Masham (St. Mary)

MASHAM (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, in the union of Bedale, wapentake of Hang-East, N. riding of York; containing, with the townships of Burton-upon-Ure, Ellingstring, Nether and Over Ellington, Fearby, Healey with Sutton, Ilton with Pott, Masham, and Swinton with Warthermask, 2974 inhabitants, of whom 1318 are in the town, 34 miles (N. W. by W.) from York, and 223 (N. N. W.) from London. This place was anciently the residence of the baronial family of Scroop, of whom Henry, Lord le Scroop, lord treasurer, and Archbishop Scroop, were both beheaded for high treason in the reign of Henry IV. The town is very pleasantly situated upon a gentle eminence, in a fertile district, on the western bank of the river Ure; the houses are well built, and the air is remarkably pure. The trade consists principally in the spinning of yarn, for which an extensive factory has been established, affording employment to about 100 persons. There is a small market on Wednesday; a fair is held on Sept. 17th and 18th, for live-stock, and during the spring a fair for cattle and sheep takes place on alternate Mondays. A court leet is held annually, at which a constable is chosen, its jurisdiction also extending to the recovery of debts under 40s. The living is a vicarage, united to that of Kirkby-Malzeard, and valued in the king's books at £30: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £941, and the vicarial for £236. Masham prebend, the richest in the cathedral of York, being rated in the king's books at £136, was dissolved, and made a lay-fee, by Archbishop Holgate in 1546. The church is a small but handsome edifice, with a tower surmounted by a lofty and elegant spire. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, and Wesleyans. The grammar school, founded by William Danby, Esq., in 1760, is maintained from property producing about £80 per annum, of which about £25 are paid to the master of a charity school, otherwise supported by subscription.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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