121 – 122

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121 & 122, High Street

In 1875 Nos. 121 and 122 were combined and for over 60 years this was a large butcher’s shop. At some date after 1936, Nos. 121 and 122 were divided back into two separate shops.

1875 – 1878 (Joseph Gowthorpe) (Emma Jane Gowthorpe)

In 1875, Joseph Gowthorpe linked Nos. 121 and 122 High Street to create a large butcher’s shop. He had started off at No. 15 before moving to No. 122 in 1871.

Joseph’s father, William Wallis Gowthorpe (b. c1812 – d. 1867, aged 56), was a butcher from Louth in Lincolnshire, who married Susanna Gibson (b. c1806 in East Kirby, Lincs. – d. 1872, aged 66) in 1838/9. William and Susanna had two children, both born in Louth:-

1) William, a butcher (b. 1844 – d. 1871, aged 27). 2) Joseph – see below (b. 1847 – d. 1876, aged 33).

Joseph left Louth and came to Lynn where he started working as a butcher. On 2nd April, 1868 he married Emma Jane Wilkinson (née Hopkin), aged 28, the widow of Henry Wilkinson jnr. (see No. 15, High Street). It seems probable that Joseph had been working for Henry Wilkinson and that Emma retained him as manager of the shop. She had announced in February, 1867 that she was continuing her late husband’s business. On 4th April, 1868, two days after his marriage to Emma, Joseph placed a notice in the Lynn Advertiser stating that he was taking over the late Henry Wilkinson’s business at No. 15. The business may not have stayed there for long and it is probable that Joseph moved it to No. 122 later that year (1868).

Joseph and Emma had four children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Joseph Hopkin, a butcher (b. 1869 – d. 1902, aged 33). 2) Kate Hopkin (b. 1870/1 – d. 1885, aged 14). 3) Emma Hopkin (b. 1872 – d. 1886, aged 13). 4) George Wallis Hopkin – a butcher (b. 20/12/1876 – m. 07/08/1899 – d. 1927/8, aged 51).

The business prospered in the extended premises and on 18th December, 1875, Joseph advertised his business at 121 & 122, High Street ‘By Appointment to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales’ (Lynn Advertiser).  However, he did not live to enjoy the fruits of his labour and he died aged 33, on 29th December 1876, just nine days after the birth of his son George.

After Joseph’s death, Emma Jane Gowthorpe continued the business, as she had done at No. 15 after the death of her first husband. On 6th January 1877, Emma placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘Mrs. GOWTHORPE (Widow of the late Joseph Gowthorpe), BUTCHER, 121 & 122 High Street, Lynn, Whilst expressing her gratitude for the sympathy she has experienced in her bereavement, also returns her best thanks for the extensive patronage accorded her late husband during the past eight years, and takes this opportunity of stating that the business will be carried on in all its branches as heretofore. She asks that her numerous friends and customers will continue their support, and that other inhabitants of the town & district will be induced to give her establishment a trial. The quality of the goods supplied will be, as hitherto, of the finest description, at moderate prices.’

On 15th December 1877, she announced her Christmas Meat Show in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘By Special Appointment to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, Sandringham. CHRISTMAS MEAT SHOW, 1877. E. J. GOWTHORPE, BUTCHER, 121 & 122, High Street, Lynn, Begs to announce that her SHOW of CHRISTMAS MEAT will take place on MONDAY EVENING next.’

On 29th June, 1878, Emma married Frederick Smoothy at St. Luke’s Church, Camden.

1878 – 1893 (Frederick Smoothy)

Following the marriage between Emma Gowthorpe and Frederick Smoothy, the latter’s name appeared over the door to the butcher’s shop. However, it is certain that Emma played a prominent role in the business, at least for the first few years, because Frederick was a draper, not a butcher, by trade.

Born in about 1837 in Linton, a village in Cambridgeshire on the border with Essex, Frederick was the son of a draper and grocer Charles Smoothy (b. 09/07/1806 in Birdbrook, Essex) and Martha Porter (b. 1810 in Saffron Walden, Essex). Charles and Martha married at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire in 1826, and had six children, all born in Linton:-

1) Thomas Buck, a warehouseman (b. 29/09/1827 – d. 1898, aged 72). 2) Martha Jane (b. 27/04/1828 – m. Henry Sheppard in 1861 – d. 1917, aged 90). 3) William (b. 02/06/1829 – d. 1845, aged about 16). 4) Charles, a farmer and naturalist (b. 10/04/1832 – m. Catherine Missen in 1861 – d. 1911/12, aged 79). 5) Henry, a commercial clerk and accountant (b. c1834 – d. 1919, aged 85). 6) Frederick – see below (b. c1837 – d. 1893, aged 54).

After leaving school, Frederick went to work in his father’s shop. In 1861, Charles had already retired, and was living in Islington. Frederick was staying with him at census time that year and had employment as a draper. In 1871, Frederick was boarding in College Street, Northampton, where he was working as a shop assistant to a local draper. According to the report in the Norfolk Chronicle at the time of his death, Frederick had been living in Windsor at about the time that he married Emma. However, there is no other record of this and it is not known what brought him to Lynn, nor whether he had found employment as a butcher prior to 1878. Even if he had been working for a butcher prior to his marriage to Emma, he would still have been faced with a steep learning curve to reach the standards achieved by his predecessor here as ‘Purveyor (by Special Appointment) to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.’ Indeed, in all the years that Frederick ran the shop here, he always advertised as ‘Smoothy late Gowthorpe’.

Emma and Frederick Smoothy had one child:-

Frederica Victoria (b. 13/08/1879 – d. 1975/6, aged 96).

In 1892 Frederick had a severe bout of influenza from which he never fully recovered. He was still suffering the after effects almost a year later and he and Emma decided to retire from business. Emma invited Herbert, her son by her first husband Henry Wilkinson jnr., to take over the family business. Herbert was a butcher in Ely, and he placed a notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 28th October 1893, announcing the takeover.

Frederick and Emma continued to live on the premises but he became increasingly depressed. Early on the morning of Wednesday 15th November 1893 he committed suicide in the slaughter-house at the back of the butcher’s shop at 121 & 122 High Street. He was 54 years old.

After Frederick’s death, Emma moved out of the house at 122 High Street and was living at No. 16, Queen Street in 1901 with her daughter Frederica who was working as a governess.

Emma Smoothy lived in Lynn until her death in 1923, aged 81. She had outlived her three husbands, most of her children, and some of her grandchildren.

1893 – 1904 (Herbert Wilkinson)

On 28th October 1893, Emma Smoothy and her eldest son Herbert Wilkinson placed the following joint notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘121 & 122 HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN. Mrs. SMOOTHY, late GOWTHORPE, Butcher and Purveyor, (By Special Appointment) to The Prince of Wales, is exceedingly grateful for the liberal patronage accorded her for the past 31 years, and has pleasure in stating that the business which has been so successfully carried on at the above-named establishment has been transferred to her eldest son, HERBERT WILKINSON, who will commence on Monday next, and who she has confidence in recommending.

HERBERT WILKINSON feels that he needs little or no introduction to the peoples of Lynn and neighbourhood, where he is well known, and has gained, he believes, the respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends. In taking his mother’s business, he assures the general public, whose support he respectfully invites, that nothing will be wanting on his part to give entire satisfaction. He has long been associated with the trade, and is determined upon supplying to his customers none but the best quality of BEEF, MUTTON, and PORK, at the cheapest rates. Hotels, Families, Schools, Shipping and the Trade supplied at the most reasonable terms. LAMB and VEAL during the season. Telegrams and orders addressed to 121 & 122 High Street, attended to on the shortest notice. Branch Establishments at Ely and Stretham.’

Herbert had been born in 1863 and was now 32 years old. He had trained as a butcher under his mother and step-father, Frederick Smoothy, and was working here in 1881. He then took on a business of his own, in High Street Ely, and he retained a branch there when he came to Lynn after Frederick’s death. He had another branch at Stretham, near Ely.

Herbert married Alice Mary Dunham (b. Wymondham in 1858) at Wymondham on 27/10/1886, and they had at least three children, the two eldest born in Ely:-

1) Herbert Goodwyn (b. 1888). 2) John Henry C. (b. 1891). 3) Charles Clifford (b. 26/05/1895 at St. Germans).

Herbert continued to advertise in the local newspapers and the trade directories until 1900, but after handing over the business to T. H. Andrews in May, 1904, he emigrated with his family to Philadelphia. He and Alice went to the U.S.A. first and then sent for their sons John Henry and Herbert Goodwyn, who sailed from Liverpool arriving 31/07/1905 at Philadelphia. Herbert jnr. became a naturalised American citizen on 10th May 1932.

The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 20th May, 1904:-

‘121 & 122 HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN. May 16th, 1904. Dear Sir or Madam; I beg to inform you that I have disposed of my Butchering Business to Mr. Thos. H. Andrews, the well-known Butcher of St. James Street, and, in gratefully thanking you for past favours liberally bestowed for so many years, I beg to assure you of my confidence in Mr. Andrews’ ability to carry on the business as satisfactorily as in the past. Faithfully yours, HERBERT WILKINSON.’

1904 – 1924 (Thomas Henry Andrews)

Alongside Herbert Wilkinson’s notice in the Lynn Advertiser was a complementary announcement from Thomas Andrews:-

‘ST. JAMES STREET, KING’S LYNN. May 16th, 1904. Dear Sir or Madam; I have pleasure in announcing that I have secured, and am carrying on, the Old-established Butchering Business, late Mr. Herbert Wilkinson’s, and intend continuing it in the same conscientious and reliable manner as my predecessor, at the same address, Nos. 121 and 122, High Street. I trust you will extend to me the same confidence which Mr. H. Wilkinson has enjoyed for so many years, and assure you of my best endeavours in your interest. Mr. Wilkinson has kindly consented to assist and introduce me to his customers for a time. Yours faithfully, THOMAS H. ANDREWS. (T. H. ANDREWS has just had a Frost’s Improved Patent Cold Room built for Storing Meat during the summer months.)’

Thomas Henry Andrews was a well-established butcher in Lynn when he took over the business from Herbert Wilkinson in 1904. His family was also related to another Lynn family of butchers – his father, Thomas Andrews III, married Elizabeth Wilkinson, the sister of Henry Wilkinson jnr. (see No. 15, High Street).

The earliest directory reference for a Thomas Andrews is a whitesmith in Norfolk Street in 1830 (Pigot). He was Thomas Andrews jnr. at that date, his father also being a whitesmith, with premises in Coronation Square. To differentiate between them, reference is made here to Thomas Andrews I (c1771-1847), Thomas Andrews II (1800 – 1853), and Thomas Andrews III (1830-1896).

Thomas Andrews I was at Coronation Square in Lynn in 1841 with his daughter Martha (b. c1801). There were no other members of their family with them at that time. It is believed that Martha died in 1846. Thomas I died at his son’s house in Albert Street on 24th April 1847, aged 76.

Thomas Andrews II lived at Cobb’s Yard off Norfolk Street and was there in 1841. The address is slightly confusing because Cobb’s Yard and Albert Street are very close to one another and just off Norfolk Street. In 1850 (Slater) his address was given as Albert Street and he was there in 1851. Confusingly, however, the census enumerator appears to have recorded his name incorrectly as James. Although this would be an unexpected kind of mistake, there are many instances of names being misrecorded in the census records. Thomas Andrews II married Elizabeth Wood at St. Nicholas Chapel in Lynn on 25/10/1821, and they had at least six children:-

1) Mary (b. c1826). 2) Harriet (b. c1828 – d. 1842, aged about 14). 3) Thomas III – see below (b. c1830 – m. Elizabeth Wilkinson on 09/03/1854 – d. 1896, aged 66). 4) Elizabeth (b. c1834). 5) Martha Ann (b. c1836 – d. 1846, aged about 10). 6) Eliza (b. 1838 – m. Edwin Thomas Rudd in 1860 – d. 1900, aged 61).

Thomas Andrews III married Elizabeth Wilkinson in 1854 and they had eight children:-

1) Elizabeth (b. 1855). 2) Mary Ann (b. 1856 – m. William James Wharton in 1880 – d. 1885, aged 31). 3) Martha Ann (b. 1857 – m. Henry Harold Johnson in 1884 – d. 1931, aged 76). 4) Eliza (b. 1859). 5) Sarah Jane (b. 1861). 6) Emma Amelia (b. 1863 – m. Robert George Allen in 1884 – d. 1946, aged 83). 7) Thomas Henry – see below (b. 1867 – m. Maria Thirza Scott in 1891 – d. 1943, aged 75). 8) Kate Florence (b. 1871/2 – m. George James Wilby in 1900 – d. 1948, aged 75).

Thomas Andrews III had worked as a bell hanger and gas fitter at 16/17, St. James Street (1890 White), and it was his wife Elizabeth who was the butcher and who shared the premises with him. In 1892, Kelly lists Mrs. Thomas Andrews as a butcher in St. James Street.

In 1896, Thomas Henry Andrews succeeded to his mother’s butchery business when she retired following the death of her husband Thomas Andrews III.

Thomas Henry is listed in St. James Street in 1900 (Kelly), but with no number. By 1904, when he took over here from his uncle Herbert Wilkinson, he was at No. 4, St. James Street, and he maintained that shop until at least 1916 (Kelly), at which date he also had a shop in Diamond Street, off Wisbech Road in Lynn.

Thomas Henry Andrews married Maria Thirza Scott (b. 19/01/1864 in Lynn). Maria was the daughter of Thomas William Scott (b. c1834 – d. 05/02/1915), and the elder sister to William Crawshay Scott (b. 05/08/1869 – d. 02/07/1938) – see No. 89, and Nos. 91 to 97, High Street. Thomas Henry and Maria had five children:-

1) Thomas William (b. 02/08/1892 – m. Elsie May Bowman in 1918 – d. 1936). 2) Charles Henry (b. 10/01/1894 – d. 09/12/1918). 3) Eva Victoria (b. 14/07/1897 – m. John E. Greenacre in 1923 – d. 1983, aged about 84). 4) Gladys May (b. 04/05/1899 – m. Harold A. Tassell in 1922 – d. 1990, aged about 91). 5) Ida Dorothy (b. 16/12/1900 – m. Harold Victor Hemment in 1921 – d. 1988, aged 87).

Both sons followed their father into the business. However, Charles, who had been made a partner with his brother Thomas William, died in the Great War. He joined the Army Service Corps in 1916 and went to Salonika the following year. He died of pneumonia on 9th December 1918, aged 24, and is buried at the Mikra British Cemetery in Salonika.

On 19th December 1924, Thomas Henry Andrews placed a notice in the Lynn Advertiser announcing his retirement in favour of his son Thomas William. At that date, Thomas Henry held a lease on the property at 121 and 122, with an expiry date of 24th June, 1925. On 11th July 1923, the freehold was offered for sale at an auction at the Globe Hotel in the town, and he bought it for £2,100. In addition to his butchery business, he had an interest in farming and raising cattle, which he continued after his retirement.

Maria Thirza Andrews died on 5th December, 1934, aged 70, and Thomas Henry died in May 1943, aged 75, both at 14, London Road, Lynn.

A terrible tragedy befell the family of Gladys May Tassell (née Andrews) in 1966. Her son Peter Lyon Tassell (b. 1925 in Lynn) and daughter-in-law Eileen Sybil de Burgh Ledger (b. 1920) were staying at Greatwood House, near Falmouth in Cornwall, with their children Susan (b. 1951). Nicola (b. 1954) and Frances (b. 1957). On 31st July the whole family went on a boat trip from the hotel with other guests from the hotel. The vessel, the MV Darlwyne, was not fully seaworthy, had no certificate to carry passengers, had no radio, flares or sufficient life jackets, and yet set out on the 23 nautical mile return trip from Fowey to the hotel in the face of a gathering storm. The storm grew stronger and stronger, and the Darlwyne was never seen again after it had reached Dodman Point, a notoriously dangerous stretch of water about 9 nautical miles from Fowey. All 31 people on board perished, including the Tassell family. No trace of the vessel was ever found, apart from an empty lifeboat, and a few pieces of debris. The bodies of Peter, Nicola and Frances Tassell were never recovered.

1924 – (Thomas William Andrews)

The family business continued without a break under the guidance of Thomas William Andrews. Thomas W. had married Elsie May Bowman (b. 15/04/1893 at Welney, Cambs.) at Downham in 1917/18). They had three children:-

1) Margaret Eva (b. 11/07/1920 – d. 11/07/2008, aged 88). 2) Doris M. (b. 1924 – m. Walter James Corbett in 1947 – d. 1956, aged 33). 3. Elizabeth Paddy (b. 02/07/1928 – d. 1996, aged about 68).

Thomas W. advertised at Christmas time, the following appearing in the Lynn Advertiser on 16th December, 1927:-

‘THOMAS W. ANDREWS, Family Butcher, 121 and 122, High Street, King’s Lynn, begs to thank his many Customers and the Public generally for their splendid support during the past year, and trusts by courteous and prompt attention to all orders to merit a continuance of same. T. W. ANDREWS has secured for his CHRISTMAS TRADE – BEEF, MUTTON & PORK of the Very Highest Quality, including Winners at Norwich and Local Shows. TURKEYS. A very fine selection of Norfolk Birds, from 10 lbs. to 20 lbs. POULTRY of the very finest quality. All Orders Promptly and Carefully Attended to. Noted for SALT BEEF and OX TONGUES. ANDREWS’ NOTED SAUSAGES. Trial Solicited. NOTE the Only Address: 121 & 122, High Street, King’s Lynn. Phone: King’s Lynn 169.’

It appears from the wording of this advertisement that he had given up the St. James Street and Diamond Street shops by this date.

To take advantage of the potential market for pork sausages and cooked meats, Thomas W. and Elsie opened a second High Street shop, at No. 108, but this was only for a couple of years from about 1934 to 1936. A most dreadful accident occurred at No. 108 when Thomas W. and his men were moving the equipment from that shop to their main one here at Nos. 121 & 122, on Monday 9th March 1936. Thomas William Andrews was killed when a large sausage machine that he and his men were moving toppled over, crushing him to death. He was 42 years old. A further account of the tragedy is given at No. 108.

Elsie May Andrews died in 1982, aged 88.

1950 (Solesta)

In the Lynn Advertiser for 30th August, 1946, Solesta, a shop specialising in ladies’ coats, announced that it would soon be opening at No. 78. They stayed there until 1st December, 1950, when they moved to No. 121, High Street.

1951 (London Central Meat Co.)

1960 – 1973 (Baxters Butchers)

Baxters Butchers were here from at least 1960 until at least 1973 (Kelly).

 1994 (Intersport)

1994 (Hereward Sports)