The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1867 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 6th 1867

During a severe storm off Yarmouth, the brigs Ark, of Sunderland, and Sarah, of the same port, had a collision in the Roads, and were lost, with their crews of sixteen hands.

January 7th 1867

The actions arising out of the Middle Level inundations now took the form of an arbitration. The arbitrators were laymen, appointed by both parties, with a legal umpire, and their investigation of the merits of the case or cases commenced on this date, at the Incorporated Law Society’s house, Chancery Lane, London. The proceedings were protracted. In the first week of March several of the claimants, among them Mr. Mason, in whose name the first action was brought, accepted offers made by the Commissioners. The offers were in excess of the following items: (1) a year’s rent, tithes, taxes, and outgoings; (2) all expenses on the crops destroyed (tillage, seed sowing, &c.) up to the day of the inundation; (3) damage to fences, buildings, &c., and (4) the amount of a full year’s rent, tithes, and drainage taxes as profits to the tenants. In May the cases Coe _v._ Wise and Sharpe _v._ the Commissioners were argued in the Rolls Court, before Mr. Serjeant Hayes and Mr. Durrant and Mr. Bailey Denton, the arbitrators; and on June 22nd it was announced that Mr. Coe had been awarded £2,575, and Mr. Sharpe £405, the former getting £500 and the latter £100 more than the defendants offered. The defendants, therefore, were ordered to pay costs, and the litigation ended.

January 12th 1867

Died at Bedford, Colonel Vincent Matthias, Madras Army, aged 73. Born at Norwich, he was of a family of fifteen, and nine of his brothers entered either the Navy or Army. He was appointed a cadet in 1810, and received his commission as ensign on August 24th, 1811, Colonel Mathias’ service extended over a period of more than thirty years. He was an ardent sportsman, and while in India made a valuable collection of natural history specimens, which he presented to the Norfolk and Norwich Museum.

January 15th 1867

The proceedings of the Town Council relative to the Norwich sewerage scheme commenced this year with the payment to Mr. P. E. Hansell, solicitor, of £205, the amount of taxed costs allowed to the informants in obtaining the injunction restraining the Corporation from putting sewage into the river Wensum. On the 22nd the Council, after considerable debate, decided that the dry earth system advocated by Mr. Edward Boardman was not applicable to the district. The Court of Reference appointed by the House of Commons to try the merits of the Norwich Local Board of Health Bill with reference to its engineering details and the estimated cost of the proposed works, commenced its investigations on March 11th. The object of the Bill was “to provide for the better sewering of the city and the applying of the sewage to the irrigation of land.” The referees reported to the House on the 14th that the works and estimates were sufficient for the objects proposed. The Bill was before a Select Committee of the House of Commons on March 13th, and on March 26th it was, with certain amendments, reported to the House. (_See_ January 28th, 1868.)

January 16th 1867

A deep snow caused considerable inconvenience to railway traffic. A train from Norwich to Lowestoft came to a standstill in the Mutford cutting, and was not got out until the afternoon of the 17th. The snow drifted to the depth of seven feet upon most of the lines, some of which remained closed for three days. Many of the roads were impassable for vehicular traffic, and in some instances the mail bags were carried across country on foot. Great distress prevailed amongst the poor, and special funds were raised in several towns for their relief. At Norwich the amount contributed was £2,227. On the 22nd a rapid thaw commenced.

February 14th 1867

Sir S. W. Baker, the discoverer of the sources of the Nile, delivered a lecture at St. Peter’s Hall, Norwich, upon the political condition of Egypt. The Mayor presided over the large audience, who accorded a warm reception to Sir Samuel, who, at that time, was a resident in the county.

March 19th 1867

The boiler of an engine at work in a field near Watlington Station exploded, killing five persons outright, and injuring seven others, two of whom died on the following day. Such was the force of the explosion that the boiler was blown a distance of forty yards. It was proved at the inquest that the accident resulted from the tying down the safety-valve.

March 29th 1867

Charles Dickens appeared at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, and read, before a numerous audience, “Dr. Marigold” and the trial scene from “Pickwick.”

April 5th 1867

Mr. Sothern appeared at Norwich Theatre, in the character of Lord Dundreary. On the 6th he performed the part of David Garrick. The house was crowded to excess on both occasions.

April 22nd 1867

Mr. Loveday’s English Grand Opera Company commenced an engagement at Norwich Theatre. Madame Haigh-Dyer was the _prima donna_, and Mr. and Mrs. Aynsley Cooke were of the company. The works produced included “Robert le Diable,” “The Fairy and the Cobbler,” “The Puritan’s Daughter,” “The Barber of Seville,” “Faust,” “Don Giovanni,” “Satanella,” “The Quaker,” &c.

April 24th 1867

Lord Hastings and Mr. Anthony Hamond, masters of Norfolk foxhounds, were entertained at dinner at the Corn Hall, Fakenham, “in appreciation of their efforts to provide sport during the season.” The Earl of Leicester presided.

May 8th 1867

Died at Yarmouth, aged 76, Lieut. William Simpson, R.M., of North Walsham. He was one of the officers who received the Emperor Napoleon on board the Bellerophon, on July 15th, 1815.

May 14th 1867

A great public meeting, in support of the United Kingdom Alliance, was held at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, and was addressed by General Neal Dow, who had taken a prominent part in the passing of the Maine Liquor Law.

May 18th 1867

A meeting of the Norfolk Chamber of Agriculture, presided over by Mr. C. S. Read, M.P., was held “to discuss the future aggregate representation of the county in Parliament, in the event of the loss of three of its borough members,” namely, of two on the disenfranchisement of Yarmouth, and of one on Thetford being constituted a “single membered” borough. The following motion was adopted: “That the attention of the Chamber having been directed to the clauses in the Bill before Parliament for the redistribution of seats, it is resolved that the proposal to take away three members from the county is unjust, and that the most strenuous efforts be made to retain twelve members, to which it is justly entitled, by reason of its population, wealth, and importance.” It was announced on June 15th that, under the redistribution scheme, Norfolk would in future have three divisions, namely, West, North-East, and South-East. The Boundary Commissioners appointed under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act held inquiries at Thetford on September 24th, at Norwich on September 27th and October 9th, at Lynn on October 2nd, and at the Shirehall, Norwich, on October 7th. (_See_ June 18th, 1868.)

May 21st 1867

Died at West Bilney Hall, Mr. Thomas William Coke. He was born in January, 1793, and was the eldest son of Edward Coke, of Longford, Derbyshire. In his youth he was frequently at Holkham, and was long regarded as heir to the estate, but this prospect ended by the marriages in 1822, of his uncle, Thomas William Coke (created Earl of Leicester in 1837), to Lady Anne Keppel, the issue of which was the large family of whom the present Earl is the head. Mr. Coke was very popular, and in early life was a fearless and accomplished horseman.

May 24th 1867

The Queen’s birthday was observed at Norwich by a parade of the Volunteers and the firing of a _feu de joie_ in the Market Place. The Volunteers were entertained at dinner at the Drill Hall, 700 old people were invited by the Mayor and Sheriff to a feast at the Corn Hall, and luncheon was served at St. Andrew’s Hall for many of the leading residents in city and county.

May 28th 1867

A modified observance of the old custom of “beating the bounds” took place in the parish of Colkirk. “The existence of tithe maps and other circumstances halving rendered actual perambulation comparatively unnecessary, the circuit of the parish was omitted; but two brief services were held in the pretty green lanes at the opposite extremities of the parish, and were attended by 60 or 70 persons, including the little children of the village school, who marched through the village singing hymns, preceded by a modest banner.” An address was given at both services by the Rev. W. A. Chapman.

June 4th 1867

Died, at the age of 53, Dr. W. H. Ranking, formerly of Norwich. He was descended from a family living on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, who had for three generations been engaged in the practice of medicine. Dr. Ranking received his early education at Hastings, and subsequently entered the University of Cambridge. After spending some time in the hospitals of Paris, he settled at Bury St. Edmund’s, and became physician to the Suffolk General Hospital, a post which he filled for seven years. After the death of Dr. Lubbock, Dr. Ranking removed to Norwich, and became physician to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and editor of the Journal of the Council of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association. “He was a most uncompromising enemy to quackery in all its forms, and he always testified to the absurdity of what he considered the fashionable humbug of the age—homœopathy.”

June 19th 1867

The annual show of the Norfolk Agricultural Association commenced at Fakenham, and was continued on the 20th. By special permission granted by the Privy Council, at the request of a deputation introduced on May 9th by Mr. C. S. Read, M.P., cattle were exhibited under certain restrictions. At the dinner, presided over by the Earl of Kimberley, Mr. E. C. Bailey was presented with a handsome testimonial, on his resignation of the office of secretary, after twenty-five years’ service.

June 24th 1867

The First Administrative Battalion of Norfolk Volunteers, commanded by Col. James Duff, encamped in Hunstanton Park.

July 5th 1867

Mr. J. L. Toole commenced a two nights’ engagement at Norwich Theatre, and appeared in “The Spitialfields Weaver,” “Ici on parle Français,” and “The Area Belle.”

July 6th 1867

Died, in his 70th year, at his residence, Surrey Road, Norwich, Mr. William Day, who for upwards of forty years had held the office of magistrates’ clerk.

July 9th 1867

Died, Sir George James Turner, the senior Lord Justice of Appeal. He was born at Great Yarmouth in 1798, where his father, the Rev. Richard Turner, was for thirty years vicar. His education commenced at the Charterhouse (of which he was afterwards a governor), and finished at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where his uncle, Dr. Joseph Turner, Dean of Norwich, was then master. In 1819 he took his degree as wrangler, and was soon afterwards elected a Fellow of Pembroke. Having entered at Lincoln’s Inn, he was called to the Bar in 1821, and became Queen’s Counsel in 1840, and from 1847 to 1851 sat in the House of Commons as member for Coventry. In 1851 he was selected as a Vice-Chancellor, and in 1853, when Lord Cottenham was appointed Lord Chancellor, he was promoted Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal. Sir George married in 1823, Louisa, youngest daughter of Mr. Edward Jones, of Brackley, Northamptonshire.

August 1st 1867

A new lifeboat, the cost of which had been generously defrayed by a lady residing at Bath, was launched at Sheringham. It was named the Duncan, and was housed in a commodious building, with reading-room attached for the use of the fishermen.

August 8th 1867

At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Byles, Hubbard Lingley, aged 22, was indicted for the murder of Benjamin Black, his uncle, by shooting him at Barton Bendish, on May 17th. The prisoner was found guilty and sentenced to death. The execution was carried out by Calcraft, on the Castle Hill, Norwich, at eight a.m. on August 26. “The holding of an execution upon Monday instead of on the market-day (Saturday) is a vast improvement, but it is to be hoped the time is not far distant when executions will take place within instead of outside the prison walls.” (This was the last public execution in Norwich.)

August 8th 1867

Died at her residence, at Weybridge, Mrs. Austin (Sarah Taylor, of Norwich). She was born in 1793, and married, in 1820, Mr. John Austin, a barrister on the Norfolk Circuit. A miscellaneous writer of some repute, she never aspired to original literary compositions, but devoted the singular power of her pen to the reproduction in English of many of the best contemporary works of German and French literature. Her translations, from the German especially, were of the highest excellence.

August 12th 1867

Chapel Field, Norwich, which had for some months been closed to the public, was re-opened. Several portions of the old city wall had been removed, and railings erected, and efforts were also made to level the area.

August 14th 1867

The Norfolk and Eastern Counties Working Classes Exhibition and Industrial Festival was opened at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, by the Mayor (Mr. F. E. Watson). The exhibition consisted of works of art, industry, and mechanical invention, and remained open for one month.

August 30th 1867

Mr. George Buttler Kennett, formerly of Great Yarmouth, was appointed clerk to the justices of Norwich, in place of Mr. William Day, deceased.

September 4th 1867

A new lifeboat, named the “Licensed Victualler,” was launched at Hunstanton. Its cost was defrayed by a fund inaugurated by Mr. James Wyld, editor of the “Licensed Victuallers’ Guardian.”

September 10th 1867

A surf lifeboat was launched at Caister-next-the-Sea. It was provided, at the cost of £300, by means of a fund raised by the editor of “Routledge’s Magazine for Boys,” and was christened by Mrs. Routledge, “The Boys’ Lifeboat.”

September 11th 1867

The Royal Commission appointed to inquire into and report on the employment of children, young persons, and women in agriculture, for the purpose of ascertaining to what extent and with what modifications the principles of the Factory Acts could be adapted for the regulation of such employment, and especially with the view of the better education of such children, commenced its investigations in Norfolk in the Docking Union. The Assistant-Commissioner (the Rev. James Frazer) held similar inquiries in other parts of the county, and, in an address to the members of the Norfolk Chamber of Agriculture, on September 28th, said he had met at forty-eight meetings 500 Norfolk farmers, “and not on one occasion had he heard a single painful or discourteous word drop from anybody’s lips.”

September 16th 1867

The first annual regatta of the Norfolk and Norwich Rowing Club was held at Whitlingham.

September 17th 1867

The Norfolk and Norwich Licensed Victuallers’ Association was formed at a meeting held at the Three Pigeons, Charing Cross, Norwich.

September 19th 1867

A new church erected at Overstrand, in place of the old church, which had fallen into decay, was consecrated by the Bishop of Norwich. The architect was Mr. A. Salvin, of London, and the builder Mr. R. Cornish, of North Walsham. The necessary funds were provided principally by the Dowager Lady Buxton and the descendants of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, deceased, by Mr. Gurney Hoare, Mr. Joseph Hoare, and others.

September 21st 1867

“A destructive parasitical weed has made its appearance on some of the small farms at Navarina, an open district forming a part of the very extensive manor of Lord Ashburton, at Thetford. It is known as ‘the dodder.’ It completely absorbs or destroys the crop wherever it appears, and leaves the land barren of all but its own hair-like fibres. So powerful and fatal is the grasp of this singular plant, that even the hardy and prickly gorse succumbs to the pressure of its delicate fibres.”

October 1st 1867

The 15th Hussars, from Aldershot, marched into Norwich, under the command of Col. F. W. J. Fitzwygram.

October 12th 1867

“The county having for upwards of a year been free from cattle plague, the Norfolk Cattle Plague Association has been wound up, and the balance in hand, amounting to upwards of £4,000, has been invested in the names of trustees, Mr. Howes, M.P., and Mr. Read, M.P., to be available in case of any further emergency.” The “London Gazette,” on October 23rd, contained an Order to take effect on November 4th, for the withdrawal of restrictions on the movement of cattle in the interior of the kingdom.

October 14th 1867

A huge female elephant, weighing five tons, and belonging to Edmonds’ (late Wombwell’s) Menagerie, started from Diss with the show, but had not gone far when she fell in Denmark Street. Poles and tackle had to be procured, and after four hours’ labour the ponderous animal was raised, put in the caravan, and taken back to the fair green, where she was placed in slings. Cordials and other restoratives were administered, but the animal died on the following day. She was valued at between £800 and £900, and had been fifteen years in the collection.

October 22nd 1867

An immense eel was taken from the river Ouse, near Denver Sluice. It measured 5 ft. 8 in. in length, 17¼ in. in girth, and weighed 36 lbs. before and 28 lbs. after being skinned. “Yarrel, in his ‘British Fishes,’ mentions having seen the skins of two at Cambridge which together weighed 50 lbs.—one 27 lbs. and the other 23 lbs., which were taken within a few miles of this spot.”

October 28th 1867

The new fishmarket, wharves, and tramways constructed at Great Yarmouth, at the total cost of £15,799, were opened.

November 5th 1867

The new Drill Hall at Great Yarmouth, erected at the cost of £1,300, by Mr. Leggett, from designs by Mr. J. T. Bottle, was opened.

November 6th 1867

St. Andrew’s church, Norwich, was re-opened after restoration. The architect who superintended the work was Mr. William Smith, the Adelphi, London, and the contractor, Mr. Burrell, of Norwich. The Bishop of Norwich preached the sermon.

November 6th 1867

Died at Yarmouth, aged 82, James Sharman, the keeper of the Nelson monument on the South Denes. He was a native of Yarmouth, and entered the Navy in 1799, having been “pressed” when a waiting lad at the Wrestlers Inn, and taken on board H.M.S. Weazel, Captain Durben. After four years’ service he was wrecked off Cabaratta Point, near Gibraltar. He then joined the Victory, under Captain Thomas Hardy, and at Trafalgar “assisted in carrying the dying Nelson from the lower deck to the cockpit.”

November 9th 1867

Mr. Jeremiah James Colman was elected Mayor, and Mr. Robert Fitch appointed Sheriff of Norwich.

November 9th 1867

At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council, a memorial was received from the parents of boys educated at the Commercial School, praying that the efficiency of that school should not be impaired in consequence of the large outlay required for making alterations in and additions to the Grammar School premises. The Parliamentary and Bylaws Committee, to whom the memorial was referred, reported to the Town Council on November 26th that they strongly deprecated any increase in the fees of the Commercial School, but they considered the successful maintenance of the Grammar School of great advantage to the city. The report was adopted.

November 10th 1867

Died in Paris, aged 63, Mr. W. Wilshere, of Welwyn, Herts., and formerly member of Parliament for Yarmouth. He became a candidate for that borough with Mr. Rumbold, in the Liberal interest, in 1837, when the Conservative candidates were Messrs. Baring and Gambier. On the dissolution of Parliament in 1847, he retired from the representation of the borough. “It is said that his various contests cost him a very large sum of money, and that in other respects the expenses incident to the representation of a borough on Liberal principles were too much for endurance.”

November 16th 1867

Reference was made to the disbandment of the 1st Norfolk Light Horse, which had been under the command of Capt. Hay Gurney since its institution by him in 1861. The members presented to their commanding-officer a testimonial “representing in frosted silver, on an ebony stand, a mounted officer and trumpeter in full dress.”

November 20th 1867

The Scratby Hall estate, comprising 280 acres, was sold by auction by Messrs. Butcher, at the Star Hotel, Yarmouth, for £16,760.

November 26th 1867

The Rev. Edward Marjoribanks Nisbet, M.A., was installed a residentiary canon at Norwich Cathedral.

November 30th 1867

The Right Hon. Edward Stratham Gordon, Lord Advocate of Scotland, was elected to represent the borough of Thetford in Parliament, upon the resignation of the Hon. A. H. Baring. Lord Frederick FitzRoy, who had come forward as a candidate, withdrew from the contest on the day appointed for the nomination. “He departed for London, leaving behind him an address telling the electors that, by means of treachery, opposition had been brought against him.”

December 1st 1867

The Norfolk coast, in common with the whole of England, was visited by a gale of unusual violence. It resulted not only in great destruction of property, but in the loss of many lives. At Yarmouth the waters overflowed the banks of the river, inundated all the low-lying lands from the harbour’s mouth to Reedham, and, flooding the neighbouring railways, stopped the traffic. Several vessels were driven ashore and their crews lost. On December 2nd the lifeboat Rescuer was entering the harbour with the shipwrecked crew of the ship George Kendall, from Liverpool to Hull, on board, when she fouled with a fishing-boat and was capsized. Of the shipwrecked crew of twenty-three only four were saved, and of the lifeboat crew six were drowned. Many widows and children were left destitute, owing to the large number of lives lost during the gale.

December 1st 1867

The parish church of Little Ellingham was destroyed by fire. The building had recently undergone extensive restoration, and the damage, due to the overheating of a new warming apparatus, amounted to upwards of £1,000. Efforts were made by the Hingham fire brigade to preserve the chancel, and were in part successful, but the nave was wholly demolished. Under the supervision of Messrs. T. H. and F. Healey, architects, of Bradford, the nave was rebuilt and the chancel repaired by the contractor, Mr. Clarke, of Hingham; and the church was re-opened for public worship on Ascension Day, 1869.

December 24th 1867

A common hall was held at the Guildhall, Norwich, under the presidency of the Mayor (Mr. J. J. Colman), at which the citizens expressed their “detestation of the late Fenian outrage at Clerkenwell, their sympathy with the sufferers, and their loyal attachment to the Queen and the Constitution.”

December 26th 1867

The Christmas pantomime produced by Mr. Sidney at Norwich Theatre was entitled, “Hush-a-Bye Baby on the Tree Top, or Harlequin Fortunio, Clown King Frog of Frog Island, and the Fairy Queen of the Golden Flowers.” At Mander’s Menagerie, stationed on the Castle Meadow, “the electric light was exhibited in the interior during Maccomo’s performance with the lions, tigers, and elephants.” On the 30th was produced at Henry and Adams’ Circus an “equestrian pantomime,” entitled, “O’Donaghue of the Lakes, or Harlequin Dermot Astore and the White Horse of Killarney.”

December 30th 1867

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrived at Holkham, on a visit to the Earl and Countess of Leicester, and returned to Sandringham on January 4th, 1868. Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar was of the party.