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38 & 38a, High Street

1830 (Samuel Carse)

Samuel Carse, a cabinet maker and upholsterer, was here in 1830 (Pigot). By 1836 (White) he had moved to No. 72, High Street, where a fuller account of him and his family will be found.

 c1836 – 1842 (Lydia Jane Allen) (Maria Allen)

At No. 38 in 1836 was L. J. & M. Allen, milliners and dress makers. They were Lydia Jane and Maria Allen, who was most probably her sister. They were living at this address in 1841 with their mother, Lydia Allen, who died in 1841/2.

Lydia Jane Allen died on 26th October, 1842.

On 14th December, 1842, Lydia Jane’s furniture and effects were sold at auction, including the following items from the shop and workroom:-

‘A deal counter 10 feet with panelled front, ditto cupboard, three dozen cap and hat stands, crimping machine, work table and stools, large deal chest, folding steps, linen horses, keelers, pails, beer casks, bottle, boxes and various other effects.’

1845 (George Carlson Beets)

Listed in 1845 (White) the grocer and tea dealer George Carlson Beets was here. He had moved in about 1842 from No. 95, High Street. SEE No. 95 for details of his family.

He left Lynn and was running a grocery and tea dealership at the Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea in 1864 (White).

c1846 (Job Whiteman)

In 1846, Job Whiteman, a grocer, occupied these premises but was not here for many years. He let one of his rooms to a London dental surgeon, S. Mosely who placed a notice in the Lynn advertiser on 16th May, 1846:-

‘DENTAL SURGERY. Attendance at Lynn. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 28th April till the end of May, at Mr. WHITEMAN’S, Grocer, No. 38, High Street, Lynn. Mr. S. MOSELY, Surgeon Dentist, of the Firm of Messrs Mosely, 32, Haymarket, Saint James’s, London, Surgeon Dentists, by appointment to His Majesty the King of Hanover, Begs to state that for the convenience of his patients of Lynn and Neighbourhood, he has made arrangements to enable him to be in attendance there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 28th April till end of May. Mr. MOSELY’s engagements will prevent a more lengthened attendance than that specified. He will resume his visits every three months. Mr. M. attends at Swaffham on Mondays.’

Born in Lynn in about 1817, Job Whiteman’s parents were Robert, a mariner, and Susan (b. c1796 – d. 1841-1851). They were living in Purfleet Street in 1841.

Job married Anna (or Anne) Harpham in 1842. She was the daughter of Phoebe Harpham (see No. 34).

By 1851 Job had moved to Ipswich, where he was working as an assistant grocer. By 1861, however, he was working on his own account once more, in Ipswich.

After that date, the trail goes cold and it may be that he emigrated to the United States of America.

c1850 – 1899 (Samuel Ling Hunt) (Samuel Denny Hunt)

Samuel Ling Hunt, a tailor, draper and outfitter, was first listed here in Slater’s directory for 1850.

In 1851 the family were living at No. 38½, and Isaac Johnson (see No. 38½) was recorded here at No. 38.

In 1861 the two shops, Nos. 37 & 38, appear to have been under single management. In that year’s census, Samuel Ling Hunt is listed as living with his family at No. 37 but there is no-one recorded at No. 38. It is clear from particulars of sale for No. 36 and 37 in 1865 that recent alterations to the two properties involved the concentration of the living quarters within No, 37. Samuel Hunt and his family may have lived over No. 37 for several years.

In Harrod’s directory for 1863 he is listed only at No. 38, but he bought the freehold of No. 37 in 1865, and joined these two together.  He also had a branch shop in Spalding.

Samuel Ling Hunt had been born in Suffolk in about 1826 and married Sarah Iris Denny, also from Suffolk, in 1848. They had moved to Lynn by 1850.

Samuel Ling and Sarah had seven children:-

1) Emma Sarah (b. 1849 – m. Frederick Flanders in 1873 – d. 1938, aged 89). 2) Catherine Ann (b. 1850/1 – m. Alfred Southwell Fowler in 1880 – d. 1898, aged 46). 3) Samuel Denny – see below – (b. 1852 – m. Mary Ann Mitchell in 1882, and Amelia Turner Billing in 1892 – d. 13/03/1926, aged 73). 4) Agnes Amelia (b. 1855/6 – m. William John Stanton in 1881/2 – d. 1927/8, aged 72). 5) John Henry (b. 1858 m. Eliza Frances Mitchell in 1886). 6) Ella Rose (b. 1861 – d. 1933/4). 7) Wright Albert (b. 1867 – m. Helen Anne Cupit in 1902 – d. 1942, aged 77).

Samuel Denny Hunt became an assistant to his father by 1871 and was destined to take over the business. Samuel Ling Hunt was listed in Kelly’s Directory of 1875 as ‘merchant tailor, woollen draper, hosier, hatter & general outfitter.’  On 18th December 1880, he advertised in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘S. L. HUNT Manufacturing Clothier, and Juvenile Outfitter, Woollen Draper & Gentlemen’s Mercer. 37 & 38, High Street, King’s Lynn, and 34, Hall Place, Spalding.’

The Spalding branch was under the name of Samuel Ling Hunt but  managed by William Fowler, who had married Catherine (Kate) Hunt, and the couple were living on the premises with their new-born son at census time in 1881(April 3rd). On the death of his father-in-law, Alfred Fowler took over the Spalding business under his own name. He died in 1895, aged 44 and the Hall Place shop became Crabtree & Sons, tailors.

In 1881, Samuel Ling is still recorded as a woollen draper and farmer. Samuel Denny Hunt was employed as a clothier and his brother John Henry, 22, as a tailor. Samuel Ling’s 18 year-old nephew was working for him as draper’s assistant.

Samuel Ling Hunt died in 1885, aged 60, and Sarah died in 1891, aged 65.

Samuel Denny Hunt stepped into his father’s shoes. The transfer of the business from his late father’s estate seems to have taken place sometime in 1889.

Later that year he decided to reduce the size of the shop and he advertised No. 37 to let on 22nd June that year. His entry in White’s Directory for 1890 reads:-

‘HUNT, Samuel Denny, draper, hosier, hatter & outfitter, And agent for British Empire Life, Equitable Fire, and London Guarantee and Accident Insurance companies. 38, High Street.’

In 1882, Samuel Denny Hunt married Mary Ann Mitchell. They had four children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Samuel George (b. 1885). 2) William Leonard (b. 1887 – m. Ethel Violet Crickmore in 1916 – d. 1970, aged 83). 3) Albert C. (b. 1888). 4) Hilda Mary (b. 1890).

Samuel Denny Hunt’s wife, Mary Ann Hunt, died in 1891 aged 32, probably in childbirth. In that year’s census Samuel, now a widower, is at No. 38 with their four children, including baby Hilda, just four months old, with his mother and a housekeeper to help look after the family. In Kelly’s for 1892 his entry is:-

‘Merchant tailor, woollen draper, hosier, clothier, hatter & general merchant’.

Later that year, Samuel married Amelia Turner Billing, who had been born in Lynn c1858 and who had spent over ten years as companion to her aged aunt and uncle, Mary Ann and John Stimpson, who lived at 29, London Road. They died in 1897 and 1900, respectively, and Amelia and Samuel moved into their house, where they were living in 1901. Samuel had retired by this date, living on his own means, having sold out his business to John Walton following a very brief business partnership. Samuel Denny Hunt later took a job with Messrs. Miles & Son, the Lynn auctioneers, at their egg market. He died in 1925, aged 72, and Amelia died in 1945, aged 87.

1899 – 1900 (Hunt & Walton)

The partnership between Samuel Denny Hunt and John Walton was listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1900 as:-

‘Hunt & Walton, tailors, clothiers & outfitters, hatters, hosiers & glovers’.

It did not last for more than a few months before Samuel withdrew from the business.

 1900 – 1937 (Walton Brothers)

Walton Brothers, clothiers, were here from 1900 until 1937, when they moved to No. 66, High Street.

The partnership was between the three younger brothers, John (Jack Dack), William (Billie) and James, of a family of nine siblings from the Deeping Fen area of south Lincolnshire. Their grandparents were John Walton (b. c1799 in Crowland – d. 1881) and his wife Mary Partridge (b. c1806 in Sutton St. Edmund). John and Mary had five children:-

1) Joseph (b.1830 – m. Harriett Holland in 1852). 2) Edward – the father of the three brothers – see below – (b. c1838 – m. Elizabeth Dack in 1859 – d. 29/01/1912). 3) William, a railway porter (b. 1840 – m. Elizabeth Waterfield in 1867 – d. 13/12/1914, aged 74). 4) James, a fruiterer & florist (b. c1846 – m. Ann Pearson on 02/11/1881 – d. 1922, aged 76). 5) Elizabeth (b. c1850).

John Walton spent all his life on the farm, as an agricultural labourer (1841), as a shepherd (1851), and as a farmer (1871).

Edward Walton was the brothers’ father, and he too was a farmer. Edward married Elizabeth Dack in 1859 and they had nine children, three of whom were born in Lynn, whilst the others were born in Tydd St. Mary, Lincolnshire:-

1) Mary Jane (b. 1860). 2) Annie Maria (b. 1865/6 in Lynn – m. Alfred Gooding in 1886). 3) Hannah Elizabeth (b. 1867 in Lynn). 4) Francis Edward, a coach builder (b. 1868/9 in Lynn – m. Ada Clifton in 1896 – d. 1950, aged 81). 5) Joseph, a farmer (b. 1870 – m. Clara Nicholson Marshall in 1901 – d. 1937, aged 67). 6) John – Jack Dack – see below (b. 10/10/1871 – m. Annie Brummitt in 1907 – d. 14/03/1951, aged 79). 7) Harriet (b. 1874 – m. James Barnard in 1904 – d. 1967, aged 93). 8)  William Dack (b. 1877 – m. Ellen May Eaton in 1906 – d. 09/12/1931, aged 54). 9) James (b. 08/01/1880 – m. Edith Alice Bassham in1906).

The two eldest boys did not become clothiers, Francis Edward was a coach builder, with premises in Market Road, Long Sutton in 1911, and Joseph worked as a grazier.

John / Jack Dack learnt his trade in London where he was apprenticed to a draper. He was listed as living in West Ham in the 1891 census, one of some twenty young men working as drapery assistants and boarding in the same house. He went on to become a very ambitious and astute businessman. By 1901 he had established his own business here at No. 38, where he was joined by his brothers William and James and his sister Harriet, all of whom were to play their part in the development of the Walton Brothers’ business and its various branches.

The first expansion of the business appears to have been in October, 1901, when the brothers acquired Edgar C. Cawston’s drapery business in St. James Street, Lynn:-

‘Messrs. WALTON BROS., 38, High Street, King’s Lynn, beg to thank the inhabitants of King’s Lynn and neighbourhood for their kind patronage and support during the time they have been in business, and to inform them that they have purchased the business of Mr. E. C. Cawston, draper, hosier etc., of 47 and 49, St. James Street, where no effort will be spared on their part to maintain the highest standard of value in every department, and respectfully solicit a continuance of the patronage and support which have been accorded to their predecessor. N.B. – The Tailoring and Outfitting Business will be carried on at 38, High Street as usual.’

The brothers entrusted the management of this new branch to their future brother-in-law, James Barnard, who was to marry Harriet (Hattie) in 1904. James Barnard had been born in Spaldwick, Huntingdonshire (now in Cambridgeshire) in 1872 and served his apprenticeship in London. He was working for a Cambridge firm of drapers before coming to Lynn in 1900. He became a director of Walton Brothers and ran the St. James Street shop with Hattie until their retirement in 1938. James died on 1st June, 1942, aged 70.

Leaving William Dack (Billie) to manage the Lynn High Street store, John moved to Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire, where he set up a branch in Bridge Road. Meanwhile, the youngest brother, James, established a branch in High Street, Hunstanton.

William, pictured left in 1912 when he stood as a town councillor, moved to live in Hunstanton. He was a keen golfer and a prominent Freemason. He died on 9th December, 1931, aged 54.

On 1st February, 1937, Walton Brothers moved to No. 66, High Street.

1937 – c1971 (Public Benefit Boot Co. Ltd.) (Benefit Footwear Ltd.)

The Public Benefit Boot & Shoe Company had been at No. 87, High Street since 1883. The name of the company changed over the years and a branch opened here at No. 38 in 1937 under the name of ‘Benefit’, the full name at that date being the ‘Public Benefit Boot Co. Ltd.’ See No. 87 for more about the Public Benefit Boot Company, and Nos. 19-20 for details about Thomas Lennard and his business relationship with the company.

The 1950s and 1960s saw big changes in the shoe manufacturing and retail sectors. Lilley & Skinner acquired a major shareholding in Benefit Footwear Ltd., and merged with Saxone Shoes before buying out Parker Shoes. Saxone, with Lilley & Skinner Holdings, formed a group that was known as ‘SLASH’. Charles Clore’s British Shoe Corporation (BSC) was the main competition to SLASH, acquiring the Sears and Trueform group, including Freeman Hardy & Willis. By 1962, Charles Clore had bought a significant part of SLASH and by 1963 manufacturing had transferred to the new BSC site at Braunstone, Leicester.

The branch here was still listed as Benefit in 1970/1 (Yates).

c1973 (Manfield)

Although the Benefit name remained over some shops for a few years, they were gradually transferred to Curtess, Manfield or Saxone. No. 38 High Street became a Manfield shop by 1973 (Kelly).

38a High Street

No. 38a or No. 38½, is listed on occasions in the directories but it is not clear whether this was a separate property or part of No. 38. From 1912 to 1951, inclusive, the Maypole Dairy Co. Ltd., is listed at No. 38a. However, in the directories for 1951, 1954 and 1960, they are listed at No. 39, at the same time as Ladymans’ address is being given as Nos. 39-41. An explanation for the numbering anomaly is given in the account for Ladymans (see Nos. 39 – 41, High Street). A doorway to the right of Ladymans’ frontage was numbered 39 and led to a long narrow passage sandwiched between Ladymans’ main shop and Maypole Dairy, which was also numbered 39.

The only businesses included below are those where their address is given as No. 38a or No. 38½ in one or more of the directories or censuses, or from another source.

 1830 (William Gilbert)

Cabinet maker William Gilbert was listed here in 1830 (Pigot).

He has not been found in the 1841 census and appears to have died in 1845.

 c1838 – c1846 (William Sims)

William Sims, a draper, was living here in 1838, as recorded in the certificate dated 14th May that year registering the death of his sister, Sarah, and he was here at the time of the 1841 census.

William was born in Litcham in 1799. More details of the family are given at No. 81, High Street, where he was first recorded in 1846 (Kelly’s Nine Counties). His brother Edward was a watch and clock maker at No. 93, High Street.

 c1846 (Robert Leeds Coward) (Maria Coward)

In the Nine Counties Directory for 1846 a husband and wife Robert and Maria Coward are listed at No. 38 ½, High Street. Robert was a hairdresser who was living in Norfolk Street in 1841, and Maria, a milliner and straw hat maker.

One year earlier, Robert Leeds Coward was listed at No. 94, High Street, where more details about him will be found.

 c1851 (Samuel Ling Hunt)

The 1851 census records Samuel Ling Hunt and his family at No. 38½, while Isaac Johnson and his family were at No. 38. Although the census records the family of Isaac Johnson at No. 38, it may be that Samuel Ling Hunt’s business was in the shop known as No. 38 – there is no listing for him in the directories at 38½.

 c1850 (Isaac Johnson)

In Slater’s Directory for 1850, two businesses are listed at No. 38, Samuel Ling Hunt, a linen and woollen draper, and Isaac Johnson, a baker & flour dealer, who is also listed as a toy dealer at this address. Isaac and his family were living here in 1851, but he is at No. 128, Norfolk Street in White’s Directory for 1854.

Born in about 1817 in Brancaster, Norfolk, Isaac was the son of Richard & Elizabeth Johnson. Richard was a baker, born in Norfolk in about 1791, with premises in Norfolk Street, Lynn in 1841. Richard died in 1849, and Elizabeth died in 1877/8, aged 88. Two of their children were with them on census night in 1841; Isaac, and William (b. c1819 – m. Martha Julia Langley in 1845 – d. 1892/3, aged 72. William was also a baker and confectioner, with premises on Norfolk Street from c1850 – c1883.

Isaac married in 1841 and he and his wife, Martha, had four children:-

1) Isaac Yaxley (b. 1842). 2) Frederick William (b. 1844). 3) Richard James (b. 1845 – m. Eleanor Turner in 1869/70 – d. 1923, aged 78), and Martha Elizabeth (b. 1846 – m. John Hamilton Clark in 1868 – see No. 51, High Street). Martha died in 1862 and Isaac married Mary Elizabeth Sly in 1867. Isaac died in 1898, aged 81, and Mary died in 1908/9, aged 85.

 c1904 – c1960 (Maypole Dairy Co. Ltd.)

By about 1904, the Maypole Dairy Company had opened a branch here at No. 38a, High Street. In March, 1910, they applied for permission to install a new shop front

The Maypole Dairy Company was established in Wolverhampton in 1887 by William George Watson (b. 1861/2 in Walsgrave-on-Sowe, near Coventry). Known as George, he combined his business interests with those of his brothers Alfred and Charles, together with George Jackson who ran Medova Dairies. Maypole and Medova had an agreement not to open shops in the same town. Meanwhile, Alfred concentrated his efforts on opening new outlets in the midlands while Charles covered the north of the country. The shops, which specialised in butter, margarine and dairy produce, proved very popular and soon there were branches across the country, with several in each of the bigger towns and cities. They opened their one thousandth shop in 1926. However, Maypole’s share of the market was not holding up. Their main competitors were Home & Colonial Stores and Liptons, and eventually, in 1924, the former acquired a majority of Maypole’s share capital, and Sir W. George Watson (he was created a Baronet in 1912), stepped down as chairman, a role that he had held for many years, and had no further involvement in running the company. He had been a pioneer of profit sharing for employees.

William George Watson married Bessie Atkinson in 1893/4. He died on 12th July, 1930, aged 69, leaving an estate worth more than two million pounds.

The business continued for many years under the Maypole name, and was listed here in Kelly’s directory for 1960.