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No. 70, High Street

No. 70 is situated almost opposite Norfolk Street, and has a frontage width similar to the majority of High Street shops. At earlier times, there was a doorway to the right of the shop, giving access to the back. There is little depth to the property.

c1822 – 1830 (Bridget Slator)

Bridget Slator, a milliner and dressmaker, was listed here in 1830 (Pigot).  Also listed at No. 70 was James Eccles. However, he was at No. 69 for about 30 years and since Pigot had no entry for that number, it may be that only Bridget Slator was here. She had been included in Pigot’s directory for 1822 on High Street but with no number.

c1836 – 1845 (Thomas Plowright)

Listed here in 1839 (Pigot)

Thomas Plowright (b. c1813) a linen and woollen draper, was listed here in White’s directory for 1836. He died in May, 1845, aged 32.

1845 – 1847 (Plowright & Martin) (Eliza Plowright) (Henry Plowright)

Following the death of her husband Thomas, Eliza Plowright continued the business under the title of ‘Plowright & Martin’. She placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 9th August, 1845:-

‘Linen Drapery Establishment, LYNN. 70, HIGH STREET. ELIZA PLOWRIGHT in returning thanks to the friends of her late husband, and to the public in general, for the very liberal support conferred upon him, most respectfully solicits a continuance of the same on behalf of his successors, Messrs. Plowright and Martin, feeling assured that no effort will be spared on their part to secure the confidence of those who they may have the honour of supplying.’

It is not known who the Martin was in this arrangement but within two years, the business appears to be under the control of Henry Plowright, who sold it off in September, 1847:-

‘SELLING OFF, 70, High Street, Lynn. Henry Plowright respectfully informs the Public that he is about declining business, and particularly invites their attention to his stock of LINEN DRAPERY, Hosiery, Haberdashery, Mercery, &c, which he intends offering at UNPRECEDENTED LOW PRICES, in order to effect an immediate clearance. Sale to commence on Monday next. OBSERVE, 70, High Street, nearly opposite Norfolk Street. THE SHOP & PREMISES TO LET.’

 1849 – 1852 (Josiah Baker)

Josiah Baker, a linen and woollen draper, silk mercer, hosier and haberdasher opened a shop here on 5th February, 1849 and stayed until 1852. Born in Fakenham in about 1826, he was living on the premises in 1851 with his wife Mary Day (b. c1821 in Lynn) and their two eldest children.

Josiah was the eldest son of William Baker (b. c1800 in Fakenham – d. 1869, aged 69) and his wife Eleanor Leveridge (b. c1803 in Isleham, Cambridgeshire – d. 1864, aged about 61). William was a baker in Norwich Street, Fakenham. He and Eleanor married at Sculthorpe on 23rd July, 1822, and had four children, all born in Fakenham:-

1) Josiah – see below (b. 10/02/1826 – m. Mary Day Rowe on 04/10/1848 – d. 1883, aged 56). 2) Louisa (b. c1833 – m. Fakenham solicitor Robert Cates in 1856/7 – d. 1893, aged 63). 3) Joshua (b. c1837 – d. 1848, aged about 11). 4) Joseph, a Fakenham ironmonger (b. 1839 – m. Frances Christina Smith in 1863 – d. 1904, aged 65).

Josiah remained in Fakenham until at least 1841. By 1849, he had married and moved to Lynn where he established his drapery business here at No. 70, where he lived on the premises. By 1851, the business was well established and he had two drapery assistants, one apprentice, two house servants and a nurse all living in. While in Lynn, Josiah and Mary Day had four children:-

1) Mary Jane (b. 18/08/1849). 2) William Carse (b. 10/10/1850). 3) Alice Carse (b. 19/11/1852). 4) Rachael Carse (b. c1855).

Josiah left Lynn in about 1855, giving up the drapery business and taking up farming. In 1861 the family were living at Bridge House, Litcham, and he was farming 240 acres, employing five men and four boys. While here, he and Mary had another son, Frederick Carse (b. c1863).

In 1869, Mary Day Baker died aged 46. Josiah moved to Swanton-Morley, where he died in 1883, aged 56.

 1855 (Dunsford & Suggett)

Dunsford & Suggett were a Norwich dental partnership who visited Lynn on a regular basis, renting rooms at No. 70 in 1855. The partners were James Dunsford (b. c1825 in London – m. Mary Ann Louisa Richards in 1844 and Louisa Steward in 1869 – d. 1890, aged 65), and John Suggett (b. c1816 – m. Hannah Beesley in 1868 – d. 1883, aged 70). John was the nephew of Henry Woodcock, a Norwich dental surgeon, magistrate and mayor of the city in 1849/50 and the following year.

 1853 – 1862 (John Land Fysh)

John Land Fysh (b. c1821 – d. 1908/9) a hosier, haberdasher and glover, was here between January, 1853 and 1871. Previously he had been at No. 58, where more details of his family will be found. The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 8th January, 1853:-

‘Notice of Removal. 58, High Street, Lynn.L. FYSH having obtained more commodious and convenient Premises, No. 70 HIGH STREET, recently occupied by Mr. J. Baker, informs his many patrons and the public that, as soon as the alterations he intends making are completed, he shall open them with an increased Stock in every branch of his trade. J.L.F. would also correct an erroneous impression that has spread, and explicitly state that it is not his intention to conduct any other kind of business than that he has hitherto conducted on his old premises. He would solicit attention at 58, HIGH STREET, to his Stock of Fancy Ribbons, Flowers, Laces, Blondes, etc., adapted for Ladies’ Evening Dress. Gentlemen’s Ties, Cravats of every description of fabric. LADIES’ and GENTLEMEN’s WHITE KID GLOVES.’

The following year Mr. Fysh opened millinery and bonnet rooms as an extra department in his shop. The expansion of his business was reflected in an increase in staff. He engaged a young lady with London experience to manage the new department and advertised for two apprentices to assist her. He was now advertising as a shirt, shirt front and collar maker, and drew attention to his stock of clothes for men:-

‘TO GENTLEMEN. L. FYSH wishes to say that he will also on the above date (13th May, 1854) show a very select and large stock of: Once-Round Scarfs, Cravats, Ties, Fancy Cricket Belts, Cricket Shirts and Flannels, of every Colour, and White Thread, Silk and Cotton Half Hose and Hose, Under Vests, Drawers and Pantaloons for Summer Wear.’

By 1856, the millinery department was under the charge of Mrs. J. L. Fysh (Margaret), who advertised her spring display in May that year. Mr. Fysh placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 3rd January, 1857:-

‘The Best Fitting Shirt in the World is the ALPHA SHIRT, which is to be obtained only of J. L. FYSH, 70, High Street, King’s Lynn. Cash Prices: No. 1. 6 for 30s; with Collars, 1s 6d extra. No. 2. 6 for 40s; with Collars, 1s 6d extra.’

By October 1860, the business was running into financial trouble, and the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘70, HIGH STREET, LYNN. Now Selling the Whole of J. L. FYSH’S STOCK, which is now being offered at AN ENORMOUS REDUCTION, preparatory to disposing of the Business.’

He closed the millinery department in March 1861 but a year later he was declared bankrupt. On 16th May that year, all of his furniture and effects were sold alongside his shop fittings and trade utensils.

John Fysh moved to London with his family and worked as an agent for a boot company. In 1901 he was living in Willesden, where he died in 1909, aged 87.

 1862 – 1892 (Philip Self)

‘P. Self’s Great Boot Shop’ opened here in 1862, and he was listed here in Kelly’s PO Directory for 1865.

No. 70 was recorded as a shoe shop in the 1871 census, with nobody living on the premises.

Philip Self  jnr. was born in Lynn in 1845. His father, Philip Self snr. was a cabinet maker, born in Wisbech in about 1816, who had arrived in Lynn by 1841, when he was living in the vicinity of the Queen’s Arms on High Street. No numbers are given in that year’s census and he may have been in one of the yards off High Street.

Philip Self snr. married Eliza Sharpe (b. c1818 in Spilsby, Lincolnshire) in Lynn in 1840/1. They had seven children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Richard (b. c1839). 2) Eliza (b. c1841). 3) John (b. 1843). 4) Philip jnr. – see below (b. 1845 – m. Fanny Amelia Wilson in 1855 – d. 1926, aged 80). 5) Robert (b. 1847 – d. 1853).  6) Elizabeth (b. 1851/2 – m. Richard McMullon, a commercial traveller, in 1874 – d. 1916, aged 62). 7) Lucy (b. 1856 – m. Hubert Procter Wilson, a watch maker & jeweller in 1879 – d. 1924, aged 69).

Philip Self snr. died in Lynn in 1873, aged 56, and Eliza died in 1882/3, aged 67.

Philip Self jnr. trained as a cabinet maker and was working as such in 1871. However, within the next four years he had changed trades and was making boots and shoes. He married Fanny Amelia Wilson (b. 1855 in Penrith, Cumberland) in 1855 and they had nine children, the first six born in Lynn, the last three born in Reading, Berkshire:-

1) Alice Mary (b. 1878). 2) Ernest Theodore Wilson (b. 1880/1 – d. 1861/2, aged 81). 3) George Wilson, a bank clerk (b. 1885 – d. 1967, aged 82). 4) Ethel Annie (b. 1883 – m. William E. Marshall in 1912). 5) Fanny Louisa (b. 1886). 6) Mary Helen (b. 1888 – d. 1961, aged 72). 7) Grace Eleanor (b. 1892/3). 8) Evelyn May (b. 1897). 9) Annie Gertrude (b. 1899).

In Kelly’s Directory for 1875, Philip Self’s boot & shoe warehouse is listed here, and his business is in the directories up to and including 1892. The family lived on the premises and are recorded in the censuses for 1881 and 1891. In the Lynn News for 7th November 1885, Philip Self advertised the sale of boots and shoes salvaged after a fire at the premises.

In about 1892, Philip left Lynn and set up business in Reading. The family lived at ‘Cumberland Lodge’, Western Elms Avenue.

Fanny Amelia died aged 52 in 1908, in Sussex, and Philip died in 1925/6, aged 80.

c1892 – c1895 (The Phonograph)

For a time, the shop here was called “The Phonograph”. The evidence for this comes from the notice of removal to this address placed in the Lynn Advertiser by Alfred Everard Pank (see below).

1895 – 1905 (Alfred Everard Pank)

The fruit and seed merchant Alfred Everard Pank moved here from No. 61 in 1895, placing the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘NOTICE OF REMOVAL – ALFRED  EVERARD  PANK – Wholesale and Retail Fruit  and  Seed  Merchant Has Removed to Larger and More Commodious Premises – No.  70  HIGH  STREET (Lately Occupied by The Phonograph) Also at 1, WINDSOR ROAD and FERN NURSERIES, GOODWINS ROAD’.

Curiously, Alfred Everard Pank was listed at Windsor Road as a “plumber, decorator and grazier” (sic), in Kelly’s Directory of 1892.

Alfred Everard Pank was born in Lynn in 1861. More details of his family are given under No. 61.

In September, 1905 the shop was advertised to let or for sale.

 1905 – 1927 (William Henry Cockle)

For about fifteen years, chemist William Henry Cockle had a shop at No. 59, High Street, where more details of his family may be found. He moved here in 1905.

One of the products that he advertised was waterglass for preserving eggs. Waterglass was a name for Sodium silicate. Fresh eggs immersed in waterglass are kept fresh because the bacteria that cause them to spoil are kept out. It was used throughout the early years of the 20th century.

For very many years William Cockle had been making and fitting spectacles and in 1910 and 1911 he started to advertise as having passed the highest examination of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. His spectacles were priced from 1/6 to 21/-.

In June 1913, William Cockle included below his address the words ‘The Old Premises again’. He had been forced out of No. 70 following a fire in May and had taken temporary accommodation in a shop on the opposite side of High Street, No. 62. Following the fire, he had his premises refurbished and the sight testing facilities were remodelled and fitted with the latest equipment.

William Cockle continued to practice as an optician and as a chemist and also catered for the photographer, stocking cameras and photographic necessities. He retired from business in 1927, continuing to live in Lynn, at 121, Gaywood Road. He died on 27th August, 1954, aged 90.

 1928 – 1951 (Walter Joseph Adlam)

Born in Lynn on 25th May, 1901, Walter Joseph Adlam was a chemist and an optician, with premises here from 1928 until about 1951, at which date he was working only as an ophthalmic optician. He then moved to No. 65a, High Street. Later still (c1966) he was at No. 56a.

His father, Walter Adlam (b. 1876 in Norwich), was the manager of a tobacconist’s shop at 117 High Street (1901), and at 112 High Street (1911). Details about him and his family will be found at No. 117.

Walter Joseph Adlam married Doris Marjorie Le Grice (b. 1901 in Lynn) in 1924. She was the daughter of Charles Clement Le Grice (see Nos. 21 & 22, High Street).

Walter and Doris had three children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Basil Walter (b. 1925 – m. Mavis Walker in 1949 – d. 1995, aged 46). 2) Marjorie (b. 1928 – m. Gordon Howell in 1950).

Walter Adlam died in 1985, aged 83.

1953 – Current date (H. Samuel Ltd.)

Samuel Ltd., the jewellers, opened a branch here in November, 1953, announcing on 27th of that month:-

‘Opening Soon! H. SAMUEL The Up-To-Date Jewel Centre at 70, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN. Final touches are just being made to these truly modern showrooms, where in comfortable, well-lit surroundings, H. SAMUEL hopes to have the pleasure of showing you his unrivalled selection of fine watches and beautiful jewellery. Samuel – The Empire’s Largest Jeweller – Over 100 Branches.’

The Samuel family had Norfolk connections.

The business of H. Samuel was named after Harriet Samuel. In 1862 she took over the Liverpool clock-making and jewellery business started by her father-in-law, Moses Samuel (b. 1795 in London – d. 1860). By 1853, her husband Walter had taken over his father’s business and he is listed in Gore’s directory for that year. Similar listings appear in Slater’s directories for 1855 and 1859.  In 1861, Harriet and Walter were living over the shop at 20, Paradise Street, Liverpool. Moses died that year and Walter died in 1863. Harriet was not a maker of watches but did buy them in with her name on them

Moses Samuel is listed at 15, Cornwallis Street, Liverpool in Bains’ directory for 1824 and in Gore’s for 1825. He had moved to 104, St. James Street by 1829 (Gore) and to 75 & 82, Paradise Street by 1837 (Pigot). As well as being a watchmaker, Moses Samuel was a Hebrew scholar and a linguist and is best known for his interpretation and translation of the works of Moses Mendelssohn. He married Harriet Israel (b. 1793 – d. 1843) in 1821 and they had two daughters and three sons. All the sons married daughters of Schreiner Wolf of Great Yarmouth.

Harriet Samuel was born in Great Yarmouth in about 1835, the daughter of Shreiner and Matilda Wolf. Shreiner Wolf was born in Germany in about 1799 and became a British Subject. Matilda, who was born in London c1809, worked with him as a jeweller and they lived in Broad Row, Great Yarmouth before moving to London and then to Manchester. In 1851 the family were living at 2, Albert Place in Manchester and Shreiner was listed as a ‘curiosity dealer’. Shreiner and Matilda Wolf had at least eleven children, the first nine being born in Great Yarmouth:-

1) Sarah (b. c1829). 2) Rachel (b. c1830 – m. Henry Samuel in 1850). 3) Joseph (b. c1832). 4) Aaron (b. c1834). 5) Harriet – see below (b. c1835 – m. Walter Samuel in 1852 – d. 1908, aged 73). 6) George, a cape merchant (b. c1837 – m. Bertha probably in the USA – d. 1914, aged 77). 7) Emma (b. c1839 – m. Alfred Samuel in 1855). 8) Ann (b. c1841). 9) Isaac, a jeweller (b. c1843 – m. Bloom Philips in 1862/3 – d. 1908, aged about 66). 10) Frederick (b. c1846 in London). 11) Herbert, an auctioneer in 1881, a merchant exporter in fancy goods in 1911 (b. c1853 in Manchester – m. Ellie White in 1874/5).

Shreiner Wolf died in Liverpool in 1859, aged about 60.

Walter and Harriet Samuel had five children, all born in Liverpool:-

1) Evelina (b. 1853). 2) Florence (b. 1855 – m. Moses Raife in 1882 – d. 1915, aged 60). 3. Arthur Harrington (b. 1857 – d. 1938, aged 81). 4) Edgar, a watch maker and diamond merchant (b. 4th May, 1861 – m. Ethel Julia Cohen on 19th January, 1897 – d. c1932 in Switzerland). 5) Lucille (b. 1862).

Harriet stayed in Liverpool for several years after Walter’s death in 1863, but had moved to Withington, Manchester, by 1881. At this latter date she was still working for the company but by 1891 she had retired. H. Samuel was by then a well-established retail chain, with shops spreading across the country, as reflected in their advertisement in the Manchester Evening News for 1st February, 1890:-

‘LARGEST SALE IN THE WORLD. ALL LANCASHIRE wears H. Samuel’s Watches. YORKSHIRE will have none but H. Samuels’s Watches. WALES purchases only H. Samuel’s Watches. ALL THE WORLD joins in acknowledging the unparalleled excellence and sterling worth of H. SAMUEL’s CELEBRATED WATCHES’

Edgar Samuel was later known as Edgar Samuel Edgar, and married under that name in 1897. His sons, Gilbert Harold Samuel (b. 1897/8 – m. Eileen Victoria Samuel in 1923 – d. 1978, aged 80) and Robert Rex Samuel (b. 1900 – m. Esme Sophie Levy in 1935 – d. 1979, aged 79) became chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of H. Samuel after the Second World Ward.

Gilbert, who married a direct descendant of Louis Samuel, the elder brother of Moses, was a Sheriff of the City of London and was awarded a CBE for political and public services. After the brothers’ deaths, Robert’s son took over as chairman and in 1984 led the acquisition of the James Walker Group.

Today, H. Samuel is part of the Signet Jewelers Ltd., and has almost 400 shops nationwide.