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No. 74, High Street

Up to about 1854, No. 74 was a separate shop with workshops and storage for cabinet makers and upholsterers. It was later taken over by a brush manufacturer until 1888, when Trenowath Brothers took possession and joined it with No. 73 (see Nos. 73 – 74).

c1826 – 1846 (William Perkins)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists William Perkins, a cabinet maker and mahogany dealer, at this address.

In an advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 29th March, 1842 he listed his prices for a set of mahogany chairs with upholstered seats (£4 18s 0d), a mahogany chest of drawers (£1 9s 0d), a mahogany Grecian sofa with loose squab and bolsters (£4 15s 0d), a set of six bedroom chairs (15/0), and a leather easy chair (£2 8s 0d). He had a mahogany yard at West Lynn and offered ‘Mahogany Inch Boards suitable for counter boards and now so much used for Coffins instead of Wainscot, as no joints are required, from 7d per foot.’

William Perkins was the trustee for the estate of another High Street cabinet maker, Wainwright Smith (see No. 105) and auctioned off the latter’s stock in trade, household furniture, fittings and effects in June, 1843.

In the Lynn Advertiser for 17th August, 1844, he placed the following notice:-

‘Views of Hunstanton on Paper Hangings’ for rooms may be obtained from Mr. W. Perkins Upholstery warehouse, High Street. (Views include the church; the Hall; the Cliff-lighthouse).’

William Perkins was born in St. Pancras in about 1802. He was living here at No. 74 in 1841 with his wife Ellen (née Miller), who had been born in Norfolk in about 1806. They had three children, all born in Lynn:-

1) William Miller, a shipbroker (b. 10/10/1830). 2) Frederick John, a piano manufacturer (b. 1837 – m. Emma Vaughan in 1858 – d. 1901, aged 64). 3) Louisa Ellen Mary (b. 1839 – m. Henry Leneve Roff on 19/03/1859 – d. 1928, aged 88).

William retired from business in 1846, at the age of about 45. On August the 8th that year, he placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘ EXTENSIVE STOCK OF Cabinet Furniture, Glasses, Paper Hangings, Floor Cloths, etc., 74, High Street, Lynn. W. PERKINS, in announcing his intention of retiring from business at Michaelmas next, begs to inform his Friends and the Public generally, that in consequence of reducing the Stock for his Successor it is his determination to SELL FOR CASH at such Prices as DEFY COMPETITION. Also some excellent Plots of FREEHOLD GROUND for Building, in WEST LYNN, fronting the Harbour. A ticket of the Lynn Subscription Library be disposed of.’

William and Ellen went to live in Denmark Hill, Lambeth. Ellen died in 1848 and William married Isabella Leneve Roff a year later. In 1861 they were living in Brighton but moved to Croydon by 1871.

William died on 19th July, 1874, aged 72, and Isabella died in 1877, aged 69.

c1847 – 1856 (Uriah Giscard / De Guiscard)

Uriah Giscard is listed here in Slater’s directory for 1850, as a cabinet maker, and a mahogany and timber merchant. Born in Ely in about 1820, Uriah had been living in Norfolk Street in 1841.

In 1845 he married Eliza Kerkham (b. c1820 in Terrington). They had six children, all born in Lynn and registered under the surname ‘De Guiscard’ (with some variations):-

1) Alphonso Kerkham (b. 1846). 2) Frank William (b. 1847/8 – died in infancy). 3) Antoinette Eliza (b. 1848/9 – died in infancy). 4) Egbert Julian (b. 1851). 5) Ephraim (b. 1852 – died in infancy). 6) Manasseh (b. 1852 – died in infancy).

Uriah was listed again in White’s directory for 1854 but has not been traced after that date. The premises were offered for sale or let by Mr. Perkins of Denmark Hill, London (see William Perkins above), in an advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser for 3rd May, 1856:-

‘EXTENSIVE Freehold Premises, 74, High Street, King’s Lynn. To be Sold or Let, All those spacious and desirable PREMISES now in the occupation of Mr. Giscard, Upholsterer, Cabinet-maker, etc., and for 20 years previously by Mr. Perkins, situated in the very best part of the town, and comprising a lofty DWELLING HOUSE, large FRONT SHOP, Wood Yards, Stables, Sheds, Saw-pit, and Carriage-way, extending through to King Street, most of which was burnt down and rebuilt in 1851. Possession may be had when the present lease expires at Michaelmas next. It will not be compulsory to take any Stock; it is, therefore, suitable for a Draper pr any other business requiring extensive premises. Address, Mr. Perkins, Denmark-hill, London.’

 1856 (John Farmer)

It would appear that John Farmer, a cabinet maker and upholsterer, occupied the premises for a very short time before moving to No. 67, High Street, where more details of his family will be found. He placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 18th October, 1856:-

‘JOHN FARMER, Cabinet, Chair & Sofa Manufacturer, UPHOLSTERER, PAPER-HANGER, etc. Begs most respectfully to inform the Inhabitants of Lynn and its vicinity that he is ABOUT TO REMOVE FROM 74, HIGH STREET, OPPOSITE NORFOLK STREET, TO 67, Five Doors off Tuesday Market Place.’

 1856 – 1881 (Birch & Son)

Birch & Son, brush makers, moved their retail shop from No. 61 High Street to No. 74 in about 1856. Two years later, they moved their manufactory here from Blackfriars Road.

On 2nd January, 1858, Birch & Son placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘Removal of Business, BIRCH & SON, Blackfriars’ Road and 74, High Street, Lynn, Respectfully inform their friends and the public that they have removed their Manufacturing Business from the Blackfriars’ Road to the large and commodious warehouses at the back of and immediately adjoining their retail Shop, 74, High Street, where wholesale buyers will find an extensive assortment of brushes always on hand, and all orders executed on the shortest notice. N.B. Please to observe the passage leading to the wholesale department by the side of the Retail Shop. December 23rd, 1857.’

These were the premises of Birch & Son, brush manufacturers, who also ran a fancy repository and toy shop here. The retail shop had moved here a little earlier, probably in late 1857. Their brush works were in Blackfriars Road until they moved them here in 1858.

Birch & Son had a shop, and a toy factory at No. 61 between about 1845 and 1858 and more details of the family may be found at that address.

Amongst the goods that they sold was this croquet set offered in the Lynn Advertiser on 13th August, 1864:-

‘The Club Size Game of CROQUET is now sold in a cedar wood box complete, warranted of the best wood, well painted (in oil colours) and varnished, at 25s, not surpassed by those advertised in London at 45s. BIRCH & SON, 74, High Street, Lynn. Croquet Balls or Hammers sold separately.’

In 1871, Anna Maria Weston, 34, and her 25 year-old sister, both unmarried and working as assistants in the fancy shop, lived here. They later opened their own baby linen shop (see No. 95, High Street).

Birch & Son advertised a ‘Vapour Bath Chair’ on 5th February, 1876 in the Lynn Advertiser:-

’74, High Street, King’s Lynn. BIRCH & SON’S Vapour Bath Chair. This chair occupies about the same space as an ordinary arm chair. Its application is very simple, immediately affecting the pores of the skin. No colds (the precursor of most diseases) can resist it; while many permanent complaints yield to its power. It strengthens the weak, invigorates the feeble, is a safe and beneficial luxury for the strong; no family should be without one. PRICE, complete (either for ordinary fire-place or where gas is used), with full instructions, 35/- each.’

 There was nobody living on the premises in 1881, and Birch & Son’s business premises were sold at auction on 8th September that year:-

‘First-class business property in High Street, King’s Lynn, and Factory and buildings in Railway Road, King’s Lynn. MESSRS. MILES and SON are instructed to sell by auction at the Globe Hotel, King’s Lynn, on Thursday the 8th Sept. 1881, at six for seven o’clock in the evening, precisely, the above-mentioned VALUABLE PROPERTY.

Lot 1. – All that messuage and shop in High Street, with the large workshop and buildings at the rear, leading into King Street, the same being now in the occupation of Messieurs Birch and Son. The above forms, both from the size and position, one of the most commanding business premises in Lynn. It is situated at the northern end of High Street (to which trade is now tending) immediately opposite Norfolk Street near the Tuesday Market, having communication direct with King Street, at the back.’

Birch & Son appear in the Directory of 1883 but had vacated the premises prior to that year.

The business had been started by James Ouvry Birch (b. c1785 – d. 1855) and was continued after his death by his son Benjamin Thomas (b. c1820 – m. Lucy Royston in 1843).

Benjamin and Lucy Birch retired to live in Brighton and both died in 1893, aged 73 and 71 respectively.

1888 – 1922 (Trenowath Brothers)

Trenowath Bros. were advertising here in 1888, their advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser of 25th August giving the address as 74, High Street (The White Shop facing Norfolk Street). They had taken over No. 73 as well by about 1889.

There were three distinct trading arms within the Trenowath Brothers’ partnership:-

  1. Tomson Trenowath’s drapery business (At No. 109 – later at No. 110 and also, for a time, at 108–110, High Street).
  2. Arthur Trenowath’s drapery business (At No. 143, Norfolk Street).
  3. Walter Trenowath’s furniture and removals business (At No. 110 until 1888 when they moved to No. 74. From 1889 they were at Nos. 73 & 74, High Street and from 1922 they were at King Street).

Details of Walter Trenowath’s business and family are given under Nos. 73 & 74, High Street.