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14, High Street.

This was a small shop which became absorbed into Alfred Jermyn’s large department store in about 1880. It was burnt down in the fire of 17th December, 1884.

c1822-c1845 (S. Hillyard) (Maria Hillyard)

In Pigot’s Directory for 1822, S. Hillyard is listed here as a gilder, painter and carver. This was Samuel Hillyard.

White’s Directory for 1836 lists Maria Hillyard, a carver and gilder at this address. She was also listed as a painter. She was the widow of Samuel, who had died between 1822 and 1836.

Maria was born Maria Towell in about 1798 at Thorpland (Wallington-cum-Thorpland, 3 miles north of Downham Market). She married Samuel Hillyard on 23rd August, 1819 in Lynn. She was living here in 1841 and, although the census gives no details, she was the head of the household. Three of her children, all born in Lynn, were living with her; Maria Elizabeth (b. c1821), Samuel (b. c1826), and Margaret (b. c1826). Also there that night was Mary Ann Towell (born c1806) who was probably her sister.

By 1851 Maria had given up the gilding and painting business and had opened a boarding school for twelve pupils in St. Nicholas Street. She employed two teachers, a cook and a servant, and one of her pupils was Louisa Ellis Towell (probably Maria’s niece) aged 13.

In 1861 Maria was living in Queen’s Square, Leeds, with her daughters Maria (a professor of music) and Harriet (a teacher).

Harriet Hyndford Hillyard had been born c1824 in Lynn and in 1848 married William Parsons, a civil engineer from Wilby in Shropshire (born c1819). They had four children, the eldest, Harriet Maria, born 1849/50 in Lowestoft, the others born in Norwich; William (b. 1851/2), Alfred (b. 1853), and Frederick (b. 1855). William Parsons snr. died in Norwich in 1854 and the children went with their mother to live with their grandmother in Leeds. Also staying there on 7th April 1861 was Maria’s niece Charlotte Sophia Towell (born 1842 in Lynn).

After Maria Hillyard’s death between 1861 and 1871, the two sisters, Maria and Harriet, continued working in Leeds. On 2nd April, 1871 they were still at Queen’s Square with Maria jnr. now head of the household. As well as Harriet’s daughter Harriet Maria, other relatives were staying there too, including their aunt Mary Ann Day (aged 70), their cousin Elizabeth Ann Towell (c1834, Lynn), and their niece Jane Mary Rose, an articled pupil born c1854 at Charlbury in Oxfordshire.

 1845 (John Owen Wareham) (William Taylor)

John Owen Wareham, a china, glass and earthenware dealer, was listed here in 1845 (white). In the same directory, William Taylor, a stamp distributor, was also recorded at this address.

John Owen Wareham became the landlord at ‘The Greyhound’ – see No. 25, High Street where more information about him and his family is given.

William Taylor, a printer, bookseller, stationer and bookbinder, was at No. 13 for several years, and more details about him will be found under that address.

c1849/50 (Sarah Simpson)

In Slater’s Directory for 1850, Sarah Simpson, a milliner and dress maker, who had previously been at No. 19, was listed at No. 18. In the same volume, James Plowright is listed here. She was not recorded here in 1851 and had moved to No. 117 by 1854, where more details of her and her family may be found.

c1850-c1880 (James Plowright) (John Dannatt Plowright) (Elizabeth Hannah Plowright)

James Plowright, a glass and china dealer is listed here in Slator’s Directory for 1850. The business had moved from Church Street, at which address it was recorded in Kelly’s Nine Counties Directory for 1846.

Born in about 1786 in Lynn, he was already a widower by 1841 when living in South Street with six of his children. James married Susanna Sarah Chadd on 18th February, 1807 in Lynn, and they had at least eleven children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Maria (b. 1808 – d. 1808). 2) Mary (bap. 07/11/1808). 3) Martha (b. 18/08/1813). 3) Susanna Sarah (b. 04/04/1815 – d. 02/09/1886, aged 72). 4) Eliza (b. 07/09/1816 – d. 1892, aged 76). 4) Elizabeth Hannah (b. 18/09/1819 – d. 1884, aged 64). 6) James Chadd (bap. 23/11/1821). 7) Thomas William Chadd (b. 12/03/1823 – d. 1823). 8) Frederick William, a cabinet maker (b. 26/02/1824 – m. Eliza Sarah Softley – d. 20/10/1898, aged 75). 9) John Dannatt (b. 08/03/1825 – m. Susan Mary Wharton in 1851 and Louisa Brown on 02/03/1863). 10) Caroline Harriet-Jane (b. 14/06/1827). 11) Caroline Anna (b. 08/02/1831 – m. William Henry Heyhoe in 1856, and William Lorey on 20/11/1895 – d. 11/06/1900, aged 70).

In the 1841 census James Plowright’s occupation was given as that of a master mariner, and his son Frederick was a cabinet maker. In 1851 the family were living here at No. 14 and James’s occupation was given as that of a glass and china dealer. His daughters Eliza and Elizabeth Hannah were assisting him in the shop. The business continued to be listed here in subsequent directories, including White’s of 1854 and Harrod’s of 1863.

The family were together in 1861 and the two sisters had been joined by their brother, John Dannatt Plowright, a master boot maker aged 34. John had married Susan Mary Wharton in 1858 but she died in April 1853 at the age of 23, and he later married Louisa Brown on 2nd March, 1863 in Marylebone.

Also staying at No. 14 in 1861 was James’s granddaughter Susan Mary Heyhoe, born at Swaffham c1859. Her parents were Caroline Anna Plowright and William Henry Heyhoe, who had married in 1856.

In 1871, James Plowright, now aged 84 and listed once again as a master mariner, was still here with his daughter, Eliza, who was running the earthenware, china and glass shop.

James was listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1875 but died on 26th February, 1876, at the age of 96.

Following his death, the business was taken over by his daughter, Elizabeth Hannah Plowright, who was listed here in the directory for 1879. She died in 1884, aged 64.

c1880 (Alfred Jermyn)

The last listing for No. 14 as a separate shop was in 1879, the property being absorbed into Jermyn’s store at some date prior to 1881. In the census that year Jermyn’s building occupied the sites of Nos. 12, 13 & 14 and at least 24 members of staff had living accommodation there. James Sanders Davis, a linen draper’s assistant born in Huntingdonshire in 1852, was in charge of 5 male and 18 female employees who stayed there. All were unmarried and their ages ranged from 16 to 33.

The shop was burnt to the ground in Jermyn’s first fire on Wednesday, 17th December, 1884 (see Appendix 1).