The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1812 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 2nd 1812

A silver vase, of the value of 200 guineas, was presented to Sir Edmund Bacon, premier baronet, of Raveningham, at the Swan Inn, Loddon, by the inhabitants of the Loddon and Clavering Hundred, as a token of their respect for him as a magistrate, and in recognition of his valuable services in the improvement of the roads in the district.

January 11th 1812

“The East India Company, on a representation from the manufacturers of camblets in Norwich, have raised their order from 16,000 to 22,000 pieces this season, and the manufacturers have lately advanced the wages of the journeyman weavers.”

January 20th 1812

A two days’ cocking match commenced between the gentlemen of Yarmouth and the gentlemen of Blofield, for £5 a battle, £20 the odd, and two byes for £10 each. On the first day Blofield won four battles, and Yarmouth three battles and a bye. On the second day Yarmouth won four battles, and Blofield three battles and a bye. “The pit was filled each night, and there was much betting between the parties.”

January 30th 1812

A deputation of the citizens waited upon the Lighting and Watching Committee of the Norwich Corporation to complain of the inadequate provisions for the public safety. The committee gave an assurance that the watchmen should be periodically inspected and an inquiry made whether the funds of the committee would enable them to give an increased allowance to watchmen whereby more able men might be appointed, and the time of watching extended to a later hour.

February 4th 1812

Died, at the age of 104, John Brown, carpenter, of Wymondham. “He retained his faculties to the last, and till within a week or two of his death frequently walked twenty miles a day.”

February 5th 1812

A general fast was observed in Norwich.

February 13th 1812

A Lancastrian school was established on the Denes at Yarmouth.

February 27th 1812

Died at Worstead, Mr. Thomas Deeker, “and on the same day in Pall Mall, London, his brother, who in 1785 twice ascended in his balloon from Norwich.”

March 1812

This month the public lighting of Thetford by voluntary subscription was inaugurated.

March 28th 1812

“The partnership between Messrs. Fisher and Scraggs having expired the theatre at Thetford was opened for the season commencing with the Assize week, under the direction of Mr. Fisher only, with that success which diligence and long-established integrity merit.”

April 6th 1812

The first annual meeting of the Norwich Association against Felonies was held at the Guildhall.

April 7th 1812

Died from the effects of a wound received in the storming of Badajoz, in his 25th year, Lieut. W. S. Unthank, of the 44th Regiment, eldest son of Mr. William Unthank, of Norwich.

April 15th 1812

Died at Scoulton, Lieut.-General James Hethersett, in his 77th year. “He was the last surviving officer who fought by the side of the immortal Wolfe on the day that he fell.” General Hethersett possessed property of the value of £80,000.

April 18th 1812

“A few days since at Corpusty, aged 102, Samuel Mog, one of the last survivors of that British Army which fought under the celebrated General Wolfe at the battle of Quebec.”

May 1st 1812

Election of Mayor at Norwich. Mr. Starling Day was nominated for the office, but asked to be relieved on account of his advanced age (78). A poll resulted, and on the 2nd the numbers were declared as follow:—Mr. Day, 761; Mr. R. Harvey, jun., 757; Mr. Alderman Davey, 566; Mr. Alderman Leman, 507. “Mr. Day sent a message to St. Peter’s ringers ordering them to cease their triumphant peal, on the ground that he had declared his intention not to serve.” Guild Day was fixed for June 16, and the usual quarterly assembly of the Corporation on the day preceding it had to be abandoned because the attendance was insufficient to form a quorum. Mr. Day was sworn into office on the 16th, but “there was no church, no dinner.” Mr. Alderman Davey invited the freemen of the Blue and White interest to dine with him beneath the trees at Eaton Hall. The guests, 500 in number, “were refreshed on their dusty march by Mr. Alderman Yallop, at his cottage, with a pint of beer each, 600 of which were swallowed in twenty minutes.”

May 11th 1812

Died, Mr. Johnson, the venerable parish clerk of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, after about 35 years’ service. He was succeeded by James Twiddy, a hairdresser, who possessed considerable literary ability, and was the author of many poetical productions and pamphlets on various subjects.

June 22nd 1812

Holkham Sheep Shearing commenced. Mr. Mann, of Thornage, was awarded the prize for the best implement of husbandry, namely, an improved drilling machine.

June 27th 1812

In the Court of Exchequer, before the Lord Chief Baron, a prosecution was instituted by the Board of Taxes against Daniel Morling, of Yarmouth, for having obstructed Mr. Hunter, the inspector for that district, when surveying the windows of his house. A penalty of £50 was asked for, and a verdict was given for the Crown for that amount.

July 2nd 1812

A wrestling match took place at Blofield Globe between William Benstead, of that parish, and Charles Layton, “the famed wrestler, who, for his invincible skill in that science, had been declared the ‘Reedham Game Chicken’ at the late wrestling match at Lingwood, and who has since challenged all England.” Benstead succeeded in beating the champion.

July 9th 1812

Died, at Ashfield, Suffolk, Mr. James Mingay, for many years eminently distinguished as a King’s Counsel, Recorder of Aldborough, and one of the capital burgesses of the borough of Thetford.

July 14th 1812

Died, aged 71, Simon Watling, “many years master of the Eight Ringers public-house, St. Michael-at-Coslany, Norwich, and one of St. Peter’s ringers. He was one of the company that rang at St. Peter’s in York in 1772.”

July 17th 1812

At a meeting held at the Shirehouse, Norwich, at which Lord Viscount Primrose presided, the Norfolk and Norwich Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Church of England was established. Upwards of £3,000 was subscribed; and the Bishop of Norwich became Patron, and Lord Suffield, President.

July 20th 1812

Died, at the age of 101, Mrs. Jane Fair, of St. Mary’s, Norwich.

July 23rd 1812

Died, Mrs. Coppin, wife of Mr. Daniel Coppin, of St. Stephen’s, Norwich. “She possessed a refined taste for the polite arts, and great skill in imitating the works of the old masters.”

July 25th 1812

Mr. Scraggs and his company of comedians concluded a theatrical season at Holt. “There is ground to hope that the patronage which was so liberally conferred by the county on the late Mr. Scraggs, will be continued to his son and family.” The company was advertised as “The Original Norfolk and Suffolk Company.”

July 27th 1812

General Viscount Cathcart, Ambassador Extraordinary to the Court of Russia, passed through Norwich and embarked on board the Aquilon frigate at Yarmouth. Lord Walpole, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, sailed in the Calypso, on his appointment as Secretary of Legation to Lord Cathcart, who proceeded to the headquarters of the Russian Army.

August 15th 1812

It was reported that small-pox had broken out in Norwich. Many children were vaccinated, and by the end of the year the operation had been performed on 1,400 persons.

August 17th 1812

The mail coaches arrived at Norwich, with colours flying, bringing intelligence of Lord Wellington’s brilliant victory near Salamanca.

August 19th 1812

William Flaxman, of Gorleston, was placed in a pillory erected in Yarmouth Market Place, and after standing the usual time was removed to the gaol to complete a term of three months’ imprisonment.

August 20th 1812

The old custom of a country excursion was revived by the foreman of the Headborough Inquest at Yarmouth. “A wherry was fitted out for the purpose, and several officers of the Royal South Lincoln Regiment, with other gentlemen, were invited to accompany the inquest. The wherry was attended by several boats, and went as far as the Beccles river, where a convivial meeting was held, and the party returned at nine o’clock at night.”

September 5th 1812

(Advt.) “Windham Petty Sessions will be held at the King’s Head Inn on Monday, 28th September, 1812, for hiring and retaining servants. There will be another Sessions, as usual, on Monday, October 12th. John Syder, John Cullyer, chief constables.”

September 6th 1812

Intelligence received of the capture of Madrid by the Marquis Wellington. The bells of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, were rung all day, and at East Dereham on the 22nd a ball was held in celebration of the event.

September 6th 1812

Died, at Upper Fitzroy Street, London, aged 68, Major-General Robert Bowles, an officer on the Bombay Establishment. He served in the East India Company 35 years, and was a native of Norwich.

September 14th 1812

The first stone of the new chapel in the Black Boys Yard, St. Clement, Norwich, laid by the Rev. Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Alderman Davey. The chapel was opened for public worship on May 5th, 1814.

September 21st 1812

Yarmouth Races commenced. There was an attendance of about 18,000. Most of the county families were present at the assembly, where the dancing was opened by Sir George Jerningham and Lady Hoste.

September 22nd 1812

Died at Yarmouth, aged 73, Mr. Robert Warmington. He served the office of Mayor in 1790 and 1808, and was Prussian, Swedish, Danish, Hamburgh, and American Vice-Consul, and Naval Store Keeper at that port.

September 25th 1812

At the Norwich Court of Trials a motion was made by Mr. Cooper that the attornies, who then held briefs on behalf of clients, be not allowed the privilege of pleading. It was urged that the actual right of pleading existed in favour of barristers to the exclusion of attornies. The City Steward (Mr. Alderson) thought that the exclusive right of counsel rested more upon courtesy than upon any positive right, and as no authority had been cited he declined to give any decision upon the point.

October 3rd 1812

A correspondent in a letter to the NORFOLK CHRONICLE expressed the hope “that now Parliament is dissolving, the ancient custom of nominating the members in St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, previously to the day of election, may be revived. This used to be done formerly in order to give the old members an opportunity of explaining and justifying their past conduct as representatives, and of each candidate stating his pretensions to popular support.” The Mayor refused to grant the use of the hall for the purpose.

October 6th 1812

Yarmouth Election: Capt. Lacon, 607; General Loftus, 387; Mr. Giffen Willson, 329. The two first-named were returned.

October 7th 1812

Norwich Election commenced on this date and concluded on the 8th: Mr. W. Smith, 1,544; Mr. Charles Harvey, 1,349; Mr. John Patteson, 1,221.

October 7th 1812

Thetford Election: Lord John Fitzroy and Mr. Creevey returned unopposed.

October 14th 1812

Norfolk Election: Sir J. H. Astley and Mr. T. W. Coke were re-elected unopposed.

October 17th 1812

St. Faith’s Fair commenced. “John Dunn, the clerk of St. John Maddermarket, Norwich, and who for the last 46 years acted as the leader of the men who chaired the Whig members at their election, attended St. Faith’s Fair for the 76th time, without intermission, having been carried to St. Faith’s when he was two years old.” Dunn died January 20, 1813.

October 24th 1812

(Advt.) “Norwich and Ipswich New Post Coach through Scole, Eye, Debenham, and Helmingham, by W. Norbrook, sets off from the Greyhound, in Norwich, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings at eight o’clock, arrives at the Old White Hart Inn, Ipswich, the same evening, whence it sets off every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at eight o’clock, and arrives at Norwich the same evening.”

October 29th 1812

A branch of the Norfolk and Norwich Auxiliary Bible Society was formed at Yarmouth; branches were established at about this date at Wymondham, Downham Market, and other towns.

October 31st 1812

“A few days since the Norwich Expedition Coach was robbed of bank notes to the amount of £500.” A man, named Silvester, who presented £140 worth of the notes at a London bank, was arrested on suspicion.

November 1st 1812

James Parsons, a farrier, in the employment of Mr. Richard Watson, veterinary surgeon, Norwich, was buried with “veterinary and masonic” ceremonies at St. Gregory’s Church, in the presence of 2,000 persons. The procession was headed by two farriers with white aprons, and their implements bound with white ribbons and reversed. “The corpse was carried by six brethren of a lodge called the Stags Lodge, in their regalia, the sword, middle apron, and collar laid on the pall. His favourite horse which he rode for many years, covered with black velvet, the boots and spurs across, was led behind. The head stall and bridle were adorned with white roses and facings, he dying a bachelor.” At the conclusion of the service “a solemn dirge was sung which much gratified many hundreds of persons.”

November 5th 1812

Died, Thomas Gill, aged 86, fifty-two years sexton of St. Margaret’s, Norwich. “He had been five times married, never had any children, and buried all his wives.”

November 13th 1812

Whilst the bells of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, were ringing on the occasion of the receipt of the intelligence of the defeat of the French by the Russians, and of the recapture of Moscow, the Prince Regent passed through the city from Houghton on his way to Saxmundham. His Royal Highness changed horses at the Angel Inn, but did not alight. On the 14th the Duke of Clarence, accompanied by the Earl of Yarmouth, arrived at Norwich, and after dining at the Angel Inn, proceeded to join the Prince Regent at Saxmundham.

November 15th 1812

The Duke of Cambridge passed through Fakenham, from Houghton, on his way to join a shooting party at Blickling, the seat of Lord Suffield.

November 17th 1812

Died, at Green Street, Grosvenor Square, London, in his 75th year, Mr. Edward Jerningham. “Although all his family were of the Roman Catholic religion he very early conformed to the Protestant faith, and remained in it till his death, having received the sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England. He was a good scholar and an elegant poet.”

November 21st 1812

A fully-rigged vessel, built for Mr. John Bloom, was launched from the ship-yard of Mr. Parker at Wells-next-the-Sea. “Seven ships in the harbour belonging to Mr. Bloom, dressed in their colours, fired a royal salute as the ship went off.”

November 23rd 1812

Died at his house, Tombland, Norwich, Mr. Edward Colman, one of the surgeons of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. He served the office of Sheriff in 1795. “Having been for twenty-four years a member of the Friars’ Society the brethren held a special conclave, when appropriate compositions in prose and verse were delivered, and his obituary medal was deposited in the sepulchral urn.”

November 28th 1812

Died at Cheltenham, in his 74th year, the Rev. George William Lukin, LL.D., Dean of Wells, forty-nine years rector of Felbrigg and Aylmerton, and half-brother to the Right Hon. William Windham.

November 28th 1812

Equestrian entertainments commenced at Harper’s Pantheon, Norwich, under the management of Mr. R. Key.

December 1812

In the course of this year upwards of 1,400 persons were vaccinated in Norwich.

December 3rd 1812

Intelligence received at Yarmouth of the defeat of the French Army in Russia. On the arrival at Norwich of the coaches conveying the news, the bells of St. Peter Mancroft were rung.

December 17th 1812

Further celebrations took place at Norwich on the receipt of the intelligence of the victories obtained by the Russians over the two divisions of the French Army, commanded by Marshals Daoust and Ney.

December 20th 1812

Died, aged 101, Thomas Armstrong, of West Dereham, upwards of 40 years clerk of the parish.

December 25th 1812

On Christmas Day “the Corporation of Thetford assembled, according to custom, at the house of the Mayor (Mr. L. S. Bidwell), and after partaking of an elegant cold collation, attended divine service at St. Peter’s Church.”

December 26th 1812

“In the Court of King’s Bench last week an action was brought by Mr. Bignold, banker of Norwich, against Mr. Waterhouse, one of the coach proprietors, at Lad Lane, for the loss of a parcel containing bills and notes to a considerable amount. The Solicitor-General, for the defendant, produced a notice in which he stated that he would not hold himself responsible for parcels above the value of £5. The judge held this to be a good defence, and non-suited the plaintiff.”