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Nos. 101 and 101½, High Street.

A narrow passageway leading off Baker Lane gave rear access to Nos. 100 to 103 High Street. There was at least one dwelling at the back of No. 101 and this would appear to have been listed at times as No. 101½ or 101a (see Thomas Ollett and Walter Carlyle Roberts, below).

c1822 – 1835 (Charles Willett)

On Saturday 8th November, 1823, Charles Willett placed the following notice in the Norfolk Chronicle:-

‘WANTED. A Youth of respectable connections, as Apprentice to the Wholesale and Retail Ironmongery Business. A Premium will be expected. Apply personally, or by Letter post-paid, to Charles Willett, High Street, Lynn.’

Charles Willett’s ironmongery shop was listed here in Pigot’s directory for 1830, and had been included in the earlier 1822/3 edition but with no shop number. On 21st February, 1835, he placed the following notice in the Norfolk Chronicle:-

‘CHARLES WILLETT, Furnishing & General Ironmonger, and IRON MERCHANT, begs to announce to his Friends and the public, that he has Removed to the newly erected Premises, nearly opposite his former situation, where he respectfully solicits a continuance of that patronage and Support it has ever been his anxious wish and endeavour to merit, and for which he avails himself of this opportunity to return his sincere and grateful acknowledgments. Agent for Budding’s Patent Grass Cutter. Baths on Sale or Hire. High Street, Lynn, February 16th, 1835.’

The world’s first mechanical lawn mower was built to the patent design of Edwin Budding of Stroud, Gloucestershire, by J. R. & A. Ransomes of Ipswich in 1832. The machine looked similar to later models but with a much larger diameter roller at the back. Spur gears connected the roller to the blades at the front, rotating them at 12 times the speed of the roller. Budding based his cutter on the shears used in textile factories for cutting cloth.

His new premises were at Nos. 23 to 26, High Street, and more details of his family and his business will be found at those numbers.

c1835 – 1839 (Langton & Bain)

The linen and woollen drapers Langton & Bain were listed at this address in Pigot’s directory for 1839, and they may have been here since Charles Willett moved out in 1835. They had ceased trading by 16th March 1839, when the following notice appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle:-

‘TO LINEN & WOOLLEN DRAPERS. To Be Sold By Tender, In One Lot. By Order of the Trustees of Messrs. LANGTON and BAIN, of High Street, King’s Lynn, The entire STOCK in TRADE, consisting of Linen and Woollen Drapery, Silk Mercery, Hosiery, Haberdashery, etc., amounting to £1,696 14s 1d. at a Cost Price, and will be sold at a Discount therefrom. Payment to be made in Cash, or by approved Security at two months from 25th March inst. The Tender will be opened and the Purchaser declared at the Office of Messrs. Faircloth and Armstrong, No. 5, Bad Lane, Cheapside, London, on Tuesday, the 19th instant, until which time the Stock will remain on view, and further particulars obtained on application on the premises, or as above.’

1836 (John Miller)

In White’s Directory for 1836, Mr John Miller is listed at this address. His entry is amongst the gentry and others not listed under the trades.

c1839 – 1847(John Palmer)

Not found in the directories or the 1841 census, John Palmer, a hatter and draper, was here between 1843 and 1847, and may have moved into the shop when Langton & Bain left in 1839. On 14th March 1843 in the Lynn Advertiser, he advertised cork hats:-

‘Important to Economists. JOHN PALMER, 101, High Street, having been appointed Agent for Messrs. Wilson & Co’s. New PATENT CORK HAT, begs to call the attention of the Public to it. This hat being made on an entirely new principle, and warranted far superior to any Paris Hat ever invented, for Colour, Durability, Elasticity, and its ventilating qualities. J. P. has on sale a large assortment of BEAVER and SILK HATS, also an extensive variety of CLOTH and OTHER CAPS, at all prices, which he pledges himself for Cheapness and Quality cannot be surpassed by any House in the Trade. N. B. Umbrellas, Parasols, Carpet Bags, and Leather Cases.’

On 13th December, 1845, the following auction notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘Notice of Sale. Mr. HORNE Will Sell by Auction, at 101, High Street, Lynn, on Monday, Dec. 15th, Wednesday, 17th, and following days, Upwards of £1,000 worth of GENERAL DRAPERY, FURS, etc., etc. Sale to commence each day at 2, and half-past 6 in the evening.’

It is not clear whether this was John Palmer’s stock and that he was giving up the business. The same uncertainty surrounds the reasons for another stock auction on the premises just over one year later. On 6th February, 1847, William Watts placed an auction notice in the Lynn Advertiser, listing an extensive stock, including haberdashery, dresses, muslins, household drapery, scarves, shawls, hats, caps, bonnets, gloves, and umbrellas. These were to be sold during the first week of the Lynn Mart on the premises at No. 101, High Street.

It may be that another draper succeeded John Palmer in 1845 but left after about thirteen months.

1845 – 1854 (Thomas Ollett) (at No. 101½)

Thomas Ollett, a brewer, was listed in White’s directories for 1845 and 1854 at No. 101. In the 1851 census, no number is given, although his household is recorded next to Richard Pridgeon at No. 101. The enumerator appears to have erased the number. The following household is also not given a house number, but it is next to William Rose Smith at No. 102½. This perhaps reflects the enumerator’s uncertainty over the High Street numbering. The dwelling that Thomas Ollett occupied were most probably sometimes referred to as No. 101½, and were at the rear of the premises with direct access to the passageway that led to Baker Lane.

Thomas Ollett worked for Messrs. Everard & Sons at their Baker Lane brewery.

Born in Lynn in about 1815, Thomas Ollett married Elizabeth Back at St. Margaret’s church on 1st January, 1836. In 1841 they were living in St. James Street. They had six children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Harriett (b. c1837 – d. 1841). 2) Emma (b. 1839/40 – m. William Henry Harris, a clock maker and jeweller, in 1870 – d. 1913, aged 73, at Thetford). 3) Henry William, a blacksmith in Sculcoates in 1901 (b. 1844 – d. 1935, aged 83). 4) Thomas (b. 1845 – d. 1855, aged nine). 5) Frederick, a blacksmith in London in 1911 (b. 1848 – d. 1920).

Thomas Ollett died on 18th September, 1860, aged about 45, in an accident at the brewery. The inquest was reported in the Norfolk Chronicle on 22nd September:-

‘On Tuesday evening an inquest was held before P. Wilson Esq., coroner, at the George and Dragon public house, on the body of Thomas Ollett, who was found dead in a large covered brewing copper on the premises belonging to Messrs. Everard and Co., Baker Lane. From the evidence it appeared that the deceased was last seen about a quarter before eight o’clock on Tuesday morning, and that not returning to breakfast, his daughter about ten o’clock, went in search of him. Near the copper his hat was found, and after strict search his body was discovered in the copper, which was a large one, nearly ten feet deep, with nearly seven or eight feet water inside. The body was taken out and medical aid was secured, but life was extinct. It is thought that as a gauge was found in the water, he was using it when he overbalanced himself and fell in. The jury, after a patient examination of the few portions of evidence, gave as their verdict, Found drowned; the jury believing it to be quite accidental. The deceased had been brewer to the establishment for some years, and it is supposed that he was, as we have said, gauging this copper, which had not been used for some time. He has left a wife and family.’

Elizabeth Ollett moved to live at Norfolk Street (1861) and then to Guanock Place (1881). She died in 1890, aged 79.

1847 – 1855 (Richard Panton Pridgeon) (Ann Pridgeon)

On 25th September, 1847, Richard Panton Pridgeon, a hatter born c1824 in Lynn, placed an advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser, announcing that he was opening a shop here on Tuesday, 28th of that month:-

‘HAT, HOSIERY and HABERDASHERY ESTABLISHMENT, 101, High Street, Lynn. R. P. PRIDGEON respectfully announces to the Inhabitants of Lynn and its Vicinity that he intends opening the above eligible Premises on TUESDAY, the 28th instant. His new and well selected Stock has been purchased with the greatest care, and consists of Hosiery, Haberdashery, Hats, Gloves, Shirts, Flannels, Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Handkerchiefs, Gauze and Satin Cap Ribbons, Lace Goods, Umbrellas, and a rich variety of useful and elegant articles. R. P.  PRIDGEON directs especial attention to a large Stock of Men’s and Youths’ Cloth and other CAPS, which he has purchased at a considerable Discount from Cash Price; the Manufacturer having declined that branch of his business. By strict attention and by truly economical prices, he trusts that he may receive and merit a share of public patronage.’

He was listed here in Slater’s Directory for 1850, and was living at this address in 1851, with his wife who was also working as a hatter.

Richard was the brother of William Read Pridgeon, the jeweller at No. 103, High Street. Their parents were Thomas Pridgeon (1796 – 1868) and Maria Panton (1798 – 1878). More details of their family are given at No. 103, High Street.

Richard Panton Pridgeon married Ann Willis (b. c1827 in Lynn) in Lynn on 6th September, 1847. Ann was the daughter of baker Robert Willis (see No. 112, High Street). Richard and Ann had three children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Robert Thomas, a farmer at Wereham in 1871 (b. 1848 – m. Anne Elizabeth Hall in 1870 – d. 1878, aged 29). 2) Ann Maria (b. 1849 – d. 1925, aged 75). 3) Elizabeth (b. 1851 – d. 1933, aged 82).

Richard was listed in White’s Directory for 1854 but died on 19th March, 1855, aged 32.

Ann Pridgeon continued to run the shop for a short time, but sold the business in September, 1855, placing the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘HAT, HOSIERY, & GLOVE ESTABLISHMENT, 101, HIGH STREET, LYNN. A. PRIDGEON returns her most sincere thanks for the kind patronage received by her late husband, and respectfully announces to her many friends that she has disposed of her Business to Mr. G. Royston of Manchester, for whom she solicits a continuance of their favours.’

Ann moved to live in St James Road. She became a partner of the confectionery business of Willis & Co., with her sister Emma (see No. 112) and died in 1910, aged 85.

c1854 – 1861 (George Royston)

George Royston placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 29th September, 1855, below the announcement from Ann Pridgeon:-

‘G. ROYSTON. In succeeding to the above Business, begs to say that he has removed a large proportion of his stock from Manchester, which, together with the Stock purchased from the executors of the late R. P. Pridgeon, will be Sold Off prior to receiving new Goods for the Winter Trade at a reduction of 25 to 40 per cent.’

The Roystons were a farming family from Lincolnshire. George’s grandparents were Thomas Royston (b. c1741 in Edenham, Lincs.) and Lucy Thorp. They had married on 20/02/1769 at Edenham. Their son William (b. 1771 in Edenham) married Miriam Blackbourn (b. 1786 in Threekingham, Lincs.) on 20th April, 1809 at Threekingham. Thomas and Miriam set up home in a farm at Walsoken, Norfolk, where their first three children were born, before moving to Leverington in Lincolnshire where they stayed from about 1815 to about 1820. They then came to North Wootton, near King’s Lynn, where they remained until Thomas died in 1854/5.

Thomas and Miriam had eight children:-

1) William, a farmer (b. 20/07/1810 in Walsoken). 2) Sarah (b. 13/11/1813 in Walsoken – d. 1867, aged 53). 3)  George – see below (b. 18/05/1815 at Leverington – m. Mary Elizabeth Trigg in 1847 – d. 1877, aged about 62). 4) Mary Ann (b. 08/12/1816 in Leverington – m. Richard Gay, a North Wootton farmer, on 15/12/1842). 5) Henry, a commission agent in Chorlton-cum-Medlock (b. 11/05/1818 in Leverington – m. Eliza Ann Kemp in 1848 – d. 1879, aged 61). 6) Richard – a farmer at North Wootton (b. 16/11/1819 in Leverington – m. Mary – d. 1891, aged 71). 7) Lucy (b. 21/05/1821 in North Wootton – m. Benjamin Thomas Birch in 1843 – d. 1893, aged 71). 8)  Cuthbert – a basket manufacturer in Nottingham (b. 11/02/1823 in North Wootton – m. Elizabeth Frost in 1850 – d. 1888, aged 64). Benjamin Thomas Birch was a brush maker – see No. 61, High Street.

George was born in Leverington, Cambridgeshire, in 1815, and came to North Wootton with his family in about 1820. He would have gone to school in the area. After leaving school he may have taken an apprenticeship with a draper either locally or in Bourne, Lincolnshire, where he was working in 1841. Also working in Bourne, as a governess, was Mary Elizabeth Trigg (b. c1819 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire), and they met and were married in 1847. They had six children, the first three born in Manchester, the other three in Lynn:-

1) Mary (b. 1849 – m. Henry ‘Harry’ Coles – d. 1925). 2) Lucy Ann (b. 1850 – m. George E. Shreeve – d. 1911). 3) William (b. 1853 – m. Lily Campbell – d. 1900). 4) Eliza (b. 1855 – d. 1870). 5) Harriet (b. 1857 – m. James Alexander Lindsay – d. 1946 in South Africa). 6) Georgetta (b. 1860 – d. 1870).

In November, 1855, George Royston sold off his stock of shawls and fancy dresses in order to concentrate on his business as hatter and outfitter.

On 11th September 1858, George Royston advertised in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘The CHRONOTHEAM SHIRT, the Most Perfect Fitted Shirt Yet Produced, to be had only of GEORGE ROYSTON, Regatta and Fancy Shirt Manufacturer, 101, High Street, King’s Lynn. Prices: six for 18s., 21s., 28s., 33s., and 40s.’

The ‘Chronotheam Shirt’ was one of his special lines and he advertised it on many occasions in the local press.

In 1860, George made plans to leave the country and placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 10th March that year:-

‘NOTICE. In Consequence of Giving up Business, G. ROYSTON is selling off his valuable stock of Hosiery, Gloves, Hats, Caps, Shirts, Scarfs, Ties, Handkerchiefs, Parasols, Umbrellas, Prints, Calicoes, Flannels, Coburgs, Dresses, and a variety of other goods. N.B. The Business to be Disposed of. 101, HIGH STREET, LYNN’.

George and his family emigrated to South Africa in 1861. Soon after they had settled at Pietermaritzburg, both Eliza and Georgetta died. George died in 1877, aged about 61, and Mary died in 1888, aged about 69.

George’s sister Lucy married Lynn brush maker Benjamin Thomas Birch, and more details of their family will be found at Nos. 61 and 74, High Street.

1863 – 1865 (William Andrews)

William Andrews, a draper and hosier, was listed here in Harrod’s Directory for 1863. He manufactured men’s clothing and advertised in the Lynn Advertiser on 14th November, 1863:-

‘RUNNING THE BLOCKADE IN AMERICA. COTTONG GOODS CHEAPER THAN EVER. W. ANDREWS, High Street, Lynn, Makes men’s clothing on the premises, at the following prices:- Trousers 2s; vests 2s; best black cloth coats 4s 6d, and guaranteed well made; 5,000 patterns of woollen cloths to pick from, 1s, 1s 11d, 2s 9d, 3s 4½d. First Class new Goods: Our noted nickerbocker cloths, 1s 6d, 1s 8d, 1s 11d, worth double. Give us a call and look. 1,000 blankets, 3s 11d pair; alpaca umbrellas, 2s 11d; large silk ditto, 6s 11d to 8s 11d; flannels, 6¾d to 11½d; stays, 1s 4½d; 4,000 patterns prints, 5¾d to 6¾d; the best cottons; 600 black scarf shawls, 4s 11d.; 1,000 men’s and ladies’ kid gloves, 1s 4d to 1s 11d.’

He had opened the shop here as a branch of his Downham Market business.

On 29th April, 1865, William Andrews placed a large advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser, announcing that he had moved into Nos. 36 & 37, High Street. He did not stay there for very long and when the freeholds of the two shops were sold at the beginning of 1866, he left Lynn and returned to Downham Market.

1868 (Robert Waterson Orviss)

On 28th March, 1868, Lynn dental surgeon Robert Orviss placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘TEETH. Mr. R. W. ORVISS (the old established) Dental Surgeon, 101 High Street, Lynn, three doors from the Post Office’.

There were at least three generations of Robert Waterson Orvis’s, although the middle name does not appear on many of the civil records. For the sake of clarity, reference is made to Robert Orviss I (c1804 – 1885), Robert Orviss II (c1836 – 1907), and Robert Orviss III (1874 – 1944).

The advertisement stresses the ‘old established’ nature of the business and this probably refers to Robert Orviss I, who was still practicing as a dental surgeon in the town at that about that date. His son, Robert II, was an engraver in 1861 and had become a dentist by 1871, so the advertisement could have been placed by him if he had succeeded to the business set up by his father many years earlier. However, it appears that he did not have his own dental practice.

Robert Orviss I was born in Lynn in about 1804, being baptised in the town on 26th July that year. His father’s name was also Robert, and his mother was Ann. He married Susannah / Susan Wagg on 30th October 1828 at St. Margaret’s church. In 1841 they were living in New Conduit Street, and Robert was working as an engraver. His first trade listing is in 1845 (White) when his address as an engraver was No. 13, New Conduit Street. Robert and Susan had at least five children:-

1) Elizabeth (b. c1830 – m. William Robert Greene in 1853). 2) Olivia (b. 1832 – d. 1833). 3. Olivia (b. 1834 – d. 1834). 4) Robert Waterson II – see below (b. c1836 – m. Charlotte Blanchflower on 25/12/1866 at St. Margaret’s church – d. 1907, aged 72). 5) Arthur, a dentist in Hackney (b. c1837 – m. Emma Miriam Hammond in 1859 – d. 1872, aged 35). Emma Hammond was the daughter of Philip Hammond, a boot maker of 112, Norfolk Street (Slater, 1850).

In 1851, the family was living in Norfolk Street and Robert I was working as a dentist and engraver. He is listed at High Street (no number) in 1868 (Harrod) as an engraver and in 1879 (Kelly) as a dentist, when he was at St. James Street. His name also appears in the 1869 Poll Book at a High Street address (no number).

It seems certain that he was here at No. 101, High Street for no more than a few years. However, it is not clear where he was living in 1871. That year’s census records him at Bethnal Green East, Hackney, London, with his wife and their son Arthur, who was also working as a dentist. There may have been some special reasons for Arthur to have his parents with him at that date. It would appear that Arthur and his wife Emma were living apart – she was working as a school mistress in Wiggenhall, Norfolk. Furthermore, Arthur may have been ill, because he died the following year, aged 35. Emma Orviss continued to work as a school mistress and had joined with her sister Charlotte Sydall (also a widow) to run a ladies’ school in Ely by 1881. Emma later married an army pensioner, Joseph Brown and they settled in Wantage, Berkshire. She died in 1915, aged 78.

There are no further entries for Orviss in the trade directories after 1879 (Kelly) and by 1881 Robert Orviss I had retired from business.

Robert Orviss II married Charlotte (b. 1839), the daughter of William Blanchflower, the licensee of the George & Dragon at No. 16, High Street, where more details of their family will be found.

Robert II and Charlotte were living in Purfleet Street in 1871, moving to All Saints Street by 1881. They had five children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Charlotte Susannah (b.1867 d. 1930, aged 62). 2) Alice Eliza (b.1869 m. Arthur George Baxter in 1894 – d. 1953, aged 83). 3) Frank, a railway clerk (b. 1871 – m. Florence Amy Naylor in 1894 – d. 1962, aged 90). 4) Robert (b.1874 – died in infancy). 5) Robert III, a railway clerk (b.1879 – d. 1944, aged 64). Alice, who married Arthur Baxter, a seedsman, was living with him and their daughter Phyllis at James Martin’s florist’s shop, No. 66 High Street, in 1901, and more details of the family will be found at that address.

It would seem that at some date between 1881 and 1891, Robert Orviss II left his wife and family and moved away from Lynn. In the census returns for 1891 (9, Church Lane), 1901 (18, Union Street), and 1911 (14, Union Street), Charlotte is at home with some of her children but her husband is missing. In 1901 Robert turns up in the census at Rugby, a boarder at the ‘Dog & Gun’ and occupied as an engraver but claiming to be a widower. Charlotte may not have heard anything further of her husband because she registered herself as married in each of these censuses, including that for 1911 although Robert had died in 1907. Charlotte died in 1921 at the age of 82.

1871 (Achilles Sylvester Page)

Achilles Sylvester Page, born in Lincolnshire in about 1837, who had a prominent role in the history of both the Lynn News and the Lynn Advertiser, was living at this address in 1871, although there is no number given in the census. A bachelor, he was listed as a newspaper proprietor, and his mother Elizabeth, born c1808, and a servant were living with him at the time.  There are no directory entries for him at this address and it may be that these were never his business premises. More details of him and his family are given at No. 88.


There is no entry for this address in the Post Office Directory for 1879.

1883 (Frances Brooks)

Mrs Frances Brooks, a ladies’ outfitter, was listed here in both Kelly’s and White’s directories for 1883.

1889 – 1893 (Alfred Smith) (Cornwall Smith)

On 14th December, 1889, Alfred Smith placed an advertisement for Christmas presents in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. ALFRED SMITH finds it impossible, within the limits of thisa advertisement, to give a list of his goods suitable for the above purpose, but solicits the favour of an inspection of his stock, which will be found well assorted; his earnest endeavour will be to give his customers every attention. THE GLASS & CHINA DEPARTMENT combines a selection of USEFUL and ORNAMENTAL GOODS, carefully selected in the best markets. The Stock of TERRA COTTA GOODS is the largest in West Norfolk. ALFRED SMITH, Jewellery Department – 98, HIGH STREET. GLASS & CHINA DEPARTMENT – 101, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN.’

In White’s Directory for 1890, Alfred Smith’s glass, china and earthenware dealership is listed at No. 101. He also has an entry in the same edition as a watchmaker, jeweller and optician both here and at No. 98, High Street, where more details of his family may be found.

In the 1891 census, Mrs Smith was listed as a glass and china dealer, so it would appear that she ran that business here at No. 101, while Alfred ran the watch-making shop at No.98.

Alfred was the eldest son of Lynn tailor Alfred Smith, born in about 1821, and one of at least eleven siblings. One of his sisters, born in Lynn in 1860, was christened Uri, this being an uncommon name and a clue that the family were related to the Winlove Smiths at No. 50, High Street. Another family connection may be indicated by the fact that Alfred Smith jnr. had a young watch-making apprentice with him in 1891 by the name of William Winlove, born 1872 in Hunstanton.

On 18th July, 1891, Alfred Smith offered the premises at 101, High Street to let in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘TO LET; immediate possession, House and Shop situated in High street, King’s Lynn, 6 rooms, kitchen scullery &c – Apply, Alfred Smith, 101, High street.’

His two businesses were listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1892 but only the china and glass shop was given a number – 101. The entry for his watch-making and jewellery business was listed at High Street without any number. In Kelly’s Directory for 1900, he is listed at 98, High Street, and the family were living at Stonegate Street in 1901, when Alfred’s son Percy Cornwall, born c1884, was an apprentice in his watch-making business.

1893 – 1896 (George Jackson)

An enigmatic series of advertisements appeared in the Lynn Advertiser in 1893 announcing ‘HE IS COMING!’ After several weeks, the mystery was revealed when, on 22nd April, the wording changed to ‘HE HAS COME! WHO? GEO. JACKSON AND HAS OPENED AT 101, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN.’ He was a grocer advertising ‘The Finest Butter the World Produces’ at 1/- per pound. There are no directory entries for him, and he had moved out by 1896.

1896 – 1904 (The London Confectionery Co.)

The entry in Kelly’s Directories for 1900 and 1904 were for The London Confectionery Co.

This was a retail company established by Edward Pink & Sons of Staple Street, Long Lane, Bermondsey. Their principal business was as jam, marmalade and pickle manufacturers.

They advertised across the country for agents and representatives for the London Confectionery Company. It would appear that J. G. Ryder, of Ryder & Crosskill (see No. 87, High Street) became proprietor of the Lynn branch. Their shop was listed here between 1896 and 1904, and may have been here for only about eight years. There is no-one recorded as living here in the 1901 census, and the likelihood is that the upper floors were used for commercial purposes, such as for storage and as an office.

Edward Pink & Sons was established in the early 1880s as a partnership between Edward Pink snr. (b. 27/11/1827 in Durley, Hants. – m. Caroline Childs in 1851 – d. 19/07/1910, aged 82) and his sons, Edward (b. 1853 m. Ellen Moore in 1880 – d. 25/12/1916, aged 63), and Thomas (b. 05/04/1855 – m. Ellen Amelia Purrsey in 1878 – d. 23/01/1926, aged 81).

The partnership was dissolved on 15th June, 1890, and Edward jnr., and Thomas (later – 1904 –  Sir Thomas), took over the running of the business as ‘E & T Pink, wholesale confectioners, Italian warehousemen, pickle, marmalade and jam manufacturers, candied peel, spice and canned goods merchants’.

In June 1892, there was a strike of ‘finishers’ at E. & T. Pinks jam factory, which spread to other factories and had widespread trade union support. The women, who were on piecework rates, complained that the company were expecting them to move more jars at rates that compared unfavourably, per piece, with their current rates. Their work was arduous and the volume of work was very variable, meaning that they would be sent home when it was slack. The finishers had to lift, wash, label, put on tissue papers and tie on the covers, before carrying off trays containing 30 1lb jars, 20 2lb jars and 15 3lb jars of jam. They had to stack these trays six high on trolleys, lifting them up from hip height. Their case brought the conditions under which they worked into the spotlight and showed how the piecework rates compared with a regular weekly wage.

E. & T. Pink, who supplied plum jam to the troops during the Great War and at one time were reputed to be the biggest manufacturers of marmalade in the world, were bought out by Crosse & Blackwell in about 1920, and the factory closed in 1925.

John George Ryder was the proprietor of the London Confectionery Company in 1897, advertising in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘LONDON CONFECTIONERY COMPANY. 101, HIGH STREET, LYNN, for Santa Claus Stockings, Bon-Bons, Crackers, Chocolates, in Fancy Boxes and Caskets, from 2d to 21/- each. Proprietor: J. G. Ryder.’

At the same time he was a partner in Ryder & Crosskill at No. 87, High Street. By 1901, John Ryder had retired from active participation in the business of Ryder & Crosskill, although the company retained the partnership name. It would appear that he had also given up his involvement with the London Confectionery Co., by that date. However, the next occupants of No. 101 were Ryder & Crosskill, so it may be that his partner, Thomas Alfred Crosskill had taken over from the London Confectionery Co.

c1908 – c1947 (Ryder & Crosskill)

Ryder & Crosskill, confectioners, were listed here in 1908 (Kelly). The 1916 directory (Kelly) lists both Ryder & Crosskill, confectioners, and Charles Piggins, tailor, at No. 101. The latter lived on the premises, at No. 101½, and worked elsewhere in town.

Formed in about 1888, Ryder & Crosskill was a partnership between brothers-in-law John George Ryder and Thomas Alfred Crosskill, working as bacon curers and provision merchants at No. 87, High Street. By 1901, John had retired from business, at the age of 41, had left the area and was living on his own means in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. It is not clear whether the partnership had been dissolved. Thomas Alfred Crosskill continued to trade as a provision dealer at 133, Norfolk Street, being listed as such through to 1908 (Kelly).

Meanwhile, Ryder & Crosskill at 101, High Street, had become a confectionery business.

Thomas Alfred Crosskill, born in 1847 in Hull, married Hannah Jane Ryder in 1871/2. They had four children:-

1) Alfred Henry (b. 1872 – d. 1944, aged 72). 2) Carrol (b. 1874 – m. Jane Ferrere Nixon in 1899 – d. 1933, aged 59). 3) Beatrice (b. 1877 – m. Proctor Marshall Steel in 1897 – d. 1917, aged 40). 4) Ida Maud (b. 1879 – d. 1962, aged 82).

Ida Crosskill joined her father’s business, working as a cashier and bookkeeper (1901) before becoming his assistant (1911). Thomas died in 1913, aged about 66, and Ida succeeded to the business, maintaining the Ryder & Crosskill name, being listed as such in Kelly’s for 1922, together with an entry in her own name. Ida was also listed at No. 14, Broad Street in the same directory entry at that date, and this was where she lived until her death.

In 1923, the cashier for the company, Jesse Oliver Leech (b. 1890 – m. Gladys M. Nott in 1911 – d. 1958, aged 68), and his wife were living on the premises. Their son, Peter Oliver Leech was born there on 29th May that year. Peter Leech became licensee at Wenn’s Hotel (see No. 123, High Street).

In the directory for 1930/1 (Kelly), the entry for No. 101 was solely in the name of Ida Crosskill, but the entry for 1937 was for Ryder & Crosskill. An application to reconstruct the premises was submitted in the name of Messrs. Ryder & Crosskill in September, 1937.

It seems likely that the business continued throughout the war years, closing sometime after 1945.

Ida Crosskill died on 9th July, 1962, aged 82.

c1909 – c1911 (No. 101a) (Walter Carlyle Roberts)

Walter Carlyle Roberts, a tailor, was living at No. 101a for a few years and was here with his family in 1911. He was listed here in 1912 (Kelly)

Born in Evesham in 1880, he trained as a tailor’s cutter in Nuneaton, and married Lily Gertrude Atkins (b. 1880 – d. 1971) in Hinckley in 1901. They had three children:-

1) John Carlyle (b. 1901, in Nuneaton – d. 1971, aged about 70). 2) Phyllis Gertrude Irene (b. 1904, in Nuneaton – d. 1980, aged about 76). 3) Eva Mary Christine (b. 1909 in Lynn – m. Alfred E. Lund in 1927 – d. 2001).

Walter died in Leicester in 1939, aged 58, and Lily died in 1971, aged 90.

c1916 (Charles Piggins) (at No. 101½)

The 1916 directory lists both Ryder & Crosskill, confectioners, and Charles Piggins, tailor, at No. 101. It is likely that the latter was at No. 101½. Charles was living at 34, Sir Lewis Street, Lynn in 1911. He was a worker but it is not known who his employer was in Lynn.

Born in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in 1875, his parents were Charles Piggins (b. 1848 in Lincoln – d. 1902, aged 53) and Sarah Ellen Osborne (b. 1849 – d. 1898, aged 49). The family were living in Nottingham in 1881, where Charles snr. was working as a stone mason. Charles jnr. was working as a builder’s labourer at Denaby Main, a colliery village in West Yorkshire, in 1901.

In 1902, Charles jnr. married Elizabeth Ann Hallam, and they had two children, both born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire:-

1) William Walter (b. 1903). 2) Ellen Elizabeth (b. 1907).

Elizabeth died in 1909, aged 29, and the following year Charles married Estella Mary Atkins (b. 1877 in Hinckley, Leicestershire).

Charles and Estella moved away from Lynn. He died in Lincolnshire in 1926, aged 51, and Estella died in Derbyshire in 1955, aged 78.

c1947 (Brown Bros. & Taylor)

Brown Bros & Taylor, the furniture store, had opened at No. 101 by the late 1940’s. They stayed here for about twenty years. They had opened a showroom above Burton’s store at 98 to 99, High Street, on the corner of Purfleet Street, by 1954.


There is no entry for this address in Kelly’s directory for 1957.

1960 (Weaver to Wearer)

In June, 1960, the Town Council gave permission to Town Tailors Ltd., for a new shop front and internal alterations to No. 101 and in October that year Weaver to Wearer opened here.

The business was owned by Great Universal Stores (GUS) and offered smart suits for men at affordable prices. GUS turned many of their Weaver to Wearer stores into Neville Reid – selling similar styles but at a higher price. Another up-market step was for GUS to turn their Neville Reid stores into John Templers.  The Weaver to Wearer brand did not have a long life and the company was dissolved in September, 1977.

1966 (Neville Reid Ltd.)

Within six years, the King’s Lynn Weaver to Wearer store had been turned by GUS into a branch of Neville Reid Ltd., who were here in 1966 (Kelly’s).

1972 (Peter Dominic)

The wine and spirit merchants Peter Dominic had a branch shop here in 1972 (Kelly).

The head office of the company was at Vintner House, River Way, Templefields, Harlow, Essex.

The company later became part of the Grand Metropolitan Group and was bought by Threshers (owned by Whitbread) in 1991. The Peter Dominic name had disappeared from the high streets by the turn of the century.