Whellan's History of Thirsk (1859)

Thirsk is an ancient Market Town and Parliamentary Borough, as well as the head of a parish and Poor Law Union, in the Wapentake of Birdforth, about 9 miles S.S.E. of Northallerton; 28 miles NW by W. of York; 29 miles WNW. from Malton; 11 miles N. from Boroughbridge; 220 miles N.N.W. from London; and one mile from the Thirsk Station, on the North Eastern Railway. The parish of Thirsk comprises the township of Thirsk, and the chapelries of Carlton-Islebeck, or Miniott, Sand Hutton, and Sowerby, the area of the whole being 8,365 acres. The population of the parish, in 1851, was 4,704 souls. The area of the town and township of Thirsk is 2,947 acres, and its population in 1801, numbered 2,092; in 1831, 2,885; in 1841, 3022, including a. number of workpeople employed on the Great Northern Railway, who afterwards left the place; and in 1851, 3,001 persons, viz. 1489 males, and 1,562 females. The population of the Parliamentary Borough of Thirsk, which comprises the townships or chapelries of Thirsk, Sand Hutton, Carlton, Miniott, Sowerby, Bagby with Islebeck, and South Kilvington, in 1851, was 5,819 souls. The rateable value of the township of Thirsk (not including any part of the township of Sowerby which forms a portion of the town of Thirsk) is £13,345. The principal landowners in the township of Thirsk are Lady Frankland Russell, relict of Sir Robert Frankland Russell Bart, and Frederic Bell, Esq., the Lord of the Manor. Thirsk is in the Archdiocese of York, Archdeaconry of Cleveland, and Deanery of Bulmer.

History.-The name of this place is supposed to be derived from Tre isk, two ancient British words, signifying a town and rivet or brook. In Domesday Book it is called Tresche, and ín ancient documents it is written Thursk and Thrusk. In the tenth century Thirsk had but a few cottages and a Castle; the foundations of the latter are said to have been laid in the reign of the Saxon King Edgar, about the year 974, and the fortress is supposed to have been finished in 979; but the name of the founder is unknown.
In the reign of Edward the Confessor, according to Domesday, Thirsk was held by three Saxons, Orm, Tor, and Hugh, the first having eight carucates to be taxed with four ploughs; the second twelve carucates to be taxed, and six ploughs; and the third eight acres of meadow, with two plough; and ten villaines. William the Conqueror gave the Manor or Lordship of Thirsk, with many other manors, to Geoffrey, Bishop of Constance who was created Earl of Northumberland. The Earl dying about the beginning of the reign of William II, his titles and possessions were, by that Monarch, conferred upon Robert de Molbray, who came to England with the Conqueror, and was distinguished for his bravery and valour. He was made Governor of all the northern parts of the Kingdom, and in expedition against the Scots, killed their King, Malcolm, and Prince Edward his son. To reward him the King gave him, as just stated, the Earldom of Northumberland, and besides large possessions in other parts of England, the estates of Thirsk, Byland, Newburgh, Gilling, Slingsby, Hovingbam, &c; from which circumstance this district got the name of the Vale of Mowbray, which it retains at this day This great and mighty Baron taking part with Robert Cuthrose, against Henry I., had his estates forfeited, and the King bestowed them on Nigole or Nigel de Albini, younger brother of Wm. de Albini, Earl of Arundell, and cousin to the said Earl Molbray. Nigel de Albini was succeeded by Roger, his eldest son, who assumed the name of Moubrey, afterwards spelt Mowbray. Roger de Mowbray was present at the great Battle of the Standard, fought near Northallerton, 1188. [NigeI de Albini, a Norman of noble extraction, attended the Conqueror to England, and was afterwards bow-bearer to William Rufus. For the valour which he displayed at the Battle of Teachebray, being the last of those conflicts which Henry I had with his brother Cuthrose, where this Nigel slew his horse, and brought him captive to King Henry, the King granted to him the forfeited estates of Cuthrose, amounting to 120 Knights fees.]>

This young and pious nobleman was the founder, it is said, of no less than thirty-five religious houses. He founded several it is certain, and he added to the endowments of many others. About the year 1143, in consequence of the northern ravages, a whole convent of monks were thrown destitute and desolate upon the world, when he afforded them shelter and entertainment in his Castle at Thirsk, and gave them land in Byland, where they erected a splendid Abbey: soon afterwards he founded the Priory of Newburgh, and the ruins of these two great houses of learning and religion still remain.

At the period of which we write, the north of England was overrun and ravaged by David, King of Scotland, and his ruthless host: David had been upon the most intimate terms with; Henry I, of England. The son of Henry, and heir to the Crown, being accidentally drowned, the King determined, to secure the right of succession in his own family, and therefore compelled the states of England and Normandy to swear allegiance to his daughter. The King of Scotland joined the English Barons in order to protect the rights of the English Crown. The first and foremost to take oath for Henry, was Stephen, Count of Blois, nephew to the King, but as soon as Henry was dead, he hastened to London, where he contrived to insinuate himself into the favour of the citizens, clergy, and above all, with the warlike Barons, who were indignant at the thought of having a she-king, as they called Matilda, to reign over them, and Stephen, with the consent both of the English and Normans, was created King. David, King of Scotland, was uncle to Matilda, who, with Robert, Earl of Gloucester, espoused her cause. The Scottish King laid claim to the Earldom of Northumberland for his son Henry, and this might be a further inducement for him to resist the efforts of Stephen.
About the 20th of Henry II (1174), Roger de Mowbray sided with the Prince to set him on the throne in the lifetime of his father, and for this act of treason, his Castles of Oxholme and Malzeard were besieged and taken by the Bishop of Lincoln, the King's natural son. Whereupon Do Mowbray hastened to the King, who was then, at Northampton, and surrendered his Castle of Thirsk, and thereupon bad his pardon granted.

Roger's successor was Nigel, his eldest son, who died about 1192; and to him succeeded William his son and heir, who was one of the Barons who took up arms against King John, and forced that Monarch to grant Magna Charta, or the great charter of the Kingdom's liberty. He founded a Chapel at Thirsk, dedicated to St. James, and also a Chantry therein, dedicated to St. Nicholas; and he agreed with the monks of Newbrough, that, although it was not a parish Church, the bells should be rung at the celebration of mass therein, whenever he or any of his family should be present; as well as on the festival of St. Nicholas, and on the obits or anniversaries of the deceased members of his family. [The Chapel or Chantry of St. James is said to have stood on or near the open space in the old town, called St. James's Green. There was likewise here a Chantry of St. Anne, founded by another Baron Mowbray.]

He died about the 7th of Henry III (1223), and was buried at Newburgh; and Nigel, his eldest son and successor, died without issue in 1229, leaving his title and estates to Roger, his brother and heir, who died in 1267. His eldest son, of the same surname, died in 1298, (26th Edw.I) and was buried at Fountains Abbey. John do Mowbray, his son and heir, and the eighth Baron Mowbray, joined the nobles who rebelled against the King in 1321, and was present at the Battle of Boroughbridge . He was hanged in chains at York, and his possessions came to the Crown. This John left issue, John, his eldest son, who had his father's estates restored to him, and who in the 1st of Edward III (1327), had livery of all his lands, and afterwards died of the plague at York.

At the coronation of Richard III, John, the son and heir of the last-mentioned John de Mowbray, was created Earl of Nottingham: but he died soon afterwards without issue, leaving his younger brother Thomas to succeed him in his lands and dignities; and soon afterwards he (Thomas) was made Lord Marshal of England, on account of his being great-grandson and heir to Thomas, second son of Edward I, who was Earl of Norfolk and Earl Marshal of England. This Thomas de Mowbray was also created Duke of Norfolk about the 20th of Richard II (1397), but was afterwards banished the Kingdom, and he died at Venice, leaving issue two sons, Thomas and John, and two daughters, Isabell, married to Sir James Barkley, and Margaret, married to Sir Robert Howard. Thomas succeeded his father, and died without issue about the year 1405, being beheaded at York for his participation in Archbishop Scrope's rebellion. John, his brother, was restored to his father's dignities by King Henry V., and died about the 14th of Henry VI. (1436), leaving John, his son and heir, to inherit all his lands and honours. This John died about the year 1475, leaving issue only one daughter, who was married to Richard, Duke of York, second son of King Edward IV, but dying without issue, all the possessions of the family descended to the heiress of the above-mentioned Isabell and Margaret, daughters of Thomas de Mowbray,* first Duke of Norfolk; and upon extinction thereof, the Lordships of Thirsk and Kirkby Malzeard, amongst other lands, fell to William, Marquis of Burkley, as son and heir of the above mentioned Isabell This William was afterwards created Earl of Northampton, and about the 4th of Henry VII. (1489), being likely to have no issue of his own body, he gave or sold divers lands and manors to Sir Wm. Stanley, then Lord Chamberlain of the King's household; and to Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby, he gave or sold the Manors of Donnington, Thwaites, Thirsk, Hovingham, Kirkby Malzeard, and Burton in Lonsdale, in Yorkshire, and several other lands and manors in other Counties, to be held by the said Earl, and the heirs of his body. They afterwards passed to other families. *[A geneological and historical account of the great baronial family of De Mowbray, will be found in the Cottonian library; also in Dugdale's History of Byland Abbey.]>

CASTLE.-The Castle of Thirsk, which, as we have already stated, was built before the Conquest, was greatly improved and probably enlarged by the noble family of Mowbray. Roger, the second Baron Mowbray, generally resided and had a strong garrison in it, and it was here that he conspired with the Scotch King,' and began his rebellion against Henry II. The revolt, however, was speedily suppressed, and on the 13th of March, 1175, this Castle, according to Jefferson, was surrendered. This statement, however, of the surrender of the Castle, does not agree with that of other writers. Mr. Ingledew, in his History of Northallerton says, on the authority of Benedict, Petroburgh ed Hearne, p. 84, "no person surrendered Thirsk Castle to a De Valence, or any other royalist commander for that Castle having held out till the war was ended, in which William, King of Scotland, was taken prisoner at Alnwick, 13th June, 1174, Roger de Mowbray, on the 31st July following, made his personal submission and surrender of Thirsk Castle to King Henry II, at Northampton" Henry then ordered all the Castles that still remained in private hands (held of him in capite) to be demolished, and this seat of feudal magnificence shared the common lot.

This great stronghold of the famous Roger de Mowbray is said to have been a very extensive fortress, with numerous lofty towers, and inferior to few in the kingdom for the magnificence of its external appearance, and the sumptuous grandeur of the interior; but its demolition was so complete that not a vestige of it now remains, but a slight artificial mount serves to indicate the site on which the Keep formerly stood. The site of the Castle is a little west of the present Market Place, near the entrance to the town by the Ripon road, and its precincts extended from the court-yard of the fortress still called the Castle Yard, eastward towards Kirk Gate, and very probably included the Market Place. Portions of the moat and rampart, together with some subterranean vaults, may still be seen.

Thirsk stands near the centre of the Vale of Mowbray, of which it is the ancient baronial capital. This rich and delightful valley lies between the Hambleton and West Hills, (Pennines) and is a fine agricultural, as well as pastoral and woodland country, abounding with streams and rivers, and all the riches and luxuries which nature so lavishly yields to the skill and industry of man. Indeed, this fine valley is scarcely to be equalled by any tract of country in the Kingdom, for fertility, expansion, and picturesque scenery "Wherever the wanderer goes, his eyes are feasted with beauty," says an anonymous writer, describing his "Wanderings in the Vale of Mowbray, "all along the high roads we get glimpses of farmhouses nestling amongst ancestral trees, and here and there, in the far off distance, we behold the grey tower or the tall spire of some Lonely Church, where the forefathers of the neighbouring hamlets have gone up for unnumberable generations to worship God, and where their children still continue to go, in all simplicity and reverence, and lowliness of mind-beautiful and retired Churches, with their quiet manses and devoted pastors, each a little centre of civilization, keeping alive all the human sympathies in those parts, and filling the souls of their charge with the love of God and heaven. And as we continue our wanderings, we see the ruins of old Castles, and moated granges and old Abbeys-the remains of feudal magnificence and life, the fossil farms, as it were, of a dead civilization and a dead religion. These are the marks which the struggling spirit of man, struggling with barbaric force, and. cumbered with barbaric splendour, has left behind it in its upward and onward progress through the past ages of our history; and intensely interesting they are, these mouldering piles, and solemnly they preach to us with their heavy tongues of stone."

The Town of Thirsk, which is situated on the road from York to Darlington, is divided by the small Codbeck (a branch of the Swale) into two parts, usually denominated the Old and New Town, and the river is spanned by two good bridges of three arches each. They have the appearance of two distinct towns. New Thirsk occupies, as above stated, the site and precincts of the Castle, and comprises an extensive Market Place, which is well lined with good houses, shops, and inns, and from which diverge several other streets. Old Thirsk, which is on the east side of the river, is a large, clean, old fashioned looking country village, on the road from York to Yarm and Stockton. Near one end of it is a large area called St. James's Green, where, as before stated, it is supposed was situated the Chapel of St. James. Hero stood the venerable Elm, under the spreading branches of which the elections of the borough members were formerly held; and there is a tradition that under this tree Henry Percy, fourth Earl of Northumberland, and Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire, fell a victim to popular fury in the reign of Henry VII. On the night of the 5th of November, 1818, a set of luckless boys, in their mischievous sports, set fire to this ancient tree, and of its remains two substantial chairs were made for John Bell, Esq., the late Lord of the Manor. A young elm now occupies the site of the old one. In the old town are the fifty old burgage tenements, which, till 1832, gave their possessors the right of sending two members to Parliament.

Thirsk never was incorporated, but, as an ancient prescriptive borough, has been governed by a Bailiff chosen by the burghers, and sworn in before the Steward of the Lord of the Manor, at the Court Loot. The borough first sent representatives to Parliament in the 23rd of Edward I. (1294), but none were afterwards returned till the last Parliament of Edward VI,; from which time the privilege was continued without interruption till the passing of the Reform Act, in 1882, when its representation was limited to one member.. The right of election, previous to the Reform Act, was vested, as already intimated, in the fifty burgage holders of the old town. The greatest number of electors polled within thirty years previous to 1881, was forty-one; the number of voters at present on the register is about 400. The boundary of the old borough was unknown; that of the present borough comprises the parish of Thirsk, the township of South Kilvington in the parish of that name, and the township of Bagby, in the parish of Kirby Knowle. Sir William Payne Gallwey, Bart., of Thirkleby Park, is the present representative of Thirsk in Parliament. The Borough Bailiff is the Returning Officer. Thirsk is a polling place at the elections for the North Riding of the County.

The town is paved, and lighted with gas; the fine spacious Market Place is much disfigured by two clumps of old unsightly buildings, which stand in the area, and which it is hoped will soon be removed. Near them are the remains of the Market Cross, a square Doric column, erected on a basement of four dilapidated steps. An old Toll-booth or Town Hall, which stood in the neighbourhood of the cross, was pulled down in 1888; and a long row of buildings called The Shambles, which for many years disfigured the opposite side of the Market Place, was removed in the month of September, 1857. The weekly Market is held on Mondays, and is very well attended and stocked; indeed it is one of the best markets for corn, poultry, fruit, &c.-for the size of the town-in this part of the Kingdom. Fairs are held here on Shrove Monday. and April 4th and 5th, for horses, horned cattle, sheep, &c,; on Easter and Whit Mondays for woollen cloth, toys, &c.; on August 4th and 5th, and October 28th and 29th, for horned cattle, sheep, &c.; and on the Tuesday after December 11th, for horned cattle. The cattle fairs are held in the old town. Formerly large fairs for leather were held here, and in other neighbouring towns, but the leather fairs now take place at Leeds. Thirsk was formerly noted for the tanning business and the manufacture of saddlery goods, especially bridles, considerable quantities of which were purchased for the army. There are still in the place five or six master saddlers, a fellmonger, and six or seven currying establishments. There are three branch banks here, viz., the Yorkshire District, the Yorkshire Union, and John Church Backhouse and Co.'s Bank. The Savings' Bank was established in 1819, and is now held in a building, which is described at a subsequent page. In the latter end of the year 1856, it contained £55,511, belonging to 1,739 depositors, 19 charitable societies, and two friendly societies.

The Parish Church (St. Mary) stands at the northern extremity of the new town, and is supposed to have been partly rebuilt out of the ruins of the Castle. At an early period the Church of Thirsk was appropriated to Newburgh Priory, and after the Dissolution of Religious Houses, Henry VIII gave the advowson and the Rectory to the Archbishop of York. The great tithes, together with thirty acres of rectorial glebe, are held of the Archbishop under a lease of three lives. The Living is a Perpetual Curacy, in the incumbency of the Rev. William Lindley, and is now of the annual value of £145. nett, being augmented with £1600. in Parliamentary grants, in 1811 and 1824. The Edifice, which is 160 feet long and 60 feet wide, is very handsome, uniform in style (Perpendicular Gothic), and in an excellent state of repair-its parts being those which usually form a parish Church. The tower is 80 feet high, and it, as well as the entire building, is buttressed, finishing at the top with an elegant open or pierced battlement, with gargoyles and pinnacles. In the tower are four bells, the largest of which is a remarkably fine one of the date of 1410, and said to have been brought from Fountains Abbey. The others were cast respectively in the years 1729, 1775, and 1805. Above the west window of the tower, in a small niche, is a statuette of the Blessed Virgin and Divine Child. All the windows of the aisles of the Church-sixteen in number-are uniform in size, being of three lights each, with Perpendicular tracery; on each side of the clerestory of the nave are six fine Perpendicular windows of three lights, but not quite so pointed as those in the aisles; and on each side of the chance] are two perpendicular windows, with elliptical or semicircular heads. Every window in the Church is good, and contains three lights, except the east window of the chancel, which is of five lights. The roofs are covered with lead. The porch on the south side was rebuilt, exteriorly, by subscription, in 1857. There is a parvise over the porch. The wooden door of the porch is ancient.

The chancel, according to an inscribed tablet in it, was repaired in 1544, "by Lord Walsingham, and Sir Robert Frankland Russell, Bart., in memory of a beloved wife and daughter, who was suddenly taken from them, after only three days' illness." At this time the roof of the chancel, which was flat, was raised, the beams were renewed, and the bosses painted with the arms of Lord Walsingham, and Sir H. F. Russell. The east window is filled with stained glass, painted, according to the above mentioned tablet, by Lady Walsingham and her three sisters, daughters of Sir R. F. Russell. It exhibits figures of Our Saviour and the four Evangelists; and in the sweep of the arch are sixteen smaller figures, with scrolls. The sedilia and part of the ancient piscina still remain. Beneath the chancel is a crypt, reached from the chancel by a flight of stone steps: it has, likewise, an exterior entrance. This crypt, now used as a Vestry, is lighted by a window below the east window. The aisles are divided from the nave of the Church by six beautifully pointed arches, on each side, rising from clustered pillars; the chancel arch is not quite so acutely pointed; and the tower arch, which is open, is tall and majestic. The carved oak roofs are fine, having shields, bosses, &c, at the intersections, and caned figures for corbals. The eastern most arch of each of the aisles are railed off with carved wooden screens; the east window of the south aisle is filled with ancient stained glass, but it is a patchwork composed of the remains of that beautiful article, from the other windows in the Church. Some of the heads are very good. Near this window is a piscina, and a bracket for a statue, which mark the site of an altar-consequently, it is certain that this end of the aisle was formerly a side chapel, as was likewise, in all probability, the east end of the north aisle, in the top of the window of which, are the remains of stained glass. The nave and aisles are neatly and regularly pewed, and lighted with gas; the organ stands at the west end of the north aisle; and the font is plain and massy, with an ancient spiral carved oak top. There are no ancient monuments in this Church, but there are modern tablets to the Revs Joseph Midgley;' to a daughter of Baron Sparre, Aid-de-camp to Charles XII., King of Sweden; the Pybus family, &c.

The Parsonage House is a neat building of brick, with stone dressings, situated on the north-west side of the Churchyard. It was erected in 1851 at a cost of 1,300 guineas, and is in the Domestic style of architecture of the 14th century. The old Parsonage, a low curious dilapidated thatched building (now forming two cottages), is at Norby, an almost detached street or row of houses on the north-east side of the Church.

The Wesleyan Chapel (in old Thirsk) is a large handsome structure, erected in 1816. The Independent (Salem) Chapel is a neat brick hulking, erected in 1803. The Primitive Methodist (Ebenezer) Chapel, erected in 1851, is also a neat brick structure. The Friends Meeting House, in Kirk Gate, was rebuilt in 1799. This Society have a cemetery at Barbeck.

The British School in the old town, is a large commodious building of brick, with a house for the master, erected in 1841. This school, which is supported by subscription, is attended by about 200 children of both sexes. The Infant School, near York Bridge, is held in a suitable building, adjoining which is a house for the schoolmistress. About 70 or 80 children usually attend this school, which is likewise supported by subscription. In the Castle Yard is the Charity School for 31 girls, who are taught reading, writing, knitting, and sewing. It too is aided by voluntary contributions.

Natural History Society.-In the month of November, 1853, a. society was formed here for the purpose of organizing and developing the scientific exploration of the vicinity. At present it consists of thirteen members, who meet once a month for consultation, and the exhibition of specimens. The society possesses a tolerably good microscope and library of reference, but does not form any public collections or specimens.' The annual subscription to this body is 10s., with an entrance fee of 5s. Mr. J G. Baker is the President.

The handsome building called the Savings' Bank, was erected in 1849, out of the surplus fund of the bank, at an expense of upwards of £2,000. It is built of brick, with cut-stone facings and a projecting roof. It contains the Savings' Bank room; a room for the directors of that institution; a large Assembly Room, which is let for public purposes; and a cloak room. The bank and assembly rooms are fine apartments: the latter is reached by a broad double flight of stone steps. Adjoining the building) and in connection with it, is a house for the actuary.

The Mechanics Institute and Public Room was built at the cost of Sir W. P. Gallwey, Bart., M.P, in 1848-9. This convenient building contains a large lecture room; which is approached by a stone staircase, a good reading room, and library, with class rooms, &c.. The library contains upwards of 600 volumes. Sir W. P. Gallwey, Bart., M.P., is the President of the Think Mechanics' Institution.

The Police Station is situated at the west end of Thirsk (West Gate, in the township of Sowerby), and was built about five years ago. The upper part of the building contains the Justice Room or Court House, in which the Magistrates of Birdforth Wapentake hold Petty Sessions every Monday. The County Court is likewise held here monthly, before Mr. Sergeant Dowling. A little to the west of this building is the Leeds and Thirsk Railway Station) which was opened about the year 1848. It is at present only used as a goods station; passengers for this town from all quarters, now alight at the Thirsk Station of the North Eastern Railway, which is about one mile distant, to the west.

Races have been held here annually since 1855, on a race course a little west of the town, on the property of the Lord of the Manor. The Grandstand is a very neat erection.

The Gas Works are situated in Old Think, and were established in 1834, by the late Mr. James Malam, whose property they were. These works have recently been purchased by Mr. Anthony Atkinson, of Beverley, who has considerably enlarged and improved them. There are now two gasometers (one of them was finished in September, 1857), which will contain 24,000 cubic feet of gas.

The Think Poor Law Union comprises forty parishes or townships, embracing an area of 85 square miles. The Union Workhouse stands on the Sutton Road (Old Think), and is a good building, which will accommodate 160 inmates. The average number during the past year was about 54. F. Bell, Esq. is Chairman of the Board of Guardians.

There is a Medical Benefit Society here, supported partly by its members, and partly by subscription. All persons who subscribe one guinea or upwards, annually, are directors during payment, and benefactors of ten guineas or upwards at one time, are constituted directors during life. All respectable individuals of the labouring class, who reside not more then eight miles from Think, whose income does not average throughout the year 16s. per week, and. domestic servants of good character, whose yearly wages do not exceed £5., are eligible to become benefit members of this institution, by paying quarterly (if without a. child) is., or monthly 4d.; every married couple pay 2s. quarterly, or 5d. monthly, and a small sum additional for each child which they may have. Persons making such payments are entitled to receive all requisit attendance from the medical officers of the institution. Mr. John Thompson, pharmaceutical chemist, is the dispenser.

The poor of Thirsk have five rent charges, amounting to £3. Ss. per ann., left by persons named Wrightson, Croe, Davison, and Midgley; and two roods called Wet-Lands, left by William Wrightson, in 1684. Timothy Place, Esq, in 1810, bequeathed £1,000.., three per cent consolidated anunities, for a weekly distribution of bread to poor parishioners, who regularly attend the Church, and do not receive parochial relief.

On Monday, the 24th of September, 1855, there was great rejoicing in. Thirsk, in consequence of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge and Sir George O. WombweIl, Bart., of Newburgh Park, passing through the town. Sir W. P. Gallwey, on the part of a deputation of gentlemen from the town and neighbourhood, delivered a short address to His Highness, expressive of their appreciation of His Highness's conduct whilst serving in the late war in the Crimea, and of congratulation to Sir George Wombwell, on his safe return to his home and friends from the war in the east. Having partaken of refreshment at the Fleece Hotel, they proceeded to Newburgh Park, His Royal Highness being the guest of Sir G. O. Wombwell.

Thirsk hall, the seat of Frederic Bell, Esq., stands at the end of the grounds, having one of its fronts towards Kirk Gate, near the Church. It is a large ancient brick building, covered in part with ivy. The entrance ball of the mansion is spacious, and has in its centre a billiard table. The balustrade of the principal staircase is curious, and was brought hither from the old manor house at Newcastle-on-Tyne. The walls of the dining room &c,, are adorned with several valuable paintings and family portraits-one beautiful picture, a bunting piece, measures 12 feet by 6 feet. The museum contains some rare curiosities3 amongst which are a white pheasant, a white partridge, a white jackdaw, a white sparrow, a white rat, a white mouse, a white hare, and a white rabbit: a helred-a cross between a pheasant and a partridge; a do-do, between a pheasant and a grouse; and an animal between a bare and a rabbit. Here are the two chairs made out of the old elm mentioned earlier. The park-like grounds are extensive and well wooded, and the pleasure grounds are finely ornamented with evergreens and shrubs. There is in the lawn a splendid lime tree of great circumference. In the pleasure grounds is an ancient stone font of curious workmanship, which was dug up some years since at Hood Grange, a few miles from Thirsk. The stone, which is square at the base, is supported at the angles by four grotesque figures, resembling those fabulous monsters called sea lions. The upper part-the basin-is circular, and the whole is decorated with curious carvings, among which may be traced a figure, holding a book and a two edged sword; and another supporting a kind of shield bearing art Agnus Dei, with its usual appendages, a staff, cross, and banner.

Angram House is a plain edifice, the property of Lady Frankland Russell, but leased by Major Sanders of the Hanoverian service, who married Jane, second daughter of the late John Bell, Esq., of Thirsk Hall. The house is so named from the street in which it stands being called Angram or Ingram Gate, from any or ing, a low swampy meadow, and gram, grass. The following valuable pictures grace the walls-a cabinet picture by Rubens, "The daughter of Herodias with the head of John the Baptist," which was purchased by Major Sanders from the collection of the King of Bavaria; "The Bubble Flowers," by Heck; a portrait of the Empress Maria Teresa of Austria, by Knobler; a portrait of Charles I, by Jameson, a pupil of Vandyke; and a portrait of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, afterwards Emperor of Germany-painted when be was only six weeks old. There is a beautiful picture of "Sheep," painted by a self-taught genius, Mr. B. Smith, of the Society of Friends the well-known mercer of Thirsk Market Place, worthy of Cowper of Canterbury, or Verbeckhoven.

There are several good farms and farmsteads in the township of Thirsk. Calvis Hall, in the occupation of Mr. John Coates, is an old building with thick walls, mullioned windows, and large chimneys, and a roof and floors of oak. It is said to have been built out of the ruins of Thirsk Castle. The house is approached by a wide avenue of fine old trees, and the prospect from it is extensive. Wood Hill Houses the residence of Mr. Thomas Pickering, is another good farm building in the neighbourhood of Thirsk; and there are likewise farm houses called Able Grange and Moorhouse.

About 1 mile from Thirsk, on the York Road, is a piece of ground with some good trees, supposed to have been the site of an ancient Hospital, as it is still known as the Hospital Field. About twenty years ago twelve or thirteen human skeletons were found here, as if regularly interred in the usual way.

A gravel walk across the fields leads to the neat village at Sowerby, which village might be considered a suburb of the town of Thirsk. The prospect of the surrounding country, from this gravel walk, is very interesting; terminating, as it does, in the Hambleton Hills.