The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1886 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 2nd 1886

The appointment of Dr. Bates, of Edinburgh, as organist and master of the choristers at Norwich Cathedral, was announced.

January 7th 1886

The county magistrates decided to hire of Mr. James C. Snelling the mansion known as Eaton Hall as lodgings for the judges of Assize, at the yearly rental of £250. On January 20th, Mr. Justice Hawkins, after delivering his charge to the Grand Jury at the Norfolk Assizes, said he could not offer the magistrates his gratitude for their endeavours to provide for the comfort of her Majesty’s judges, unless, indeed, they thought he and his marshal had the habits and tastes of a Polar bear and an Arctic fox. Eaton Hall was well fitted for one or both, as it was simply a bleak house in a frozen waste; it was redolent of putty and paint; workmen were tapping just beyond the dining-room door in precisely the same way as he should expect to hear tapping in the back manufactory of an undertaker’s shop; and the rooms were furnished with the view to economy and discomfort with a show of luxury skilfully but not very judiciously combined. On November 15th Mr. Justice Field, in concluding his charge to the Grand Jury, said he found the accommodation at Eaton Hall exceedingly nice and extremely comfortable, and he added, amid laughter, he had not seen any Polar bears or Arctic foxes.

January 10th 1886

The jubilee of the Norwich District of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows was celebrated by a special service held at the Cathedral, and attended by several hundred members, and by the Mayor and Corporation. “The Order was introduced into Norfolk in the year 1835 by five woolsorters from the North of England—John Raven, Walter Meldrum, Thomas Dack, Benjamin Fearnside, and Thomas Lambert. They were the founders of the mother lodge of the district, the Travellers’ Rest, the first place of meeting being at the New Brewery, Pockthorpe.” The Mayor (Mr. John Gurney) entertained to dinner at St. Andrew’s Hall, on May 18th, upwards of 900 members of the Order.

January 19th 1886

At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council, an application was received from the Norwich School Board for the consent of the Corporation to an assignment of the lease of the Dutch Church from the trustees to the Board, with the view of converting the building into a higher grade school. The Norfolk and Norwich Archæological Society addressed to the Council a strong protest against the application, which was refused by 35 votes against 12. On April 21st a meeting was held, under the presidency of the Mayor, at the Old Bank Buildings, at which it was moved by Mr. Colman, M.P., seconded by Mr. Harry Bullard, and unanimously agreed, “That the provisional contract entered into by Mr. Frederic Oddin Taylor in February last for the purchase of the lease of the Dutch Church be adopted, and that a scheme be formulated assuring the future inalienable use of the building as an adjunct to and in connection with St. Andrew’s Hall, subject to existing rights.” It was further decided to raise by public subscription the sum required (£800) to present the building, “hereafter to be called Blackfriars’ Hall,” to the city after proper renovation. The Town Council on June 29th passed a resolution expressing warm appreciation of the efforts made by Mr. F. Oddin Taylor, and received a deputation composed of the gentlemen who had taken part in the movement, from whom they accepted Blackfriars’ Hall as a gift to the citizens.

January 21st 1886

Died, at Child’s Hill House, Hampstead, Mr. Joseph Hoare, in his 72nd year. He was the fourth son of Mr. Samuel Hoare, banker, of London, by his marriage with Louisa, daughter of Mr. John Gurney of Earlham. Mr. Hoare, who was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, was a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Middlesex, and was president of the Hampstead Conservative Association. In May, 1859, he was returned to the House of Commons as member for Hull, but was unseated on petition. He married, in 1847, Rachel Juliana, second daughter of Mr. Charles Barclay, M.P. For many years it was his custom to spend the summer at Cromer, where he was known as a generous supporter of charitable and religious institutions.

January 22nd 1886

At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Hawkins, John Thurston, 30, labourer, was indicted for the wilful murder of Henry Springall, an old man, at Hingham, on December 5th, 1885. The prisoner was found guilty, and received sentence of death. The execution took place at Norwich Castle on February 10th. The culprit was a nephew of Henry Webster, who was hanged at the same prison on May 1st, 1876, for the murder of his wife at Cranworth.

January 22nd 1886

St. Cuthbert’s church, Sprowston, erected at the cost of £2,000, was opened by the Bishop of Norwich. The building was designed by Mr. A. R. G. Flemming, of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, and the contractor was Mr. G. E. Hawes, of Norwich.

January 26th 1886

A violent explosion, caused by an escape of gas, occurred at Victoria Station, Norwich.

February 2nd 1886

Died, at St. Clement’s Hill, Catton, the Rev. Richard Rigg, M.A., for forty-two years rector of St. Clement’s, and some time rector of St. Michael-at-Coslany and St. Edmund the King, Norwich, in his 81st year. A clergyman of the old school, he was a warm adherent to the Evangelical party, was for forty years secretary of the Norfolk and Norwich Auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and one of the founders of the Norwich Church of England Young Men’s Society.

February 2nd 1886

Mr. John Ellis, of Sprowston, received from the Treasury a grant of £150 “in consideration of his services to the nation in having been the founder of the first juvenile reformatory in England, that of Saltley, near Birmingham.”

February 6th 1886

It was announced that her Majesty the Queen had conferred upon Mr. Edward Birkbeck, M.P., the honour of a baronetcy.

February 7th 1886

Died, at Brockheath, Salisbury, General William Custance, C.B., colonel of the 11th Hussars, in his 75th year. The second son of Mr. Hamilton Thomas Custance, of Weston House, he entered the Army in 1831, and served with distinction in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny.

February 13th 1886

A deputation of unemployed workmen waited upon the Mayor of Norwich at the Guildhall and urged upon him the necessity of steps being taken to relieve the exceptional distress then prevailing in the city. On the 17th a public meeting was held, at which a fund was opened. Relief works were shortly afterwards started on Mousehold Heath.

February 14th 1886

Died, at St. Helen’s House, Norwich, Mr. Edward Field, in his 75th year. He succeeded Mr. Thomas Bignold as solicitor to the Norwich Fire and Life Assurance Offices, and in 1857–8 served as Mayor of Norwich. On the death of Sir Samuel Bignold Mr. Field became leader of the Conservative party in the Town Council, and was for many years Chairman of the Board of Guardians. He drafted the Norfolk and Suffolk Fisheries Act, 1877, and was chiefly instrumental in getting it passed; subsequently he became honorary secretary to the Board of Conservators, of which also he was a member. Mr. Field, who was a magistrate of the city, for several years held the rank of captain in the Norwich Rifle Volunteers.

February 20th 1886

Died, at 49, Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, London, Mr. George William Pierrepont Bentinck, aged 82. He was the eldest son of Vice-Admiral William Bentinck (a representative of the junior branch of the family of the Duke of Portland), by marriage with Lady Frances Eliza Augusta Pierrepont, only daughter of Charles, first Earl of Manvers. In 1853 he was returned as Conservative member for West Norfolk, and retained the seat until March, 1868, when he retired on account of ill-health. He was, however, re-elected by the same constituency in 1871, and sat till February, 1884, when he finally retired from Parliamentary life. Mr. Bentinck, who was a Tory of the old school, and maintained his principles to the last, was a magistrate and a Deputy Lieutenant for the county.

February 22nd 1886

In the House of Lords judgment was given in the case, Coaks and others, appellants, and Boswell and others, respondents. Their lordships held that there had been no fraud in the purchase of the Harvey life interest, and therefore reversed the order of the Court of Appeal and that of Mr. Justice Fry, dismissing the action with costs restored. The respondents were condemned in the whole costs of the case. On September 17th, 1887, it was announced: “The plaintiffs have discharged the taxed costs of the defendants. These amounted to £12,930 19s. 11d., of which £2,194 13s. 5d. was allowed in respect of the appeal in the House of Lords.” Mr. M. S. Emerson, solicitor to the plaintiffs, stated, in a letter published on September 24th, 1887, that they had the opportunity of compromising the case. “It is a fact,” he wrote, “that I refused £30,000 before the case came into court. . . . The six counsel engaged for the plaintiffs met, and were unanimous in their opinion that I was right in refusing the £30,000.” (_See_ July 22nd, 1892.)

March 2nd 1886

At a special meeting of the shareholders of the Norwich Public Library, held for the purpose of taking into consideration the advisability of amalgamating the Library with the Literary Institution, according to a scheme prepared and approved by the committees of both institutions, it was agreed by 27 votes against 4 to adopt the proposal.

March 17th 1886

The trial of the election petition presented by Mr. Henry Birkbeck and others against the return of Mr. Harry Bullard as one of the members for Norwich, commenced at the Shirehall before Mr. Justice Denman and Mr. Justice Cave. Counsel for the petitioners were Mr. Charles, Q.C., Mr. R. T. Reid, Q.C., and the Hon. Mark Napier; and for the respondent Mr. Gully, Q.C., the Hon. Mr. Denman, and Mr. Blofeld. Bribery, treating, undue influence, and personation by agents, were alleged. The only case of bribery that was proved was the gift of a two-shilling piece by an alleged agent, to a voter, but it was sufficient to render the election void, and Mr. Bullard was unseated. The judges, however, declined to give the petitioners their costs, and Mr. Bullard’s costs were defrayed by the subscriptions of men of all parties. (_See_ May 7th.)

March 18th 1886

Died, at Marham Hall, Mr. Henry Villebois, aged 79. An excellent landlord, an ardent sportsman, and for some years Master of the West Norfolk Foxhounds, Mr. Villebois was one of the earliest friends in Norfolk of the Prince of Wales, whom he had the honour of several times entertaining at Marham. He married, in 1831, Maria, elder daughter of Mr. Thomas Philip Bagge, of Stradsett Hall, and was a magistrate and a Deputy Lieutenant for the county. Mr. Villebois commenced active duties as a M.F.H. about 1842, when he took the Vale of White Horse, purchasing the pack from the triumvirate, the Earl of Suffolk, Earl Bathurst, and Mr. Cripps, who had hunted the country conjointly. He likewise purchased the Herefordshire Hounds from Sir Vevers Cornwall, and, with John Dinnecombe as huntsman, showed excellent sport until 1854, when, in consequence of a severe accident, he resigned the mastership to Lord Gifford, and sold his hounds to the Earl of Portsmouth. For the next three or four years he hunted with Lord Suffield, and in 1858 consented to hunt the West Norfolk. His lordship continued with the East Norfolk, but resigned in 1859; Mr. Villebois then hunted the entire country, but after two or three years resigned the Eastern portion to Lord Hastings. In the spring of 1865 Mr. Villebois sold his hounds and horses at Albert Gate, when seven of the hunters, bought from Mr. Newcome Mason, of Hendon, his great ally in all hunting matters, realised 1,015 guineas. After giving up the mastership he stuck to West Norfolk, and from 1871 to 1875 hunted the country round Marham with a small pack purchased from the Rev. “Jack” Russell. The shooting at Marham could not be excelled, for Mr. Villebois would have partridges and pheasants as well as foxes. His funeral at Marham on March 24th was attended by upwards of three thousand persons.

March 29th 1886

The funeral took place, at the Rosary burial ground, Norwich, of Thomas Harrison, who was born in the city in 1795, and had seen much active service as a soldier. He joined the 69th Regiment at the age of 17, was taken prisoner at the bombardment of Antwerp, was present at Waterloo, went out to India, where he was under arms for fourteen years, took part in the first expedition to Burmah, and on returning to England in 1832 was rewarded with a pension of fifteen pence per day.

March 31st 1886

A fire occurred at Browick Hall, near Wymondham, and did damage to the amount of £2,000.

April 7th 1886

At the Guildhall, Norwich, Mr. Samuel Hoare, of Cliff House, Cromer, was nominated a candidate to fill the vacancy caused in the representation of the city by the unseating on petition of Mr. Harry Bullard. The Liberal party offered no opposition, and Mr. Hoare was declared duly elected.

April 9th 1886

Died, at Great Yarmouth, Mr. Oswald Diver, aged 59. When a young man he was renowned as an oarsman, won many sculling matches on the Thames, and at Norwich, Lynn, and other places, and in 1847 beat Playford, who then held the Thames Amateur Championship.

April 22nd 1886

The Archbishop of Canterbury administered at Sandringham church the rite of confirmation to the Princess Victoria of Wales.

April 24th 1886

The Prince of Wales visited Norwich for the purpose of inspecting the show-ground of the Royal Agricultural Society, and was entertained at Carrow House by Mr. J. J. Colman, M.P.

April 29th 1886

A special meeting of the Norwich Diocesan Conference, convened by the Lord Bishop, in compliance with a numerously-signed requisition, was held at Noverre’s Rooms to take into consideration the subject of Church Reform.

May 1st 1886

The new station erected by the Great Eastern Railway Company at Thorpe, Norwich, was opened for inspection, and on the 3rd was used by the public for the first time. It was built by Messrs. Youngs and Son, of Norwich, from designs by Mr. J. Wilson, the company’s engineer, at the cost of £60,000, and replaced the old station, which had been in use since the opening of the line.

May 1st 1886

A great meeting of “an entirely non-party character” was held at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, under the presidency of the Earl of Leicester, Lord Lieutenant of the county, in support of the principles of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union. A resolution was adopted affirming that any proposals tending to invalidate the legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland would prove disastrous to the interests of both countries. On June 25th Lord Leicester wrote a letter which had an important influence upon the electorate of the county. “I have never been in the habit,” he wrote, “of taking part in political matters of a purely party description, though if ever I should have been inclined to break through the rule it would be at a time like the present, when we are passing through a great crisis in our national history, when the old party barriers have been broken down, and when Liberals, Radicals, and Conservatives meet on a common platform in a common cause. The question before the country is solely this: whether the loyalists and Protestants of Ireland should be legislated for by an independent Parliament composed of men whom Mr. Gladstone himself has termed as marching through rapine to the dismemberment of the empire, or whether the United Kingdom is to remain under one Queen and one Parliament. I cannot believe that Englishmen will ever consent to the former proposal. I trust that the electors of Norfolk, with those of the rest of England, will insist that their members shall be patriots and decline to support Mr. Gladstone’s dangerous policy.” Lord Suffield and other prominent Liberals also renounced their adhesion to Mr. Gladstone.

May 7th 1886

At the combined Norfolk and Suffolk Assizes, held at Ipswich, before Mr. Baron Pollock, Charles Edward Wigger, a shoemaker, was indicted for receiving from one Walter Banham, a bribe for voting, or agreeing to vote, for Mr. Harry Bullard at the Norwich election on November 25th, 1885, and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment with hard labour.

May 10th 1886

George Edward Ray, 31, solicitor, of Norwich, was sentenced at the Norfolk and Suffolk Assizes, at Ipswich, to seven years’ penal servitude for forging the conveyance of a real estate with intent to defraud.

May 11th 1886

At the same Assizes Edward Burgess, of Norwich, the printer and publisher of a newspaper called “Daylight,” was indicted for publishing on February 20th a libel upon Mr. Joseph Stanley, solicitor, and Coroner for Norfolk. The trial occupied three days, and on the jury finding the defendant guilty he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment without hard labour, and ordered to pay the costs of the prosecution.

May 12th 1886

The Mayor of Norwich (Mr. John Gurney), as chairman of the Conservators of Mousehold Heath, opened the new road constructed thereon, and dedicated the Heath to the free use of the people as a recreation park for ever.

May 19th 1886

The sale of the Westacre shorthorns and shirehorses, the property of Mr. Anthony Hamond, was conducted by Mr. John Thornton and Mr. Sexton, respectively. Forty-five cows averaged £28 ls. 5d.; seven bulls averaged £34 16s., and 16 mares and seven stallions £53 16s. 3d. The total amount realised was £2,690 13s. 6d.

May 25th 1886

At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council, Mr. E. S. Steward tendered his resignation of the office of City Treasurer. On June 8th it was decided that the resignation be not accepted, but that Mr. Steward be dismissed from office. Mr. Hugh Gurney Barclay was on June 16th appointed to fill the vacancy. At the Norwich Assizes, on November 23rd, the late City Treasurer was indicted for falsifying and making certain false entries in the bankers’ pass book belonging to the Mayor and Corporation, with intent to defraud them of £1,848 16s. 9d., and on the 24th was found guilty and sentenced by Mr. Justice Field to six months’ imprisonment, (_See_ January 25th, 1887.)

May 29th 1886

The 19th (Princess of Wales’ Own) Hussars, who had been on active service in Egypt since 1882, arrived at Norwich, and took over the Cavalry Barracks, vacated during the week by the 13th Hussars. The regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Combe, came by special train from Harwich, where they had disembarked from the transport Geelong, and at Thorpe station were received by the Deputy-Mayor (Mr. John Hotblack), the Sheriff (Mr. J. J. Dawson Paul), and other prominent citizens. The route from the station to the barracks was profusely decorated, and the regiment received an enthusiastic welcome from the citizens.

June 10th 1886

Died, at Fincham Rectory, the Rev. William Blyth, rector of the parish and hon. canon of Norwich Cathedral. An ardent archæologist, he was the author of a “History of Fincham,” published in 1863. During his tenure of office as rural dean five new churches were built, fifteen restored, and thirteen greatly improved, out of a total of twenty-fire churches in his deanery. The total outlay upon this work was £45,000.

June 20th 1886

Died, Mr. Henry James Lee Warner, of Walsingham Abbey. The eldest son of the Rev. Daniel Henry Lee Warner, he was born January 12th, 1809, and succeeded to the estate in 1858. Mr. Lee Warner served as High Sheriff in 1863, and some years previously successfully contested Canterbury in the Conservative interest.

July 2nd 1886

The General Election commenced. The contest was fought upon the issue of Home Rule, and the candidates were distinguished severally Conservatives, Liberal Unionists, and Gladstonians. Liberal Unionist candidates received the support of the Conservative party.

July 2nd 1886

Polling took place at Yarmouth: Sir H. W. Tyler (C.), 2,977; Captain C. Norton (G.), 2,011.

July 2nd 1886

Lynn election: The Right Hon. Robert Bourke (C.), 1,417; Mr. J. J. Briscoe, Bourne Hall, Cambridgeshire (G.), 1,146.

July 2nd 1886

Mr. W. A. Tyssen Amherst (C.) was returned unopposed for South-West Norfolk.

July 3rd 1886

Sir Edward Birkbeck (C.) and Mr. H. Lee Warner (G.) were nominated at the Shirehall, Norwich, candidates for East Norfolk. The polling took place on the 8th: Birkbeck, 4,578; Lee Warner, 4,000.

July 3rd 1886

Mr. Francis Taylor, of Diss (L.U.), was returned unopposed member for South Norfolk.

July 5th 1886

The nomination of candidates—Lord Henry Bentinck (C.) and Mr. Joseph Arch (G.)—for the representation of North-West Norfolk, took place at the Town Hall, King’s Lynn. The polling was held on the 9th: Bentinck, 4,084; Arch, 4,064. (_See_ April 5th, 1887.)

July 6th 1886

Mr. Ailwyn Edward Fellowes (C.) and Mr. Herbert Hardy Cozens-Hardy, Q.C. (G.) were nominated, at the Town Hall, Aylsham, candidates for North Norfolk. The poll was opened on July 10th: Cozens-Hardy, 4,084; Fellowes, 3,325.

July 7th 1886

The nomination took place at East Dereham of Mr. R. T. Gurdon (L.U.) and Mr. James Toller, tenant-farmer, of Winfield Farm, Waterbeach (G.), as candidates for Mid Norfolk. The polling took place on the 15th: Gurdon, 3,032; Toller, 2,638.

July 8th 1886

The nomination of candidates for the representation of Norwich took place at the Guildhall before the Sheriff (Mr. J. J. Dawson Paul). The candidates were Mr. J. J. Colman (L.), Mr. Samuel Hoare (C.), Mr. Jacob Henry Tillett (L.), and Mr. Clare Sewell Read (C.). The polling on the 9th resulted as follows:—Colman, 6,295; Hoare, 6,156; Tillett, 6,119; Read, 5,564.

July 12th 1886

The show of the Royal Agricultural Society of England opened at Whitlingham, Norwich. There were 1,840 entries of stock and 4,656 entries of implements, as against 624 and 1,882 respectively at the former show held at Norwich in 1849. On the 13th the show was visited by the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Princesses Louise, Victoria, and Maud, who travelled from Sandringham and arrived at the temporary railway station adjoining the show-ground. Their Royal Highnesses made al tour of the show-yard, and the Prince of Wales presided at the annual meeting of the society; in the afternoon the Royal party returned to Sandringham. Their Royal Highnesses again came to the city on the 14th. They arrived at the City station of the Eastern and Midlands Railway, where they were received by the Mayor (Mr. John Gurney), the Sheriff (Mr. J. J. Dawson Paul), the Earl of Leicester, Mr. Colman, M.P., Mr. Hoare, M.P., Mr. Harry Bullard, Mr. C. R. Gilman, and other gentlemen. Escorted by the 19th (Princess of Wales’ Own) Hussars, their Royal Highnesses were driven through the gaily decorated streets of the city to St. Andrew’s Hall, where, by invitation of the Mayor, a large and distinguished company had assembled for luncheon. On the conclusion of the proceedings the Royal visitors drove to the show-ground, and after further inspecting the exhibits returned to the city and visited the Norfolk and Norwich Dog Show at the Agricultural Hall. On this day 200 of the Commissioners from the Colonial Exhibition in London were present at the Royal Show, by invitation of the Council of the Society. The Mayor and Mayoress held a reception at St. Andrew’s Hall on the evening of the 15th, and on the 16th the Prince of Wales paid a third visit to the show. In the evening a display of fireworks, provided by the Sheriff, was given on the Castle Meadow. The total number of visitors to the show during the week was 104,761, and the receipts, exclusive of the sum derived from the sale of season tickets, amounted to £6,784 3s. The loss to the society was £1,062 1s. 3d.

July 15th 1886

A great sale of shorthorn cattle and Southdown sheep, the property of the Prince of Wales, was conducted at Sandringham by Mr. John Thornton. The Prince and Princess of Wales were present at the luncheon, at which there was a distinguished gathering. Fifty-two cows and heifers sold for 2,496 guineas, an average of £50 8s.; 17 bulls realised 840 gs., an average of £51 5s. 10½d. Good prices were obtained for the Southdowns.

July 15th 1886

Died, at Golding Street, Heigham, Norwich, Mr. Obadiah Short, aged 83. Born in the parish of St. Augustine, he was employed from 1816 to 1829 as a journeyman weaver. Meanwhile he practised drawing and painting in his garret in St. Edmund’s, and became acquainted with Mr. Sparshall, a wine merchant and a local patron of art, who lent him some of Stark’s works for copying purposes. Soon afterwards Short made sketches of birds for the Norfolk and Norwich Museum, and was employed by Dalrymple and Crosse to make drawings of pathological subjects; the original drawings for Crosse’s work on the “Urinary Calculus,” published in 1841, were all from his pencil. In 1834 Short accepted an engagement as designer at the manufactory of Messrs. Willett, with whom he remained for more than fifty years. During his long life he painted a large number of pictures, principally in oil. “Although he did not attain to the production of ‘high art,’ his works were faithful delineations of landscape scenery selected with a fine taste, and pleasing to a vastly larger proportion of the lovers of pictures than many of the works of ‘high art’ which few people understand.”

July 22nd 1886

The Houghton Hall estate, the property of the Marquis of Cholmondeley, was offered for sale at Tokenhouse Yard under an order of the Court of Chancery. For Houghton Hall (built by Sir Horace Walpole at the cost of £450,000) and 10,564 acres of land, £300,000 was offered, at which sum the property was withdrawn.

July 24th 1886

The camp of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Volunteer Battalions Norfolk Regiment commenced at Yarmouth.

August 5th 1886

The first of the Norwich Cricket Week amateur theatrical performances was given at Norwich Theatre under the management of Sir Kenneth Kemp, Bart. The programme, which was repeated on the 6th, included “A Fair Encounter” and Tom Taylor’s “Plot and Passion.”

August 9th 1886

Died, Dr. Robert James Mann, F.R.C.S. Born in Norwich in 1817, he was educated for the medical profession at the University College, London, obtained his M.D. degree at St. Andrew’s, and was for some years in practice in Norfolk. In 1857 he left England for Natal, where he resided nine years, and returned to England with a special appointment from the Legislative Council to promote emigration. Dr. Mann, in 1874, was appointed secretary to the African section of the Society of Arts. He was for some years on the staff of the “Edinburgh Review,” and was the author of several popular scientific treatises.

August 14th 1886

Henry Last, a master carpenter, about 66 years of age, was murdered in his cottage in Old Post Office Yard, Norwich, by George Harmer. The murderer was apprehended in London on the 19th. He was tried at Norwich Assizes on November 22nd, before Mr. Justice Field, found guilty, and sentenced to death. The execution took place at Norwich Castle on December 13th. Harmer was the last culprit executed within the walls of the Castle.

August 25th 1886

The third Parliamentary election within the period of eight months took place at King’s Lynn. A vacancy had occurred in the representation of the borough by the appointment of Mr. Bourke, M.P., to the Governorship of Madras. Two candidates were nominated—Mr. Alexander Weston Jarvis, of Middleton Towers (C.), and Mr. James Harris Sanders, of Shelly, Herts (G.). The polling resulted as follows:—Jarvis, 1,423; Sanders, 1,168.

September 6th 1886

Died, at Belsize House, East Dereham, Mr. Charles Wright, solicitor, aged 74. Mr. Wright was for many years clerk to the justices, and Coroner for the Duchy of Lancaster. He was a lover of the fine arts, and a famous cricketer, and for a long period was annually invited to play at Lord’s in the match between Gentlemen and Players.

September 20th 1886

Died, the Rev. John Jessopp, M.A., vicar of St. Gregory, Norwich, aged 71. Educated at Cambridge University, he was ordained in 1840, and became chaplain to the East India Company, but after serving two years in India illness necessitated his retirement from the post. On returning to Europe he was appointed chaplain to the King of the Belgians, and for some years resided at Ostend in that capacity. Mr. Jessopp, on terminating his services to King Leopold, became chaplain at the Surrey County Gaol, and on coming to Norwich, in 1877, was presented to the living of St. Gregory. He was brother to the Rev. Dr. Jessopp, rector of Scarning, and formerly head-master of Norwich Grammar School.

September 28th 1886

Died, at Heigham Hall, Norwich, Mr. John Ferra Watson. The son of a Norwich manufacturer, he was born at Weybread in 1816, and was educated for the medical profession. Mr. Watson founded Heigham Hall, which he converted from a small square building into a handsome mansion, and made it one of the finest private lunatic asylums in the country. A Liberal of the old Whig type, he for many years sat in the Norwich Town Council both as an alderman and as a councillor, and was a magistrate for the city. He took great interest in parochial affairs, and as churchwarden inaugurated the restoration of the mother church of St. Bartholomew, in the hamlet of Heigham.

September 30th 1886

The Rev. Henry Ward Beecher lectured at the Victoria Hall, Norwich, on “Wastes and Burdens of Society.”

October 9th 1886

Died, at Thelveton, Mr. Thomas Mann, of Thelveton Hall, aged 65. Mr. Mann, who succumbed to injuries received through an accidental fall from his horse, was head of the extensive firm of London brewers, Messrs. Mann, Crossman, and Paulin. He was a successful exhibitor of cattle, and took great interest in agricultural pursuits; and during his long residence at Thelveton effected a series of improvements, which were hardly completed at the time of his death. Among Mr. Mann’s most notable works were the rebuilding of cottages on his estate, the restoration of the parish church, and the erection of parish schools. He was a generous supporter of many charities, and his death was greatly deplored both in London and in Norfolk.

October 12th 1886

The Congress of the Congregational Union of England and Wales was opened at Norwich, under the presidency of the Rev. Edward White.

October 15th 1886

Died, at his residence, Wroxham House, Mr. Robert Blake-Humfrey, second son of Mr. Thomas Blake, of Norwich and Scottow. Born November 23rd, 1795, he was educated at Norwich Grammar School under Dr. Forster, and afterwards under Valpy. At the early age of 16½ years he was gazetted to an ensigncy by purchase in the 3rd Regiment (the Buffs), and joined the 2nd Battalion at Walmer Barracks. In July, 1813, he went out with a detachment of 100 men to join the 1st Battalion in Spain, and arrived off St. Sebastian during the siege. His detachment, with some companies of the 43rd and 52nd, were immediately ordered to march up country. The force to which the Buffs were attached having taken Vieux Moguere, they were in turn driven out of it next day, and the light company in which Blake was serving covered the retreat. On the order to face about the British drove back the enemy and retook the village, and in the assault the young officer was wounded in both legs by a grape shot. Amputation of the left leg was rendered necessary, and his military career ended. With pay and pension and a very small fortune from his father, Mr. Blake retired to a quiet life in Norfolk. In 1838 he married Charlotte, youngest daughter of Colonel Harvey, of Thorpe, by whom he left three sons and four daughters. On the death of the Rev. John Humfrey, in 1847, he succeeded under his will to the Wroxham estate and other property, and assumed the surname of Humfrey after and in addition to the name of Blake. Mr. Blake-Humfrey spent much time in drawing and etching and in the study of heraldry and archæology. He compiled a complete history in MS. of the Sheriffs of Norfolk, with their coats of arms most beautifully emblazoned. Mr. Blake-Humfrey was a magistrate for the county of Norfolk.

October 19th 1886

At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council at letter was received from the Mayor (Mr. John Gurney), suggesting that upon the Prison Commissioners handing over the Castle to the Corporate authorities, steps be taken to convert the keep and the prison buildings into a museum. The cost of such work was estimated at £5,000, and in the event of its being carried out Mr. Gurney intimated that he would be prepared to defray the expense. (_See_ July 16th, 1887.)

October 21st 1886

The portrait of Sir Willoughby Jones, Bart., painted by H. T. Wells, R.A., was presented to the county by Sir F. G. M. Boileau, Bart., on behalf of the subscribers.

October 25th 1886

The Sheriff of Norwich and Mrs. J. J. Dawson Paul were presented at the Guildhall with a valuable piece of plate and a diamond spray bracelet, in token of personal esteem, and in commemoration of the birth of their son, Joseph Dawson, during the year of Mr. Paul’s shrievalty.

October 28th 1886

The Bishop of Norwich laid the foundation-stone of the new church of St. Thomas, Heigham. (_See_ June 28th, 1888.)

November 3rd 1886

The south-east corner of the tower of St. Michael-at-Thorn church fell during a gale, crashed through the roof of the nave, and did considerable damage to the interior of the church.

November 4th 1886

The Norwich Diocesan Conference was held at Noverre’s Rooms, under the presidency of the Bishop. The proceedings concluded on the 5th.

November 5th 1886

Died, at Great Yarmouth, Mr. Thomas Proctor Burroughs, F.S.A., aged 50. By profession a solicitor, he was greatly devoted to archæological pursuits, and took a prominent part in the preservation of the Toll House and other antiquities in Yarmouth. Mr. Burroughs was an ardent collector of pictures, books, and curiosities of local interest, a Roman Catholic, and a staunch Conservative.

November 8th 1886

Arthur Riches (36), fishhawker, murdered his wife by stabbing her on the Walk, in the Haymarket, Norwich. He was tried at Norwich Assizes on November 23rd, and found guilty, but strongly recommended to mercy on account of the great provocation he had received. The prisoner was sentenced to death, but the punishment was afterwards commuted to penal servitude for life. (Riches died at Parkhurst Convict Prison, Isle of Wight, in April, 1898.)

November 9th 1886

Mr. Harry Bullard was for the third time elected Mayor of Norwich. Mr. Frederick Oddin Taylor was appointed Sheriff.

November 10th 1886

Died, at Scoulton Rectory, the Rev. John Munnings Johnson, in his 93rd year. A son of the Rev. Paul Johnson, of Runton, he entered the Navy as a lad, and after serving a short time in the Royal Billy, joined the Gibraltar, 80 guns, commanded by Captain Lukin, afterwards Admiral Windham. After seeing much fighting he was transferred to the Mars, 74 guns. In 1807 he was ordered out to the Baltic with the armament which attacked Copenhagen, and captured the entire Danish fleet. The years 1808 and 1809 were employed in the blockade of the French fleet in Brest. In 1810 he was called to the Tagus, and in 1811 accompanied Sir J. Moore, who went with a large armament to protect British traders from the Danes and Prussians. After passing for his lieutenancy in January, 1812, Mr. Johnson went with Sir James Lucas Yeo to the Lakes of Canada, where they contended at great disadvantage with the American squadron. In 1814, after the storming of Oswego, Mr. Johnson was made lieutenant, and at the close of the war in 1815 he returned to England with a large portion of the Duke of Wellington’s army, which, after the peace with France, had been sent to America. He then went on half-pay, and in 1824, determining to take holy orders, entered as an undergraduate at Cambridge University. In 1828 he took his degree, and the following year was ordained by Bishop Bathurst. Mr. Johnson became curate in charge of Scoulton in 1831, and was presented to the rectory in 1846. There he remained until 1878, when he went to reside at Gurney’s Manor, Hingham. He resigned the living in 1883, and was succeeded by his son, the Rev. Henry Johnson, with whom he resided until his death. Mr. Johnson married, in 1833, Miss Anne Wilson, daughter of the Rev. Henry Wilson, of Kirby Cane, afterwards Lord Berners.

November 11th 1886

Melton, the property of Lord Hastings, won the Liverpool Cup, beating Oberon, Bird of Freedom, Sailor Prince, and fourteen others. Ridden by Watts, Melton carried 9 st. 3 lb. and started at 100 to 8 against.

November 15th 1886

At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Field, Elizabeth Hamlinton (34), dressmaker, was found guilty of the murder of her infant daughter, at Fakenham, on October 16th. She was strongly recommended to mercy. “The prisoner almost fainted when the judge put on the black cap; her face indicated terror, and when the dread sentence was pronounced she moaned, and at its conclusion cried out despairingly.” The Mayoress of Norwich (Mrs. Bullard) interested herself on behalf of the unhappy woman, and forwarded an influentially signed memorial to the Home Secretary. In due course the prisoner was respited.

November 16th 1886

The Norwich Town Council assented to an application by Mr. Joseph Kincaird, of 3, George Street, Westminster, to construct tramways in the city upon certain routes, on condition that an amount equal to the cost of removing the lines and reconstructing the streets in case the tramways were not worked for a given period, be placed on permanent deposit. Other conditions as to the control of traffic, &c., were imposed. The Norwich Tramways Company, Limited, with a capital of £30,000, was registered on December 23rd. (_See_ December 17th, 1889.)

November 27th 1886

Died, at 41, Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, London, Mr. Octavius Edward Coope, M.P. He was first returned to the House of Commons in July, 1847, as Conservative member for Yarmouth. Mr. Coope was born in 1814, and was a partner in the firm of Ind, Coope, and Co.

November 30th 1886

A military tournament by the 19th (Princess of Wales’ Own) Hussars commenced at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich, and concluded on December 4th. The proceeds were in aid of local charities.

December 4th 1886

A remarkable phenomenon was recorded at Yarmouth. “The tide twice flowed and ebbed within three hours. At 9.42 p.m., the calculated time for dead low water, the gauge registered only six feet above zero. Thus high and low water were practically reversed, a most uncommon phenomenon.” On the night of the 8th “the barometer fell to 28.20, the lowest local reading for the past twenty years.”

December 6th 1886

A new fire escape for “populous buildings,” invented by Captain Longe, of Spixworth Park, was tested at Thorpe Asylum. It consisted of “a movable staircase mounted on a frame on four wheels, which can be readily and expeditiously moved by two men to any window of a burning building, and raised by a double crank to a window 18 ft. from the ground, at an angle of 45 degrees, by which the inmates, stepping on a small platform, can easily descend.” The Lunacy Commissioners reported favourably upon the invention.

December 27th 1886

“Falka,” produced by Van Biene and Horace Lingard’s Comic Opera Company, was the Christmas attraction at Norwich Theatre. The dress circle, which had remained in its original state since the erection of the Theatre in 1826, was at this date remodelled and greatly improved by the removal of the uncomfortable and objectionable boxes.

December 28th 1886

Considerable damage was done to the telephone wires in Norwich by a heavy fall of snow. “The whole system came to grief through the wires breaking and the derricks giving way.”

December 28th 1886

Died, at his residence, Shadingfield Lodge, Yarmouth, Mr. Samuel Nightingale, in his 84th year. He served the office of Mayor of the borough in 1868–69.