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37, High Street.

In 1846, Nos. 36 and 37 were joined together. In 1865, the freehold of the two shops was sold. From 1865 until about 1889, Nos. 37 and 38 were joined together into one shop.

1830 (John Parsons)

A straw hat maker, John Parsons, was listed here in 1830 (Pigot). No further references to him have been found.

 c1836 – c1841 (Ann Allen)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists Ann Allen, a linen and woollen dealer at No. 37. However, it is not possible to identify her in the 1841 census and she does not appear in the directory for 1846. She may have married in 1840.

c1841 – c1846 (William Rose Smith)

William Rose Smith, 30, a draper from Kettering, was living here in 1841 with his wife Ann and five of their shop assistants, George Studd, 20, Henry Pole, 20, John Fysh, 15, Henry Thistle and George Fulcher, 14. All of these assistants were to continue in the drapery trade, some on their own account; George Studd had a shop of his own in East Dereham, Henry Pole ran his business from No. 5, High Street, John Fysh was at No. 58, Henry Thistle was at No. 51, and George Fulcher became assistant to Henry Pond at Nos. 76 & 77.

William Rose Smith was born on 3rd March, 1809. His parents were Joshua Smith, a grocer and his wife Jane Rose.

William married Ann Upsher from Ely in 1841. They had five children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Henry William (b. 1843). 2) James Rose (b. 1844). 3) Ann Upsher (b. 1848 – d. 1895, aged 47). 4) Jane Rose (b. 1850). 5) Mary Upsher (b. 1852 – d. 1945, aged 92).

By 1850, William had moved his business to No. 102½, High Street, but by 1861 the family were living in Hornsey, Haringey, London. They later moved to Clyde Road, Croydon, where they were in 1881. William died there in 1885/6, aged 77. His widow Ann continued to live in Clyde Road until her death between 1891 and 1901, and the sisters Mary Upsher and Jane Rose stayed there until at least 1911.

1839 (March & Smith)

The partnership of March & Smith was listed in Pigot’s directory for 1839. This may have been a partnership between William Rose Smith and Thomas March but no further references have been found to confirm this. By 1845, Thomas March was in business here on his own account.

c1845 – c1854 (Thomas March)

Thomas March, a linen draper, was here from about 1845 until about 1854. In 1846 he bought the next door shop, No. 36, and joined the two premises together.

On 5th April, 1845, the following advertisement appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘SYLPHIDE PARASOLS – Ladies are respectfully informed that this unique and elegant article, which for simplicity of style has not been surpassed, may be had in every shade and color, at the same price as those of ordinary construction, at:


These parasols are warranted not to get out of order, and are all stamped SYLPHIDE PATENT.’

Thomas March is listed at Nos. 36 & 37, High Street in Kelly’s directory for 1846 (see No. 36). He was listed at this address in 1854 but had moved to Hampshire by 1861.

c1860 – c1865 (Henry Johnson)

Although it is not clear from the directories, it would seem that Henry Johnson occupied both No. 36 and No. 37 (see No. 36), at least for a few years.

He sold the premises at auction, and the particulars given in the Lynn Advertiser on 11th November, 1865, help to explain how Nos. 36 and 37 were linked at that date:-

‘ALL that Freehold SHOP, with plate glass front, situated No. 36, on the east side of High Street, in King’s Lynn, adjoining and at present having internal communication with the Shop. No. 37, as the same was lately in the occupation of Mr. Henry Johnson, linen draper, the proprietor.

The above Shop, with Show-room over, was a few years since fitted up at great expense, and the premises are most desirably situated for trade in the leading thoroughfare of the town.

Further particulars may be known on application to Mr. Henry Johnson, Flax Manufactory, Downham Market.’

A similar advertisement described the principal particulars for No. 37:-

‘ALL that DWELLING HOUSE and extensive SHOP and PREMISES, No. 37, most desirably situated on the east side of High Street, in King’s Lynn, adjoining premises of Mr. S. L. Hunt north, and premises of Mr. Henry Johnson south, having a back entrance from New Conduit Street, as the same was formerly occupied by Thomas March, linen draper, and now by Mr. Henry Johnson.’

The two sale notices make it clear that Henry Johnson owned the freehold of No. 36 but not of No. 37. It seems almost certain that Samuel Ling Hunt bought the freehold of No. 37 and created a large shop at Nos. 37 & 38.

c1865 – 1889 (Samuel Ling Hunt) (Samuel Denny Hunt)

Samuel Ling Hunt bought the freehold of No. 37 at the 1865 auction, and he linked this with his shop at No. 38.

Samuel Ling Hunt was listed at Nos. 37 and 38 for many years. In Harrod’s directory for 1868 and in the 1871 census, he is listed at both. More details of his family are given under No. 38.

c1889 – c1960 (The Star Tea Company) (Star Supply Stores)

On 22nd June, 1889, the following advertisement appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘TO LET – SHOP AND HOUSE, 37, HIGH STREET, King’s Lynn. Immediate possession – Apply 38, High Street’.

The Star Tea Company took the lease of No. 37 and is listed there in White’s Directory for 1890. Alfred Large was their manager, being included in Kelly’s directories for 1892 and 1896. He was born in Terrington St. Clement in 1860 and married Elizabeth Stockdale in Nottingham, where he was working, in 1884. Elizabeth (b. 1857 in Terrington St. Clement), was the daughter of George Stockdale who had a small farm.

Alfred and Elizabeth’s first child, Ernest, was born in 1885 in Nottingham but the family moved to Lynn the following year and Alfred took up the appointment with the Star Tea Company in the town. They were living in Thomas Street in 1891 but had moved to Checker Street by 1901.

They had four children, the eldest two born in Nottingham, the youngest two being born in Lynn:-

1) Ernest Alfred (b. 1885 – d. 1962, aged 77). 2) John Edwin (b. 1886 – m. Mabel Harker in 1913 – d. 1950, aged 63). 3) Dora (b. 12/11/1889 – m. Cornelius J. J. Otterspoor in 1914 – d. 1986). 4) Gertrude (b. 1891 – d. 1900, aged 8).

Alfred was listed as manager in subsequent directories until 1922. Elizabeth died in 1906, aged 48, and Alfred died in 1934, aged 73.

The company’s shop was still here in 1951 but by then the name had changed to Star Supply Stores. Later they were taken over by International Stores

c1960 –c1966 (International Stores)

For a short time, the business here was that of the International Stores, who had taken over Star Supply Stores. Although the latter are listed here in Kelly’s directory for 1960, International Stores had taken over that year, when they introduced self-service at their branch at No. 42. For a few years, they ran the two High Street branches, with this one maintaining its personal service and free delivery.

 c1966 (Harry Fenton)

By 1966, the premises had been taken by Harry Fenton, men’s outfitters, and they were still here in 1973. Their first shops were in London and they expanded across the country. They were well-known for stocking fashionable clothes, including shaped and tab-collared shirts that appealed to the ‘mod’ generation. In 1980, they engaged Kevin Keegan to promote a range of clothing under the name of the ‘Kevin Keegan Collection’, and in 1982 they asked Erica Roe, the ‘Twickenham Streaker’ to advertise their new range of men’s suits.