January 1st 1858
A fire, involving the destruction of several dwelling-houses and a large amount of other property, originated on the premises of Mr. W. Colby, fish merchant, St. James’s Place, South End, Yarmouth.
January 5th 1858
The premises of Mr. H. F. Butcher, paper and mill-board manufacturer, St. Martin-at-Palace, Norwich, were destroyed by fire. On the same day a fire occurred at Mr. Orfeur’s timber-yard, St. Edmund’s; and on the 6th an outbreak took place at the soap manufactory of Messrs. Andrews and French, in Fishgate Street. The loss occasioned by the three fires amounted to upwards of £6,000.
January 7th 1858
Intelligence was received at Norwich of the defeat of General Windham and his division by the Gwalier mutineers, near Cawnpore, on November 27th.
January 8th 1858
Miss P. Horton and Mr. T. German Reed appeared at the Assembly Rooms, Norwich. These favourite performers made a return visit on October 27th, with their entertainments, “After the Ball” and “The Unfinished Opera.”
January 19th 1858
At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council, Mr. J. H. Tillett moved, “That an inquiry be held respecting the manner in which appointments to the city magistracy are made, and also the manner in which the magisterial business of this city is conducted, with the view to the adoption of any measures which may appear likely to promote the better administration of justice.” The motion was adopted. The committee of inquiry reported in February that they considered “the mode in which the magistracy is appointed in cities and boroughs is highly objectionable, the appointments being the result of party influence,” and recommended for the magistracy “those gentlemen who have served the office of Mayor to the satisfaction of the Council.” Complaints were made that from excitement or infirmity of temper certain gentlemen made use of language derogatory to their position, and tending to lower the respect of the Bench, and these complaints the Committee found were not groundless. On March 16th the Town Council adopted a series of resolutions, requesting the Mayor to address a letter to those gentlemen whose names appeared in the report as having never attended petty sessions, or as having rarely or sometimes attended, requiring them to take upon themselves to discharge the duties of their office; that a rota of attendance be established; and that, “in relation to the unseemly proceedings which have taken place in the Sword Room, the Council forbear to memorialise the Lord Chancellor on the subject, in the hope that similar proceedings will not occur again.”
January 25th 1858
The marriage of the Princess Royal was celebrated in Norwich by the ringing of the bells of St. Peter Mancroft, and by public dinners at the Royal Hotel. A ball took place in the evening, at St. Andrew’s Hall. The day was similarly observed at Yarmouth, Lynn, and other towns in the county, and addresses of congratulation were afterwards sent to the Queen by the respective Corporations.
January 26th 1858
The long-pending case, Preston _v._ the Eastern Counties and Norfolk Railway Companies, was before the Court of Exchequer, and Mr. Baron Watson delivered judgment. The first count of the declaration charged the defendants with diverting and obstructing the waters of the rivers, and the second with omitting to repair certain locks, whereby the water escaped. Judgment was given against the Eastern Counties Railway Company for 40s. on all issues, and for the Norfolk Railway Company on their plea of not guilty, but against them on all other issues. Finally the case was before the Rolls Court on June 8th, and was entered as the Attorney-General _v._ the Norfolk and Eastern Counties Railway Companies. The object of the information was to have it declared that the defendants were not by their Acts of Parliament empowered to divert or obstruct any of the waters of the Rivers Yare and Waveney, or other waters connected with them, except Lake Lothing, for the purpose of supplying the entrance out between Lake Lothing and the sea with water. The Court made the injunction already granted perpetual against the Eastern Counties Railway Company, and ordered the company to pay the costs incurred in equity.
January 29th 1858
The Norwich Town Council accepted contracts amounting to over £9,000 for draining the northern portion of the city.
February 5th 1858
A special meeting of the Norwich Court of Guardians, attended by Lord Bury, M.P., and Mr. Schneider, M.P., was held to consider the subject of a national poor-rate. It was stated that Norwich paid £20,000 a year more in poor relief than it would if the principle of a national rate were adapted as the law of the land. Both members of Parliament expressed themselves in favour of national rating.
February 8th 1858
Mr. Thomas Barnes, R.G.S., was presented by the Corporation of King’s Lynn with an “honorary address,” in lieu of the freedom of the borough, “disallowed by the Municipal Reform Act.” Mr. Baines, the son of a ship captain of the town, was a self-taught artist, who achieved for himself a very honourable position by his own enterprise and industry. He was serving as a volunteer at the Cape when he was selected as artist to accompany the North Australian Exploring Expedition, under Mr. Gregory. At the time of the presentation he was about to join Livingstone, on his expedition into the heart of Africa. Mr. Baines had already received considerable honours from the Royal Geographical Society, of which he was a member, and from other learned bodies.
February 12th 1858
A public meeting was held at the Guildhall, Norwich, to consider a Bill then before Parliament introduced for the purpose of amalgamating the Norwich Gas Company with the British Gas Company. A resolution was adopted affirming that the operation of the proposed Bill would be very prejudicial to the interests of the ratepayers and inhabitants, by placing the future management of the gas supply in the hands of a company which had no local connection or sympathy with the interests of Norwich, and over whom the rate-payers and inhabitants would have no control. The meeting having heard the report of the Special Committee appointed by the Corporation, cordially approved the course adopted by the Committee, and pledged itself to use every effort to oppose the passing of the Bill. A petition was addressed to the House of Commons against the Bill, and on the 16th the Town Council adopted the same petition. The House of Commons Committee on Private Bills sat on April 20th, for the purpose of hearing objections to the measure. The proceedings closed on the 23rd, when the Bill was ordered to be reported to the House.
February 27th 1858
“Sir Henry Stracey, of Rackheath Hall, has obtained provisional protection for a cartridge which, by a very simple contrivance, gets rid of the necessity of biting off the end, a proceeding which is always objectionable.”
March 4th 1858
Lord Stanley was re-elected member of Parliament for the borough of King’s Lynn, on his appointment as Secretary to the Colonial Department. On June 5th his lordship was again re-elected, on accepting the presidency of the Board of Control, vacated by Lord Ellenborough.
March 4th 1858
Died at his residence, South Quay, Yarmouth, Sir Eaton Stanley Travers. A son of Mr. John Travers, of Hethyfield Grange, co. Cork, he was born in 1782, and entered the Navy September 15th, 1798, as midshipman, on board the Juno. He saw much active service, and was nine times mentioned in despatches. He was nominated K.H. on February 4th, 1834, and on March 5th in the same year had conferred upon him the honour of knighthood. Sir Eaton Travers was a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk. He married in April, 1815, Anne, eldest daughter of William Steward, of Yarmouth, by whom he had issue five sons and two daughters.
March 6th 1858
“Within the last few days a stone has been placed in the churchyard at East Dereham, in memory of Jean de Narde, a French prisoner of war, who, in the year 1796 while _en route_ from Yarmouth to Norman Cross prison, was lodged in the lower chamber of the bell tower of the church, and escaped therefrom. He was pursued by the guard, and, after some search, was espied in a tree on the Scarning Road, and when summoned by a soldier to descend and surrender he did not comply. His non-compliance forfeited his life, for he was shot off it like a crow. The stone was erected by the vicar and two other gentlemen.”
March 8th 1858
Miss Vandenhoff, tragic actress, from Drury Lane and Haymarket Theatres, commenced an engagement at Norwich Theatre, in her play, “Woman’s Heart.” She also appeared in “Love’s Sacrifice,” “Ingomar,” “Macbeth,” and “The Stranger.”
March 22nd 1858
In the House of Lords, Lord Sondes presented a petition from the Town Council and certain magistrates of Yarmouth, praying for an inquiry into a recent appointment of justices for that borough. It was stated that the magistrates were constant in their attendance upon the Bench, and were sufficiently numerous. The borough contained 31,000 inhabitants, there were 31 magistrates, and 31 policemen. Upon the Bench every shade of political feeling was represented, but all the newly-appointed magistrates were of one political party. The Mayor of Yarmouth had interviewed the Lord Chancellor, and his lordship had intimated that it was his intention to persist in the appointment, and, moreover, he felt it his duty to appoint new magistrates of one particular party. The action of the Lord Chancellor had excited much feeling in the borough. Lord Cranworth now informed the House that he felt bound to put the magistracy in a position in which justice should not be partially administered, and if an inquiry were instituted it should have his entire concurrence. No further action resulted.
March 23rd 1858
At a special meeting of the Norwich Town Council, a resolution was adopted expressing surprise and indignation that a covert attempt had been made to pervert the Grammar School and the Commercial School proposed to be established into exclusive institutions, which would not only deprive a large proportion of the inhabitants of the advantage of the schools, but would condemn them in public estimation, and tend to the frustration and utter subversion of the proposed scheme. The Charity Trustees were requested to resist this proceeding, to ascertain at whose instance the suggestion was made, and to consider whether recent complaints did not imperatively demand that a searching inquiry should be instituted into the conduct and management of the Grammar School. The Master of the Rolls, on July 17th, gave his decision upon the Grammar School case, which had long been before the Courts. It was ordered that twenty-one governors be appointed; the sum of £1,000 per annum derived from land and house property was to be appropriated to the maintenance of the Grammar School and Commercial School; the benefits of the Grammar School were to be open to all England; and all the expenses to which the Corporation and those who represented Norwich had been put were to be paid by the Charity Trustees. On December 4th the NORFOLK CHRONICLE made the following remarkable statement in relation to the treatment of boys at the Grammar School: “We have recently been informed of a circumstance connected with the Grammar School which we could scarcely have credited but for the authority upon which we have received it. It is that there exists in that school a form of punishment which ought long since to have been unknown in a civilised country, amounting very nearly to bodily torture. We have been assured that for offences of a not very serious character boys are placed for hours between shelves so constructed that they cannot stand upright, but are obliged to stoop until the head is brought nearly level with the knees.” At a meeting of the Governors of the School, on December 8th, it was resolved, “That in consequence of the informant declining to come to the Governors and substantiate the charge referred to in the CHRONICLE newspaper of last Saturday, we proceed no further in the matter; but that we intimate to Dr. Vincent that we strongly disapprove of the mode of punishment alluded to in that newspaper, and if it has been practised, we request it may be discontinued.” The accusation was not denied, either by Dr. Vincent or by anyone on his behalf. On December 27th Dr. Vincent resigned his appointment as headmaster.
March 25th 1858
Died at Hempnall, John Holmes, aged 104. “The deceased leaves behind him a son, Thomas, aged 87 years, and a grandson, aged 60 years, the latter himself being a great-grandfather, thus presenting the remarkable fact of a man living to witness the sixth generation, and to see his great-grandson become a grandfather.”
March 30th 1858
The first annual dinner of the Norfolk and Norwich Anglers’ Society was held at the Bell Hotel, Norwich, under the presidency of Mr. R. N. Bacon.
April 3rd 1858
Mr. R. Rising, of Costessey, rode his horse for a wager over nine consecutive single hurdles set up in the centre of a field. “This was performed in excellent style, coming back also over the same ground, and not refusing one. The spectators were rather astonished to see Mr. Rising repeat the feat with cap in hand. The judge of the bet, one of the first riders in the Norfolk Hunt, asked permission to ride the horse himself, saying he had ridden many good horses, but never one that would take a single hurdle. Upon Mr. Rising consenting, he rode the same round, thus making the animal in all leap 54 single hurdles.”
April 11th 1858
Died, in his 82nd year, Mr. John Venning, of Surrey House, Norwich. A native of Totnos, Devonshire, he spent several years in Russia, as the representative of a firm of merchants. He became a member of the church at which the Rev. R. Knill officiated in St. Petersburg, and devoted his time and means to improving the wretched condition of the neglected and depraved populace of the Russian metropolis. He founded a school on the Lancasterian system for poor Russian children, a free school for the children of foreigners, a refuge for the reception and care of the helpless and destitute, a lunatic asylum in which the best modes of treatment were introduced, the Litofsky prison, constructed to admit of the classification and separation of prisoners; and he remodelled the great hospital for the reception of invalids. Mr. Venning gained the esteem of the Emperors Alexander and Nicholas, and the hearty co-operation of the Empress Dowager, as well as of other members of the Imperial family. Through his instrumentality all exiles starting for Siberia were furnished with copies of the Scriptures. When the destructive inundation of November, 1824, overwhelmed the city with the waters of the Neva, the Grand Duke Michael sent General Politica with 20,000 roubles to Mr. Venning to distribute among the suffering populace. “Throughout his long life Mr. Venning was a conscientious Dissenter—an Independent—but he saw without regret his nearest and dearest relations staunch members of the Church of England.” He married a daughter of Mr. Meybohm, of St. Petersburg, by whom he was survived.
April 22nd 1858
St. John’s church, Yarmouth, erected at the estimated cost of £1,700, was consecrated by the Bishop of Norwich.
April 24th 1858
Died, in his 77th year, Mr. Thomas Osborn Springfield, one of the magistrates of Norwich, and head of the firm of Springfield, Son, and Nephew, of St. Mary’s, Norwich, and Coleman Street, London. Born in a comparatively humble sphere, he rose from the position of a small tradesman to a large silk merchant, “and during his career won and lost several fortunes, in consequence of the fluctuations of the silk markets.” His business career ended prosperously. He took an active part in all local matters, from the election of a parish beadle to that of a member of Parliament, ranging himself on the side called Radical. As he himself avowed, whenever he engaged in a contest he went in to win, and many of his victories were, doubtless, most costly. In 1827 he was elected one of the Sheriffs, and in 1829 Mayor of the city. After the passing of the Municipal Reform Act, he was, in 1836, selected to be the first Chief Magistrate under the new order of things. With a majority of one only of elected councillors, the Liberals were able to add sixteen aldermen to their number. This power they then exercised to the fullest extent, selecting men of their own party only, a one-sided system which was pursued without a break to the day of Mr. Springfield’s death. In 1852 he was solicited by requisition to become a candidate for the representation of the city, and if he had been inclined to accede there is little doubt that he would have secured his election. In private life Mr. Springfield exhibited many good traits; he was never unamiable nor ungenerous, and there were not a few persons in the city who could trace their first advancement in life to his assistance.
May 5th 1858
The action in relation to the East Dereham Corn Exchange came before the Vice-Chancellor’s Court. An order was made upon the Corn Exchange Company to pay the costs of the suit, except so far as they were incurred by the inquiries raised as to the user of the site occupied by the Corn Exchange, for the purpose of fairs and markets, and that they also pay the costs of the proceedings by way of indictment on the several counts upon which a verdict had been found for the Crown. The case was then ordered to stand over until after the Trinity term, for the consideration of the Attorney-General as to what further decree or order, if any, he might think right to apply for. The Vice-Chancellor declined to order the building to be pulled down as asked for by the relators, because it was a great public improvement. On June 26th the final decision was announced, namely, that upon payment by the proprietors of the new Corn Exchange of the costs awarded by the Court of Chancery and of £100 to the East Dereham Corn Market Company, the suit would be withdrawn, and in case of any indictment laid a _nolle prosequi_ be entered. “These proceedings are, therefore, terminated. The hall is to remain, and the payment for admission will continue as heretofore.” (_See_ February 16th, 1866.)
June 2nd 1858
Mountjoy the pedestrian, then in his 58th year, started from Lynn to Wisbech for his task of walking sixty-seven miles a day for four successive days. On August 16th he began a walk from Norwich to Dereham and back twice every day, but on the 17th was stopped on his way to Norwich, by order of the magistrates, because of the obstruction caused by the number of persons who assembled on the roads in the vicinity of the city. Mountjoy was apprehended in Norwich on September 11th, for leaving his wife and family chargeable to the funds of the St. Pancras Union; and on the same night attempted to commit suicide in his cell at the Guildhall by strangling himself with a pockethandkerchief.
June 11th 1858
Died at Colne House, Cromer, aged 46, Sir Edward North Buxton, Bart., M.P. He was son of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, first baronet, by the fifth daughter of Mr. John Gurney, of Earlham Hall, where he was born in 1812, and married in 1836 the second daughter of Mr. Samuel Gurney, of Ham House, Essex. He succeeded to the title on the death of his father, in 1845. From 1847 to 1852 he represented South Essex in Parliament, and in 1857 was returned unopposed with General Windham as member for East Norfolk. He was succeeded in the title by his son, Thomas Fowell, born in 1837.
June 13th 1858
The Bishop of Oxford preached at Norwich Cathedral and at St. Peter Mancroft, on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. His lordship, with Sir James Brooke, K.C.B., attended the annual meeting at St. Andrew’s Hall, on the 14th.
June 15th 1858
A dinner of the Valpeian Club was held at the Royal Hotel, Norwich, under the presidency of Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak. The guest of the evening was Major-General Sir Archdale Wilson, Bart., K.C.B., the conqueror of Delhi. General Wilson, who was an old boy of Norwich Grammar School, was presented with a dress sword, “in commemoration of his distinguished services in India, 1857–8, and as a memento of old friendships.”
June 20th 1858
Died at Lee Cottage, Old Brompton, Mr. Dawson Turner, F.R.S., F.S.A., formerly of Great Yarmouth. He was in his 83rd year.
June 21st 1858
The London Grand Opera Company appeared at Norwich Theatre. It included Miss Fanny Reeves, Miss Ethel Thirlwall, Miss Raymond, Mr. Henry Corri, Mr. J. B. Bowler, Mr. O. Summers, and Mr. Elliot Galer. Among the productions were “La Somnambula,” “Maritana,” “The Bohemian Girl,” and “Il Trovatore.”
June 26th 1858
The nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy in the representation of East Norfolk caused by the death of Sir E. N. Buxton took place at the Shirehall, Norwich. Sir Henry Josias Stracey was nominated by the Conservatives, and Major Coke by the Liberals. The polling took place on the 29th,—the first time in twenty years,—and on July 1st the result was officially declared as follows: Coke, 2,933; Stracey, 2,720.
July 5th 1858
A largely advertised “monstre _fête_ and fancy fair,” under the management of Mr. J. W. Hoffman, was held on the old Cricket Ground, Norwich, under the patronage of the Mayor and Sheriff, the officers of the 15th Hussars, &c. Hoffman, who had already visited Norwich as the manager of an “organophonic” band, announced himself as the representative of “the Society for the Promotion of Public Amusements”—an entirely fictitious organization. Business was suspended in Norwich, the railway companies ran excursion trains, and the streets were thronged by many thousands of persons anxious to witness the “grand Middle-age pageant.” This consisted of a procession of between thirty and forty persons on foot and one horseman. It was everywhere received with groans and hisses. Ten thousand persons were present on the Cricket Ground to witness the “Old English Sports”; every item in the programme resulted in failure, and a _bal champêtre_ was described as “a disgraceful affair, which ended in indiscriminate fighting among the blackguards on the ground.” For many years afterwards this “_fête_” was popularly known in Norwich as “Hoffman’s Humbug.”
July 7th 1858
The headquarters of the 15th Hussars marched from Norwich, and were replaced, on Sept. 11th, by a detachment of Royal Horse Artillery, under the command of Major Brandling, C.B.
July 30th 1858
A cricket match, Norfolk and Norwich _v._ Oxford and Cambridge Universities, was played on the Norwich ground. Norfolk and Norwich, 148—79; Oxford and Cambridge (1st innings), 122. The return match was played at Gunton Park on August 9th. Universities, 96—45; Norfolk and Norwich (first innings), 138.
August 3rd 1858
The Mayor and Corporation of Lynn claimed, under the privileges extended by ancient charter, their right to a sturgeon weighing twelve stones, captured on the previous day by a fisherman named Norris. The man compounded with the Mayor by payment of the nominal sum of one penny.
August 5th 1858
The residence of the Rev. Sir George Stracey, Bart., deceased, with eleven acres of land, at Thorpe, was sold by Messrs. Spelman, at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, for £6,035.
August 7th 1858
“The date of the present harvest will be remembered as the year in which reaping machines were fully established in Norfolk. It was only last year that they were introduced, for although there had been one or two in the county previously, they were not of the right sort, and it was not until M’Cormick’s reaper, as now made by Burgess and Key, that their number increased or their merits were appreciated by Norfolk farmers. The fact that the chief part of the Hussey machines, with their back delivery, have been returned or laid aside, and that on most large farms there was _one_ of Burgess and Key’s last year there are two this harvest, will at once point out which machine is best adapted to Norfolk agriculture.”
August 16th 1858
Died at Oulton Hall, Suffolk, Ann Borrow, widow of Captain Thomas Borrow, aged 87.
August 18th 1858
Violent thunderstorms occurred in various parts of the county. The barn and other buildings at Newfoundland Farm, Cringleford, occupied by Mr. Drane, were destroyed by fire, with the loss of 340 coombs of barley, &c. A house was burnt down at Kenninghall, and horses were killed by lightning at Holt.
August 20th 1858
Died at Woodbridge, Mr. David Fisher, aged 70. “He was a highly talented and respectable public character, and had resided at Woodbridge since his retirement from the stage twenty years previously. He belonged to a class much more numerous half a century since than at the present day. He was not only an actor, as nine-tenths of those who now strut their hour upon the stage are, by _profession_, but by intuition. Mr. Fisher was blessed with very rare histrionic and musical attainments. When he appeared at Drury Lane, as the contemporary and rival of Edmund Kean, it was felt to be the nearest approximation then or since seen to the overtowering abilities of that great dramatic luminary. Mr. Fisher, his father and family, made greater efforts than any other family ever did to establish and cultivate in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk a taste for the drama, at a time when this amusement was more calculated to serve the highest office of the stage than in the present degenerate days. Mr. Fisher built himself theatres at Bungay, Beccles, Halesworth, Wells, North Walsham, Dereham, Lowestoft, Eye, and other towns, entirely at his own cost. He generally used to feel his way by sending a company in advance for a few seasons, who located themselves in such buildings as were available for their temporary purposes, and then, having whetted the appetites of the dwellers in rural districts for one of the most intellectual of all amusements, he summoned up courage to build a theatre, generally one of the best structures in the town. For very many years these speculations proved remunerative, even though the season did not last more than two or three months, and at intervals generally of two years. It is rarely that a good actor makes a good manager, but Mr. Fisher was an honourable exception to this rule—indeed, it was difficult to say what department this distinguished gentleman could not fill, and fill well, too. He was a first-rate musician, and for a considerable time was leader at our choral concerts, and occupied a good position at our first and early Festivals. So versatile was his genius that he has been known to play in the overture, then to appear in almost every act of the tragedy of ‘Hamlet,’ and subsequently re-appear as Dr. O’Toole in the farce of ‘The Irish Tutor.’ He was also an admirable scene painter. During the latter years of his management he was much assisted by his two brothers, Charles and George. Finding that the palmy days of the drama were fast fading away, Mr. Fisher retired from public life when about 50 years of age, and before all the little reserve fund he had accumulated was too much wasted to enjoy the evening of life in a quiet and unostentatious privacy. He was very much esteemed where he lived and died.”
August 24th 1858
The Thorpe Grove estate, formerly the property of Mr. George Harvey, deceased, was sold for £11,390, about £2,000 in excess of the valuation sent in previous to the auction.
August 25th 1858
Died at his residence, Crown Point, Norwich, Lieut.-General Money, C.B., K.C., Colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons. He entered the Army in 1794, was promoted Lieutenant the same year, and Captain in May, 1800; Major, December, 1809; Lieut.-Colonel, June 4th, 1814; Colonel, January 10th, 1837; Major-General, Nov. 9th, 1846; and Lieut.-General, June 20th, 1854. He served twenty-five years in the 11th Dragoons, and was in Flanders and Holland in 1794–95, and in the latter year saw service in Germany. He took part in the attack on the French lines, was present at their defeats on the heights of Cateau and near Tournay, and was at the battles of Roubaix, Launey, and other engagements. Under Sir Ralph Abercromby, he commanded a detachment of his regiment at Leghorn, Minorca, at the expedition to Cadiz in 1800, in Egypt in 1801, and was at the capture of Grand Cairo and Alexandria. In the Peninsula campaigns of 1811 and 1812 he was present at the siege of Badajoz, the battle of Salamanca, and the affair of cavalry near the Tormes on the following day, when three French battalions were taken. He was at the cavalry affairs of Callada Camino and Fenta de Poso. He served also in the campaign of 1815, and was at the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo; towards the close of the latter the command of the 11th Dragoons devolved upon him. General Money married, in 1841, Lady Annetta Laura Maria Waldegrave, daughter of the sixth Earl of Waldegrave. She died in 1856, leaving two daughters.
September 6th 1858
The stone statue above the entrance to the Corn Exchange at East Dereham was inaugurated on this date. Mr. W. Freeman, of Swanton, was the principal promoter of the public fund with which the statue was purchased. It weighed upwards of three tons, and was cut out of a solid block of stone weighing over seven tons, taken from the Isle of Portland. Mr. Butler, of London, was the sculptor. The luncheon in celebration of the inauguration was presided over by Lord Sondes.
September 11th 1858
Donati’s Comet was viewed with interest by thousands of the citizens of Norwich. “The extreme heat of the present month has impressed many that the comet has something to do with it.”
September 28th 1858
A public testimonial, consisting of a piece of plate and a portrait of himself, painted by Mr. Boxall, of London, was presented by the inhabitants of Diss to Mr. Thomas Lombe Taylor, in recognition of his munificence in building, at his own expense, a Corn Hall for the use of the town, at the cost of £7,000. The presentation took place at the Corn Hall, where dinner was served, under the presidency of the Earl of Albemarle.
September 30th 1858
The Congregational chapel, Chapel Field, Norwich, was opened for public worship. The special preacher was the Rev. Newman Hall, LL.B. The chapel was erected at the cost of £3,000, by Mr. Horace Sexton, from the plans of Mr. Joseph James, architect, Furnival’s Inn. It was intended to accommodate one thousand persons.
October 2nd 1858
The theft was reported, from the nave of St. Michael-at-Coslany, Norwich, of a brass which measured 14 in. by 5½ in., and had engraved upon it five lines of Latin verse, commemorating Richard Wallour, and bearing date 1505.
October 5th 1858
A meeting was held at the Assembly Rooms, Norwich, to initiate measures for insuring to schools in Norfolk the advantages afforded by the Cambridge Middle Class examinations. Sir J. P. Boileau presided. The first examination was held at the Free Library, on December 14th, by Mr. H. M. Butler, when 31 boys were presented.
October 15th 1858
Died at Sprowston, Mr. John Stracey, in his 86th year. He was born at Fort William, on November 26th, 1772, and was fifth son of the first baronet. In 1790 he went to India as a cadet in the Civil Service, and rose afterwards to be a judge, an appointment which he held for several years. On his return to England he took an active part in the business of the county, and was instrumental in obtaining the Act of Parliament for the removal of the Lent Assizes from Thetford to Norwich. He was twice married, and left three children—Col. Edward Stracey, of the Scots Fusilier Guards; the Rev. William Stracey, rector of Buxton and Oxnead; and Emma, widow of Mr. Arckwright.
October 23rd 1858
Died at his residence, Heigham Lodge, Norwich, Mr. Timothy Steward, aged 64. Early in life he came from Yarmouth, where he was born, to take a leading part in one of the largest commercial establishments of the city—the Pockthorpe Brewery. A member of the old Whig party, he was elected, after the passing of the Municipal Reform Act, to the Town Council, but after three years had expired be declined to offer himself for re-election, and retired from municipal duties with the Gurneys, Birkbecks, and Geldarts. In 1855, however, he was unexpectedly called upon to discharge the duties of the Shrievalty. He was a director of the East of England Bank and of the Norwich Union Fire Office, and was vice-president of the Norwich Union Life Office.
October 31st 1858
The William Corry and Reliance steam vessels, with the North of Europe submarine cable on board, arrived off Weybourne and commenced laying the cable to the island of Borkum, at the mouth of the Ems, whence it was continued to Emden, in Hanover. The work was completed on November 4th. A line of telegraph was erected between Weybourne and Norwich, and continued along the old coach road, _viâ_ Newmarket to London.
November 3rd 1858
The Gresham Grammar School, at Holt, founded in 1554 by Sir John Gresham, was re-opened by the Fishmongers’ Company, of London, the trustees of the foundation. The new building was erected from designs by Mr. Suter, the architect to the Company, by Mr. Orman, of Ipswich. A commemoration service was held at the parish church, and luncheon was served in the school-house, under the presidency of the Prime Warden, Mr. Thomas Boddington.
November 9th 1858
Mr. George Middleton was elected Mayor, and Mr. H. S. Patteson appointed Sheriff of Norwich.
November 20th 1858
A meeting of agriculturists and merchants was held at the Royal Hotel, Norwich, presided over by the Mayor, with the object of raising a fund for the erection of a new Corn Exchange, “upon a site next London Street and Exchange Street,” at the cost of £20,000. (_See_ February 3rd, 1859.)
December 2nd 1858
Died at Bedford Place, Camden Hill, Kensington, aged 27, Robert Howlett, “well known by his successful applications of photography.” He was a son of the Rev. Robert Howlett, of Longham, where he spent his early days. He determined to devote himself to the scientific application of photography to the illustration and advancement of the fine arts. He had just perfected a method of transferring microscopic views of minute dissections to photographic agency without the necessity of intermediate drawings. The Queen and the Prince Consort were among his distinguished patrons.
December 21st 1858
Mr. T. Townsend, M.P. for Greenwich, appeared at Norwich Theatre, in the character of Shylock. He also performed the parts of Hamlet and Richard the Third. He was announced “to address the public, giving he reasons for a Parliamentary orator adopting the stage as a profession.”
December 27th 1858
The Christmas pantomime at Norwich Theatre was written by Mr. J. B. Buckstone, and entitled, “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, or Harlequin and the Spiteful Ogress and the Seven Fairy Godmothers from the Realm of Golden Flowers.” The other Christmas amusements were Brown’s “Royal Cirque Unique,” on the Castle Meadow, and Wombwell’s Menagerie.
December 27th 1858
Mr. Fiddaman’s ch. g. Tinker, under 14 hands high, “very cleverly performed, with some time to spare,” twenty miles in an hour on the turnpike road between Lynn and Narborough.
December 29th 1858
Died at Wolterton Park, Horatio, Earl of Orford, in his 76th year. He was son of the second earl by his first wife, daughter of Mr. Charles Churchill, and granddaughter maternally of Sir Robert Walpole, first Earl of Orford. Born in Whitehall, in 1783, he married the eldest daughter of Mr. William Augustus Fawkner, one of the clerks of the Privy Council, and succeeded his father in 1822. From July, 1812, to April, 1825, he was attached to the Embassy at St. Petersburg, and was subsequently a Lord of the Admiralty and a Commissioner for the affairs of India. He was elected member of Parliament for King’s Lynn in March, 1809, represented the constituency till June, 1822, and was in 1852 appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk. For many years he held a distinguished position in the county as an influential leader on the Conservative side, and was a warm patron of the Turf. He was Colonel of the West Norfolk Militia, and Lord High Steward of the borough of King’s Lynn. The deceased earl was succeeded by his son, Horatio William, Lord Walpole, born in Belton Row in 1813, who married, in 1841, the only daughter of the Hon. Sir Fleetwood Pellew.