January 5th 1839
Died at Braconash, aged 85, Elizabeth, widow of Mr. Thomas Berney, and third and last surviving daughter of Sir George Duckett, Bart., of Hartham, Wilts. “Mrs. Berney was a true representative of an English lady of times past, in its dignified and most attractive form.” At the funeral at Braconash, on the 15th, the hearse was preceded by “a canopy of plumes of feathers, borne by a mute with two others, one on each side.”
January 7th 1839
A severe gale raged on the Norfolk coast, and many vessels were wrecked. Thirteen sail of vessels belonging to Yarmouth, with 100 hands on board, were missing, and at a public meeting held in the borough on the 23rd, a fund was started for the relief of the widows and children.
January 14th 1839
At Lynn Quarter Sessions, before the Recorder (Mr. Martin John West), an indictment was preferred by Dr. John Tweedale, of that town, against Mr. William Drake, of East Dereham, and Mr. James Bowker, charging the defendants with provoking him to fight a duel, and with common assault. Mr. Drake, a solicitor, was employed by the Conservative party in the borough to attend the revision of the municipal voters’ lists, and a quarrel arose in consequence of certain evidence given by Dr. Tweedale as a charity trustee. The defendant Drake was found guilty of a common assault, and fined £5; and Bowker was acquitted.
January 14th 1839
The agitation for the repeal of the Corn Laws was commenced in Norwich by the holding of a preliminary meeting, at which a petition in favour of the movement was agreed to. A common hall was held on February 7th, presided over by the Mayor (Mr. J. Marshall), when the Chartists attended and created a great disturbance. A resolution in favour of repeal was adopted. The Town Council discussed the subject on February 8th and 11th, and a motion for petitioning both Houses of Parliament for a total repeal was carried by 26 votes to 20. Meetings with the same object became general throughout the county.
January 16th 1839
Heigham Episcopal chapel, Norwich, was consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese, and was known afterwards as the chapel of the Holy Trinity.
January 21st 1839
Died at Catton, aged 38, the Rev. Dacre Barrett Lennard, sixth son of Sir Thomas Barrett Lennard, of Belhus, Essex, rector of St. Michael at Plea, Norwich, and chaplain to H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex and Lord Western. His remains were interred on the 28th “in a vault near the altar of his church.”
January 28th 1839
Died at Hampstead, Sir William Beechey, R.A., aged 86. He was a native of Burford, Oxfordshire, and in early life settled and married in Norwich. Elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1793, he painted in the same year a full-length portrait of Queen Charlotte, who honoured him with the appointment of Queen’s portrait painter. In 1798 he painted an equestrian portrait of George III., with the Prince of Wales and Duke of York, reviewing the 3rd and 10th Dragoons, attended by Lieut.-General Dundas, General Sir William Fawcett, and Major George Goldsworthy. In the same year he received the honour of knighthood, the first instance of its being conferred on an artist since the time of Sir Joshua Reynolds. At St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, there are four portraits by Sir William, namely, those of Admiral Lord Nelson, Mr. John Patteson, Mr. Elisha de Hague, and Mr. J. S. Patteson. His son, Capt. Beechey, R.N., was one of Capt. Sir Edward Parry’s lieutenants in his second expedition towards the North Pole.
February 3rd 1839
This day (Sunday) a prize-fight took place on Costessey Common, between Rix and Clarke, of Norwich, seconded by Cricknell and Blanchflower, “of the new scientific school.” Sixty-three rounds were fought, in 1 hr. 20 mins. Rix was the victor. “Never were two men more severely punished by each other.”
February 6th 1839
The Rev. W. J. Bakewell, upwards of eleven years minister of the Unitarian chapel, Norwich, “who is about to embark for America,” was presented by his congregation with a purse of 105 sovs.
February 10th 1839
“The week before last, in a little more than three days, Sir Richard Sutton, Bart., and a small party of friends shot 1,313 pheasants and an immense quantity of hares, rabbits, partridges, and woodcock, on his estate at Lynford and Tofts.” (This was described as “killing, not sporting.”)
February 10th 1839
Mr. William Dalrymple resigned office as one of the surgeons of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and Mr. J. Godwin Johnson was elected in his place.
February 11th 1839
A trotting match took place at Attleborough, between a horse named Scroggins, belonging to Mr. Ling, of Besthorpe, and a cob the property of Mr. Robert Large, of Ellingham. The match was run in two mile heats, and was won by the former, in the presence of upwards of 3,000 spectators.
February 19th 1839
Mr. Hotson, solicitor, of Long Stratton, while driving to Norwich, was robbed of a purse of money and a case of bank notes, near Harford Bridges. One of his assailants pulled him back in the gig and covered his mouth with his hand while three others rifled his pockets. At the Norwich Quarter Sessions, in April, a man named Daniel Archer was charged with the offence, and acquitted.
February 21st 1839
The litigation respecting the Norwich charities entered upon its final stage in the House of Lords, when the appeal, Bignold and others _v._ Springfield came on for hearing. Lord Wynford said the question he had to propose was that the judges should state their opinion whether, having reference to the 74th section of the Municipal Corporation Act, the administration of the charities continued in the old Corporation after August 1st, 1836. Mr. Justice Littledale asked for time to consider the question. On June 24th the House decided in favour of the then trustees. Lord Chief Justice Tindal said: “Upon the whole we think the administration of the charity estates did not continue in the persons described in the 71st section of the 5th and 6th William IV. after August 1st.” The order was confirmed, with costs against the appellants.
February 21st 1839
The Marquis of Douro presented to the House of Commons a petition signed by 1,600 of the inhabitants of Norwich for leave to bring in the Norwich Improvement Bill. The Bill was read a first time. It passed its second reading on March 21st, and was read a third time on June 19th. The object of the Bill was to repeal the then existing Acts and to substitute a more effectual provision for the better paving, lighting, and improvement of the city. At a special meeting of the Town Council on July 16th it was agreed to petition the House of Lords in opposition to the Bill “in the way it should come from the Commons.” When the Bill was before the Committee of the House of Lords on July 23rd objection was taken that the notices on the part of the promoters were insufficient, and the Bill was consequently lost. At a meeting of the Paving Commissioners on December 17th it was reported that costs amounting to £1,500 had been incurred in opposing the Bill.
March 2nd 1839
Smallpox was reported to be very prevalent in Norwich. Within the preceding month one hundred persons died of the disease.
March 5th 1839
An alarming report was circulated about the arming of the Chartists in Norwich, where, it was stated, a club had been formed for the more extensive distribution of pikes and other weapons. “Some are formed like a common halbert, others have a crescent at the bottom and the blade pointed forward, with a sharp edge, supposed to be designed for cutting the girths or reins of horses. It is said that about 60 will leave Norwich armed with these weapons, and some of them with pistols, for the north of England.” At a meeting of the Town Council on March 11th the Mayor said, in reply to questions by Mr. Bignold, that the report had been greatly exaggerated. Pikes had been manufactured, but there was not a great number of them. Meanwhile the Chartists held meetings in Norwich Market Place, on Mousehold Heath, and elsewhere. In August pikes and guns were taken by the police from various persons, and on the 10th of that month John Dover, the keeper of a beer shop in St. Paul’s, was apprehended on the charge of giving an order to James Tillett, a smith, to make pikes for unlawful purposes, and was bound over to appear at the Assizes. On the 14th the Chartists made a demonstration on Mousehold Heath; the police force was strengthened in consequence, special constables sworn in, and the staff of the West Norfolk Militia held in readiness for immediate action. On Sunday, the 18th, the Chartists attended the Cathedral service in a body, and were appealed to by the Bishop to take to heart the words of advice he addressed to them. On the evening of the same day they attended St. Stephen’s church and interrupted the preacher, the Rev. P. Booth, with hisses and noise. The church of SS. Simon and Jude was visited on Sunday, the 25th, and hundreds were unable to gain admission in consequence of the crowd. “A text had been sent to the Rev. John Owen by some of the Chartists, with a respectful request that he would preach from it, and the greatest order prevailed.”
March 8th 1839
A heavy fall of snow took place. The Birmingham mail coach arrived in Norwich ten hours late, and on the 9th several carriers were unable to reach the city.
March 11th 1839
At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council a petition “from certain persons, denominating themselves anglers,” was read, requesting that means should be taken to prevent the dragging of the river for fish. It was stated that fishing for smelts was at one time a source of income to many persons, several boats having earned as much as £23 a year. The petition was referred to the magistrates, who were asked to prohibit illegal fishing.
March 16th 1839
“A fine white-tailed eagle was last week shot on Beachamwell Warren. It measured between the tips of the wings 7 ft. 5 ins., and weighed 10¾ lbs. It has been preserved by the Rev. H. Dugmore, of Swaffham.”
March 20th 1839
Fakenham Steeplechases took place. Among the other meetings this season were Eccles Hunt Steeplechases, March 26th; North Walsham, April 12th; and Barnham Broom, April 18th.
March 21st 1839
Died at his apartments in London, Mr. Edmund Henry Barker, of Thetford. “He had rendered valuable services to literature; in early life he was an intimate and respected friend of Dr. Parr; and his labours on the Thesaurus of Stephens will remain a noble monument of his indefatigable zeal in the cause of Greek literature.” He was buried at St. Andrew’s, Holborn.
March 24th 1839
Died, aged 85, Mary, wife of Captain Richard Browne, of the Cathedral precincts, Norwich, and eldest daughter of Dr. John Murray.
March 26th 1839
The troop of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, stationed at Norwich, marched thence for Clifton. They were replaced in April by two troops of the 9th Lancers, commanded by Capt. Fullarton.
April 1st 1839
Mr. G. V. Brooke appeared at Norwich Theatre as Sir Edward Mortimer (“The Iron Chest”). During the short season he performed a round of his favourite characters.
April 6th 1839
“We regret to find our anticipations that the Eastern Counties’ Railway is to terminate at Colchester have been realised, as it seems the directors have come to the conclusion not to carry it further, in accordance with the wishes of the Lancashire proprietors, who hare so great a stake in the undertaking.” On May 6th a rule _nisi_ was granted in the Bail Court to compel the Company to proceed with the works in accordance with their original contract with the public. (The Act of Parliament was obtained upon the representation that the line should be carried from London to Yarmouth.) In the Court of Queen’s Bench on June 22nd Lord Chief Justice Denman, in delivering judgment on the points raised, said: “Upon the whole, without coming to any final decision, we think the case is involved in such doubt as to require the return of the mandamus, and that a writ should go for that purpose.”
April 9th 1839
At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Vaughan, John Hall and Wm. Palmer were indicted upon the unusual charge of stealing a bell from a parish church. The bell was lying in the west end of North Walsham church, and the prisoners, with the assistance of a man named John Daniels (who turned Queen’s evidence), took it away in a cart, broke it up, and endeavoured to dispose of the metal in Norwich. The prisoners were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, with hard labour. (For an account of a similar theft see December 28th, 1839.)
April 10th 1839
At the same Assizes, before Lord Chief Justice Tindal, an action was brought against an overseer named Burrell, of Lynn, for the recovery of a penalty of £50 for failing to deliver a signed list of persons claiming to be registered as voters under the Municipal Reform Act. A verdict was given for the plaintiff, a Mr. King, for the amount claimed.
April 11th 1839
Charles Daines was indicted at the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Vaughan, for the wilful murder of Elizabeth Daines, his infant daughter, by poisoning her at Hempnall on March 11th. The prisoner was acquitted. He was then charged with attempting to murder his wife by poisoning her with arsenic, found guilty, and sentenced to death. The execution took place on the Castle Hill, Norwich, on April 27th. “He appeared to die an exceedingly hard death. He clasped his hands, and raised his arms several times towards his breast, as if in the act of prayer, unquestionably showing that consciousness had not left him. His remains were buried in St. Michael-at-Thorn churchyard.”
April 13th 1839
“We understand it is in contemplation to revive in Norwich under different regulations and on a more extensive scale those annual art exhibitions, which for the last six years have ceased to take place. It is proposed to form a society, through the medium of which artists and amateurs in Norwich and its neighbourhood may have the opportunity of offering to public inspection and patronage productions in any department of art. The large room in the building, lately occupied as a bazaar in St. Andrew’s, is to form the gallery.” (The exhibition was opened on August 16th.)
April 13th 1839
“An enormous eel was lately brought to Norwich Fish-market. It weighed 25 lbs., and was sold to be placed in the collection of a London naturalist.”
April 13th 1839
Died at Doughty’s Hospital, Norwich, Elizabeth Bentley, “the Norwich poetess,” in the 72nd year of her age. She was born in the parish of All Saints, and was the only child of Daniel Bentley, a journeyman shoemaker, who died in 1783. Two years after her father’s death she developed a taste for versification, and in 1791 appeared the first volume of her poems, dedicated to Mr. Wm. Drake, jun., M.P. The profits of the publication (from the contributions of nearly 2,000 subscribers) enabled her for many years, with the income arising from a small school, to support the declining age of her mother. Another volume of her poems was published in 1821.
May 6th 1839
At the sale of effects at Gunton Hall, very high prices were realised for the wine, liquors, and ale. Griffith’s port (1830) sold at 81s. per dozen; Fontignac, at £8 per dozen; curaçoa, £13 per dozen; brandy, £9 per dozen; ale, £4 per barrel. At Tattersall’s, 49 horses and colts belonging to Lord Suffield produced £4,400, and the pack of 47 couples and 13 bitches with their whelps £280.
May 9th 1839
The Yarmouth Town Council accepted the tender of the Rev. Mark Waters for the presentation to St. George’s chapel. The minimum price fixed was £620; the highest tender £661.
May 14th 1839
The Purple and Orange Club, at a meeting presided over by Mr. W. J. Utten Browne, and held at the Maid’s Head Inn, adopted an address to the Queen, expressing regret at the threatening aspect of affairs in our Colonial possessions, and of sedition manifest in England, and imploring her Majesty to summon to her counsels “all those upright and enlightened statesmen whose consistent advocacy of Conservative principles has obtained for them the respect and confidence of the nation.” On the 23rd the Norwich Town Council adopted a counter address, “thanking her Majesty for her choice of ministers who deserve the regard of the nation by righteous taxation, by extending commerce, by improving criminal and civil laws, by commuting tithes, by amending the Poor-laws, by granting self-government to the people by municipal corporations, and by making provision for national education.”
May 15th 1839
By the fall of a floor at Taverham paper-mills, a man and a woman were killed.
May 25th 1839
“A tomb of novel construction has lately been erected in Diss churchyard. It is constructed entirely of cast-iron, and for neatness, security, and durability excels anything of the kind we have ever noticed.”
May 27th 1839
The Norfolk and Norwich Literary Institution closed its rooms at the Assembly House, Norwich. The library was opened at the new rooms adjoining the Museum in St. Andrew’s Street, on July 8th.
May 27th 1839
The Norfolk Yeomanry Cavalry mustered on Thornage Green and marched to Holt for six days’ permanent duty, under the command of Major Loftus.
June 1st 1839
“A respectable young man a few days since, at Norwich, undertook for a wager that he would take the sum of five shillings in one hour by travelling the city with a basket containing threads, tapes, cottons, &c., which he accomplished, and proceeded on the second hour, when he took 4s. 6d. more.”
June 5th 1839
The Norwich Tonnage Bill was read a third time in the House of Commons. This measure was intended to provide a new mode of application of the tolls and dues, first to defray the expenses of obtaining the Act; secondly, to pay interest on all sums borrowed under the powers of the Act, and to promote an accumulative fund for the purpose of paying off all the principal monies; and thirdly to keep in repair bridges, &c., to free Carrow Bridge, Duke’s Palace Bridge, and Foundry Bridge, to keep in repair St. Andrew’s Hall and the Guildhall, and to pay for any permanent improvement, such as widening streets, &c.
June 7th 1839
Died at Shadwell Lodge, in his 86th year, Sir Robert John Buxton, Bart. He had successively represented in Parliament for several years the borough of Thetford, and the borough of Bedwin, Wilts.
June 11th 1839
A prize-fight for £25 a side was fought at Pulham, between Brassey and Bailey, of Norwich. In 1 hour 8 minutes 72 rounds were contested, “during which time Bailey never had a chance.” Brassey was seconded by John Stanfield and Charles Utting, and Bailey by Jem Perowne and Bounce Brown. “On Sunday, the 9th inst., no less than five of these disgraceful scenes took place in the parish of Earlham.”
June 15th 1839
“A full length portrait of the rector, the Rev. William Manning, by Mr. Thomas Ronds, of London, formerly of Diss, has been placed in the committee room of the Diss Hospital, the result of a subscription set on foot by the inhabitants.”
June 22nd 1839
“‘The Tour,’ a poem written anonymously, published by Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., and printed by Gowing, of Swaffham, is, independent of its literary merits, highly creditable to the West Norfolk press. The frontispiece, Lake Lucerne, is drawn by Wright, of Swaffham.”
June 26th 1839
A fire occurred on the premises of Mr. Bush, cabinet maker, Roach’s Court, Fisher’s Lane, Norwich, and was one of the most destructive that had taken place in the city for many years. The factory was destroyed, and with it the adjoining house, occupied by a silk weaver, who lost his stock of silk and machinery. “The fire engines were not in a state for such an emergency, and many of the leather pipes had to be tied up with handkerchiefs.”
July 6th 1839
“Mr. Smith, who has managed the Norwich Theatre for the last 25 years, has retired altogether from the concern, which is now in the hands of his son, Mr. George Smith.”
July 13th 1839
A person of eccentric character, named John Coe, of Chapel Street, Crook’s Place, Norwich, died on this date. “For 34 years he was a trunk maker in St. Lawrence’. Deceased had made his own coffin five years ago, of old soap chests and tea chests, and had polished it up so that it looked like mahogany. It was composed of 165 pieces, and on the lid was a black plate, bearing a quotation from the Burial Service. The deceased had also made a coffin for his wife, who survives him, but this had to be disposed of to inter the remains of a poor woman whose friends could not find the money to purchase one.”
July 15th 1839
A prize-fight took place on Mousehold Heath, Norwich, between Brundell and Thetford, who were seconded respectively by Perowne and Cricknell. Fifty-two rounds were fought, in 1 hour 15 minutes. Both men were severely punished. Brundell was the winner.
July 15th 1839
Died at his house, Chester Square, London, Mr. Praed, M.P. for Aylesbury. The deceased, who was in his 37th year, was Deputy High Steward of Cambridge University, and formerly Conservative member for Great Yarmouth.
July 16th 1839
The “London Gazette” of this date contained the announcement: “The Queen has been pleased to grant unto Henry le Strange Styleman, of Hunstanton Hall, Esquire, her Royal licence and authority that he and his issue may, out of respect for the memory of his great grandmother, Armine Styleman, eldest of the two daughters of Sir Nicholas le Strange, take and use the name of le Strange in addition to and after that of Styleman.”
July 17th 1839
Two musical artistes who afterwards achieved much local celebrity, Madame de Belleville Oury (pianist to H.R.H. Princess Frederick of Prussia) and Mr. Oury (principal violinist at the Italian Opera in Paris), made their first appearance in Norwich at a _matinée musicale_, given at the house of Madame Oury Crook, Chapel Field, Norwich.
July 20th 1839
“A fine specimen of that rare and exquisitely beautiful fish, the Opah, or _Zeus Imperialis_ was taken alive at Hunstanton. It measured 3 ft. 3 ins. in length, 1 ft. 10 ins. across, and 7 ins. thick. It was purchased for Wisbech Museum.”
July 25th 1839
Died, aged 66, Mr. William Snow, many years master of the Black Bull Coffee House, in Norwich Market Place. “He was a man of superior ability in his profession as a cook and purveyor for festive parties.”
July 29th 1839
Mr. George Smith commenced the first season of his management at Norwich Theatre by engaging Madame Vestris and Mr. Charles Mathews. The pieces produced during the visit of these eminent performers were “The Welsh Girl,” “Patter _versus_ Clatter,” and “Loan of a Lover.”
August 6th 1839
A correspondent, in a letter of this date, called attention in the NORFOLK CHRONICLE to the use of dogs as animals of draught. “I saw,” he wrote, “in a big, overloaded baker’s cart this week a disproportioned dog, willing but quite unable to pull his cruel load up Market Place Hill. Let the inhabitants of Norwich withdraw their custom from any baker who is guilty of this barbarism.”
August 14th 1839
The Fakenham coach, on its journey to Norwich, was descending Guist Hill, when one of the leaders fell, the pole broke, and the coach was overturned. The only person seriously injured was a Mrs. Flowers, of London, who sustained a broken thigh and received a severe wound in the neck.
August 28th 1839
The Cley estate, the property of Mr. John William Tomlinson, was sold by auction in London by Mr. W. W. Simpson, for £32,000.
September 2nd 1839
Died at Annesley Place, Cambridge, aged 61, Mr. W. Wilkins, M.A., R.A. He was the architect of Downing College and of the new buildings at King’s, Trinity, and Corpus Christi Colleges; the University College, London, and the National Gallery were erected from his designs, as were also the Shirehall and the Theatre Royal at Norwich. Mr. Wilkins graduated as a member of Caius College, of which he was afterwards Fellow. He was the author of “Magna Græcia” and other works on architecture. With his father, Mr. William Wilkins, F.S.A., he resided some years in Norwich.
September 15th 1839
A cuckoo, in fine plumage, was shot in the garden of Messrs. Howes, Red Lion Street, Norwich.
September 17th 1839
At the Norfolk and Norwich Musical Festival, which began on this date, the programme included “Israel in Egypt,” the new oratorio “Calvary,” produced on the 19th and conducted in person by the composer, Spohr; selections from the “Redemption,” and the “Messiah.” A miscellaneous concert took place each evening, and the Festival concluded with a fancy dress ball. The principal artistes were Signora Persiani, Signora Placci, Miss Birch, Miss Hawes, Madame Stockhausen, Mr. Hobbs, Mr. H. Phillips, Mr. Balfe, Mr. Young, Mr. Francis, Signor Tamburini; Mr. F. Cramer was leader of the band, and Professor Taylor conducted. The gross receipts were £5,639 0s. 5d., and the gross expenses £4,343 4s. 2d.
September 17th 1839
A two days’ race meeting commenced on Mousehold Heath, Norwich, and was attended by 30,000 persons.
September 23rd 1839
The foundation-stone of Yarmouth Hospital was laid by Mr. Simon Cobb, Mayor of the borough.
September 25th 1839
Mr. Hampton made a balloon ascent from the Gas Works, Bishop Bridge, Norwich, at 4.30 p.m., and descended prematurely in a field at Rackheath. A parachute containing a monkey was detached from the car as the balloon passed over Mousehold Heath.
October 2nd 1839
A great demonstration took place at Norwich, on the occasion of the third anniversary of the “Teetotalist” Society. A procession, headed by a band of music, started from Castle Meadow, paraded the principal streets of the city, and arrived at St. Andrew’s Hall at five o’clock. After tea the Bishop addressed the meeting, and “declared in the most positive manner his deep conviction of the value of the society.” Mr. Samuel Wiseman and Mr. James Jarrold were presented with silver medals by the temperance workers in the city.
October 8th 1839
The Norwich Paving Commissioners adopted ground plans and elevations for the widening and improvement of Briggs Street, and it was agreed that the cost be met proportionately by the trustees of D’Oyley’s fund, the Paving Commissioners, and the Tonnage Commissioners. At a meeting of the Paving Commissioners, on December 10th, it was decided to carry out the contemplated improvements on the east side of the street, and that conjointly with the Tonnage Commissioners, they should spend a sum not exceeding £2,000.
October 9th 1839
Mr. Hampton made a second balloon ascent at Norwich. The balloon was filled at the Gas Works, and floated thence by means of guide ropes to the yard of the Cavalry Barracks. Among the persons who availed themselves of the opportunity of ascending in the balloon while in its captive state was Col. Harvey, who, on September 7th, 1825, made an ascent from Richmond Hill Gardens with Mrs. Graham (_q.v._). Mr. Hampton was accompanied by Mr. William Shalders, jun., and the balloon descended on the estate of the Rev. T. Mack, of Tunstead, ten miles distant from Norwich. On October 16th Mr. Green, the celebrated aeronaut, then on a visit to Mr. R. Crawshay, of Honingham, ascended in his “Coronation” balloon, from Norwich Gas Works. “A parachute with a cat in the basket was thrown out, and descended at Catton.” The balloon descended at Trunch, after a journey of twenty-five minutes’ duration.
October 16th 1839
At the Norfolk Quarter Sessions, William Wales was indicted for maliciously shooting cattle, the property of Mr. Robert Mack, jun., at Hainford, on August 18th. It was proved that the prisoner had shot several valuable beasts. He had already served seven years’ transportation, and, on being found guilty, was sentenced to transportation for the term of his natural life.
October 16th 1839
Died in London, Mr. Charles M. Curtis, aged 44, an artist of considerable merit. He was a native of Norwich, a brother of the accomplished author of “British Entomology,” and for several years devoted his talents to drawing objects of natural history and to the illustration of scientific works.
October 25th 1839
The centenary of Wesleyanism was commemorated at Norwich. On the 28th 1,000 members of the body had tea at St. Andrew’s Hall, which was also attended by 1,200 children from the Wesleyan Sunday schools in the city.
October 30th 1839
St. Mary’s Baptist chapel, Norwich, which had been closed for four months, for the purpose of enlargement, was re-opened for public worship. The preachers were the Rev. Dr. Andrew Reed, of London, and the Rev. Eustace Giles, of Leeds. “The chapel, which is now one of the most elegant in this part of the kingdom, and is capable of seating more than one thousand persons, was densely crowded by a congregation amounting to nearly 1,600 persons.”
November 5th 1839
At Yarmouth Quarter Sessions, before the Recorder, Mr. N. Palmer, Fortunatus Robert Townshend Crisp was indicted for publishing, in a paper called the “Paul Pry,” a slanderous and malicious libel upon Henry Holmes Baker. Many persons in Yarmouth had, it was stated, been grossly libelled in this notorious publication. Defendant was found guilty, and ordered to pay damages amounting to £5.
November 9th 1839
Capt. Philip John Money was elected Mayor, and Mr. John Barwell appointed Sheriff, of Norwich.
November 11th 1839
Mr. Arrow, auctioneer, of Lynn, was served with an Exchequer writ under peculiar circumstances. Proceedings had been taken against several individuals in St. Margaret’s parish for non-payment of Church rates, and their goods were distrained and put up for auction in the Saturday Market Place. Among other articles offered was a silver-cased watch. Mr. Arrow not having a licence to sell plate, offered the works only, and proposed to make a present of the case to the person who purchased the works, and in this manner the watch was disposed of. On receiving the writ, Mr. Arrow wrote to the Commissioners of Stamps and Taxes, giving a full explanation of the circumstances, whereupon further proceedings were stayed.
November 16th 1839
“A new Paving Bill is being prepared by Mr. C. S. Gilman, and its entire management is to be entrusted to a committee of inhabitants and owners of property in Norwich and the hamlets.” Among its objects were the prevention of the erection or maintenance of any toll-gate in any part of the hamlets, the acquisition of powers to widen Briggs Street, Theatre Street, and London Street; to open a carriage way through the Back of the Inns from London Street to White Lion Street; to afford public carriage communication from the Back of the Inns through Angel Street to the Castle Ditches, and to effect other improvements conducive to the health, cleanliness, and security of the inhabitants. (_See_ January 31st, 1840.)
November 22nd 1839
At a meeting of the county magistrates, held at the Shirehall, Norwich, the Hon. and Rev. R. Wilson moved, Lord Wodehouse seconded, and it was resolved by a large majority to adopt the new Constabulary Act throughout the county. The force, known as the “Rural Police,” was constituted as follows:—One chief constable, at the salary of £500 per annum; 12 superintendents, at £100 each; and 120 petty constables, at £1 each per week. Each superintendent was allotted a district of twelve square miles. On January 3rd, 1840, Lieut.-Col. Richard Montague Oakes was appointed Chief Constable.
November 23rd 1839
Ducrow’s Circus was opened at the Ranelagh Gardens, Norwich.
November 26th 1839
A meeting of the insurers in the Norwich Union Life Office was held at the Assembly Rooms, Norwich, “to take into consideration the examiners’ report, agreeable to the resolutions of the meeting held on the 6th inst.” These proceedings arose mainly because of long-continued personal attacks made upon Mr. Bignold by Mr. Bacon, editor of the “Norwich Mercury.” “The character of Mr. Bignold was placed on the highest pinnacle of unimpeachable honour and good fame; and the present state of the society’s affairs is founded on that firm and equitable basis of adjustment which fully warrants its members in looking forward to years of increasing prosperity and success for the establishment.”
December 21st 1839
Wombwell’s Menagerie was exhibited at Norwich. The collection had largely increased in extent since its previous visit, and included three elephants. “In consequence of the rapid growth of the enormous elephant, G. W. has been obliged to erect the largest machine in the form of a waggon that was ever built, so ponderous as to require six roller wheels to support it, and from 12 to 18 horses to draw it.”
December 21st 1839
Died in St. Stephen’s, Norwich, aged 65, Mr. William Moore. He served the office of Sheriff in 1824, and of Mayor in 1835. Mr. Moore was the last Mayor elected by the old Corporation before the Municipal Corporations Act came into force.
December 24th 1839
The weather on this day was only ten degrees colder than on June 24th. “The thermometer out of doors remained at 50.”
December 28th 1839
“One night last week some persons stole from the church at Swardeston one of the bells. The rogues broke the bell to pieces on the spot, and although the blows must have made a great noise, the villagers were not alarmed, and the sacrilegious depredators were enabled to carry off their booty unmolested.”