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Historical Documents

History is discovered by looking at documents. Here are some interesting examples of the various types of documents which can help us understand Scarborough's past.

17th century letter

Letter 14.7.1635 from Bailiffs

"Yesterday there came into the harbour of Scarborough a Dunkirk ship of war, the captain and company whereof brought with them a ship belonging to Holland called a buss; and within less than an hour a Holland man of war, one Captain Browne belonging to Amsterdam, and the ship called the Post of Amsterdam, boarded the Dunkirk ship which presently discharged a piece of ordinance and the Hollander the like against him. They so multiplied shot upon shot,the one against the other, with great ordinance and muskets, and had a greart fight in the harbour ,till most of the Dunkirkers swam ashore,the tide flowing; notwithstanding there being ten or twelve Dunkirkers slain beside those that were hurt; and bullets flying about from the Hollander hurt divers of the town and some strangers that were on the sands, to the great anmazement and discouragement of the whole town.After the Hollanders had gotten the victory they took both the Dunkirk ship of war and the prize the Dunkirkers had taken forth of the harbours and piers of Scarborough and would not come ashore when a special messenger was sent, neither to show their commission nor make help with their surgeon to save some who were hit."

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Reports in national newspapers

The Morning Chronicle, London
Saturday August 5 1809 price 6d, tax 3d

Scarborough August 2

The spawers arrived very fast, and the gaieties of the season here commenced.There was much good company six weeks ago,but no amusement till Bannister brought forward his budget for one night;and so far from its proving a tax on patience,every measure drew forth loud cries of "hear hear".An interval of ennui succeeded till the opening of the theatre for the season on Monday last, when Miss Duncan appeared in Leticia Hardy.On Tuesday,she played her favourite character of Juliana; and was strongly supported each night by Mr. Faulkner in Doricourt and the Duke Aranza.Indeed the company is both numorous and respectable, comprising as much talent as can be found in any provincial theatre.Miss Simpson evinced great life and spirit in Little Pickle

Miss Johaunet is a very graceful dancer; Added to these there are many performers of acknowledged merit , Mesdames Henley, Darley, Wallis, Messrs Lancaster, Flowerdew, Shaw, Adcock, Russell etc.

Mrs.Edwin who is to strengthen the Drury lane company the ensuing season, is advertised to succeed Miss Duncan for a few nights, and then we are promised the chief novelties of the winter season in London. The band opf the 2nd battalion 82nd regiment took their station on Sunday evening in Beans subscription garden and added to the pleasure of the promenade. Since the taking off the embargo, the ocean wears a new face; fleets of merchant -men and colliers are passing to and from North Shields and Sunderland. Lord Middleton returned on Monday in his own delightful yacht. The only drawback to the full enjoyment of this beautiful spot is the unfavouable state of the weather. We have frequent showers which compel the fashionable to a precipitate retreat.

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Coffee and Cocoa House Tokens

The Peoples Cocoa house, Scarborough. 76 St Thomas Street, value one penny

Bow Street Coffee house.Scarborough L. Heaton. Issued subject to the regulations (This was off Falgrave Road, opposite all Saints church)

Freer’s Cocoa House 76 Castle Road Scarborough 1d

St Pauls Coffee House, Scarborough Regent street, Castle Road value one penny

Tokens may also have been issued by-

Scarboro Coffee house, near The London Inn at 2 Newborough opened 30 May 1881

Sandside Coffee Tavern, at the corner of Newbrough and Foreshore Road opened 21 July 1883

The Coffee Divan, 1 Carr street, functioning by 1848

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A conveyance

21st .April.1485

Piers Sherman of Scardeburgh burgess, grants to Raif Hoip of AnnesBurton tailor; an annuity of 13s4d to be taken out of certain lands and tenements lying in the town and field of Scarborough, namely
-one tenement in Blakfriergate late in the tenure of John Richardson
-two tenements in WestSandgate ,of which one was one in the tenure of Robert Malhard
-a tenement lying in Paradise
-a garden outside Aubroughgate , of ,two acres , lying upon Barrow hill
-one acre or land lying above Rasingdale crosse.

The conveyance was made according to the will of Alisen late wife of Rauf Hoip. The annuity was to be paid at feast of Pentecost called Whitsunday and the feast called St Martin in the Winter. Witnesses were William Tunstall Esquire, constable of Scarborough Castle, John & William Shilbotell bailiffs. Thomas Sage gentleman and Robert Fenton.

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Ordinances for the corporation to attend church processions

26th March. 1485

"It was ordained that the Mayor ,aldermen and sheriff shall not absent themselves from church in time of procession , but shall walk in order following the procession in its whole extent accustomed, under penalty for each to the fabric of the said church of a pound of wax, except for reasonable cause. And that the 24 burgesses for doing contrary to this order shall pay half a pound of wax to the said church. The said Mayor to sit in the choir at times of altars, masses and vespers with his serjeants-at-mace under penalty of two pound of wax to the fabric of the church"

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Scarborough 10th November 1686

A true and perfect Inventory of the goodes and chattles moveable and unmoveable of Peter Weatherill late of Scarbrough in the county of York Marriner decd. appraised by Guy Butler. Ffrancis Hodgson, Zephany Williamson and Phatuel Ffoord all of Scarbrough aforesaid the day and yeare above written

  £   s   d
Purse and apparell 57.19. 5
Mr.Wyvell indebted upon bond 10.15. 0
John Gamble of Osgodby indebted on bond 10.  0. 0
Ralph Straiker indebted upon bill   1.  0. 0
16 paire of sheets   2.16. 0
16 pillow beers   0.  8. 0
3 table cloathes   0.  2. 0
5 hugaback bapkins   0.  2. 0
6 linnen napkins   0.  2. 0
18 rowed napkins   0.  8. 0
1 towell   0.  0. 6
2 fether bedds   1.  5. 0
1 flock bedd   0.  3. 0
2 bolsters   0.  5. 0
5 pillows   0.  4. 2
a suit of curtains & vallans   0.10. 0
two ruggs   0.  7. 6
3 blanketts   0.  4. 0
1 counterpane   0.  3. 0
3 chests   0.  6. 0
2 trunks   0.  5. 0
1 case bottles   0.  1. 6
1 long settle & great Chaire   0.  3. 0
Goods in Robert Coulsons house
a cubbard a buttery a long settle butts to the  
a joists bedstead one table a long settle bedd     
a glass case and a gally bawke   1.  6. 8
Goodes in the Midlehouse
one long setle trundle bedd
one great chest,1Close bedd
one iron range & cramps A dresser table
A butteryOne hanging shelve   2.  0. 0
Goodes in litle house
one close bed one buttery 2 doggs
& gally Bawk   0.  5. 0
In the Pent house
one table 4 deal ends   0.  2. 0
      caried over £91. 8. 9.

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13th Century Charter

The king To his bailiffs and Burgesses and other good men of Scardeburg,Greeting. Whereas we have understood by an inquisition which we commanded to be made by our Sheriff of Yorkshire that it is for the benefit of our Town of Scardeburg to make a certain new port with timber and stone towards the sea whereby all ships arriving thither may enter and sail out without danger as well at the beginning of flood as at high water. We have granted you in aid of making the said port that from the day of the assumption of the blessed Mary in the 36th year of our reign to the end of five years next following, you may take in the said port of every merchant ship coming thither six pence every time it arrives with merchandise, of every fisherman's ship there coming with fish four pence and of every fisherman's boat there coming with fish two pence. And we will that you take the said custom as is aforesaid . But the said term of five years being compleated. ther said custom is wholly to cease and determine.Witness the king at Farendon the 30th day of July.the 36th year of the reign of king Henry the third.

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Newspaper Advertisement

(York Courant) 12.2.1771

To be let and entered upon at Michaelmas day next, all that "commodious and well accustom’d Inn known by the sign of the New Globe in the market place, Scarborough, now in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Park" with coach house for eight coaches, stables for 79 horses, two wells, a large cistern, many outhouses, within one large yard contiguous to the house. Also a parcel of pasture ground if required. Owner Benjamin Fowler.

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Letters written to John Grimston at Kilnwick Nr.Beverley during 1725 – 1780

Letters held at Record Office EAST RIDING (DDGR 42/31) [SCARBOROUGH Reference]

“………The young ones have bathed and said they liked it. It was a charming day. At the rooms there is a good deal of company for the time of year, though many are going off every day and some are fresh coming in our lodgings. Our lodging is exceedingly pleasant in one of the Cliff houses. We come here on Sunday evenings and Mr.Robinson joined us on Mondays if the weather proves but favorable. It is our scheme to live much out of doors but it has not been all good.

Ridings (horse riding) seems a mighty fashion among all the ladies here. I believe I saw (Mrs Joigh ?) on horseback yesterday.

Your two young ones will bathe again on Saturday after two days rest and then every other day. The (young ones) are at present very busy washing shells from the sands. I hope you will bathe and look at Scarborough before we leave.(SEPT.9th.)


LETTER – Friday May 21st during 1755-80

“…. We have scarcely had a fine day since our arrival in Scarborough. Bathing in this early part of the year was strongly urged for Fanny. Our stay here is not intended to be above three weeks or at the most a month. I don’t know what we would have done without a chaise that I rejoice in having determined to bring one from York. I pay three guineas and a half a week for the use. There we have our journey to and from out of it. For our lodgings I pay one guinea and a half per week. This is my share of charge. Your daughters keep house and pay for the saddle horses. We have servants, drivers, footman and maid. Neither have I been able to learn where there is any cook’s shop near at hand. Peggy bathes and hopes to gain advantage of that. If you can visit us whilst he stays here I can furnish you with bed chambers, dressing room and servants room. More going to this quarter of the house (at the price I before mentioned) that we occupied.

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Documents researched by John Rushton & Colin Langford

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