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2, High Street.

 No. 2 High Street was occupied as a single unit up to about 1841.

John Thew, a bookseller, printer and, from 1841, publisher of the Lynn Advertiser, was at No. 2 from about 1837, and was listed there in 1839 (Pigot). He acquired No. 1 in about 1841 and combined the two premises.

John Thew died in 1856 and was succeeded by his only son, John Dyker Thew, who expanded the premises by acquiring Nos. 3 and 4, High Street in about 1873/4. Thews occupied the whole corner block from No. 1 to No. 4 until they moved into purpose-built newspaper publishing offices and printing works in Purfleet Street in 1923.

More details of Thew & Son are given at Nos. 1 – 4, High Street.

After 1923, Nos. 1 – 4 High Street were split into four individual shop units once more.

This account includes known occupiers of No. 2 prior to 1841 and after 1923.

 c1832 – 1837/8 (Margaret Cooper)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists Margaret Cooper, a tea dealer, at this address. Not much is known about her, but she was here in 1832, the following notice appearing in the Norfolk Chronicle on 17th November that year:-

‘Messrs. BRADY & GIANI respectfully acquaint their Friends and the Public, the LYNN BALL will take place on MONDAY, the 26th instant, at the Town Hall. Tickets to be had of Mr. Brady, No. 15, Coronation Square, and of Mr. Giani at Mrs. Coopers, No. 2, High Street.

To begin precisely at Six o’clock.’

Mr. Brady and Mr. Giani were dance teachers who organised the Lynn Ball. They advertised lessons from Mr. Brady’s address in Coronation Square. It seems that Julius Giani (b. c1800 – m. Eve Berry on 17/12/1821 in Middlesex) moved from London sometime after 1822, but no further records have been found for him in Lynn.

1837/8 -1923 (Thew & Son)

John Thew (b. 1799 in Lynn – d. 1856, aged 57) was granted a licence by the Borough to operate as a printer on 24th January, 1838, and within a year had opened for business here at No. 2, High Street (Pigot 1839).

The following advertisement appeared in the Norwich Mercury on 8th April, 1840:-

‘JOHN THEW, Printer, Bookseller, & Stationer, No. 2, HIGH STREET, LYNN, is now Selling good LETTER PAPER 3D per Quire, Excellent Blue Wove Post 8d per Quire or 12s per Ream, Superior Foolscap, insides, 10d per Quire. Envelopes from 16d per 100. A variety of cheap Standard Works constantly on Sale.’

About a year later (1841), he expanded his business into No. 1. That same year he started publishing the Lynn Advertiser, and opened a newspaper office just around the corner at No. 3, Saturday Market Place. The first edition of the paper consisted of only four small pages and the print run of 1,000 was distributed free. He was joined in business by his only son, John Dyker Thew (1824 – 1891) and Thew & Son were established in Nos. 1 – 2, High Street. John Thew died in 1856 and his son took over, expanding the business into Nos. 3 & 4 in about 1873/4.

John Thew appears to have operated an employment agency, and frequently placed advertisements in the Norwich newspapers. The one below appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle on 10th September, 1842:-

‘WANTED. In a Respectable Establishment, a Young Lady as Articled Pupil, who would have very considerable advantages in pursuing her own studies. Letters addressed to H. L. Mr. Thew’s Bookseller, Nos. 1 & 2, High Street, Lynn, will receive immediate attention.’

Naturally, John Thew included advertisements for his own business in his newspaper, the Lynn Advertiser. In the 1840s, his business was promoting a wide range of stationery products and books. Included in the latter were the volumes of popular history and other subjects in the ‘Family Library’ series, which they offered at 2s.6d. each in February 1843 – half the published price. They also stocked bibles, prayer books, Wesley and Watts’ hymn books, and school books. In addition to the smaller stationery items, such as sealing wax, pens, pencils, envelopes and writing paper, they sold rosewood and mahogany writing desks, and work boxes. On 13th December 1845 they included the following announcement:-

‘LITHOGRAPHY. Messrs. Thew & Son, Nos. 1 & 2, High Street, Lynn, RESPECTFULLY announce that they have made arrangements on their Premises for the execution of Lithography, which they are prepared to carry out in the department of Railway Plans, Plans of Estates (which can be accurately reduced or enlarged). Architectural, Ornamental and Mechanical Drawings, Coats of Arms, Crests, Music Titles, Plans of Improvements, Elevations, and Designs of every description, Bank Cheques, Facsimiles, Circulars, Bill Heads, Display Cards, etc., etc. As the want of such an auxiliary in this branch of Trade has long been felt in Lynn, the Proprietors assure their friends that they are enabled to compass the object proposed, and that their work will be sent out in the most modern style of the Art.’

In January 1872, when Thew & Son were still advertising from Nos. 1 & 2, their special offers were:-

‘The New Books of the Season Suitable for Presents and Rewards, Handsomely Bound.’ They also sold ‘Barrow Evans’s Cordial Peppermint – Cheap, Delicious in Flavour and Highly Efficacious.’ This was sold in bottles at 1s 1½d and 2s 9d each.

Thew & Son operated out of the combined premises of 1 & 2 High Street until after 1871 when the Black Lion closed at No. 4, and the premises were acquired by John Dyker Thew. The business had expanded into Nos. 3 & 4 by 1873/4.

John Thew was born in Lynn in 1799. His father, William, was a Lynn master mariner who was granted the Freedom of the Borough in 1818. William Thew married Mary Wright at St. Margaret’s church on 2nd May, 1786.

Having been an outstanding pupil at the St. James’ End Free School, John Thew was appointed master there at the young age of 19. He was listed in White’s Directory for 1836 against the entry for the school, which was run on the principles of Joseph Lancaster and known as the ‘Lancastrian School’. He proved to be more than capable of taking on this responsibility and was credited with helping to turn it into an extremely efficient establishment.

John Thew left teaching to open a bookshop here at No. 2, High Street in 1837/8.

The entries in the directories seem to indicate that book selling remained the principal department in the business for several years. In 1854 the entry in White’s directory was: ‘Jno. Thew & Son bookseller, printer, stationer & binder & Patent medicine vender’.

John Thew married Frances (Fanny) Gunnell at St. Margaret’s church on 20th January, 1823. They had two children:-

1) John Dyker – see Nos. 1–4, High Street – (b. 02/11/1823 – m. Jane Simpson on 13/05/1848 at Shouldham – d. 15/10/1891, aged 67). 2) Fanny (b. 02/02/1824 – m. Josiah Bird in 1848).

In 1851, the census records John Thew, then aged 51, as a ‘master printer employing 6 men’. He was living here with his wife Frances (Fanny).

He died on 6th November, 1856 at the age of 57.

John Dyker Thew then took charge of the family printing and publishing business, and he had expanded it into Nos. 3 & 4 by about 1873/4.

Fanny Thew died on 21st July, 1890, aged 90.

More details of John Dyker Thew and his family will be found under Nos. 1 – 4, High Street.

1927-1933 (J. Crook & Son Ltd.)

The clothiers, J. Crook & Son Ltd., are the first occupiers to be listed here after the division of Thew & Son’s former premises in 1923. Founded by Joseph Crook in 1857 in the Newton Heath area of Manchester, the business grew from being a retail and wholesale tailors into a large scale clothing manufacturers. Their King’s Lynn branch opened in February, 1927. This was to be their 55th branch, including one other in Norfolk, at 13, Back of the Inns in Norwich. Their first advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 25th February, 1927, stated:

‘Crooks offer you the same sound value for money that has built up their business in over 50 other towns. The garments are remarkable examples of high-grade clothing for men and boys at prices which absolutely defy competition – and every garment is guaranteed to give complete satisfaction. Call and see for yourself the wonderful selection, examine the cut and finish, the sturdy nature of the materials and the wide choice of style and patterns. You will be more than satisfied. REMEMBER, Crooks are the actual makers, dealing direct with the public, and you pay one profit only. All prices are fixed on a cash basis – all goods are marked in plain figures for all to see – and goods are sold from the windows if you wish.’

They were specialist men’s and boys’ tailors and produced their own cloth at their woollen mills. Their ‘Stylia’ tweed was a mixture of worsted and other woollen yarns:-

‘Do you know Crooks Stylia Tweed? If you do, you will appreciate the value of this offer. If you do not, you should know that Stylia Tweed is specially woven in a mix of Worsted and other Woollen yarns (it is all wool) giving extreme smartness and unusual wearing qualities. It is not a cheap quality cloth, as value has been the keynote in its production – and it has won unstinted praise from its wearers all over the country. It is one of the best cloths that can be produced, but owing to a very large output and  the fact that they have looms making nothing else Crooks are able to make suits to measureat the reasonable price of 95/-. So much for the cloth – NOW FOR THE REMARKABLE OFFER.

Crooks have never sold this cloth at a penny less than 95/-, but are now offering it at 75/- LOUNGE SUIT TO MEASURE.’

Their suits featured extra pockets. This latter was a special feature of their boys’ suits:-

‘Crooks’ 70 years experience enables them to offer unusual advantages. In schoolboys’ clothing, for instance, it is unusual for a suit to have eleven pockets; but boys love pockets, so Crooks’ put 5 in the coat, 4 in the vets and 2 in the knickers. Boys appreciate this just as thousands of Mothers have learned to appreciate the sturdy hard-wearing nature of the materials, good finish and smart cut of these boys’ suits.’

Crooks were listed in Kelly’s Directories for 1929, 1930/31 and 1933 but not thereafter.

1933-c1970/1 (Kettering & Leicester Boot Co. Ltd.)

On Saturday 30th September 1933 the Kettering & Leicester Boot Co Ltd., opened a branch here. They were listed here in Kelly’s Directory for 1937. At that date Wilfred C. Fear, District Superintendent for the Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd., had his offices on one of the upper floors. The Kettering & Leicester Boot Co. was listed here again in Kelly’s Directories for 1951 and 1960, and in Yates directory for 1970/1, and Kelly’s for 1973 & 1974.