Thomas Ferris, was said to have been a poor tenant farmer who tended the lands of the rich local squire. He was in love with the squires daughter whom he hoped to marry, but without the means to support her the squire withheld his permission. Determined to marry the girl he decided the only course of action was to make his fortune and the night before he was due to set sail from the fishing port of Whitby he set off to say a sad farewell to his future bride but that night the River Esk was so swollen with rainfall he was unable to see her.
Of Ferris's adventures there is no record or how much of a fortune he made, but there was enough of a fortune to impress the squire enabling the couple to marry at last. Ferris always remembered how disappointed he was at not being able to see his love that cold rainy night that he built Beggar's Bridge so that no other lovers would be separated as they were.
If indeed Ferris built this bridge why was it not named after him or given a name that would support this story? Lovers Bridge or Fortunes Bridge would have been more fitting don't you think?
This is a lovely little tale, but a tall tale no the less, made up story to fit a pretty little bridge. Who wants to imagine a couple of poor scruffy beggar's getting in the way, what's better - two lovers stealing a kiss in the moon light.