Norfolk: Thetford


William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


THETFORD, an ancient Borough and Market Town, was once a large and important City, being the capital of the kingdom of East Anglia, in the Saxon era; and the See of the Bishopric of Norfolk, from the year 1070 to 1094. (See page 102 [which is the entry for the Diocese of Norwich].) It also shared with Norwich as the capital of Norfolk, till 1833, when the Lent Assizes, which had previously been held here, were removed to Norwich. It is a widely spread town, mostly on the north and partly on the south side of the Little Ouse river, which divides the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and receives here the small river Thet, from which the town has its name. It is encompassed on the south and west by extensive sandy heaths, abounding in rabbits, and is distant 12 miles N. of Bury St. Edmund's, 6 miles E.S.E. of Brandon; 28 miles S.S.E. of Lynn; 28 miles S.W. by W. of Norwich; 19 miles N.E. of Newmarket; and 80 miles N.N.E. of London.

A branch line will shortly be extended from Thetford to the Norwich and Brandon Railway at Santon, and it is also proposed to construct railways from Thetford to Wells and Bury St. Edmund's; the latter to be extended to the London line at Bishop Stortford.

The town has been much improved during the last ten years, especially the Market place, where the Shambles, which stood on the site of the Red Lion Inn, were taken down in 1837, and rebuilt on their present site, with a handsome front, adjoining the Guildhall. The market, held every Saturday, is well supplied with provisions, &c., and here are four large annual fairs, viz., on May 14th and Aug. 2nd, for sheep; September 25th, for cattle, pedlery, &c.; and in July, or early in August, for wool. Horse Races were held here from an early period till 1620, when they occasioned such tumults, that they were suppressed by the Privy Council. They were revived in 1833, but discontinued about six years ago.

The town has several good inns, many well-stocked shops, four large breweries, three foundries, a tannery, several malt and lime-kilns, several corn mills, and an extensive paper mill, the latter employing about 50 hands in the manufacture of the finer sorts of paper. Its principal commercial transactions are in the importation of coal, timber, &c., and the exportation of corn, wool, and other agricultural produce, for which the Little Ouse opens a water communication by barges to Lynn, Wisbech, &c.: the navigation being extended from White House, near Brandon, to Thetford, under an act passed in the 22nd of Charles II., and improved under another act, obtained in the 50th of George III., by the Corporation, who, in 1829, erected a neat cast iron BRIDGE, in lieu of the old wooden bridge, which previously crossed the navigation, and connected the Norfolk and Suffolk parts of the town.

Thetford retains many relics of its former architectural greatness, and when viewed from the top of the lofty castle hill, the town has a highly picturesque appearance, many of the houses having large and tastefully laid out gardens and shady enclosures, descending to the winding banks of the river, which are margined by a rich display of elm, ash, poplar, walnut, sycamore, mulberry, Western-plane, and other trees. In the vicinity have been found various extraneous fossils, particularly large cockle shells, or cardii, and button fish, or eschintæ. A petrified curlew and a perfect nautilus were found here many years ago.

The fisheries in the rivers within the limits of the borough, are noticed as early as the reign of Henry I., as abounding in pike, pickerel, eels, salmon, chub, perch, carp, tench, dace, &c. In 1715, a sturgeon, weighing 31st. 10lbs., was taken out of the mill pool. On the south side of the town, near the Little Ouse, is a chalybeate spring, which supplied a Bath House, erected by subscription about 12 years ago, but the bath was filled up in 1838, though the water is said to possess similar virtues to those of Toplitz and Tunbridge.

The BOROUGH OF THETFORD encreased [sic] its population from 2246 souls in 1801, to 3934 in 1841, and comprises 835 houses, and 6976 acres of land, divided into three PARISHES, of which the following are the names, areas, and population, viz.:- St. Peter's, 2281 acres, and 1184 souls; St. Cuthbert's, 215 acres, and 1543 souls; and St. Mary's, 4480 acres, and 1207 souls. St. Peter's is wholly in Norfolk, but all the land in St. Cuthbert's and St. Mary's, except about 100A., is in Suffolk, as also are 58 inhabitants of the former, and 677 of the latter. St. Cuthbert's has also about 1300A. of warren, which is returned with Lackford Hundred, Suffolk, making the total area of the three parishes 8270 acres, nearly half of which is open sandy heath, abounding in rabbits, but in some places affording good pasturage for sheep.

Lord Ashburton and Lady Buxton own the greater part of the enclosed lands, and the former is lord of the manor of Thetford-cum-Halwich, with Sibton in Croxton. FORD PLACE, formerly considered as extra-parochial, is a small estate in St. Cuthbert's parish, belonging to Geo. Beauchamp, Esq. The air of Thetford is highly salubrious, as is evident from the longevity of many of its inhabitants. Mrs. Cath. Maine, now living here, is 98 years of age; and in 1844, John Jackson died here, aged 98, and Mrs. Tyrrell, aged more than ninety.

The Borough forms a Deanery in the Archdeaconry of Norwich, and gives name to a large Union.

THETFORD UNION, formed by the new poor law commissioners in 1835, comprises the three parishes of Thetford, the parishes of Santon Downham, Brandon, Barnham, Fakenham Magna, Euston, Honnington, Sapiston, Coney Weston, Barningham, Weston Market, Hepworth, Thelnetham, Hopton, and Knettishall, in Blackbourn and Lackford Hundreds, Suffolk; and the parishes of Kilverstone, Croxton, East Wretham, West Wretham, Brettenham, Rushford, Methwold, Northwold, Santon, Hockwold-cum-Wilton, Feltwell, Mundford, Lynford, West Tofts, Sturston, Cranwich, and Weeting-cum-Broomhill, in Norfolk. These 34 parishes comprise an area of 180 square miles, and a population of 17,542 souls, of whom 11,051 are in Norfolk, and 6,491 in Suffolk. Their average annual expenditure for the support of their poor, during the three years preceding the formation of the Union, was £10,408; but in 1838, it amounted only to £6,188, and in 1840, to £6,953 18s.

The UNION WORKHOUSE, erected in 1836, at the cost of about £5000, stands in St. Mary's parish, Thetford, but within the bounds of Suffolk, about half a mile from the Town, on the Bury road. It is an extensive brick building, and its boundary walls enclose three acres of land. It has room for 300 inmates, but has seldom half that number, having only 83 in July, 1841, and 110 in Sept., 1843. The Board consists of 43 Guardians, and Edward Abbott, Esq., is chairman, and H. Edwards, Esq., vice-chairman. Wm. Clarke, Esq., is union-clerk and superintendent registrar, C.W. Hotson, Esq., auditor, and Mr. John Lucas, master of the Workhouse. The relieving officers and district registrars are - Mr. Denny Smith, for Thetford District, and Mr. Jno. Sharpe, for Methwold District.

Thetford, according to some authors, was first a British city, and afterwards a Roman station; but the arguments adduced in support of these conjectures, are not very conclusive. Camden and Plot place the Sitomagus of the Itinerary here; but Gale and Horsley contend that that station was at Woolpit, in Suffolk.

At the east end of the town is a large entrenched mount, about 100 feet in height, 984 in circumference at the base, and 338 in diameter at the base, and 81 at the summit, which is dished or hollowed out to the depth of 12 feet below the outer surface. The slope of the mount is extremely steep, forming an angle with the plain of the horizon of more than forty degrees; and yet no traces remain of any path or steps for the purpose of carrying up machines, or any weighty ammunition. It has been surrounded by a double rampart, with an outward ditch, the sides of which were protected by the horns and bones of the animals slaughtered for the use of the garrison, but these have been much injured by time and the depredations of man. On the east side is a large area, 300 feet square, evidently intended for parading the troops. The remaining parts of the ramparts are about twenty feet high, and the ditch from 60 to 70 feet wide. These once formidable works, commonly called the Castle Hills, are composed of a mixture of mould and clunch; and on the top of the great mound or keep, are many tumuli. They were undoubtedly raised for the defence of the town during the predatory incursions of the Danes, who overthrew the Saxons in a dreadful battle fought at Snare-hill, near Thetford, in 870, when Edmund, King of East Anglia, surrendered to the marauders, who cut off his head, and after plundering and butchering many of the inhabitants of Thetford, reduced the city to ashes. In 1004, Sweyne, King of Denmark, invaded East Anglia, and among other places, burnt this. In 1010, Ulfketel, the Saxon earl, suffered a complete defeat, and Thetford was again destroyed. After the truce, which was concluded between Edmund Ironside and Canute, this town, like a phœnix, arose from its ashes.

In the time of Edward the Confessor, there were in the borough 944 burgesses, all of whom except 36, could put themselves under the protection of whom they pleased, without the royal license, providing they paid all the customs, heriots excepted. In the time of the Conqueror, the burgesses were reduced to 720, and Bishop Herfast removed the episcopal see from North Elmham to Thetford, whence, however, it was transferred to Norwich in the following reign. From numerous coins in the cabinets of the curious, it is evident there was a mint here, from the reign of Athelstan to that of King John.

The manor-house, the ancient seat of the Earls Warren, became a royal palace, when the manor passed to the Crown as part of the Duchy of Lancaster. The mansion, now called the King's House, was rebuilt in the reign of Elizabeth, and sold by James I. to Sir P. Wodehouse, whose descendants were long seated here. It was modernized by the late T. Wright, Esq., and is now the property of James Cole, Esq. Queen Elizabeth, Henry I. and II., and James I., occasionally resided here; but the latter, being offended at the remonstrance of a farmer, over whose grounds he had been hunting, sold the manor-house to Sir P. Wodehouse.

Though an ancient borough by prescription, Thetford is comparatively a modern CORPORATION. In the Conqueror's time, the town was governed by a præpositus, and other inferior officers, generally nominated by the Crown; but in 1573, Queen Elizabeth granted the burgesses a charter, by which a mayor, ten aldermen, twenty common councilmen, a recorder, town clerk, sword-bearer, and two sergeants-at-mace, constituted the corporate body and their officers, till the passing of the Municipal Reform act of 1835. The mayor, during his mayoralty, was clerk of the markets, and in the following year officiated as coroner. The same charter also granted them permission to send two burgesses to Parliament, "provided they were discreet and honest men, and were elected at the expense of the borough." This charter was surrendered to Charles II., and an imperfect one obtained in its place; but this was rescinded in 1692, and the original charter restored. The town was governed by the latter till the passing of the Corporation Reform Bill, in 1835, under which the Town Council consists of a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; and a Commission of the Peace has since been granted, on the petition of the burgesses.

The income of the old corporation, in 1833, was £1,054, of which £955 was derived from the navigation of the Little Ouse, from Thetford to White-house ferry. This navigation had been mismanaged and neglected till 1827, when it was put into the hands of a superintendent, and a debt of £4,200 incurred in improving it by the formation of sluices, &c. The income of the new corporation, in 1840, was only £656. 16s. 8d., of which £510 arose from borough rates; £47. 15s. from rents, and £38. 8s. 10d. from tolls and dues. The expenditure, in the same year, was £598. 7s. 1d.

Quarter Sessions are held for the borough, before the Recorder, the Mayor, and the Magistrates. The number of voters is about 300, nearly half of whom exercise their elective francise [sic] as householders, and the rest as freemen. The present Members of Parliament for the borough are the Hon. W.B. Baring, and Sir James Flower, Bart. There was a return of writs and gaol delivery here as early as the reign of Edward I. The Guild Hall, in which the Lent Assizes were held till their removal to Norwich, in 1833, is a fine old building, with commodious court rooms, &c. It was enlarged and repaired in 1800, and the gaol in 1816. The sword and mace borne before the mayor, were presented by Sir J. Williams, Kt., in 1678.

The CORPORATE BODY and Officers, (1845,) are as follows:-

Mayor, H.A. Bartlett, Esq.
Recorder, T.J. Birch, Esq.
Magistrates, Henry W. Bailey, Richard Munn, and Leonard Shelford Bidwell, Esquires.
Aldermen, Shelford Clarke Bidwell, L.S.Bidwell, William Watts Wickes, and John Burrell Faux, Esqrs.
Coroner, Robert Eagle Clarke, Esquire.
Councillors, Messrs. C. Fison, Edward Frost, George Thompson, M.F. West, S. Spendlove, R. Edwards, G. Kingdon, W. Rogers, J.W. Branford, James Cole, jun., H.A. Bartlett, and H.R. Tyrell.
Town Clerk and Clerk of the Peace, Wm. Clarke, Esq., and Clerk to the Magistrates for Guiltcross and Shropham Hundreds, and to the Commissioners of Taxes.)
Clerk to the Borough Magistrates, Robert Willan, Esq.
Treasurers, Harveys & Hudson.
Auditors, Messrs. J. Palmer & J. Meadows.
Gaoler & Chief Constable, Mr. Philip Penn Wilson.
Mayor's Officer, John Clement Tyler.
Beadle & Crier, Wm. Boldrick.
The Rev. Robert Ward is chaplain, and H.W. Bailey, Esq., surgeon to the gaol; Wm. Clarke, jun., Esq., is sub-distributer of stamps; and Mr. George Green, corn inspector.

On the 9th of August, 1843, this town, like many other places in the neighbourhood, suffered severely from a dreadful STORM of thunder, lightning, hail, rain, and wind. For about twenty-five minutes, between six and seven in the evening, rain and hail descended in torrents, and most of the windows that faced the hurricane were broken. Many of the cellars were filled with water, and some of the warehouses and shops were inundated to the depth of two feet. When the coach came in from Lynn, the horses, in passing through Bridge street, were up to their chests in water. In various parts of the town, walls were thrown down by the immense weight of water pressing against them; and in the surrounding country, the gardens and corn fields sustained great injury. Many of the hailstones, or rather pieces of ice, were upwards of 1¼ inch square, and after the storm, more than 100 sparrows were picked up dead in the garden of W. Clarke, Esq. Similar storms happened in the preceding and in the same month, in various parts of the kingdom.

CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES,- The lofty Castle-hill, and the ruins of ecclesiastical and other buildings, in various parts of Thetford, remind us of its ancient splendour. It had at one time 20 churches and 8 monasteries, besides other religious and charitable foundations, and was called by the learned of the monkish ages, "Hierapolis et Monachopolis." Of these ecclesiastical edifices, the names only of many of them remain, and the sites of others are marked only by a few dilapidated walls. Most of the monastic institutions were granted at the dissolution, to Richard Fulmerston, Esq., and the Duke of Norfolk. The Nunnery was founded originally for monks, as a cell to Bury Abbey, in the reign of Canute; but in 1176, the monks being reduced to two, it was re-founded for a convent of nuns, who removed hither from Lynn. Some of its remains may be seen in the outbuildings of a farm-house.

The Priory, or Abbey, first erected on the Suffolk side of the town, in the churchyard of the cathedral, was removed to a more convenient situation, on the margin of the river. It was founded by Roger Bigod, for Cluniac monks, in 1104. The ancient gateway, of freestone and black flint, with part of the church, &c., still remains. Its revenues were valued at the dissolution, at £312. 11s. 4½d.; the Nunnery, at £50. 9s. 8d.; and the Monastery of St. Sepulchre, at £82. 6s. The latter was founded by Earl Warren and Surrey, in 1109, for Augustine canons; and the porter's gate and part of the church still remain, in Canon's close, - the latter converted into a barn. The Austin Friary was founded by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, in 1387, for mendicants, and its site is still called the Priory close.

On removing the foundations of the friary church, the remains of Lady Todenham and Lady Hengrave were discovered, and re-intered near the same spot, under a handsome altar tomb, erected in 1807, by George Beauchamp, Esq. The latter lady died in 1402, and the former in 1412.

The Maison de Dieu, which stood at the corner of Canon's close, was founded by Wm. Rufus and Earl Warren, for two chaplains and three poor men, who were to be fed, clothed, and lodged, and have water for washing the pilgrims' feet. Here were four Hospitals for lepers, &c., dedicated to St. John, St. Mary and St. Julian, St. Mary Magdalen, and St. Margaret, but no vestiges of them now remain.

Of the 20 churches, only three are now standing, and they give name to the three parishes. The first church here, dedicated to St. Mary, was rebuilt by Bishop Herfast, as the cathedral, and is supposed to have stood on the site of the free school. It had four churches appendant to it. The tower of St. Nicholas, and some small fragments of a few of the other ancient churches, are still extant. ST. MARY'S, formerly called St. Mary the Less, is the only church in the Suffolk part of the town. It is a large thatched fabric, with a square tower and six bells. The interior is neatly pewed, and has several marble monuments - one to the memory of Sir Richard Fulmerston. The benifice is a perpetual curacy, valued in the King's Book at £1. 13s. 6½d., and in 1835, at £83. It was augmented in 1722-3, with £200 given by Henry Campion, Esq., and £200 of Queen Anne's bounty. The Duke of Norfolk is patron, and the Rev. Wm. Collett, M.A., incumbent.

St. PETER'S is a large and handsome church, chiefly of flint, and consisting of a nave, chancel, side aisle, and tower. The latter, containing eight bells, was rebuilt in 1789, when a great part of the body was also rebuilt. The battlements on the south side, and the buttresses, are decorated with ornaments and large letters, inlaid in flint work. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's Book at £15. 1s. 5½d., and in 1835, at £55. It was augmented in 1726, with £200 royal bounty, and £200 given by Hy. Campion, Esq.; and in 1814, with a parliamentary grant of £1200. It is united with the perpetual curacy of St. Cuthbert's, in the patronage of the Duke of Norfolk, and incumbency of the Rev. Thomas Sworde. The latter benifice was valued in 1835, at £50, and was augmented with £1600 of Queen Anne's bounty, in 1811 and 1813. Chapel Acre, given by Wm. Tyllis, in 1501, is let for £4. 10s., which is applied in repairing St. Peter's church.

ST. CUTHBERT'S CHURCH is a small fabric, with a tower and five bells. The tithes of the parishes of St. Cuthbert and St. Mary were commuted in 1845.

The other places of worship in the town are a Friends' Meeting House, a Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1830; an Independent Chapel, erected in 1817; a handsome Catholic Chapel, built in 1826; and a Primitive Methodist Chapel, erected in 1838.

The FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL and HOSPITAL, in St. Mary's parish, on the Suffolk side of the river, were founded in 1566, by Sir Richard Fulmerston, who endowed them with part of the possessions of the dissolved monasteries, some of which had previously been employed for similar uses. The property derived from the founder consists of the school and play-ground; three tenements and Black Friars' Close, (3R.) let for £15 a year; the schoolmaster's house, with an acre of land attached to it; the usher's house, with a small garden; the Hospital, containing rooms for four almspeople, and having a small garden for each; and a farm of 1435A. 2R. at Croxton, now let for £508. 15s. per annum. According to the founder's will, part of this endowment is for the support of a preacher at St. Mary's church; but his intentions were not carried into full effect till the 7th of James I., when an Act of Parliament was obtained incorporating the preacher, schoolmaster, usher, and four almspeople, (two men and two women,) by the name of the "Master and Fellows of the School and Hospital of Thetford, founded by King James, according to the will of Sir Richard Fulmerston." This act provides that the preacher be called the master, and the schoolmaster, usher and almspeople, the fellows; and that they shall be governed by such ordinances as shall be made by the mayor, burgesses and commonalty of Thetford, with the sanction of the Bishop of Norwich and the justices of assize.

Since 1825, the school has been open to 30 free scholars, who are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic; and eight of them may also be instructed in the classics. They are selected by the Corporation from the sons of freemen or settled parishioners of Thetford, and may remain till 14 years of age, paying only for pens, ink, paper, and firing.

In 1817, the Corporation obtained the sanction of the Court of Chancery, to a new scheme for the future management of the charity. They appoint the schoolmaster, usher, and almspeople; but as the preacher is always to be the curate of St. Mary's, his nomination is virtually in the Duke of Norfolk. The schoolmaster and usher are allowed to take other scholars, and in their residences they have each accommodations for 20 or 30 boarders. The former has the salary of £60. 13. 4d., and the latter £50 a year. The preacher receives from the endowment £110 per annum, of which £20 is in lieu of a residence; the house in Black Friar's yard, appointed for him, being let in three tenements. The four almspeople have each a weekly stipend of 5s. After paying the above salaries, &c., and deducting for all necessary repairs of the buildings, the surplus income is to be divided every third year, among the "master and fellows," according to the ratio of allowance prescribed by the Act of the 7th of James I.

Here is a NATIONAL SCHOOL, built by subscription in 1825, and now attended by about 70 boys and 70 girls; a Spinning, Knitting, and Reading School, supported by subscription, for 30 poor girls; a school connected with the British and Foreign School Society; and also an Infant School. Attached to the churches and chapels are several well-attended Sunday Schools.

SIR JOSEPH WILLIAMSON, KT., in 1701, left £2000 to be laid out in the purchase of lands or tenements for such public uses of the town of Thetford, as his executors, with the advice of the Corporation of Thetford, should think fit. Sir Joseph was recorder of the borough. His legacy was not received from his executor till 1717, when it was laid out in the purchase of an estate at Fornham All Saints, and the Ox Pastures at Great Barton, in Suffolk. This property was exchanged in 1826, with Sir H.E. Bunbury, for a farm of 563A. 3R. 27P. at Tuddenham, and the sum of £1223. 19s., which was laid out in repairing and enlarging the farm-house and outbuildings, all of which were burnt to the ground in 1844, by one of the incendiary fires which have of late been so frequent in the county of Suffolk. They were insured for £1150, and are now being rebuilt. The farm is let for about £300 per annum; which, after paying incidental expenses, is applied in apprenticing poor children of the borough, with premiums of about £15, agreeable to a scheme which was sanctioned by the Court of Chancery, in 1718, when the charity estate was vested in trustees, to be appointed, as vacancies occur, by the Corporation. The rules and orders of the Court also recite "that the mayor, recorder, and coroner of Thetford, for the time being, though they could have no estate in the lands, (in virtue of their office,) should be trustees to all intents and purposes." New trustees have been appointed from time to time, by the Corporation, and it has not been customary to confine the appointments to members of their own body.

In Magdalen street are ALMSHOUSES, for six poor men, built by Wm. Harbord, Esq., in 1680, and kept in repair by the Corporation. They were endowed with a yearly rent-charge of £30, left in 1679, by Sir Charles Harbord, during the term of a 99 years' lease. In 1806, this lease was renewed without any reservation for the almspeople, so that they have now no endowment.

The BENEFACTIONS for yearly distribution among the poor of Thetford, are the dividends of £966. 12s. 7d. new 3½ per Cents., purchased with £1000, left by PETER STERNE in 1814, subject to the expense of repairing the tomb of the donor and his father; £4 a year out of the Red Lion Inn, paid by the Corporation in satisfaction of the gifts of MARGARET EDEN, (£40) in 1616, and Sir JOHN WODEHOUSE, in 1751; £4 a year paid by the Corporation of Norwich, as the gift of WM. BARNHAM, in 1659; £8. 10s. out of Abbey farm, paid by Lord Ashburton, under the name of the DUKE OF NORFOLK'S CHARITY; a yearly rent-charge of £20, left by Sir EDWIN RICH, in 1675, out of Rose Hall Farm, in Beccles; subject to the deduction of £2 for land tax; and about £25, received yearly out of the Stoughton Estate, vested with the trustees of HENRY SMITH'S CHARITIES, left in 1627. The latter is distributed in blue-grey cloth coats. In 1608, Thomas Gent, left a house and about a rood of land, to pay 6s. 8d. yearly for ringing the morning and evening bell, and to divide the rest of the rent among the poor. The house was burnt down about 60 years ago.

The FUEL ALLOTMENTS awarded to the poor of the three parishes, under the Enclosure Act of the 44 of George III., and vested in trust with the lord of the manor of Thetford-cum-Halwich, and the ministers, churchwardens, and overseers, are as follows: to St. Cuthbert's, 13A. 2R. 30P., now let for £32; to St. Peter's, 19A. 3R. 10P., let for £22 10s.; and to St. Mary's, 23A., let for £20 a year. These rents are distributed in coals. The poor of St. Cuthbert's have also about £5 a year, as the rent of 2R. 11P., left by Samuel Snelling.

Among the WORTHIES born at Thetford, are Thomas Martin, F.A.S., author of the History of Thetford, born in 1696, and died 1771; and Thos. Paine, author of "The Rights of Man," "Common Sense," "The Age of Reason," and other political works, which, being written in a peculiarly popular style, with much freedom of thought and expression, and published at a time when the French Revolution had excited an extraordinary ferment in the public mind, were eminently calculated to produce a revolution in this kingdom, and were consequently suppressed by Government. Paine died in America in 1800, but his bones were afterwards brought to England by the late Wm. Cobbett. The late E.H. Barker, Esq., of Thetford, was author of "Parriana," or notices of the Rev. Samuel Parr, L.L.D., and also re-edited an edition of "Lempriere's Classical Dictionary."

On the 12th of August, 1555, Thos. Cobbe, Roger Coe, and James Abbes, three martyrs to the Reformed religion, were burnt at Thetford, after undergoing a mock trial, before Michael Dunning, the bloody chancellor of Norwich.

Assemblies are occasionally held in the town; but the small Theatre, which used to reap a good harvest during the assize week, has been but little used since the removal of the assizes to Norwich, in 1833. Here is a Mechanics' Institution, established in 1841, and now having 70 members, and a library of 409 volumes. At the Red Lion, Dolphin, and White Hart Inns, are Lodges of Odd Fellows, and there are in the town several Friendly Societies, and other provident institutions.


POST-OFFICE: Mr. Wm. Christopher, postmaster, King street. Letters despatched to London, &c., at 8 evening; to East Harling, &c., 20 min. past 6 mg; to Watton, &c. 6 mg; and to Newmarket, &c. at ½ p. 8 nt.

Marked 1, reside in Bank street; 2, Bury road, (in SUFFOLK;) 3, Botany Bay Lane; 4, Bridge street; 5, Chapel street; 6, Croxton road; 7, Earls lane; 8, Gaol street; 9, Guildhall street; 10, Great Magdalen street; 11, King street; 12, Little Magdalen street; 13, London road, (in SUFFOLK;) 14, Market Place; 15 Oldman's lane; 16, Old Market place; 17, Water lane; 18, White Hart street; 19, Raymond street; and 20, in Well street.

            Ashby       Rev John          (Indt.) Norwich rd
            Backley     John              fellmonger & glover, Common
         12 Barker      Mrs Ann Elizabeth
            Bartlett    Hy. Albert, Esq.  Canons farm
         10 Barton      Miss Sarah
          1 Best        Henry, Esq.       Prospect House
          8 Bidwell     Thomas, Esq
          7 Boldrick    Wm.               town crier
          2 Burrell     James             iron founder &c
            Calkin      W.                excise officer, Castle row
          4 Capes       Mrs Elizabeth
            Chandler    F.                gamekeeper
         10 Churchard   Thomas            letter carrier
         10 Clarke      James             carrier
         13 Clarke      Rt. Eagle, Esq.   coroner
         13 Clarke      Wm. Esq.          solicitor, town clerk, union clerk,
                                            supt. regr. &c
         13 Clarke      Wm. jun.          sub-distributor of stamps
          4 Clarke      Wm.               bookkeeper
          2 Coburn      Isaac             tea dealer
         18 Cole        John              bookkeeper
          2 Collett     Rev Wm., M.A.     incumbent of St Marys
         12 Cooke       Miss Elizabeth
         12 Cooke       John              dyer
          1 Cronshey    Mrs Margaret
            Debenham    Alfd.             clerk, Ford Cottage
          9 Dent        Miss Mary
          9 Duly        Daniel            solicitor's clerk
            Elsey       Mrs.              Norwich road
          4 Faux        J.B. Esq.         bank manager
         20 Faux        Mrs Susan
            Featherston Thomas            gent. Abbey
          4 Fison       James & Sons      merchants, bone & cake crushers,
                                            and timber sawyers, Steam Mills
         16 Gates       Mrs Susan
          2 Gifford     Mrs Sarah
         19 Gill        Mrs Eliz.
         16 Gill        Elizabeth         fishmonger
         17 Godfrey     Mrs
         17 Godfrey     George
                          & Isabella      boat builders and owners
         11 Green       George            corn inspector
         11 Guest       Mrs Mary D.
          9 Hailstone   James             attorney's clerk
         19 Harvey      Wm.               brush maker, &c
         10 Harvey      Miss Mary
         12 Hawks       James             clerk of St Mary's
          4 Hipper      J.                broker
         13 Hobbins     Mr Wm.
          9 Humphrey    Mr Jonathan
         11 Hunt        Edward            carriers' agent
          2 Jackson     Oliver            (P. Meth. Min.)
         12 Jones       Rev Thomas Lewis
          2 Kemp        Mrs
         13 Lane        Rev Matth.        (Catholic priest)
          2 Lucas       Jno.              govrnr. Union Workhs
         13 Mc.Dougal   Daniel            supervisor
          2 Mann        David             manager
          9 Mann        Mr James
            Marsham     Miss S.V.         New Plac [sic]
         11 Methold     Rev Thomas, M.A.  rector of Kilverstone
         18 Milnes      Mr George D.
         12 Newbury     Mr George
          1 Norman      Mr Wm.
          2 Palmer      Mrs Susan
         13 Pollard     Mrs
         13 Pratt       Miss My.
          2 Ray         Robert            excise officer
         13 Rumball     Miss Elizabeth
         12 Sayer       Richard Edwd.     bank clerk
         12 Smith       Denny             registrar, &c
         12 Spalding    Thomas            foreman
         11 Steggall    Mrs Ann
         15 Stone       Wm.               carrier
         18 Sworde      Rev Thomas        rector of St Peter's
          9 Stokes      Joseph            cork cutter
         10 Thrower     Jas.              hay & straw dealer
          9 Tyler       Jno. Clement      mayor's officer
            Vipon       Mrs Mary          Ford place
         11 Whistler    John              game dealer
         11 Whistler    Wm.               game dealer, and clerk of St Peter's
                                            & St Cuthbert's
          2 Whitrod     Chas. & Son       reed layers
         16 Wilson      Philip Penn       gaoler and chief constable
         10 Woods       Mr Wm.
         11 Young       Andrew, Esq
         10 Youngman    David             traveller
          4 Harveys and Hudson,(on Hankey and Co;) J.B. Faux, manager
          4 Oakes, Bevan, & Co. (on Barclay and Co;) John Juler, agent
               FIRE AND LIFE OFFICES.
         18 Family Endowment              G. Faux
          4 Farmers'                      Robert Willan
         13 Guardian                      Wm. Clarke
         11 Norwich Equitable             Wm. R. Green
            Norwich Union                 Wm. Catton
          4 Royal Exchange                John Juler
          4 Suffolk Amicable              Henry Brown
         13 Sun                           Henry Newson
         13 Union                         John Houchen, junior
               INNS AND TAVERNS.
          4 Anchor                        Wm. Johnson
         14 Angel                         Wm. Gunstone
            Bell Inn                      Robert Edwards (posting)
         10 Black Horse                   Jno. Walter Tyrrell
         11 Chequers                      Wm. Penteny, junior
          9 Dog and Partridge             Peter Fitch
         16 Dolphin                       Wm. Boyce
         18 Fleece                        John Golding
         14 Green Dragon                  Wm. Bullen
            Half Moon                     Hy. Moore, Mundford rd
         15 Horse Shoe                    Samuel Burt
         11 King's Arms                   Edward Hunt
         18 King's Head                   Isaac Gray
         14 Red Lion                      Chas. Dewing Tyler
          1 Rose and Crown                James Pooley
         16 Spread Eagle                  Thos. Penteny, sen
          2 Star                          Wm. Smith
          2 Trowel and Hammer             Jno. Carter
            White Hart Inn                Charles Balaam
         19 White Horse                   Daniel Davy
           (* take Boarders.)
          7 Bundy       J.
          7 Carr        Emma              (Infant)
          9*Cross       Mary
         13 Ward        Rev R.
             & Gates      Jno.            Free Gramr.
          2 Hayward     Eliz.
           *Kingdon     John              Norwich road
          6 Cobb        J.J.
             & Kingdon    Maria           National
          4 Pecher      E.
           *Rogers      Misses            King's House
          2 Skippins    Saml.             Catholic School
          9 Miller      S.                Spinning, &c.
         13 Clarke      Wm.
         18 Faux        Gregory
         18 Houchen     Jno. junior
          4 Willan      Robert
               Auctioneers, &c.
         11 Christopher W
         13 Deck & Newson
         11 Green       George
               Bakers, &c.
          2 Clarke      Susan
         19 Craske      Edmd.
         18 Handcock    J.A.
          9 Harrold     Ann
         16 Jones       Wm.
            Johnson     Sarah
         11 Oldman      Stepn.
         15 Oldman      Wm.
          2 Palmer      James
         10 Rogers      Mary
          1 Sterne      Susan
         10 Traise      John
               Basket Makers.
         20 Reynolds    Jno. and Robert
               Beer Houses.
          7 Basham      Geo.
          2 Cary        John
          7 Francis     Frances
          1 Fuller      Jn. Avis
          9 Hammond     Jno.
         10 Howard      Chas.
         12 Jay         Wm.
            Largent     William, Mundford rd
          1 Meek        Mrs
          2 Parlett     Francis
          6 Rudland     Thos.
            Skippins    Thos., Norwich road
          2 Spalding    John
          8 Whistler    Hy.
         18 Arbon       John
         19 Booth       George
            Booth       Richard
          1 Chamberlain J.
         16 Gill        Robt. and bell hanger
         10 Howard      C.
         11 Howard      Jph.
          1 King        Thomas
          1 Rushbrooke  J.
          2 Smith       Wm.
               Booksellers and Printers.
         14 Carley      Robert            
          7 Fleet       James             (binder only)
          2 Lock        Hy. Peter         Catholic books.
         11 Priest      Thos.
               Boot & Shoe Mkrs.
            Archer      John
         18 Carr        Isaac
         10 Churchard   Rt.
         12 Davy        George
          9 Fletcher    John
         18 Frost       Edward
         12 Foulger     John
         14 Howard      Jacob
            Humphrey    Fras.
         15 Pallant     Wm.
          1 Payman      John
         10 Pechey      Jph.
          2 Porter      Henry
          8 Sterne      Charles
          9 Sterne      Barnard
         12 West        Michael
               Braziers & Tinrs.
          8 Clarke      J. & Son
          9 Diver       John
               Brewers and Maltsters.
         16 Bidwell     Leonard Shelford
          5 Branford    J.W.
         10 Tyrrell     J.W.
         19 Wickes      Wm. Watts
         16 Boyce       Wm.
         15 Huggins     Rt.
         12 Nunn        Edward
          1 Norman      Wm.
         12 Palmer      Jph.
          2 Palmer      James
         10 Palmer      John
          2 Porter      Robert
         18 Snare       Robert
               Brick & Tile Mkrs
          6 Snare       Robt. sen
            Tyrrell     Hy. Rt., Mundford rd
         16 Boyce       James
         10 Flack       Nathl.
         14 Fuller      Geo.
          1 Fuller      John
         10 Whistler    Ths.
         18 Wright      Wm.
               Cabinet Mkrs. and Upholsterers.
          2 Atkins      Wm.
          9 Battle      John
          4 Browne      Jno. B.
         11 Oldman      John, (& appraiser)
               Chemists & Drgts
          4 Cronshey    Jas.
         11 Nye         Chas. (& Brit. Wine dlr.) Medical Hall
               China, Glass, &c. Dealers.
         11 Catton      M. & A.
               Coach Makers.
          2 Huggins     Geo.
         13 Palmer      Alfred
         20 Tyler       Peter
         14 Bond        Wm.
         12 Craske      Robt.
         18 Edward      Jas. (& toy dealer)
         11 Oldman      Stpn.
         11 Pratt       Sarah
         10 Traise      John
          2 Parlett     Francis
         12 Thompson    G.
               Corn and Coal Merchants.
                 (* are Maltsters.)
         16*Bidwell     Lnd. Shelford
          5*Branford    J.W.
          4*Fison       Jas. and Sons, Steam mill
          5 Gill        Jn. Withers and Garner (& boat owners)
          8*Tyrrell     Henry Roberts
               Corn Millers.
         10 Flack       N.
            Gill        J.W. & G. Water mill
          3 Green       Henry
         15 Oldman      Wm.
          6 Oldman      W. jun
               Curriers, &c.
         18 Frost       Edward
         14 Howard      Jacob
            Skippins    Thomas
               Earthenware Manfrs. (Brown Ware.)
            Scales      T. sen. & jun. Croxton rd
            Bartlett    Hy. Albt. Canons Farm
            Featherston Ths.      Abbey Farm
          3 Green       Henry
            Hipperson   Jno.      Thetford place
            Turner      Harrison  Norwich road
         18 Tyrrell     H.R.
         10 Tyrrell     Walter
               Gardeners, &c.
          2 Sparrow     Thos., Nursery
         13 Stebbing    Jph.
               Grocers & Drprs.
               (* Hatters also.)
         18*Gayford     Fdk.
         10 Hammond     Sophia
         12 Hill        Charles
          9 Hill        Mary
         11 Hunt        James
          4*Juler       John
         16 Kingdon     Geo.
          5 Richardson  Ts.
         14*Rogers      Wallis
         11 Scott       John
         11 Smith       Wm.
         18 Spurgeon    Simeon
         18 Christopher B.
          2 Judd        Henry
         10 Storkey     Wm.
         14 Todd        Charles
               Iron and Brass Founders & Agl. Machine Mkrs.
            Burrell     Chas., St. Nicholas lane
         11 Hall        Thomas
         13 Palmer      Edw.
         14 Bond        Wm. (& gun maker)
          4 Brown       Henry
          8 Clarke      James
          9 Diver       John
               Joiners, &c.
          9 Battle      John
         12 Betts       Wm.
         10 Coats       Wm.
         16 Hearne      Robt.
         19 Hambling    Js.
         16 Johnson     John
         12 Palmer      Jph.
          1 Smith       James
         12 Thompson    G.
         14 Tyler       C.D.
         18 Tyrrell     Geo.
               Lime Burners.
         12 Palmer      Jph.
          2 Porter      Robert
         12 Thompson    G.
               Linen & Woollen Drapers.
                 (See Grocers, &c.)
         11 Scott       John
          7 Brock       M. & Ann
         20 Brown       J.
         11 Clarke      Har.
          2 Cummings    M.
         12 Davy        Mary
         11 Howard      Eliz
         18 Nunn        Sophia.
         10 Newell      Elnr.
         27 Petch       Sarah
          9 Pilgrim     Robt.
            Smith       Mrs Wm.
         12 Tyler       Eliz.
               Paper Mfrs.
            Munn        Rd. & Co. Ouse mill
               Plumbrs. Glazrs. and Painters.
         18 Browne      Peter
          7 Cooper      John
         11 Norman      Sarah
          9 Pretty      John
               Rope Makers.
         12 Cock        John
            Noble       William, Common
         18 Abel        Samuel
         10 Barnard     Jno.
          6 Codling     John
          4 Tunney      John
         16 Basham      Geo.
            Booth       Richard
         12 Burgess     Eliz.
         18 Dickman     Wm.
         18 Edwards     Jas.
          2 Gunstone    Dd.
          1 Lovely      Harriet
         15 Nunn        Mary
          2 Sparrow     Thos.
               Stone Masons.
         11 King        Wm.
          1 Knowles     Hy.
          9 Sharp       Wm.
         10 Snare       Rt. sen.
               Straw Hat Mkrs.
         17 Dickman     M.A
         18 Garner      Ann
         11 Howard      Har.
         12 Hurrell     Har.
         18 Tyler       Har.
         14 Bailey      Henry Woodruffe
         11 Best        Hy. W.
         13 Firth       Chas. Ed.
           (* Drapers also.)
          2 Baker       Noah
          4*Brett       John
         11*Carley      Php.
         11*Christopher William
          1 Ellis       Philip
          7 Farrow      Benj.
          2 Hayward     John Jackson Evan, Norwich road
         11 Jarvis      Wm.
         11*Meadows     J.
         19 Sewell      Wm.
          9 Smith       Wm.
         12*Towell      Geo.
          8 Watson      John Alfred
          5 Frost       Edward (fellmonger & wool mercht)
               Timber Merchts.
          4 Brown       Henry
         17 Godfrey     Geo. & Isabella (& boat builders)
         10 Hollingsworth Richard
         12 Thompson    G.
         18 Tyrrell     Geo.
               Vety Surgeons.
         11 Howard      Jph.
          4 Parry       Thomas
         12 Branch      Chas.
          7 Feltham     Thos.
         11 Snelling    Jas.
          4 Spendlove   John Simpson
         13 Zipfel      Chas. (Ger. clocks)
          7 Brock       Henry
          2 Huggins     Geo.
          1 King        Thomas
         12 Thompson    G.
               Wine and Spirit Merchants.
         16 Bidwell     Lend. Shelford
         11 Cole        Jas. jun. (& ale) King's House
          5 Gill        J Withers and Garner
         13 Neobard     John
         19 Wickes      Wm. Watts


(From the Bell Inn.)
To London, ¼ before 6 mg., ¼ before 11 morning, and at 11 night
To Bury, ½ past 10 mg.; to Cambridge, 2 aftn.; to Norwich, ¼ before 4 mg., and at 1 and 3 aftrn - daily, except Sunday. Also, to Bury, Wed. 10 mg., & Tue. Thu. & Sat. 8 evg.; and to Lynn, Tues. at 7, & Thu. & Sat. at 8 morning
(From the White Hart.)
Mail, to Bury, Newmarket, &c. at 8 night; and to Norwich, 6 morning


The Norwich and Brandon Railway will be completed before the close of 1845, and will have a branch to Thetford. After it is opened, the Norwich and London coaches will cease running.

VESSELS to Lynn weekly; J.W.& G. Gill, and Geo. and Isabella Godfrey, owners and wharfingers


Deacon, Mack, & Co's Vans, &c.
to London, &c. 2 mg.; and to Norwich, &c. 11 night. daily (except Sunday:) Edward Hunt, agent, King street.
W. Fowell's Van,
from Gaol street, to London, Monday, 12 noon
To Bury,
Hy. Reeve, Market place, Wed.; G. Ashburn (Green Dragon,) Sat.; and Wm. Stone, Oldman's lane, Wednesday and Saturday
To Dereham, &c.
Hy. Reeve, Market place, Monday and Thursday
To Diss,
Ths. Miller, Oldman's lane, Fri
To Hockham,
(Golden Fleece,) Wm. Hudson, Saturday
To Ipswich,
G. Lambert, (Green Dragon) Monday and Thursday
To Ixworth,
John Rowley, (Chequers,) Wednesday & Saturday, 3 afternoon
To Lynn,
Rd. Steward, Mundford road, Mon. & Thu. 9 mg.; and to Bury, Wednesday and Saturday
To Norwich,
Jas. Clarke, Gt Magdalen st. Mon. & Thu. 3 aft; & Salter & Co. (Golden Fleece) Mon. Wed. & Fr. 5 mg

See also the Thetford parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
January 2011