Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for LYNN, KINGS-LYNN, or LYNN-REGIS

LYNN, KINGS-LYNN, or LYNN-REGIS, a town, a parish, three sub-districts, and a district, in Norfolk. The town stands on the right bank of the river Ouse, at the junction of the Nar navigation, and at a junction of railways from Norwich, Ely, Hunstanton, Wisbeach, and Sutton, a few miles S of the SE extremity of the Wash, and 40 W by N of Norwich. Camden derives its name from the Celtic word Llyn, signifying "a pool ' ' or "an epxanse of water; ''but Spelman derives it from the Saxon Lean, signifying "a tenure in fee. ''The name occurs in Domesday book as Leen and Lena. The town, at the time of the Norman conquest, was already a port, with considerable customs and many salt-works; it belonged then, and had belonged previonsly, to certain bishops; it continued, till the time of Henry VIII., to be under the peculiar jurisdiction, both temporal and spiritual, of the bishops of Norwich; and it was known, during that period, as Lynn-Episcopi or Bishops-Lynn. It was early and long a great resort of Hollanders, Flemings, and others from the Continental shores of the North sea; and, in the time of Richard I., it was much frequented by Jews, and had a good trade. Louis the Dauphin took it in 1216. King John re-took it, chartered it, returned to it for the purpose of removing his treasures when they were endangered by France; and, leaving it to cross the Wash, was overtaken there by the tide, and nearly drowned. Henry III. deprived it of its liberties on the ground of alleged sedition; but afterwards restored them on becoming convinced of its loyalty. It was visited by Edward III. in 1430; and it had a mint in his time, and sent 19 ships to the fleet against France. Edward IV. visited it in 1470-1, on his way to and from Flanders, and lodged at Red Mount. Henry VII. visited it in 1498; and lodged in the Augustinian friary. Henry VI II. renewed its charter, and changed its name to LynnRegis or King's Lynn. Mary, the sister of Henry VIII., visited it in 1528; and Queen Elizabeth in 1576. The plague devastated it in 1585,1598,1624,1635,1636, and 1666. A Dutch protestant called George Vanparre, was burnt in it in 1551; and many persons charged with witchcraft were burnt in it in the 16th and the 17th centuries. A rascally witch-finder, called Hopkins, was patronized by the magistrates; and, being paid a certain sum for every woman whom he declared to be a witch, he was at small loss to find victims. The town declared for Charles I. in the civil wars; was garrisoned with 5,000 men in his cause; stood a siege of 29 days in the autumn of 1643, by a force of about 18,000 under the Earl of Manchester; surrendered at the end of that period; and was garrisoned for the parliament thence to the conclusion of the war. Capgrave, a Fanciscan friar, author of "Chronicles of England, ''and other works; Nicholas of Lynn, or Friar Nicholas, a musician and astronomer who died in 1360; William Sautre, or Sauter, a Wickliffite who was burnt at Smithfield in 1401; William Gale, an eminent Augustinian who died in 1507; Sir Benjamin Keene, an ambassador who died in 1757; Dr.Burney, son of the historian of music; Barrett and E. Pyle, the theologians; Miss Breese, who kept a pack of hounds and was a famous shot; and W. Whittingham, editor of an edition of the County History, who died in 1818, were natives. Marquis Townshend takes from Lynn the title of Baron.

The Ouse at the town is nearly ¼ of a mile wide; and it naturally expanded immediately below into a sort of estuary, forming the SE horn of the Wash. The natural width at 3 miles N of the town was about 3 miles; and it there merged into the Wash with a width from E to W of about 8 miles. But works were commenced in 1850 for reclaiming all the estuary and much of the contiguous portions of the Wash, to an aggregate of 32,000 acres, at a cost of £250,000; and these works were designed to be extended so far as to include a total reclaimed area of about 600,000 acres, to be defended by an embankment across the Wash about 8½ miles N of the town, and to be called Victoria County. The tract Of country to the W of the town, and across the head of the Wash, is an alluvial flat; but the tract to the E rises in gentle eminences, and is interspersed with villas and plantations. Four rivulets or canals, here called fleets, intersect the town in varions directions; are crossed by numerous small bridges; are navigable for coal-boats into narrow thoroughfares; and are subject, in some places, to be stemmed to inundating overflow by high spring tides. The town is about 1¼ mile long, and more than ½ a mile broad; and is encompassed, on the land side, by a deep wet fosse, formerly defended by a strong embattled wall, with nine bastions. Extensive ruins of the wall still exist; and the S gate of it, a fine tower, with a lofty pointed arch-way for carriages and two smaller ones for foot-passengers, still stands. An octagonal tower, called the Red Mount, used formerly for both military and ecclesiastical purposes, is near the fosse on the E side of the town; and a platform-battery, called St. Ann's Fort, formerly mounted with ten guns, as a defence to the harbour, is at the N end. The streets, for the most part, though clean and well-paved, are narrow Great modern improvements, however, have been made. New streets, comparatively spacious, have been formed; old streets have been widened; and many large and handsome houses Ouse, is a suburb, and communicates with the town by a ferry. Gaywood also is suburban, and includes Highgate and Albion-place. Public walks, margined with trees and shrubs, are near the London-road; and one of them, in form of an avenue, shaded with lofty lime and chestnut trees, extends from Guanock-terrace to the Red Mount, and goes thence, along the inner bank of the dilapidated town walls, to Kettle-mills. Water-works are at Kettle-mills; were reconstructed in 1861, on plans by G. R. Stephenson, at a cost of £7,941; have two steam-engines of 20 and 40 horse-power, raising the water to a height of 100 feet above the level; and sends to the town a constant and plentiful supply, drawn from the Gaywood and Grimstone river.

The Tuesday market-place comprises an area of 3 acres; is surrounded by large handsome houses, inns, and shops; serves for meat, poultry, and fish market; had formerly, in the centre, an elegant market-cross; and has now there a handsome pillar, combining gas-lamp and public fountain. The new market house and the corn exchange are here; and the former was erected in 1830, at a cost of £3,800; the latter in 1854, at a cost of £2,450. The Saturday market-place is at the end of High-street furthest from the Tuesday market-place; and serves for butchers and others. The guild hall, formerly the hall of the Trinity-guild, is here; has a chequered front of flint and stone; and includes, under its roof, assembly rooms, with an elegant apartment 87 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 22 feet high. The council and magistrates' rooms adjoin the guild hall; are adorned with many fine paintings; and contain the Red Register of Lynn, one of the oldest paper books in existence. The borough jail also adjoins the guild hall; was enlarged in 1831, at a cost of £2,300; and has capacity for 11 male and 4 female prisoners. The custom-house, on Purfleet-quay, was erected in 1683; is in a mixed Greek style, with curious pyramidal roof, surmounted by a small open turret, terminating in a pinnacle at a height of 90 feet; and h as, over the entrance, a statue of Charles II. The athenæum, in Baxters-plain, in the centre of the town, was erected in 1854; is an extensive ornamental brick structure; contains a fine hall, 84 feet long, and 42 feet wide, for concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and public meetings; and includes separate sections for six literary, scientific, and artistic institutions. One of these institutions is the Old Subscription library, with upwards of 8,000 volumes; another is the Stanley library and reading-room, founded by Lord Stanley, chiefly for the working-classes, and possessing about 5,000 volumes; another is the museum, especially rich in ornithological specimeus, and open free to the public; another is the Conversazione society, for lectures, papers, and discussions; another is the Philharmonic musical society; and another is the Church of England young men's society. The theatre, in St. James-street, is a large brick edifice. The savings' bank, in the same street, was built in 1860, at a cost of about £2,000; and is a brick structure in the Tudor style. The public baths, on Common-Staithquay, were constructed in 1856; are formed of brick; and have very convenient fittings, with hot and cold, salt and fresh, and shower and swimming baths. The pilot office, on the same quay, was erected in 1863; and is a red-brick building, with an octagonal tower 50 feet high. A house of early decorated English date stands in St. Nicholas-street; a house of later English date, in Nelson-street; and a Tudor house of 1605, in Bridgestreet.

A fine hexagonal tower, 90 feet high, supported by gromed arches, stands near St. James-street; belonged to the church of a grey friary, founded in 1264, by Thomas de Feltsham; and serves now as a landmark. A curious cruciform Lady's chapel stands at Red Mount; was built about 1482; and comprises a crypt with barrel-vault,-a pilgrims' and priests' house, a massive octagon of brick, 26 feet in diameter,-and a chapel proper, 17½ feet long, 14 feet wide, and 13 feet high, with fan-tracery roof. The gate of the Augustinian friary, which was funded in the time of Edward I., and where Henry VII. lodged in 1498, is still standing. Some walls of a black priory, founded about 1272 by T. Gedney, also are standing. The gate of a Carmelite friary founded by Lord Bardolph, and a gate of a college founded about 1500 by Thoresby, likewise are standing, and show later English features. Another ancient monastery, an ancient hospital of St. John, and four ancient lazar hospitals have entirely disappeared.-St. Margaret's church was founded in 1100, by Bishop Herbert de Lozinga, as the church of a priory subordinate to Norwich; comprises nave, aisles, transept, choir, and two side chapels; measures 240 feet by 132; has two W towers, 86 feet high; had also a central tower, with a spire 258 feet high, blown down in 1741; was partly rebuilt and entirely repaired in 1747; shows the Norman character in the columns of the nave, the early English in the choir, and the early English with later English additions in the W towers; got a beautiful E window, in room of a previous faulty one, in 1 865; was proposed to be altered in 1869; and contains an elaborate screen, carved stalls, and some ancient monuments. St. Nicholas' church, now a chapel of ease to St. Margaret's, stands in St. Ann's-street; is chiefly later English; measures 200 feet by 78; was restored in 1853; has a tower with some 13th century work, surmounted by a new and handsome spire; and contains a finely worked font of 1627, placed on a pyramidal flight of steps. St. John's church, in Blackfriars-road, was built in 1846, at a cost of about £5,000; is in the early English style; and contains 1,008 sittings. All Saints church, in Church-lane, the parish church of South Lynn, is ancient and cruciform; was thoroughly repaired in 1860; and had formerly a W tower, which fell in 1 763. The Independent chapel in New Conduit-street was built in 1838, at a cost of about £3,000; and is a handsome edifice. The Union Baptist chapel in Paradise-lane was built in 1859, at a cost of £3,000; is a cruciform. edifice, in the early English style; and has a small turret. Two Baptist chapels are in Blackfriars-road; and one of them is a neat edifice of 1841, erected at a cost of £2,000. The Wesleyan chapel in Tower-street was built in 1812, at a cost of £4,500; and is large and ornamental. The Primitive Methodist chapel in London-road was built in 1857, at a cost of about £2,000; and is a brick structure, in the Italian style. The New Connexion Methodist chapel in Railway-road was built in 1853, at a cost of about £2,000; and is a neat and commodious brick structure. The Roman Catholic chapel in London-road was built in 1844, at a cost of £2,500; was enlarged in 1852, by addition of an aisle; and is in the decorated English style. There are chapels also for Quakers, United Free Methodists, and Unitarians. The public cemetery is on the Hardwick-road, occupies about 8 acres, and is neatly laid out.

The grammar school, in St. James-street, was foun ed about 1500, as a college, by Thomas Thoresby; was rebuilt in 1825; is under the control of the borough charity-trustees; has six scholarships or small exhibitions; and had Engene Aram as an usher at the time of his apprehension in 1759. National schools are in Greyfriars-road, South Everard-street, Stonegate-street, and Albion-street; a British school is in Blackfriars-road; a ragged school is in StAnn's street; and infant schools are in Norfolk-street, Broad-street, and St. Ann's-street. St. James hospital, in St. James-road, was founded in the 14th century, andrebuilt in 1722; comprises twelve houses and a chapel; and has an endowed income of about £175. Valinger's almshouses, in South Lynn plain, were founded in 1811; are for four poor women; and have an income of about £84. Framingham's hospital, in London road, was founded in 1676; is a neat structure of brick, with stone dressings; comprises apartments for 12 in mates, and a chapel; and has an income of £260. Smith's alms houses, in St. Jamesroad, were founded in 1822; are for eight aged poor women; and have an income of about £30. Everard's alms houses, in Friars-street, were funded in 1866. Gaywood alms houses, within Gaywood parish, occupy the site of St. Mary Magdalene's hospital, founded in 1155 by Petrus Capellanus: were rebuilt in 1649: comprise twelve tenements and a chapel, in the form of a square; and have an income of about £357. The total amount of endowed charities is about £1,173. The workhouse stands in Exton's-road; was built in 1856, at a cost of more than £12,000; has capacity for 410 inmates; and includes a chapel, with 250 sittings. A fever ward is connected with the workhouse, but stands at a short distance from the main building. The West Norfolk and Lynn hospital stands near the London-road; was erected in 1834, at a cost of more than £3,000; was enlarged in 1847, by the addition of two wings; is a neat structure of white brick; and has capacity for 52 inmates.

The town has a head post office,‡ a railway station with telegraph, three banking offices, and four chief inns; is a seat of sessions and county-courts, a pollingplace, and a coast-guard station; and publishes four weekly newspapers. Markets are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays; a good show of sheep and cattle occurs on every alternate Tuesday; cattle fairs are held on the second Monday of April and the second Monday of Nov.; a cheese fair is held on 17 Oct.; and a mart for cloth, toy s, and general merchandise, commences on St. Valentine's day, and continues for a fortnight. There are corn mills, malt houses, breweries, seed-crushing establishnments, agricultural implement manufactories, machine-making and mill-wright establishments, roperies, sail-making and cork-cutting establishments, coach-making establishments, iron and brass foundries, two tobacco manufactories, a tannery, a flax factory, and a ship-building yard. Fisheries are carried on for shrimps, cockles, smelts, cod, and haddock; and they annually send upwards of 60 tons of shrimps alone to London. Exports of corn, wool, quartzose sand, and coprolite are made coastwise, and of manufactured goods to foreign ports; and imports of coal are made largely coastwise, and of wine, timber, hemp, tallow, oil-cake, sulphur, and cork from foreign ports. The harbour is in the Ouse river; was much deepened and improved by the cutting of a new channel on the part of the Norfolk Estuary company; has capacity for upwards of 300 vessels; is swept by a tide which enters with a sudden swell, and rises 18 feet; suffers inconvenience from large and shifting sandbanks at its entrance, occasioned by the rapid action of the tide over an oozy bed; and is approached from Lynn Deeps by a narrow and intricate passage about 15 miles long, well buoyed, and provided in one part with a life-beacon, 34 feet high. New docks were begun to be formed in 1866, and were well advanced in 1869. The vessels belonging to the port, at the beginning of 1864, were 61 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2,101 tons, and 92 large sailing-vessels, of aggregately 12,948 tons. The vessels which entered in 1863 were 72 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 8,967 tons, from foreign countries; 75 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 6,593 tons, from foreign countries; 1 British steamvessel, of 228 tons, from foreign countries; 1,052 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 86,633 tons, coastwise; and 52 steam-vessels, of aggregately 5,772 tons, coastwise. The Vessels which cleared in 1863 were 3 British sailingvessels, of aggregately 186 tons, to foreign countries; 16 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1,530 tons, to foreign countries; 403 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 25,293 tons, coastwise; and 52 steam-vessels, of aggregately 5,772 tons, coastwise. The amount of customs in 1867 was £16,155. Steamers ply to Hull twice a week, and to Newcastle once a week. The borough has sent two members to parliament since the time of Edward I.; and is governed, under the new act, by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors. Its limits, both parliamentary and municipally, comprise the parishes of Lynn or St. Margaret and South Lynn or All Saints. Acres, 2,675; of which 55 are water. Electors in 1833,836; in 1868, 901. Corporation income in 1861, £8,373. Real prolperty in 1860, £89,949; of which £26,148 were in railways, and £1,060 in gas-works. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £5,186. Pop. in 1851, 19,355; in 1861,16,170. Houses, 3,637. The decrease of pop. arose partly from the dismissal of hundreds of labourers temporarily employ in the Northfolk Estuary works, and partly from the depression of the shipping trade caused by the transit of coals and goods by railway. The parish of Lynn or St. Margaret is divided into the wards of North End, Kettlewell, Jews-lane, Chequer, Paradise, New Conduit, Trinity-Hall, Sedgeford-lane, and Stonegate. Real property in 1860, £75,348; of which £26,148 were in railways. Pop. in 1851,14,583; in 1861,11,636. Houses, 2,606. A portion of the parish which had a pop. of 3,867 in 1861 was constituted a separate charge, under the name of St. John, in 1846. The head living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of St. Nicholas, and with the rectory of North Lynn, and the living of St. John is a vicarage, in the diocese of Norwich. Value of the head living, £549; of St. John, £158. Patrons of the former, the Dean and Chalpter of Norwich; of the latter, the Bishop of Norwich.-The three sub-districts are L. North, L. Middle, and L.South. The N. sub-d. comprises the wards of North End, Kettlewell, Jews-lane, and Chequer. Pop., 3,962.Houses, 854. The M. sub-d. comprises the wards of Paradise, New Conduit, Trinity Hall, and Sedgefordlane. Pop., 5,955. Houses, 1,367. The S. sub-d.. comprises the ward of Stonegate, and the parishes of South Lynn, West Lynn, and North Lynn. Polp., 6,784. Houses, 1,542.—The district consists of the three subdistricts. Acres, 5,499. Poor rates in 1863, £11,000. Pop. in 1851,20,530; in 1861,16,701. Houses, 3,763. Marriages in 1863,140; births, 501,-of which 48 were illegitimate; deaths, 362,-of which 123 were at ages under 5 years, and 14 at ages above 85. Marriages-in the ten years 1851-60,1,492; births, 5,548; deaths, 4,048. The places of worship, in 1851, were 6 of the Church of England, with 4,014 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 958 s.; 3 of Baptists, with 1,280 s.; 1 ofQuakers, with 120 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 250 s.; 3 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,460 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 530 s.; 2 of the Wesleyan Association,with 325 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 900 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 100 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 350 s. The schools were 7 public day schools, with 957 scholars; 55 private day schools, with 1,239 s.; and 11 Sunday schools, with 1,696 s. The workhouse is in South Lynn; and, at the census of 1861, had 249 inmates.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, three sub-districts, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Kings Lynn CP       Kings Lynn SubD       Kings Lynn RegD/PLU       Norfolk AncC
Place names: KINGS LYNN     |     LYNN     |     LYNN KINGS LYNN OR LYNN REGIS     |     LYNN REGIS
Place: Kings Lynn

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