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No. 106, High Street

A broad-fronted shop. The small yard and outbuildings were accessed via a passageway shared with No. 105. For many years the shop was occupied by a succession of drapers.

 c1829 – 1854 (Thomas Silver Share)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists Thomas Silver Share, a hosier and haberdasher, at this address.

On October 16th 1847, he placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘THOS. S. SHARE, Hosier, Haberdasher, etc., etc., 101 (sic), High Street, Lynn, BEGS to inform his Friends, Patrons, and the Public generally, that he has just completed the purchase of his WINTER STOCK, from the first Manufacturers, and which consists of a general assortment of Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Marino, Cashmere, Lamb’s Wool, and Worsted Waistcoats, Drawers, Hose, Mufflers and Boas, Silk Scarfings, Handkerchiefs, Berlin and Fleecy Wools, Carpet Bags, Umbrellas, etc., etc., etc. Also, a large assortment of Kid and Cashmere Gloves suited for the approaching Season. He begs also to call the attention of Gentlemen to a new assortment of Shirts, Shirt Fronts, and Collars, of the very best make. N.B. Real Welsh Flannels, the whole of which he intends offering at such prices as to ensure him that support which he has hitherto received from them. Agent to the Phoenix Fire and Eagle Life Insurance Companies.’

The number 101 in the address was clearly wrong – he was always at No. 106.

Born in about 1802 in Gorleston, he had moved to Lynn by 1827 when he married Sarah Holditch at St. Nicholas Chapel on 1st November that year. He opened his business here at about that date. He was living on the premises in 1841 and 1851. He and Sarah had one son, Hamnet Holditch (b. c1835 – m. Amelia Furneaux in 1863 – d. 1912, aged 76). Hamnet became a corn and flour merchant and moved to St. Gluvias, near Penryn in Cornwall.

In April 1854, Thomas Share sold his business to James Ashley and moved to Valingers Road. He continued working as a draper’s agent. By 1871, he had retired to live near Hamnet in Cornwall. He and Sarah were living in Budock, a village close to Penryn, in 1881.  Sarah died in 1885, aged 82, and Thomas died in 1886, aged 84.

The name Hamnet (sometimes Hamnett) came from the Holditch side of the family, Sarah’s brother being Hamnett Holditch. Thomas and Sarah’s grandson was Sir Hamnet Holditch Share K.B.E., C.B., C.V., (19/05/1864 – 26/06/1937) who had a very distinguished career in the Royal Navy. He served as secretary to Sir John R. Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet (later Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa) during World War I, and was promoted on several occasions before becoming Paymaster-in-Chief.

Sarah’s uncle, Adam Holditch, was a tailor and draper and had a shop at No. 86, High Street for some years. More information about the Holditch family may be found at that address.

1854 – 1882 (James Ashley)

When Thomas Share sold his business to James Ashley, the following joint notice was placed in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘106, HIGH STREET, LYNN. THOS. S. SHARE, Hosier, Haberdasher, etc., AVAILS himself of this opportunity to return thanks to his friends for the kind and liberal support he has experienced, for more than twenty-five years, and begs leave to recommend to their patronage Mr. J. ASHLEY, (who, for several years was an assistant to Mr. Household) to whom he has disposed of the Business. J. ASHLEY, Having taken the above business, earnestly solicits a continuance of those favors which have been so liberally conferred upon his predecessor, and begs to announce that he intends carrying on the DRAPERY trade in connection with the above; and he hopes by diligence and assiduity, to meet the confidence of those who may favour him with their support. N.B. Orders for Hosiery Goods, Shirts, etc., of every description, punctually executed.’

James Ashley was born in East Walton, Norfolk, in 1825. His father was Robert Ashley and his mother Mary Ann Ashley. He was living on the premises here in 1861 with his sister Sarah Ann (b. c1832 in East Walton), when he was employing five assistants, with one of them boarding at No.106. He retired in 1882, and moved to No. 28, Railway Road. He never married and died on 4th February, 1906 at his Railway Road house, aged 80.

1882 – 1885 ( Joseph Wright)

On 18th February, 1882, Joseph Wright placed the following notice in the Lynn News & County Press:-

‘SPECIAL NOTICE. Genuine Sale of Drapery. J. WRIGHT, having bought the business of Mr. J. ASHLEY, 106, High Street, Lynn, begs to inform the inhabitants of Lynn & Neighbourhood that he will re-open the above premises on Tuesday next, with a new and well-assorted stock of Plain & Fancy Drapery, Ladies’ & Children’s and Gentlemen’s Hosiery etc., etc., and trusts by careful attention to business and selling at the lowest possible prices., to merit a share of their patronage. J. W. will offer the whole of Mr Ashley’s stock at such prices as must secure a Speedy Clearance. Note the Address:- J. Wright (late J. Ashley) 106, High Street, Lynn.’

Joseph Wright was born in Waltham, Lincolnshire, in 1848/9 and had become an assistant to Henry Wright (no relation) at No. 9, High Street by 1872. More details of him and his family will be found under the account for No. 9.

When Henry Wright retired in March 1885, he sold his shop at No. 9 to Joseph, who moved his business there later that month.

1885 – c1960 (Joseph Hamson) (John Wells Hamson) (Hamson Brothers)

Following Joseph Wright’s move to No. 9, High Street, No. 106 was taken over by Joseph Hamson, a pawnbroker and jeweller. He was soon joined by his younger brother John Wells Hamson and the business became that of Hamson Brothers, pawnbrokers, jewellers and outfitters.

Joseph and John were two of the sons of William Hamson (b. c1826 in Hinckley, Leics.) and Mary Taylor (b. c1827 in Bulling Brook, Leics.). William was a cotton stocking trimmer. He and Mary had six children, all born in Hinckley:-

1) Phoebe (b. 1852 – m. Matthew Shuttlewood, a boot and shoe manufacturer, in 1889 – d. 1926, aged 73). 2) Joseph – see below (b. 1853 – d. 1939). 3) William, a hosiery warehouse manager (b. 1859 – m. Annie Youson in 1879 – d. 1925, aged 66). 4) John Wells – see below (b. 1861 – d. 1956). 5) Effie Annie (b. 1864 – m. Joseph Stanley in 1891 – d. 1951, aged 87). 6) Mary Jane (b. 1865/6 – m. Edwin Joseph McCartney in 1889 – d. 1940, aged 74).

Joseph Hamson was the second of William and Mary’s children, and moved from Hinckley to Bradford where he worked as a pawnbroker’s assistant for a few years.  On 3rd October, 1880 he married Emily Wardle Dixon at Christ Church, Bradford. Emily gave her age as 17 but appears to have been just 16 at the time. At census time in 1881 (April 3rd / 4th), Joseph and Emily were living in Bradford and his fifteen-year-old sister Mary Jane Hamson was staying with them. Meanwhile, John Wells Hamson was still in Hinckley and was working as a hosiery warehouseman.

The business survived the High Street fire of 27th December, 1897, and Hamson Bros. placed the following notice in the Lynn News & County Press on 31st December:-

‘HAMSON BROS. CLOTHIERS and PAWNBROKERS, 106, HIGH STREET, LYNN, Respectfully Announce that their Business will be CONTINUED AS USUAL, and take this opportunity of publicly thanking all their friends who were so solicitous in their inquiries during their recent anxieties.’

When Joseph and Emily moved to Lynn they lived at 5, Union Street. They had five children, three born in Bradford and the two younger ones born in Lynn:-

1) Josephine Emily (b. 1881 – m. David F. McLaren – d. 1959, aged 79). 2) William Frankland (b. 1882 – d. 1887, aged 4). 3) Horace Stanley (b. 1884 – d. 1896, aged 12). 4) Stretton Wardle McFarlane (b. 1886 – m. Elizabeth Warbrick Barrington in 1913 – d. 1956, aged 69). 5) Anthony William Frankland (b. 1890 – killed in action near Bethune on 21st May, 1918, aged 27).

By 1901, Joseph and family were living at No. 40, Gaywood Road, and later they moved to No. 95.

When Joseph took over Wright’s shop, he started selling clothes in addition to his business as pawnbroker and jeweller. His brother John, who had been working in the hosiery trade, joined him in partnership, probably in 1886, the year that he married Elizabeth Saunt (b. c1862 in Bulkington, Warwickshire) in Hinckley. In 1901, John and Elizabeth were living in Whitefriars Road in Lynn. They had one child; Beatrice Mary D. (b. 1892).

Although John’s expertise was on the clothing side of the business, he does not appear to have specialised in that half of the partnership, and describes his occupation as that of a jeweller / shopkeeper in the 1901 census. Nevertheless, he ran into financial difficulties and was declared bankrupt in December 1902, when he was living at No. 5, Guanock Terrace. As a result of this, the partnership between the brothers was dissolved on 14th March, 1903, with Joseph carrying on the business at 106, High Street.

John Wells Hamson returned to Hinckley and took a job as a packer for a hosiery manufacturer. He died in 1956, aged 94.

On 3rd April, 1903, Joseph placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘DISSOLUTION of PARTNERSHIP. 106, HIGH STREET, LYNN. In consequence of the above, J. HAMSON is now offering THE WHOLE of the STOCK At Greatly Reduced Prices, Consisting of over 600 pairs of Trousers, 250 Men’s and Youths’ Suits, and a Large Quantity of Juvenile and Miscellaneous Clothing, Gold and Silver Watches, Gold and Silver Alberts and Chains, Trinkets, Gold Signet and Dress Rings, Gold Keepers and Wedding Rings, Marble and Wood Clocks, Brass and Nickel ditto, Silver Tea-sets and Electro-plated ditto, Cruets, Teapots, etc., Forks and Spoons, and a large quantity of Cutlery, Gladstone Bags, Brief Bags, Travelling Bags, 150 Pairs Marine and Opera Glasses, and other items too numerous to mention. LARGE DISCOUNT for CASH.’

Joseph continued the business as before until about 1916 when he took over the next door shop, No. 105, to house the clothing department.

In 1922 Joseph Hamson applied for permission to install a new shop front at No. 106.

The directories through to 1951 list the business of Joseph Hamson here, where it was that of a pawnbroker, and next door at No. 105, where it was a clothier’s shop.

Joseph died on 12th February, 1939 at the age of 85, at his home in Gaywood Road. Clearly the business, whilst continuing to trade under his name, was run by others during the latter years. In the King’s Lynn Festival programme for 1955, Joseph Hamson’s advertisement gave the business address as ‘105 & 106 High Street, King’s Lynn and at 2, Regent’s Parade, Hinckley’.

 1962 – 1966 (Unoccupied)

There are no businesses listed here in 1962 or 1966. The old shops at Nos. 105 & 106 were demolished during this period and the site redeveloped.

c1967 – c1973 (Willerby Tailoring Co. Ltd.)

The high end tailors, Willerby Tailoring Co., were listed here in 1970/1 (Yates) and in 1973 (Kelly).