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collection called the City Library.

THE THEATRE ROYAL,

A small building tastefully fitted up, was opened in 1826, under the
direction of the Norwich Company, and it was well patronised for a long
time ; but of late years it has been almost forsaken by the gentry. Near
it is an extensive and elegant suite of Assembly Booms, whei^ein balls and
concerts were formerly given, but for some time the rooms have been
occupied by the fraternity of Free Masons. A new Assembly Room has
been built in the same locality.

BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS

Are numerous in Norwich. St. Giles' Hospital, commonly called the Old
Man's Hospital, was established in 1249 for aged persons. The ancient
Church of St. Helen was appropriated to its use, and new ranges of build-
ings have been added. Doughty's Hospital in Calvert Street was founded
in 1687 by Mr. William Dought}'-, who bequeathed £6000 for its erection
and endowment. Great additions have been lately made to this Hospital.



256 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

Thomas and Robert Cook founded their Hospital prior to 1701 and endowed
it for ten Avomen. The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital^ in St. Stephen^s, a
large building of red brick, was erected in 1771 at a cost of £13,323 8s. lid.
It has been much enlarged of late years, and is the noblest institution in
the county. Bethel Hospital in Bethel Street was built in 1713 by Mrs.
Mary Chapman, and is supported by donations and subscriptions. The
Institution for the Relief of the Indigent Blind, in Magdalen Street, was
originated by Thomas Tawell, Esq., one of its chief benefactors. It is
supported by donations and subscriptions, and it comprises a school for
blind children, who are taught to read and sing and make various articles.
There have been many charitable bequests of benevolent persons for
distribution amongst the indigent poor. Among later charities may be
mentioned the Stanley Institution in St. PauFs for Poor Females, the Jenny
Lind Infirmary for Sick Children, and many others. There are many
parochial charities, having benefactions belonging exclusively to the
respective parishes.



The Free Grammar School, originally built by Bishop Salmon, was
established by Edward VI., under whose charter it is supported out of the
revenues of St. Giles' or the Great Hospital in Bishopgate Street. Many
eminent men were educated at the Grammar School in the Close, including
Nelson, the Norfolk hero, whose statue stands opposite the school. The
Commercial School, close to St. Andrew's Hall, was built some years since
as a middle-class institution. The National Central School and nine other
National Schools of the Church of England afford instruction to some
thousands of boys and girls. There are several British Schools and others
connected with the Chapels of Nonconformists. Ttere are Church of
England Model Schools for boys and girls in Princes' Street, attended by
GOO children. About 10,000 children are very imperfectly instructed in
the Day and Sunday Schools. Under the Elementary Education Act a
School Board has been elected and some expense incurred, but as yet
nothing has been done here to extend or improve elementary instruction.
New schools are not so much wanted as the improvement of those already
existing by the appointment of more efficient masters.

THE CITY SUBURBS.

The environs of Norwich are pleasantly situated, and the new roads and
streets of new houses have been greatly extended, forming a new city, con-
taining about half the population. Most of the city gentry and traders have
residences in the hamlets, in which are some first-class houses and villas,
surrounded by gardens. The working people, forming three-fourths of the



A DESCRIPTION OP NOPWICH. 257

population^ not being able to find houses in tlie old city^ are obliged to live
in the suburbs, occupying' tenements, small, indeed, but healthy — far more
so than the pent-up rookeries of the lanes, courts, and alleys within the
old walls.

The Hamlet of Heigham is of great extent on the western side of thu
city, and includes three parishes, St. Bartholomew (the original parish),
also St. Philip, and Holy Trinity. Here are many new roads and streets
three Churches, three Chapels, and a population of 1G,000. Here are the
City Jail, the new Waterworks, the new Workhouse, and the new
Cemetery, wherein 20,000 bodies already lie buried. This bimal ground
includes twenty-four acres of land, well planted mth trees and shrubs.
Here are many beautiful monuments erected as memorials of the dead.
The Cemetery being of recent formation, much that will be beautiful here
is yet only in the course of growth. The yews, the willows, the evergreens,
the azaleas, the rhododendrons, the magnolias, and other vigorous exotics
have not yet appeared. Still the Cemetery delights the eye and soothes
the heart with masses of exquisite blossoms, whose perfumes shed a world
of sweetness over the quiet sleepers under the green sward. Here the rich
and the poor are laid together, at least not far apart. A scene like this
reminds us that " the days of man are as a shadow that passeth away."

Earlliam Road may be called the "west end" of the city, many new roads
and streets branching from it right and left. About 1200 families reside in
comfortable houses in new streets on the right. We see long hues of rural
villas, with pleasant gardens, on the left. Walking onwards, we pass the
new Cemetery, and soon arrive at Earlham Park, where in the old mansion
not long ago resided the philanthropist, J. J. Gurney, Esq., where he had
often large meetings of the Friends around him, where he often entertained
the rich and never forgot the poor, and where he wrote some of his best
religious works. We pass a long plantation, through an arborial avenue,
and descending the hill reach the small ivy-mantled Church, standing in
enclosed grounds.

Where the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

Unthank's Eoad, more south, extends for a mile from the city to Eaton^
through a rural locaHty, wherein many handsome houses have been built
of late years. On the east side there are long , lines of new streets in a
pleasant part of the hamlet.

Newmarket Road has been underdrained and planted with trees on the
east side, adding greatly to the sylvan appearance of this picturesque
approach to the city. Many large handsome houses have been built on
each side of the road, and they are much admired for their handsome
proportions. All these villas are adorned by beautiful gardens, which



258 HISTOKY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

make very agreeable residences, especially in the summer months. Mr.
Daws, of Dereham Road, was the builder, and he deserves much, credit for
the greatly improved style of these and other rural residences in the
suburbs of the city.

Ipswich Road, more eastward, is a beautiful drive from the city, fur
twenty miles through long avenues of trees. There are many rural
residences surrounded by gardens on each side of the road.

The Hamlet of Eaton lies two miles south of the city, in the vale of the
Taas. The manor is about 1300 acres, and belongs to the Dean and
Chapter, but the soil is let to a number of lessees. The Church (St.
Andrew), is an ancient edifice covered with thatch, and having an
era'battled tower with three bells. It was originally a Norman structure,
bmt it appears to have been re-built in the Early English period ; and to
have been much altered in the 15th century. The village contains several
long rows of small houses, inhabited by working people.

The Hamlet of Lakenham is of great extent on the south-east side of
the city, and includes the Peafield, in which are many long lines of houses,
inhabited by poor working people. St. Mark's Church is a small elegant
structure, consisting of a nave and square tower, with turrets, pinnacles,
and three bells. It was finished at a cost of £4000, and contains 900
sittings, most of which are free. The old Church stands on an acclivity
above the river, and is a small structure with a tower and three bells.
The benefice is a vicarage, united to Trowse Newton, and with it valued
at £361, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter.

Bracondale, Carrow, and Trowse form one hamlet on the east side of
the city, containing some well-built houses, the residences of the gentry.
Miss Martineau is the owner of the greater part of the laud here, and
resides at Bracondale Lodge, a handsome mansion Avith well-laid-out
pleasure grounds. The late P. M. Martineau collected here many remnants
of Gothic architecture in 1804, and used them in the erection of a lofty
arch, and an edifice representing a small priory, with windows fiUed with
stained glass.

A Nunnery formerly existed at Carrow Abbey, dedicated to St. Mary
and St. John. It was founded in the year 1146 by two ladies, uamed
Leftelina and Seyua. It was richly endowed by King Stephen, and
consisted of a prioress and nine Benedictine nuns, which number was
increased to twelve. The site within the walls contained about ten acres
of land, and the revenues were great. At the dissolution, the Abbey and
lands became private property. J. H. Tillett, Esq., is the present occupiei"
of the Abbey.

The Hamlet of Thorpe Hes on the south-east side of the city, and con-
tains the Rosary burial ground and many handsome villas. This hamlet



A DESCRIPTION OF NORWICH, 259

is considered the Ricliinond of Norfolk^ and seems to have been chosen
by tho city gentry for their places of residence. ^Many new roads have
been laid out, and new villas built, surrounded by gardens. The pictu-
resque road to the old gardens is a favourite walk of the citizens. Thoi-pe
Lodge was the rural residence of the late John Harvey, Esq., " a fine old
English gentleman,^' who was a great promoter of aquatic sports. The
Old Hall, the name by which the manor house is now known, stands at
the entrance of the village, where a new Church was lately built close to
the old one.

Household Heath is a hill not yet all enclosed, near Thorpe. Part of
it is yet covered with furze in a state of nature, and it is associated with
historical events. On this height the rebel Ketts encamped their mde
army in tents of turf and boughs ; here grew the Oak of Reformation under
which the Tanner held his Court, and multitudes Ustened to the sei-mons
of preachers who were encouraged to visit the camp. Down this steep
slope the sturdy rustics rushed to fight for the waste lands which they re-
garded as their own. Here they defeated Lord Northampton and his
Italian mercenaries, but they in turn were beaten by the Earl of Warwick,
and in a terrible rout 3000 of them were slain.

Mousehold House, on the side of the heath next Thorpe, was the
residence of General Harvey during the latter part of his life. He was
familiarly called ^ir Robert Harvey before his last promotion, and he was
highly respected as a citizen. He was the son of John Harvey, Esq.,
and he entered the army early in life, and soon distinguished himself in
active service. Sir Robert Harvey served as Assistant-Quartermaster-
General of the British and of the Portuguese armies in Portugal, Spain,
and France from 1809 to the close of the war in 1814, and was present at
the battles of the passage of the Douro and Busaco, second siege of
Badajoz, siege and storm of Cindad Rodrigo and Badajoz, battle of
Salamanca, siege of Burgos, battles of Vittoria, Pyrenees (slightly
wounded), Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, and Toulouse, besides numerous minor
affairs. From 1809 to 1811, he was employed in procuring intelligence
of the enemy in advance of the army, in organising nine Portuguese
guerilla corps, the officers of which presented him -with an elegant sword
in testimony of his services with them, and in resisting the attempt of the
enemy's passage of the Tagus at Chamusca. From 1811 to 1814 he was
the organ of communication between the Duke of Wellington and the
Portuguese troops. Sir Robert received the gold medal for the battle
of Orthes, and the silver war medal with nine clasps. Sir Robert John
Harvey, C.B., Ensign, October 8th, 1803 ; Lieutenant, March 24th, 1804;
Captain, January 2nd, 1806 ; Major, July 25th, 1811 ; Lieutenant-Colonel,
June 21st, 1813 ; Colonel, July 22ud, 1830 ; Major-General, November



260 HISTORY OP EASTERN ENGLAND.

23rd, 1841 ; Lieutenant-General, November 11th, 1851 ; General, July
17th, 1859; Colonel 2nd West India Regiment of Foot, June 15th, 1818.
The late General was President of the Norwich Union Fire and Life
Insurance Offices ; also a County and City Magistrate. He died Juno
18th, 1860.

Among eminent citizens may be mentioned William Bateman, Bishop of
Norwich in the fourteenth century, and founder of Trinity Hall, Cam-
bridge ; Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury ; Dr. John Kayo, or
Caius, founder of Caius College ; Robert Green, a popular writer in the
reign of Elizabeth ; Dr. John Cosin, Bishop of Durham in the reign of
Charles 11. ; the learned Dr. Samuel Clarke, the son of an Alderman of
Norwich ; Edward King, F.R.S. and F.S.A., an erudite antiquary ; the
Rev. William Beloe, translator of " Herodotus ; " and Sir James Edward
Smith, M.D., founder and first President of the Linnasan Society, and
author of the " Flora Britannica.^' He resided at a house in Surrey Street
during the latter part of his life.

Among the distinguished residents in the city were Sir Thomas
Erpingham, Chamberlain to Henry IV., who built the beautiful gate
facing the western end of the Cathedral, which is still called Erpingham
Gate, and who had a house in the neighbourhood ; Sir John Fastolf, a
renowned warrior who signalised himself in the wars with France in
the reigns of Henry IV., V., and VI., and who had a house opposite the
Erpingham Gate ; Sir Thomas Brown, author of many works, who lived
in a house on the site of the present Savings' Bank in the Market Place.
The Dukes of Norfolk occasionally resided at the palace formerly standing
on the sites of the present Museum and Free Library, and the ground
occupied by the Palace extended down to the river Wensum.

Norwich can boast of some excellent artists who had eyes to discern
the beauties of their county. No one could survey the old gray ruins of
Castles and Monasteries, the ivy -mantled Churches of the olden time,
the leafy nooks, and woodland slopes, and pastures and corn fields that
seemed to wave beneath the summer breeze, with an impression that
Norfolk was a tame county. And the flat marshy levels of East Norfolk
have been found rich in another kind of beauty : reedy lakes in a broad
bluish green expanse that look boundless as the ocean ; and strange
eflects of cloud and mist ; and windmills and cattle in wet pastures ; and
here and there the wonderful charm and glow of sunset only to be seen
in the flat lands.

John Crome, son of a journeyman weaver, was born here in a poor
public-house in 1769. He commenced his working life as errand boy to
Dr. Rigby, but with small success, and while still in his boyhood, he
apprenticed himself to a house and sign painter. He shared a garret



A DESCRIPTION OP NORWICII. 261

lodging witli a printer's apprentice, and the two began to draw and
paint in their spare hours. He was so pinched in circumstances after
he married, that he painted sugar ornaments for confectioners, and had
at times to cHp the material of his brushes from the cat's tail, and to use
as canvas pieces of his mother's bed tick or his own apron. But his
courage never failed; he applied himself to etchings and water colours as
woll as to oil painting, and exhibited great originality in his local land-
scapes, for which he got little, but they are now worth their weight in
gold.

The walls and gates which formerly environed the old city are nearly
all demolished. Seven of the twelve city gates were taken down in 1792,
and the other five were all removed before 1809, but some pieces of the
wall still remain to show its ancient form and strength. The ditches
have been filled up, and the houses built upon them are considered to be
within the ambit of the city, though on the outside of the walls. The
Dungeon Tower, on the west bank of the Wensum, at the eastern side of
the city, is a circular building, about fifty-two feet in height and twenty-
four feet in diameter, with the remains of a spiral staircase reaching to
the top. It was re-built in 1390, at the expense of the city. The
Governor's Tower, on the height in the parish of St. Peter per Southgate,
is the finest and largest of the towers. It is faced with flint, and occu-
pies a commanding situation. The Boom Towers, near Carrow Bridge,
stand on opposite sides of the river, and between them the boom or chain
was formerly hung to prevent the entrance of hostile vessels. These
boom towers are round and built of flint, and form picturesque ruins. Mr.
II. Ninham has lately published etchings of the gates from Kirkpatrick's
sketches of the gates in their original state.

CITY IMPROVEMENTS, &C.

Improvements in the city have been extensive during the last fifty years;
but there are many narrow crooked streets and houses, with projecting
gables, and quaint, half-timbered fronts. Many new streets and handsome
rows of houses have been bnilt beyond the city walls. The approaches
TO the Market Place have been improved by the widening of old, or the
construction of new, streets. Among other improvements may be men-
tioned the formation of the Prince of Wales' Road, from the Castle Hill
to Thorpe Railway Station. The east side of the Castle Hill has been
lowered so as to allow easier gradients to the new road. On the same
side of the Hill a new range of houses has been built, including the
extensive works of Messrs. Holmes and Sons, agricultural machine makers.
The area of the Cattle Mai'ket has been so much enlarged that it is now
the largest in England. In the Market Place, the large drapeiy ware-



262 HISTORY OP EASTERN ENGLAND.

house of Messrs. Cliamberlin is a splendid specimen of the Palladian
style of architecture. The new warehouse of Messrs. Barnard,, Bishop,
and Barnards is a fine specimen of the Italian style, with ornamental iron
work. Messrs. Gurney and Co. have made extensive additions to the
Bank, the public room being nearly doubled in size, with new offices on
the west side. The whole building is heated by a new apparatus similar
to that of some London banks. The whole of the new work was can-ied
out under the superintendence of Mr. Boardman, architect. Queen Street.
The National Provincial Bank, in London Street, is a new building, with
a handsome front. Messrs. Fletcher and Son have recently ereeted
extensive printing offices, in a handsome white brick building, at the top
of Davey Place. The basement forms a square of fifty-seven feet by
sixty-seven feet, with six storeys above, comprising machine rooms, com-
posing rooms, and binding rooms. Two of the floors are fireproof, formed
with u'on girders and brick arches. Mr. Boardman was the architect, and
deserves much credit for the design, which is very superior to any other
in this city.

THE '^ EASTERN DAILY PRESS."

An important feature was introduced into the city in October, 1870,
when the proprietors of the Nwfolh News, the most extensively-circulated
of the county papers, started a daily journal, called the Daily Frens.
This constitutes the first efi'ort in this direction ever made in the Eastern
Counties, and as we write (1872), its increasing circulation and the
general approval of the public, many of whom feel the great convenience
of having a daily local organ, giving the latest news on their breakfast
tables some hours in advance of the metropolitan journals, may be
accepted as an augury of success. To this may be added that the
advantage of prompt announcements, in a commercial centre like Norwich,
of sales and other events past and to come, is one of no ordinary mo-
ment, and is deeply appreciated by all men of business.

NORWICH MANUFACTURES AND TRADES.

The production of textile fabrics has been, till lately, the great source
of the wealth of the city, and by employing an immense capital, exciting
industry and remunerating skilled labor, its commercial importance has
been raised and its population doubled in the present centmy. Norwich
formerly made a very distinguished figure in the weaving trade. That
the art of making cloth from wool was exercised here from a very early
period may be inferred from the simple mode of spinning from a distaff
being continued here long after it was disused in other manufacturing
districts.



A DESCEIPTION OP NORWICH. 263

From the days of the great Flemish immigration, St. Blaise has
numbered many followers in Norwich. Fugitive weavers first settling at
Worstead, a village near the north-eastern marshes, originated the name
of a familiar article which soon figured largely in our exports. Blome-
field, the Norfolk historian, tells us that in the reign of Henry VIII. the
yearly sale of Norwich stuffs alone amounted to £200,000, and of stock-
ings to c€60,000 ! In 1770, Arthur Young estimated the amount at
£1,200,000. But that old trade to the Continent and India is nearly all
gone, and a new home trade has arisen in mixed textile fabrics. At the
commencement of the present century the chief textile fabrics produced
here were bombazines, camlets, crapes, and mixed fabrics. Paramattas
were next introduced, and in the course of time superseded bombazines
for mourning. Poplins then came into fashion, and the demand for this
kind of goods increased every year. Poplins were followed by a long
succession of mixed fabrics, bareges, balzarines, gauzes, nets, mousseline
de laines, llamas, thibets, merinoes, lunettas, organdies, stuf!s, cloths,
velvets. The manufacture of shawls was also carried on extensively, and
for a long time Norwich shawls were the fashion all over England. About
the year 1820, Messrs. Grout and Co. built their silk mills, in which some
hundreds of persons, male and female, are employed. The silk, after
being properly prepared, is distributed to female weavers to be made into
crape, which is in great demand. Any visitor on his way hither in the
evening may pass through throngs of noisy girls, " factory mawthers," as
they are called in Norwich, whose appearance is very different from that
of ,their class in Lancashire. Here it is more rustic and various, as
if some hundreds of rude, blowzy, and ill-dressed servant girls had been
brought together from the country to learn to spin.

Sir Samuel Bignold was the chief promoter of a company for the
purpose of building factories for the production of textile fabrics, in order
to employ the operatives of the city. In 1833 a company was organised,
a capital of £40,000 was raised, and ultimately two large factories were
built, one in St. Edmund^s and the other in St. James\ The former
became a mill for spinning yarn, and is now in the possession of Mr. Parke.
In St. James' factory the manufacturers occupy long rooms, either for
spinning yarns or weaving fabrics. The machinery is driven by two
coupled engines of a hundred horse-power. Both factories have been
lately in full work.

The principal textile fabrics made in the city formerly were worstead
stuffs, camlets, bombazines, plaids, balzarines, and mixed fabrics, in which
silk, wool, and mohair were interwoven. Many articles formerly made
here entirely of worstead are not produced now, and new ones are
introduced yearly to suit the changes of fashion and the public taste.



264 HISTOEY OF EASTEEN ENGLAND.

The fabrics now made are chiefly paramattas^ poplins^ tamataves^ Cash-
meres, bareges, challis, winseys, Hnseys, grenadines, and other mixed
fabrics produced by skilled operatives, who earn very low wages.

In traversing portions of old Norwich, we seem to pass through a city
of departed greatness. The old mansions of the manufacturers know
them no more, and wealth has flowed into new channels. Nevertheless,
Norwich manufactures still possess much importance, and if they have
lost ground in some directions, they have advanced in others. Norwich
still produces the choicest crapes, the richest poplins and fancy goods. In
the west end of London the shawls of Norwich still captivate the World
of Fashion, and to purchase some of them requires a long purse. There
has been a great revival of the trade in this year 1872, and we hope it
will long continue.

THE WHOLESALE BOOT AND SHOE TRADE

Has arisen within the last thirty years in this city and increased to a
wonderful extent. Many large old houses have been turned into ware-
houses for the trade. There are thirty manufacturers who employ fifteen
thousand people, one-third men, one-third women, and one-third children.



Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 30 of 70)