Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parishin the Borough of Scarborough and English county of North Yorkshire. Before local government reorganisations in the late 1960s, it was part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, Whitby has an established maritime, mineral and tourist heritage. Its East Cliff is home to the ruins ofWhitby Abbey, where Cædmon, the earliest recognised English poet, lived. The fishing port developed during the Middle Ages, supporting important herring and whalingfleets, and was (along with the nearby fishing village of Staithes) where Captain Cook learned seamanship.