The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1847 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 1st 1847

A new form of entertainment was introduced at this date—“Ethiopian minstrelsy,” the precursor of the Christy minstrels. The troupe appeared at Norwich Theatre. “The band consists of five harmonists, with black faces and white eyes, black coats and white cuffs, black trousers and white waistcoats, black stocks and white collars. The instruments are a violin, two ‘banjoes’ (instruments that look like guitars run to seed), a tambourine, and ‘bones’ (a species of castanet).”

January 4th 1847

Died at Earlham, in his 59th year, Mr. Joseph John Gurney. He was a son of John Gurney, of Earlham, and a grandson of John Gurney who died in 1770, and had been “the connecting link by which the hand-spun yarn of the South of Ireland was brought to add its stores to the wants of our artizans.” Mr. J. J. Gurney received his early education under the Rev. M. Browne, of Hingham; he then went to the Academical Institution at Oxford. He was a great traveller. Several times he visited the West Indies, travelled twice on the Continent, made a tour in Scotland, in company with Mr. Hoare, for the purpose of inspecting the prisons, and, accompanied by Mrs. Fry, he visited Ireland in the spring of 1827, in order to personally investigate the condition of the prisons and the charitable institutions of that country. On July 8th, 1837, he embarked at Liverpool for Philadelphia on a Gospel mission to parts of North America and the West Indies. Of this tour he gave an interesting account in “Familiar Letters to Amelia Opie”; his “Winter in the West Indies” is described in “Familiar Letters to Henry Clay of Kentucky.” He was three times married; his first wife was a daughter of Mr. J. Birkbeck, of Lynn, his second a Wiltshire lady, and his third an American lady. Mr. Gurney was the author of several works in addition to those above-mentioned, and was one of the greatest philanthropists of his day. Memorial services were held at many places of worship in Norwich on the Sunday following his death, and on the day of the funeral (January 12th) business in the city was suspended. The interment took place at the Gildencroft, when the rites peculiar to the Society of Friends were performed.

January 5th 1847

Serious acts of insubordination were committed by the inmates of Swainsthorpe Workhouse, “on the ground that they wanted more victuals.” Damage was done to the windows to the amount of £30.

January 14th 1847

The use of anæsthetics—“ethereal fumes “—was introduced at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital by Dr. Hull, in the extraction of teeth. (_See_ December 30th, 1847.)

January 23rd 1847

At a meeting held at the Swan Inn, Norwich, the East Norfolk and West Norfolk Agricultural Societies were amalgamated under the title of the Norfolk Agricultural Society. The first general meeting of the newly-formed society was held on the same day, when Lord Hastings was elected President. The first show took place on the Cricket Ground, Norwich, on June 18th, and for several years the exhibitions were held alternately in the city and at Swaffham.

January 27th 1847

Died, aged 67, Mr. George Fisher, formerly of the Norfolk and Suffolk Company of Comedians.

January 31st 1847

Died, in his 93rd year, the Rev. John Oldershaw, Archdeacon of Norfolk. He was born at Leicester, where his father practised as a surgeon, and was educated at Oakham Grammar School and at Emanuel College, Cambridge, where he proceeded B.A. in 1776, and obtained the distinguished honour of senior wrangler of his year. About this time he became private tutor to Charles Manners Sutton, who was afterwards Bishop of Norwich and Archbishop of Canterbury. He was elected a Fellow and public tutor of his College; when Sutton became Bishop of Norwich he appointed him his examining chaplain. Mr. Oldershaw married Anne, daughter of Sir John Hynde Cotton, Bart., of Maddingley, Cambridgeshire, and took up his residence at Harpley, as curate. He was presented in 1797 to the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, and was soon after nominated to the rectory of Redenhall-with-Harleston. Archdeacon Oldershaw was for many years one of the most active magistrates in the county.

February 5th 1847

At a meeting held at the Guildhall, Norwich, presided over by the Mayor, it was decided to open a public subscription for the relief of the distress among the Irish peasantry, consequent upon the failure of the potato crop. For the same object collections were made in the places of worship in city and county.

February 6th 1847

The warehouse in Rose Lane, Norwich, belonging to Mr. Kitten was burnt down, and its contents, consisting of barrels of grease, resin, and other inflammable materials, destroyed. Another serious fire occurred on the same premises on May 20th.

February 15th 1847

The opening of the Wymondham and Dereham Railway for passenger traffic was celebrated with great festivities. Mr. Gidney, of Dereham, one of the principal promoters of the line, entertained a large company at luncheon at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, and in the evening a dinner took place at the King’s Arms Hotel, Dereham, in which town the day was observed as a general holiday. “Along the road from the station,” it was stated, “many new and handsome-looking houses have been built, far superior to any modern houses in Norwich.”

February 17th 1847

Died at his residence in the Cathedral Precincts, Norwich, the Rev. Canon Edward South Thurlow, rector of Houghton le Spring, Durham. He was appointed Prebendary of Norwich in 1788.

February 25th 1847

The Mayor of Norwich (Mr. Jeremiah Colman) turned the first sod on the Norwich extension of the Ipswich and Bury Railway. The ceremony took place on Mr. Cyrus Gillett’s farm in the parish of Markshall. Several gentlemen filled barrows with earth, which other gentlemen, including the Sheriff (Mr. Charles Winter) wheeled away—a proceeding which elicited from Mr. Willett the remark that “if they went on at that rate they would leave little work for the navvies to do.” The company then assembled for luncheon, under the presidency of Mr. A. Ogilvie, and many congratulatory speeches were made. (_See_ November 7th, 1849.)

February 28th 1847

The shop of Mr. Cooper, silversmith and jeweller, London Street, Norwich, was broken into and goods of the total value of £2,000 stolen.

March 4th 1847

Died at his residence, in St. Giles’, Norwich, Dr. Edward Lubbock, aged 43. He was the younger son of Dr. Richard Lubbock, and was educated at the Free Grammar School, under Valpy. He commenced his medical studies under Dr. Skrimshire at Peterborough, became a student at Guy’s Hospital, and afterwards proceeded to Edinburgh University, where he took his degree as M.D. His devotion to the study of anatomy and physiology led him, conjointly with Mr. Nichols, to establish in Norwich, about 1830, a school for dissection. He was one of the physicians of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and of the Bethel.

March 10th 1847

A public meeting, presided over by the Mayor, was held at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, “to oppose the oppressive operation of the present Law of Settlement upon the industrious poor.” Petitions were presented to Parliament praying for the abolition of the system, and demanding that the poor should be relieved out of a national fund.

March 15th 1847

Died, in his 92nd year, the Rev. Stephen Allen, for 56 years minister of St Margaret’s, Lynn. “In early life Mr. Allen was a pupil of Archdeacon Paley, and by his mother’s marriage with the celebrated Dr. Burney he enjoyed frequent opportunities of mixing in that brilliant circle of which Madame D’Arblay was at once the life and the ornament.”

March 24th 1847

A public fast and humiliation were observed in Norwich.

March 30th 1847

An inquest was held at Tibenham, by Mr. Pilgrim, one of the County Coroners, on the bodies of Mrs. Pearson and Mrs. Everett, the wives of farmers living in that parish. Several deaths had occurred under mysterious circumstances, and in these two cases _post-mortem_ examinations revealed the fact that death was due to arsenical poisoning. The inquiry was several times adjourned, and on May 13th the jury returned a verdict to the effect that the women died from poison wilfully administered by some person or persons unknown.

April 3rd 1847

The new road from the bottom of Long John’s Hill to Lakenham Mills, with the bridges and viaduct beyond the mills, was completed by the contractors, Messrs. Watson, Wright, and Cattermoul, from plans prepared by Mr. J. Brown.

April 17th 1847

A brig of 150 tons, named the Countess of Leicester, and intended for the southern trade, was launched from Mr. Tyrell’s shipyard, at Wells-next-the-Sea. She was classed A 1 for twelve years, and was the finest ship ever launched at Wells.

April 22nd 1847

The new County Court, for the recovery of small debts, was held for the first time, at the Guildhall, Norwich, before Mr. T. J. Birch, the Judge. In consequence of the jurisdiction of this Court, the old Court of Conscience was abolished.

April 30th 1847

St. Mark’s Schools, Lakenham, erected from designs by Mr. J. Brown, were opened.

May 1st 1847

The remains of the Hon. Isabella Stafford Jerningham, who died at Genoa on January 1st, were interred in the family vault beneath the altar in the chapel at Costessey Hall. At the same time was interred the body of the Hon. Frances Stafford Jerningham, who died at Paris in May, 1838. It was placed by the side of the remains of her twin sister, the Hon. Georgiana Stafford Jerningham, who died at Leamington in 1841.

May 3rd 1847

Mr. Davenport, lessee of the Norwich Theatre, was fined by the magistrates in a nominal sum for assaulting a man who was selling tickets outside the Theatre under the regular prices of admission. The sale took place upon what was known as a “ticket night.” Mr. Davenport alleged that by this system, which was allowed in no other town, the former manager, Mr. Smith, had lost in twenty years £6,000 from the treasury of the circuit.

May 15th 1847

The Norfolk Yeomanry Cavalry commenced its annual training at Wells-next-the-Sea. The drills took place in Holkham Park, where the regiment was hospitably entertained by the Earl of Leicester.

June 11th 1847

The Norwich Small Tenements Bill was referred to a Committee of the House of Commons. On the 12th the Committee settled the clauses determining that the owners of cottages of the annual value of £6 and under should be rated at one-third of the yearly value or rent.

June 28th 1847

Mr. Henry Russell, “from America,” gave his entertainment at the Concert Room, Swan Inn, Norwich. The programme included most of the favourite songs of the popular composer. The performance was repeated on the 29th. Mr. Russell made a return visit to Norwich, and appeared at the Theatre on September 6th and 8th.

July 1st 1847

The railway from Reedham to Lowestoft was opened.

July 3rd 1847

The Norwich Chamber of Commerce was announced to be “in full activity.” It was formed for the purpose of associating bankers, merchants, and other persons interested in the trade and commerce of the city, “so as to enable them to promote such objects as may be best calculated to benefit and protect commercial interests, and to further the carrying out or attainment of such measures as the exertions of individuals may be less adequate to accomplish.”

July 5th 1847

Feargus O’Connor, the leader of the Chartists, addressed a large meeting held at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.

July 19th 1847

Mr. and Mrs. Keeley commenced a week’s engagement at Norwich Theatre.

July 26th 1847

Madame Céleste appeared at Norwich Theatre as Madeline (“St. Mary’s Eve”) and Julien (“The Cabin Boy”).

July 28th 1847

The Marquis of Douro, Mr. Samuel Morton Peto, and Mr. John Humphries Parry were nominated candidates for the representation of Norwich. A poll was demanded, and the election took place on the 29th. The poll was declared on the 30th, as follows:—Peto, 2,448; Douro, 1,727; Parry, 1,572. The chairing of the successful candidates took place on August 2nd.

July 28th 1847

Thetford Election: The Right Hon. W. B. Baring and the Earl of Euston were returned unopposed.

July 29th 1847

Yarmouth Election: Lord Arthur Lennox, 834; Mr. Octavius Edward Coope, 813; Mr. Charles Edmund Rumbold, 729; Mr. Francis Henry Goldsmid, 698. The two first-named were returned. (_See_ February 7th, 1848.)

July 29th 1847

The Archæological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland commenced its annual meeting at Norwich. The proceedings concluded on August 5th.

July 30th 1847

Lynn Election: Lord George Bentinck and Lord Jocelyn were returned unopposed.

August 3rd 1847

East Norfolk Election: Mr. Edmond Wodehouse and Mr. Henry Negus Burroughes were returned unopposed.

August 6th 1847

Mary Ann Havers, of Norwich, a girl in humble life, who possessed remarkable musical ability, died on this date. She was educated at a school supported by private subscription, where singing according to the Norwich Sol-fa system was taught, and she became one of the best organizers of village choirs ever sent out of the city. Before she was fifteen years old she went to Southampton to give instruction; thence she was invited to Salisbury, and met with successive engagements in Dorsetshire, the Isle of Wight, Staffordshire, Kent, and Warwickshire.

August 9th 1847

The “London Gazette” announced that the Queen had granted to Robert Blake, of Swafield, her Royal license and authority, in compliance with a wish expressed in the will of the Rev. John Humfrey, of Wroxham, to take the surname of Humfrey immediately after that of Blake, and to quarter the arms of Humfrey with those of Blake.

August 10th 1847

The railway extension from Narborough to Swaffham was opened.

August 10th 1847

The nomination of candidates for the representation of West Norfolk took place at Swaffham. The Conservative procession started from Friars’ Thorns, headed by the candidates, Mr. William Bagge and Mr. H. L. S. le Strange. It extended two miles in length, and included 1,000 yeomen on horseback. The Whig procession, with the candidates, Mr. A. Hamond and the Hon. Ed. Keppel Coke at its head, started from Swaffham Splashes, and was in all respects as imposing as the other. At the nomination the show of hands was in favour of the Conservatives, and Sir William ffolkes demanded a poll for Messrs. Hamond and Coke. The polling took place on the 13th and 14th. The contest, one of the severest that had ever taken place in the county, resulted as follows:—Bagge, 3,113; Coke, 3,052; Hamond, 2,935; le Strange, 2,676.

August 17th 1847

Mr. J. B. Wigham and Mr. J. L. Barber, members of the Norwich Amateur Rowing Club, launched their pair-oared boat at Villequier, on the Seine, at 2.30 p.m., and rowed to Paris, where they arrived at 9 a.m. on August 24th. The distance was upwards of 300 miles, and the actual time occupied in rowing was 57 hours 25 minutes. For more than 200 miles the men rowed against a current which flowed at four miles an hour. “Galignani’s Messenger” described it as an “unparalleled feat.”

August 28th 1847

The New Adelphi Theatre, Victoria Gardens, Norwich, was opened, after extensive alterations and improvements, under the management of Mr. R. Gordon. “As You Like It” was produced, with Mr. Fred. Phillips in the part of Jacques. Mr. Phillips, who came from the Royal Pavilion Theatre, London, was subsequently editor of the “Norwich Argus.”

August 30th 1847

Mr. Farren and his son, Mr. H. Farren, appeared, the former as Sir Anthony Absolute, and the latter as Captain Absolute, at the Theatre Royal, Norwich.

September 22nd 1847

Mdlle. Jenny Lind, engaged by Mr. George Smith, late manager of the Theatre, and Mr. C. F. Hall, made her first appearance at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. Mr. Gedge was responsible for the payment of her fee of £1,000, of which amount she gave £200 to the charities of the city. Mdlle. Lind was accompanied by Madame F. Lablache, Signor Gardoni, and Signor F. Lablache, and Mr. W. Balfe was director of the concert. She appeared again on the 23rd and 25th. Mdlle. Lind stayed at the Palace as the guest of the Bishop of Norwich.

September 30th 1847

Died at Bath, aged 65, Mr. Benjamin Plim Bellamy, for many years lessee of the Assembly Rooms there. Mr. Bellamy, some 30 years previous to his death, was a favourite actor on the Norwich circuit. On vacating the stage in 1819 he took the editorship of the “Bury Herald,” but in 1823 went to Bath and resumed his original profession. He became manager of the Theatre there in 1827, which he soon after resigned on becoming lessee of the Assembly Rooms, and Master of the Ceremonies.

October 12th 1847

Mr. George Dawson, of Birmingham, lectured at the Assembly Rooms, Norwich, on “The Characteristics of the Age.”

October 16th 1847

The Catfield estates, formerly the property of Col. Cubitt, deceased, were sold by auction at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, by Messrs. Spelman and Sons, for £27,930.

October 16th 1847

A report was presented to the Governors of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, upon the result of inquiries made into certain serious allegations by the Messrs. Dalrymple, who had asserted that, compared with other hospitals of the same size, the utility of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital was in an inverse ratio to its cost of maintenance. The meeting was adjourned for a week, but discussion upon the statement and report was avoided, on the understanding “that such regulations would be framed from the two documents as would improve the management of that noble institution.”

October 20th 1847

Elihu Burritt, “the learned blacksmith,” of Massachusetts, U.S., delivered a lecture at St. Mary’s chapel, Norwich, on “The Organic Sinfulness of all War.”

October 23rd 1847

A high tide overflowed the salt marshes at Wells-next-the-Sea and drowned 240 ewes, the property of Mr. Hudson, of Warham.

October 25th 1847

The East Anglian Railway, from Lynn to Ely, was opened.

November 9th 1847

Mr. G. L. Coleman was elected Mayor, and Mr. James Watson appointed Sheriff of Norwich.

November 23rd 1847

The Queen’s Speech was, for the first time, transmitted to Norwich by electric telegraph. “Through the politeness of the Rev. A. B. Power, the superintendent of the electric telegraph along the Norfolk line, the Queen’s Speech was transmitted to us before 4 h. p.m. The transmission commenced at 2 h. 15 m. p.m., and our reporter took it down till the transmission was finished at 3 h. 45 m.”

December 3rd 1847

Rajah Brooke of Sarawak was entertained by his old schoolfellows of the Free Grammar School, at a dinner held at the Royal Hotel, Norwich. During his stay in Norfolk he visited the Earl of Leicester at Holkham, the Earl of Albemarle at Quidenham, and Mr. H. S. Partridge at Hockham.

December 7th 1847

Died in London, aged 76, Mr. William Dalrymple, “one of the most eminent of general practitioners in chirurgery and medicine in Norwich.”

December 24th 1847

Died at Yarmouth, in his 81st year, Sir George Parker, K.C.B., Admiral of the Red. He entered the Navy at a very early age, and served under his uncle, Sir Peter Parker. He took part in the capture of the Cannanon on the Malabar coast, and was senior lieutenant of the Phœnix at the capture of La Resolve, French frigate, and of the Crescent in her gallant action and capture of the Rennon in 1793, previous to which he brought to England the despatches of Admiral Cornwallis. In 1805, when commanding the Stately, he, in company with the Nassau, destroyed, after a running fight of two hours, a line of battle ship of 74 guns. He was appointed, in 1808, to the command of the squadron in the Baltic, and on his return to England he was appointed to the Aboukir (74), which he commanded in the Walcheren Expedition. In 1841 he attained the rank of Admiral of the Red.

December 29th 1847

Died at the residence of his son (the Rev. W. R. Crotch), at Taunton, “that eminent musician,” Dr. Crotch. He was born in Norwich in 1772, and in his twenty-second year was appointed professor of music in the University of Oxford. In 1822 he became principal of the Royal Academy of Music.

December 30th 1847

Chloroform was, for the first time, used in a surgical operation at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. “A young woman had her leg amputated after having inhaled the fumes from a convenient apparatus. She became perfectly insensible to pain, and continued so throughout the operation. Her sensations were apparently of a very happy description, as she partly amused herself by singing psalms in a very clear and distinct voice, and partly by holding lively conversations with imaginary persons during the performance of this painful operation. The state of unconsciousness appeared to be more rapidly induced by the use of chloroform than is usually effected by spirits of ether. Its exhalation also was more easy and agreeable, and the duration of its influence longer.”