, and 16 miles east by south of Richmond.

The town consists chiefly of one long street, in the line of the Great North Road, and is passed at a very short distance on the west by the Great North of England Railway, and the river Wiske, which forms on that side the boundary of the electoral district. The parish comprises the borough and township of Northallerton, the township of Romanby, and the chapelries of Brompton, Deighton, and High Worsall, and its aggregate population was 5,118 in 1831, and 5,273 in 1841.

The living is a vicarage, with the curacies of Brompton and Deighton, formerly in the peculiar jurisdiction and patronage of the dean and chapter of Durham, but now in the archdeaconry of Cleveland and diocese of York,with a gross income of £862. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a spacious cruciform edifice, supposed to have been erected shortly after the destruction of the town by the Scots in 1381. The town contains also chapels for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists, and numerous daily and Sunday-schools, three of the former of which are partially supported by endowments, and one, now the parochial school, was formerly a grammar-school, of royal foundation, though at what date is uncertain, and where several eminent men were educated.

There was anciently a hospital dedicated to St. James, and founded by Hugh Pudsey, bishop of Durham, the clear revenue of which, at the time of the dissolution, was £56, 2 shillings and 2 pence, and of the site of which some indications yet exist near the town. There was also formerly a house for Carmelites, or White Friars dedicated to St. Mary ; and the Austin Friars received some land here in the reign of Edward III, for the purpose of building a house and church. The town now contains an hospital, or Maison Dieu, founded in 1476 by Richard Moore, for the support of 13 poor persons, and rebuilt by the inhabitants, but for a smaller number.

Northallerton is lighted with gas, and has a handsome modern sessions-house, to which is attached a House of Correction. Not being a corporate town, it has no municipal government, but is under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates. It has a Court of Requests for the whole of the manor of Allerton and Allertonshire, comprising 32 townships; and the quarter-sessions for the North Riding are held here. It likewise contains the Register-office for registering all transfers of land by deed or will in the North Riding, and is a polling place for the election of county members. The town sent two members to Parliament in the 26th year of Edward III, did not again exercise the privilege until it was resumed in 1640, by order of the House of Commons. From that time it sent two members until the passing of the Reform Bill, when it was reduced to one, and the boundaries of the electoral district were extended so as to embrace the adjoining township of Romanby and chapelry of Brompton. The number of electors registered in 1839-40 was 281.

The town contains no important manufactures, but linens and leather are made in the neighbourhood to a small extent. The market is held on Wednesday, and there are several fairs. Races are held annually in October and the town has branches of the Darlington and Yorkshire district banks. The population of the borough and township of Northallerton alone was 3,004 in 1831, and 3,092 in 1841, including 100 persons in the House of Correction and 37 in Northallerton Union workhouse.

A very strong castle was founded at Northallerton by Hugh Pudsey, bishop of Durham, but it was razed to the ground by order of Henry II, in consequence of a quarrel with that prelate. The town is supposed to have been a Roman station, and subsequently a Saxon borough ; and Domesday-Book it is called Alvertune and Alreton, the prefix North having been originally applied to distinguish it from Allerton Mauleverar, a chapelry in the West Riding. At Cowton or Cuton Moor, about three miles from the town, was fought, in the year 1138, the battle of the Standard. The site of this engagement is still called Standard Hill, and the holes into which the bodies of the dead were thrown are pointed out as the Scots' Pits. In 1318 the town was plundered and burnt by the Scots ; during the civil war Charles I lodged here, in an old mansion called the Porch-House, on one of his journeys to Scotand ; and in the rebellion of 1745 the Duke of Cumberland's army encamped near the town, on the Castle Hills. Northallerton gave the title of viscount to the elector of Hanover, afterwards King George I, during the reign of Anne.