In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Kings Lynn like this:
Kings Lynn, Lynn Regis, or Lynn, parl. and mun. bor., seaport, and market town, Norfolk, on river Ouse, near the confluence of the river Nare, 2 miles from the Wash, 48½ miles NW. of Norwich, and 99 miles from London, 3321 ac., pop. 18,539; 3 Banks, 7 news-papers. Market-days, Tuesday and Saturday. Kings Lynn was a port even before the Norman invasion. In early times it belonged to the Church, and was known as Bishops Lynn, or Lynn Episcopi, until the property passed to the Crown in the reign of Henry VIII. ...
It was created a free borough by King John in 1205. During the Civil War the inhabitants declared for King Charles, and the town was then besieged for a month. Through its inland navigation, and proximity to the German Ocean, Kings Lynn has a very important shipping traffic, corn, timber, and coal being the chief articles of trade. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) The harbour is wide and deep. The industries are mostly shipbuilding, ironfounding, machine making, malting, and brewing, but there are likewise highly important fisheries, especially for shrimps, smelts, and shell fish. The borough returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members until 1885, when the parliamentary limits were extended.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Kings Lynn has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Kings Lynn and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kings Lynn in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th July 2014
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