The traffic in coal was increasing dramatically. Queen Elizabeth had incorporated the Newcastle hostmen, who had the monopoly right to move coal from shore to ship. Scarborough apparently had no shipsin the coal trade at the opening of the century butin 1612 carried 25 cargoes out of Newcastle. The number of shipments continued to grow.
Scarborough's future was among the great portstrading coal. Much coal was brought in and taken onto London, Rotterdam and Calais, Leonard Harrison sold eleven chalders of sea coal in London in 1626 at fourteen shillings the chalder. They claimed he lay drunk at Sunderland for three days together and so they lost voyages.
A petition of owners, masters and mariners trading coal in 1637 complained of the Newcastle hostmen, of bad coals, unjust coal measures, unreasonable prices and of those few who were engrossing the coal trade to Newcastle, trying to get the entire selling and delivering of coals into their own hands, to vend at their own prices. They agreed to offer the King 12d achalder, measured 21 bolls to the chalder, and offered price guarantees for London, if they had a free market. The struggles between the hostmen, the shippers and the London buyers would recurr. In 1637 masters and owners in the coal trade petitioned the privy council.
Scarbrough imported 3323 chaldrons of coal in 1639, only 238 from Newcastle and most of the rest from Sunderland. Local use within the port would grow,with coal replacing Stainton Dale turf and peat as the house fuel. Schofield said turf was theScarborough fuel until the time of King Charles I. Much of the coal was re-exported. William Clarke, a Scarborough master mariner agreed with Thomas Browne the Sunderland merchant to ship coal to Holland, Zealand and Flanders in 1643. Twelve men were licenced by the Bailiffs in 1625 as horse porters for coal and a schedule regulated their charges formoving coals from the sands around the town. Everyhouse along the sands paid 8d to 10d a chalder. everyhouse beneath Long Greece head between 10d and a shilling. A revised schedule for coal carriage on 3.11.1646 was 10d along sands,12d beneath Long Greece Head, up to 2s4d a chalder, elsewhere .
The significance of coal for Scarborough was fa rbroader. Every chalder shipped out of Newcastle andSunderland would pay duty to a Scarborough collector and the town's ship building industry would provide many of the collier brigs. The County Record Office has an agreement between Scarborough Master mariner William Clarke and Sunderland merchant Brown Thomas, dated 13.12.1643. He would "on the first good wind" sail his ship from Scarborough to Sunderland and "withall speed". Once there, at the mariner's own cost, hewould take on "a reasonable loads of coals" and " withthe next good wind sail into Holland, Zealand or Flander and stay" eight days for unloading.