Lionel Charlton                                                     
 
 
 
After a classical education at the University of Edinburgh, Lionel Charlton settled in Whitby around the year 1748. He was a lame man with a withered hand, yet these obstacles did not prevent him from setting up a school which was for many years the principal one in Whitby. 
 
Considered by many a strict schoolmaster, he was nevertheless a man of great integrity and would not accept anything other than his agreed salary from his employers. He was stubborn in attitude and never surrendered his point of view in an argument. 
 
Around 1762 Charlton published a paper claiming that extracting money from the local fishermen in taxes known as tithes was unjust. Dr. Hayter, Bishop of Norwich, was in charge of this process, and he felt this paper reflected badly on his character, especially as Charlton seemingly pulled no punches whilst voicing his opinion of the Bishop. 
 
Dr. Hayter threatened to prosecute Charlton unless he retracted his 'obnoxious expressions'. True to his character Charlton refused point blank, immediately putting his career, the safety of his family and his financial security in peril. This incident may well have ruined the dogmatic schoolmaster had the Bishop not died, putting a stop to the prosecution. 
 
Toward the end of his life, after a long acquaintance with the town, Lionel Charlton undertook the writing of his History of Whitby. Having his employer Mr Cholmley's library at his disposal and access to the records of the Abbey, several years were spent in research. 
 
The title page and canvas map
 
Before September 1776 about a hundred subscribers were obtained. In 1777 the book was advertised as 'speedily to be published'. Even so the subscribers had to wait until 1779 before holding the long anticipated volume in their hands. 
 
This First Edition contained a canvas fold out map of Whitby which was reprinted by Young in his history of the town in 1817. Charlton's book is not an easy read. It is arranged chronologically, therefore subjects are not gathered together, but occur piecemeal throughout the work. It contains a huge amount of charters and exhibits 'a greater display of laborious research than of solid judgement'.
 
Page 287  
 
BOOK III 
 
Containing the History of Whitby, from the dissolution of the Monastery to the end of the year 1776. 
 
When the Monastery of Whitby was dissolved, the town was divided into three parts ; all of which, taken together, contained but a very inconsiderable number of inhabitants.  One of these parts, consisting only of about ten or twelve houses, stood above the hill, on or near that plat of ground where Streanshalh had formerly been, in the days of St Hilda and the Northumbrian Kings.  These houses were inhabited by the menial servants and other dependents of the Abbot, wo assisted in tilling such land in the neighbourhood of the Monastery as was not lett out to tenants : And this being in those times of Popery an article of very great consequence, some of them probably were also employed in providing that useful commodity for the Monastery, though it is certain most of the fishermen at Whitby, even in those days, for the convenience of fishing, had their habitations below the hill. 
 
Another part of Whitby stood below the hill, on the east side of the Eske, where ten or twelve more straggling houses, placed in an irregular manner, at a considerable distance from each other, formed a sorry street, then called Kirkgate, but now commonly known by the name of Church-street, beginning at the lower end of the Green-lane, and terminating at the bottom of the Church-stairs.  Beyond that street, to the northward, was a place called Haglathe, from a lathe, barn, or store-house, which had been built there as a repository for such necessaries as were wanted in the winter season of the year by those inhabitants who had their residence below the hill ; that place having long before the building of this lathe been known by the name of the Hag, on account of its low situation, whereby it is shaded from the sun for at least one half of the day. 
 
Page 329 
 
...within Whitby harbour to anchor and moor in proper manner and places ; and the master of every ship or vessel who disobeyed the orders of such person or persons as they appointed, was, on his refusal or contempt, to forfeit a sum not less than forty shillings, and not exceeding five pounds ; to be levied by a warrant granted by any three of the said trustees, and applied to the use of Whitby piers. 
 
Authorized by this act of parliament, the trustees employed an able engineer, and several other good workmen, by whom the west pier was lengthened 100 yards, which terminated with a strong circular head, whereon was erected a commodious battery, with a good parapet, and embrasures for live pieces of cannon, planted there to guard the entrance of the harbour, and also to defend such ships from the enemy as might come to seek refuge in Whitby road.  To strengthen which, another battery was also raised in the east cliff, at the end of Haglathe, where three pieces of cannon were placed.  As likewise a third battery of five cannon was planted very properly, behind embrasures made for that purpose, near the Scotch-Head.  As these batteries, ever since their first erection, have always struck such a terror into the enemy during the time of war, that not one of their privateers, or ships of war, have ever dared to approach or port. 
 
After this east pier was lengthened about thirty yards, and some parts both of that and the west pier were repaired or built anew ; so that the whole was not only serviceable, but also ornamental to the harbour : The channel also was greatly bettered, by removing the rock and such quarries of stone as lay in or near the mouth of the harbour ; which had so good an effect, that it encouraged the inhabitants of Whitby, and others, to build in the said harbour much larger ships than what had formerly been used there.
 
Page 339 
 
In the year 1760, about 1800 acres of moor was, by act of parliament, taken in from the moors adjoining to Sleights and Ugglebardeby, and added to the inclosed land belonging to Whitby parish. 
 
In the year 1761,houses first began to be built in Haglathe ; where new houses arising annually, and continual additions being made, it was by degrees formed into a compleat street, called Henrietta-street, in honour of the second Lady of Nathaniel Cholmley, Esq ; and is now grown so populous, that it is believed not less than a thousand inhabitants are to be found in the same. 
 
In the year 1762, the four bells in Whitby church being found to be very defective, were taken down, and sent up to Longon ; and in their stead a peal of six very tuneable bells were purchased there of Messieurs Lister and Pack, which, being properly hung by one of the best artists in England, now confinue to grace our old church, and do honour to the town of Whitby. 
 
Also, in that same year, 1762, Messieurs William and John Skinner purchased Farndale Fields of Mr. Thomas Hay for the sum of 1500 l. where they proposed building new houses, and enlarging the town of Whitby.
 
 
 
 
 
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