The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1863 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 21st 1863

Died at his residence, Thorpe Hamlet, aged 82, Mr. John Skipper, who had filled several offices under the old Corporation of Norwich, including those of Speaker and Chamberlain.

January 24th 1863

Died at Trumpington Street, Cambridge, Mr. S. D. Colkett, artist, formerly of Norwich.

January 31st 1863

The litigation arising from the inundation in Marshland commenced on this date with the hearing, in the Vice-Chancellor’s Court, of an application for a mandamus to compel the Middle Level Commissioners to restore the paling path over the breach made by the inundations. At the suggestion of the Court, it was agreed that the only question in dispute, that of legal liability, should be raised as a special case. At the Norfolk Assizes, on April 1st, before Lord Chief Justice Erle, two actions, Mason _v._ Wise and Coe _v._ Wise (clerk to the Middle Level Commissioners), were down for trial by special jury. It was understood that these cases, which were brought for the recovery of damages consequent upon the inundation, were selected out of a total of 107 causes in which writs had been issued. In the action Coe _v._ Wise, the declaration alleged that by a certain Act of Parliament the Middle Level Commissioners were bound to make and maintain a certain cut, bank, and sluices; it was complained that, in consequence of their negligence, the tidal waters burst through them and flooded the lands of the plaintiff. The defendant entered a plea of not guilty, and alleged that the plaintiff was not possessed of the lands. The hearing of the case occupied four days. The Judge, in summing up, directed the jury to decide whether the damage was caused to the plaintiff by the absence of due care and skill on the part of the defendants, (1) in respect of the making of the sluice; (2) in respect of maintaining the sluice; (3) in respect of providing remedies against mishap after the sluice was destroyed; and (4) was damage caused to the plaintiff by reason that no puddled wall was made along both banks of the cut? The jury found for the defendant on the first point, and for the plaintiff on the other three points. In the Court of Queen’s Bench, on April 18th, Mr. Fitzroy Kelly moved for a rule calling upon plaintiff to show cause why the verdict should not be set aside and entered for the defendant, on the ground of misdirection, and that the verdict was against the evidence. Lord Chief Justice Cockburn said the Court would grant a rule upon the question of law involved, but not as regarded the evidence, because their lordships found that Lord Chief Justice Erle was satisfied with the verdict. The case was again before the Court of Queen’s Bench on November 19th, and, alter two days’ argument, was ordered to stand over until the next term. (_See_ January 21st, 1864.)

February 16th 1863

Charles Mower, the Dereham pedestrian, ran a one-mile match for £50 a side, with Edward Mills, of London, the six miles champion, on the Brampton Pedestrian Ground. Mower was a runner of considerable repute. His best performance was at Salford, in December, 1860, when he defeated Allison for the champion cup, running the mile in 4 minutes 24 seconds, the ground at the time being covered with snow. In his match with Mills he was beaten by 20 yards, in 4 minutes 34 seconds.

March 3rd 1863

The Norwich Poor-law Amendment Bill was considered by a Committee of the House of Commons. Its object was to repeal the Act passed in 1831, “for the better management of the several parishes and hamlets of the city and county of the city of Norwich”; to substitute another body for the Incorporation of Guardians; and to introduce certain clauses for the equalisation of the rates between the city and hamlets; and for the inclusion of the Cathedral Close, which was not then within the jurisdiction of the Guardians. The Bill passed through Committee on March 12th, and was directed to be reported to the House. The last meeting of the old Court of Guardians was held at the Guildhall, Norwich, on October 6th, and its existence as a corporate body expired on the 22nd, when the new Board was elected. Prior to the election, a meeting, presided over by the Mayor (Mr. Patteson), was held, at which was passed a resolution to the effect that, “considering the excessive poor-rates which have pressed upon this city for so many years, and the abuses which have sprung up in the administration of the Poor-law, it is incumbent upon the ratepayers to sink party and other differences and co-operate for carrying out the new Act with integrity and impartiality.”

March 10th 1863

Great rejoicings took place in city and county, in celebration of the marriage of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. The streets of Norwich were gaily decorated, and the day was observed as a general holiday. A parade of the troops, namely, the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, the 1st Norfolk Light Horse, the enrolled pensioners, the staff of the West Norfolk Militia, and the Norwich Battalion of Rifle Volunteers, took place on Major Middleton’s field on Ipswich Road. “All the troops wore wedding favours of uniform pattern.” After the review a _feu de joie_ was fired in the Market Place, where the members of the Choral Society sang, “God Bless the Prince of Wales.” The military were entertained at luncheon in a marquee erected on the parade-ground at the Militia Barracks; the Sheriff (Mr. Colman) gave a dinner to the aged poor, at St. Andrew’s Hall, and 14,403 Sunday school children were entertained. At night the city was illuminated, a firework display took place on the Castle Meadow, and the proceedings concluded with the lighting of a huge bonfire opposite the Shirehall. Similar celebrations took place at Yarmouth and Lynn, and festivities were held in all the smaller towns and villages in the county. At a special meeting of the Norwich Town Council on the 12th, congratulatory addresses were voted to the Queen and to the Prince and Princess of Wales, and it was announced that many of the textile manufacturers had decided to present to her Royal Highness articles of home manufacture. The citizens gave the famous “Norwich Gates” exhibited at the Great Exhibition, which were purchased by public subscription and afterwards erected at Sandringham. A county meeting was held at the Shirehall on the 14th, and congratulatory addresses adopted. Their Royal Highnesses arrived at their Norfolk home on March 28th. At Lynn railway station the Mayor (Mr. L. W. Jarvis) presented an address, and from Wolferton station to Sandringham the Prince and Princess were escorted by the Norfolk Light Horse, commanded by Capt. Hay Gurney, and by a large body of mounted tenantry.

March 12th 1863

Died at Brentwood, Mr. Edward Taylor, professor of music at Gresham College, London, aged 79. He was a native of Norwich, and a son of Mr. John Taylor, who occupied a prominent position in the city as a wool and yarn factor, and displayed considerable literary and musical abilities. Mr. Edward Taylor had been many years resident in London, but he constantly attended the Norwich Musical Festivals, in the establishment of which he took a leading part, and was a frequent vocal performer. He was a pleasing composer, and some of his songs met with deserved appreciation.

March 16th 1863

Professor J. H. Pepper lectured at Noverre’s Rooms, Norwich, on “Optical Illusions,” and for the first time exhibited in the city the now well-known illusion, “Pepper’s Ghost.”

March 19th 1863

The Yarmouth Gas Bill, the object of which was to incorporate the Great Yarmouth Gas Company and to make further provision for lighting the town and certain neighbouring places with gas, was considered by a Committee of the House of Lords. The Bill was read a third time in that House on the 24th, and passed.

March 29th 1863

Died at Wakefield Lodge, Northamptonshire, his Grace the Duke of Grafton. He was the eldest son of George Henry, fourth Duke, by Charlotte Maria Waldegrave, second daughter of James, second Earl Waldegrave and Maria, who afterwards became Duchess of Gloucester. Born on February 10th, 1790, he married, on June 20th, 1812, Mary Caroline, third daughter of Admiral the Hon. Sir George Cranfield Berkeley. He represented Bury St. Edmund’s from 1826 to 1830, and had a seat in the Lower House for Thetford from 1834 to September, 1844. By his death, his eldest son, the Earl of Euston, M.P. for Thetford since 1847, inherited the family honours.

March 31st 1863

A remarkable charge of abduction was tried at the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Williams. Frederick Burrell (21), a clerk employed at the Royal Arsenal, was indicted “for having, from motives of lucre, fraudulently allured, taken away, and detained Jane Burrell, a person under 21 years of age, she having a present legal interest in certain real estates in Norfolk, out of the possession and against the will of her mother, Mary Ann Hyder, and her guardian, William Silver Hyder, with intent to marry her, on January 20th, 1863.” Henry Richard Burrell, his brother, was indicted for aiding and abetting. The defendants were uncles of the girl, who was the daughter of the eldest son of one Daniel Burrell, who died without a will. As the eldest son died during Daniel Burrell’s lifetime, the daughter became possessed of all his freehold property. The girl left school at Norwich at Christmas, and went to Fakenham, but instead of staying with her mother and stepfather, went to the house of Henry Burrell, and on January 19th left for London with Frederick Burrell. The next day they were married at Plumstead, near Woolwich, the marriage licence obtained by Frederick Burrell being, it was alleged, “full of the grossest perjury.” The jury returned a verdict of guilty, but sentence was deferred, pending the argument of certain points before the Court for the consideration of Crown cases reserved. The defendants, on April 25th, appealed against their conviction, and the Court, after hearing arguments, reserved judgment. The case came before the Court for the consideration of Crown cases reserved, on November 24th. Their lordships were divided in opinion, not upon any question of law, but upon the facts of the case. Judgment was delivered upon the opinion of the majority, who held that the facts did not bear out that which was necessary to sustain a prosecution, and therefore, “with very great regret,” they quashed the conviction.

April 5th 1863

Died at Chester Terrace, Regent’s Park, London, Mr. John Taylor, F.R.S. Born at Norwich on August 22nd, 1779, he was trained as a land surveyor and engineer, and in 1798 was invited to take the management of a mine near Tavistock. It proved very profitable. In 1803 he projected and commenced the Tavistock Canal, of which about three miles were tunnelled through a granite hill. The execution of this work led to the discovery of two other mines, which produced large quantities of copper, and yielded considerable profits. The success of these and other mines in the neighbourhood of Tavistock, in Cornwall, and in the North of England, brought Mr. Taylor into great repute as a mining engineer. He was the author of several useful papers on mining, and one of the first to propose the formation of a Mining School; he was, too, one of the earliest Fellows of the Geological Society, and for many years acted as treasurer and vice-president. In 1825 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was one of the founders of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, of which organization he was treasurer until 1862. An excellent portrait of Mr. Taylor was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1825, and afterwards engraved by Charles Turner. Another portrait was painted in 1861, by Mr. Sydney Hodges.

April 6th 1863

Madame Celeste commenced, at Norwich Theatre, a short season, during which she appeared in a round of her favourite characters.

April 20th 1863

The nomination of candidates to contest the seat rendered vacant by the elevation of the Earl of Euston to the House of Lords took place at Thetford. Lord Frederick John FitzRoy and Mr. Robert John Harvey Harvey were proposed. The poll was opened on the 21st, and resulted as follows: FitzRoy, 93; Harvey, 81. There had been no contest at Thetford for twenty-two years previously.

May 1st 1863

Died at his residence, Newmarket Road, Norwich, aged 63, Mr. Isaac Wiseman, who served the office of Sheriff in 1830.

May 6th 1863

The Mayor of Norwich (Mr. H. S. Patteson), as captain of the Second Company, Norwich Battalion Rifle Volunteers, was presented by the members of the company with Mr. Claude L. Nursey’s original painting, “The Officers of the Norwich Battalion,” in recognition of “his zeal in the Volunteer cause and of his courtesy to those under his command.”

May 9th 1863

“Challenge: Thomas Jessup, of East Harling, now in his 102nd year, is willing to walk against ‘Father Time’ or any other man of the same age as himself now living in England or elsewhere, a fair toe and heel match, without the aid of stick, crutch, or other auxiliary. The one doing the greatest distance in one day (or in a month, if preferred) to be entitled to the stakes, which can be made for any sum not exceeding £50 a side.”

May 11th 1863

At Norwich Police Court, Mr. Edward Manning, of London Street, and Mr. William Edwards, of Sprowston, were summoned for assaulting Jonas Dye, of Pockthorpe, in contesting the question of common rights on Mousehold Heath. According to Mr. Simms Reeve, who appeared for the prosecution, the Dean and Chapter of Norwich owned the Heath, and the people of Pockthorpe, whether they had the right or not, claimed common rights. The Dean and Chapter did not dispute those rights, and the people not only used the Heath themselves, but let it to others to graze their cattle, to take turf at so much per hundred, and gravel at so much per load. The revenue formed a common fund, managed by a committee elected each year at a public meeting, at which the clergyman of the parish presided. The defendants contested these rights, and liberated stock which had been impounded. The Town Clerk (Mr. Mendham) objected to the magistrates’ jurisdiction, under 6th and 7th Vic., cap. 30, which provided that no justice of the peace “should hear and determine any case of assault or battery in which any question should arise as to the title of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or the interest accruing therefrom.” The magistrates dismissed the case.

May 26th 1863

A dreadful accident occurred at Yarmouth. Two negro vocalists, named Charles Marsh and Henry Wharton, attended the Whit-Tuesday sports on the South Denes, when the former proposed that they should ascend the Nelson Monument. The other agreed, and the ascent commenced, Marsh performing “God Save the Queen” upon his violin, and Wharton playing a banjo accompaniment. Arrived at the summit, Marsh, who added to his other accomplishments that of a posturer, scaled the stone fence on the platform, and, seizing the lightning conductor, climbed upon the emblematic figure of Britannia and there remained for ten minutes, singing and waving his hands to the crowd beneath. In descending, he was compelled to stoop head foremost to grasp the handle of Britannia’s trident. From some cause he slipped, fell upon the plinth, and thence rebounded into space, falling with arms outstretched to the base of the column, a depth of 144 feet. His death was instantaneous.

May 27th 1863

The official celebration of the Queen’s birthday at Norwich was observed as a half-holiday. A review of the military took place on Mousehold Heath, when colours, given by Mr. R. N. Bacon, were presented to the Norwich Battalion of Rifle Volunteers by the Hon. Mrs. F. Walpole. The regimental colour was received by Ensign Steward, and the Union Jack by Ensign Hansell, after which there was a consecration ceremony by the Rev. T. Clarke. The first-named colour bore the motto, _Gloria virtutis umbra_, in the centre, with the city arms and the name of the corps—1st City of Norwich Rifle Volunteers. The groundwork of the flag was green, and the armorial bearings and inscriptions were encircled by a floral border in gilt.

May 28th 1863

Died at Edinburgh, aged 52, Mr. Archibald Dalrymple, F.R.C.S., formerly surgeon to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

June 4th 1863

Four specimens of Pallas’s sand grouse—one male and three females—were shot at Waxham, by the Rev. Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Gibbs. On the 8th a fine male specimen was shot on Yarmouth Denes, near the old battery; and on the 9th and 10th a flock of about forty of the birds appeared upon Horsey beach. A pair was killed on Titchwell beach on the 10th, and another pair at about the same date in the adjoining parish of Brancaster. Altogether twenty-six specimens of these rare visitants from the Kirghis steppes of Tartary were procured in the county, and all were found either basking in the sands or feeding in grass fields close to the sea shore.

June 13th 1863

At the sale of the Rev. John Gilbert’s property, by Messrs. Spelman, at the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich, a farm of forty acres realised £2,600, and the Church Farm, of forty-nine acres, at Heckingham, was sold for £2,000.

June 17th 1863

The show of the Norfolk Agricultural Association took place at Yarmouth, and was the most successful of the exhibitions yet held.

June 22nd 1863

The 5th Royal Irish Lancers marched from the Cavalry Barracks, Norwich, for Aldershot, and a few weeks later sailed for India.

July 1st 1863

A fine barque of 410 tons, named the Egbert, was launched from the shipyard of Messrs. Fellows and Son, Southtown, Great Yarmouth.

July 2nd 1863

The Second Administrative Battalion of Norfolk Rifle Volunteers, numbering 22 officers, 30 non-commissioned officers, and 260 rank and file, encamped at Langley Park, the seat of the Colonel-Commandant, Sir Thomas Proctor Beauchamp, Bart. This was the first Volunteer camp formed in the county. “Fifty camp tents, borrowed from the War Office for the occasion, were pitched in rows beyond the parade-ground, and in these the Volunteers encamped for the night, a plentiful supply of straw being provided for them.” The First Administrative Battalion encamped at Gunton Park, from July 22nd to 25th, and the Dereham and Wymondham Companies formed a camp at Letton Park, on September 22nd.

July 6th 1863

A shocking accident occurred at Burgh Water Frolic. A large wherry, named the Ruby, belonging to Mr. England, of Limpenhoe, had been chartered for the day by a Yarmouth publican, and was crowded with passengers both above and below the hatches. The craft was sailing to the _rendezvous_, and when between the Dickey-walk and the Cross-stakes, the Red Rover, a famous yacht, was sighted coming full sail down the river. The passengers rushed hurriedly from the larboard to the starboard side of the wherry, to watch her progress, and those beneath the hatches protruded their heads and necks over the gunwale. The stanchions, unable to resist the sudden strain, gave way, and the hatches falling, came with terrific force upon the heads and bodies of the persons below. Two men, named Charles Aldis Rushmer and James Tripp, had their necks dislocated and skulls fractured, several persons sustained minor injuries, and others were thrown into the water, but were rescued by boats.

July 14th 1863

The Channel Fleet of eight ships of war, under the command of Rear-Admiral Dacres, arrived in Yarmouth Roads. The total number of men on board was 4,800. The Fleet weighed anchor on the 18th, and sailed for the Downs.

July 15th 1863

The Maharajah Duleep Singh, the new owner of the Elveden estate, arrived at Thetford for the purpose of inspecting the property. The church bells were rung in honour of the illustrious visitor. On November 21st it was announced that the Maharajah made almost daily excursions in pursuit of his favourite sport of hawking, and that a pack of hounds had also arrived at Elveden.

July 16th 1863

A serious fire occurred at East Dereham, on the premises of Mr. William Hubbard, builder. It resulted in the total destruction of the large workshops, and entailed a loss of about £2,000. An adjacent warehouse was stored with £400 worth of goods belonging to Mr. E. Smith was also destroyed. Furniture and goods were hastily removed from adjoining houses and placed in the Corn Hall; the tenants of Mrs. Dingle’s cottages suffered great loss from their articles being broken or stolen. A public subscription was made to recoup Mr. Hubbard’s workmen the loss of their trade tools, valued at about £130; and on August 10th, at a meeting of the townspeople, a fire brigade was organized. The origin of the fire was never discovered. A groom in the employment of Mr. Hubbard was apprehended upon suspicion, but was discharged for want of evidence.

July 30th 1863

Died at his residence, Town Close, Norwich, Mr. Samuel Shalders Bears, aged 76. He was for many years prominently connected with Norwich, both as a man of business and as a member of most of the leading institutions, charitable, literary, and political. In 1829, under the old Corporation, he was elected Sheriff, and in 1837, under the new _régime_, he served the office of Mayor. Mr. Beare was senior magistrate on the Norwich Bench, and was upon the commission of the peace for the county of Suffolk.

August 3rd 1863

A dreadful railway accident took place upon the newly-opened line between Lynn and Hunstanton, by which five persons were killed and between twenty and thirty seriously injured. The accident was caused by the over-running of a bullock which had strayed upon the line. At the inquest, on August 13th, the jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and called attention to the insufficiency of the fences provided by the Great Eastern Railway Company. The amount paid by the company in claims and compensation exceeded, it was stated, the sum of £10,000.

August 12th 1863

The completion of the restoration of St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, was celebrated by a dinner given at the hall by the Mayor (Mr. Patteson). The work of renovation was carried out by Mr. J. W. Lacey, from designs by Mr. Barry, the City Surveyor. The cost, about £1,500, was defrayed by public subscription.

August 19th 1863

Three troops of the 18th Hussars, with headquarters, marched into Norwich, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Knox, formerly Major in the 15th Hussars.

August 19th 1863

A great archery _fête_ was held at Crown Point, Norwich. The societies represented were the Norfolk and Norwich Archery Club, the East Norfolk, West Norfolk, East Suffolk, West Suffolk, Westwick, Long Melford, Waveney Borderers, Waveney Valley, Yarmouth, and Copdock Archers.

August 31st 1863

Died at his residence, the South Quay, Great Yarmouth, Mr. Samuel Charles Marsh, aged 53. He occupied for many years a conspicuous public position in the borough, and twice served the office of Mayor—in 1844 and 1852.

September 10th 1863

Died at Raynham Hall, his Norfolk seat, Rear-Admiral the Marquis Townshend. His lordship was riding in the park on the 9th, when he was seized with a paralytic stroke. John Townshend was son of Lord John Townshend, second son of George, first Marquis Townshend. He was born March 28th, 1798, and succeeded to the family honours on the death of his cousin, George Ferrars, third Marquis, in December, 1855. He married, August 18th, 1825, Elizabeth Jane, eldest daughter of Rear-Admiral Lord George Stuart, who survived him, and left issue an only son, John Villiers Stuart, Viscount Rainham, M.P., and three daughters. He entered the Navy as midshipman in 1814, but his services, owing to the peace of 1815, were not distinguished. Before his accession to the House of Lords he was elected member for Tamworth. In politics he was a pronounced Liberal, “being in advance of the political party to which he professed to belong, for he had voted in favour of the ballot, and was also for the admission of Jews into Parliament and the removal of all religious disabilities.”

September 14th 1863

The Earl of Leicester, as Lord Lieutenant of the county, reviewed the Volunteers of Norfolk and Norwich, on Mousehold Heath. Upwards of 2,000 were on parade, and were inspected by Col. McMurdo, Inspector-General of the Volunteer Forces. The troops were afterwards entertained at dinner at the Corn Hall. The Mayor (Mr. Patteson) presided, supported by the Lord Lieutenant and many distinguished guests.

September 14th 1863

The Norfolk and Norwich Triennial Musical Festival commenced with an evening performance of “Judas Maccabæus.” On the evenings of the 15th, 16th, and 17th, miscellaneous concerts were given. “Joash” (E. Silas), conducted by the composer, was produced on the morning of the 16th, followed by “Scene at the Gates of Nain,” from “Emmanuel,” and a portion of the “Stabat Mater”; “Elijah” on the morning of the 17th, and “The Messiah” on the morning of the 18th. The principal performers were Mdlle. Tietjens, Madame Lemmens Sherrington, Madame Weiss, Miss Wilkinson, Miss Palmer, Mdlle. Trebelli, Mr. Sims Reeves, Signor Bettini, Mr. Montem Smith, Mr. Santley, Signor Bossi, and Mr. Weiss. Mr. Benedict conducted. A “full dress” ball was held on the night of the 18th.

September 21st 1863

James Naylor, of Elsing, aged 51, murdered his wife, Charlotte Naylor, aged 81. “From the time he was committed to Norwich Castle to take his trial at the Assizes, he endeavoured to lead people to imagine that he was not of sound mind.” He died in prison on November 23rd, from cancer in the stomach.

September 30th 1863

At a dinner held at St. Nicholas’ Hall, East Dereham, Capt. Bulwer, the commanding-officer of the 15th Norfolk Rifle Volunteers, was presented with an album containing photographs of every member of the company, “in recognition of his valuable services in promoting the success and efficiency of the corps.” A presentation was also made to Mrs. Bulwer.

October 2nd 1863

Died in London, Sir William Bellairs, of Mulbarton Lodge, in his 70th year. From 1811 to 1819 he served in the 15th Hussars, and went through the campaigns of 1813 and 1814. He was present at Vittoria, the Pyrenees, Orthes, Tarbes, Toulouse, and other engagements, and also served in the campaign of 1815, had a horse killed under him in the retreat from Quatre Bras, and received two wounds at the battle of Waterloo. In 1837 he was appointed exon of the Yeomen of the Guard, which he held up to 1849. He married, in 1822, Miss Hooke, daughter and heiress of Mr. Edmund Hooke, of Mulbarton Lodge.

October 10th 1863

Died at his residence, St. Catherine’s Cottage, Norwich, in his 62nd year, Mr. William Matchett, senior proprietor of the NORFOLK CHRONICLE. He was the second son of Mr. Jonathan Matchett, a former proprietor of the journal. Educated at Norwich Grammar School, under the Rev. Dr. Valpy, he became a partner in the establishment in 1827, from which time until his death he took an active share in its management. “In former days, before the science of shorthand writing had become a business in itself, Mr. Matchett, like his school-fellow and contemporary, Mr. R. N. Bacon, performed for this newspaper all those duties which the exigencies of the present age require should be distributed amongst a ‘staff of reporters,’ and as the representative of the CHRONICLE attended most of the principal meetings in the city and county, the proceedings at which were ably condensed for the public eye by the aid of his brief notes and singularly retentive memory. Under the old Corporation, and for a short period under the new _régime_, Mr. Matchett was connected with the Norwich Town Council for upwards of eight years, and at all times took a warm interest in the welfare and improvement of his native city.

October 27th 1863

Elihu Burritt, “the Learned Blacksmith,” delivered a lecture to the Norwich Young Men’s Christian Association, on “The Higher Law and Mission of Commerce.”

October 29th 1863

Mdlle. Carlotta Patti appeared at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, accompanied by Madame Fanny Huddart, Herr Reichardt, Signor Ferranti, and MM. Vieuxtemps and Ascher (violin and pianoforte). “Mdlle. Patti had been offered an engagement at the Festival, but had declined to come unless she was paid 500 gs. The Festival Committee were justified in rejecting her terms, which could only be accorded to a second Jenny Lind, which she is not. Nevertheless she is a wonderful singer.”

November 7th 1863

“The gales that have visited the coast during the last week have been terrific. For days there has been an enormous fleet of southward bound colliers in Yarmouth Roads. With other vessels, the coast, extending from Caister to Corton, a distance of several miles, has been crowded with shipping, and several shipwrecked crews have been landed at the Sailors’ Home.”

November 9th 1863

Died at Norwich, in his 76th year, Mr. William Stark, F.G.S. He was well-known in his day as an able chemist, and was one of the first dyers of fabrics of Norwich manufacture, “particularly of the colour called Turkey red, the manufacturers in the North sending large quantities of goods for dyeing.” He devoted much of his time to the prosecution of scientific studies, and was a Fellow of the Geological Society. In the days when Dr. Rigby, William Taylor, Dalrymple, Crosse, C. Austrin, Dr. Evans, &c., belonged to the Norwich Philosophical Society, Mr. Stark contributed many papers at its meetings, in which he bore a distinguished part. For many years he had been afflicted by partial loss of sight, and a few months before his death became totally blind.

November 9th 1863

Mr. Osborn Springfield was elected Mayor, and Mr. Frederick Brown appointed Sheriff of Norwich.

November 14th 1863

A meeting for the promotion of the East Norfolk Railway was held at the Swan Hotel, St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, under the presidency of Lord Suffield. A resolution emphasising the importance of the scheme was adopted, and the following motion was also unanimously passed: “That the offer of the Great Eastern Railway Company to render substantial help in the formation of lines of railway to North Walsham, Aylsham, and Cromer, and to work the same when made at 50 per cent. upon the gross receipts, should be cordially accepted by the district, as conferring the means of accomplishing public works of the greatest benefit, and which otherwise must have been indefinitely postponed.” (_See_ May 5th, 1864.)

November 16th 1863

Mr. James Caird, M.P., Mr. G. Shaw Lefevre, M.P., and Professor T. H. Huxley, the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the condition of the sea fisheries of the United Kingdom, attended at the Sailors’ Home, Yarmouth, for the purpose of hearing evidence. The objects of the inquiry were to ascertain (1) whether the supply of fish from the fisheries of the United Kingdom had increased of late years, remained stationary, or diminished; (2) whether any of the methods of catching fish involved the wasteful diminution of fish spawn, and whether legislative interference was required to increase the supply; and (3) whether any existing legislative enactments operated prejudicially against fisheries. The Commissioners afterwards visited King’s Lynn.

November 22nd 1863

The death occurred at Yarmouth, in his 43rd year, of Hales, the Norfolk Giant. He was born at West Somerton, and for some years was engaged in seafaring pursuits, until his enormous height, 7 ft. 6 inches, gained for him such notoriety that he was induced to abandon the sea and exhibit himself. During his nomadic career he visited almost every town in the kingdom, and scarcely a fair was considered complete without the huge yellow caravan which formed his temporary abode. Becoming tired of his wandering life. Hales took up his abode in London, and whilst there had the honour of appearing before the Court and of receiving from the Queen a handsome gold watch and chain. Shortly after his appearance at Court, the fame of the Norfolk Giant reached Barnum, who lost no time in engaging his services. Hales remained with Barnum for some years, in the course of which he visited most of the cities and towns in America. On his return to England he resumed his wanderings, and, in the course of the summer of 1862 came to Yarmouth, where his presence on the Britannia Pier attracted large numbers of visitors. Hales’s parents were conspicuous for their great height, his father being 6 ft 6 ins., and his mother 6 ft. He had five sisters, who averaged 6 ft 6 ins. One of them, Mary, was 7 ft. 2 ins. in height, and for some years travelled with her brother. She died in Guernsey. His four brothers averaged 6 ft 5 inches. A few days before his death, Hales was walking about Norwich, where he attracted great crowds by his immense size.

November 23rd 1863

Died at the Rectory, Long Stratton, Mr. George Birch Jerrard, son of Major-General Jerrard. Born at Bodmin, on November 24th, 1804, he acquired considerable fame as a mathematician, and was the author of “Mathematical Researches” and of “An Essay on the Resolution of Equations.” In his first-named work, “he made a great step in Algebra, and one acknowledged by all mathematicians, namely, the taking away of _three_ terms from equations of any degree. In his latter work he maintains he has solved _the_ great problem of Algebra, namely, the resolution of _all_ equations.” At the time of his death he was engaged in writing a work on “Prophecy,” a subject in which he was greatly interested.

November 26th 1863

Brother Ignatius, “a clergyman of the English Church, who has the temerity to come before a public audience attired as a Benedictine monk, with bare head and bare feet, carrying a rosary and crucifix, which in this country are regarded as symbolic only of the Romish Church, and calling himself by a name not accorded to him by his godfathers and godmother,” lectured at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, on “Monks and Monasteries for the English Church.” (_See_ February 13th, 1864.)

December 2nd 1863

A gale of unusual violence began in the night, and prevailed during the whole of the 3rd. There was hardly a street in Norwich in which the roofs of houses escaped damage. Many vessels were lost off the Norfolk coast. One hundred and forty-four men and boys were drowned, and 68 widows and 105 children were left destitute. A public subscription, to which the Queen contributed £100, was opened at Yarmouth to relieve their distress.

December 9th 1863

A meeting of weavers was held at Norwich, to consider the rates of payment for work. It was stated that in 1846 a list of prices was agreed to by the manufacturers and operatives for all fabrics then made. These prices had, with few exceptions, been maintained in Norwich, but a great deal of work was sent into the country, where it was done at the reduced rate of 5½d. per dozen skeins, or considerably more than 50 per cent. difference. The weavers resolved that any departure from the list of prices would be alike injurious to employers and employed, and a deputation was appointed to wait upon the manufacturers to enforce this view.

December 9th 1863

Mr. David Fisher gave, at Noverre’s Rooms, Norwich, his entertainment, entitled, “Facts and Fancies,” with which he had achieved great success during the London season. Mr. Fisher was known in Norwich not only as an excellent actor and accomplished musician, but as a vocalist of much taste.

December 21st 1863

At the Norwich Assizes, before Mr. Baron Martin, James Margatroyed Hubbard (24), described as a general dealer, and son of a Norwich brewer, was indicted for forging a bill of exchange for £45, and sentenced to 20 years’ penal servitude.

December 25th 1863

The weather was very mild. A picotee bloom and rose were gathered in a garden at Norwich.

December 26th 1863

Mr. H. J. Byron was the author of the pantomime produced at Norwich Theatre. It was entitled, “Ali Baba, or the Thirty-nine Thieves.”

December 26th 1863

A revolting performance was given at one of the shows at the Norwich Christmas Fair. “A man and woman, said to be Kaffirs, actually fed upon live rats, in the presence of continually succeeding audiences.” The details, as published in the newspaper, are too horrible to be quoted. The Mayor, on being informed of the proceedings, prohibited the exhibition, after which raw flesh was substituted for live rats. At Walsingham, a few days afterwards, the show was visited by many hundreds of country folk; at Wells the police expelled the performers from the town.