No. 57, High Street
c1822 – c1834 (Christopher Peek)
Christopher Peek, a grocer, tea dealer and tallow chandler was listed here in 1830 (Pigot). He also had premises at No. 114, High Street, where further details of his family will be found. In Pigot’s earlier directory, for 1822, Christopher Peek is listed in High Street but with no number.
Christopher Peek was born on 13th February, 1781, and was baptised in Lynn on 20th July that year. His parents were George Peek, a Lynn grocer, and Mary Ransom, who were married on 2nd November, 1777 in Lynn. George and Mary had nine children:-
1) Jane (bap. 12/04/1780 – d. 1787, aged 7). 2) Christopher (bap. 20/06/1781 – m. Mary Coe on 04/10/1805 – d. 12/11/1833 in Lynn, aged about 52). 3) George Nicholas (bap. 28/01/1784). 4) George (bap. 04/05/1786). 5) Lucy (b. 07/12/1784 – m. Robert Coe – d. 28/09/1871 in Lynn, aged 86). 6) Jane (bap. 07/11/1787) 7) Jesse (bap. 30/11/1788). 8) Ann (bap. 23/08/1790 – m. Clement Coe – d. 1873). 9) Jane (bap. 30/12/1793).
It is not known whereabouts in Lynn that George Peek had his grocery shop, but it is almost certain that his son Christopher took over the business premises from him. At the time of George Peek’s death aged 86, in April 1839, he was living in Friars Street in the town.
Christopher Peek married twice and had twelve children. However, six of his children pre-deceased him. His First wife was Mary Coe, whom he married in October 1805, in St. Mary’s church in the village of Tilney-cum-Islington, where her father was a farmer. Christopher and Mary had nine children:-
1) George (b. c1806). 2) Robert (b. 1807 – d. 1836, aged 29). 3) Christopher, a farmer (b. c1809 – m. Ann Plowright on 15/01/1835 – d. 1889, aged 80). 4) Mary (b. 1811). 5) Jane (b. 1813 – m. Henry Dyker Thew on 10/02/1836 – d. 1889, aged 75). 6) Arthur, a commercial traveller (b. 1815 – m. Mary Coe – d. 1880/1, aged 65). 7) Lucy (b. c1817). 8) Ann (b. 1819 – m. Frederick J. Utting – d. 05/04/1894 in New Zealand, aged about 77). 9) Mary (b. 1820 – died in infancy).
Christopher’s wife may have died when her daughter Mary was born in 1821. Christopher than married Ann Hubbard, and they had three children:-
1) Eliza (b. 1824). 2) Unknown (b. 1827). 3) William (b. 1830 – d. 1831). Ann died in 1831, possibly when her third child was born.
Christopher Peek died in 1833, aged about 52, and his son Robert took over the business. It may be that Robert relinquished the shop at 57 at that time or a year or two later. By 1836 he was listed only at No. 114 (White), and he died later that year. Arthur was the next to take over the business and was listed at No. 114 in Pigot’s directory for 1839. Arthur had given up the Lynn business (listed as Peek & Co. by Slater in 1850) by 1861 when he was a commercial traveller in Manchester. He died in 1880/1, aged 65.
c1834 – c1854 (John Patrick) (Mary Patrick) (Mary Patrick & Son)
White’s Directory for 1836 lists John Patrick, a grocer, tea dealer and tallow chandler, at this address. John had been living and working in Narborough before coming to High Street, and he may have moved in after Christopher Peek died in 1833.
John Patrick was born in Lynn in 1797. He married Mary Marsters at St. Margaret’s Lynn on 26th June, 1822, and they had eight children, the first born in West Newton, the second (William – see No. 61) born in Grimston, the next three born in Narborough, and the three youngest born in Lynn:-
1) John, a maltster (b. c1822 – m. Mary Jaks on 06/08/1847 – d. 1889, aged 65). 2) William Kenny – see No. 61, High Street (b. c1825 – m. Harriet Ann Girling in 1858 – d. 1916, aged 91). 3) Ann (b. 1827). 4) Thomas Marsters (b. 1829). 5) Mary (b. c1832 – d. 1859, aged about 27). 6) Nathanial Kirby – known as Kirby – a grocer & cheesemonger in Westminster in 1871 (b. 1833 – d. 1876, aged 43). 7) Sarah (b. c1836). 8) Elizabeth (b. 1838).
John died in Lynn in 1840/1, aged about 43, and his widow Mary (b. c1798 in Gayton) took over the business and is listed in Kelly’s directory for 1846.
By 1851, both William and Thomas had entered the business, and the listings for 1850 (Slater) and 1854 (White) are for ‘Mary Patrick & Son.)
A notice in the Lynn Advertiser for 1st September, 1855 announced:-
‘MARY PATRICK and SON, Grocers, Tea Dealers, Cheese and Butter Factors, Tallow Chandlers, etc., No. 57, High Street, Lynn, beg to return their sincere thanks to their numerous friends for the favours so liberally conferred upon them for many years, and to announce that they have declined business in favour of Mr. C. IBBERSON, whom they beg to introduce as their successor, and for whom they solicit a continuance of that kind support which has hitherto been extended to themselves.’
c1854 – c1912 (Charles Ibberson snr) (Charles Ibberson jnr)
In taking over from Mary Patrick, Charles Ibberson stated that he had ‘… purchased the entire Stock of celebrated Teas in bond of M. Patrick and Son, which have given such universal satisfaction’. Charles Ibberson became one of Lynn’s foremost grocers, specialising in tea.
Charles Ibberson snr.
Charles Ibberson snr was born in Benwick, a Cambridgeshire village about 15 miles from Peterborough, in about 1823. In 1841, aged about 18, he was working as a grocer’s assistant in Cambridge. In 1848 he married Mary Ann Jewson (b. c1826 in Colne, Huntingdonshire).
Mary Ann was the daughter of George and Jane Jewson. George (b. c1796 in Earith, St. Ives, Huntingdonshire – d. 1848) was a merchant (probably coal). His son John Wilson Jewson (b. c1817 – d. 1882, aged 66) started out as a coal merchant. Later, at the suggestion of his son George (b. 1848 – d. 1921/2), John established a timber business in Norwich. This grew into one of the largest timber and builders’ merchants in the country, and the Jewsons became one of the most prominent families in Norwich. Two of John Wilson Jewson’s sons served as Lord Mayor; Richard (b. 1867 – d. 1949 – Lord Mayor in 1917) and Percy William (b. 1880/1 – d. 1962 – Lord Mayor in 1934), as did the latter’s son Charles Boardman (b. 1909 – d. 1981 – Lord Mayor in 1965). Dorothy (b. 1884 – d. 1964), the daughter of John Wilson Jewson’s son George, was one of the Labour Party’s first female MPs, representing Norwich briefly in 1923/4.
Charles Ibberson became an assistant to a grocer in Wisbech, where the family were living in 1851. Following the death of her husband George in 1848, Charles’ mother-in-law Jane Jewson came to live with him and Mary Ann. Jane stayed with them until her death in Lynn in 1863.
By 1856 Charles Ibberson had moved to King’s Lynn and established his own grocery business at 57, High Street.
Charles and Mary Ann had four children:-
1) William Jewson (b. 1851/2 in Wisbech – d. 1869, aged 17). 2) Charles (b. 1854 in Wisbech – see below). 3) Jane Mary (b. 1857/8 in Lynn – m. Arthur Stuart Haslam, a public school headmaster, in 1897/8 – d. 1943, aged 85 in Devon). 4) Herbert George (b. 1865/6 in Lynn, an architect and surveyor – m. Kate Mary Hewitt in 1893 – d. 1935, aged 68 in Hertfordshire).
In February 1856, Charles Ibberson placed notices in the Norfolk News and the Stamford Mercury seeking assistants; ‘To Grocers’ Assistants. Charles Ibberson, Wholesale and Retail Grocer, King’s Lynn is in want of an Assistant as First Counterman.’ He continued to recruit staff from the wider region as the business at No. 57 prospered. By 1861 Charles was employing six men and two boys. Several of his apprentices and assistants were from Huntingdonshire, including Charles Barrett (b. c1849 in Bluntisham), who spent five years here before opening his own shop in Norfolk Street (see Nos. 98 and 100, High Street).
Mary Ann died in 1870/1, aged 45, and it would seem that Charles retired from business within a few years of her death and moved to Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, with his daughter Jane. He died on 27th November, 1890, aged 68.
Charles Ibberson jnr.
In 1878, Charles jnr married his cousin Harriett Waddington Jewson (b. 1853 in Earith) and may have taken over the business at about that time. He and Harriett set up home at 30, London Road, Lynn and they had four children:-
1) Ruth Mary (b. 1881 – d. 1891, aged 10). 2) John Malcolm (b. 1882/3 – d. 1897/8, aged 15). 3) Charles Bernard (b. 1888 – m. Irene Edwards in 1923 – d. 1938, aged 49). 4) Athol Uylatt (b. 1889 – m. Anne Gill in 1920 – d. 1967, aged 77). 4) Ellen Mary (b. 1892 – d. 1979, aged 86).
In 1888, Charles Ibberson expanded his business by acquiring No. 1, Saturday Market Place, and within two years had increased the weekly takings there by sevenfold. Most of the increased business was down to the boom in the tea trade. The head office and wholesale department remained at No. 57, with the Saturday Market Place premises being a retail branch.
Charles Ibberson jnr. quickly became well-known both for his grocery business and for his passionate promotion of Lynn and its historic buildings. From time to time, he advertised his business by giving away prints of old Lynn as part of a special Christmas promotion. He started doing this in about 1880, with an engraving from a picture dating from 1741 of the old town wall and other historic relics. In December 1895 he placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘TOWN HALL, KING’S LYNN. Presentation Plate. Hearing a rumour of a proposed attempt to restore the front of our grand old Town Hall, and knowing that restoration in one form often means spoliation in another , C. IBBERSON has decided to give his fellow-townsmen an opportunity of possessing an exact copy of this most beautiful and unique structure in the condition in which they and their fathers have known and admired it. He has therefore arranged with an experienced firm of engravers for the publication of a fine picture of the Town Hall as it is seen today. The engraving will be considerably larger and more costly than either of those published by C. I. a few years ago, and it will show clearly all the details of the fine flint work which forms such an attractive feature in the handsome Elizabethan front of the building. One of these pleasing and interesting pictures will be presented to every purchaser of One Pound of Tea or Five Shillings’ worth of Groceries, from Saturday, December 14th, to Tuesday, December 24th. It is earnestly hoped that all who wish to possess a copy will make application within the time specified, as only a limited number will be printed, and C. I. cannot undertake to supply a single engraving after the time advertised for presentation. 57, HIGH STREET, and 1, SATURDAY MARKET.’
On 8th December, 1883, he advertised in the Lynn Advertiser that he was presenting a ‘Pair of engravings of the Grey Friars Tower and the Red Mount instead of the Almanac usually given’ at Christmas. In addition to the more conventional advertisements, Charles Ibberson also used the ‘To be Sold’ column of the Lynn Advertiser, placing the following advertisement in the newspaper on 13th December, 1890:-
‘TO PREVENT DISAPPOINTMENT CUSTOMERS requiring a regular supply of the delicious Devonshire Butter, for which C. Ibberson is agent, are requested to intimate the same at 57, High street, or 1, Saturday Market’.
Charles and his family moved to Hunstanton, where they are found in 1891. However, he continued trading at No. 57, High Street and was a regular advertiser in the Lynn Advertiser. Charles Ibberson, “grocer, cheese factor 7 tallow chandler, High Street & 1, Saturday Market Place,” is listed in Kelly’s Directory of 1892 and he placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 14th May, 1892:-
‘MIDLAND RAILWAY, Lynn Town Station, April 28th, 1892. We have this day delivered to Mr. C. Ibberson 134 Chests, weighing six tons sixteen hundredweights, and containing ELEVEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE POUNDS OF TEA (11,695 pounds). Signed, H. DREW, Agent.
This is the largest consignment of Tea the Midland Railway Company have ever delivered in the district. It has been purchased upon an exceptionally cheap market, and shews marvellous value.
From statistics recently published by Sir Henry Peek, Bart., it appears that the consumption of Tea is now five times greater per head of the population of the United Kingdom than it was in 1840, when THE DUTY ALONE upon this ONE CONSIGNMENT of 11,695 pounds would have amounted to no less than £1,279/2/10.
According to the estimate that 240 cups may be made from one pound of Indian and Ceylon Tea, it will be found by those who care to work out a sum in simple multiplication, that no less than 2,493,790 cups may be made from this one consignment of Tea; and a further calculation will shew that TEN CUPS OF “GOLDEN TIP” TEA, AT 2/- PER POUND, COST THE CONSUMER ONLY ONE PENNY. No wonder the demand for this specialité has increased “by leaps and bounds” for the rich and poor alike can now enjoy the luxury of drinking Ibberson’s “Golden Tip” Tea AT LEAST ONCE A DAY without laying themselves ope to a charge of extravagance.
Customers are requested to ask for “Golden Tip” Tea. Sample free by post on application to C. Ibberson, Lynn.
According to a notice that he placed in the Lynn Advertiser on 14th May, 1892, Charles Ibberson received a delivery of 134 chests of tea, supposedly the largest consignment handled by the Midland Railway at that time.
In December, 1892, Charles Ibberson made the sixth of his Christmastime print offers. This time the subject was ‘The Peace Festival, as celebrated on the Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn on Friday July 22nd 1814.’ He borrowed an original print from Alderman Miles and was so proud of the copies that he sent one to the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone, who was expected to make a visit to the town the following year. He gave away one picture with every pound of ‘Golden Tip’ tea, or five shillings worth of general groceries bought between 12th December and Christmas Eve. In making this offer, he claimed that the total length of frame used for all the pictures that he had given out since opening his shop amounted to eleven miles.
Charles Ibberson also used the “For Sale” and “Miscellaneous” columns of the Lynn Advertiser to promote his business. On 6th January, 1894, he placed the following notice under the latter heading:
Deep holes having been worn in the solid asphalte of Ibberson’s shop floor by the constant tread of customers’ feet, a new floor will shortly be laid.’
On 14th December, 1895 Charles Ibberson made another Christmas print offer. That year’s offer was a print of the well-known view of ‘Lynn Regis’ from the west bank. In advertising his promotion, Charles Ibberson provided an interesting and detailed description of the scene and the buildings and historical events associated with them.
Towards the end of 1900, Charles Ibberson bought much of the stock of ornaments of William Read Pridgeon (see Nos. 103 and 103a, High Street), selling these from his two shops and promoting them as Christmas gifts. In another promotion, in August 1901, the following advertisement appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘JUNKET means a feast or banquet, and those who do not know this luxury should at once procure a bottle of Lorimer’s Rennet Powder, follow instructions, and provide a DEVONSHIRE BANQUET AT HOME. They will thus become acquainted with a wholesome, pleasant and satisfying form of taking milk, which, at no extra expense, becomes converted into a jelly custard without loss in bulk. It may be sweetened or flavoured to taste, and will be found a most attractive dish during hot weather. In Devonshire, a little nutmeg is grated over the top before serving. JUNKET is the most economical and satisfying form of milk-food; it is suitable for Luncheon, Dinner, Supper or Picnic. JUNKET can be prepared quickly, and requires no skill or trouble in cooking. JUNKET is reckoned by many an efficient substitute for cream, and may be taken with various types of stewed fruits etc. LORIMER’S RENNET POWDER, for making Junkets: In Bottles containing sufficient for 10 Gallons of Milk, 6d.’
Another promotion by Ibbersons, in November, 1901, was St. Ivel Cheese. Aplin & Barrett Ltd., of Yeovil had unveiled St. Ivel cheese for the first time at the London Dairy Show earlier that year, having spent three years in developing it. The cheese was an immediate success and the company had to expand its production rapidly to cater for the demand.
Charles Ibberson was no supporter of emancipation and risked a backlash from his women customers by publishing a cartoon in the Lynn Advertiser on 11th January, 1907, in which a man was saying ‘Votes for Women, eh! I say let the Men make the Speeches and the Women make the Tea. My tip for them is “Golden Tip”. Better put that into hot water than get into hot water themselves, as they are doing now.’
By 1891, Charles and Harriett had moved from Lynn to live in Hunstanton, at first in Clifton Terrace and then, by 1901, Boston Square. On 31st March, 1903, Charles Ibberson took over the Hunstanton tea and grocery business of Mr. E. H. Andrews, in Greevegate, when the latter moved away from the town.
On 23rd September, 1910 Charles Ibberson announced that he was moving into the next door shop, No. 56, High Street. This was to be solely retail, with the wholesale department moving into warehouses at the back of No. 1, Saturday Market Place. These had been in the ownership of Ibbersons for many years but had been leased out to Mr George Philcox, a wholesale grocer.
Charles and Harriett Ibberson moved to live in South Place, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, where he died on 21st January, 1917 1916/7, aged 62, and Harriett died in 1928/9, aged 75.
1910 – 1932 (Marks & Spencer Ltd.)
The first Marks & Spencer store in King’s Lynn opened here at No. 57, High Street in 1910, following Ibberson’s move to No. 56. In 1932 it expanded into Nos. 57 – 60, and further details of the business are given under that address.
Their first store was a typical ‘Marks & Spencer Penny Bazaar’ of the period prior to the Great War. It sold a variety of goods, from biscuits, feather dusters, frying pans, and sewing equipment to sheet music, all for 1d apart from a few luxury items. This policy followed that established by Michael Marks on his first market stall. This pricing policy continued until the start of the war in 1914. During the late 1920s and early 1930s M&S began selling clothes and food. Whilst many retailers struggled through the years leading up to and during the Great Depression, M&S bucked the trend. They had built up a large, loyal customer base and they were able to undertake a vigorous expansion plan across the UK. In the early 1930s they acquired the premises of No. 58 (Hardy’s ironmongery), No. 59 (E. G. Millett & Co. Ltd – linen shop), and No. 60 (Burtol Cleaners Ltd).
Charles and his family moved to Hunstanton, where they are found in 1891. However, he continued trading at No. 57, High Street and was a regular advertiser in the Lynn Advertiser. Charles Ibberson, “grocer, cheese factor 7 tallow chandler, High Street & 1, Saturday Market Place,” is listed in Kelly’s Directory of 1892 and he placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 14th May, 1892: