Although Staithes contains more than a thousand inhabitants, no regular system of national religious instruction has ever been afforded them, and they are permitted to wallow in gross ignorance. Moreover, to accommodate this mass of human beings, no means for spiritual instruction in the principles of the Establishment are provided; and whilst the Hindoos, Africans, Chinese and other distant lands, are liberally supplied with Christian ministers, twelve hundred of our own white brethren, close at hand, in the centre of a wealthy diocese, and in the midst of civilisation, are actually without a church. It is surely high time that the Archbishop, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the British public, should look to it.*
*George Fox visited Staithes in his “work of the ministry” in 1651 and describes at great length his struggles and contentions with the priests and ranters there. One of those priests was a Scotsman, whom honest George boldly accuses of having inveigled him to the top of the cliffs, with the intention of hurling him into the sea.
The History & Antiquities of Cleveland. John Walker Ord 1846