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122, High Street

For over 100 years this was a butcher’s shop. In the early years it was a single shop but in 1875 Nos. 121 and 122 were combined. More information about the combined premises is given at Nos. 121 & 122, High Street.

The combined premises were divided back into two by 1951.

1836 – 1854 (John Baxter)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists John Baxter, a butcher, at this address.

John Baxter was born in about 1816 in Norfolk, and married Caroline Martin in London in 1845. He was here until 1854 but then appears to have moved to Norwich, where he died on 21st March, 1863, aged about 47.

1854 – 1858 (Josiah Pepper Cook)

Josiah Pepper Cook, another butcher, took over after John Baxter left, his opening here being announced in the Lynn Advertiser on Saturday 7th October, 1854:-

‘122, High Street, King’s Lynn. JOSIAH P. COOK begs to inform the inhabitants of Lynn and the neighbourhood that he has taken the above premises (lately occupied by Mr. John Baxter) where he intends carrying on the business of a BUTCHER. J. P. C. solicits a share of public patronage, and hopes, by attention to business, care in his selection of stock, and a desire to comply with the wishes and wants of his friends, to secure the same. The Premises will be opened on Saturday, the 7th October. Shipping supplied, and orders attended to with punctuality and despatch.’ 

Josiah Cook was only here for four years and does not appear in any of the directories. He previously worked as a clerk before changing his occupation to confectioner (see No. 79, High Street), then to butcher and finally back again to clerk.

Born in Elton Huntingdonshire in 1826, his parents were Thomas and Susannah Cook and he had an elder brother, John Thomas Cook who was a coal merchant in Lynn (J. T. Cook & Co., colliery agents & coal & coke merchants, South Quay).

On 6th February 1858, the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘King’s Lynn. TO BE LET. An excellent BUTCHER’S SHOP, with HOUSE and SLAUGHTER HOUSE attached, situated at 122, High Street, where a first rate business has been carried on for many years past. For Rent and further particulars apply to R. Pitcher, Esq., King’s Lynn.’

The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 13th February, 1858:-

‘NOTICE of REMOVAL. JOSIAH P. COOK begs to announce to his friends and the public generally, that having engaged the premises, No. 139 Norfolk Street (Grass Market), it is his intention to remove his business there, on MONDAY NEXT, the 15th inst. J. P. C. gratefully acknowledges the very liberal support he has received during the past three years, and hopes to merit a continuance of the same. Schools, Families, Ready Money Customers, and Ships supplied with meat of the best quality on the best terms.’

Following his arrival in Lynn in the 1840s, Josiah Cook married Martha Friend in 1848. They had eight children, all but the second being born in Lynn:-

1) Thomas W. (b. c1850). 2) Martha Susan (b. 1851 in Stepney – m. George Gilbert Pannell in 1878 – d. 1933, aged 82). 3) Sarah Jane (b. 1854 – m. James Harry Platt in 1876 – d. 1932). 4) Elizabeth Fuller Pepper (b. 1856). 5) Emma Share Pepper (b. 1856 – d. 1921, aged 65). 6) Jessie Friend (b. 1858 – d. 1869, aged 11). 7) William Kerkham (b. 1859 – d. 1948, aged 88). 8) Alice M. (b. c1863).

The butcher’s business was short-lived. By 1861 Josiah and his family had left Norfolk Street and had taken the shop at No. 79, High Street where they ran a confectionery business. This may have been Martha’s shop because, although Josiah is listed as a confectioner in the 1861 census, it was Martha and her daughter Sarah who were running it ten years later when they had moved to Broad Street. In this latter year (1871) Josiah was working as a coal merchant’s clerk (possibly for his brother).

Martha died in 1877, aged 56, and Josiah moved to St. John’s Terrace (1881), still working as a commercial clerk. He died on 28/03/1885, aged 59.

1858 – 1869 (William Kemp Martin)

Another butcher was here in 1858 (Kelly). William Kemp Martin was born in Lynn in about 1814, being baptised at St. Margaret’s church in January of that year. His parents were William and Ann Martin. On 10th September 1838, he married Mary Letton Gunton at St. Margaret’s church. They had seven children, all born in Lynn: 1). William (b. 1841 – m. Mary Ann Brayding in 1867). 2). Martha Ann (b. 1842/3). 3). Frederick Gunton, a furrier (b. 1844 – m. Elizabeth Gertrude Goss in 1893 – d. 1926, aged 73). 4). Mary Elizabeth, a domestic nurse (b. 1846). 5). Katherine (b. 1849). 6). Frank, a phrenologist (b. 1852 – m. Lucy Underwood in 1889). 7). Walter, a coal agent (b. 1855).

In 1861 William Martin was living on the premises and was employing three men and one boy in the business and on 28th September that year the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘W. MARTIN, Butcher, 122, High Street, Lynn. Ships supplied with Beef at 48s per cwt.’

In January 1869, William Martin retired and moved to London Road, Lynn. He placed the following notice in The Lynn Advertiser on January 9th that year:-

‘WILLIAM MARTIN, Butcher, 122, High Street, King’s Lynn, begs to return his sincere thanks to his numerous patrons and friends and to inform them that he is retiring from business in favour of Mr. Gowthorpe, of High Street, whom he can with confidence recommend as his successor, and trusts he will receive a continuance of their support.’

By 1881, William had moved to Hackney in London, where he died in 1890/1, aged 76. Mary died in 1898, aged 79.

1869 – 1875 (Joseph Gowthorpe)

On 9th January, 1869, alongside William Martin’s notice of retirement, his successor Joseph Gowthorpe placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘JOSEPH GOWTHORPE, in succeeding to the business and premises about to be relinquished by Mr. Martin, wishes to return thanks for the support he has received during his residence in Lynn, and trusts by civility, strict attention, and supplying the best meat at reasonable prices, to merit the same patronage which has been so liberally bestowed upon his predecessor.’

In 1875, Joseph Gowthorpe linked Nos. 121 and 122 High Street to create a large butcher’s shop.

Details of his family are given at Nos. 121 – 122, High Street.

 1951 – 1957 (London Central Meat Co.)

This was the second branch of the London Central Meat Co., to open on Lynn’s High Street. The first was at No. 35, where more details of the business will be found.

Both branches were listed in Kelly’s directory for 1954 but by 1960 had been taken over by Baxters (Butchers) limited.

c1965 – c1973 (Baxters (Butchers) Limited)

The London Central Meat Co. Ltd. became Baxters (Butchers) Ltd.