Selby in 1843
Selby is a market-town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the wapentake of Barkstone-Ash and parish of Selby, 177 miles north-north-west from London, and 14 miles south by east from York : it is situated on the west bank of the river Ouse, which is navigable to Selby for vessels of about 200 tons burthen. An excellent timber bridge crosses the Ouse, and opens to admit them. The town is tolerably well built, paved, and lighted. The town-hall, a neat brick edifice, was built in 1825. There is a fine old Gothic market-cross.
The church, dedicated to St. Mary and St. Germain, is part of an abbey of Benedictine monks, which was founded by William the Conqueror in the year 1068, and was a splendid establishment till the dissolution by Henry VIII. Henry I was born at Selby in 1068. The church is a spacious structure, and contains some curious old monuments : the architecture is of different periods, some of it very beautiful, especially the west. end. The tower fell down in 1690, and was rebuilt in its present form about 1702. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Hon. E. R. Petre, with an average net income of £97. There are places of worship belonging to the Wesleyan Methodists, Unitarians, and other classes of dissenters.
Steam-packets ply between Selby and Hull, and a canal from Selby joins the Aire and Calder navigation, and thus communicates with Leeds. There is also a railway between Selby and Leeds, and the Hull and Selby railway joins the Selby and Leeds railway a little to the west of Selby, and thus makes a railway communication between Leeds and Hull. There is a branch custom-house at Selby, so that vessels can proceed direct to any part of the kingdom. About 1,000 ships with cargoes clear coastwise annually.
In 1833 there were ten daily schools, of which one was a grammar-school with an endowment of £53, 17 shillings and 10 pence a year, to which upwards of £50 is added annually by donations and subscriptions. The population in 1841 was 5,376, including 96 persons in barges and 89 in the Selby Union workhouse. In 1821 the population was 4,097, and in 1831 was 4,600.