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Norfolk: Foulsham

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

[Transcription copyright Ann Duncan]

FOULSHAM is a small but well-built town, pleasantly situated on the East Norfolk Extension Railway, 8 miles S.E. of Fakenham, 5 miles W.N.W. of Reepham, and 18 miles N.W. of Norwich. Its parish is in Aylsham union and county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Eynsford petty sessional division and hundred, Reepham polling district of North Norfolk, Sparham rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 950 inhabitants in 1881 living on 3226 acres, and has a rateable value of 6217. A large portion of the parish was in Themelthorpe common, enclosed in 1811.

Lord Hastings is principal owner of the soil and lord of the manor; but about 600A., with Foulsham Hall, an old farm-house in the Elizabethan style, belong to G.A. Aufrere, Esq. Keeling Hall, one mile to the east, is the property of C.M. Tatham, Esq.; and the Rev. Sir E.R. Jodrell, Bart., the Rev. H. Evans Lombe, Col. W.E.G.L. Bulwer, and Robt. J W. Purdy, Esq., have estates here.

In Domesday Book, Foulsham is described as a royal demesne, being one of the lordships of which Edward the Confessor died possessed. It continued to form part of the domains of the Crown till Richard I. granted it, with many other estates, to Baldwin de Betune, Earl of Albemarle and Holderness, whose daughter Alice carried it in marriage to William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, with whose family it remained till 1317, when it passed by marriage to the Morleys. It was purchased in 1582 by Sir Thomas Hunt, Kt., whose grandson sold it to Sir Jacob Astley, Bart., an ancestor of Lord Hastings.

The market, formerly held here every Tuesday, has long been obsolete; but a fair, for the sale of stock, &c., is still continued on the first Tuesday in May. In the market-place once stood a cross, the foundations of which are still visible on a hoar-frosty morning. Its form was hexagonal, in imitation of those beautiful crosses erected to the memory of Eleanor, Queen of Edward I.

The town suffered greatly by a fire in 1770, which destroyed 14 dwelling-houses, and reduced the church to a ruinous shell. The damage amounted to several thousand pounds, but a collection was made and a play performed at Norwich for the benefit of the sufferers.

There was a church here at the time of the Domesday survey, but its site is unknown. The present CHURCH (Holy Innocents) was probably founded by Sir Robert Morley about the middle of the 14th century, as the lower windows of the chancel, the porch, and other portions are in the style which prevailed at that period; but the greater part of the building is of Late Perpendicular architecture, and appears to have been built by one of the Lords Morley about 1489, and restored to its original form after the great fire in 1770.

It is a large and handsome edifice, comprising nave with aisles, chancel, and south porch. Its lofty square embattled tower, of four stages, contains two bells, and has diagonal buttresses at each corner, terminated by crocketed pinnacles. The porch is now used as a vestry, and before the fire had a parvis, which had served as a schoolroom from time immemorial. There is a clerestory over both the nave and chancel, lighted by numerous large windows, which, like those of the aisles, have nearly flat arches. The nave has a plastered wagon-headed ceiling, but the roof of the chancel is of high pitch. The east window is filled in with stained glass, and several other windows contain fragments of ancient painted glass.

The interior of the building was restored and refitted with open seats in 1859. The sedilia and piscina remain on the south side of the chancel, and opposite to them, over the small north door is a monument to Sir Thomas Hunt, who died in 1616, and is represented in armour with his three wives kneeling behind him. Here is a small oblong brass bearing the following lines:-

'Of all I had this only now I have
Nyne akers wch unto ye poore I gave
Richd Fenn who died March 1565.

In the churchyard is a curious altar monument of stone to the memory of 'Robart Colles and Cecili his vif.'

The rectory, valued in the King's Book at 27 14s. 9d., has 22A. 3R. 15P. of glebe, and a yearly rent-charge of 780, awarded in 1840 in lieu of tithes. Lord Hastings is patron, and the Rev. Charles Henry Frost, B.A., is incumbent. There is a spacious residence, which was considerably enlarged and improved in 1862.

The Baptist chapel was built in 1826, and the Primitive Methodists chapel in 1871.

A School Board was formed in 1874, and schools, with master's house, were erected at an outlay of 1650. The present board consists of the Rev. C.H. Frost (chairman), W.A. Mesney (vice), and Messrs T.M. Austin, A.G. Gibbs, C.A. Hamond, and for Themelthorpe contributory district, the Rev. R.R. Rackham, and Mr. E. Yarham. Mr. W. Newport is the clerk.

A Reading Room was established, and a Mutual Improvement Society formed in 1877. Mr. S. Blade is the secretary. Foulsham and District Horticultural Society was formed in 1877. The Rev. C.H. Frost is secretary. There is an Oddfellows' lodge at the Ship Inn once a month.

The poor have 9A. of land at Guestwick, left by Richard Fenn in 1563; 6A. 3R. 14P. in this parish, left by Henry Semicroft in 1693; and 5A. 3R. 38P. allotted at the enclosure. The rents of these lands, amounting to 53 10s. per annum, are distributed at Christmas among the poor of the parish. To provide gowns, &c., for poor widows and other poor women of Foulsham, John Chapman, in 1661, left 10A. 2R. 6P. of land now let for 31 a year.

The Church Lands comprise 4A. at Sandhills; two allotments, containing 1A. 20P.; and about 3A. in four pieces; the whole producing a yearly rent of about 15.

In October, 1846, a large solid gold torques, weighing 5 ounces, and measuring 42 inches in length, was turned up by the plough on Bittering Common, in this parish, and is now in the possession of Lord Hastings.

(see also Addenda).

POST, MONEY ORDER and TELEGRAPH OFFICE and SAVINGS BANK, at Mr. Samuel Gee's. Letters arrive at 7.30 a.m., despatched 5.10 p.m.; and on Sundays arrive at 7.30 a.m., and despatched 10 a.m., viâ East Dereham.

	Amiss        Wm.             shopkeeper
	Austin       Thomas Matthew  farmer
	Austin       Watts           farmer
	Balls        Miss Martha     farmer
	Barber       Cornelius       bootmaker & baker
	Bell         Wm.             draper, tailor, & ironmonger
	Blade        Samuel          grocer, draper, newsagent and collector
	                               of taxes, and clerk and attendance
	                               officer to School Board
	Blyth        Thos. Hy.       builder & contractor
	Boyle        Allan           draper and grocer
	Bush         Arthur Wm.      farmer
	Chapman      James           vict. King's Arms			
	Chapman      John            gunsmith
	Chipperfield Marshall        engineer and machinist
	Clarke       Mrs Ann
	Collison     Thompson        butcher & dealer
	Cooper       Benjamin        bootmaker
	Cooper       Miss Sophia     day and boarding school
	Crowe        John            hairdresser
	Dack         John            blacksmith and vict. Bull
	Dack         Matthew         farmer
	Damant       Thos. M.R.C.S.  L.S.A. and medical officer 3rd district of
	                               the Aylsham Union, & public vaccinator
	Emms         Hy.             provision dealer
	Emms         Hy.             farmer, High house
	Empson       Josiah          vict. & machinist
	Fairman      Saml.           basket maker
	Frost        Rev. Chas.      rector, The Rectory
	               Henry, B.A.
	Gee          Samuel          baker & confctnr. parish clerk,
	                               postmaster, & assist. overseer
	Gibbs        Alf. Geo.       farmer & miller, The Old Hall.
	Graver       John            gardener and sexton
	Groom        Thomas          beerhouse
	Hurrell      Thomas Mace     grocer
	Jeary        Edgar Harvey    tailor
	Lake         Samuel          farmer
	Leamon       Edmund          ironmonger & frmr
	Leamon       Edmund Robt.    plmbr. & glzr
	Leamon       Phlp.           saddler & harness mkr
	Long         Jeremiah        brick and tile manufr
	Mace         Mrs Sarah Ann
	Maddison     Henry Gildon    chemist, druggist, dentist, stationer,
	                               and agt. for London & Provncl. Ins. Co
	Maidstone    Wm.             pork butcher
	Massingham   Henry           beerhs. & butcher
	Massingham   Mrs Sarah       butcher
	Mesney       Wltr. Alex.     fmr. Keeling hall 			
	Mildenhall   Jno. & Mrs      Brd. Sch. tchrs
	Moore        Mrs Ann
	Newport      Walter          chemist, druggist, stationer, newsagent,
	                               registered accountant, seed & manure
	                               merchant, agent for Royal Insurance Co.,
	                               and agent for Allen Line of steamers
	Nobbs        Wm.             fishmonger
	Overton      Capt. Frederick
	Post Office  Samuel Gee      postmaster
	Price        Mrs Emily
	Prior        John            bootmaker
	Purdy        Mrs Susan
	Raven        Thomas          grocer, draper, corn dealer and farmer
	Reyner       Mrs Sarah
	Rix          Richard         farmer & carrier
	Russell      Edward          watchmaker, grocer, & draper
	Sainty       Hy. Chapman     baker & corn dlr
	Springall    John            vict. White Horse
	Smith        John            blacksmith
	Stroulger    Hy.             painter & paper hanger, plumber & glazier
	Stroulger    Isaac           farmer
	Stroulger    Isaac, jun.     farmer
	Stroulger    Wm.             farmer
	Thrower      Thomas          wheelwright
	Thurling     Peter           farmer
	Towler       Mrs Phoebe
	Turner       Jno.            grocer, draper & gnrl. dlr
	Vince        Rev. Hy.        (Baptist)
	Wayman       Clmnt. Page     L.S.A. and public vaccinator for
	               Scott,M.R.C.S.  3rd district, Aylsham
	Williams     Wm. Hy.         fmr. & vict. Ship
	Woodhouse    Herbert         vet. srgn. & fmr
	Woodhouse    Saml. Jas.      bldr. & cntrctr
	Wright       Wm.             marine store dealer, coal merchant
	                               and furniture broker
(See also Addenda.)

   R. Rix, to Norwich, on Mon. Wed. and Sat.;
   John Holsey to Norwich, Sat.


To Description add

'A fire engine is kept at the engine-house, adjoining the rector's school-room. Mr. John Rosier is superintendent. The Baptists and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel & school here.'

In Directory insert

	Amies        Wm.             shopkeeper and brazier
	Austin       Watts, jun.     farmer, Church farm
	Bullock      -               fishmonger
	Butler       Jno.            farmer
	Carter       Wm. Geo.        G.E.R. stationmaster
	Egmere       Chas.           sweep & dealer
	Emms         Mr Hy. G.
	Girling      Robt.           shoemaker
	Graver       James           gardener
	Gunton       -               farm steward
	Hindry       Philip, jun.    machine proprietor and farmer
	Hammond      Charles A.      farmer
	Ireland      (A.W.)          millers & corn dealers
	  & Gibbs      (A.G.)
	Lambert      Philip          bootmaker
	Leeds        Stephen         farmer
	Norton       Richardson      farmer & dealer
	Pegg         John            farmer
	Phillipo     Skinner         farmer, Woodrow farm
	Starling     Mrs Ruth        coffee and reading rooms
	Skipper      -               bootmaker
	Seaman       William         carpenter and builder
	Spooner      Geo.            baker & confectioner
	Vince        Rev. -          (Baptist)

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See also the Foulsham parish page.

Copyright Pat Newby.
November 2001