January 3rd 1837
Hannah Manfield (or Saddler), aged 50, a woman of eccentric habits, residing on Denver Common, was found dead in her cottage, with her throat cut. A considerable quantity of plate had been taken from a cupboard, and a sum of money, supposed to be nearly £20, was also stolen. On the 14th Mr. Wright, a police-officer of Lynn, apprehended at Doncaster John Smith, aged 25, John Varnhem, 23, and George Timms, 22, who were committed for trial on the capital charge. (_See_ April 6th, 1837.)
January 5th 1837
In consequence of a resolution passed at a special meeting of the Town Council, the Mayor of Norwich convened a meeting at the Guildhall on this date, “to take into consideration the sufferings of the poor in this inclement season, and to adopt measures for relieving the same.” A public subscription was opened. At a general meeting of the subscribers, on March 21st, Mr. W. G. Edwards, one of the secretaries, reported that the amount subscribed was £2,008 7s. 3d., out of which a grant of £300 was made to the Sick Poor Society; 20,093 coal tickets, and 37,831 bread tickets were distributed, and £423 3s. 5d. was placed in the treasurer’s hands to meet future emergencies.
January 7th 1837
Wombwell’s Menagerie was exhibited on the Castle Meadow, Norwich. The proprietor presented to the Museum fine specimens of a lioness, boa constrictor, racoon, and kangaroo.
January 13th 1837
In the Rolls Court, Lord Langdale gave judgment in the action the Attorney-General _v._ the Corporation of Norwich. He said that, as far as regarded the _quo warrantos_, if a Corporation was not allowed to defend an election duly made, the interests of corporations would be hazarded in every case where a Mayor or other officer did not chose to be at the expense of defending his own election against a rule _nisi_. It was not a reasonable construction of the new statute that corporations had no interests whatever in the charitable trusts of boroughs. It was true that the administration of charitable estates was distinct from the administration of borough funds, and that neither a corporation as a body nor any member thereof in his corporate capacity ought to be trustees of such estates; still, a corporation, in attending to the public benefits of the inhabitants of a borough, had a due interest in the appointment of those trustees. Under all the circumstances of the case, therefore, he was of opinion that the demurrers must be allowed. At Norwich Assizes on April 6th, before Mr. Justice Parke, the case Rex _v._ Brightwell was tried by a special jury. This was an information in the nature of a _quo warranto_, calling upon the defendant to show by what authority he exercised the office of Alderman. Mr. Andrews, for the defendant, contended that if he was not a good Alderman he was not a good Mayor; and if he had not been legally elected Alderman, then all the other Aldermen who had been elected in the same way were elected equally contrary to the law, and all the proceedings which had taken place respecting the police and borough rates would be bad, and the Corporation of the city entirely dissolved, and nothing could cure the defect but a fresh Act of Parliament. Mr. Kelly, for the Crown, urged that the law of England had fixed from time immemorial that corporate officers should not be elected in one batch, but that they must be proposed and voted for separately, and that all elections conducted in any other way were null and void. The jury returned a verdict for the Crown. In the Court of King’s Bench, on April 19th, application was made to move a rule to show cause why the verdict for the Crown could not be set aside, on the ground that the election was perfectly fair, and there was no pretence for saying that the wishes and intentions of the electors had not been carried into effect. A rule was granted. In the Court of Chancery, on May 6th, the case assumed another phase. An information was filed against the Corporation by Mr. Samuel Bignold, alleging that they intended to divert their funds from corporate purposes by paying the expenses incurred by the Town Clerk and other persons who had proceeded to London to support a petition presented to the Lord Chancellor, in order to secure the return of certain persons as trustees of the charities hitherto vested in the old Corporation; and by paying the expenses arising out of the proceedings by _quo warranto_ in the cases of Mr. Springfield and Mr. Brightwell. The further hearing was adjourned till next term. On May 22nd it was reported to the Court of King’s Bench that at a meeting of the Town Council on the 19th, an order was passed “that £1,000 be paid to the Town Clerk on account of disbursements by him relative to law proceedings,” such law proceedings being the matter in which the injunction had been applied for. The Lord Chancellor, on the 24th, granted an order to restrain the payment of the amount. The appeal from the decision of the Master of the Rolls, allowing a demurrer on the information filed by Mr. Bignold, came before the Court of Chancery on May 27th. The Lord Chancellor, after adjournment, gave judgment on the demurrer against the injunction, and confirmed the decision of the Master of the Rolls, with costs. At a meeting of the Town Council on June 2nd, Mr. Bignold expressed his intention to carry the case to the House of Lords.
January 13th 1837
Died at St. Gregory’s, Norwich, aged 81, Mr. William Lorkin. “He was for 65 years a member of the Wesleyan Methodist body, having joined them soon after Mr. Wesley first visited Norwich.” In 1825 he published a work entitled “A concise history of the establishment of Wesleyan Methodism in Norwich.”
January 28th 1837
The influenza epidemic at this date prevailed in city and county, and cases occurred in almost every family.
January 28th 1837
An omnibus “upon the London plan” commenced running between Norwich and North Walsham.
January 28th 1837
The Magnet coach, from the Swan and Rampant Horse Inns, was advertised to do the journey from Norwich to London, through Thetford and Newmarket, every night, in twelve hours. “The proprietors, in returning thanks for the very liberal patronage bestowed on them, beg most respectfully to inform their friends and the public that they have, at an additional expense, fixed a light inside this coach, which, having given such universal satisfaction, will be continued.”
January 31st 1837
At a meeting of the Conservative party at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, held under the presidency of Col. Harvey, the Marquis of Douro was asked to become a candidate for the representation of the city, in place of Lord Viscount Stormont, M.P., who had acceded to the request of the electors of his own county, Perthshire, to offer himself as their candidate on the dissolution of Parliament. The requisition to the Marquis was signed by 1,600 of the electors of Norwich; his lordship complied with the request and issued his address on February 13th. Lord Douro and the sitting member, the Hon. Robert Campbell Scarlett, commenced a personal canvass of the city on June 16th, and in the evening attended a meeting of the Orange and Purple Club, at the Maid’s Head Hotel, at which they were unanimously adopted Conservative candidates.
February 24th 1837
During a severe gale from the N.N.W., accompanied by heavy snow squalls, the Raby Castle, of 60 tons burden (Greensides, master), went ashore at Salthouse, and became a total wreck. She was bound from London to Stockton, with a valuable cargo. The crew and passengers were saved. “When she broke up the beach was strewed with spirits, wine, oranges, nuts, teas, toys, hampers, boxes, &c. The scene beggared description. The most outrageous and beastly conduct was exhibited. Here might be observed a group broaching a spirit cask, and letting it run into their oil-skin hats, shoes, &c. There another stood filling their pockets and handkerchiefs. Plunder, wholesale plunder, appeared to be the order of the day, in spite of contingents of coastguard men. Many who were charged to watch the property became themselves intoxicated. Many were conveyed from the beach literally dead drunk, and it is with disgust we add that many women were in the same state.” The cargo of the Raby Castle was worth £5,000; about £800 worth was recovered. The vessel was sold by auction for £41.
March 3rd 1837
A fine specimen of the sea eagle was shot at Blickling. It measured from tip to tip of the extended wings 7 ft. 3½ inches, and from the head to the tail 3 ft. Dowager Lady Suffield presented it to the Norfolk and Norwich Museum.
March 13th 1837
The tolls arising from the Norwich provision and cattle markets, and from Tombland Fair, were, for the first time, put up to public auction and let for the term of two years. The dues and stallage accruing from the provision and vegetable markets were let to Mr. Eccleston, jun., for £985; of the cattle market on the Castle Ditches to Mr. Liddelow, for £480; and of Tombland Fair, &c., to Mr. Cooke for £250.
March 16th 1837
Died at his residence, Chapel Field, Norwich, aged 48, Mr. Alfred Pettet, organist of St. Peter Mancroft and St. Stephen’s. Mr. S. Critchfield was elected his successor at St. Peter’s, and Mr. Harcourt was appointed organist at St. Stephen’s. A performance of “The Messiah” was given at St. Andrew’s Hall on May 26th for the benefit of the widow and family of the deceased, by the choir of the Cathedral and the members of the Choral Society, under the direction of Mr. Buck.
March 18th 1837
“From an idea that when the new Registration Act comes into operation the fees will be increased, numbers of persons have thronged Yarmouth parish church for several Sundays past, to have their children baptised, in order to avoid additional expense.”
March 18th 1837
Matters were brought before the Lord Chancellor in relation to affairs of the Norwich charities arising from the Master’s report assigning the several charities to certain lists of trustees, and naming the parties to execute the respective trusts. The only new point noticed was the exception taken by a cross petition on the part of Mr. Bignold and Mr. Rackham to the Master’s report, first as to his rejecting _en masse_ every individual who was at its close, or ever had been, a member of the old Corporation; and, secondly, in not assigning to the Church list the Boys’ and Girls’ Hospital trusts. The Chancellor decided against the cross petition. (The leading charity of the city, the Bishopgate Street Hospital, whose revenues formed two-thirds of the whole of the trusts, was secured to a body of trustees composed exclusively of members of the Church of England.) In the House of Lords on April 24th Mr. Samuel Bignold and Mr. William Rackham appealed from the order of the Lord Chancellor referring it to the Master to approve of the trustees of the charity estates of the Corporation. Their lordships decided that they had jurisdiction to hear the appeal, and time was given for the respondents to prepare their case.
March 20th 1837
Mr. Villebois’ staghounds had a remarkable run. The stag was uncarted on Bradenham Green, and ran to Shipdham. It was then headed back to Saham, after which it went to Ovingon, and thence to Watton, Scoulton, Ellingham, Caston, and Rocklands. Bearing away for Attleborough and Besthorpe, it crossed the stream and went through Snetterton, Eccles, and Larlingford, to Roudham, where it was taken after a run of 35 miles. “James Lynn, the huntsman, rode his favourite horse, Cockfighter, which carried him at least eighty miles that day. What makes the run more remarkable is that the deer did not run more than 200 yards upon any roads during the whole distance.”
March 22nd 1837
A fire occurred at Rollesby Workhouse, which completely destroyed one half of the building. “The clause of the Poor Law Bill, by which men are separated from their wives, being carried into effect, caused a great disturbance,” and it was supposed that the fire resulted from motives of revenge.
March 27th 1837
Mr. G. V. Brooke appeared at Lynn Theatre in the character of Romeo.
March 30th 1837
At a meeting held at the King’s Head Inn, Diss, the Rev. William Manning, rector of the parish, made a voluntary commutation of the tithes.
April 5th 1837
Died at his house in Hereford Street, London, the Right Rev. Henry Bathurst, Lord Bishop of Norwich. His lordship was in the 94th year of his age, and had been Bishop of the diocese for 32 years. He was appointed in 1805 when Bishop Manners Sutton was translated to the Archbishopric of Canterbury. The funeral took place on the 14th at Malvern Church, Worcestershire, and a memorial service was held on the same day at Norwich Cathedral. A funeral sermon was preached on the 16th by the Dean of Norwich. The sale of the late Bishop’s effects, by Mr. William Spelman, commenced at the Palace on June 26th, and concluded on July 5th. The stock of wine consisted of 2,650 bottles, and the library of 2,000 volumes.
April 6th 1837
At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Coltman, John Smith, George Timms, and John Varnham, were indicted for the murder of Hannah Manfield (or Saddler), on the night of the 2nd, or morning of the 3rd of January. The trial commenced at 10.20 in the morning, and concluded at fifteen minutes past midnight, when the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the prisoners were sentenced to death. The sentence on Varnham was commuted on an ample confession by the other prisoners. Large numbers of persons arrived at Norwich on April 22nd, to witness the execution, which, however, had been ordered for the 29th. A full descriptive account of the supposed execution, and of the behaviour of the men on the gallows, with a copy of their confessions and their “last dying words,” was hawked about the streets of the city. The capital sentence was duly carried out on the 29th. The procession issued from the castle doors at noon, headed by a number of javelin men of the High Sheriff’s posse. Smith, who was in the last stage of a rapid decline, was assisted to the scaffold. “After the bolt was drawn and the bodies swung round, a piercing cry of horror rose from the dense mass of people of both sexes. After hanging the usual space of time the bodies were taken down and carried into the interior of the gaol, when all the prisoners were brought forward to view them in the place where they lay.”
April 7th 1837
North Walsham Steeplechases took place over a four mile course on the estate of Mr. Bidwell, at Swafield. The heavy weight race was won by Lord Suffield’s Metternich (Capt. Lawrenson, 17th Lancers), second Mr. Thompson’s Mungo (owner); and the light weight race by Mr. Sandiford’s Gulnoire (Mr. Brown); Mr. Hornor’s O’Connell (owner) second. Lord Suffield presided at the race dinner, afterwards held at the King’s Arms Inn, and presented the silver tankard, given and won by himself in the heavy weight race, to Capt. Lawrenson. A large coloured plate, illustrating the start of the eleven horses for the heavy weight race, “with a distant view of the country, from sketches made on the spot by George Fenn, animal portrait painter, Beccles,” was subsequently advertised.
April 11th 1837
James Greenacre, who on this day was found guilty, at the Central Criminal Court, of the murder of Hannah Brown, in the Edgeware Road, was a Norfolk man, and was born in 1785, at North Runcton, near Lynn. His victim, whose maiden name was Gay, was a Norfolk woman, and was in the service of Lord Wodehouse, at Kimberley Hall, where she remained four years. Greenacre (who was executed on May 2nd) was concerned in the Cato Street Conspiracy.
April 14th 1837
Sir James Flower closed his hunting season by entertaining his sporting friend’s at the Swan Inn, East Harling. The dinner was of the most sumptuous character, and “a band of fourteen men in scarlet played numerous airs and concerted pieces.”
April 19th 1837
Mr. G. V. Brooke (then under twenty years of age) made his first appearance at Norwich Theatre as Romeo. “His performance was of that superior kind, exhibiting all the fervour and enthusiasm of youth attempered by that discriminating judgment and illumined by those nice and acute perceptions which belong to the faculties of much maturer years.” He afterwards appeared as Ion, Othello, Rolla, Richard the Third, William Tell, Hamlet, Rosenberg (“Ella Rosenberg”), Macbeth, and Teddy (“Teddy the Tiler”), and concluded his engagement on May 20th. Brooke was re-engaged for two nights’ performances, commencing on August 1st, when he played the part of Walter Tyrrel, in a new drama of that title, and of Frederick Bury (“The Youthful Queen”).
April 20th 1837
A meeting, presided over by Col. Harvey, was held at the Guildhall, Norwich, when, on the motion of Mr. J. J. Gurney, it was decided to form a District Provident Society, for the promotion of frugal and provident habits among the industrial poor.
April 20th 1837
The ship Anne, of 400 tons burden (Captain John Long), sailed from Lynn with 171 emigrants, for Quebec.
April 22nd 1837
The announcement was made on this date: “The Eastern Counties Railway has been commenced in good earnest.”
April 24th 1837
A curious wager was decided at the Angel Gardens, New Catton, Norwich. “Joseph Turtle, aged 60, engaged to pick up 100 eggs laid at a yard distance from each other, in a shorter time than David Lambert, aged 20, should pick up 100 stones at the same distance, which was won by Lambert only by half a minute.”
April 29th 1837
Announcement was made of the appointment of the Rev. Edward Stanley, rector of Alderley, Cheshire, to the Bishopric of Norwich. Agreeable to the _conge d’élire_, the Dean and Chapter elected him Bishop on April 29th; by Royal command the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him on May 10th, and on May 11th he arrived at Norwich, accompanied by Mrs. Stanley and his daughters. On June 29th his lordship was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and on the same day did homage to Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace. The enthronement took place at Norwich Cathedral on August 17th, when all the usual ceremonies were observed, and the sermon was preached by his lordship. “The interior of the Cathedral presented a most magnificent _coup d’œil_. A gallery had been erected from the foot of the railing before the altar up to the centre of the east window, and occupied the entire breadth of the east end. It afforded accommodation for 1,150 children of the city. All the side galleries and closets were filled with ladies elegantly dressed, and even the walks above were crowded with spectators.” At five o’clock the Bishop attended a dinner, presided over by the High Sheriff (Mr. J. Petre) at the Norfolk Hotel. On the 18th the Mayor, Sheriff, and several members of the Corporation waited upon his lordship at the Palace, and presented him with a congratulatory address.
May 3rd 1837
At the Norwich Theatre was produced for the first time “an entirely new comedy, written by a gentleman of the city, called ‘Come of Age, or the Happy Return.’” The critic of the NORFOLK CHRONICLE described it as “a play without a plot, and a comedy without comicality.”
May 4th 1837
Mr. Clifford, who had been for thirty-six years a member of the Norwich Company, took his farewell benefit at the Theatre. Mr. G. V. Brooke appeared in the character of Virginius. Clifford died on June 8th, aged 68. “During the 36 years that he filled the office of prompter, he discharged his arduous duties in a way that ensured him the attachment of every member of the company. A man of highly-cultivated intellect, Mr. Clifford was not less distinguished for his goodness of heart, manliness of disposition, and integrity of principle.”
May 11th 1837
Mr. Gepps, of the White Lion Inn, Beccles, for a wager of £200, drove his “celebrated bay pony” one hundred miles in twelve hours. He started from the Swan Inn, Harleston, at 4 a.m., drove to the Ram Inn, Newmarket, and returned to the Round House at Denton, midway between Harleston and Bungay. The journey was performed 35 minutes within the time stipulated. “The pony received no punishment from the whip, yet the wantonness of the act is much to be regretted.”
May 19th 1837
Died at Kempstone, Lieut.-General the Hon. William FitzRoy. He was the seventh son of Charles, first Lord Southampton, and had served in the campaigns in Holland and Egypt. Upon retiring from the Army, he applied himself to agricultural pursuits.
May 20th 1837
Two prisoners, named Smith and Middleton, escaped from the Norwich City Gaol. “One lowered himself by a rope of blankets from the cell, and the other leaped down a depth of 25 ft., by which he sprained his ankle, so that they got no further than Dereham, where they were both retaken on the 22nd.”
May 24th 1837
At Norwich Theatre was produced, for the benefit of Mr. Smith, “an entirely new drama written for the occasion by T. Dibden, called ‘The Factory.’” The performance concluded with a new drama, also acted for the first time, entitled, “Margaret of Ragensburg,” written by Mr. G. Smith. The plot of “The Factory” had a local setting, and the scenery, painted by Thorne, “consisted of accurate views of the Yarn Factories at Lakenham and St. Edmund’s, and the interior of St. Andrew’s Hall at the late commemoration of Bishop Blaize.”
May 24th 1837
The attainment by her Royal Highness the Princess Victoria of her legal majority on her eighteenth birthday was celebrated with much enthusiasm. The Corporation of Norwich held a special meeting, at which, on the motion of Mr. Bignold, seconded by Mr. Barwell, an address was voted to her Royal Highness. The members then proceeded in state to the Cathedral, where a special service was held and the sermon preached by Prebendary Wodehouse. Upon returning to the Guildhall, refreshments were provided by the Mayor, who, in the evening, gave a dinner at the Swan Inn. At Yarmouth a Royal salute was fired in the Roads by his Majesty’s revenue cutters; and at East Dereham the West Norfolk Conservatives celebrated the event by dining at the Assembly Rooms, under the presidency of Mr. Charles Loftus. The day was also observed in other towns and villages.
May 25th 1837
At a meeting held at the Guildhall, Norwich, under the presidency of the Mayor, a movement was inaugurated for the erection of a monument in the Cathedral to the memory of Bishop Bathurst.
May 29th 1837
The birthday of William IV. falling this year on Sunday, was celebrated, for the last time, on the following day (the 29th), the anniversary of the Restoration of Charles II.
June 3rd 1837
At the Assembly Rooms, Norwich, was exhibited “Monsieur Daguire and Co.’s celebrated grand spectacular revolving dioramic panorama, representing views of the city of Paris and the conflicts of the memorable days of July, 1830, and also the battle of Navarino.” There were ten views, each 35 ft. in width, and the whole painted on 16,000 square feet of canvas.
June 7th 1837
The first annual general meeting of the proprietors of the East of England Bank was held “in the board room of the extensive premises now rapidly completing for the Bank in the Old Haymarket, Norwich.”
June 10th 1837
“Married, lately, at Stoke Dammeral, Devon, Mr. Charles Thurtell, R.N., to Ann Augusta, youngest daughter of Mr. John Morgan, surgeon, R.N.”
June 21st 1837
This day was received at Norwich intelligence of the death of his Majesty King William IV. The bells of all the city churches were tolled throughout the day. On the 25th (Sunday) the pulpits, communion tables, and reading-desks of all churches were draped in black, and special sermons were preached. In consequence of the funeral taking place on Saturday, the 7th, the public markets at Norwich were held on the 6th. On the day of the interment, the shops in the city, without a single exception, were closed, and public business entirely suspended. The Mayor and Sheriff, with members of the Corporation, attended the special service at the Cathedral, where the sermon was preached by Dean Pellew.
June 23rd 1837
The accession of her Royal Highness the Princess Alexandrina Victoria to the Crown of the United Kingdom was proclaimed in Norwich with the customary formalities. The members of the Corporation assembled at the Guildhall and took the oath of allegiance, after which they proceeded to the leads, where, amid a scene of great enthusiasm, the Mayor read the Proclamation, and “God save the Queen” was played by a band in the Market Place. The civic procession, escorted by the 17th Lancers, under the command of Major St. Quintin, made a detour of the city, and the Proclamation was read at various places _en route_. The accession was officially proclaimed also at Yarmouth and Lynn.
June 27th 1837
The 17th Lancers, commanded by Major St. Quintin, marched from Norwich Barracks, and were replaced by three troops of the 3rd Dragoon Guards, under the command of Major Huntly.
July 1st 1837
Mr. W. J. Utten Browne, one of the leaders of the Conservative party in Norwich, issued his address as Parliamentary candidate for Ashburton, Devonshire. (At the election Mr. Browne polled 83 votes, against 98 recorded for his opponent, Mr. Lushington.)
July 6th 1837
Notice was given of the appointment of Mr. Charles Drake as registrar for the Conesford district; Mr. W. P. Nichols, Mancroft district; Mr. William Henry Taylor, West Wymer district; and Mr. William Tawell Roper, Coslany district, under the new Act of Parliament for the registration of births, deaths, and marriages. Mr. John Oddin Taylor was appointed registrar of marriages for the whole of the districts above-named, and Mr. Francis John Blake was superintendent registrar.
July 9th 1837
At a special meeting of the Norwich Town Council, addresses of congratulation to the Queen and of condolence with the Queen Dowager were unanimously adopted.
July 21st 1837
The elevation to the Peerage of Mr. T. W. Coke, of Holkham; by the names, styles, and titles of Viscount Coke and Earl of Leicester, was announced in the “London Gazette” of this date.
July 24th 1837
The nomination of candidates for the representation of Norwich took place, consequent upon the death of the King, at the Guildhall. Arthur Richard Wellesley, Marquis of Douro, was nominated by Sir Robert John Harvey, and seconded by Mr. Samuel Bignold; the Hon. Robert Campbell Scarlett by Lieut.-Col. Harvey, seconded by Mr. E. T. Booth; Mr. Benjamin Smith (son of the late member) by Mr. Edward Trafford, seconded by Mr. W. Dalrymple; and Mr. W. Mountford Nurse by Mr. J. W. Robberds, seconded by Dr. Evans. Polling commenced on the 25th, and the result was declared on the 26th, as follows:—Douro (C), 1,863; Scarlett (C), 1,865; Smith (L), 1,843; Nurse (L), 1,831. On the 27th the newly-elected members dined with their supporters at the Norfolk Hotel, and the chairing took place on the 28th.
July 24th 1837
The nomination of candidates took place at the Town Hall, Yarmouth, and the polling on the 25th resulted as follows:—C. E. Rumbold (L), 790; W. Wilshere, 779; Lord Baring, 699; and C. S. Gambier, 685. The two first-named were elected.
July 24th 1837
Major Keppel, the Liberal candidate, made a triumphal entry into Lynn, accompanied by a band of music and escorted by the Holkham tenantry and the tenantry of Sir W. B. ffolkes. The nomination took place on the 25th, and upon a poll being demanded voting commenced at once. The result was declared as follows:—Lord George Bentinck (C), 473; Sir Stratford Canning (C), 389; Major Keppel (L), 367. The two first-named were declared elected.
August 4th 1837
The result of the polling at the West Norfolk election was declared at Swaffham; Mr. William Bagge (C), 3,178; Mr. W. L. W. Chute (C), 2,877; Sir W. B. ffolkes (L), 2,838; Sir Jacob Astley (L), 2,713.
August 5th 1837
The nomination of candidates for East Norfolk took place at Norwich. Mr. Edmond Wodehouse and Mr. H. N. Burroughes (Conservatives) entered the city escorted by upwards of 400 horsemen. The Liberal candidates were Mr. William Howe Windham and Mr. Richard Hanbury Gurney (who was confined to his house by a severe attack of gout). The polling was held on the 8th and 9th, and the result was declared on the 10th:—Wodehouse, 3,645; Burroughes, 3,523; Windham, 3,237; Gurney, 2,978. The majority on the first day’s poll being 170 against them, the Liberal candidates withdrew from the contest. Mr. Burroughes celebrated his return by giving a _fête champêtre_ at Burlingham Hall on the 16th.
August 12th 1837
A dreadful murder was committed at Aylmerton. James Moy, a labourer, after rocking his infant son to sleep, cut the child’s throat with a pocket-knife. At the inquest the Coroner’s jury returned a verdict of wilful murder, and the prisoner was committed to Norwich Castle to await his trial. At the Norfolk Assizes, in April, 1838, before Mr. Justice Bolland, the jury found that the man was insane and incapable of pleading, and his lordship directed his detention at Thorpe Asylum.
August 23rd 1837
Died at Ramsey Abbey, Huntingdonshire, Mr. William Henry Fellowes, of Haveringland Hall, aged 69. “He was for upwards of 30 years one of the representatives of that county in Parliament, and was universally esteemed in all relations of life, and particularly by his extensive tenantry, to whom he was a kind and indulgent landlord.”
August 24th 1837
A public discussion took place at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, between the notorious Richard Carlile and the Rev. John Green, a Dissenting minister, upon the subject of the validity of the Scriptures. “The discussion was conducted in an orderly and peaceable manner. Mr. Green held Carlile firmly to the point on all questions, and compelled him to acknowledge himself unable to overthrow the testimony he quoted.” A second discussion was held on the 28th, when Carlile was again beaten by his opponent; and on the 29th he was hooted from the Market Place for attempting to address a meeting. On Jan. 5th, 1838, Mr. Green was presented with a set of books purchased by public subscription, “as a testimony of esteem and gratitude for the very able and satisfactory manner in which he had conducted the controversy.”
August 26th 1837
Royal licence and authority were granted to Mr. William Blake, of Swanton Abbots, to assume and use the surname of Jex in addition to and before that of Blake, and to bear the arms of Jex quarterly in the second quarter with those of Blake.
August 26th 1837
“The Incorporation of Tunstead and Happing comprises 41 parishes, and it is remarkable that there is not one able-bodied man either an inmate of the Workhouse or receiving parochial relief. Such has not been known since the Workhouse was built in the year 1787.”
August 26th 1837
“Last week a number of youngsters at Norwich had an election for the members of the Lilliput Parliament. The polling took place at the Old Library. After a severe contest, during which it was alleged by the ‘Purples’ that a great deal of cooping, bribery, treating, and double voting took place on the part of the ‘Blues,’ and that sums to the amount of two pence were given for a vote, the ‘Blues’ claimed the victory, and chaired their members on the following day, with a splendid procession, banners and flags flying, and the band playing, ‘Wave your Blues and Whites.’ The ‘Purples’ did not acknowledge this defeat, and on Tuesday last they also chaired their candidate with a procession equal in grandeur, after which the leading characters dined at the Bell Inn, and an election ball took place in the evening, at which 320 persons were present.”
September 1st 1837
Heavy rain and hailstorms occurred throughout the county. “At Stibbard and Guist during a severe thunderstorm £300 worth of damage was done on several occupations. Barley and wheat were completely beaten out by the hailstones, which lay six inches deep in places on the following morning.”
September 9th 1837
A shocking affair took place at Catton. Mr. Jonathan Whitley Cooper, an attorney practising in Norwich, was driving in a gig with his clerk (Thirkettle), when he was accosted by a man named Cornelius Moor. Mr. Cooper drew a pistol, discharged it at the man, and wounded him severely. Moor was conveyed to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, where he died the same night. On the following day Mr. Cooper was apprehended and committed to the Castle on the charge of killing Moor, and also of shooting at a man named Ford near the same place, on the same evening, with intent to murder. The case caused great excitement in Norwich. It was alleged that the prisoner had entertained malice towards the deceased arising out of circumstances connected with the Norwich election. Mr. Cooper had been professionally engaged on the Conservative side, and it was stated that the deceased, having promised to vote for that party, voted for the Liberals. At the Coroner’s inquest the imputation of malice or any preconceived design was so completely negatived by the evidence, and more especially by the dying declaration of Moor, who was quite unknown to the prisoner, that the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, which so greatly excited the indignation of the populace that they were with difficulty prevented from assaulting the jurymen on their leaving the Coroner’s court. There was also a hearing of the case before the Recorder (Mr. Preston) and another magistrate, with the result that the prisoner was committed to the Castle on the _mittimus_ of the magistrates, and confined in one of the felons’ cells. Application was made to the county magistrates for bail, and was refused. Under these circumstances, counsel was instructed to apply to the Judge of the Queen’s Bench for an order on the Norfolk justices to admit the prisoner to bail. Mr. Justice Littledale made the order accordingly, and the accused was released in his own recognisances of £500 and four sureties of £100 each. (_See_ April 4th, 1838.)
September 17th 1837
Died in Norwich, aged 77, Mr. John Whitaker Robberds. He was elected Alderman in 1806, served the office of Sheriff in 1807, and was Mayor in 1814.
September 25th 1837
A prize-fight took place at Thurton for £5 a side, between Ostler and Cricknell, well-known Norwich pugilists. “After a contest of one hour and a quarter, Ostler having broken a bone in his hand by a fall, was obliged to give in, and Cricknell was declared the victor.”
September 25th 1837
“What was termed a temperance festival” took place at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. Upwards of one thousand persons were present, and five hundred applications for tea tickets were refused. The Lord Bishop of Norwich delivered an address. Supper followed, and “everything was conducted in good order.”
October 2nd 1837
Died at Rome, Mr. Henry Bernes. “This artist was not long since a visitor in Norwich, and was known as Mr. Burlowe, a name he took to distinguish himself from his brother, the celebrated sculptor, which branch of art he also followed. Amongst other works of his hand is the last bust taken of Dr. Bathurst, our late venerable Bishop, in his 88th year.”
October 8th 1837
Died at Grosvenor Street, London, in her 75th year, the Dowager Duchess of Leeds. Her grace was mistress of the robes to the Queen Dowager. She was a daughter of Mr. Thomas Anguish, and married the Duke of Leeds in October, 1788.
October 9th 1837
Died in St. Clement’s, Norwich, aged 55, Mr. Richard Shaw, who was elected Sheriff in 1818, Alderman in 1835, and was one of the Town Councillors for the Seventh Ward.
October 16th 1837
M. Thalberg, “the extraordinary pianist,” appeared at a concert given at the Assembly Room, Norwich, by Mr. Mori. Miss Fanny Woodham and Mr. Parry, jun., were the other performers.
October 16th 1837
The Bishop of Norwich concluded his “circuit of confirmations.” The total numbers confirmed during the circuit were 3,354 males and 6,919 females.
October 18th 1837
Died, at the age of 77, Mr. James Robinson, of St. John Maddermarket, “the oldest medical practitioner in Norwich.” For 38 years he filled the office of City Surgeon, and was for 45 years surgeon to the House of Correction.
October 23rd 1837
Mr. R. W. Dowson, of Geldeston, was presented with a piece of plate by the agriculturists of Norfolk and Suffolk, “as a testimony of their sincere regard and high estimation of his strict integrity in mercantile pursuits manifested during the last half century.”
October 29th 1837
At St. Swithin’s Church, Norwich, were baptised “a Jewish Israelite and his two children, on which interesting occasion his wife, who from Christianity had lapsed into Judaism, was again received into the Church.”
November 9th 1837
At the meeting of the Norwich Town Council for the election of Mayor, Mr. T. O. Springfield nominated Mr. Samuel Shalders Beare, and Mr. Bignold Mr. William Martin Seppings. The former was elected, by 28 votes to 17. Mr. Massey moved the appointment of Mr. John Francis as Sheriff, and Mr. Rackham proposed Mr. James Steward. Mr. Francis was appointed, by 27 votes to 12.
November 11th 1837
“The tobacco manufacturers residing in Norwich have obtained from the Lords of the Treasury and the Commissioners of Customs the privilege of bonding that article at Yarmouth, where a warehouse has been specially fitted up for the purpose, and is now stored with manufactured tobacco of the value of about £5,000 when the duty is paid on it. Mr. Newbegin and Mr. Wigham are the first importers.”
November 18th 1837
“By the official account of the duty on hops of the growth of 1837 we find Norfolk makes a return of £48 10s. 0d.”
November 21st 1837
At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council, it was agreed, on the motion of Mr. Barwell, to appoint a committee to consider the propriety of encouraging the establishment of a school of design, with the view to the improvement of the manufactures of the city. (_See_ May 9th, 1838.)
November 29th 1837
Died at his house, St. Catherine’s Close, Norwich, in his 92nd year, Mr. John Morse. “This justly respected gentleman was Father of the old Corporation of Norwich.” He was elected an alderman of the North Mancroft Ward in 1777, served the office of Sheriff in 1779, and was twice Mayor, namely, in 1781 and 1803.
November 30th 1837
The 24th Article of the Deed of Settlement having empowered a general meeting of the members to make bylaws for the regulation and government of the Norwich Union Life Insurance Society, to be binding when confirmed by two other general meetings summoned for that purpose, the third general meeting was held on this date, with the object of finally confirming the bylaws adopted at a general meeting on November 2nd, and confirmed by a second general meeting on November 16th. An extraordinary degree of interest was manifested, and deputations arrived at Norwich from all parts of the kingdom. The meeting, which was held in a booth erected in Mr. Bignold’s garden, was attended by about 300 or 400 persons. Mr. O’Connell, M.P., the famous Irish agitator, was present. “On this occasion his whole course was pre-eminently marked by good feeling, excellent temper, and discreet judgment, united to a gentlemanlike exercise of his acknowledged tact and talent in furtherance of a most salutory object, in which he was happily successful,” namely, the obtaining of a unanimous expression of approval of the reports made by the committee for revising the bylaws.
November 30th 1837
Mr. O’Connell, M.P., was entertained at dinner at the Angel Inn, Norwich, by members of the Whig-Radical interest. Mr. T. O. Springfield presided. At nine o’clock on the following morning, prior to his departure from the city, Mr. O’Connell addressed a large meeting at St. Andrew’s Hall.
December 4th 1837
In the House of Commons a petition was presented by Sir F. Burdett against the return of Messrs. Rumbold and Wilshere as members for Yarmouth. It was alleged that the grossest bribery had been practised. (_See_ April 28th, 1838.)
December 14th 1837
A pauper named John Cawdron died at Norwich Workhouse, of which institution he had been an inmate 47 years, 8 months, 3 days, at the cost of £350 16s. 7d.
December 16th 1837
At this date the following coaches ran from the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich:—To London, the Phenomena, every morning at 6.30. To Newark, the Union, every morning, except Sunday, at 7. To Birmingham, the Royal Mail, every evening at 7 (through Lynn, Spalding, &c.). To Lynn, the Day coach. To Yarmouth, coaches three times a day. To Lowestoft, the Pilot, every afternoon. To Fakenham and Wells, a coach every afternoon at 4. To Watton, the Royal George.
December 18th 1837
On the occasion of the benefit of Mr. and Mrs. Atkins, at the Royal Amphitheatre, Ranelagh Gardens, Norwich, was produced “a grand local historical and romantic original drama, written expressly for this entertainment by Mr. R. F. Rayner, called ‘Etheldrida, Princess of Norwich, or the Kings of Mercia and East Anglia and the Wild Woman of Mosswold Heath.’”
December 21st 1837
The load of Christmas fare which left Swaffham for London on this date “did not reach the Golden Cross, Charing Cross, until half-past four on the following morning, although drawn by relays of six horses all the way from Brandon.”
December 25th 1837
“For its extreme mildness and sunny brightness this was more like May Day than Christmas Day, with the thermometer at 55 and a southern breeze.”
December 30th 1837
“The town of Diss has been lighted with gas, which produces a splendid effect, and reflects great credit on Messrs. J. and T. Whaite, ironfounders, by whom it is supplied.”