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1830 (Mary Ann Tuck)

Mary Ann Tuck, a milliner and dressmaker, was listed here in 1830 (Pigot).

c1836 (Frances Susan West)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists Frances West (b. c1802 in Guist, Norfolk – d. 1867 in Birmingham, aged 61), a straw hat maker, at this address. Later that year, or early in 1837, she married Murrey Eldred (b. c1805 in Fakenham – d. 1856 in Birmingham) – see below.

c1837 – 1856 (Murrey Eldred) (Frances Eldred)

Murrey Eldred, a tobacconist, was living at No. 56 in 1841, with his wife Frances (née West), a milliner (see above). Murrey and Frances had seven children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Fanny (b. 13/03/1837 – d. 1863, aged 25).  2) Maria (b. 1838). 3) Murrey Thompson (b. 1839 – m. Uretta Angell in 1870 – d. 1897, aged 57). 4) Elvin (b. 1841 – d. 1842). 5) Sarah, a dress maker in 1871 (b. 1843). 6) George, a draper’s clerk in 1871 (b. 1845). 7) Charlotte (b. 1846/7 – d. 1868, aged 21).

Murrey Eldred is listed in three directories; 1846 (Kelly’s – tobacconist), 1850 (Slater’s –  tobacconist, tobacco manufacturer, retailer of beer, and porter & ale dealer), 1854 (White’s – tobacco dealer).

In White’s directory for 1854, there is also an entry under ‘Hotels, Inns and Taverns’ for ‘Murray Eldred’ at the ‘Alton Arms’, 56, High Street.

Frances was listed as Fanny Eldred in 1839 (Pigot).

Frances Eldred continued to advertise her millinery and straw hat business, placing the following announcement in the Lynn Advertiser on 10th May 1842:-

‘Mrs. ELDRED, Milliner, Straw, Tuscan and Fancy Bonnet Maker, No. 56, HIGH STREET, LYNN, Respectfully announces to her Friends that she has returned from London with an extensive assortment of GOODS suited to the coming season, and to which she particularly invites attention. The Show Room will be ready for Inspection on Monday the 9th instant. May 6th, 1842.’

On 21st June, 1855, a sale of Murrey Eldred’s furniture and bar fittings and equipment was held in Lynn. Almost all of his household furniture appears to have been listed in the auction details, in which it was noted that he was about to leave Lynn. The family moved to Birmingham, but Murrey died there the following year, aged about 51.

Both Murrey Thompson and George went into the drapery business, while Fanny and Maria became mantle makers and Sarah worked as a dressmaker.

Frances Eldred died in Birmingham in 1867, aged 61.

1855 – 1858 (Samuel Bull)

Samuel Bull, a shoe and boot maker who traded under the slogan of ‘Bull’s Red Boot Mart’ moved into No. 56 in December, 1855. He had been trading at Nos. 17 & 18, Norfolk Street in 1854 (White), and was first listed at No. 17 in 1846 (White).

Samuel Bull was born in Norwich on 7th March, 1819, and married Eliza Leaford in St. Peter Mancroft in the city on 24th December, 1840. Samuel and Eliza were living in Norfolk Street, Lynn in 1841, and they had four children, all born in the town:-

1) Samuel, a boot maker in Lynn (b. 1844 – m. Mary Ann Jude in 1864 – d. 1928, aged 84). 2) John, a shoemaker in Lynn (b. 1848/9 – m. Mary Ann Morton in 1871 – d. 1903, aged 54). 3) Isaac, a grocer in Lynn (b. 1850 – m. Hannah Easter in 1898/9 – d. 1927, aged 77). 4) Amelia (b. 1851).

Eliza died in 1857, aged about 35, and Samuel gave up the High Street shop soon afterwards, the premises being sold at auction on 24th February the following year. In 1861 he was living at 31, Chapel Street in Lynn, with his sons John and Isaac and daughter Amelia. On 7th March, 1868 he married (Alice) Maria Wiles at St. Margaret’s church. They were living in Gilbert’s Row, Lynn in 1891, when Samuel was still working as a boot maker.

Maria Bull died in 1892, aged 68, and Samuel died in 1895, aged 76.

1861 (George William Mingay)

The premises may have remained vacant for several months, and on 28th October, 1861, a local auctioneer, George W. Mingay, held a special one-off sale of ornamental goods there:-

‘56, High Street, Lynn. SALE of ORNAMENTAL GOODS. G. W. MINGAY, begs to announce to the Gentry and Inhabitants of Lynn and Vicinity that he has received instructions from an eminent Manufacturer and Importer of Foreign Fancy Goods, to Sell by Auction on Monday next, October 28th, 1861, and following evenings, at No. 56, High Street, Lynn, a choice and elegant variety of ORNAMENTAL ARTICLES, comprising groups of Wax Fruit, Flowers, Water Lilies, etc., under Glass Shades. Handsome groups of figures in Parian, beautiful specimens of CORAL from Indian Isles, together with a variety of other Decorative Items of elegance and taste, which will be included in the above Sale, especially adapted for gracing the drawing room or parlour, and affording parties desirous of purchasing an opportunity of embellishing their apartments at a nominal cost.’

George William Mingay was listed at Broad Street as an auctioneer, estate and general agent in 1854 (White), and at 8, Portland Street in 1863 (Harrod). It is apparent that he was engaged to conduct the auction and that he may not have had any other connection with the premises.

 c1861 – c1890 (Elizabeth Ann & Caroline Cox)

By about 1861, the Cox sisters Elizabeth Ann (b, 1845) and Caroline (b. c1849) had opened a millinery shop at No. 56, although they were not living on the premises at that census date. Their business is first listed in Harrod’s directory for 1868, but with no number being given. They were listed in four further trade directories; 1875 – millinery and baby linen warehouse (Kelly), 1879 (Kelly), 1883 (Kelly), and 1890 – milliners and ladies’ outfitters (White).

Elizabeth Ann Cox married Robert Carter in 1872, and Caroline married David Vare in 1875, and by the latter date, it would appear that the business was being run by their mother, Caroline, although the name of the shop remained unchanged. The last listing for the business was in 1890, the year in which Caroline Cox snr. died.

Elizabeth and Caroline’s parents were Joseph Cox (b. c1822 in Terrington St. John, Norfolk) and Caroline Bethel (b. c1821 in Soham, Cambridgeshire), who married in 1844. They had at least eight children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Elizabeth Ann (b. 1845 – m. Robert Carter in 1871/2 – d. 1885, aged 40). 2) John Thomas (b. 1847 – d. 1854/5). 3) Caroline (b. c1849 – m. David Thomas Vare in 1875 – d. 1921, aged 73). 4) Emma (b. 01/02/1850 – d. 1877, aged 27). 5) Joseph Bethel, a doctor (b. 1851/2 – m. Ellen Bagot in 1901/2 – d. 1937, aged 84 in London). 6) Samuel – a cycle manufacturer (b. 1853– m. Sarah Elizabeth Whisler in 1885 – d. 1903/4, aged 50 in Lynn). 7) Frank – a chemist (b. 1857– m. Gertrude Johanna Tillman in 1881). 8) Ruth, a milliner – see below (b. 1859 – m. Charles Alfred Mitchell in 1883/4 – d. 1910/11, aged 51). 9) Mary Brett (b. 1860 – d. 1877, aged 16).

Joseph Cox snr. was an engineer and millwright who had premises in Railway Road, where the family were living at the time of the 1861 census. By 1871, they had moved into the living quarters at No. 56 and they stayed here until at least 1881. By 1891 they had moved to Railway Road again.

Taking advantage of his engineering skills and applying them to items that were in increasing demand, Joseph Cox started to specialise in the manufacture of bicycles by 1879 and is listed as such in the 1881 census.

After the death of her mother in 1890, Caroline Vare, who had been widowed in 1886, moved in to No. 18, Railway Road to look after her father. Samuel was apprenticed to his father and eventually succeeded to the bicycle manufacturing business, which had become J. Cox & Sons. In 1932, J. Cox & Sons opened a cycle shop at No. 78, High Street. The business was at that time being run by the Vare Brothers and more details about the family will be found at that address.

1891 – c1900 (Charles Alfred Mitchell) (Ruth Mitchell)

There was no occupier of No. 56, High Street listed in the 1891 census but on 16th May that year, the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘WANTED: Apprentices and Improvers to the Dressmaking; also an Apprentice to the Millinery. No premium – Mitchell, High Street’.

This was placed in the newspaper by Charles Alfred Mitchell, who was listed as a ‘milliner & fancy draper &c.’ in Kelly’s Directory of 1892. However, it is apparent that this was the business of Charles’ wife Ruth (Mrs. C. A. Mitchell, née Cox). Prior to her marriage to Charles, Ruth had been working as a milliner. Charles appears to have acquired the freehold or leasehold of the premises in succession to Ruth’s father at No. 56.

Charles’ grandmother was Mary Mitchell (b. c1811, who had a millinery shop at No. 15, High Street in about 1836, before moving to No. 121 by 1841.

Charles had been born in Lynn in 1859. His parents were Michael Mitchell (b. c1829 – d. 1884, aged 55) and Sophia Elizabeth Wells (b. c1832 – d. 1859/60), who had married in Lynn in 1850. Michael and Sophia had four children:-

1) Alice Harriet (b. 1851 m. William John Ebdale in 1874). 2) Georgiana (b. c1856). 3) Frances Elizabeth (b. c1858). 4) Charles Alfred.

Michael Mitchell was a solicitor’s clerk and for many years lived at Mill Fleet Terrace in Lynn.

In 1883/4, Charles Mitchell married Ruth Cox (b. c1859 in Lynn – d. 1910/11). They had two children, both born in Lynn:-

1) Edward Charles (b. 1884 – a railway clerk – m. Mary Moore Harper Connelly in 1907/8 – d. 1968, aged 84). 2) Florence Gertrude (b. 1885).

Charles followed his father by taking employment as a solicitor’s clerk. By 1891, he had opened the shop at No. 56 and he gave his occupation as that of a ‘solicitor’s clerk and fancy draper’. The business was still here in 1896 and the family lived on the premises during this period. However, by 1901 they had moved to ‘Cam Villa’ in Gaywood and Charles was now working as an estate agent.

Charles Mitchell died in 1906/7, aged 48, and Ruth died in 1910/11, aged 51.

c1900 – c1904 (Olivia Ann Parker)

Mrs. Olivia Ann Parker (b. Olivia Ann Perfitt in Heacham in 1856/7) ran a drapery shop here at No. 56 for about four years, from c1900 to c1904.

She was the granddaughter of Robert Stephen Perfitt (b. c1793 in Stratton St. Mary, Norfolk – d. 1879/80, aged 87) and his wife Ann (b. c1797 in Bungay, Suffolk – d. 1869, aged 72). Robert was an auctioneer in Long Stratton for many years. Their son, Robert Samuel Perfitt (b. c 1824 in Long Stratton – m. Jane Hoult Wagg in 1854 – d. 1909, aged 85), ran a drapery and grocery shop at Heacham.

Robert Samuel and Jane Perfitt had seven children, all born in Heacham:-

1) Olivia Ann (b. 1856/7 – m. Charles Robert Parker in 1883 – d. 1944, aged 87). 2) Samuel Robert (b. 1858 – a silk buyer in London c1911 – m. Ellen Dean in 1890/1 – d. 1943/4 in Dorset, aged 85). 3) Henry Hoult (b. 1859 – d. 1915 in Surrey, aged 56). 4) Emily Jane (b. 1861 – d. 1928, aged 67). 5) Ella Edith (b. 1863 – m. grocer Kenneth Bell Davey in 1906 – d. 1958, aged 86). 6) William Wagg (b. 1865/6 – m. Rose Ann Speechly in 1904 – d. 1940, aged 74). 7) Arthur Alfred (b. 1867/8 – a draper’s assistant in Rochester, Kent c1911 – d. 1955/6, aged 88 in Lynn). William Wagg Perfitt took over the Heacham grocery and drapery store from his father.

Ella Perfitt married a grocer, Ken Davey, who had been apprenticed to Charles Ibberson (see No. 57 and below) before later joining Ladymans (see Nos. 39 – 41), where he served as manager.

Olivia Ann and Charles Robert Parker had three children:-

1) Charles Alfred (b. 1884/5 – a telegraph clerk in 1911). 2) Frank Henry (b. 1888 – grocer’s assistant in 1911). 3) Ella Lilian (b. 20/05/1890 – m. Watson Allen in 1931 – d. 1972, aged 82).

1910 – 1924 (Ibberson Ltd) (Charles Ibberson jnr.)

On 23rd September, 1910, Charles Ibberson jnr. (b. 1854 – d. 1917) announced that he was moving the retail department of Messrs. Ibberson Ltd., from No. 57, High Street to the shop next door, No. 56. At the same time, he moved their wholesale department into No. 1, Saturday Market Place.

For details about the Ibberson family prior to 1910, see No. 57.

On 1st October, 1915, Ibbersons placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘THE PIONEERS OF DINNER HOUR CLOSING IN LYNN. Messrs. IBBERSON LTD., Having at one and the same time their friends’ and their own interests in view, have decided to close their premises during the dinner hour, 1.e., from 1 o’clock to 2 o’clock per diem, dating from October 3rd, 1915. This will mean that their full staff will be at the disposal of customers from 8 a.m. ‘till 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. ‘till closing time. It is obvious the difficulties of the despatch and delivery of goods have been considerably increased owing to the necessarily curtailed working hours, but Messrs. IBBERSON Ltd., hope by the adoption of the above measure to overcome in part these difficulties. They regret that owing to restricted street lighting they will be unable to deliver orders received after 4 o’clock until the following morning. Friends are therefore asked to kindly order early and to co-operate in the dinner hour venture, so that Messrs. IBBERSON Ltd., may not feel that their progressive efforts have been in vain. 1, Saturday Market Place, and 56, High Street, King’s Lynn.’

On 11th May 1917 they announced that they would not be closing during the dinner hour on Tuesdays. They made this concession following requests from their ‘Country Friends’ – principally farming families – who only came in to town on Tuesdays.

On 27th April, 1923, it was announced in the Lynn Advertiser that Fred Hares, Athol Uylatt Ibberson and E. G. Towler were purchasing the stock in trade of The Ibberson Tea Co., Ltd., and were selling it at special clearance prices. On 4th May that year, a notice to creditors of Ibberson Ltd., was published, advising them of the voluntary liquidation of the company. On 28th November the following year, another announcement was published in the Lynn News stating:-

‘Expiration of Lease. The IBBERSON TEA Co., Ltd., are required to vacate their present premises at Xmas, 1924, and consequently the whole of the GROCERY STOCK and FIXTURES have to be SOLD REGARDLESS OF COST. A CLEARANCE SALE will commence on SATURDAY NEXT, Nov. 29th. This sale will enable customers to obtain their XMAS GROCERIES, PROVISIONS, CONFECTIONERY at SPECIAL LOW PRICES.’

Athol Uylatt Ibberson was the son of Charles jnr. and his wife Harriett Waddington Jewson (see No. 57). He was born in 1889 and married Anne Gill in 1920. In 1911 he had been employed as an entering clerk at a huge wholesale hosiery warehouse in Wood Street, London. He died in Berkshire in 1967, aged 77.

1926 – 1973 (Briggs Shoes) (Briggs, Palm Shoes Ltd)

In 1926, Briggs Shoes moved from No. 36 into the premises here at No. 56. They had been at No. 36 since about 1916. However, they claimed to have been established in 1824. The advertisement for their stand at the 1955 Lynn Trades Exhibition read:-

‘BRIGGS, FOOTFITTERS. Established 1824. We have served, and are serving, the People of King’s Lynn for nearly 50 years with fine footwear. Thoughtful Fitting Service for “Town and Country Folk”. Put your feet wise to real foot comfort from the most varied range of footwear in the District. Local Branch: 56, High Street.’

The name of the company, was listed in the directories mostly as Briggs & Co., the name of Briggs, Palm Shoes Ltd. being rarely used (1937, Kelly, and 1970/1 Yates).