The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1801 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 1801

Great scarcity prevailed throughout this month. About £1,500 was subscribed for supplying the poor of Norwich with soup, and upwards of 247,000 quarts were distributed. At Norwich market wheat was quoted at the beginning of the month at 146s. per quarter, and rose at the end to 180s.; barley, 84s.; and oats, 50s. Various expedients were adopted to lessen the consumption of bread. “The officers of the West Norfolk Militia” it was stated, “have entirely left off the use of bread at their mess, and have forbid the use of puddings and pies, except the crust is made of rice or potatoes, which they eat in a variety of shapes as a substitute for bread.” Nurses were advised to use linseed meal and water instead of bread and milk in making poultices.

January 1st 1801

This day (Thursday) was observed as the first day of the Nineteenth Century. It was also the day upon which the legislative Union of Great Britain and Ireland was effected. At Norwich, the 13th Regiment of Light Dragoons and the East Essex Militia fired a _feu de joie_ in the Market Place, and the Union flag was displayed upon the tower of St. Peter Mancroft. At Yarmouth, there was a ceremonial parade of the Durham Militia, and the vessels in the Roads fired a royal salute and hoisted their new colours in honour of the Union. Rain fell heavily throughout the day.

January 3rd 1801

The Norwich Theatre was opened with the performance of “the last new comedy, ‘Life,’ and the farce, ‘Curiosity.’” The manager, Mr. Hindes, delivered an address to a crowded and fashionable audience. The alterations in the house were executed after designs by Mr. William Wilkins, the patentee, and it was said to be one of the handsomest theatres in the provinces.

January 5th 1801

“The Duke of Grafton’s hounds unkenneled a fox at Fakenham Wood, near Euston, and after a chase of upwards of 50 miles in 4 hours 5 minutes, killed him at New Buckenham.”

January 27th 1801

“A match for ten guineas (two miles) was trotted on the turnpike road between Setch and Lynn, between Mr. Robson’s pony Filch and Mr. Scarfe’s pony Fidler, which was won with great ease by the former, he having trotted over the ground at the rate of 18 miles an hour.”

February 9th 1801

Died at Postwick, aged 21, Edward West, who had served as midshipman under Lord Nelson at the battle of the Nile, and accompanied Capt. Sir Edward Berry in the Foudroyant. In the action with the Guillaume Tell “he received a most severe wound, which occasioned a decline.”

February 11th 1801

A General Fast was observed in Norwich.

February 14th 1801

“It is much to be regretted that although many large manufactures of hempen cloth are established in Norwich, all the spinning of the hemp is done in Suffolk, and a sufficient quantity is with difficulty obtained from thence. It is suggested to establish a spinning school for children, under the patronage of benevolent ladies.”

February 17th 1801

A company was formed at Norwich for the erection of a “public mill to be worked by steam for supplying the bakers and inhabitants with flour.” A capital of £12,500 was raised in transferable shares of £25, and the mill was erected upon a site near Blackfriars’ Bridge.

February 24th 1801

Mr. Charles Harvey, Steward of Norwich, elected Recorder, in place of Mr. Henry Partridge, resigned.

February 28th 1801

The price of wheat at Norwich Market was 168s. per quarter.

March 1801

Wheat this month rose to 180s. per quarter.

March 6th 1801

The Anacreontic Society, “which for many years has been established in Norwich, and to which the cause of music owes so much,” closed its winter session. The Hon. Mr. Wodehouse, Sir William Jerningham, Sir Richard Bedingfeld, and Capt. Sir Edward Berry were present. The Society gave monthly concerts in the Assembly Room from October to March. In the advertisement announcing the commencement of the next session, it was stated that the first concert would “begin precisely at 6; supper-rooms open at 9, and the President to quit the chair at 12 o’clock.”

March 7th 1801

Arrived in Yarmouth Roads, the St. George, of 98 guns, bearing the flag of Lord Nelson. The grand fleet of 47 ships of war (with 3,000 marines), sailed on the 12th, under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, in the London, of 98 guns, with Nelson as his Vice-Admiral. The fleet first “rendezvoused” in Leith Roods, where it was joined by seven sail of the line, and afterwards proceeded to Copenhagen.

March 10th 1801

A mob assembled at Lynn and grossly assaulted several millers and farmers by throwing at them stones and dirt. In the evening they broke the windows in the dining-room of the Duke’s Head Inn. “One of the ringleaders was taken to gaol, and by the active exertions of the Rutland Militia tranquillity was restored without bloodshed.”

March 11th 1801

“Mr. Kett, butcher, of Norwich, undertook to ride his horse 50 miles in four hours. He started from St. Stephen’s Gates at 12 o’clock, reached the 25th milestone on the Thetford road in about 2½ hours, and returned to the place whence he had set out one and a half minutes before the time allowed. Six to four was laid that the horse did not perform the journey.”

March 14th 1801

[Advt.] “The Yarmouth and Norwich mail coach will set out from the King’s Head, Market Place, Norwich, and the Star Tavern, Quay, Yarmouth, every day, at 12 o’clock.”

March 16th 1801

The Invincible, of 74 guns (built in 1766), Rear-Admiral Totty, on her way to join the grand fleet, got on the Ridge, near Happisburgh Sand, and remained there till daybreak next morning, when she floated off. On entering deep water she went down immediately, with several officers and 300 men. Daniel Grigson, master of the Nancy cod-smack, saved seven officers and about 190 of the crew. At a Court Martial held at Sheerness, on March 31st, on Admiral Totty and the surviving officers and crew, it was proved that the disaster occurred through the ignorance of the pilot, and a verdict of honourable acquittal was returned.

March 19th 1801

At the Norfolk Assizes, held at Thetford, before Mr. Justice Grose, the action, the King _v._ Augustus Beevor, clerk, was tried. The information was filed against the defendant by leave of the Court of King’s Bench, for sending a challenge to Major Edward Payne, in consequence of a dispute that had taken place between the Major and the defendant’s father. Defendant, referring to this dispute, wrote to Major Payne, demanding an apology, “or he should be under the necessity of compelling it by a mode generally used among gentlemen.” No notice was taken of the letter, and the defendant meeting Major Payne in the Market Place at Norwich told him publicly that “the contempt he had for his character protected his person.” The defendant was found guilty, and at the next term of the Court of King’s Bench (May 7) was sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment in the King’s Bench Prison, and ordered to enter into his own recognisances of £500, to find two sureties of £250 each, and to be of good behaviour for three years.

March 20th 1801

“The remains of Miss Sophia Goddard, of the Theatre Royal, Norwich, were interred at St. Peter Mancroft. Mr. Hindes, the manager, and the principal actors attended on the melancholy occasion. This young lady had obtained considerable reputation on the Norwich boards, and was making rapid advance to eminence in her profession when death prematurely deprived the theatrical world of an actress whose talents would have ensured her success on any stage. She supported with great fortitude and resignation a long and painful illness, brought on by exertions that her constitution was unequal to, and died on Sunday last (March 15), in her 26th year, sincerely beloved and lamented by her family and friends.”

April 3rd 1801

Died at the Cavalry Barracks, Norwich, Lieut. Robert Scully, 13th Light Dragoons. His remains were interred on Sunday, April 4th, with military honours, at St. Peter Mancroft.

April 4th 1801

Died at Cambridge, Mrs. Lloyd, widow of Dean Lloyd, aged 79. “Her performances in needlework were so exquisitely wrought that they may justly be compared with the paintings of the most celebrated artists. The Transfiguration and other figures represented in the eastern windows of Norwich Cathedral have displayed the superior skill of her personal attainments.”

April 4th 1801

Mousehold Heath, Norwich, was enclosed and cultivated. Plots of land were afterwards let at 25s. per acre.

April 4th 1801

John Allen (23) and John Day (26), for burglary at the house of the Rev. Isaac Horsley, at North Walsham; Richard Grafton, for stealing a cow and three heifers; and James Chettleburgh (36), for stealing six sheep at Saxlingham, were executed at Thetford. “Day confessed to having committed four burglaries previous to that for which he suffered, and to having deserted thirteen times from different regiments.”

April 4th 1801

In consequence of objections being made to the elections of Messrs. Staff and Proctor in the Wymer Ward, and of Messrs. Brittan and Scott in the Northern Ward, Norwich, on the ground of their being ineligible under the Corporation Act, having omitted to receive the Sacrament within a year previous to the election of Common Council, the Mayor did not make the returns till several days after the usual time. At a Court held on this day, the Recorder (Mr. Harvey), after the objections had been fully argued by counsel, declared that the persons objected to, who had the majority of votes, having omitted to come into Court according to summons, were not duly elected; but, as no regular notice had been given previous to the election, the candidates in the minority could not be returned. On May 2nd a rule was moved for in the Court of King’s Bench, to show cause why a mandamus should not be directed to the Mayor of Norwich to admit Mr. George Wymer into the office of Common Councilman of the city. Similar motions were made on behalf of Messrs. Bacon, Cooke, Fiske, and Webster, the other defeated candidates. “Lord Kenyon desired counsel to take rule to show cause, and to serve the rule not only on the Mayor, but also on those persons who were elected in fact, but not _de jure_.” On May 13th, Lord Kenyon confirmed the decision of the Recorder that “neither the candidates who had the majority of votes, from their not having taken the Sacrament, nor those in the minority were duly elected.” Another election for the wards took place on May 25th and 26th.

April 11th 1801

(Advt.) “To be seen alive in a genteel room at Mr. Peck’s Coffee-house, Church Stile, Market-place, Norwich, the largest Rattlesnake ever seen in England, 42 years old, near nine feet long, in full health and vigour. He is well secured, so that Ladies and Gentlemen may view him without the least danger. He has not taken any sustenance for the last 11 months. Admittance, Ladies and Gentlemen, 1s.; working people and children, 6d.”

April 14th 1801

Intelligence received at Yarmouth of the destruction of the Danish fleet in Copenhagen Bay, by the British fleet, under the immediate command of Lord Nelson, on April 2nd, after a battle of four hours. Seventeen sail of the Danish navy were taken or destroyed. The news was conveyed to Norwich by the coach, which entered the city with colours flying; the Volunteer corps paraded in the Market Place and fired a _feu de joie_, and the bells of St. Peter Mancroft and of other churches were rung.

April 18th 1801

“By the latest returns of the Secret Committee the County of Norfolk is reported amongst the most loyal counties in the kingdom.”

April 20th 1801

A performance took place at the Theatre Royal, Norwich, “towards raising a fund for the benefit of those who through age or infirmity are obliged to retire from the Stage.”

April 23rd 1801

Died at Norwich, Mr. John Bonsell, aged 75 years, “an eminent leather cutter, who for upwards of 20 years lived an abstemious life, refraining from animal food and fermented liquors. He rendered himself very conspicuous in the religious world, as he professed opinions, in a great measure peculiar to himself, which bordered upon fanaticism. He wrote several religious controversial pamphlets, as ‘The Ram’s Horn,’ &c.”

April 25th 1801

Comparative returns of the population of Norwich, “as taken in 1801, 1786, 1752, and 1693,” were published. In 1801, the population was 36,832; in 1786, 40,051; in 1752, 36,169; in 1693, 28,881. “The decrease of the population of this city since 1786 is 3,219, but it is to be observed that 1786 was a year of peace, and that in the returns of 1801 those serving in the Navy, Army, and Militia are not included. Norwich, during the present war, has furnished at least 4,000 recruits for the Army and Navy, and these will account for the decrease, and also for the great excess of females, which appears by the returns to be above one-fourth. Of the present population, 408 are chiefly employed in agriculture, and 12,267 in trade, manufactures, and handicrafts.”

May 1st 1801

“There being again this year no alderman below the chair who had served the office of Sheriff, the following aldermen were put in nomination for the office of Mayor:—James Crowe, Sir Roger Kerrison, John Morse, and Jeremiah Ives, jun. At the close the numbers were Ives, 668; Crowe, 638; Kerrison, 375; Morse, 37.” At a court of Mayoralty, held on Sunday, May 3rd, it was ruled that Mr. Crowe was ineligible, in consequence of having served the office three years previously to the date of the election. Sir Roger Kerrison, who stood next on the poll, retired in favour of Mr. Ives, who was thereupon declared elected, and was duly sworn on June 16th.

May 9th 1801

Died, at Easton House, Sir Lambert Blackwell, Bart., aged 69. The title (conferred on his grandfather in 1718) became extinct. He bequeathed all his estates, with his valuable paintings, books, coins, &c., to Mr. William Foster, jun., of Norwich, subject to certain annuities.

May 16th 1801

A reduction of from 15s. to 20s. per quarter in the price of bread corn was announced. There was also a decrease in the price of live cattle of all kinds. “A sixpenny standard wheaten loaf, which about six weeks ago weighed only 1 lb. 4 ozs. 6 drs., now weighs 2 lbs. 10 ozs. 6 drs.”

May 23rd 1801

“Another capital prize in the lottery has come down to Norwich. The whole ticket, number 24,350, a prize of £15,000 in the July Irish Lottery, is the sole property of Charles Weston, Esq., banker and brewer of this city. The ticket was purchased twelve months ago, and not being registered, the fortunate holder remained unconscious of his wealth until last week, when, on examining the public lists, he discovered that his ticket was a prize of the amount above stated.”

June 1801

The price of wheat at the end of this month fell to 120s. per quarter.

June 2nd 1801

Mr. Henry Harmer elected Speaker of the Common Council of Norwich, in place of his father, Mr. Samuel Harmer, who held the office upwards of 20 years.

June 4th 1801

The King’s Birthday was celebrated at Norwich with great demonstrations of joy. The Corporation attended service at the Cathedral, the Loyal Military Association and the several parochial associations paraded in the Market Place and fired a _feu de joie_, and the members of the Norwich Light Horse, after a like ceremony, dined at the Maid’s Head. Major Patteson’s corps adjourned to Neeche’s Gardens, Capt. Blake’s corps to the Rose Inn, St Augustine’s, and the other corps to different taverns. The Mayor gave a dinner to the Aldermen.

June 8th 1801

“A quartermaster of the 13th Light Dragoons rode a certain distance up Thorpe Road in a given time, with his face to the horse’s tail, and afterwards up the sand hill near Kett’s Castle in the same position, and won both wagers.”

June 18th 1801

The body of William Suffolk, who was executed in March, 1797, for the murder of Mary Beck, of North Walsham, was taken down by authority of the magistrates and interred on the spot where the gibbet was erected. “About ten days back a starling’s nest, with young ones, was taken out of the breast of Watson, who hangs on a gibbet on Bradenham Common, near Swaffham, for the murder of his wife, which was witnessed by hundreds of people as something very singular and extraordinary.”

June 20th 1801

The ensign of the Généreux having been presented to the city by Capt. Sir Edward Berry, the Corporation caused it to be displayed in St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, with a suitable inscription.

June 22nd 1801

Holkham Sheep Shearing commenced and lasted until the 26th. Among those present were the Duke of Bedford, the Duke of Manchester, and other distinguished visitors. The new implements exhibited included a machine for drilling turnips, invented by the Rev. T. C. Munnings. It was described as “nothing more than a perforated tin box, affixed to and vertical with the axis of a wheelbarrow.” A thrashing machine “was much approved of.” At this meeting Mr. Coke announced his intention to give premiums for promoting the improvement of live stock and for encouraging experimental husbandry.

June 25th 1801

A fire broke out on the roof of Norwich Cathedral, and occasioned damage to the amount of £500. Bishop Manners Sutton personally distributed refreshments to the soldiers and others who assisted in extinguishing the flames. About 45 feet of the roof were destroyed. The fire originated from the carelessness of plumbers at work upon the building.

June 27th 1801

“At the ordinary visitation of the clergy and general confirmation held during this month, Bishop Manners Sutton confirmed at Newmarket 1,150 persons of both sexes; at Bury St. Edmund’s, 4,500; at Stowmarket, 1,150; at Ipswich, 1,300; at Woodbridge, 1,150; at Framlingham, 960; at Beccles, 660; and at Norwich, 1,100.”

June 29th 1801

Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson arrived at Yarmouth in the Kite sloop, Capt. Domett, from Copenhagen. He immediately proceeded on foot from the jetty to the Hospital, and visited the sick and wounded seamen. After a stay of about three hours, his lordship left Yarmouth for London, under escort of a troop of Yeomanry Cavalry.

July 11th 1801

“The duty on port wine expected at Lynn alone will, it is said, amount to £80,000.”

July 11th 1801

“The Postmasters General have permitted the mail coach to be established from Lynn to unite with that from Norwich and Yarmouth at Barton Mills.”

July 17th 1801

Wroxham Regatta took place. “The novelty of a sailing match attracted a great deal of company.” It was won by the Union, the property of the Rev. Mr. Preston.

July 18th 1801

The population of Norfolk was returned as 274,221, of whom 130,249 were males and 143,972 females.

July 28th 1801

At a general meeting of the Deputy-Lieutenants and magistrates, presided over by the Lord Lieutenant (the Marquis Townshend), it was resolved to adopt measures for the effectual defence of the county and the preservation of property.

August 1st 1801

At the Norfolk Assizes, held at Thetford, before Lord Chief Baron Macdonald, was tried the action, Stracey _v._ Davy. The plaintiff was lord of the Manor of Rackheath, and the defendant a tenant of Mr. John Morse, jun. The action, which was for trespass, was brought for the purpose of ascertaining certain rights set up by the defendant. Davy sought to establish the privilege of sheep walk over that part of Mousehold Heath then belonging to the parish of Rackheath. He claimed severally the right of feeding 500, 400, and 300 sheep, and also the right of depasturing his sheep levant and couchant, and in various other modes. The special jury found a verdict for the defendant, and confirmed his right of feeding 500 sheep at six score to the hundred.

August 3rd 1801

The annual Venison Feast was held at the Red Lion, Fakenham, to celebrate Lord Nelson’s victory of the Nile.

August 4th 1801

The Norwich parochial Volunteer Associations assembled at St. Andrew’s Hall, and afterwards marched to the Market Place, where Capt. William Herring, the commanding officer for the day, read a letter from the Lord Lieutenant, requesting the men to be prepared in case of invasion.

August 4th 1801

“This day, from five in the morning till ten at night, heavy cannonading was distinctly heard by the Rev. Mr. Burton and several of his parishioners at Horsford, which was at the time supposed to be the cannonading from Lord Nelson’s fleet before Boulogne.”

August 15th 1801

Henry Lawn, aged 41, executed on the Castle Hill, Norwich, for horse stealing. “He denied to the last that he was guilty. He left a wife and six children. He would have enjoyed a considerable property, which the present possessor has entailed upon his children.”

August 24th 1801

The Supplementary Militia was re-embodied. During this month meetings were held in different parishes in city and county to discuss the means to be adopted in case of invasion. The clergy in country parishes took account of the live and dead stock that could be removed, and of the number of waggons and carts to be made use of. The drilling of Yeomanry and Volunteer corps became general.

September 1801

The portraits of Lord Nelson, by Sir William Beechey, and of Mr. John Herring, Mayor of Norwich in 1799, by Opie, were this month placed in St. Andrew’s Hall.

September 20th 1801

Died at Brompton, Sir John Gresham, Bart., the last male heir of the family.

September 26th 1801

“A person residing in this city has within the last week been convicted in penalties amounting to £166 10s., for having laid a leaden pipe from his dwelling-house to communicate with the pipes belonging to the proprietors of the waterworks, without having obtained their consent or paid the accustomed water rent. The amount was paid to the company’s solicitor, who immediately returned the money, except 30 guineas, which he has paid to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for the benefit of that institution.”

October 1st 1801

Intelligence was received at Yarmouth, from Constantinople, of the surrender of Alexandria to the British and Turkish armies under General Hutchinson and the Grand Vizier.

October 3rd 1801

The intelligence reached Norwich that the Preliminaries of Peace had been signed in Paris. There were great rejoicings on the 10th on the ratification of the news. The horses of the mail coach, by which the intelligence was brought to the city, were so terrified by the demonstration that they became unmanageable, the coach was overturned, and the coachman, the guard, and some of the passengers injured.

October 5th 1801

At Yarmouth, during the Peace illuminations, a mob broke the windows of several houses occupied by Quakers. The ringleaders were committed for trial at the Sessions.

October 7th 1801

At the Norfolk County Sessions, Elizabeth Manship, of Ormesby, was indicted for committing an outrage upon the Rev. Eli Morgan Price, when in the act of officiating at Divine service at the parish church. It appeared that while Mr. Price was reading a new form of thanksgiving “for the late plentiful season” the defendant rushed out of her pew and snatched the paper out of his hands, to the very great disturbance and alarm of the congregation. The jury found the defendant guilty, and she was sentenced to pay a fine of £20.

October 21st 1801

A general illumination took place in Norwich in celebration of the Peace. There was a grand display of transparencies, and a huge bonfire was lighted in the Market Place, around which the Mayor and Corporation paraded. The celebration was general throughout the county.

October 24th 1801

“In the spring of this year the Palace Workhouse, Norwich, contained 1,017 paupers. They are now reduced to 425, a smaller number than has been known for the past 20 years. The reduction in the other workhouse has been nearly proportionate.”

November 2nd 1801

The Prince of Orange arrived at Yarmouth from London, and on the 6th sailed in the Diana packet for Cuxhaven.

November 13th 1801

Peter Donahue, a sergeant in the 30th Regiment of Foot, was executed at Lynn, for uttering counterfeit Bank of England notes. “We are sorry to add that he appeared sensible for many minutes after he was turned off, and a large effusion of blood gushed from his mouth and nose, which rendered the scene most awful, terrible, and distressing.”

November 20th 1801

Prince William Frederick of Gloucester arrived at the house of Mr. J. Patteson, at Norwich, and in the afternoon stood sponsor for Mr. Patteson’s youngest son, who was christened at St. Stephen’s Church by the name of William Frederick. The Prince afterwards went to Houghton, where Lord Cholmondeley gave a grand _fête_ in honour of the Peace. On his return to Norwich, on November 25th, his Royal Highness attended a ball and supper, given by Mrs. Charles Manners Sutton at the Bishop’s Palace.

November 21st 1801

“The coursing meeting at Swaffham last week was numerously and respectably attended. The silver cup was won by Mr. Denton’s bitch Nettle, which beat Mr. Tyssen’s bitch. The assembly was brilliantly and numerously attended”

December 1801

Prices of corn at the end of the year: Wheat, 70s. to 76s. Rye, 36s. Barley, 40s. to 42s. per quarter. Oats, 20s. to 24s. Malt, 32s. per coomb. Best flour, £3 1s. 8¼d per sack. Coals, 40s. 4d. per chaldron.

December 5th 1801

It was announced that the Duke of Norfolk intended to “pull down the old Palace, now used as a workhouse, and employ the premises for some beneficial and ornamental purpose.”

December 16th 1801

The old Hall at Stratton Strawless, belonging to Mr. Robert Marsham, was destroyed by fire. The family had removed a few weeks before into the new hall.

December 26th 1801

A serious affray occurred at Horsford between two Excise officers, assisted by two privates of the 3rd Dragoon Guards, and 30 smugglers. The officers had seized a large quantity of smuggled goods at Cawston, and the smugglers succeeded in retaking only a small part. One of the soldiers was shot; several of the smugglers were desperately wounded, and two died of their wounds.

December 26th 1801

(Advt.) “The Lord Nelson new Light Coach, from London to Lynn in 14 hours, through Cambridge and Ely. Agreeable to the wishes of the Vice-Chancellor and several members of the University, the proprietors mean to relinquish travelling on the Sunday. The coach will leave the Golden Cross, Charing Cross, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at half-past five, arrive at Cambridge at one, and Lynn at eight in the evening. The coach will return from the Globe Inn, Lynn, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. The coach carries four insides.”

December 26th 1801

(Advt.) “The Lord Nelson Coach, from London to Fakenham. The coach leaves the Crown, Fakenham, on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; sups at Cambridge, and arrives in London about seven in the morning. From the Golden Cross, same days, at six in the evening.”