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Description of Norfolk in 1733

This is an extract from Magnae Britanniae notitia: The Present State of Great Britain, 1733 by John Chamberlayne. There is an earlier version of the book dated 1708.

This section about Norfolk has been transcribed by Claire Haynsworth of Norfolk, Virginia, USA. When the book was published, the letter s was printed like the letter f, which is why the words may look strange. Also 100,000 l means 100,000 pounds sterling.

In the text, Chamberlayne mentions the River Frin. This is not a misprint or an incorrect transcription. Please contact me (see below) if you can identify it.


Is in Norwich Diocefe, 140 Miles in Circumference, contains about 1,148,000 Acres, and 47,180 Houfes. The Air is fharp, the Soil diverfe, partly clayifh, and partly fandy: The Spring and Harveft are here not very forward. Its Rivers Oufe, Waveny, Yare and Frin. The commodities are Corn, Wool, Conies, Honey, Saffron, of which the beft is about Walfingham; and on the Sea coafts are abundance of Herrings. Jet and Amber are fometimes found on the Shore. Its chief Manufactures are Woollen and Worfted Stuffs, which are faid to have that Name from Worfted, a Town in this County and Stockings.

It has 660 Parifhes and 31 Towns: Norwich the Shire Town, 90 Miles from London, a Bifhop's See, contains about 7000 Houfes and 30,000 Souls, is eminent for Norwich Stuffs made there, of which they vend yearly to the Value of 100,000 l. There is a Cathedral Church, and the Bifhop's Palace. There is an Hofpital for 100 poor Men and Women; fair Cloifters, and a fine Market-crofs. Yarmouth is a beautiful Town, and hath an excellent Harbour; Lynn is a fair Town, and wealthy.

Chief Seats are Norwich Palace, Duke of Norfolk's; Pafton Hall, late Earl of Yarmouth's; Stifcay and Raynham, Lord Townfhends'; Blicking, Lord Hobart's: Houghton, Sir Robert Walpole's: Melton Conftable, Sir Jacob Afhley's, Bart.; Ranworth Hall, Col. Sidney's; Garboldifham, Sir Edmond Bacon's; Kirby Bedon, Sir Tho. Berney's; Oxborough, Sir Henry Bedingfield's; Hunftanton, Sir Tho. L'Eftrange's.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
April 1998