The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1808 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 9th 1808

“Capt. Manby’s invention for rescuing persons from vessels stranded on a lee shore has received the approbation of the Lords of the Admiralty.” On February 12th the apparatus was successfully employed in saving the crew of a vessel named the Elizabeth of Plymouth. In May, the Society of Arts awarded their gold medal to Capt. Manby for his invention; and Parliament at different times rewarded him with grants amounting to £6,000, and adopted his apparatus at various stations on dangerous parts of the coast.

January 10th 1808

Lord Hutchinson and Lord L. Gower arrived at Norwich from Yarmouth, where they had landed from the Belette sloop of war, on their return from St. Petersburgh.

January 14th 1808

During a heavy gale several vessels were stranded between Blakeney and Sheringham. Much damage was done by an inundation at Cley-next-the-Sea.

January 17th 1808

Died, of typhus fever, in his 20th year, Viscount Trafalgar, only son of Earl Nelson.

January 23rd 1808

“In consequence of the anniversary of King Charles’s martyrdom, the nights of performance at the Theatre Royal, Norwich, next week, will be Monday, the 25th, Wednesday, the 27th, Thursday, 28th, and Friday, 29th.”

February 1808

Meetings were held in Norwich and throughout Norfolk this month, at which Mr. Joseph Lancaster lectured on his improved method of education. Lancasterian schools were established in Norwich, Lynn, and Downham in May, 1809.

February 11th 1808

A great snow storm. The coaches which should have arrived on Friday did not reach Norwich until the following Tuesday and Wednesday. “The mail guards were obliged to traverse the country with the bags on their shoulders, sometimes on foot, up to their breasts in snow, and sometimes on horseback, across the open fields and heaths. From the Friday till the following Tuesday the bags for London by Newmarket were dispatched hence in post chaises. Labourers were employed in clearing the highways, and in some places they cut three miles through the snow.” So complete an obstruction to communication had not occurred since 1797, when the coaches were four days performing the journey from London.

February 14th 1808

Died, in London, in his 60th year, “that eccentric and truly worthy character,” the Rev. Joshua Larwood, rector of Swanton Morley, and many years chaplain on board the Britannia. He was the author of “Erratics,” and of several other works.

February 15th 1808

The constables of Norwich destroyed many dogs which had been found without muzzles in the public streets. Several cases of rabies and of deaths from hydrophobia were reported at this date.

February 17th 1808

Died, at the age of 83, at Norwich, Mr. Francis Columbine. He served the office of Sheriff in 1769, and of Mayor in 1776.

March 2nd 1808

The Hon. William Asheton Harbord appointed Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the county of Norfolk, in place of the Marquis Townshend, deceased. The Corporation of Norwich, on May 3rd, conferred upon Mr. Harbord the honorary freedom of the city.

March 5th 1808

“The Dean of Norwich has appointed Dr. Beckwith to be organist of the Cathedral, in the room of Mr. T. Garland, resigned.” (Mr. Garland died on February 21st, aged 77, having been organist 59 years.)

March 8th 1808

Died, at Norwich, aged 77, William Love, musician. “He was formerly leader of the band at the Theatre, a person of great genius in his profession, of great suavity of manners, and of great improvidence in conduct.”

March 11th 1808

At a meeting held at the Angel Inn, Norwich, at which Mr. T. W. Coke presided, Mr. Nathaniel Kent, of Ripon Hall, was presented by the agriculturists of the county with a massive silver goblet, in recognition of “his integrity and impartiality between landlord and tenant, in his profession as a surveyor of land, and for his liberal and upright attachment to the interests of agriculture.”

March 30th 1808

The Racoon sloop of war, 20 guns, was launched from Mr. J. Preston’s dockyard at Yarmouth.

March 31st 1808

Died, at Wells-next-the-Sea, aged 82, Mr. Charles Boyles, brother of Mrs. Murray, widow of Dr. John Murray, of Norwich.

March 31st 1808

Died, at Melton House, aged 18, Miss Astley, eldest daughter of Sir Jacob Astley, Bart. She was in the act of placing coals upon the fire, when her dress became ignited, and she succumbed to her injuries within twenty-four hours.

April 1808

Died, this month, aged 100, Mr. John Myhill, of Catfield.

April 2nd 1808

“We understand that, in consequence of many burdens lately brought on the city by the birth of illegitimate children, the Corporation of the Guardians have offered a reward of 2s. 6d. to any person who shall give information of the pregnancy or delivery of any unmarried woman in Norwich.”

April 4th 1808

The week commencing this date, during which the ward elections were held at Norwich, was for the first time referred to as “cleansing week.” “Many voters, who had been cooped up at farm houses in the country at great expense, were brought in post chaises to the polling places. For the last four days we have had as much ringing and firing of bells as if we had received a confirmation of the reports of the naval victory in the Mediterranean.”

April 9th 1808

The performance for the benefit of Mr. Hindes, manager of the Theatre Royal, Norwich, produced the largest receipt ever known at the house on a like occasion, namely, £163.

April 16th 1808

John Chapman, 34, and William Fuller, 26, for shooting at and wounding a gamekeeper in the service of Lord Cholmondeley, were executed on Castle Hill, Norwich.

April 28th 1808

A county meeting was held at the Shire-house, Norwich, to take into consideration the measure pending in Parliament for prohibiting the use of grain in distilleries, and for the substitution of sugar. It was resolved to petition against such prohibition as likely to prove injurious to the owners and occupiers of land in Norfolk. (Parliament determined, however, in favour of using Colonial produce instead of English barley.)

April 30th 1808

(Advt.) “There will be a match of cocks fought between the gentlemen of Norwich and the gentlemen of Norfolk, to show 25 mains and 8 byes, to fight for two guineas a battle, and 20 guineas the odd. One turn out for ten guineas; to be fought on the 2nd and 3rd day of May, at the King’s Head, in Magdalen Street, Norwich. A pair of cocks to be pitted at twelve o’clock precisely. Feeders, Lamb for Norwich; Carter for Norfolk.”

May 2nd 1808

A new peal of ten bells was opened at St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth.

May 3rd 1808

Mr. Robert Alderson was elected Governor of the Norwich Court of Guardians, in the place of Mr. Robert Partridge, resigned.

May 6th 1808

Mrs. and Miss Robertson, of the Close, Norwich, and the Misses Doune were returning to the city from Hockering, when they were stopped by a highwayman near Cossey Wood. He was armed with pistols, and, after taking all their valuable articles of jewellery, rode off.

May 10th 1808

An Expedition, consisting of 150 transports, sailed from Yarmouth for the Baltic, for the protection of Sweden. The Mars, Admiral Keats, the Audacious, Capt. Lukin, and other warships formed the convoy; and Sir John Moore, with Major-Generals Paget and Murray, had command of the troops.

May 21st 1808

The coach house, brew house, and offices at Blickling Hall, with 180 stand of arms, were destroyed by fire.

June 4th 1808

The Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Manufactures awarded their silver medal to Mrs. Coppin, of St. Stephen’s Street, Norwich, for her oil painting, “The Gamesters.”

June 4th 1808

An annual ploughing match was inaugurated at Ellingham by the Rev. Wm. Johnson, to encourage the use of oxen in husbandry.

June 6th 1808

The Norwich Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, Col. Harvey, 500 strong, proceeded to Yarmouth for garrison duly, and returned to Norwich on the 18th.

June 13th 1808

A cricket match, for 50 guineas a side, was played at Swaffham, between the gentlemen of Swaffham and the gentlemen of Shipdham, and was won by the latter.

June 16th 1808

Died, at Norwich, in this 68th year, Sir Roger Kerrison, banker, and for many years Receiver-General for Norfolk. He was an alderman of the Mancroft Ward, served the office of High Sheriff in 1800, and was twice Mayor of Norwich, 1778-1802.

June 20th 1808

Holkham Sheep Shearing commenced. The sweepstakes of 28 subscribers, at 10s. 6d. each, for naming the weight of Mr. Coke’s three-shear half-bred merino wether, was won by Mr. Thomas More, of Watham, who guessed the exact weight, 132 lbs. A patent dibbling iron, which deposited the seed at the time the holes were struck, exhibited by the Rev. Mr. Barker, of Woodbridge, was the winning implement. Mr. F. Smith, of Norwich, exhibited specimens of ladies’ merino dresses, scarves, shawls, stockings, coating, and cassimers, most of which were made from the wool of Mr. Coke’s sheep. “A pair of worstead stockings were of so delicate a fabric that the two stockings passed at the same time through a lady’s ring. A manufacturer had ordered a dozen pair at 18 guineas.”

June 21st 1808

The Guild feast given at St. Andrew’s Hall by the Mayor of Norwich, Mr. Starling Day, jun., was attended by 580 guests.

July 12th 1808

At the Norwich Quarter Sessions, the Norwich Flour Company appealed against the assessment of their premises in St. Andrew’s. The company was described as an unprofitable concern. The assessment was reduced.

July 12th 1808

A member of the Swaffham Cricket Club played and beat, with great ease in one innings, “six players of professional celebrity in that town.”

July 13th 1808

The thermometer registered 97 degrees in the shade at Catton. Many horses died from the excessive heat.

July 14th 1808

Sergt.-Major Marshall, of the Thetford Volunteer Corps, and his son were killed by an accidental explosion while sorting damaged cartridges.

July 18th 1808

A prize fight, for £40 a side, took place on Kirstead Green, between Wm. Underwood, of Seething, and John Chase, of Brooke. Eighty-five rounds were fought in two hours. Underwood won.

July 21st 1808

Thorpe Water Frolic took place. “The Admiral of the flotilla was placed in a small boat and carried round Thorpe Gardens several times, with guns firing, flags flying, and music playing. The company sang ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Rule Britannia.’ A young gentleman favoured the company with an excellent hornpipe on the top of the Apollo barge.”

July 23rd 1808

The bankruptcy of Sir R. Kerrison and Sons created much sensation in Norwich. “The crowd was so great in the King’s Head Inn yard of persons who came to prove their debts that many had to return without proving them.” The amount proved was considerably over £580,000. On January 16th, 1809, the creditors agreed to pay the sum of £5,500 to Lady Kerrison, in lieu of dower and of other claims and demands she might have on the estate. On May 13th, a dividend of 6s. 8d. in the pound was ordered to be paid on the 17th to the 3,600 creditors who had proved their debts. Dividends amounting to 16s. 4d. in the pound were afterwards paid.

July 29th 1808

At a special meeting of the Norwich Corporation, an address to his Majesty was unanimously agreed to, “on the subject of the noble struggle of the patriots of Spain and Portugal against the Ruler of France, and of the generous aid given to their endeavours by our Government.”

August 1808

Many of the Volunteers transferred their services to the Local Militia, established this month under the Act passed in July.

August 1st 1808

Mr. Stephen Springall, farmer, of Wroxham Hall, and his nephew, aged 12, were drowned at Wroxham Water Frolic, through the capsizing of their boat.

August 8th 1808

A remarkable storm occurred at Norwich. Streets were inundated and cellars flooded. “The roaring of the waters in falling from the roof to the lower leads of the Cathedral was so tremendous as literally to drown the noise of the thunder that accompanied it.”

August 15th 1808

The Norwich Society of Artists opened their fourth exhibition.

August 20th 1808

“At the Hospital anniversary at Norwich, the sum collected at the Cathedral was £161 1s., and at the dinner, £53 7s. Of the church collection, £1 6s. 6d. was base coin.”

August 20th 1808

“Among the many performers who have contributed in the course of the Assize week to the entertainment of the city, may be reckoned the wonderful John Howes, from Eyke, near Woodbridge. Though bereft of sight and moving in a humble sphere of life, his arrival in Norwich was announced by the ringing of bells, for he carries a complete peal of twelve about with him, which, when he performs, he suspends upon a pole placed horizontally across the backs of two chairs. A variety of peals, as well as song tunes, country dances, &c., he plays with a degree of accuracy and precision that charm all those who witness his performance.”

August 28th 1808

Braconash Church was reopened for service by the Bishop of Norwich, after its complete restoration. Mr. T. T. Berney, of Bracon Hall, entertained many of the neighbouring clergy at dinner.

August 30th 1808

Died, at the age of 101, Mrs. Mary Moneyment, of St. Faith’s.

September 2nd 1808

Died, in his 49th year, Dr. Richard Lubbock, of Norwich. He was educated at the Grammar School, under the Rev. G. W. Lemon, author of the “English Derivative Dictionary,” was a pupil of Mr. Rigby, and studied for several years at Edinburgh University.

September 5th 1808

A cricket match was played at Thetford, between the Thetford and Newmarket clubs. The former won by 50 “notches.”

September 17th 1808

“At the late meeting of the county magistrates, it was agreed that the passage way from the top of the Castle Hill, Norwich, to the north-east side should be filled up, and the iron railing continued from the bridge quite round. The descent from that part of the hill towards Gurney’s bank will be by a flight of stone steps.”

September 19th 1808

Great festivities took place at Rainham Hall to celebrate the arrival of the Marquis Townshend. “A bullock was roasted and four sheep boiled, and a large quantity of that old beverage made from malt and hops contributed to make all heads and hearts glow with gratitude to the noble donor.”

September 21st 1808

At a quarterly meeting of the Norwich Corporation, the Commons proposed that the representatives of the city be instructed to oppose the Bill for erecting a bridge over the river at Carrow Abbey. The motion was not agreed to by the aldermen. On December 15th, a numerous meeting was held at the Guildhall to oppose the erection of the bridge, on the ground that it was unnecessary. On February 20th, 1809, Mr. Patteson presented a petition to the House of Commons, praying for leave to bring in a Bill for carrying out the proposal. On April 21st, Mr. Patteson moved the second reading of the Carrow Bridge Bill, which was opposed by Mr. W. Smith. Fourteen voted for the motion, and nine against. These numbers not constituting a House, the further consideration of the Bill was deferred to a future sitting, when the second reading was carried by 48 votes to 26. Ultimately, the Bill received the Royal assent. On July 26th, the Commissioners selected Mr. A. Brown’s plan for an iron bridge, and on July 31st, contracts were entered into with Mr. J. G. Aggs for casting the ironwork; with Messrs. Athow and De Carle for the stonework; and with Mr. N. Wyeth for the brickwork and abutments. On December 18th, a proposition was submitted to the Commissioners in favour of abandoning the Carrow Bridge scheme, in view of the projected erection, near the Foundry, of a bridge over the Wensum. It was decided, however, to push on with the work as speedily as possible; and the first stone was laid on April 26th, 1810, by the Mayor, Mr. Thomas Back.

September 25th 1808

Died, the celebrated Greek scholar, Richard Porson. He was a native of Ruston, in Norfolk. He left a sister, the wife of Mr. S. Hawes, of Coltishall. His brother Thomas, who kept a boarding school at Fakenham, died in 1792.

September 27th 1808

A rowing match, for ten guineas a side, took place at Norwich, between the six-oared boats, the Britannia and the Crown Point. The latter won. Distance, 4½ miles; time, 30 minutes 30 seconds.

October 5th 1808

Mr. Shelford Bidwell was elected Mayor of Thetford. “The usual entertainment was given to the Corporation. The source from whence it was, as usual, derived is worthy of record. The roast beef is provided by the Town Clerk; the boiled beef by the tenant of the tolls of the navigation; the geese by the tenant of the bridge tolls; the game and wine by the Mayor-Elect; and the keeper of the tavern adjacent to the Guildhall finds the plumb puddings. Is this immemorial custom in the above very ancient borough not the origin of the present fashionable _Pic Nics_?”

October 10th 1808

About two-thirds of Col. Patteson’s Volunteer Infantry were enrolled as Local Militia.

October 15th 1808

The Norwich corn merchants demanded of the farmers a month’s credit, instead of paying ready money for their corn as hitherto, but it was resisted by the growers, and ultimately abandoned by the merchants. In the Court of King’s Bench, on November 25th, Lord Ellenborough, who was applied to for a rule, held that individuals might buy and sell upon terms agreed to, but combining to impose terms upon the growers was calculated to enhance the price of grain in the market, and to lessen the supply in the market, which was another cause for an increased price.

October 16th 1808

Fundenhall Church was opened, after extensive repair. The chancel was almost rebuilt by Mr. T. T. Berney, the impropriator.

October 18th 1808

A rowing match, for five guineas a side, took place between the Revenge, six oars, and the Lion, four oars. The course was from Carrow to Whitlingham and back. The Revenge won.

October 25th 1808

At Blickling Races a silver cup was for the first time offered for competition by horses ridden in a regiment or troop of Norfolk Yeomanry Cavalry.

October 28th 1808

The organ erected at St. Andrew’s Church, Norwich, was opened by Dr. Beckwith. A grand selection from the works of Handel was played upon the instrument, and upwards of £120 was collected.

October 31st 1808

At Holkham, from October 31st to November 17th, Mr. Coke and seven other guns killed 1,131 hares, 214 pheasants, 366 partridges, 983 rabbits, 30 woodcock, 12 wood pigeons, and 5 snipe.

November 9th 1808

A woman, named Mary Hudson, aged 35, escaped from Norwich City Gaol under extraordinary circumstances. She made a hole through the wall of the room in which she was confined, and crept through it into the street, taking her six months old infant with her. The wall was two feet in thickness, and she must have been employed some nights in making the aperture. The bricks were concealed beneath her bed, and the loose rubbish put into the pillowcase. Another bed served to conceal the hole in the wall. In the hue and cry advertisement, offering a reward of ten guineas for her recapture, it was stated that a Yarmouth hawker and pedlar, named Thomas Cocks, “who frequently feeds cocks for fighting in Norfolk and Suffolk,” was suspected of having assisted the woman to escape. There is no record of her recapture.

November 15th 1808

Swaffham Coursing Meeting took place. It was described as “the most successful meeting since the renewal of coursing here.” Two hundred persons attended the ball.

November 24th 1808

The Wymondham troop of Yeomanry Cavalry presented a valuable sword to the commanding officer, Capt. John Darell.

December 1808

Col. Robert Harvey, not being joined by a sufficient number of the Volunteers under his command to permit of its becoming a battalion of Local Militia, he resigned his commission, and was succeeded by Lieut.-Col. De Hague.

December 10th 1808

“The lay clerks of Norwich Cathedral have lately had their salaries augmented £12 each, being only the second advance since the time of Henry VIII.”

December 17th 1808

From Saturday, the 17th, to Saturday, the 24th, the Newmarket mail coach, owing to the heavy fall of snow, did not arrive in Norwich with the letters until after the departure of the coaches for London. Great inconvenience was occasioned thereby in commercial circles.

December 21st 1808

Died, aged 18, Miss Fisher, only daughter of Mr. Fisher, of the Newmarket Theatre, and formerly of Norwich.

December 24th 1808

(Advt.) “A main of cocks will be fought at the Maid’s Head Inn, Norwich, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 3rd and 4th of January, 1809; to show 31 mains, to fight for ten guineas a battle, and 100 the odd battle. Likewise to show ten bye cocks for five guineas a battle, and two turn outs. Feeders, Lamb, Norfolk; Cock, Norwich.”

December 31st 1808

John Gulley, Tom Crib, and Tom Belcher gave a boxing exhibition at Norwich before an audience of 800 persons.