Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Borough of Scarborough and English county of North Yorkshire. Prior to local government reorganizations in the late 1960s it was considered to be 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 of Whitby Abbey, where Caedmon, the earliest recognized English poet, lived. The fishing port emerged during the Middle Ages and developed important herring and whaling fleets, and was (along with the nearby fishing village of Staithes) where Captain Cook learned seamanship.