This is also well documented by Metford
The end of the nineteenth century was marked by the war with South Africa. The English press had worked up a great deal of ill-feeling against the Boers. Rumours were spread telling of ill-feeling of British people in Pretoria, and public opinion was very mad against the people of that country.
Mr. Cronwright Schreiner came to England to try and give what he thought was the truth. J.L.Hammond, J. A. Hobson and F. W. Hirst felt strongly that he must be heard. They asked Mr. E. Richard Cross to meet him. The South African Conciliation Committee was formed in Scarborough, as in several other towns, and Joshua Rowntree was appointed Chairnan. Several Scarborough citizens were invited to an At Home to meet Mr. Schreiner and Mr. Hobson. They arrived in Scarborough during, the afternoon, and were met by Mr. E. Richard Cross and Mr. Joshua Rowntree, also a few other members of the Committee. The station was filled with people, who were obviously very unfriendly. Fortunately for the visitors, Mr. Frank Rowntree was in the same train, and for some reason the crowd thought he was Mr. Schreiner. They followed him out of the station, booing and hooting, whilst Mr. Cross got Mr. Schreiner and Mr. J. A. Hobson into a cab and took them to his home, Sunny Howe. They went to an At Home in the evening. and found a huge mob outside Rowntree's Cafe in Westborough, where the reception was to be held. Very soon it was seen that the crowd was getting excited. Missiles were: thrown through the windows and the people tried to rush and break open the doors. It was then felt unsafe to prolong the meeting. Marion Rowntree, with great pluck, got Mr. Schreiner out through a back door into a side street, and took him in a cab to Sunny Howe. Mr. Cross took Mr. Hobson and Mr. Joshua Rowntree down another street; here they met a well-educated man who smashed in Joshna Rowntree's hat and called Judas. In a short time several members of the Committee came to Sunny Howe to see if everything was safe. They reported that great damage had been done to the Cafe and to John Rowntree & Sons' Grocers' shop.
Meanwhile, the Chief Constable came up and told Mr. Cross that his visitors must leave the town early the next morning. He arranged to take them in a carriage and pair to Ganton Station and put them into the York Express, which he arranged to have stopped. Of course, when the train unexpectedly stopped, passengers put their heads out to see what was the matter, but nothing happened beyond a little booing.
Going back to the night previous, after the Chief Constable's call, a ring came to the front door. Mrs. Cross went out to see what was wanted and there found a crowd of young men. They were not quite sure of the house so rang the bell. One of the crowd was a young solicitor and when he saw the wife of the Magistrates' Clerk he remained quiet. They asked if Mr. Schreiner was in and Mrs. Cross asked them what they meant by disturbing her and her young Family. They looked in at the door, saw that all was quiet (Mr. Schreiner and the others were silent) so they came to the conc1usion they had made a mistake and retired, leaving the stones they had brought on the doorstep.
The usual boycott took place; the local magistrates called a meeting of the Justices for the purpose of trying to remove Mr. Cross from the position of Clerk to the Justices. Fortunately the chairman, Mr. Darley, although a strong Tory, spoke in favour of no action being taken, and in the end wisdom prevailed.
Mounted Police failed to control the crowd. One, if not two, councillors tried to pull a constable off his horse. Stones were offered at 6 a penny; when the whole of the windows of the ground floor of J.Rowntree & Sons’ Grocery shop were broken, and in one case the goods came out into the street, the crowd moved up to W. Rowntree & Sons, where the windows that were. not protected by shutters were also broken. By this time the Mayor and the Chairman of the Watch Committee were in the Cafe, considering what to do. Finally, they sent to the barracks for the military. As soon as they appeared on the scene marching in a string stretching across the road, women and girls ran up to them and joined hands, singing "Soldiers of the Queen". Captain Fell, in charge of his men, showed great tact, marching at quick march down the street, then right about and up through the crowd again, and finally called Halt at the corner of Aberdeen Walk and Westborough. Raising himself on the stone wall outside the Bar Church, he said in a loud voice, "I have nothing to do with this affair, except to keep order. It is time I was in bed, and quite time you were as well. Let us sing ‘God Save the Queen,’ and go home." It was now past midnight. The crowd then dispersed, except some of the young hotheads; of these, some went to Mrs. Cross's house on the South Cliff, others up Westborough and Westwood into William Rowntree's private garden. He was 94 years of age; his wife had given him a cup of hot milk and he fell asleep. Within a few minutes the wife heard the sound of a crowd talking and of broken glass in a window at the other side of the house. The ruffians then went to the Rowans. My brother John had not come home from the Cafe, and it was left to his brave little wife to stand in her invalid son's bedroom, holding a counterpane over the bed, whilst stones were thrown, which broke the window, also a jug and basin. My brother came up, escorted by a policeman, about 2-30 a.m.
During the same evening General Booth was addressing a crowded meeting in the Circus. I was in the chair; someone pulled my coat tail and said, "Your windows are being smashed." It was not until I had taken the General home that I could come into the town to see for myself what the rioters had done.
The next morning I took the General to the station to see him off by train. As the train began to move a certain Hull solicitor put his head out of the window and shouted, "Rowntree, I am glad of what happened last night. You deserve it." Three Salvation Army young women replied, "We don't know w ho you are, but you are no gentleman."
Anyone coming down Westborough next day would read the bills pasted on the boards which were covering the windows, "Business as usual."
Though we suffered heavily, no charge was made on the town. About 150 letters of sympathy were received during the next few days, from all over England, Scotland and Ireland.
Also, Cronwright Schreiner concluded his letter with,