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No. 75, High Street

For very many years this was an ironmonger’s shop. In about 1934, a ladies’ fashion shop took over the premises, and in 1959 the building was incorporated into Woolworths, when their store at Nos. 73 & 74 was revamped.

 c1822 – 1888 (W. & J. Cooper)

on 26th April, 1755 the Ipswich Journal carried a notice advertising for sale or to let:-

‘The Dwelling House and Shop late Jos. Cooper’s; Painter and Colour Man in High Street, near the Tuesday Market Place in King’s Lynn…’

From the description, this would most probably have been the premises at No. 75 that in subsequent years were in the occupation of W. & J. Cooper, ironmongers, and the ownership apparently remained in the same family for over 130 years.

In May, 1755, Joseph Cooper placed a notice in the Ipswich Journal:-

‘JOSEPH COOPER, Painter, in the High Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk (At the House he lived in before his Misfortunes) Begs the continuance of his former Friends’ Custom; who may depend upon his performing all the Branches in the Painting Business upon the most reasonable terms and in much better manner than ever before in this County.’

Pigot’s directory for 1822 lists William Cooper, ironmonger at High Street (no number). In 1830 (Pigot), the business was listed here, and in 1836 White lists William and Joseph Cooper, ironmongers and iron merchants, at this address.

In White’s Directory of 1868, W & J Cooper are listed as ‘general & furnishing ironmongers, iron merchants, bell hangers, whitesmiths, &c, 75, High street’.

The firm was that of brothers William and Joseph Cooper. Neither of them lived in High Street, and there was no-one living at No. 75 in the three census years from 1871 to 1891, inclusive. William and his family lived in London Road, and Joseph lived in King Street.

William and Joseph were two of the children of William Cooper and Sarah Glasspoole, who were married in St. Margaret’s church, Lynn on 26th May, 1802.

William jnr. was born in 1804 and had married Mary (b. c1807 in Kensington) by 1831. They had at least five children, all but one being born in Lynn:-

1) Miriam (b. 1831). 2) Frances / Fanny S. (b. c1834). 3) Frederick, an engineer (b. c1836 in Hunstanton – d. 15th November, 1917, aged 82 in Marcus, Stevens County, Washington, USA). 4) Georgina Creak (b. c1838 – m. Richard Charles Francis Annett, an accountant, in 1864/5 – d. 1911, aged 72). 5) William Alfred (b. 1840/1 – m. Mary Jane Dixon in 1879).

In 1841, William was living with his wife and family in London Road. His younger brother Joseph, born in 1835, was a bachelor. In 1861, Joseph was living in King Street, next door to Alfred Dodman, the well-known Lynn engineer.

Joseph died on 4th June,1871, aged 66, and William died on 4th May,1879, aged 75.

In 1881, William Alfred Cooper, 40, the son of William and who was working as an ironmonger, was listed in the census as living in Valingers Road. He appears to have continued the business under the name of his father and uncle for a few years.

The business flourished and was considered to be one of the best ironmongers in the district. However, the family decided to dispose of it in 1888. It seems that William Alfred Cooper had given up the ironmongery business and had become a commercial traveller. He was living with his wife and family in Bromley in 1891, and died in London in 1899, aged 58.

1888 – c1934 (William Myers Couperthwaite & Sons.)

In 1888, Cooper’s business was put on the market and bought by the Couperthwaite brothers who ran it alongside their ironmongery shop at No. 23, High Street (where more details of the family may be found). In 1893 they sold the latter, consolidating their business at this address (whilst retaining the living accommodation at No. 23).

The business had been started by William Myers Couperthwaite snr. (b.c1806). Following his death in 1873, aged 68, three of his sons took over in partnership:-

1) William Myers jnr. (b. 1843/4 – d. 1909/10, aged 65). 2) Christopher (b. 1846 – d. 1890, aged 42). 3) Joseph (b. 1849 – d. 1930, aged 81).

There is no listing for No. 75 in White’s Directory for 1890. William Myers Couperthwaite & Sons were listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1892 as occupying both Nos. 23 and 75, High Street. In Kelly’s Directory for 1896 there is a misprint and the number is given as 175. They are listed as ‘Couperthwaite, William Myers & Sons, wholesale & retail ironmongers, bar iron merchants & dealers in oils, paints, colors &c’. There is a similar entry in Kelly’s Directory for 1900, with the addition of the words ‘agricultural implement agents’.

The three brothers remained bachelors all of their lives and had no descendants to take over the business. However, they appear to have almost adopted their nephew, Edward Anderson jnr. (b. 1878 – m. Catherine Jesse McLean Mackay in 1902/3 – d. 1962, aged 84), who was living with them at No. 23 in 1891, aged 13 and still a scholar. After leaving school, Edward Davison began working as an assistant to his uncles at Couperthwaites and he eventually succeeded to the business when Joseph retired.

Edward and Catherine Davison had two children:-

1) Margaret Jeany McLean (b. 1903/4 – d.1928). 2) Donald Anderson (b. 1905 – d. 1930). Donald was being trained to take over the business when he contracted pleurisy, and he died on the eve of his 25th birthday. About four years after Donald’s death, in about 1934, his father retired and Couperthwaites ceased business.

Walter, the youngest of the nine children of William Myers Couperthwaite, worked as an assistant ironmonger in the shop but did not become a partner. Born in 1885, he was living at home with his mother and three brothers in 1881. He continued to work for his brothers after his marriage in 1884/5 to Catherine Hayes (b. 1864), the daughter of Norfolk Street cooper, William Hayes. Walter worked at W. M. Couperthwaites until his death in 1906 at the age of 49. Walter and Catherine had three children:-

1) Walter Myers (b. 1885 – m. Florence Harriet Bone in 1910 – d. 1965, aged 80). 2) Arthur Joseph (b. 1886/7 – d. 1943, aged 55). 3) Ernest (b. 1889 – m. Sarah S. Wilson in 1912).

Ernest was a draper at Couperthwaite & Brown, 21, Tower Street, Lynn in 1912.

1934 – 1958 (Joys)

In June 1934, Messrs Joys Ltd., applied for permission to alter the shop premises here.

‘Joys’ ladies’ fashion shops were founded in September, 1921 in Colchester by Arthur Henry Emons. He had been in partnership with his father, Henry Edward Emons (b. 1867 in Chelsea – m. Harriett Louisa Truelove in 1889 – d. 1943, aged 76 in Suffolk) at 9, 11, 13 & 21, Westgate Street, Ipswich. They had traded under various titles, including ‘The Louvre’, ‘The famous Blouse Shop’ and ‘Emons & Son’. Their partnership was dissolved on 13th September, 1920.

Branches of ‘Joys’ were established at Chelmsford and Braintree and other East Anglian towns. Arthur was born in Kent in 1889/90. He married Doris M. Goodwin in Norwich in 1930. When he died on 23rd November, 1956, he was living at the ‘Old House’, Great Horkesley, Essex.

Two years after his death, the company was voluntarily wound-up.

In an advertisement in the Lynn News & Advertiser for 28th January, 1947, the address for their outsize shop is wrongly given as No. 93 – it should have been No. 83. This mistake was repeated in the newspaper advertisements for over three years.

1959 (F. W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd.)

In 1959, No. 75 was incorporated into Woolworths.