The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1893 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 1st 1893

The issue of second-class tickets was abolished throughout the system of the Great Eastern Railway Company, except in the case of trains running in the metropolitan suburban districts.

January 2nd 1893

“Sidney Carton,” a dramatised version of Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities,” was performed for the first time on any stage at Norwich Theatre by the Compton Comedy Company.

January 5th 1893

The frost continued to be very severe. Large numbers of skaters visited Wroxham and Surlingham Broads.

January 5th 1893

The course of lectures on Ecclesiastical History was continued at Norwich Cathedral by the Rev. J. A. Robinson, Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, who dealt with “The Apology of Aristides.” On February 1st the Rev. Prebendary Meyrick lectured on “The Life and Times of Justin Martyr”; and on March 8th the Rev. Stanley Leathes, D.D., Prebendary of St. Paul’s, on “The Life and Times of Irenæus.” The second course was commenced by the Rev. G. A. Schneider, who lectured on “Tertullian: His Life and Times,” on December 1st, and on “The Works on Tertullian,” on December 19th. (_See_ April 2nd, 1895.)

January 7th 1893

Died, at Woodbastwick, William Fryer, for seventy-four years parish clerk, in his 92nd year. He entered into office in June, 1819, and continued to discharge his duties to within a short period of his death. If not the oldest parish clerk in point of age, there was reason to believe that Fryer had held office longer than any other parish clerk in the kingdom. He was for many years postmaster, general shopkeeper, and village carpenter and blacksmith.

January 11th 1893

The first meeting in Norfolk of the National Agricultural Union promoted by Lord Winchilsea was held at the Corn Hall, Harleston, under the presidency of Mr. J. Sancroft Holmes. Other meetings of the Union were held during the year in various parts of the county.

January 12th 1893

The series of Science Lectures for the People was resumed at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, by Dr. Andrew Wilson, on the subject of “The Distribution of Animals, and what it Teaches.” On February 8th Dr. Drinkwater lectured on “Light and Colour from the Sun.”

January 21st 1893

At the instance of the Rate Basis Committee of the County Council a conference of delegates from all the Unions of Norfolk was held at Norwich, to consider the advisability of adopting a uniform system of assessment through the county. A resolution was carried recommending Assessment Committees to make the annual value of property as determined for the purpose of Schedule A the basis of rating. It was also decided that the Rate Basis Committee send out to the different Unions a general or consolidated scale of deductions.

January 25th 1893

The Norwich Board of Guardians resolved to request the Local Government Board to repeal parts of the Norwich Poor Act of 1863 in order to make the general law as to franchise and election of Guardians applicable to Norwich.

January 28th 1893

It was authoritatively announced that the Bishop of Norwich had placed his resignation in the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury. An Order in Council, passed in the presence of her Majesty, on May 16th, declared the See of Norwich vacant. (_See_ May 31st.)

January 31st 1893

Archdeacon Crosse was installed a Canon Residentiary of Norwich Cathedral.

February 2nd 1893

At a full-dress parade of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Norfolk Regiment Brigadier-General Bulwer decorated several officers of the battalion with the new Volunteer Decoration.

February 20th 1893

Miss Grace Hawthorne appeared at Norwich Theatre in Sardou’s play, “Theodora.” A feature of the performance was the introduction of a cage of live lions in act I., scene 3.

March 7th 1893

The honorary freedom of Norwich was presented to Mr. J. J. Colman, M.P., by the Town Council, in recognition of his distinguished services to the city.

March 12th 1893

The thermometer on the afternoon of this date registered 60 deg. Fah. in the shade; on the 17th there was a downfall of snow.

March 23rd 1893

The Norwich Isolation Hospital, erected upon a site near the Cemetery, was opened by the Mayor (Mr. A. R. Chamberlin). It was designed by Mr. P. P. Marshall, City Engineer, and the tender for its erection amounted to £4,290.

March 25th 1893

Particulars were published of the measures to be adopted in Norwich in the event of the threatened outbreak of cholera. During the week ending this date official visits were made to Yarmouth, Cromer, and other places on the Norfolk coast by Dr. S. Monckton Copeman, one of the Medical Officers of the Local Government Board.

March 27th 1893

Died, at Bracondale, Norwich, Mr. Thomas Gabriel Bayfield, aged 76. In his school days he formed the acquaintance of Mr. B. B. Woodward, afterwards Queen’s Librarian, and of Mr. S. P. Woodward, the subsequent author of the manual on Mollusca, both sons of Samuel Woodward, and from them he imbibed a love for archæology and natural history. Mr. Bayfield was regarded as an authority on ancient seals, and rendered great assistance to Dean Goulburn in the compilation of his work on Norwich Cathedral. In geology he laboured at the chalk and Norwich crag, and made a valuable collection of fossils; those from the chalk were subsequently acquired by the British Museum. He was one of the most active members of the Norwich Geological Society, and an enthusiastic member of the Norwich Science Club and of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society. Upon relinquishing his business as an ironmonger in Magdalen Street, Mr. Bayfield obtained the appointment of master of the Blind School.

March 30th 1893

Died Mr. Richard Charles Browne, of Elsing Hall, East Dereham, in his 63rd year. “A son of the Rev. Richard Browne, he was head of one of the oldest houses in England, the Hastings, of Elsing. He was lineally descended from Hugh Hastings, of Elsing, and consequently from Malcolm, King of Scotland. On the death of Hugh Hastings in the sixteenth century, the Barony of Hastings (1264) fell into abeyance between the two daughters, Anne, the elder, and Elizabeth. Mr. Browne descended from the latter. The abeyance lasted till about 1840, when Lord John Russell advised her Majesty to terminate it in favour of Sir Jacob Astley, who descended from Hugh Hastings’ brother. It was thought that Lord John’s decision was not unconnected with politics.”

April 6th 1893

The Norwich Diocesan Conference commenced its two days’ sittings at Noverre’s Rooms, Norwich. Bishop Pelham presided for the last time, and in his presidential address alluded to his approaching retirement.

April 8th 1893

“The Hon. Robert Marsham having received Royal Licence to take the additional name of Townshend, the surname of himself and his family will henceforth be Marsham-Townshend instead of Marsham.”

April 21st 1893

A great Unionist demonstration took place at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, as a protest against the Home Rule Bill. Colonel Bignold, leader of the Conservative party, presided, and Lord Ashbourne was the principal speaker.

April 21st 1893

Died, at Bradenham Hall, Mr. William Meybohm Rider Haggard, aged 76. Mr. Haggard came of a Scandinavian family, and for several generations his ancestors had been Norfolk squires. He was lord of the manor of West Bradenham, a Deputy Lieutenant, and one of the most active magistrates in the county. For many years he acted as a Chairman of Norfolk Quarter Sessions held by adjournment at Swaffham, and afterwards at Lynn, and for a long period was a member of the Committee of Visitors to Norwich Castle. After the passing of the Local Government Act, by which the business previously transacted at Quarter Sessions was transferred to the County Council, Mr. Haggard, like so many representatives of the old county gentry, retired from active participation in public affairs. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, called to the Bar in 1842, and married, in 1844, Ella, elder daughter of Mr. Doveton, of the Bombay Civil Service. Mrs. Haggard was an exceedingly gifted woman, and possessed of brilliant literary powers.

April 23rd 1893

Died, at Cambridge, Mr. Robert Lubbock Bensly, M.A., Senior Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, and Lord Almoner’s Professor of Arabic, aged 61. Professor Bensly, who was widely known as an Oriental scholar, was the eldest surviving son of Mr. Robert Bensly, of Eaton. He was educated at King’s College, London, and afterwards at Gonville and Caius College, where he graduated in the Classical Tripos in 1855, and was elected Tyrwhitt Hebrew Scholar in 1857. After spending two years at the Universities of Bonn and Halle, he returned to Cambridge, where he was appointed Hebrew lecturer at his college, and subsequently became the Senior Fellow. He was an active and valued member of the Old Testament Revision Committee, and was for many years an examiner in the theological and Semitic languages triposes, and succeeded the Hon. Ion Keith Falconer as Lord Almoner’s Professor of Arabic. Afterwards he was appointed University lecturer in Oriental Languages. The closing work of his life was connected with a discovery of extreme importance and value, which he made in company with his former pupil, Mr. F. C. Burkett, of a manuscript found by Mrs. Lewis, of Cambridge, in 1892, in the Convent of St. Catharine on Mount Sinai. A careful examination of photographs taken by her from this MS., which was a palimpsest, revealed the important fact that the nearly obliterated Syriac characters bore a close resemblance to the fragmentary text found by Cureton in 1842, and that the newly-found text comprised nearly all the four Gospels. This discovery led to an expedition in the present year (1893) to Mount Sinai, where the intricate task of deciphering and transcribing the MS. was undertaken by Professor Bensly, Mr. Burkett, and Mr. Rendel Harris. The Professor was well known as the discoverer and editor of “The Missing Fragment of the Fourth Book of Ezra.” He also edited the Harklean version of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and at the time of his death was engaged in preparing other important works for the press.

April 24th 1893

In a letter to the Press on this date Mr. James Emery, of Stibbard, wrote:—“This is the earliest spring for more than one hundred years in Norfolk. I have this day gathered some hawthorn in full blossom. I have seen more than sixty summers; my father lived to be seventy-four, and he has told me many times he never saw hawthorn in flower by the first of May. Nor have I ever seen it till this season before the first of May.”

April 25th 1893

The Fletcher Convalescent Home, at Cromer, built by the munificence of Mr. B. E. Fletcher, and endowed by the Earl of Leicester, as an adjunct to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, was opened by the Countess of Leicester. Mr. Edward Boardman, of Norwich, was the architect. The cost of the building was not disclosed by the donor; the endowment fund amounted to £15,000, which Lord Leicester augmented to £20,000 in February, 1894.

May 5th 1893

The Mayor of Norwich (Mr. A. R. Chamberlin) sent to the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Teck, and the Duke of York and Princess Victoria Mary, the congratulations of himself and the citizens on the announcement of the betrothal of the Duke and Princess. On June 30th the Mayor, the Sheriff (Mr. Russell J. Colman), and the Deputy-Mayor (Mr. G. M. Chamberlin) proceeded to Marlborough House, and presented to the Duke of York a valuable dessert service, the gift of the citizens, with a richly-illuminated vellum containing a congratulatory address and the names of the subscribers.

May 17th 1893

Died, at Heigham Grove, Norwich, Mr. William John Utten Browne, barrister-at-law, aged 88. Mr. Browne had been for many years an active and painstaking magistrate, and in the early decades of the century occupied a very prominent position in the public life of the city. In 1833 he served as one of the Sheriffs of Norwich, and was elected Mayor in 1860. In July, 1837, he contested in the Conservative interest the borough of Ashburton, Devonshire, and was defeated by Mr. Lushington. On attaining his 80th birthday he was entertained to a banquet by his colleagues on the Bench. Mr. Browne was a staunch Tory and High Churchman.

May 20th 1893

“A meeting of owners and occupiers of property at Thorpe St. Andrew was recently held to protest against a proposal of the Norwich Town Council to annex Thorpe to their municipal district. It was resolved that a fund be guaranteed for the purpose of opposing by every possible means any attempt at annexation on the part of Norwich. The sum of £5,000 was guaranteed in the room.”

May 21st 1893

Mrs. Brown, a woman in humble circumstances, living at Winterton, celebrated her one hundredth birthday. She had been a widow from her 81st year, and was entirely dependent upon her daughter, aged 77, with whom she lived. Mrs. Brown had never travelled further than the neighbouring town of Gorleston.

May 27th 1893

A special meeting of the Norfolk County School Association was held at the Shirehall, Norwich, at which the chairman of the directors and trustees, the Rev. H. Smith, proposed, and it was agreed, “That it has been proved to the satisfaction of the association that it cannot by reason of its liabilities continue its business, and that it is desirable that the same should be wound up voluntarily, and that the company be wound up accordingly.” The original scheme, it was stated, was too large and ambitious, and the association was weighted at the outset with a capital expenditure and an annual working outlay beyond its strength and capacity. On September 9th it was announced: “After struggling for some years under heavy mortgage and liabilities the Norfolk County School Association has been compelled to wind up. The property has passed into the hands of Lord Leicester, who has made arrangements which will enable the late head-master, Mr. W. E. Humphreys, to re-open next term.”

May 27th 1893

The Conservative and Unionist voters of East Norfolk adopted Colonel McCalmont, C.B., Unionist candidate for the constituency. Colonel McCalmont retired in March, 1895. Mr. H. Rider Haggard was then announced as the Conservative candidate.

May 31st 1893

The _conge d’élire_ for the election of a new Bishop of Norwich having been received, a meeting of the Dean and Chapter was held at the residence of Canon Heaviside, when the Rev. John Sheepshanks, M.A., of St. Margaret’s, Anfield, Liverpool, was elected. The election was confirmed at Bow Church, Cheapside, London, on June 28th; the ceremony of consecration was performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the 29th; and Bishop Sheepshanks did homage to her Majesty at Windsor Castle on June 30th. His lordship was enthroned and installed at Norwich Cathedral on July 13th with the usual ceremonial. The Dean afterwards entertained a large company to luncheon at the Deanery, and in the afternoon the clergy waited upon his lordship at the Palace and presented him with an address.

June 1st 1893

A meeting was held at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, to protest against the Suspensory Bill for the Church in Wales. Lord Egerton of Tatton presided, and Mr. Stanley Leighton, M.P., and Mr. W. S. de Winton, M.P., were among the speakers.

June 22nd 1893

Mr. Albert Chevalier gave his first recital in Norwich at the Agricultural Hall, and repeated the entertainment on the 23rd.

June 27th 1893

The Summer Show of the Norfolk Agricultural Association was opened at the Grove, Ipswich Road, Norwich, the residence of the Mayor (Mr. A. R. Chamberlin), who was this year president of the society. The exhibition closed on the 29th. This was the only occasion upon which a three days’ show had been held by the association.

July 6th 1893

The marriage of the Duke of York and Princess Victoria Mary of Teck was celebrated throughout the county. At Norwich the Artillery Volunteers and the 1st Volunteer Battalion Norfolk Regiment paraded in the Market Place and fired a _feu-de-joie_, and a Royal salute was fired upon Mousehold Heath by the mounted battery of the first-named corps. One thousand persons above sixty-five years of age were presented with gifts by the Mayor and Sheriff at the Agricultural Hall; and in the afternoon the 8th Hussars and the Volunteers were reviewed on Mousehold. An illuminated _fête_ was given in the evening in Chapel Field Gardens, and the day’s festivities concluded with a ball given by the Mayor at St. Andrew’s Hall.

July 8th 1893

A severe thunderstorm occurred after very close and sultry weather. Another storm took place on the 9th and 10th, and on the 11th it raged with increased violence, and did much damage in various parts of the county. A man was killed by lightning at Long Stratton.

July 13th 1893

The third biennial sale of shorthorns and Southdowns, the property of the Prince of Wales, was conducted at Wolferton by Mr. John Thornton, and resulted in a total of £2,151.

July 18th 1893

At the Norfolk Assizes, before Mr. Justice Mathew, Sarah Bligh (22), domestic servant, was indicted for the wilful murder of her child, Isaac Bligh, at Holme Hale, on June 7th. She was found guilty and strongly recommended to mercy. The judge, without assuming the black cap, passed sentence of death. The capital sentence was subsequently commuted.

July 19th 1893

The first squadron of the 8th Hussars marched from the Cavalry Barracks, Norwich, and the remaining squadrons left on the 20th. Prior to their departure the non-commissioned officers were presented with gifts for their mess, subscribed for by the citizens. The 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. P. Douglas Willan, marched in on the same dates.

July 22nd 1893

Mr. Clement Higgins, Q.C., M.P., intimated his intention to the electors of Mid Norfolk not to seek re-election for the division at the next election. Mr. F. W. Wilson was subsequently adopted the Gladstonian candidate.

July 28th 1893

Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Dawson Paul celebrated their silver wedding at Norwich.

July 29th 1893

The 3rd and 4th Volunteer Battalions Norfolk Regiment went into camp at Colchester.

August 30th 1893

A meeting was held at Norwich at which it was decided to take steps for the formation of golf links. On November 8th an adjourned meeting took place, at which it was announced that land had been acquired for the purpose at Hellesdon. The Royal Norwich Golf Club, with the Duke of York as president, was then formed, and the links were opened on February 1st, 1894.

September 7th 1893

In consequence of a telegram received from the War Office the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards left Norwich for the scene of the colliery riots in the Midland counties. The regiment entrained at Trowse, the horses being conveyed in bullock trucks. A Squadron proceeded to Mansfield, B to Rotherham, C to Wakefield, and D to Dewsbury. On the 8th 50 men of the Norfolk Constabulary, under the Chief Constable (Mr. Paynton Pigott), were drafted to Nottingham, and on the 9th 20 men of the Norwich city police proceeded to the scene of the disturbances.

October 2nd 1893

Died, in London, Lady Eastlake, widow of Sir C. L. Eastlake, a former President of the Royal Academy. Her ladyship, who was in her 84th year, was a daughter of Dr. Edward Rigby, of Norwich, and was distinguished for her literary work.

October 3rd 1893

The Norfolk and Norwich Triennial Musical Festival commenced at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. The principal vocalists were Madame Albani, Mrs. Helen Trust, Miss Anna Williams, Madame Belle Cole, Madame Marion McKenzie, Mr. Edward Lloyd, Mr. Ben Davies, Mr. George Henschel, Mr. Bantock Pierpoint, Mr. J. H. Brockbank, and Mr. Norman Salmond. The solo instrumentalists were M. Paderewski (pianoforte) and Senor Sarasate (violin). The principal productions were: On the evening of the 3rd, “St. Paul”; on the 4th, morning, “The Golden Legend” and New Symphony in A minor, No. 2 (Edward German); evening, new Polish Fantaisie (Paderewski), first time of performance, pianoforte solo by Paderewski; new cantata, “Una” (A. R. Gaul), first time of performance, and a miscellaneous selection; 5th, morning, “Judith,” first time of performance in Norwich; evening, new cantata, “The Wishing Bell” (J. F. Barnett), first time of performance, and a miscellaneous selection; Pibroch (Mackenzie), Rondo Capriccioso (Saint Saëns), for violin and orchestra, Senor Sarasate; 6th, morning, “The Messiah”; evening, “The Water Lily” (Cowen), first time of performance. The gross receipts amounted to £5,082 13s. 3d., the gross payments to £4,456 7s. 6d. Of the balance of £626 5s. 9d., the sum of £325 was distributed among the charities.

October 14th 1893

An influential meeting was convened at the Guildhall by the Mayor of Norwich (Mr. A. R. Chamberlin) for the purpose of affording the Dean an opportunity of calling attention to the necessity of undertaking the reparation of Norwich Cathedral, the estimated cost of which was £12,000. (_See_ May 2nd, 1894.)

October 16th 1893

Died, the Rev. William Cowper Johnson, Honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral. He was a son of the Rev. John Johnson, LL.D., a near relative of the Poet Cowper, and addressed by him as “Johnnie of Norfolk” and “My dearest of all Johnnies.”

October 25th 1893

Lord Randolph Churchill addressed a great Conservative meeting held at Yarmouth Aquarium under the presidency of Sir Edward Birkbeck.

November 9th 1893

Sir Peter Eade was elected Mayor and Mr. John Barwell appointed Sheriff of Norwich.

November 19th 1893

A gale of great severity swept over the county after a day of exceptional brilliancy. Several wrecks occurred on the coast, lives were lost, and much damage done inland.

November 20th 1893

The Duke and Duchess of York arrived at Didlington Hall on a visit to Lord and Lady Amherst of Hackney.

November 25th 1893

An important meeting was held at the Guildhall, Norwich, presided over by Mr. R. Harvey Mason, for the purpose of urging that effectual measures be taken for the preservation of order, the suppression of nuisances, and the protection of property upon the public navigable waters of Norfolk and Suffolk.

December 4th 1893

Miss Fortescue, supported by her London company, commenced a three nights’ engagement at Norwich Theatre in “Moths” and “The School for Scandal.”

December 4th 1893

A special vestry meeting was held at the church of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, under the presidency of the vicar (the Rev. W. Pelham Burn), “to read correspondence that had taken place between himself and the Hospital Board relative to the skull of Sir Thomas Browne, alleged to have been stolen from the church and now in possession of the Hospital.” The Hospital authorities asked the vestry not to press for the return of the skull. The vicar dwelt upon the crime of sacrilege and maintained that it was the duty of the Hospital to make restitution of the skull. In support of his contention he adduced the doctrine of the Church as to the resurrection of the body. After much discussion it was resolved to refer the matter to Bishop Pelham. At an adjourned meeting of the vestry on the 15th the Board of Management intimated that the reference of the question to an arbitrator would not release them from their obligation to protect the property of the Hospital. Ultimately it was agreed that no further steps be taken in the matter.

December 14th 1893

The Judicial Council of the House of Lords heard a petition from Mr. Coaks asking for the dismissal of the plaintiff’s petition in the action, Boswell _v._ Coaks, on the ground of its being frivolous and vexatious. Mr. Coaks’ petition was dismissed and the appeal ordered to proceed. (_See_ April 30th, 1894.)

December 18th 1893

The extensive maltings of F. and J. Smith, Limited, at East Dereham, were seriously damaged by fire, which destroyed several hundred coombs of grain.

December 26th 1893

Mr. Edward Compton’s Comedy Company commenced their Christmas engagement at Norwich Theatre; and Mr. George Gilbert, a native of Norwich, began the first of his successful series of circus seasons at the Agricultural Hall.

December 31st 1893

Mrs. Pelham, wife of the Bishop of Norwich, died at Sunny Hill, Thorpe. She was second daughter of Thomas William Tatton, of Withenshaw, Cheshire, was born in 1811, and married in 1845, during her husband’s incumbency of Bergh Apton.