Norfolk: Rollesby


William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby and Juanita Hadwin]

ROLLESBY is a large scattered village and parish, 8 miles N.W. by N. of Yarmouth, comprising 1407 acres of enclosed land, and about 200 acres of the waters called the Broads. It is in West Flegg hundred, East and West Flegg petty sessional division, Yarmouth county court district, Yarmouth bankruptcy district, Ormesby polling district of North Norfolk, Flegg rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 557 inhabitants in 1881, and has a rateable value of £3457.

Major Charles Ensor owns most of the soil, and is lord of the manor. The Hall, a handsome building, which was in the Elizabethan style, but was new fronted with white brick and otherwise improved in 1824, is now rented by General Sarel, C.B., and is delightfully situated east of the village, in the vale of the Broads, eight of which unite, and, covering a long strip of 400 acres, forms the largest fresh-water lake in the county. There are some buildings of great antiquity near the church.

The CHURCH (St. George) stands on an eminence at the west end of the village, and consists of nave with aisles, chancel, south porch, and tower. The latter is round at the base and octagonal above, and contains three bells. In the chancel is a raised altar-tomb, dated 1601, and bearing a recumbent effigy of Miss Rose Claxton, in Elizabethan dress. Here is also an ancient monument in marble, with figures of Leonard Mapes, Esq., his wife and family, in the attitude of prayer. The chancel was restored in 1873, at the expense of the rector, Rev. R. Tacon, and a new east window put in. The Register dates from 1550, in one book.

The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £17, and now having a clear yearly rent-charge of £648, awarded in lieu of tithes in 1839. The executors of Charles Tacon, Esq., are the patrons, and the Rev. Richard Tacon, M.A., J.P., is the incumbent. The rector is of an ancient and noble Spanish family, one of whom was Governor of Madrid in the 15th century, and another Captain-General of Cuba in the 18th. The rectory house was enlarged by the Rev. Edmund Ensor, and is now a large residence.

Here is a National School, enlarged in 1873, and also a small Primitive Methodist Chapel, near the Broad.

The Poor's Allotment, awarded at the enclosure of Rollesby in 1816, comprises 23A. 1R. 32P., let for about £23 a year, which is distributed in coal. In 1620 and 1669, Christopher Amys and Leonard Mapes left to the poor parishioners 1½ acres of land, let for £4 10s., which is applied towards the support of a Sunday School.

The parishes of East and West Flegg were incorporated for parochial purposes by an Act of the 15th of George III. (1774); and a House of Industry, for the reception of the poor of both hundreds, was erected at Rollesby in 1776, and enlarged in 1818 and 1837, so that it will now accommodate 280 paupers, though the number of inmates seldom exceeds 100.

It is under the control of forty-eight guardians, chosen yearly, and a number of directors, consisting of all the magistrates and freeholders of £200 per annum resident in the incorporated parishes. The dietary system now in use has been introduced by the Poor Law Commissioners, who have here no further authority than the Poor Law Act gives them in similiar incorporations.

R. Kidman, Esq., is chairman of the Board of Directors and Acting Guardians, and J. Cory, Esq., is their clerk. John Turpin Waller, Esq., of Burgh, is superintendent registrar; Mr. Thomas Bradfield, registrar of marriages; and Mr. A. Crisp, of Martham, and Mr. Thomas Bradfield, of Caister, registrars of births and deaths. Mr. James Linford is the relieving officer, and Messrs. Robert Woodman and A. Crisp, surgeons. The Rev. J.W. Clapcott is chaplain, and Mr. James Lewell and Miss Harris master and matron of the workhouse.

In 1862, the Board of Directors and Acting Guardians formed itself into a Board of Health, under the powers of the Public Health Acts, and has already made several useful sanitary improvements. G.M. Beck, Esq., of Great Ormesby, is chairman; John Cory, Esq., clerk; and Mr. T. Edmonds, inspector of nuisances.

The following is an enumeration of the parishes in the union:-

Parishes Acreage Population
Ashby-with-Oby 1,408   107
Billockby 389   66
Burgh, St. Margaret and St. Mary 1,655   553
Caistor, next Yarmouth 3,047 w 1,572
Clippesby 861   123
East Somerton 798   47
Hemsby 1,785 w 648
Martham 2,644   1,097
Mautby 1,659   121
Ormesby, St.-Margaret-with-Scratby }     { 1,126
Ormesby, St. Michael                        } 2,761 w {    287
Repps, near Bastwick 1,229   261
Rollesby (W.) 1,653   557
Runham 1,715   911
Stokesby-with-Herringby 2,119   333
Thrigby 1,425   92
Thurne 660   213
West Somerton 1,189   232
Winterton 1,515 w 790
  29,087 w 9,026

[There is no indication of the meanings of "W" and "w", but there is a similiar table on page 763, for Erpingham Union at North Walsham. Below that table is this text: "(w) denotes the area includes water, &c,; and (W) that the workhouse is situated here."]

Petty Sessions for the division of East and West Flegg (see page 34 [which is the entry for the Norfolk Petty Sessional Divisions, showing the parishes in this division]) are held every alternate Tuesday, at the Workhouse, Rollesby; and every alternate Wednesday, at the Police Court, Yarmouth. The following justices' houses are occasional court houses where prisoners may be tried:- Sir E.K. Lacon, M.P., Ormesby House; Rev. Charles Lucas, Filby House; G.R. Copeman, Esq., Hemsby Hall; T.W. Daniel, Esq., Thrigby House; B.J. Cuddon-Fletcher, Esq., Somerton Hall; Rev. R. Tacon, Rectory House, Rollesby; G.M. Beck, Esq., The Lodge, Ormesby; and Rev. S. Blofeld, Ormesby Vicarage. Charles Diver, Esq., is clerk to the magistrates.

POST OFFICE at Mr. Samuel Arthur Gibbs's. Letters from Yarmouth arrive at 7 a.m., depart at 6.15 p.m. Martham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office and Railway Station, two miles distant.

ANNISON   Richard           parish clerk
BALDRY    John              shopkeeper
BARBER    Samuel            farmer and butcher
BOWLES    Mr Thomas
CLAXTON   Miss Martha       matron, Union Workhouse
COPPIN    Charles John      farmer
CROWE     Edwd.             whlwright. & blksmith
DANIEL    George            farmer, Church farm
DANIELS   Hubert Edward     farmer at Potter Heigham
DONHAM    Mrs               farmer
FRANCIS   John              market gardener
FROSDICK  James             farmer
FROSDICK  James, jun.       market gardener
GAZE      George            frmr. and mkt. gardener
GEORGE    James             market gardener
GIBBS     Samuel Arthur     blacksmith and post office
HARRIS    Miss Hannah       schoolmistress, Union Workhouse
JOHNSON   Benjamin          land steward
KEMP      Mrs Maria
LEWELL    Jas.              master, Union Workhouse
LINCOLN   Richard Fabb      assistant overseer
LAURIE    David             farmer
MYHILL    John              market gardener
REVELL    Miss Emily        schoolmistress
RICHES    Mrs Mary Ann      victualler, Horse and Groom
RISING    Mrs Ann Bridget
RISING    Thomas            farmer
SAREL     General Henry
Andrew, C.B.    Rollesby Hall
SHEEVE    George            carrier
SIMNETT   Wm.               frmr. and mkt. gardener
TACON     Rev. Richard
John, M.A. J.P. rector, Rectory
TURNER    Mr Benjamin
WRIGHT    Samuel            grocer and draper
YOUNG     Chas.             farmer & mkt. gardener
YOUNG     Fredk.            frmr. & mkt. gardener

CARRIER -- George Sheeve, to Yarmouth


"in Descriptive, line 33, for 'J. Cory,' read 'C. Diver.'"

In the original there is no "J. Cory" in line 33.

J. Cory appears in line 32
as clerk to the Board of Directors and Acting Guardians of the House of Industry
and John Cory appears in line 39
as clerk to the Board of Health.

See also the Rollesby parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
August 2009