The Foxearth and District Local History Society
1897 Norfolk Chronicle newspaper Selections

January 19th 1897

The Norwich Town Council ordered a petition to be presented to Parliament against a scheme for the construction of electric tramways in the city. This course was adopted not in a hostile spirit, but with the object of making the best terms possible for the citizens. On February 9th the Corporation gave its consent to the Tramways Bill then before Parliament, and on February 23rd a petition signed by nearly 23,500 inhabitants of the city was presented to the Town Council, asking them to support the projected electric tramways as distinct from the proposed scheme of light railways. The Parliamentary and By-laws Committee on April 13th reported that they had considered side by side the merits and proposals of the New General Traction Company, Limited, to construct electric tramways in the city and Thorpe, and of the British Electric Traction Company, Limited, to construct light railways in the city and district, and were of opinion that the interests of the city would be best served by making an arrangement with the former company. It was understood that the company had given an undertaking to withdraw their Bill from Parliament at any time upon the request of the Corporation. On April 23rd the Council adopted the following motion:—“(a) To enable the New General Traction Company, Limited, to carry their Bill through Parliament if terms can be arranged with the company satisfactory to the committee, for the construction of electric tramways in the city; (b) to oppose the application of the British Electric Traction Company, Limited, for an order by the Light Railway Commissioners authorising the company to construct light railways in the city and adjoining districts; (c) that the committee be authorised to take such action and incur such costs as may in their opinion be necessary to carry out the above resolutions.” On May 31st the Norwich Electric Tramways Bill was considered by a Select Committee of the House of Commons, and it was announced that all opposition had been withdrawn; and on July 20th it was stated that the Bill had passed through the House of Commons and been read a second time in the House of Lords. (_See_ February 5th, 1898.)

January 19th 1897

The resignation of Mr. Robert Hitchman, of the office of Chief Constable, which he had held for 38 years, was received by the Norwich Town Council, who granted him a retiring pension of £273 6s. 8d.

January 19th 1897

The Norwich Town Council accepted the offer of Messrs. Gurneys and Co. to present to the Corporation a set of civic robes.

January 22nd 1897

The roads in many parts of the county were rendered impassable by snowdrifts; the river traffic between Norwich and Yarmouth was impeded by ice, and in the stormy weather which prevailed much damage was occasioned to the Yarmouth fishing fleet and coast-bound vessels.

January 23rd 1897

A public meeting convened by the Lord-Lieutenant of the county (the Earl of Leicester) and the Mayor (Mr. C. R. Gilman) was held at the Guildhall, Norwich, to decide upon the method of celebrating locally the Diamond Jubilee of her Majesty the Queen. The Dean of Norwich moved “That subscriptions be invited in order to raise a sum of money, to be called the Diamond Jubilee Fund, for the purpose of building a new Jenny Lind Infirmary for Sick Children, it being the strong feeling of the meeting that no memorial could be found more typical of the tender sympathy and interest ever shown by her Majesty in the sufferings and needs of her people.” Viscount Coke seconded the resolution, and a committee was appointed to raise the fund. (_See_ March 15th, 1898.)

January 25th 1897

At the Norwich Assizes, before Mr. Justice Cave, Henry Greaves Corsbie (37), clerk, pleaded guilty to feloniously endorsing and uttering a banker’s cheque for the payment of £31 12s. 1d. with intent to defraud the Norfolk and Norwich Savings Bank on July 15th, 1893, and was sentenced to seven years’ penal servitude. The prisoner had been guilty of frauds extending over a period of ten years.

January 25th 1897

John George Foster (35) was indicted at the Norwich Assizes, before Mr. Justice Cave, for the wilful murder of Alice Maria Newby, at 60, Pottergate Street, Norwich, on December 8th, 1896. He was found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to penal servitude for life.

February 2nd 1897

The Girls’ Home in Botolph Street, Norwich, established by the Board of Guardians with the object of removing young children from workhouse surroundings, was opened by the Mayor (Mr. C. R. Gilman).

February 6th 1897

A sudden thaw accompanied by heavy rain caused extensive floods in low-lying districts of the county. Great alarm was occasioned in Norwich by the rising of the Wensum and the flooding of premises in Heigham Street. The waters subsided on the 7th.

February 7th 1897

Died at Luxor, Egypt, Mr. Alan Cozens-Hardy Colman, aged 30, son of Mr. J. J. Colman, of Carrow House, Norwich. Mr. Colman, who was a member of the Norfolk County Council, was of a studious disposition, and applied himself to mechanics. Although in affluent circumstances he voluntarily became a pupil at the Stratford works of the Great Eastern Railway Company, was for a number of years an active confrere of the workmen employed there, adapted himself to their conditions of labour, and made himself generally popular.

February 11th 1897

Died at Hackford Hall, Reepham, Georgina Frances Amy, widow of Mr. John Collyer, and eldest daughter of Sir William Johnston, of that ilk, of Hilton House, Woodside, Aberdeen. Mrs. Collyer, who was in her 92nd year, was at the time of Wellington’s great campaign being educated at Brussels, where her parents resided, and were among the guests who attended the Duchess of Richmond’s ball on the night before Waterloo. She had a vivid recollection of June 15th, 1815. With her younger sisters, she in the early dawn watched from the windows of her parents’ house the troops passing to the field. Later in the day the girls attended school as usual, and soon became aware that the battle had begun. The servant sent to fetch her from school lost herself in the crowd, and the children made their way home alone, groping by the walls and passing through the throng of troops marching to the field and the thickening stream of prisoners and wounded returning. On the 17th and 18th she was all day helping her parents to hand water and wine to the wounded as they passed the door. Mrs. Collyer had personal recollections of Mendelssohn, whose wife was long her intimate acquaintance, and of Spohr, whose playing she had often heard and admired.

February 18th 1897

The members at Norwich of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives resolved to go out on strike. On April 17th it was stated “the desertions from the ranks of the shoe strikers and their return to work have been steady and persistent during the week, although many hundreds are still out.” Several charges of intimidation from time to time occupied the attention of the magistrates. On July 20th the Mayor made an appeal to masters and men to endeavour to formulate a plan for the settlement of their differences, but without effect. The strike having lasted six months, a meeting of the men was held at the Victoria Hall, at which it was stated that £10,000 had been expended in strike pay, and it was resolved that the struggle be continued. After lasting thirty-four weeks the strike came to an end on October 22nd, when terms were signed by the representatives of the masters and of the men. The last distribution of strike pay was made on the 23rd, and the men returned to work on the 25th (St. Crispin’s Day).

March 5th 1897

Died at his residence in the Close, Norwich, the Rev. Canon James William Lucas Heaviside. In 1838 he was professor of mathematics at Haileybury College, in 1843 examiner in mathematics and natural philosophy at the University of London, and in 1858 examiner for the Council of Military Education. He was appointed Canon residentiary of Norwich Cathedral in 1860, and afterwards became examiner in mathematics to Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, who, when stationed at Norwich with his regiment, the 7th Hussars, was a frequent visitor at Canon Heaviside’s residence. Her Majesty the Queen, to mark her appreciation of his services, presented him with a massive silver inkstand and a portrait of the Duke. For many years Canon Heaviside was chairman of the governors of the Grammar and Commercial Schools, a trustee of Norman’s Endowed School, and one of the trustees for the management of the local charities. When the first Norwich School Board was formed in 1872 Canon Heaviside was elected chairman.

March 6th 1897

The removal of Judge Addison from the Norfolk County Court Circuit to Southwark, and the appointment of Mr. William Willis, Q.C., as judge in his place, was announced.

March 6th 1897

Died, the Rev. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, LL.D., compiler of the “Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,” and of other well-known works. Dr. Brewer, who was nearly 87 years of age, spent his younger days in Norwich as a teacher in his father’s school. In 1832 he went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, took his degree in Civil Law in 1835, and obtained his degree as LL.D. in 1844. He was ordained in 1834 in the diocese of Ely. At the time of his death he was residing with his son-in-law, the Rev. H. T. Hayman, vicar of Edwinstowe, Newark.

March 16th 1897

Died at his London residence, 37, Hyde Park Gardens, W., the Right Hon. Sir Edward Ebenezer Kay, of Thorpe Abbots, Scole. He was a son of Mr. Robert Kay, of Bury, Lancashire, and brother Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth. Born January 2nd, 1822, he studied for the law, began his career as law reporter, and became Queen’s Counsel in 1866. At the General Election in 1874 he contested Clitheroe in the Liberal interest, and was defeated. In 1878 he gave up exclusive practice in Vice-chancellor Bacon’s Court and became a special. On the retirement of Vice-Chancellor Malins in 1881 Kay was made a “journeyman judge” of the Chancery Division, and in that position he remained until the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Bacon in 1886. In 1890, on the retirement of Sir Henry Cotton, Mr. Justice Kay was promoted to the Court of Appeal. He was on the commission of the peace for the county, and was formerly a chairman of Norfolk Quarter Sessions.

March 17th 1897

Sir William Harcourt, leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, addressed a meeting of the National Liberal Federation at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich. The Earl of Kimberley presided and delivered an address, which elicited severe strictures from Lord Salisbury in the House of Lords on March 19th.

March 21st 1897

Died at the Cheshire Cheese Hotel, Surrey Street, Strand, when fulfilling a professional engagement in London, Mr. Mark Knights, chief reporter on the staff of the “Eastern Daily Press.” Mr. Knights was suffocated by an escape of gas in his bed-room, and at the inquest the jury returned a verdict of accidental death. He was the author of several works on archæological and other subjects. His “Highways and Byways of Norwich” and “Peeps at the Past” are regarded as standard works. Relinquishing the study of antiquarian matters, which by his skilful treatment interested a wide circle of readers, Mr. Knights had taken up the work of interpreting Shakespeare in the light of Scripture, a subject that appealed to a very limited section. He published in 1893 a book entitled “Hamlet Interpreted,” which failed to bring him a reputation such as he achieved by his archæological works. Mr. Knights was 53 years of age, and had been thirty-five years engaged on the Press.

April 13th 1897

Mr. Edwin F. Winch, Chief Constable of Truro, was appointed Chief Constable of Norwich at the salary of £350 per annum.

April 14th 1897

Mr. Sydney Cozens-Hardy, clerk to the Norwich School Board, was presented with an illuminated address by the officials of the Board on the attainment of his twenty-one years’ service.

April 18th 1897

Died at Orford Hill, Norwich, the Rev. William Frederic Creeny, M.A., F.S.A., aged 72. Mr. Creeny graduated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, in 1853, and was soon afterwards ordained. After serving as curate at St. Mark, Lakenham, he removed to Wellingborough, and subsequently became chaplain to the Bishop of St. Helena, and chaplain of St. Leonard and Isle of Ryde, Sydney, where he remained until 1872. In 1873–4 he was curate of St. John, Upper Norwood, and in 1876 curate of Soham, Cambridgeshire. In the latter year he was presented by Lady Lothian to the living of St. Michael-at-Thorn, Norwich. Mr. Creeny enriched the transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Archæological Society by many valuable contributions relating to the history of Norwich, and in 1884 he published his magnificent work on “Monumental Brasses on the Continent of Europe,” a field of labour “hitherto almost untilled.” Another scarcely less laborious task was achieved by the publication by Mr. Creeny, in November, 1891, of “Illustrations of Incised Slabs.” Mr. Creeny had visited India, China, and Palestine, and his experiences in the Holy Land were afterwards published in a small book entitled “Notes of a Journey to Jerusalem.”

April 22nd 1897

The Norwich Diocesan Conference was opened at Noverre’s Rooms, Norwich, and concluded on the 23rd. A special meeting was held on June 10th to discuss the subject of local taxation as affecting tithe rent-charge.

April 30th 1897

The Countess of Leicester opened at St. Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, a “Foreign Fair,” in aid of the building fund of the St. George’s Home for Working Girls.

May 2nd 1897

Died at Tunbridge Wells, the Very Rev. Edward Meyrick Goulburn, D.D., formerly Dean of Norwich, aged 79. Born in London on February 11th, 1818, he was a son of Mr. Serjeant Goulburn, Q.C., and was educated at Eton, whence he proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained his B.A. degree in 1839. In 1842 he was admitted into deacon’s orders by Dr. Bagot, Bishop of Oxford, and in the same year was ordained priest. A Fellow of Merton College, Dr. Goulburn was, on the elevation of Dr. Tait to the deanery of Carlisle in 1849, appointed to the head-mastership of Rugby School. He resigned the post in 1858, and became minister of Quebec Chapel, St. Marylebone. In 1859 he was nominated by the Bishop of London to St. John’s, Paddington, and was appointed prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Upon the deanery of Norwich becoming vacant in 1866 by the death of the Hon. and Very Rev. Dean Pellew, who had held it since 1828, Dr. Goulburn was appointed thereto. He was the author of several theological works. A learned antiquary, he succeeded Sir John Boileau, F.S.A. (who died in 1869), as president of the Norfolk and Norwich Archæological Society. He did much for the restoration of Norwich Cathedral, and expended upon the work from his own private means the sum of £10,000, and raised the further amount of £4,000. In conjunction with Precentor Symonds, Dean Goulburn wrote the greater portion of the valuable work “The Ancient Sculptures in the Roof of Norwich Cathedral”; and in 1876 published a life of Herbert de Losinga. One of his last works was the “Life of Dean Burgon.” Dean Goulburn was also the author of the “Book of Rugby School.”

May 24th 1897

The Queen’s birthday was observed at Norwich by a military review on Mousehold Heath. The 7th Dragoon Guards, the depôt company of the Norfolk Regiment, the 3rd Battalion Norfolk Regiment (Militia), and the Artillery and Rifle Volunteers took part.

June 1st 1897

The centenary of the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society was celebrated at Norwich. A banquet was held at St. Andrew’s Hall, under the presidency of Mr. H. S. Patteson, and was attended by the society’s representatives from all parts of the world.

June 10th 1897

At the Norwich Assizes, which commenced on this date, before Mr. Justice Mathew, John Furness, aged 64, solicitor, was indicted for fraudulently appropriating to his own use a deed of mortgage on December 30th, 1887. He was found guilty, and recommended to mercy on account of his age, and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment without hard labour.

June 16th 1897

The Summer Show of the Norfolk Agricultural Association was opened at Fakenham. Viscount Coke presided at the public luncheon. The show closed on the 17th.

June 20th 1897

The celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria began at Norwich this day (Sunday) with special thanksgiving services at the Cathedral, St. Peter Mancroft, and other churches. On the 21st 125 carcases of sheep and 20 quarters of beef allotted to Norwich out of the gift sent from Australia for distribution among the poor in the large towns of Great Britain, were divided among 1,500 recipients at Blackfriars’ Hall. The Jubilee day was celebrated on the 22nd. Early in the morning the bells of St. Peter Mancroft were rung, and a Royal salute of twenty-one guns fired on Mousehold Heath by the mounted batteries of the Artillery Volunteers. Later 9,000 children from the public elementary schools assembled in the Market Place and sang the National Anthem, and Mr. George White, Chairman of the School Board, announced, amid great enthusiasm, that the Queen had conferred the honour of knighthood upon the Mayor (Mr. C. R. Gilman). A service of praise and thanksgiving was held at the Cathedral at 11 o’clock, and was attended in state by the Mayor and Corporation. At noon the Artillery and Rifle Volunteers, with the depôt company of the Norfolk Regiment, fired a _feu de joie_ in the Market Place, and at one o’clock Sir Charles and Lady Gilman held a reception at the Guildhall, where the company were invited to drink the Queen’s health. In the afternoon there was a floral procession through the streets of the city, sports took place on the Earlham Road Recreation Ground, a “costume” cricket match was played on the Lakenham ground, and a captive balloon made frequent ascents from the Cattle Market. In the evening the city was illuminated, a firework display was given, on Castle Meadow, and a bonfire lighted on St. James’s Hill. On the 24th the Mayor and Sheriff gave a dinner at St. Andrew’s Hall to upwards of 1,000 of the aged poor, and in the evening Sir Charles and Lady Gilman held a brilliant reception at the Castle Museum. The Jubilee was observed at Yarmouth, Lynn, Thetford, and at all towns and villages in the county.

July 16th 1897

The Wild-Collins voting apparatus, for expediting and facilitating voting at Parliamentary and Municipal elections, invented by Mr. Edward Wild and Mr. A. E. Collins, City Engineer, was exhibited at the Municipal offices, Norwich.

July 17th 1897

Died at Old Buckenham, Mr. William Thomas Simpson, in his 67th year. A native of Bury St. Edmund’s, where his father was master of the Grammar School, he was the senior partner of the old established firm of Salter and Simpson, auctioneers and valuers. Mr. Simpson had great practical knowledge of agriculture, and was an excellent breeder and judge of cattle.

August 2nd 1897

The proceedings of the High Court of the Ancient Order of Foresters opened at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich. The delegates had been received on July 31st by Sir Charles and Lady Gilman at St. Andrew’s Hall. A _fête_ took place at Catton Park on the 2nd, and a garden party was given at Hellesdon House by Sir Harry and Lady Bullard on the 3rd.

August 3rd 1897

A fire occurred on Ringland Hills. It extended over an area of between seven and eight acres, and destroyed many trees in the adjoining plantation.

August 6th 1897

Great damage was done by a fire which occurred at Cullingford’s paper mills, St. Martin’s Plain, Norwich.

August 12th 1897

Relays of cyclists belonging to the four battalions of the Norfolk Volunteer Infantry Brigade, conveyed a message from Lynn to Yarmouth, _viâ_ Norwich and Brandon, and back, a distance of 162 miles in 12 hours 55 minutes. The cyclists carried their usual equipment, which included rifle and bayonet, water bottle, and haversack.

August 12th 1897

A fire occurred on premises in Denmark Street, Diss, and caused damage estimated at £6,000.

August 18th 1897

The Mayor of Norwich (Sir Charles R. Gilman) received honour of knighthood at the hands of the Queen at Osborne House.

August 20th 1897

The Wayside Chapel at Houghton St. Giles’ was opened. The building, which had been used at a barn, is an interesting example of the transition from the Decorated to the Perpendicular style. It was built about 1380, and had become by purchase the property of Miss Boyd, of Kilburn, a wealthy Roman Catholic lady, who undertook its restoration. A party of “pilgrims” from London formed a procession at Walsingham, and headed by a crucifix and lighted tapers, and attended by a priest, walked to the chapel, where a private service was held.

August 31st 1897

The China Cup, won at the Bisley meeting by a team of Norfolk Volunteers, was ceremoniously handed over to the custody of the Mayor (Sir Charles R. Gilman) at the Castle Museum, Norwich. The Cup was first won by Norfolk in 1877.

September 2nd 1897

Died at Gressenhall Workhouse, Peter Pentney, in his 101st year. He was a native of Mattishall, and “unlike most reputed centenarians he was able to produce a duly certified copy of his baptismal register.”

September 4th 1897

A waterspout occurred off Cromer in wet and stormy weather. It struck the trawler Strive about six miles south-west of Smith’s Knoll. The vessel was turned on her beam ends, and considerably damaged. The waterspout, which towered above the mast of the trawler, travelled at a rapid rate, and in three minutes was out of sight.

September 8th 1897

Died at Park Lane, Norwich, Mr. James Spilling, editor of the “Eastern Daily Press.” Mr. Spilling was a native of Ipswich, where he was born in 1825, and came to Norwich in 1863 to fulfil an engagement on the “Norfolk News.” He was the author of a series of sketches in the East Anglian vernacular illustrative of rural life and humour; his more solid work was devoted to the exposition of the philosophy and theology of Swedenborg, in whose teachings Mr. Spilling had a sincere belief. These books included “The Evening and Morning,” “Amid the Corn,” “Among the Flowers,” “The Wreath and the Ring,” and “Our Society.”

September 13th 1897

Died at 35, King Street, Norwich, Mr. William Philip Barnes Freeman, aged 84. He was the eldest son of Mr. William Freeman, Mayor of Norwich in 1843, and received his early education under Capt. Bailey, at Hellesdon. Afterwards he went to the Yarmouth Academy under the Rev. Mr. Bowles, where he obtained lessons in drawing from John Sell Cotman, and his education was completed at Norwich Grammar School under Valpy. His art studies were continued under Cotman for water colour and under T. B. Ladbrooke for oil painting, and he was intimate with David Cox, Stark, Henry Bright, Vincent, and other artists of his day. Mr. Freeman was a contributor to the exhibitions of the Royal Academy and of the Royal Society of Artists. His grandfather, Jeremiah Freeman, his father, and his uncle, Philip Barnes, were all members of the old Norwich Society of Artists founded by Old Crome.

September 20th 1897

A Military and Naval Exhibition was opened at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich, by Colonel Burton, commanding the 9th Regimental District.

September 23rd 1897

Mr. Paynton Pigott, Chief Constable of Norfolk, was presented by the officers and men of the County Constabulary with a gift of silver plate on the occasion of the seventeenth anniversary of his election to the office.

September 25th 1897

At the Shirehall, Norwich, was unveiled by Mr. R. T. Gurdon a portrait of Mr. Clare Sewell Read, subscribed for by the county in acknowledgment of his valuable services in the interests of agriculture. The portrait, which was painted by J. J. Shannon, R.A., was afterwards hung at the Castle Museum.

October 15th 1897

A special Church mission commenced at Norwich and was concluded on the 29th.

October 18th 1897

St. Clement’s churchyard, Norwich, laid out as a public garden by the Norwich Playing Fields and Open Spaces Society, was opened by the Mayor (Sir Charles R. Gilman).

October 24th 1897

Died, at Oberlin House, St. Leonard’s Road, Ealing, in his 90th year, the Rev. John Stoughton, D.D. The son of a Norwich solicitor he was born in the parish of St. Michael-at-Plea, and was for sixty-five years in the Congregational ministry. Among his literary works was his book entitled “Recollections of a Long Life.”

October 24th 1897

Died at Cranley Place, London, Mr. Francis Turner Palgrave, formerly Professor of Poetry at Oxford. The eldest son of Sir Francis Palgrave, he was born at Great Yarmouth in 1824, and was educated at the Charterhouse and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was a scholar. In 1847 he took his degree with a first in Classics, and was elected to a Fellowship at Exeter College. From 1850 to 1855 he was Vice-Principal of the training college at Kneller Hall, and after acting as secretary to Earl Granville, became assistant secretary to the Committee of the Privy Council on Education.

October 26th 1897

A serious outbreak of typhoid fever was reported at Lynn; and by December 18th 440 cases and 43 deaths had occurred. The disease was occasioned by the impurity of the water supply, and it was stated that at least 75 per cent. of the cases could be traced to the drinking of unboiled water.

October 26th 1897

Mr. T. Richmond Pinder resigned the head-mastership of King Edward VI. Middle School, Norwich, to which he was appointed in 1862. Mr. William Robert Gurley, M.A., of the Perse Grammar School, Cambridge, was on February 8th, 1898, elected to fill the vacancy.

October 26th 1897

Died at Old Lakenham, Norwich, Mr. Carlos Cooper, barrister-at-law. He was the second son of Mr. Charles Cooper, and was born February 12th, 1815. Educated at Norwich Grammar School he was called to the Bar by the Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 1839, and was appointed Recorder of Thetford in 1865. He afterwards became Recorder of King’s Lynn, was placed on the commission of the peace for the city of Norwich in 1873, and shortly afterwards appointed judge of the Guildhall Court of Record on the death of Mr. Nathaniel Palmer.

November 1st 1897

At Terrington Petty Sessions, the Norfolk and Norwich Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals instituted proceedings against two persons for cruelty to 130 geese by plucking them alive on October 4th and 5th. Remarkable statements were made in the course of the hearing. The practice, it was said, was not uncommon a quarter of a century previously, but it had since ceased except in remote localities. Evidence was given to the effect that the process was unquestionally barbarous and cruel. A witness for the defence, who described himself as a “goose puller,” stated that for twenty years he had plucked 1,500 live geese annually, and 5,000 or 6,000 were so plucked every year in his village. It was the custom to pluck the same birds four times a year—first on June 18th, and afterwards at intervals of three weeks; and every goose so plucked weighed two pounds more at Christmas than those which had not been plucked, and the flesh was of better quality. The magistrates dismissed the cases.

November 4th 1897

Mr. A. J. Balfour, First Lord of the Treasury, addressed a large meeting of the Conservative party at the Agricultural Hall, Norwich, at which Lord Amherst of Hackney presided. Mr. Balfour stayed at Catton Park, as the guest of Mr. S. Gurney Buxton.

November 9th 1897

Mr. Clement Charles Rix Spelman was elected Mayor and Mr. Alfred Haldinstein appointed Sheriff of Norwich.

November 16th 1897

The new Royal Hotel, erected on the site of Messrs. Foster and Burroughes’ offices and of a stonemason’s yard and other premises on Bank Plain, Norwich, was opened by a public luncheon at which Mr. Blofeld, chairman of the Directors, presided. The building was designed by Mr. E. T. Boardman, of the firm of Messrs. Boardman and Son, and the contractor was Mr. John Youngs.

November 28th 1897

A severe gale visited the eastern coast, and continued on the 29th. At Yarmouth a high sea flooded the Beach Gardens, and the river overflowed its banks, and entered private houses, offices, and warehouses on the Quay. At Cromer a portion of the jetty was washed away, and at Horsey serious breaches were made in the sea wall and thousands of acres of salt marshes submerged. The fishermen and others on the coast sustained great damage, and a fund was opened by the Mayor of Norwich for their relief. On December 30th Capt. Vereker, the professional adviser to the Harbour Department of the Board of Trade, held an inquiry at the King’s Arms Inn, Martham, for the purpose of receiving suggestions as to the best methods of preventing future encroachments.

December 7th 1897

The Norwich Town Council elected Mr. Ernest Edward Wild, barrister-at-law, judge of the Guildhall Court of Record, in place of Mr. Carlos Cooper, deceased.

December 22nd 1897

Died at 14, Trinity Street, Norwich, Mr. William Hunter, aged 77. He was a native of Bury St. Edmund’s, was elected Mayor of Norwich in 1881, and appointed a justice of the peace in 1893.

December 26th 1897

Died at Belper, the Rev. Edwin Augustus Hillyard, vicar of Christ Church, in that town. He was formerly rector of St. Lawrence, Norwich, and the pioneer of ritualistic observances in the churches of the city. “Mr. Hillyard was the first to have celebrations for the departed, and they have been held in one church or another in Norwich ever since.”

December 27th 1897

A disastrous fire occurred at Lynn, and caused destruction of tradesmen’s stock and property of the value of £150,000. It originated on the premises of Messrs. Jermyn and Perry and Jermyn and Son, wholesale and retail drapers and furniture and general warehousemen.