The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1848 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 1st 1848

Methwold church was re-opened after restoration. “The centre of the nave has been given to the poor, and the outside aisles appropriated to the rich.”

January 3rd 1848

Mr. Aldridge, “the African Roscius,” appeared at Norwich Theatre in the character of Othello, and afterwards as Zanga (“The Revenge”), Fabian (“The Black Doctor”), and Bertram. He was a native of Africa, and was described as a very intelligent actor.

January 5th 1848

At the Norfolk Quarter Sessions, at Norwich, George Thurtell (47), horticulturist, “who appeared like a dying man,” pleaded guilty to stealing various articles from the house of Mr. Farrer, of Sporle, where he had been entertained as a guest while engaged as a landscape gardener in laying out the grounds. The prisoner, who was a son of Mr. Alderman Thurtell, of Norwich, and brother of the notorious John Thurtell, the murderer of Mr. Wear, was sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment. He died before the completion of his sentence (July 26th).

January 13th 1848

The elephant belonging to Wombwell’s Menagerie died whilst being exhibited at Norwich. The animal was said to be 85 years old.

January 19th 1848

Mrs. Butler, “once so celebrated as Fanny Kemble,” commenced an engagement at Norwich Theatre, in the character of Mrs. Beverley. She appeared also as Julia (“The Hunchback”) and Pauline.

January 28th 1848

The Yarmouth Haven and Pier Commissioners determined to oppose at every stage the Norwich and Yarmouth Navigation Bill, by which it was sought to obtain powers for improving the navigation of the river Yare by straightening, widening, and deepening the channel, so as to admit of the passage of seaborne ships from Yarmouth to Norwich. Application was made in the Court of Chancery for an injunction to restrain the Corporation of Norwich from raising funds by means of the borough rate to forward the Bill, which went before a Committee of the House of Commons on May 2nd. Counsel for the promoters intimated on May 5th that they did not intend to offer further evidence in its support, whereupon the Bill was withdrawn.

February 4th 1848

The driver of the Brandon, Fakenham, and Wells coach, benumbed with cold, fell from the box seat unknown to the passengers, and was severely injured. The accident occurred at Toftrees. “The horses proceeded at their usual pace, turning all corners, crossing Hempton Common, up the narrow street into Fakenham, and passing several carts and other vehicles on the way. They pulled up at the Crown Inn, as usual, and waited for the porters and ostlers. The coach stops on alternate nights at the Crown and Lion Inns, and this was the proper night for it to stop at the Crown.”

February 7th 1848

The Yarmouth election petition against the return of Lord Arthur Lennox and Mr. Octavius E. Coope, on the ground of corrupt practices, came before the Committee of the House of Commons. On the 14th the Committee found that “gross, systematic, and extensive bribery prevailed amongst the freemen at the last and previous elections, and considered it their duty to express to the House their unanimous opinion that the freemen should be disfranchised, and that no writ should be issued for the borough until legislative measures had been taken for the purpose of such disfranchisement.” The members were unseated. The Disfranchisement Bill received the Royal assent on June 30th, and the names of 1,106 voters were struck off the list, leaving the constituency at 876. On the same day the writ was issued for the election. Mr. C. E. Rumbold, Mr. Joseph Sandars, and Mr. Bagshaw were nominated candidates on July 7th; a poll was demanded, and the result was declared on the 8th, as follows:—Sandars, 416; Rumbold, 386; Bagshaw, 300.

February 27th 1848

Died at Hill’s Farm, Attleborough, Mr. Theophilus Smith, aged 68. “He was a man of considerable talent and mechanical skill. In 1841 he had, through the kindness of the Earl of Albemarle, an introduction to Prince Albert at Windsor Castle, when a variety of ingenious models invented by Mr. Smith for improving the construction of the plough were submitted to and obtained the approbation of his Royal Highness, and a patent was subsequently taken out for what has become well known to agriculturists as ‘Smith’s Patent Albert Plough.’ Mr. Smith presented two poems to Prince Albert, addressed, ‘To the Queen’ and ‘To the Prince of Wales,’ and shortly after a beautiful family Bible, elegantly bound and emblazoned with the Royal Arms, was transmitted from Windsor Castle to Mr. Smith, with an inscription intimating that it was presented ‘by command of her Majesty.’ The Royal autograph and that of Prince Albert were, at Mr. Smith’s request, inserted.”

March 4th 1848

“Freehold building land is now freely selling on what is called Diss Common, for building purposes, at the rate of £700 per acre, which before the railway was barely worth the tillage.”

March 13th 1848

The 16th Lancers arrived at Norwich, from Brighton. Men and horses came by special trains, and were under the command of Lieut.-Col. Smyth, C.B. The regiment had just returned from India, “where it had shared in the glorious battles of Aliwal and Sobraon.”

March 18th 1848

Intelligence was received at Norwich that the Queen had given birth to a Princess (Princess Louise Caroline Alberta). The Corporation sent a congratulatory address.

March 22nd 1848

Died at Thetford, aged 107, Mrs. Catherine Brand. “She was a pious Roman Catholic, and her first marriage was on the day of the Coronation of George III., to Mr. Main, by whose name, in her second widowhood, she preferred to be called.”

March 23rd 1848

Died at his residence in Surrey Street, Norwich, Mr. Edward Temple Booth, aged 84. In 1820 he was appointed Sheriff, in 1821 Alderman, and in 1826 Mayor. He was president of the Norwich Union Fire and Life Insurance Societies.

March 30th 1848

At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Baron Pollock and a special jury was tried the action Jermy _v._ Rush. The plaintiff, who was Recorder of Norwich, sought to recover damages from the defendant for a breach of covenants in respect of the lease of a farm at Ketteringham. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on all issues—damages £420.

April 11th 1848

Madame Anna Thillon made her appearance at Norwich Theatre as La Catarina in Auber’s opera, “Crown Diamonds.” She also took the part of Roxalana (“The Sultana”).

April 13th 1848

Died at Cromer Hall, aged 73, Mr. Henry Baring.

April 14th 1848

Mr. Sims Reeves made his first appearance in Norwich at a concert given by Jullien at St. Andrew’s Hall, under the management of Mr. William Howlett.

May 10th 1848

Mr. G. V. Brooke, after an absence of several years, appeared at Norwich Theatre for one night, in the character of Othello.

May 15th 1848

Mr. Webster, of the Haymarket Theatre, commenced a three nights’ engagement at Norwich Theatre as Stanislaus (“The Roused Lion”) and Michael Bradshaw (“Old Honesty”).

May 22nd 1848

Mr. Henry Russell, the favourite vocalist, gave his entertainment at Norwich Theatre.

May 23rd 1848

The enforcement of the regulation of the Poor Law Commissioners for the separation of married men from their wives in workhouses, gave rise to a serious disturbance among the inmates of Norwich Workhouse. The rioting was resumed on June 16th. A policeman named William Callow, while engaged in removing the refractory paupers from the Workhouse to the Police-station, was struck by a stone and received fatal injuries. A verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown was returned by the Coroner’s jury.

May 27th 1848

The Norfolk Yeomanry Cavalry assembled at Fakenham for their annual training—the last in the history of the regiment. (_See_ May 19th, 1849.)

May 28th 1848

Died at Castleacre, Ann Stanford, widow, in her 104th year.

May 30th 1848

A military race-meeting was held by the 16th Lancers, on land near the Heart’s Ease Inn, Plumstead Road, Norwich. The “Citizens’ Races” took place over the same course on the 31st.

June 26th 1848

A masquerade and fancy dress ball took place at Norwich Theatre. The pit was converted into a ball-room. “The attendance was moderate and not very select.”

June 26th 1848

The foundation-stone of the Jewish synagogue in St. Faith’s Lane, Norwich, was laid by Mr. Joel Fox. The building was consecrated by the Rev. Dr. N. M. Adler, Chief Rabbi, on Sept. 6th, 1849.

July 13th 1848

The Rev. C. Turner was elected perpetual curate of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich.

July 28th 1848

At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Baron Parke, a libel action, Quarles _v._ Bacon and another, was tried. The plaintiff, a solicitor at Fakenham, claimed damages against the defendants, proprietors of the “Norwich Mercury,” for stating in that journal he was guilty of such conduct as to warrant his being struck off the rolls. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff—damages 40s.

August 4th 1848

A sculling match for £50 a side took place between Mr. J. L. Barber, of Norwich, and Mr. Knight, of Wymondham. The distance was fifty-five miles, namely, from Thorpe Gardens to Reedham, thence through the New Cut and Lake Lothing to Mutford Bridge, and back to the starting-point. Mr. Knight started at 6.56 a.m., and Mr. Barber at 7.1 a.m. On the return journey Mr. Barber’s boat was upset during a severe thunderstorm and squall. Resuming, he rowed to Cantley, where he was taken from his boat almost insensible and conveyed to the inn. Mr. Knight reached Thorpe Gardens at 3.39 p.m., having rowed the distance in 8 hrs. 43 mins.—1 hr. 34 mins. less than it had ever been covered before.

August 9th 1848

Died at his house at Langham, Capt. Marryat, C.B. He was well-known as the author of several works of fiction, founded principally on the naval service. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant of the county of Norfolk, and was in his 56th year.

August 11th 1848

A singular accident occurred at Mattishall. A boy named Thomas Ireson, ten years of age, tied himself to the tail of a cow, and the infuriated animal kicked him to death.

August 24th 1848

St. Nicholas’ church, Great Yarmouth, was re-opened after restoration. The sermon was preached by the Bishop of Oxford. Luncheon was served at the Town Hall, and was attended by the Bishops of Norwich and Oxford, Mr. Baron Alderson, M. Guizot, a former Prime Minister of France, and by many other distinguished guests.

September 6th 1848

The Royal Victoria and Albert steam yacht, with the Queen and Prince Consort on board, passed off Cromer at 6.30 a.m., on her voyage to Aberdeen. The coastguard discharged rockets and fired from the mortars a salute of seven rounds.

September 6th 1848

Died, aged 73, Mr. John Palmer, of St. Mary’s, Thetford. “He had been twenty years afflicted with rheumatic gout, and for the past sixteen years had never left his bed but once, on which occasion he was carried to the poll at the borough election in the summer of 1842, in the contest between the Earl of Euston and Sir James Flower, when his vote on the Conservative side carried the election.”

September 7th 1848

A two-days’ cricket match, between the Marylebone Club and Ground and the County of Norfolk (with Wisden) commenced at Swaffham. The principal scores for the former were made by the Hon. E. Grimstone and the Hon. F. Ponsonby, and for the latter by Mr. Charles Wright, the Rev. F. French, and Wisden. Marylebone, 84-76; Norfolk, 106-56.

September 11th 1848

The East Anglian Railway from Lynn and Swaffham was opened for passenger traffic to Dereham.

September 11th 1848

Miss Helen Faucit commenced an engagement at Norwich Theatre. She was supported by Mr. W. Shelley, from the Park Theatre, New York, and by Mr. H. Farren.

September 11th 1848

H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, who visited Norwich for the purpose of attending the Triennial Musical Festival, arrived at Trowse Station, where he was received by the Mayor (Mr. G. L. Coleman) and the Sheriff (Mr. J. Watson), who were attended by the principal officers of the Corporation, mounted. “The four whifflers, in proper dress, created much merriment by brandishing their weapons to keep a passage, but they had not the agile grace of the old retainers of our ancient Corporation, and the procession, though the best we have seen in Norwich since the Municipal Reform Act passed, fell short of that imposing dignity which graced our ancient displays of civic pomp.” His Royal Highness, who was the guest of the Bishop of Norwich, left the city on the 15th.

September 12th 1848

The Norfolk and Norwich Triennial Musical Festival commenced at St. Andrew’s Hall, with a grand evening concert, at which selections from “Il Matrimonio Segreto” and from “Le Nozzi di Figaro” were given. The following were the principal items in the week’s programme:—Sept. 13th, “The Christian’s Prayer” and selections from “The Creation”; evening, “The First Walpurgis Night” and selections from “La Clemenza di Tito”; Sept. 14th, “Elijah”; evening, selection from “Fidelio,” &c.; Sept. 15th, “Davidde Penitente” and “Israel in Egypt.” In the evening a dress ball was given, at which Jullien’s band performed. The principal vocalists at the Festival were Madame Viardot Garcia, Madame Castellan, Mdlle. Alboni, Miss Anne Williams, Miss Martha Williams, Mr. Sims Reeves, Mr. Lockey, Mr. H. Phillips, Mr. H. Whitmore, and Signor Lablache. Mr. H. Blagrove was leader of the band, Mr. Benedict conductor, and Mr. Harcourt organist. The gross receipts were £5,266 4s. 2d.; the gross expenses £4,598 10s. 7d., and the net surplus £667 13s. 9d.

September 21st 1848

Lord George Bentinck, M.P., was discovered dead on a footpath at Thoresby, about six miles from his seat at Welbeck. The Coroner’s jury found that death was due to heart disease. The deceased nobleman was first elected for King’s Lynn in 1828, in succession to his uncle, Lord William Bentinck. He had previously acted as private secretary to Mr. Canning, a near relative by marriage. His lordship was the recognised leader of the Protectionist party, and as a firm supporter of the Turf did much to reform the abuses which existed upon it in his time. The vacancy created by his death in the representation of Lynn was filled by the election of the Hon. E. H. Stanley, who was returned without opposition on December 22nd.

September 23rd 1848

Under the provisions of the new Tavern Act, the public-houses in Norwich were closed at 12 p.m. “The streets in the lower parts of the city and all round the Market Place were crowded with persons returning home with pots of malt liquor.” On the 25th informations were preferred against many publicans for failing to close their houses at the prescribed time.

September 28th 1848

Died at Pulham, aged 43, Mr. R. B. Harvey, a well-known flock-master, who did much to improve the breed of sheep in Norfolk. He was a frequent exhibitor at the shows of the Royal Agricultural Society and of the local agricultural associations.

October 17th 1848

The first conviction under the new Act for preventing the extension of diseases in sheep was recorded at Norwich, when Mr. Betts, cattle dealer, of Old Buckenham, was fined for exposing on the Castle Meadow sheep that were suffering from sheep-pox or variola ovina.

October 23rd 1848

The Adelphi Theatre, Norwich, was opened under the management of Mr. George Smith, formerly lessee of the Theatre Royal. The company included Mr. and Mrs. Sidney (Miss J. Trafford).

October 31st 1848

St. Matthew’s church, Thorpe Hamlet, Norwich, at which building operations commenced in the second week in August, was “founded” by the chairman and members of the committee.

November 9th 1848

Mr. Samuel Bignold was elected Mayor, and Mr. Robert Chamberlin appointed Sheriff of Norwich.

November 13th 1848

A salmon weighing 9 lbs. was captured in the river near Trowse Bridge, Norwich.

November 21st 1848

Died at Richmond, Mr. William James Achilles Abington, M.A., barrister-at-law, of the Middle Temple, aged 41, the only surviving son of Mr. William Abington, of the East India House. The deceased gentleman was in 1845 lessee of Norwich Theatre.

November 28th 1848

Madame Dulcken, pianist to the Queen, gave a grand concert at the Assembly Rooms, Norwich.

November 28th 1848

Mr. Isaac Jermy, Recorder of Norwich, and Mr. Jermy Jermy, his son, were murdered at Stanfield Hall, Wymondham, by James Blomfield Rush. Mrs. Jermy Jermy and her maid, Elizabeth Chastney, alarmed by the report of the firearm, proceeded to the assistance of the victims, and were severely wounded, the former in the arm and the latter in the hip, by another shot fired by the murderer. Rush was apprehended the same night at his house, Potash Farm, by Police-constable Mortar, of the Norwich city police, and conveyed to Wymondham Bridewell. The first examination of the prisoner took place on the 29th, before the Hon. and Rev. R. Wilson, Mr. Cann, and Mr. Parker. He was afterwards taken to Stanfield Hall, where Mrs. Jermy Jermy identified him as her assailant. Rush was further examined at Wymondham Bridewell on the 30th. At the adjourned hearing on December 2nd, Emily Sandford, his housekeeper, gave evidence, and the prisoner was committed to Norwich Castle, where the third hearing was conducted in private on December 5th. The final examinations took place at the Castle on the 13th and 14th; on the latter date the depositions were publicly read, and the prisoner was formally committed to take his trial on the charge of wilful murder. On the 19th he was taken, under writ of _habeas corpus_, to Stanfield Hall, where Chastney gave evidence in his presence. The inquest on Mr. Jermy and Mr. Jermy Jermy was opened by Mr. Press at the King’s Head Inn, Wymondham, on November 30th, and adjourned sittings were held on December 1st, 2nd, and 5th. On the last-named day the Coroner issued a warrant for the detention of Emily Sandford in Wymondham Bridewell. The final sitting of the Coroner’s Court was held on December 19th, when the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Rush. The funeral of Mr. Jermy and his son took place at Wymondham church, on December 5th. (_See_ March 29th, 1849.)

December 22nd 1848

Mr. Prendergast, of the Norfolk Circuit, qualified as Recorder of Norwich, in the room of Mr. Isaac Jenny, deceased.

December 26th 1848

Pablo Fanque’s Circus opened for the Christmas holidays at the Victoria Gardens, Norwich. (On September 15th, 1849, this circus proprietor was referred to as “our fellow-citizen, Mr. Darby, _alias_ Pablo Fanque.”)

December 26th 1848

Norwich Theatre was opened for the season, under the management of Mr. Charles Dillon. The pieces produced were “Virginius,” and the pantomime “The Naughty Boys, Smith, Brown, Jones, and Robinson, or Harlequin and the Great Sea Serpent.”

December 30th 1848

St. Mary’s church, Norwich, was described as being in a most disgraceful and dilapidated condition. “It was re-pewed in 1827 by the Rev. Mr. Wodehouse, and was then one of the neatest parish churches in Norwich.”