NORFOLK, a maritime county in the E of England; bounded, on the N W, by the Wash, which divides it from Lincolnshire; on the N and the N E, by the Northsea; on the S E, by Breydon-water and the river Waveney, which divide it from Suffolk; on the S, by the river Waveney, a short artificial line and the river Little Ouse, which divide it from Suffolk; on the S W and the W, by the rivers Old Welney and Nen, and a short artificialline, which divide it from Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. It is so nearly surrounded by its marine and river boundaries as to be almost an island, Its outline is somewhat ellipsoidal, but suffers indentation by the Wash. Its greatest length, from E to W, is 60 miles; its greatest breadth, from N to S, is 40 miles; its meanbreadth is about 29 miles; its circuit is about 200 miles; and its area is 1, 354, 301 acres. Only three English counties, York, Lincoln, and Devon, exceed it in size-The coast has an aggregate length of about 90 miles; presents, over the most part, a strictly continuous line, either straight or very slightly curved; has no deep bays, no sinuous creeks, no salient headlands; is everywhere monotonous and tame; lies, for the most part, so low as to be visible at but a remarkably brief distance at sea; has no greater diversities than some lumpish banks only a few feet high, some diluvial cliffs with a maximum ofabout 55 feet in height, and the cliff of Hunstantonnearly 80 feet in height; consists largely of continuous belts of sand, slenderly tumulated with pebbles and gravel, thrown up by the violence of the waves; and is suffering abrasion by the sea on the N, but making advances on it in the E. The entire seaboard, at a very recent geological period, appears to have been merely agroup of low islets; the tracts in the E, around Yarmouth, so late as the time of Edward the Confessor, were probably the basin of an estuary; the valleys of the Bure and the Yare, traversing r the N E from above Aylsham, and the E from above Norwich, at even a laterdate, were extensively arms of the sea or shallowestuaries, and still retain "meres" or "broads" and marshy flats; and the greater portion of all the southernborder, from the sea on the E, up the valley of the Waveney, and down the valleys of the Little Ouse and the Nen, to the head of the Wash in the W, was also occupied, at recent periods, either by actual sea or by deepspongy marsh. The aggregate surface of the county islower, flatter, and less diversified in feature than any other tract of country, of equal extent, in the kingdom. It has no mountains, no hills, no bold breaks except the few cliffs on the coast, not even considerable undulations except in parts of the N and N E; it boasts nothing better, in the way of picturesqueness, in even the undulated portions, than series of green hills and fertilevalleys, adorned with hedgerows, coppices, and woods, and worked by culture into forms of garden-beauty; and it may be summarily described as a great plain, not long ago a compound of estuary, marsh, sandy waste, and green common, now brought, by geognostic changes and georgic operations, into a condition of ornate fertility.
A narrow belt, along the lower part of the Ouse and the upper and middle parts of the Wash, consists ofoolitic rocks; another belt, immediately E of the former, and extending southward to Downham-Market and northward to Hunstanton, consists of upper green sand; vastly the greater portion of the county, eastward and south-eastward of the green sand belt, all the way to the eastern and the southern boundaries, consists of chalk; a large belt, from the neighbourhood of Gresham down both sides of the river Bure to a point below Acle, and a lesser belt parallel with the right side of the Yare below Norwich, south-eastward thence to the Waveney at the boundary with Suffolk, and up the Waveney to a point above Bungay, consist of crag or the lowest of theupper tertiary rocks; and a narrow belt of the N sea-board from Hunstanton to Salthouse, and all the tract W of the oolite, the green sand, and a line drawn south-ward from Stoke-Ferry to the southern boundary, consist of alluvium or reclaimed marsh. The green sand, despite its name, is commonly of a dingy brown orwhitish colour; and it abounds, in some places, withfossil shells, which are used for manure. The chalk, in some places, is so hard and compact as to be fit for masonry; it yields, in other places, great quantities of black flints, which have been used for building and for exportation; and it is manufactured, in many places, into excellent manurial lime. A forest bed near Cromerhas produced fossil teeth of elephants, and fossil remains of the walrus, the hippopotomus, the rhinoceros, the bear, the beaver, and the elk. Marl occurs in the valley of the Bure; phosphate of lime, possessing high manorial value, is found in the crag; excellent brick clay a bounds in various places; some potters' clay is found; finely pulverized sea-sand, suitable for glass-making, is obtained between Snettisham and Castle-Rising; and peat, both for manure and for fuel, is plentiful in the fens. A petrifying spring is at Deepham; mineral springs are at Aylsham and Reffley; and a chalybeate spa, resembling the waters of Tunbridge-Wells, is at Thetford. The principal rivers, besides those on the boundaries, are the Ouse, going northward to the Wash at King's Lynn; the Wissey and the Nar, going westward to the Ouse; the Wensum, going south-eastward to the Yare at Norwich; the Yare, going eastward from Shipdam, past Norwich, to the boundary at a confluence with the Waveney, 4 miles W S W of Yarmouth; and the Bure, going south-eastward to the sea at Yarmouth. The principal"meres" or "broads" are Breydon-water, from the confluence of the Yare and the Waveney to Yarmouth; Hickling and Horsey-broads, near the E coast; Ormesby and Rollesby-broads, 5 miles N W of Yarmouth; Stalham, Barton, Filby, and Rockland-broads, near the places whence they are named; and Wroxham, Hoveton, Woodbastwick, Ranworth, and South Walsham-broads, in the valley of the Bure.
The soils, for the most part, are naturally light and poor, but have been artificially rendered very fertile. That of the hundreds of East Flegg, West Flegg, Blofield, Happing, Tunstead, the southern part of Walsham, and the greater part of South Erpingham and North Erpingham, is a loamy sand, similar to the soil of the best parts of the Netherlands, easily worked, and rarely damagedby moisture or drought; that of the hundreds of Loddon, Clavering, Henstead, Earsham, Diss, Depwade, Humble-yard, and some parts of Forehoe and Mitford, is sandwith occasional mixtures of clay, often wet and abounding with springs, yet generally productive; that of the hundreds of Taverham, Eynsford, Holt, North Greenhoe, Gallow, Launditch, Brothercross, Smithdon, Freebridge-Lynn, and part of Clackclose, though occasionally forming pendicles of very good land, is prevailingly a lightsand of very inferior productiveness; that of the hundreds of Shropham, Guiltcross, Wayland, South Greenhoe and part of Grimshoe, is a sand so very light as, in some parts, particularly in Grimshoe, to be much drifted by high winds; that of the hundred of Freebridge-Marsh-land, is a rich ooze, formed by deposition from the sea, and, for the most part, highly fertile; and that of large parts of the hundreds of Clackclose and Grimshoe, is fen, and consists of unimproveable marshy peat. Arthur Young, estimating the total area at 1,830 square miles, classified it into 900 square miles of various loams, 148of rich loam, 420 of good sand, 220 of light sand, 60 of Marshland clay, and 82 of peat. About two-thirds ofall the lands are arable; and about 130,000 acres are meadow and pasture. A tract near the months of the Yare and the Waveney, and extending a considerable way toward Norwich, is usually flooded in winter, and used at other seasons for depasturing; and large tracts in the vicinity of Lodham are often laid under water by land-floods, and produce little else than aquatic plants. Woods are plentiful in the hundreds of Depwade, Humbleyard, Henstead, Eynesford, and Forehoe. They occur also, more or less, in most of the other hundreds; but they exist either sparcely or not at all in the heathy, fenny, and other unenclosed tracts.
Estates are of all sizes. Farms are large; and farm-buildings are good. Leases run from 7 to 14 and 21years. The farmers have a high character for skill, experience, and energy. Vast improvements have been made by careful drainage, good manuring, the turnip husbandry, and garden cultivation. The four-shift rotation of crops has long been extensively followed; and the raising of turnips, mangel-wurzel, beet, clover, and various grasses, has been increasingly connected with the feeding of sheep and cattle. Wheat annually occupiesan aggregate of about 202, 980 acres, and yields an average of about 30 bushels per acre; barley annually occupies an aggregate of about 173, 831 acres, and yields an average of about 38 bushels per acre; and oats annually occupy an aggregate of about 35, 205 acres, and yield an average of about 46 bushels per acre. Other crops are rye, beans, pease, vetches, potatoes, cabbages, carrots, flax, chicory, and mustard. Agricultural implements have reached a degree of high perfection, and are manufactured on agreat scale, not only for home use, but also for exportation. Sheep are chiefly of the Leicester and Southdown breeds, and number about 842,000. Oxen, for fattening, are chiefly of the Galloway, West Highland, Aberdeenshire, and other small Scottish breeds, and number about 99,000. Few cows are kept, except for private use. Horses are partly an improved local breed of remote origin, partly across between that breed and the Suffolk punch; and they are a bony, active, hardy race, from 14 to 15 hands high, admirably adapted to both the fields and the road. Pigs are an old breed, thin, small, and bristly, and number about 99, 780. Turkeys thrive on the sandy and loamylands; geese are plentiful in the fens; rabbits abound near Winterton and Sheringham; and pheasants and other game are plentiful enough to be sent to market.
Worsted manufactures were introduced by Flemings, in the time of Henry I.; took their name from Worstead parish, where they were first made; and were transferred thence to Norwich, in the time of Richard II. Dormics, cambrics, and calecuts were long the principal textile manufactures; druggets, serges, shalloons, and duffields followed; and crapes, camblets, stuffs, tabinets, bombazines, poplins, damasks, shawls, and a great variety of fancy fabrics afterwards became prominent. The manufactures now are not aggregately so extensive as to prevent Norfolk from being classed as an agricultural county; they are confined chiefly to Norwich, Yarmouth, Thetford, Wymondham, and a few other towns; and they embrace a considerable variety of departments. Worsted manufacture, at the census of 1861, employed 229 malesand 232 females within the registration county; woollen cloth manufacture, 70 m. and 83 f.; silk manufacture, 1, 101 m. and 2, 851 f.; flax and linen manufacture, 130m. and 29 f.; lace manufacture, 12 m. and 13 f.; cotton manufacture, 180 m. and 547 f.; hat manufacture, 51m. and 13 f.; straw-hat and straw-bonnet manufacture, 6 m. and 257 f.; shawl manufacture, 26 m. and 23 f.; hair and bristle manufacture, 49 m. and 93 f.; the making of brushes and brooms, 308 m. and 45 f.; basket-making, 365 m. and 10 f.; paper-making, 135 m. and 105 f.; earthenware manufacture, 34 m.; tobacco-pipe-making, 53 m. and 12 f.; iron manufacture, 295 m. and 2f.; watch-making and clock-making, 270 m. and 5 f.; engine and machine-making, 508 m.; coach-making, 387 m.and 2 f.; saddle and harness-making, 465 m. and 9 f.; ship-building, 286 m.; block, oar, and mast-making, 37m.; boat and barge-building, 120 m.; and sail-making, 88m. A commerce with the Baltic, Holland, Portugal, and Spain, was at one time very great; the importation of timber, wines, spirits, fruit, and other commodities, was so large as to make Norfolk an entrepot for probably one-third of all England; and the coast trade, especiallyin the importation of coals, was excelled for some time, only by the coast-trade of the Thames and Bristol. The sea-commerce now is comparatively small; yet includes much export of farm produce, live stock, and local manufactures; and is carried on chiefly at the ports of Yarmouth and Lynn. The inland commerce, however, through the medium of the Ouse and its associated riversand canals, is considerable, and embraces a great variety of commodities.
The inland navigation, otherwise than by the Ouse and by dykes in the fens, comprises little more than deep river-improvement up the Yare to Norwich, deep river-improvement up the waveney to Beccles, and cuts or deepenings, for small craft, up to Bungay, to Aylsham, to Heckling-broad, to Weyford-bridge, to Thetford, to Stoke-Ferry, and to Castle-Acre ' The submarine telegraph goes from Cromer to the Continent at Emden, and is connected southward with the lines at Norwich. The Great Eastern railway system, comprehending variouslocal amalgamations, is ramified through much of thecounty. The main line comes in from Suffolk in theneighbourhood of Diss, and goes north-north-eastward to Norwich; a branch, from Diss station, east-north-east-ward to Harleston, was in course of formation in 1867; a branch goes from Tivetshall station, first east-south-eastward to Harleston, and then east-north-eastward along the Norfolk side of the Waveney to Beccles; a line, coming from Ipswich, and going past Beccles, crosses a wing of the county 3¾ miles wide, on its way to Yarmouth; a branch from Beccles northward to a junction near Reedham, was in progress of formation in 1867; a line, coming from Lowestoft, crosses the line from Beccles to Yarmouth at St. Olave's junction, and goesnorth-westward to the junction near Reedham; a line goes from Yarmouth, up the N side of Breydon-water and the river Yare to the Reedham junction, and thenceup the Yare to Norwich; a branch from that line at Brundall station, north-by-westward, at North Walsham, was in course of formation in 1867; a line goes from Norwich south-westward to Thetford, passes thence along the S boundary to the W vicinity of Brandon, and departs there on its way to Ely; a long branch goes from the Wymondham station of that line, north-north-westward, past East Dereham and Fakenham, to the coast at Wells; a branch from the Attleborough station of the same line, south-eastward to a junction with the main Great Eastern line, was in course of formation in 1867; a line goes from a junction at East Dereham, westward to Swaffham, and north-westward thence to Lynn; a line goes from Lynn, north-by-eastward along the Wash, to Hunstanton, and thence eastward along the coast to Wells; another line goes from Lynn, south-by-westward past Downham-market, and past Ouse Bridge, to proceed to Ely; another line goes from Lynn, westward, across the head of the Wash, to proceed to Holbeach and Spalding; and a branch goes from the Watlington station of the Lynn and Ely line, westward to Wisbeach. The roads are every where plentiful and good.
The county contains 743 parishes, parts of 3 others, and 7 extra-parochial places; and is divided into the hundreds of Blofield, Brothercross, Clackclose, Clavering, Depwade, Diss, Earsham, North Erpingham, South Erpingham, Eynesford, East Flegg, West Flegg, Forehoe, Freebridge-Lynn, Freebridge-Marshland, Gallow, North Greenhoe, South Greenhoe, Grimshoe, Guiltcross, Happing, Henstead, Holt, Humbleyard, Launditch, Loddon, Mitford, Shropham, Smithdon, Taverham, Tunstead, Walsham, and Wayland, and the boroughs of Kings-Lynn, Norwich, Thetford, and part of Yarmouth. The county was divided, in 1832, into two sections, East and West, for parliamentary representation; and was redivided, in 1867, into three sections, North, South, and West; each section sending two members to parliament. The registration county gives off part of 1 parish to Suffolk, and 11 parishes and parts of 2 others to Cambridge; takes in 14 parishes, part of another, and an extra-parochial tractfrom Suffolk, and part of a chapelry from Cambridge; comprises 1, 300, 311 acres; and is divided into the districts of Yarmouth, Flegg, Tunstead, Erpingham, Aylsham, St. Faith, Norwich, Forehoe, Henstead, Blofield, Loddon, Depwade, Guiltcross, Wayland, Mitford, Walsingham, Docking, Freebridge-Lynn, Kings-Lynn, Downham, Swaffham, and Thetford. Norwich and Lynn send eachtwo members to parliament; and Yarmouth and Thetford also sent each two, but have been disfranchised. Other towns, with a pop. in 1861 of above 2,000, and ranging from 3, 164 to 2, 152, are Diss, Wells-next-the-Sea, Dereham, Swaffham, Walsham, Downham, Aylsham, Fakenham, and Wymondham; and there are about 770 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets.
The chief seats are Sandringham House, Houghton Hall, Rainham Hall, Holkham Hall, Quidenham Hall, Costessey Hall, Gunton House, Honingham Hall, Kimberley Hall, Melton-Constable Hall, Merton Hall, Blickling Hall, Elmham Hall, Mannington Hall, North Repps Hall, Woodris ing Hall, Beeston Hall, Cranmer Hall, Gissing Hall, Ketteringham Hall, Knapton House, Langley Hall, Ormesby House, Oxborough Hall, Rackheath Hall, Sall House, Shadwell Court, West Harling Hall, Barton-Bendish Hall, Hillington Hall, Horstead Hall, Kirby-Bedon, Stanfield Hall, Stow-Bardolph, Terrington House, Yarrow, Anmer Hall, Barmer Hall, Barningham Hall, Bawdeswell Hall, Bayfield Hall, Beeston Hall, Bilney Hall, Bixley Hall, Bixley Lodge, Blo-Norton Hall, Bolwick Hall, Booton Hall, Boyland Hall, Brandeston Hall, Brinton Hall, Brockdish Place, Brooke House, Broome Place, Brundall House, Buckenham Hall, Burgh House, Burlingham Hall, Burnley Hall, Carbrooke Hall, Carbrooke House, Catfield Hall, Catton Hall, Cavick House, Colney Hall, Coltishall Hall, Congham Hall, Congham House, Cromer Hall, Crown Point, Didlington Hall, Ditchingham Hall, Ditchingham House, Docking Hall, Drayton Lodge, Dudwick House, Dunham Lodge, Dunston Hall, Earsham Hall, Eccles Hall, Ellingham Hall, Elsing Hall, Felbrigg Hall, Felthorpe Hall, Feltwell Hall, Framingham Hall, Frenze Hall, Fulmodeston Hall, Gawdy Hall, Gayton Hall, Gaywood Hall, Geldeston Hall, Gillingham Hall, Gunthorpe Hall, Hackford Hall, Haddiscoe Hall, Hargham Hall, Haveringland Hall, Heacham Hall, Hedenham Hall, Hemsby Hall, Hethel Hall, Hethersett Hall, Heydon Hall, Hilborough Hall, Hill House, Hockham Hall, Hockwold Hall, Hoe Hall, Holme-Hale Hall, Honing Hall, Horsey Hall, Hunstanton Hall, Intwood Hall, Kilverstone Hall, Langhale House, Letheringsett Hall, Letton Hall, Marham House, Martham House, Melton Hall, Middleton Hall, Middleton Tower, Morley House, Morton Hall, Mount Amelia, Mulbarton Lodge, Narborough Hall, Narford Hall, Necton Hall, New Hall, Norton Hall, Oxborough Hall, Park house, Petygards Hall, Pickenham Hall, Plumstead Hall, Pulham Hall, Quebec Hall, Rainthorpe Hall, Ranworth Hall, Raveningham Hall, Riddlesworth Hall, Ripon Hall, Rollesby Hall, Rougham Hall, Roydon Hall, Runcton Hall, Ryston Hall, Scole House, Sedgeford Hall, Sheringham Hall, Shottesham Park, Shropham Hall, Snarehill House, Snettisham Hall, Spixworth Hall, Sprowston Lodge, Stalham Hall, Stanhoe Hall, Stanhoe Grange, Stoke Hall, Stradsett Hall, Stratton Hall, Stratton House, Sussex Farm, Swafield Hall, Swanton Hall, Swanton House, Tacolneston Hall, Tasburgh Lodge, Taverham Hall, Thurston Hall, Thornham Hall, Thorpe Lodge, Thurning Hall, Thursford Hall, Upton Hall, Wallington Hall, Walsingham Abbey, Wattlefield Hall, Weeting Hall, West Acre House, West Harling Hall, West Somerton Hall, Weston House, Westwick House, Whitehall, Whitlingham Hall, Whitwell Hall, Witchingham Hall, Witton Hall, Wiveton Hall, Woodbastwick Hall, Woodlands, Wood ton Lodge, Worstead House, Wretham Hall, Wroxham Hall, and Wroxham House.
The county is governed by a lord lieutenant, a vice-admiral, a high sheriff, about 112 deputy lieutenants, and about 400 magistrates; is in the home military district and the Norfolk judiciary circuit; and, excepting Emneth parish and part of Brandon parish, is all in the diocese of Norwich. The assizes are held at Norwich; and quarter-sessions, at Norwich, Swaffham, and Walsingham. The county-jail and a city jail are at Norwich; county houses of correction are at Swaffham and Wymondham; and borough-jails are at Lynn and Yarmouth. The police-force, in 1864, comprised 84 men for Norwich, maintained at an annual cost of £5, 874; 19 for Lynn, at a cost of £1, 247; 34 for Yarmouth, at a cost of £2, 182; and 222 for the rest of the county, at a cost of £16,083. The crimes committed, in 1864, were 155 in Norwich, 22 in Lynn, 66 in Yarmouth, and 323 in the rest of the county; the persons apprehended were 113 in Norwich, 16 in Lynn, 49 in Yarmouth, and 320 in the rest of thecounty; the known depredators and suspected personsat large were 514 in Norwich, 54 in Lynn, 249 in Yarmouth, and 1, 532 in the rest of the county; and the houses of had character were 76 in Norwich, 23 in Lynn, 62 in Yarmouth, and 124 in the rest of the county. The electors of East Norfolk, in 1865, amounted to 7, 939, of whom 5,025 were freeholders, 745 were copyholders, and 1,812 were occupying tenants; and those of West Norfolk amounted to 6, 534, of whom 3, 993 were free-holders, 790 were copyholders, and 1, 550 were occupying tenants. Poor-rates of the registration county, in 1863, £242,082. Marriages in 1863, 3,052, of which 559were not according to the rites of the Established church; births, 13, 851, of which 1, 559 were illegitimate; deaths, 9, 318, of which 3, 331 were at ages under 5 years, and 433 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years1851-60, 32, 709; births, 137, 594; deaths, 91, 632. The places of worship, in 1851, were 719 of the Church of England, with 168, 722 sittings; 49 of Independents, with 12, 567 s.; 67 of Particular Baptists, with 16, 441 s.; 3 of General Baptists, with 3, 809 s.; 6 of New Connexion General Baptists, with 1,071 s.; 15 of Baptists undefined, with 1, 202 s.; 15 of Quakers, with 2, 688 s.; 7 of Unitarians, with 1, 750 s.; 213 of Wesleyan Methodists, with34, 285 s.; 1 of New Connexion Methodists, with 750 s.; 254 of Primitive Methodists, with 27, 329 s.; 2 of Bible Christians, with 300 s.; 2 of the Wesleyan Association, with 325 s.; 44 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 6, 701 s.; 2 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, with 1, 570 s.; 1 of Sandemanians, with 88 s.; 1 of the New Church, with132 s.; 19 of isolated congregations, with 2, 690 s.; 13of Latter Day Saints, with 1,000 s.; 6 of Roman Catholics, with 514 s.; and 2 of Jews, with 149 s. The schools were 497 public day-schools, with 34, 961 scholars; 864 private day-schools, with 18, 745 s.; 782 Sunday schools, with 50, 182 s.; and 58 evening schools foradults, with 1,033 s. Real property of the electoral county, in 1815, £1, 516, 651; in 1843, £2, 327, 371; in 1860. £2, 643,086, of which £650 were in quarries, £412 in canals, £32, 342 in railways, and £2, 915 in gas-works. Pop. in 1801, 273, 479; in 1.821, 344, 368; in 1841, 412, 664; in 1861, 434, 798. Inhabited houses, 96, 672; uninhabited, 4, 978; building, 359. Pop. of the registration county in 1861, 427, 466. Inhabited houses, 94, 921; uninhabited, 4, 844; building, 355.
The territory now forming Norfolk was anciently inhabited by the Cenomanni or Cenimagni tribe of the Iceni; was included, by the Romans, in their Flavia Cæsariensis; and afterwards formed part of the Saxon kingdom of East Anglia. The Danes made a descent upon it in 870; ravaged it during several succeeding years; made settlements in it; suffered repression by King Alfred; and, on their receiving Christian baptism and limiting their residence to the eastern parts, were allowed to retain their own chiefs, in subordination to the Anglo-Saxon government. But they thirsted for complete mastery, and made a series of revolts to attain it. Ethelred II., in 1002, subjected them to a general massacre. Sweyn, king of Denmark, landed next yearon the coast; burned Norwich, Thetford, and other towns; extended his ravages past Norfolk into other parts of England; and, after eleven years of various fortune, acquired complete ascendency, but died before being able to confirm it. His son Canute arrived with fresh forces in 1016; won several battles; wrested from Edmund Ironside, first a division of all England, next the entire kingdom; and then committed East Anglia to the care of a Danish earl. Ralph de Guader was made Earl of Norfolk after the Norman conquest; but he soon took up arms against the Conqueror, and was banished for treason; and in 1074, his countess obstinately defended Norwich castle, but eventually surrendered it. The earldom was then given to Hugh Bigod, who had distinguished himself in the battle of Hastings; it continued in the possession of his descendants till 1307; it was transferred to Thomas Brotherton in 1312; and it became extinct in 1399. A dukedom of Norfolk was created in 1397, infavour of Thomas Mowbray; it was afterwards associated with the title of Earl-Marshal; and it passed through a variety of striking vicissitudes, chiefly in connexion with the distinguished family of Howard. The dukedom went speedily from the first duke, who was banished within a few months of his receiving it, and died of grief at Venice; it was held again by John Mowbray, who was beheaded in 1405; it continued with John's son and grandson till 1475; it was transferred, in 1477, to Richard, Duke of York, who was murdered in the Tower; and it was heldby John Howard, slain on Bosworth field, by Thomas Howard, in 1514, by his son Thomas, attainted in 1546, and by his grandson Thomas, beheaded in 1572. The earldom was re-created in 1644, and the dukedom restored in 1660, in favour of the Howards; and they have ever since ranked as premier earls and dukes, and as hereditary Earls-Marshal, of England.
In the time of William Rufus, Robert Bigod sided with Robert Curthace against the king, and drew considerable devastation upon Norfolk. During the struggle between Prince Henry and his father, Earl Bigode spoused the Prince's cause, provoked a march of theking's troops upon Norfolk, and occasioned serious conflicts. In the time of King John, Earl Bigod took part with the barons; and, while he and they were engaged in military operations at a distance, John marched across Norfolk with fire and sword, but was well received at Lynn, and thence, with the loss of his baggage, crossed the Wash. In John's time, also, Louis the Dauphin captured Norwich castle and Lynn, plundered the surrounding country, and forcibly levied from it heavy contributions. In 1348-9, a plague, locally called the black death, carried off so many as 58,000 persons in Norfolk. In 1381, a Norwich partisan of Wat Tyler's rebellion, with a body of insurgents called the Norfolk levellers, besieged Norwich, but was defeated by Bishop Spencer. In 1395, great havoc was done by some Danish pirates cruising off the coast. In 1549, two Wymondham tanners, of the name of Kett, raised a powerful insurrection against the county-landowners; committed outrages and made exactions, during several months, throughout the country; formed a camp in the neighbourhood of Lynn; attempted to besiege Yarmouth; were defeated, at the head of about 20,000 insurgents, on Mousehold-heath, near Norwich, by the Earl of Warwick; and were executed, the one on the top of Norwich castle, the other on the steeple of Wymondham church. In 1587, after the affair of the Spanish armada, a progress was made through Norfolk by Queen Elizabeth. During the civil wars of Charles I., Norwich, Yarmouth, and other towns were garrisoned with parliamentarian troops; the entire county declared strongly against the king; and, except for ashort period at Lynn, it never anywhere, throughout the struggle, received any marked impression from the royal arms. Subsequent events of any note have been confined to Norwich, Yarmouth, Lynn, Thetford, and someother localities.
Ancient British relics have been found chiefly on what were the shores of the quondam estuaries of the Yare, the Waveney, the Wensum, and the Bure; and they have amounted to merely one or two flint arrow-heads, and a few flint and brass celts. Roman stations were at Tasburgh, Brancaster, Ickburgh, Thetford, and Caistor; and have left, at two or three of these places, distinct vestiges. Another Roman station, with extensive underground remains, was discovered in 1865; and severalmore Roman stations, or at least considerable Roman settlements of some kind, are believed to have existed. Roman antiquities, of the minor class, including coins, utensils, and other objects, have been found in very greatnumbers, and in not a few localities. Several Roman roads, or roads so ancient as either to have been adopted by the Romans or to have been ascribed to them, have left traces. One, called the Pye-road, nearly coinciding with the main modern road from Norwich toward Ipswich, commenced at Caistor and left Norfolk in the vicinity of Diss; another called Peddar way, went from Holme-next-the-Sea, past Castle-Acre, toward Ixworth in Suffolk; another, called by some antiquaries Stone-street, went from Caistor to Bungay, and passed there into Suffolk; another, called Icknield-street, went from Caistor to Thetford, and passed there into Suffolk; another went from Caistor westward to the lower part of the Ouse and the Nen, and passed into Cambridgeshire; and three others went from Caistor respectively toward the coastnear Cromer, toward Brancaster, and toward Whetacre-Burgh. Saxon encampments are traceable at Burnham, Deepdale, Earsham, Narborough, South Creake and Weeting; and two great Saxon earthworks are an eminence at Holkham, and a dyke from Beechamwell to Narborough. A very large Danish camp is at Thetford, and a smaller one at Warham; and earthworks, called the Danes' graves and Grime's graves, are at Oxborough and Weeting. The very name Norfolk, a corruption of" North folk, " is a memorial of Scandinavian occupation; and stands distinguished from Suffolk, a corruption of" South folk, " indicating that the transmarine settlers there came from parts of the Continent southward of those whence came the settlers to Norfolk. Certain features in the local topography also, such as the suffixes"thorpe" signifying "a village, " "by" signifying "afarm" or "a hamlet, " "sted" signifying "a place, ""toft" signifying "a field, " "oe" signifying "anisland, " and "holm" signifying "an insulated marsh, "are memorials of Danish occupation. Remarkably oldcastles are at Castle-Acre, Castle-Ris ing, Elmham, Horsford, Mileham, New Buckenham, Norwich, Weeting, and Wormegay. Interesting old mansions, some of them in ruins, are in Blickling, Boyland, Bixley, Caistor, East Basham, Fincham, Gresham, Heigham, Hunstanton, Oxborough, Stiffkey, Thorpe, Watlington, Winwall, Wereham, Arminghall, and Merton. Ancient ecclesiastical buildings are very numerous; and possess, aggregately, a vast interest for both the antiquary and the artist. The old churches are principally of flint; and very many of them, either as entire structures or in some of their details, present features strongly attractive to the architect and the sculptor; while no fewer than 120 haveround towers, surmounted, in some instances, by lateoctangular lanterns. Abbeys, which have left remains, though in some instances very sight ones, are at Holme, Langley, North Creake, Thetford, Wendling, West Dereham, and Wymondham. Priories, which have left remains, are at Beeston-Regis, Binham, Broomholme, Castle-Acre, Flitcham, Mendham, Norwich, St. Leonard, Old Buckenham, Thetford, Walsingham, and Yarmouth; and about twice as many other priories, 9 or 10 nunneries, 22 or 23 friaries, 3 preceptories, 13 colleges, and 40 hospitals and lazar-houses, existed in the Romishtimes.
(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))
|Feature Description:||"a maritime county" (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 2nd order divisions")|
|Administrative units:||Norfolk AncC|
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