For those interested in reading further on Whitby’s history, a good beginning is Shaw Jeffrey’s Whitby Lore And Legend, reprinted several times and still to be found with a little searching. Jeffrey was headmaster of Colchester Royal Grammar School then moved to Whitby after his retirement in 1916. He published several books on various subjects, and often wrote for the Whitby Gazette. Gaskin’s The Old Seaport Of Whitby, originally published in 1909 and reprinted by Caedmon in 1986 contains many fascinating facts and descriptions. Caedmon are also responsible for producing the excellent two volume set of facsimile editions of the Rev. George Young’s A History of Whitby (1817), which contains, among other delights, much detail on various local trades and industries.
For those interested in contraband running, I would recommend Jack Dykes’ Smuggling On The Yorkshire Coast (Dalesman 1978) which paints a panoramic picture from the Humber to the Tees of the trade, whereas an in-depth history of the Customs & Excise in Whitby itself can be found in John Tindale’s Owlers, Hoverers And Revenue Men (Whitby Publishers 1986).
First hand accounts of the whaling trade are sparse, as most men engaged in the Greenland Fishery tended to be doers, not writers. However, William Scoresby’s An Account Of The Arctic Regions (1820) and his Journal of A Voyage To The Northern Whale Fishery (1823) are contemporary and contain much detail. Another book of note is B. Lubbock’s The Arctic Whalers (Glasgow 1937), but a county-wide picture is given in the recent Yorkshire’s Whaling Days (Dalesman 1980) by Jack Dykes.
A bibliography of books on Captain James Cook would fill several pages but R.T. Gould’s Captain Cook (Duckworth 1935 and reprinted recently) is a workman-like effort as unpretentious as its title. Tom & Cordelia Stamp’s publication, James Cook, Maritime Scientist (Caedmon 1978) is easy to read and dwells on Cook’s achievements in the scientific field. Hammond Innes’ factional The Last Voyage is notable for reading as though Cook had written it himself. Limited to one choice, however, mine would be Captain Cook, The Seaman’s Seaman by Alan Villiers, who sailed his own full-rigged ship Joseph Conrad in Cook’s wake, and will probably be the last man ever to do so. Villiers faced the
William Scoresby jnr
in later life
Percy Shaw Jeffrey (1862-1952) by Frank Daniell (1868-1932)
Rev George Young
Robert Tate Gaskin
Right: Charles Dodgson, who as Lewis Carroll found fame as author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, often stayed in a house on East Terrace, currently La Rosa Hotel, and is said to have found inspiration in Whitby