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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB



The Farndales of Whitby





Farndales in Whitby


John Farndale, born 1636  (FAR00087) started a line of Farndales in Whitby by the 1660s.


Thomas Farndale, born 1682 (FAR00118) was a carpenter in Whitby as was his son, Francis Farndale, born 30 September 1711 (FAR00135)


John Farndale, born 1711 (FAR00136) lived in Whitby and sailed with Captain Cook


Giles Farndale (FAR00137) served in the Royal Navy. It seems very likely that he was press-ganged at Whitby, probably in 1740 when he would have been 27 years old.



References to the Farndale family in Whitby baptismal registers, 1768 to 1789

1769 October 28th Farndale, Elizabeth daughter of William and Elizabeth (sailor) born 12 October Whitby

1772 October 26th Farndale, Robert son of William and Elizabeth sailor born 11 October Whitby

1786 February 5th Farndale, Francis son of Thomas and Jane Carpenter born 3rd February Whitby

1786 April 18th Farndale, William illegitimate son of Frances spinster born 11th April Whitby

1788 January 27th Farndale, William son of Thomas and Jane carpenter born 22 November Whitby

1789 July 16th Farndale, Margaret illegitimate daughter of Frances spinster born 2nd May Whitby



































Trade in 18th-century Whitby

Shipbuilding in Whitby increased very rapidly during the 18th century as the following figures indicate:

•1700: 113 sailboats of small tonnage;

•1734: 130 ships of 80 tonnes and upwards;

•1776: 251 ships of 80 tonnes and upwards.

It was the coastal trade which absorbed the majority of these ships and in particular, the coal trade. Coal was shipped at Newcastle, Sunderland and Shields for London and the east coast ports, the main part being for the Capital. It was imported into Whitby both the domestic use and in the alum works. In 1690, 60 tons of kelp were shipped from Berwick on Tweed to Whitby for use in the manufacture of alum and presumably this was not an isolated instance as the alum trade persisted throughout the century in various states of economic decline and recovering.

In 1731 Whitby imported coals from Newcastle and Sunderland and wine, linen, nails, firkin staves, bricks, clog wheels (cart wheels of thick plank without spokes), and timber from Hull. There were also three cargoes of miscellaneous goods from London. 27 shipments left the port that year, one of alum for Newcastle, one of alum for Alloa and 25 for London which consisted of alum, dried fish and butter. (Willan).

Young gives the imports for 1790 as timber, hemp, flax, ashes (for soap), and iron. He makes no mention of coal that must have featured high on the list. Exports were sailcloth (7,300 bolts), butter (1,309 firkins), hams and bacons (21 tonnes 19cwts 3 qts 10 lbs), oats (4,094 qts) ad leather (33,615 lbs). Alum and whale oil, blubber, whale fins and whale bone also formed part of the export trade.

Whale fishing began in Whitby in 1753 and the vessels were sometimes used in the coal trade during the autumn and winter months and then adapted for whaling in the summer.

Because of the increase in shipbuilding, large quantities of timber came into the town. Most of it was from the Baltic direct or via Hull along the coast. Whitby registered ships traded with the Baltic from Hull and London and were also engaged in the trade in the West Indies, Mediterranean, America and the East Indies. So Whitby seamen employed on locally owned ships would have picked them up at ports around the country.

There are vague hints that certain Whitby merchants were involved with the slave trade but no definite evidence has come to light and certainly nothing to connect the port with slave ships.

Luxury goods such as wine, tea, coffee, sugar, spices, currents, raisins, fine dress materials and tobacco would come along the coast from London or Hull.

One final use to which would be ships were put is that of transport vessels in time of war. The Navy board commandeered the privately owned vessels and paid well for their use, granting adequate recompense in the event of loss. The crew would not fare so well if they were all pressed into the Royal Navy.

During this century Britain was at war from many years and some shipowners must have made large fortunes.

1701-13 War of Spanish succession

1739 War of Jenkins era with staying

1740-48 War with Austrian succession

1751-57 War in India

1756-63 Seven years war with France

1776-83 American War of Independence

1793-1815 Napoleonic Wars


Finch, Roger Coals from Newcastle Terence Dalton, Lavenham, Suffolk 1973

Trevelyan, GM A short history of England Penguin, 1942

Willan, T. S. The English coasting trade 1600 - 1750 Manchester University 1938

Young, George History of Whitby, two volumes Clark and Medd, Whitby 1817








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Whitby about 1750



Victorian Whitby


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Flowergate, Whitby





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1837 Poor Law Valuation of Whitby

( http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/stevewhitaker/1837Valuation/Main9.htm )

Extract from website:

"What is the 1837 valuation?

The 1837 valuation of Whitby is a list of every property in the township of Whitby in Yorkshire in the year 1837, that is 2,435 houses, tenements, shops, offices and other places. The valuation includes the occupier of the property, its owner, a description and its rateable value. When I first came across it, I was fascinated by the detail of how my ancestors lived and I knew that other people would be too. One of the aims of family history is to give us an insight into the lives of our ancestors and you don't get a much better insight than knowing the type of house your family lived in over a hundred and fifty years ago. I have therefore indexed the valuation and put it onto my site to be viewed by anyone with an interest in the history of Whitby.

Why was the 1837 valuation created?

In 1834, the New Poor Law came into operation in England and Wales. As part of this, parishes were grouped into Poor Law Unions. These were administered locally by a Board of Guardians, elected by each parish or township, and answerable to a central Poor Law Commission, based in London.

Those families who could not fend for themselves were either given money or food to sustain themselves (known as out-relief) or were taken into a Union Workhouse, where the workhouse master and his staff would take care of their immediate needs. However, the workhouse was segregated by sex and the inmates were expected to perform laborious tasks in return for their food and lodging, so this was an option that the poor avoided whenever possible.

The funds to pay for the relief of the poor were collected from the population of the township or parish, according to the value of the property they occupied. The value of each property, or more particularly, the rent it would fetch if rented for a year, was assessed. The local Board of Guardians would decide how much they needed in each year and each householder was liable for a proportion of this, depending on the annual rateable value of his property.

In 1837, the Board of Guardians for the Whitby Union came to the conclusion that the rateable values that they had been using prior to that date was out of date. They requested permission from the Poor Law Commission to conduct a new valuation. When this was granted, in order to record the annual rateable value of each property, the Board of Guardians appointed a valuer. He wrote a list of properties with their owners, occupiers and their rateable values, presumably by walking around the town and interviewing people. This list was published by a local printer so that people could check that their rateable value was correct and also that no-one else was being charged too low a rate. A copy of the list was sent to the Poor Law Commission and it is that copy that I have transcribed.

What do I need to know about the transcription?

The transcription was made by me in the National Archives at Kew. I have tried to transcribe the names exactly as given. However, for ease of indexing, where the name was followed by a number of 'do's representing repetition of the same name, this name has been copied. For the property descriptions, a number of abbreviations were used by the original valuers, many of which were included in a list at the back of the document which I have transcribed here. Note that in some cases I have already expanded the abbreviations in the description.

Note that street names appear as they are on the original document. They are not repeated on subsequent pages. If you need to know the street on which your property is located, you may need to go back to the previous page or occasionally, a few pages before that, to find the street.

Where can I see the original records?

The original record from which I have transcribed this is at the National Archives at Kew, in reference MH12/14656. This is a large volume, ordered approximately in date order. It contains the correspondence sent to the Poor Law Commissioners regarding the Whitby Union and copies of their responses, from 1834 to 1843. The valuation is towards the end of the 1837 section.

More information relating to the National Archives and how to view the documents they hold can be found on their website

If you know of any other copies or the location of any other valuations prior to 1900, please let me know at the email address below.

What plans are there for adding to the valuation?

I would like to add a street index. I'd also like to do some analysis on the rateable values of different types of property. For instance, if your ancestor had a tenement with a value of £1 10, was this a large, small or average sized tenement?

I am also planning to provide an index of people mentioned elsewhere in the Poor Law Correspondence. "

 The dramatic ruins of Whitby Abbey, on the headland overlooking the town















How Bram Stoker’s visit to the harbour town of Whitby on the Yorkshire coast in 1890 provided him with atmospheric locations for a Gothic novel – and a name for his famous vampire.




Bram Stoker arrived at Mrs Veazey’s guesthouse at 6 Royal Crescent, Whitby, at the end of July 1890. As the business manager of actor Henry Irving, Stoker had just completed a gruelling theatrical tour of Scotland. It was Irving who recommended Whitby, where he’d once run a circus, as a place to stay. Stoker, having written two novels with characters and settings drawn from his native Ireland, was working on a new story, set in Styria in Austria, with a central character called Count Wampyr.


Stoker had a week on his own to explore before being joined by his wife and baby son. Mrs Veazey liked to clean his room each morning, so he’d stroll from the genteel heights of Royal Crescent down into the town. On the way, he took in the kind of views that had been exciting writers, artists and Romantic-minded visitors for the past century.


The favoured Gothic literature of the period was set in foreign lands full of eerie castles, convents and caves. Whitby’s windswept headland, the dramatic abbey ruins, a church surrounded by swooping bats, and a long association with jet – a semi-precious stone used in mourning jewellery – gave a homegrown taste of such thrilling horrors.


Bram Stoker photographed in about 1906

Bram Stoker photographed in about 1906




High above Whitby, and dominating the whole town, stands Whitby Abbey, the ruin of a once-great Benedictine monastery, founded in the 11th century. The medieval abbey stands on the site of a much earlier monastery, founded in 657 by an Anglian princess, Hild, who became its first abbess. In Dracula, Stoker has Mina Murray – whose experiences form the thread of the novel – record in her diary:


Right over the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which was sacked by the Danes … It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits; there is a legend that a white lady is seen in one of the windows.


Below the abbey stands the ancient parish church of St Mary, perched on East Cliff, which is reached by a climb of 199 steps. Stoker would have seen how time and the weather had gnawed at the graves, some of them teetering precariously on the eroding cliff edge. Some headstones stood over empty graves, marking seafaring occupants whose bodies had been lost on distant voyages. He noted down inscriptions and names for later use, including ‘Swales’, the name he used for Dracula’s first victim in Whitby.




On 8 August 1890, Stoker walked down to what was known as the Coffee House End of the Quay and entered the public library. It was there that he found a book published in 1820, recording the experiences of a British consul in Bucharest, William Wilkinson, in the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (now in Romania). Wilkinson’s history mentioned a 15th-century prince called Vlad Tepes who was said to have impaled his enemies on wooden stakes. He was known as Dracula – the ‘son of the dragon’. The author had added in a footnote:


Dracula in the Wallachian language means Devil. The Wallachians at that time … used to give this as a surname to any person who rendered himself conspicuous either by courage, cruel actions, or cunning.


Stoker made a note of this name, along with the date.




While staying in Whitby, Stoker would have heard of the shipwreck five years earlier of a Russian vessel called the Dmitry, from Narva. This ran aground on Tate Hill Sands below East Cliff, carrying a cargo of silver sand. With a slightly rearranged name, this became the Demeter from Varna that carries Dracula to Whitby with a cargo of silver sand and boxes of earth.


So, although Stoker was to spend six more years on his novel before it was published, researching the landscapes and customs of Transylvania, the name of his villain and some of the novel’s most dramatic scenes were inspired by his holiday in Whitby. The innocent tourists, the picturesque harbour, the abbey ruins, the windswept churchyard and the salty tales he heard from Whitby seafarers all became ingredients in the novel.


In 1897 Dracula was published. It had an unpromising start as a play called The Undead, in which Stoker hoped Henry Irving would take the lead role. But after a test performance, Irving said he never wanted to see it again. For the character of Dracula, Stoker retained Irving’s aristocratic bearing and histrionic acting style, but he redrafted the play as a novel told in the form of letters, diaries, newspaper cuttings and entries in the ship’s log of the Demeter.

The log charts the gradual disappearance of the entire crew during the journey to Whitby, until only the captain is left, tied to the wheel, as the ship runs aground below East Cliff on 8 August – the date that marked Stoker’s discovery of the name ‘Dracula’ in Whitby library. A ‘large dog’ bounds from the wreck and runs up the 199 steps to the church, and from this moment, things begin to go horribly wrong. Dracula has arrived …