The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1891 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 1st 1891

A sudden break-up occurred of the severe frost, which had lasted twenty-one consecutive days, but at sunset it froze again with increased severity. This was stated to have been the longest frost recorded in Norfolk since 1813. On the 20th another thaw took place, followed by heavy rain; but during the night the frost reasserted itself, and became very severe on the 21st and 22nd. Then the temperature gradually increased, bright sunshine followed, and the wind having veered to the south rain fell. On the 24th the river steamer Alpha cut her way through the ice on the Yare, and opened up between Norwich and Yarmouth the traffic which for five weeks had been suspended.

January 2nd 1891

Died, at Weasenham, Mr. Henry Overman, aged 65. He established a wide reputation as a breeder of shorthorns, Southdown, and Oxford Down sheep, hackneys and cart horses. Mr. Overman was an extreme Radical, “but his political extravagancies were amply condoned by his warmth and kindliness of heart.”

January 6th 1891

The last of the “Science Lectures for the People” was delivered at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, by Dr. Andrew Wilson on “Sea Serpents and other curious Animals, real and fictitious.” (_See_ January 19th, 1892.)

January 9th 1891

The Cambridge crew, owing to the river Cam being icebound, had rowing practice upon the Estuary Cut, at Lynn.

January 10th 1891

An “ice carnival” took place on Diss Mere. The performers and spectators numbered five thousand.

January 12th 1891

The second lecture of the course arranged by the Norwich Free Library Committee was given at Blackfriars’ Hall by Mr. G. C. Davies on “Life and Scenery Abroad.” The Rev. W. F. Creeny, F.S.A., lectured on February 3rd on “Sweden and Gothland”; Mr. Bosworth Harcourt on March 3rd on “An Hour with Douglas Jerrold”; and Mr. H. F. Euren on April 14th on “Our Fens and Marshes.” (_See_ February 24th, 1892.)

January 17th 1891

Mr. R. E. Crosse was appointed house surgeon at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on the resignation of Mr. H. C. Nance.

January 19th 1891

Died, at Unthank’s Road, Norwich, Mr. Benjamin Viny Winch, aged 60. Mr. Winch had been upwards of twenty years postmaster of Norwich. He entered the service at the General Post Office, St. Martin’s le Grand, in February, 1852, and continued there until August 31st, 1870, when he was appointed to Norwich on the retirement of Mr. Samuel Base, the former postmaster. The postal arrangements in the city were greatly developed during Mr. Winch’s tenure of office. The business was removed from Post Office Street (now Exchange Street) to the Crown Bank premises, where the work in the various departments commenced on August 16th, 1875. Mr. Winch was an enthusiastic yachtsman, had filled the office of Commodore of the Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, and was one of the principal founders of the Yare Sailing Club.

January 20th 1891

Immense quantities of sprats were captured at Lynn. Such enormous shoals had never before, it was stated, been found in the Wash.

January 20th 1891

The Norwich Town Council considered a report upon the proposed purchase of the Waterworks, and appointed a special committee to determine the value of the undertaking, with the view of making an offer to the company. On May 26th the Council proposed to offer a sum not exceeding £10 per cent., the actual market value of the shares and capital of the company. The offer was declined, and on December 15th it was decided that no further steps be taken in the matter. (_See_ February 22nd, 1898.)

January 21st 1891

“General” Booth visited Norwich in furtherance of a new “social scheme” advocated in his recently-published book, “In Darkest England.” He attended a conference at Noverre’s Rooms in the afternoon, and addressed a large meeting which took place at St. Andrew’s Hall in the evening.

February 7th 1891

Mr. B. N. Thoms, assistant surveyor at the General Post Office, was appointed to fill the postmastership of Norwich, vacant by the death of Mr. Winch. Mr. Thoms was a son of Mr. William J. Thoms, the originator and editor of “Notes and Queries,” and a librarian of the House of Lords. In the month of April Mr. Thoms removed to Nottingham, and was succeeded by Mr. Sturgeon, of Birkenhead, who, in the Egyptian campaign of 1882–85, commanded the Army Post Office Corps. For his valuable services he was decorated by the Queen in person, and granted the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, with permission to wear the uniform of his corps, the 24th Middlesex (Post Office) Rifle Volunteers.

February 21st 1891

Died, at his town residence, 8, Portman Square, the Right Hon. George Thomas Keppel, sixth Earl of Albemarle. He was born June 13th, 1799, and was second son of William Charles, fourth earl, by his marriage with Elizabeth Southwell, fourth daughter of Edward Lord De Clifford. In 1815 he received an ensign’s commission in the 14th Regiment of Foot, and within a month joined the Army in Flanders. He was present at the battle of Waterloo, and at the engagement which immediately preceded it. “The very youngest officer on the field of Waterloo, he was, with one exception, the very last of the survivors of all the Waterloo officers.”

February 22nd 1891

Died, at 7, Hertford Street, Mayfair, Mr. Charles Wild, eldest son of Mr. Edward Wild, Mayor of Norwich, aged 29. Educated at King Edward VI. Grammar School, he pursued his medical studies at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital; afterwards proceeded to Cambridge University, and finally entered the London School of Medicine. Mr. Wild gained the Brodie scholarship at St. George’s Hospital, and was awarded the Thompson gold medal.

March 7th 1891

Died, aged 60, Mr. Edmund Beck, agent for the Sandringham estate. Mr. Beck was a member of an old family of Norfolk farmers, and was born at Mileham. For a considerable time he was in partnership with his father as an auctioneer and estate agent, and was one of the best known agricultural authorities in the kingdom.

March 31st 1891

Mr. Samuel Hoare, M.P., arrived at Cromer on his return from his tour in India. He sailed for the East on January 4th, accompanied by his daughters, the Misses Annie and Muriel Hoare, and formally opened the Bengal and Nagpur Railway, of which he was chairman.

April 2nd 1891

The Norwich Diocesan Conference commenced at Noverre’s Rooms, Norwich, under the presidency of the Bishop of the Diocese, and was concluded on the 3rd.

April 2nd 1891

The Countess of Leicester performed the opening ceremony at a grand Venetian _Fête_ and Bazaar held at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, in aid of the Norfolk County Cricket Club. The proceedings were continued on the 3rd.

April 5th 1891

Died, at Gaywood Hall, King’s Lynn, Mr. Richard Bagge, aged 80. He was twin brother of Sir William Bagge, M.P., and was educated at Charterhouse, and by private tutor. In 1831 Mr. Bagge was elected a member of the old Corporation of Lynn, and served the office of Mayor of that borough in 1836 and 1857. He was a justice of the peace, and a Deputy Lieutenant for the county, and was High Sheriff in 1880. As a sportsman Mr. Bagge was well known in the coursing and cricket fields, and in politics was a staunch Conservative.

April 7th 1891

Died, at Melbourne, during a tour in Australia for the benefit of his health, the Rev. R. Hobson, pastor of the Old Meeting Congregational chapel, Norwich. Mr. Hobson, who was in his 52nd year, was appointed to the chapel in 1878; he took part in many social and philanthropic movements in the city, and was most highly esteemed by Churchmen and Nonconformists. He was the founder of the St. George’s Home for Working Girls.

April 7th 1891

Mr. Samuel Hoare, M.P., and Mrs. Hoare celebrated their silver wedding at Cliff House, Cromer, and received many congratulations and presents from their friends in the town and district. On April 20th Mr. and Mrs. Hoare were presented, at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, with a valuable silver tea and coffee service and an illuminated address by the members of the Conservative associations and clubs in the city.

April 11th 1891

At the annual meeting of the Governors of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital the Board of Management reported that Miss Adams, the Lady Superintendent, had been received into the Roman Catholic Church. In view of the matter forming the subject for discussion there was a large attendance, but the Lord Bishop, who presided, ruled the question to be “special,” and that it was necessary for formal notice to be given before a resolution could be moved.

April 11th 1891

The fastest run made by a special train on the Great Eastern Railway was accomplished on this date, when the Prince of Wales travelled from St. Pancras to Lynn, a distance of 98 miles, in one hour fifty-five minutes.

April 18th 1891

The memorial stone of a new church for East and West Beckham was laid by Mrs. Hoare, wife of Mr. Samuel Hoare, M.P. The church was consecrated by the Bishop of Norwich on October 13th.

April 20th 1891

Viscount Cross, Secretary of State for India, visited Norwich and formally opened the Patteson Conservative Club. In the evening his lordship addressed a large meeting held at St. Andrew’s Hall under the auspices of the National Union of Conservative Associations.

April 25th 1891

Dr. F. C. Burton, of Adenbrook’s Hospital, Cambridge, was appointed to the vacancy in the medical staff of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital occasioned by the retirement of Dr. Shepherd Taylor.

April 27th 1891

The South-West Norfolk Conservative Association met at Swaffham under the presidency of Lord Walsingham, and adopted Mr. Thomas Leigh Hare Conservative candidate for the constituency in place of Mr. Tyssen Amherst, M.P., who had expressed his intention to retire at the next General Election.

May 14th 1891

The Very Rev. E. M. Goulburn, formerly Dean of Norwich, preached from a new pulpit erected by public subscription in the choir of the Cathedral as a memorial of his twenty-three years’ devoted ministry. The pulpit was designed by Mr. John Pollard Seddon, F.R.I.B.A., and executed by Mr. Harry Hems, of Exeter.

May 18th 1891

On this day (Whit-Monday) occurred the memorable fall of snow which covered the ground to the depth of five inches, and occasioned the abandonment of all out-door sports and holiday amusements. On the previous Wednesday (the 13th) the shade temperature registered in the neighbourhood of Norwich was 72.7; at 9 a.m. on the 16th it stood at 37.2; and on the same day the thermometer in the screen fell to 29.8, and on the grass to 21.5. On Sunday, the 17th, there were frequent storms of hail and snow, and at 2 p.m. the temperature registered 37.4.

May 18th 1891

A military tournament given by the 8th Hussars in aid of the local charities, commenced at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich, and concluded on the 23rd.

May 21st 1891

The Duke of Clarence and Avondale (in the absence of the Prince of Wales, who was unable to attend in consequence of indisposition) opened a bazaar at Yarmouth in aid of a fund for the restoration of the parish church; and in the evening was present at a ball given by the officers of the Norfolk Artillery.

May 23rd 1891

The Norfolk County Council resolved to offer scholarships of the value of £10 each per annum, and not exceeding fifty in number, to boys and girls who, having passed the 6th and 7th Standards in elementary schools, were prepared, after examination, to attend for three years some secondary school possessing to the satisfaction of the committee the necessary qualifications for technical instruction. On the 26th the Norwich Town Council decided to provide a school for technical education and manual instruction.

May 30th 1891

The Norfolk Chamber of Agriculture adopted, by 66 votes against 32, a resolution in favour of making legal in England the practice of the dishorning of cattle.

June 8th 1891

Mr. Wilson Barrett commenced a week’s engagement at Norwich Theatre, in the character of Belphegor. His other impersonations included Claud Melnotte, Chatterton, The Stranger, and Hamlet.

June 12th 1891

The Mayor of Norwich (Mr. Edward Wild) unveiled at Norwich Cathedral a window inserted in the south aisle to the memory of officers of the Norfolk Regiment. The window was the gift of the officers and men of the regiment.

June 12th 1891

The British Training Squadron, consisting of the Active, the Calypso, the Volage, and the Ruby, entered Yarmouth Roads, and sailed on the 14th for the north. Each ship’s company numbered about 500 men and boys.

June 15th 1891

A Select Committee of the House of Commons inquired into the merits of the St. Faith’s Allotment Bill, by which it was sought to obtain Parliamentary sanction to the compulsory purchase of 18½ acres of land owned by the Countess de Rechberg, in the parish of Horsham St. Faith’s, for the purpose of providing allotments for forty applicants under the Allotments Acts, 1887 and 1890. On the 17th the chairman (Sir Stafford Northcote) announced that the Committee were of opinion that the preamble of the Bill was proved, and that the order should be confirmed, but they thought the justice of the case would be met if 10a. 2r. 6p. were given up for allotments, and the Countess de Rechberg be ordered to pay her own costs and one-third of the costs of the promoters. The Local Government Board subsequently held an inquiry to decide the amount to be paid to the Countess for the compulsory purchase of the land. The Countess demanded £1,291 6s. (originally £1,451); the County Council offered £1,025 8s. 6d.; and the Local Government Board inspector awarded £1,131 15s. 6d.

June 16th 1891

Lord Walsingham was elected High Steward of Cambridge University, and received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. His lordship was introduced as a distinguished member of the Eton and Cambridge elevens, as an excellent shot, and as a great authority on shooting game. Further, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and had given special attention to the study of microlepidoptera.

June 24th 1891

The Goulburn pulpit, erected in the nave of Norwich Cathedral, was dedicated on this date. It was the gift of the Very Rev. E. M. Goulburn, formerly Dean of Norwich, and was executed in Caen stone by Mr. James Forsyth, of Hampstead, from designs by Mr. R. Herbert Carpenter, F.S.A., and Mr. Benjamin Ingelow.

June 27th 1891

The Norwich Census returns were published on this date, as follow:—Tenements of less than five rooms, 7,654; inhabited houses, 23,268; uninhabited, 1,739; building, 205. Persons: Males, 46,615; females, 54,348; total, 100,964.

July 8th 1891

The Summer Show of the Norfolk Agricultural Association commenced at Wymondham, and was continued on the 9th. The Earl of Kimberley was president for the year.

July 10th 1891

A prolonged strike in the building trade, at Norwich, was settled on this date. The bricklayers’ strike commenced on May 4th, and that of the carpenters and joiners on June 1st. In both cases the men demanded an extra payment of one penny per hour, and the acceptance by the masters of a code of rules framed by them. The employers declined to accede to these demands, but submitted a code of their own, and offered a halfpenny advance. The Mayor (Mr. Wild) intervened, and although at the time his action had no effect, the men ultimately accepted the masters’ code of rules.

July 14th 1891

Dedication services were held at the parish church of Great Yarmouth on the completion of the extensive and protracted work of restoration. The undertaking was commenced in 1847 by the Rev. Henry Mackenzie, afterwards Suffragan Bishop of Nottingham, and continued from time to time by the three successive vicars, Bishop Hills, of British Columbia, Archdeacon Nevill, and Canon Venables. The latest portion of the work was begun in the spring of 1890, and cost about £1,500. About £40,000 was expended upon the entire restoration.

July 17th 1891

Died, at Eastbourne, Mr. Willoughby Smith, the distinguished electrician, who was born at Yarmouth on April 16th, 1828. He superintended the manufacture and laying of the first submarine cable. In 1866 he was electrician on board the Great Eastern steamship during the laying of the first successful Atlantic cable and on the recovery and completion of the cable that had been lost the year before. For these services Mr. Smith received a gold medal and an address from the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. In 1883 he was President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and in 1888 published a work, entitled “Yarmouth Past and Present.”

July 21st 1891

At a meeting of the Norwich Town Council a letter from the Privy Council was read, in which it was stated, with reference to a scheme for altering the boundaries of the wards of the city, that such alteration could not be permitted unless an alteration was also made in the number of the wards. (_See_ March 15th, 1892.)

July 25th 1891

An exhibition of the works of Edward Thomas Daniell, comprising etchings, water-colours, and oil paintings, was held at the rooms of the Norwich Art Circle.

July 25th 1891

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Volunteer Battalions Norfolk Regiment, encamped at Great Yarmouth under the command of Brigadier-General Bulwer.

July 27th 1891

Lord Walsingham presided at a meeting of the subscribers to the Norwich Castle Museum scheme, at which it was decided to extend, at an additional cost of between £4,000 and £5,000, the original scheme for converting the Castle and the surrounding buildings to the purposes of a Museum. It was announced that the Prince of Wales had contributed to the fund a further donation of fifty guineas. (_See_ August 4th, 1894.)

July 30th 1891

A thunderstorm of extraordinary severity burst over Ellingham Park, the seat of Mr. Henry Smith. “The lightning seemed literally to sweep the park with a sheet of fire, and immediately after the storm six bullocks and heifers were found lying dead under an elm tree. Other cattle were injured, and the tree itself was split in half, and some of the branches hurled a considerable distance.” Further thunderstorms occurred in other parts of the county on August 2nd.

August 3rd 1891

Norwich Cricket Week commenced. Matches were played against the Eton Ramblers, and the Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire Clubs, and in each instance the Norfolk County Cricket Club was victorious. “The achievement of three victories in the week had not previously been accomplished since the institution of the festival in 1881.” On the 6th and 7th Sir Kenneth Kemp’s company of amateurs gave performances of “The Bookmaker” at the Theatre Royal.

August 7th 1891

The Norwich School Board decided to abolish the fees in all their schools, the Higher Grade School excepted, from September 1st, the date on which the Free Education Act came into operation.

August 8th 1891

Lord Ashbourne, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, addressed a great Primrose League gathering at Didlington Park, held in celebration of the inauguration of the Margaret Tyssen Amherst Habitation.

September 5th 1891

The Norfolk County Council decided to found an agricultural side for technical education in connection with the County School at Elmham.

September 7th 1891

The Countess of Leicester laid the foundation-stone of a public hall to be erected at Burnham Thorpe as a memorial of Lord Nelson, who was born in the parish, where his father was rector, in 1758. The hall, which formed part of a scheme initiated by the Prince of Wales, the main feature of which was the restoration of the parish church at the cost of £10,000, was opened on June 9th, 1892.

September 30th 1891

Mr. Harry Furniss gave his lecture, “The Humours of Parliament,” at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich.

September 30th 1891

The first annual show of the Mitford and Launditch Agricultural Association was held at East Dereham. General Bulwer presided at the dinner, at which the principal speakers were Mr. R. T. Gurdon and Mr. C. S. Read.

October 13th 1891

A severe gale did great damage inland, and resulted in many shipping casualties on the Norfolk coast.

October 15th 1891

Died, at King’s Lynn, Mr. John Dyker Thew, in his 68th year. He was proprietor of the “Lynn Advertiser,” and for many years represented the South Ward in the Town Council. In 1871, 1876, and 1885 Mr. Thew was elected to the office of Mayor of the borough, and in the last-named year was appointed alderman. He was leader of the Conservative party at Lynn.

October 16th 1891

The Lord Mayor of London (Sir Joseph Savory) and the Lady Mayoress visited Norwich for the purpose of opening the new buildings of the Asylum and School for the Indigent Blind.

October 17th 1891

The prospectus of the Norwich Electricity Company was published. A capital of £50,000 was raised in 5,000 ordinary shares of £10 each, and the company was formed “for the purpose of supplying electricity for lighting and motive purposes.”

October 19th 1891

Died, at Beeston Park, Sir Jacob Henry Preston, Bart., aged 79. He was a Deputy Lieutenant and magistrate for the county, and in 1847 served the office of High Sheriff.

October 25th 1891

A severe storm commenced on this date, and continued until the 27th. Several vessels were wrecked and lives lost on the coast.

October 31st 1891

A meeting in furtherance of a scheme for providing playing fields and open spaces for the city was held at the Guildhall, Norwich, under the presidency of the Mayor (Mr. Wild). A committee known as the Norwich Playing-fields and Open Spaces Committee was appointed.

November 1st 1891

A serious fire at Sandringham House did damage to a considerable amount.

November 9th 1891

Mr. G. M. Chamberlin was elected Mayor, and Mr. Harry Reeve appointed Sheriff of Norwich.

November 11th 1891

A gale which swept over many parts of England did much injury in Norfolk, and was severely felt at Yarmouth and at other places on the coast.

November 14th 1891

The Duke of Clarence and Avondale, accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Fife and the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, opened a trades and industrial exhibition at St. James’s Hall, Lynn.

December 7th 1891

At the annual distribution of prizes to the 1st Volunteer Battalion Norfolk Regiment, at Norwich, Major Dawson was introduced to the corps as the future commanding officer, on the retirement of Lieutenant-Colonel Mansel. At about this date the Dean of Norwich was appointed chaplain to the corps in place of the Rev. Canon Patteson.

December 9th 1891

The Mayor of Norwich (Mr. G. M. Chamberlin) sent, on behalf of the citizens, letters of congratulation to the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, and the Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, upon the announcement of the intended marriage of the Duke and Princess.

December 11th 1891

A storm of great severity raged throughout the county, and much damage, was reported, especially in Mid Norfolk. In several places the Yare and Bure overflowed their banks.

December 14th 1891

The church of St. Mary, Great Plumstead, was severely damaged by fire. The building, in the Perpendicular style, consisted of nave, chancel, and tower, which were restored in 1876 and 1878. The fire completely destroyed the interior fittings and roof. On December 14th, 1892, the church was re-opened after thorough restoration.

December 18th 1891

A severe frost set in, and on the 22nd skating became general.

December 18th 1891

The Duke of Clarence and Avondale terminated a visit to Mr. Tyssen Amherst, M.P., at Didlington Hall.

December 20th 1891

Died, at Honingham vicarage, the Rev. Canon John Robert Feilden, vicar of Honingham and East Tuddenham, in his 65th year. He was the fourth son of Mr. Joseph Feilden, M.P., of Whitton Park, Blackburn, and was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. After ordination he served a curacy at Malpas, Cheshire, and was chaplain to George Horatio, second Marquis Cholmondeley. In 1861 he was presented to the rectory of Baconsthorpe, and in 1881 to the living which he held at the time of his death. Mr. Feilden was a Commissioner under the Pluralities Act, for the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, and for nine years was a member of the Board of Management of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. He was appointed honorary canon of Norwich Cathedral in 1888. Canon Feilden married, in 1861, Frances Blanche Ann, second daughter of Frederick, fourth Baron Calthorpe.

December 26th 1891

Ginnett’s Circus opened at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich, for the winter season.

December 26th 1891

Upwards of one thousand of the aged poor of Norwich were entertained by the Mayor (Mr. G. M. Chamberlin) and the Sheriff (Mr. Harry Reeve), at St. Andrew’s Hall.

December 27th 1891

Died, at Saham, the Rev. Coker Adams, for fifteen years rector of the parish. Mr. Adams was the author of several pamphlets on Church doctrine and defence.