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Norfolk: Brooke

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

BROOKE, a large and well-built village, and one of the three detached parishes of Clavering hundred, is 7 miles S.S.E. of Norwich, is in Loddon union, Norwich county court district and bankruptcy district, Loddon and Clavering petty sessional division, Loddon polling district of South Norfolk, West Brooke rural deanery and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 706 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2135 acres, and has a rateable value of £3449.

George Holmes, Esq., J.P., is lord of the manor, in which the fines are certain. He resides at Brooke Hall, an elegant stuccoed mansion, standing in an extensive and well-wooded park, erected in 1830 near the site of the Old Hall. Brooke House, another handsome residence, surrounded by a beautiful park, is the seat of Viscount Canterbury. Brooke Cottage is the property of George Gillett, Esq., and Miss Maria Knight owns and lives at Brooke Lodge.

William the Conqueror gave this manor to the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds; and one of the abbots, in the 10th of Edward I., obtained for it a market and a fair, but both have long been obsolete.

The CHURCH (St. Peter) appears to have been mostly built late in the eleventh or early in the twelfth century, and comprises nave, chancel, north aisle, clerestory, south porch, and round tower. It was thoroughly restored and refitted about 1860, at a cost of £1200, of which the greater part was contributed by the late Rev. John Holmes. The dark oaken roof, with its bosses, its Tudor string course, and its corbels representing angels bearing shields, is one of the finest specimens of open wood-work in the neighbourhood. The open benches, of English oak, have carved poppy heads, and are nearly all free. The pulpit, the reading-desk, and the front of the gallery, are also of carved oak.

The font is of the Florid Gothic style, and its sides are charged with carvings of the Seven Sacraments and the Crucifixion, over figures of the four Evangelists and four other saints under rich canopies. It was formerly elaborately gilt. In the chancel is a double piscina, and here is also one of the few hour-glass stands originally set up by command of Queen Elizabeth. The south door is of transitional character, having an Early English arch springing from late Norman capitals. The organ, which was much enlarged and improved in 1877, by Mack, of Yarmouth, was given by the Rev. William Castell, a late vicar, who also gave a house worth £10 a year to provide for its repairs.

Here are also tablets to the Castell, Fowler, Seaman, Burshill, and Cooper families. During the restorations several highly interesting frescoes were discovered upon the walls of the building, after the numerous coats of whitewash had been cleared off. Some of the subjects were of so singular a character that it was impossible to decipher their meaning; but the parable of the Prodigal Son was represented with great beauty and detail; and in an arcade beneath it were emblematical representations of four of the seven deadly sins of the Romish Church, the figures in the act of sinking into the jaws of hell.

The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £5, and now at £270 gross, is in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Henry Murray Downton, M.A., who has a good residence, enlarged in 1849, a yearly rent-charge of £240, awarded in 1842 in lieu of tithes, and 2A. 3R. 32P. of glebe. George Holmes, Esq., J.P., is impropriator of the tithes.

The Baptist Chapel was built in 1839. Brooke Village Club, Reading and News Room was established in 1881, and has 70 members. Mr. Herbert Leeder is hon. secretary. A National School, for the parishes of Brooke and Howe, was built here about 20 years ago.

The Fuel Allotment, 5A., was awarded at the enclosure in 1800, and is let for £14, which is distributed in coal amongst the poor, who have also the following yearly doles, viz. 20s. left by John Kerrison in 1756, 40s. left by John Fowle in 1786, and the interest of £20, derived from a house left by William Brereton, but sold by the overseers about 1832.

The Town Lands consist of 43A. 3R. 2P. in this parish, and Pever's Farm, 53A. 2R. in Kirstead. To the latter is attached the reputed manor of Pevers, now yielding only a quit rent of 8s. 2d. per annum. This property was vested in trustees before the reign of Henry VIII., for the payment of tenths, fifteenths, and other taxes, levied by the king on the parishioners of Brooke: but from 1692 till 1858 the rents were applied with the poor rates; and they are now, under the powers of a decree of the Court of Chancery, applied towards the maintenance of the National School - except £25 a year, which is awarded in lieu of church rates. Part of the original trust lands were exchanged for others in 1813.

The celebrated surgeon, Sir Astley Paston Cooper, Bart., was born at Brooke Hall on August 23, 1768, and was the fourth son of the Rev. Dr. Cooper, then curate of this parish. As a boy he was remarkable for his liveliness and good humour. In 1784 he was placed with Mr. Cline, to whose influence much of young Cooper's success must be attributed. In London he at once began to devote himself with earnestness to the aquisition of a thorough knowledge of his profession, and attended the lectures of the great John Hunter, the value of whose theories and experiments was then but little understood. In 1792 he was appointed professor of anatomy at Surgeon's Hall, and was re-appointed in 1794 and 1795. In 1800 he obtained the situation of surgeon to Guy's Hospital, and in 1813 became professor of comparative anatomy to the College of Surgeons.

In 1820 he was called in to attend on George IV., although he then held no official position at court. Shortly after this he removed a steatomatous tumour from the head of the king, who within six months afterwards conferred on him a baronetcy, with special remainder in default of male issue. In 1822 Sir Astley was elected one of the Court of Examiners of the College of Surgeons, and in the same year brought out his great work on 'Dislocations and Fractures.' He was afterwards elected President of the College of Surgeons, Vice-President of the Royal Society, a member of the Royal Institute of France, and of the Royal Academy of Sciences. He also received the honorary degrees of D.C.L. from the University of Oxford, and LL.D. from that of Edinburgh. He died February 12, 1841, and was interred, at his own request, beneath the chapel of Guy's Hospital. Sir Astley Cooper is a striking instance of what unceasing industry will accomplish. As a teacher, his kindness and the easy manner with which he communicated his knowledge placed him far above his contemporaries; and his influence on the surgery of the day was very great. His mother was a popular authoress, and published several novels and other literary works.

POST OFFICE at Mr. Richard F. Yallop's. Letters arrive at 5.30 a.m., and are despatched 5.15 p.m. viâ Norwich. This is also a Money Order and Savings Bank.

	Beckett     Samuel            farm bailiff
	Bond        Robert            frmr. & dlr. & surveyor
	Blazey      Walter Hy.        grocer & beerhouse
	Brigham     Mr John
	Brinn       James             head gardener
	Bullen      Robert            shoemaker
	Canterbury  Viscount          Brooke house and Witchingham
	                                hall; and 12 Queensbury place,
	                                South Kensington, London, S.W.
	Cole        Mrs Maria
	Chittock    Jabez             farm steward
	Collingford George            gamekeeper
	Cossey      William           grocer, draper, flour, hop and
	                                malt dealer
	Daines      Chas.             wheelwright & machinist
	Dickinson   Fredk.            thatcher & basket mkr.
	Downton     Rev. Henry
	              Murray, M.A.    vicar, The Vicarage
	Dickinson   James             thatcher and glover
	Dunt        William           tailor
	Earl        Charles           brazier, &c.
	Everitt     Geo. & Son
	              (Jno. Geo.)     saddlers
	Ferder      James             shoemaker
	Fryer       Mrs.              National schoolmistress
	Gillett     Geo. M.R.C.S.,    surgeon, medical officer of
	              L.S.A.(Eng.)      health for Loddon and
	                                Clavering union, public
	                                vaccinator, and landowner
	Gooderson   Arthur            blacksmith and agricultural
	Harber      William           shoemaker
	Harber      William, jun.     shoemaker
	Hawes       Mr William        Mear Side cottage
	Hill        George Valentine  butcher
	Holmes      George, Esq. J.P. landowner, Brooke Hall
	Holmes      John, Esq. J.P.   Brooke Hall
	Hunting     George Samuel     veterinary surgeon, and agent
	                                for Liverpool, London, and
	                                Globe Insurance Cos.
	Hupton      Ezra              miller, farmer, and assistant
	                                tax collector
	Hupton      Henry             joiner, builder, bricklayer,
	                                and farmer
	Johnson     Jonathan George   plumber and glazier, Porch House
	Knight      Misses Maria &
	              Selina Betsy    Brooke Lodge
	Leeder      Herbert           sec. to Reading Room
	Leeder      Palmer            farmer, Welbeck and Hall farm
	Marston     Mrs Jane          frmr. Welbeck frm
	Mickleburgh Edward            fruit dealer
	Middleton   Frederick         blacksmith
	Minns       Mrs Mary          grocer
	Moore       Mrs Ellen         caretkr. Reading Room
	Moore       James             bricklayer and builder
	Nichols     Miss Elizabeth    Welbeck cot
	Nunn        James             farmer
	Parfitt     Robert Thomas     butcher
	Rose        John              head gardener
	Savage      James             National schoolmaster
	Smith       Misses Mary Ann
	              & Elizabeth     Vine cottage
	Steward     Charles           plumber & painter, gasfitter, &c
	Tibbenham   Richard           farmer and Income Tax
	              Chamberlin        collector
	Utting      John              porkbutcher
	Wasey       George            vict. King's Head Inn, farmer,
	                                pig dealer, and horse and
	                                carriage proprietor
	Weston      James             farmer and surveyor
	Williams    Misses Ann        day & boarding schl.
	              Rowland & Sarah   High Green hs
	Yallop      Richd. Fryer      postmaster, parish clerk,
	                                assistant overseer, clerk
	                                to Kirstead School Board,
	                                agent for the Suffolk
	                                Alliance Insurance Co.
	                                farmer and landowner

See also the Brooke parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
October 2015