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No. 81, High Street and Library Court

c1822 –  c1840 (Charles Rivett)

Charles Rivett, a perfumer, was listed at High Street (no number) in Pigot’s directory for 1822. In both 1830 (Pigot) and 1836 (White) he was listed as a perfumer and a hairdresser at No. 81. There were two further listings for No. 81 in 1836; Ellen Rivett, a straw hat maker, and George Thompson, Surveyor of Taxes.

Charles was married twice. His first wife was Ellen Earish, whom he married on 18th August, 1825 in Lynn. They had five children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Harriett – a milliner (b. 1826 – d. 1907, aged 79). 2) John – a hairdresser (b. 1827 – d. 1870/1, aged 41). 3) Katherine – a milliner (b. c1831 – m. John Bevan in 1852 – d. 1875, aged 45). 4) Jane (b. c1833). 5) James (b. c1835).

Following Ellen’s death, between 1835 and 1837, Charles married Anne Sarah Grundy at St. Margarets church on 16th November, 1837.

Anne Rivett died between 1851, when Charles was registered as married, and 1861 when he was a widower.

Charles had moved out of High Street by 1841 and continued working as a hairdresser from No. 22, New Conduit Street. Two of his children, Harriet (b. c1827 in Lynn – d. 1907, aged 79) and Catherine (b. c1831 in Lynn), ran a millinery shop from the New Conduit Street premises for a short time and are listed in Slater’s directory for 1850. One of Charles’ sons, John Rivett (b. c1827 – d. 1870/1, aged 41) also became a hairdresser – see No. 53, High Street.

Charles Rivett died in 1879/80, aged 80.

1842 (R. Horne)Horne advertised the sale of a large stock of glass and china at his auction mart at No. 81. The sale started on Monday 23rd May and was held over the next 20 days (excluding Sundays). It seems probable that these sales were held in the yard and buildings to the rear of the premises.

c1840 – 1851 (William Sims)

Listed as a linen and woollen draper in Slater’s Directory for 1850, William Sims had been living at No. 38a in 1838 but was occupying the shop at No. 81, High Street by 1841, and stayed here until his death in 1851.

Born in Litcham, Norfolk, his parents were William Sims (an innkeeper in 1843) and Sarah Dunger, who had at least three children:-

1) Sarah (b. 1798 – d. 10th May, 1838 in Lynn). 2) William – see below (b. 1799 – m. Elizabeth Brightwell on 03/10/1836 – d. 1851, aged 51). 3) Edward – see No. 93 (b. c1806 – m. Charlotte West in 1830 and Esther Thompson née Docking in 1843 – d. 1847).

William and his wife Elizabeth had three children, all born in Lynn; 1. William Allison (b. 1837 – d. 1853). 2. John Brightwell, a dyer’s labourer in Leicester c1911 (b. 1839 – m. Elless Clark in 1861 – d. 1921, aged 81). 3. Elizabeth, a governess in 1871 (b. 1842).

William Sims died in 1851, aged 51. Following his death, his widow Elizabeth went to London where she worked as matron at the St. George the Martyr Industrial School in Southwark and at the Asylum for Fatherless Children in Coulsdon.

c1846 (Thomas Pung)

Listed in Kelly’s Nine Counties Directory for 1846 at No. 81 was watch and clock maker Thomas Pung. He may have rented space here for a short time before establishing his shop at No. 54, where more details of him and his family may be found.

1854 – 1972 (Daniel Catlin Burlingham) (Samuel Southall Burlingham) (Daniel Frederick Burlingham) (S. S. Burlingham Ltd.) (Burlingham & Lloyd Ltd.)

Burlinghams, the watch and clockmakers and jewellers, had a presence on High Street longer than any other family business. In the later years they had a separate department, as ophthalmic opticians.

The family also claimed a very much longer trading presence in the town, via Daniel Catlin of Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, who came to Lynn in about 1727. In the Norfolk Chronicle there were many advertisements for patent medicines that were sold by Daniel Catlin of Lynn, and other tradesmen, in the period around the 1770s – 80s. Daniel Catlin was a prominent member of the Society of Friends, as were many of his descendants.

The following notice appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle on 30th May, 1818:-

‘ALL Persons having any claim on the Effects of the late DANIEL CATLIN, Watch Maker and Silversmith, of Lynn, Norfolk. Deceased, are requested to send an account thereof to Thomas Gales and John Catlin, Executors, or to Elizabeth Catlin, his Executrix, of Lynn aforesaid, that the same may be discharged; and all persons who stood indebted to the said Daniel Catlin at the time of his decease, are requested to pay their respective debts, within one month from the date thereof, to the said executor or executrix – At the same time they respectfully inform the friends of the deceased and the public that they intend carrying on the trade in all its branches for the benefit of the family, having engaged the same assistants employed by the late Daniel Catlin. The Stock is excellent and well chosen; consisting of an elegant assortment of Gold and Silver Watches and Time Pieces, Eight–day Clocks in Mahogany and wainscot cases, with a large assortment of Silver Plate, Jewellery, Cutlery, etc., well worth the attention of the public; and they do trust, by strict attention, to merit a continuance of the favours so liberally conferred on the late Daniel Catlin.’

The Burlinghams were Worcestershire glove makers and the two businesses came together when John Burlingham married Elizabeth Catlin. For some years John and Elizabeth ran a combined glove and watch making business at 4, Tuesday Market Place. Both sides of the business were listed in Pigot’s directory for 1822.

Daniel Catlin Burlingham

Daniel Catlin Burlingham was born at No. 4, Tuesday Market Place, Lynn in 1823, the son of John Burlingham and Elizabeth Catlin. When John Burlingham died in about 1833, Elizabeth continued the watch and clock making side of the business until her death in 1849, when Daniel took over the business. He stayed at the Tuesday Market Place premises until his marriage in 1854 to Priscilla Southall in Hereford.

Priscilla had been born in Leominster in about 1828, and she and Daniel had eight children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Daniel Catlin, a doctor (b. 1855 – m. Edith Rowlands in 1893 – d. 1912, aged 57). 2) Samuel Southall (b. 1856 – see below). 3) Priscilla Mary (known as Mary) (b. 1859 – d. 1948, aged 90). 4) Joseph Sturge, a watch maker at Peterborough c1911 (b. 1860 – m. Florence Winifred Follows in 1903 – d. 1946, aged 85). 5) Lucy Elizabeth (b. 1862 – m. Thomas William Richardson in 1893 – d. 1913, aged 50). 6) John – emigrated to Canada (b. 1864 – m. 1887). 7) Alfred (b. 1865/6 – d. 1898, aged 32). 8) Anna Sophia (b. 1869 – m. Thomas Seekings in 1899 – d. 1909, aged 40).

In December, 1880, Daniel Burlingham advertised a sale in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘SALE, AT THE OLD SUBSCRIPTION LIBRARY ROOM, 81, HIGH STREET, LYNN. D. C. BURLINGHAM will offer, at greatly Reduced Prices, an assortment of CABINET, CHINA, GLASS, FANCY and other GOODS suitable for PRESENTS. Open from 12 to 8 pm, Tuesday, December 14th, till end of the year.’

It is clear from this advertisement that Daniel Burlingham had some ownership or leasehold use of the Library Court buildings.

In 1881, he was employing six men, including his 20-year-old son, Joseph. Aged 61, he was still here in 1891 with his wife and three children. On 30th July, 1892, Daniel placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘A GOOD ROOM to Let, Library Court, 81, High Street, Lynn 1/6 per week – Inquire at Mr. Burlingham’s side door.’

Daniel Catlin Burlingham appears to have held the reins of the business until just before his death in 1901.

Samuel Southall Burlingham – S. S. Burlingham Ltd.

Although it was Daniel’s son Joseph who followed him into the watch-making business, it was his second son, Samuel Southall, who became manager of the business at No. 81. However, Samuel had started out as a grocer, and had been working as a wholesale tea dealer in Leeds in 1891. In 1897, he married Ellen Follows (b. c1866 in Manchester). He lived and worked in Lancashire and Yorkshire for a number of years before moving back to Lynn in about 1901. In the census for that year he was living at 14, Roseberry Avenue, Gaywood, and was recorded as a ‘Silversmith’s and jeweller’s manager’. On 1st April, 1901, just a day after the census had been taken, his father Daniel Catlin Burlingham died, at the age of 77, and Samuel succeeded to the business. Samuel and Ellen had two children:-

1) Winifred Mary (b. 1897/8 in Settle, Yorkshire). 2) Alfred (b. 1900/1 in Gaywood).

Ellen’s sister, Florence Winifred Follows, married Samuel’s brother, Joseph Sturge Burlingham, in 1903.

Samuel Burlingham developed the business and registered it as S. S. Burlingham Ltd. – the name it retained until it was dissolved in 1972.

Samuel also added a separate branch of the business to accommodate sight testing and the supply and fitting of spectacles (see also at ‘Library Court’). In June, 1910, he announced that he had passed the exams in visual optics and sight-testing of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and that he had fitted out a ‘PRIVATE ROOM FOR SIGHT-TESTING, with a full 6-metre range, and is prepared to test carefully and thoroughly the eyes of any whose sight may be in the least defective, or who, whilst having good sight, find that reading and close work is liable to make the eyes tired and bring on head-ache. No charge will be made unless glasses are required.’

Daniel Frederick Burlingham

Following Samuel’s death in January 1927, at the age of 70, his widow Ellen and the other executors of his estate continued the business without a change in the name of S. S. Burlingham Ltd. Eventually, Samuel’s nephew Daniel Frederick Burlingham succeeded as managing director, and the business continued under the same company name.

He was the son of Joseph Sturge Burlingham, who married his brother Samuel’s sister-in-law, Florence Winifred Follows in 1903. Joseph and Florence had two sons, both born in Peterborough:-

1) Daniel Frederick (b. 27/06/1905 – m. Gladys Delphine Oldham on 19/09/1929 – d. 1982, aged 76). 2) Frank Sturge (b. 02/03/1908 – d. 1982, aged 74).

Educated at the Friends’ School, Bootham, York, Daniel had later qualified as an ophthalmic and dispensing optician and had been associated with the optical department of S. S. Burlingham for some time. He was an active member of the Lynn Chamber of Trade, and after several years serving as secretary he became president in 1937. The following year he was elected as a Borough Councillor, having stood as an Independent candidate in the Middle Ward. He was the youngest member of the corporation at that date.

Under Daniel’s management, the two side of the business grew. In May, 1938, he bought the stock of retired jeweller J. H. Empson (see No. 54), and then brought in the London jewellery auctioneers Herbert Platt & Son to sell off the entire stock of the two companies (S. S. Burlingham & J. H. Empson) prior to undertaking the re-organisation of the business and alterations to the premises. In 1942, following the death of Mr. T. J. Galt, chemist and optician, he acquired the latter half of the business. By 1940, S. S. Burlingham Ltd., held a Warrant of Appointment as Clockmakers and, following the King’s death in 1952, they were granted the Warrant ‘By Appointment to the late King George VI’, which they held until the business was voluntarily liquidated in 1972.

Daniel Burlingham served as a Justice of the Peace from 1942 until his retirement in January, 1976, and was Chairman of the Bench for 19 years. He also spent 15 years serving as treasurer to the Lynn Preservation Trust.

1973 (Croydon & Sons Ltd.)

The next shop to open at No. 81 was another jeweller’s, Croydon & Sons Ltd.

 Library Court

The buildings at the side and back of No. 81, accessed by the passage named ‘Library Court’, included Nos. 81a and 81b, where the optician’s side of S. S. Burlingham and Burlingham & Lloyd had their address. The Burlingham’s private accommodation was accessed via a side door in the courtyard. For several years there was a separate watch and clock makers business in Library Court in premises that included living accommodation

Lynn’s first subscription library was housed in the ground floor rooms of the building at the back of the courtyard. It was established in 1797. By about 1812, the membership of the library had reached 100 and there were over 1,400 books. In 1850 (Slater) the Rev. John Bransby was librarian and John Skippon (b. c1770 in Middleton – d. 1854/5, aged about 84) was sub-librarian.

In later years, the buildings were used as a school, a doctor’s consulting rooms, a warehouse for Messrs. C. Winlove Smith Ltd., and for the Church of England Young Men’s Society.

1850 – c1882 (William Cawston) (Sarah Cawston) (George Frederick Cawston)

In 1841, William Cawston (b. c1777 in Felbrigg) and his wife Sarah (b. c1783 in Lynn), were living at Library Court. William was a carpenter. Sarah operated a register for servants and was listed in Slater’s directory for 1850 and White’s for 1854. William and Sarah had at least eight children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Flora C. (b. c1820). 2) Margaret (b. c1821). 3) Ellen (b. c1823). 4) Susan (b. c1825). 5) Sarah (b. c1826). 6) William (b. c1828). 7) George Frederick – see below (b. c1830 – m. Ann Mary Claxton in 1858/9 – d. 08/01/1909, aged 81). 8) Edward, a plumber & glazier (b. c1832 – m. Elizabeth Pollard in 1858 – d. 1912, aged 82).

By 1851, George Frederick Cawston was already employed as a ‘working jeweller’, and he was listed as such in the directories from 1863 to 1879, inclusive. He married Ann Mary Claxton in 1858/9, and they had three children, all born at Library Court:-

1) George Herbert, a jeweller and goldsmith in partnership with his father (b. 1859 – m. Annie Amelia Smith in 1897 – d. 1945/6, aged 86). 2) Edgar Claxton, a draper’s buyer in 1911 (b. 1863 – m. Julia Annie Hinson in 1890/1 – d. 1850, aged 86). 3) Lucy Maud E. (b. 1869).

George’s son George Herbert was apprenticed to his father and they formed a partnership, as Cawston & Son, in about 1882 when they moved the business to 11, St. James Street.

George Frederick Cawston died on 8th January, 1909, aged 81, and Ann Mary died on 31st December, 1913, aged 84.

George Herbert continued the business in St. James Street, moving into Nos. 8 & 9 by 1911. A few years later, he relinquished the business. He died in Cambridge in 1945/6, aged 86.

 c1851 (Elizabeth Allen) – ‘Library Court’

Elizabeth Allen was a music teacher, and was at Library Court in 1851. Born in Swaffham in about 1807, she married William Allen (b. c1806 in Lynn – d. 1870, aged 61). William worked as a currier’s assistant. He and Elizabeth had at least six children, all born in Lynn:-

1) William, a book seller and bookbinder (b. c1829 – m. Adele Marianne Erbean in 1857 – d. 1894, aged 66). 2) Elizabeth (b. c1830). 3) James (b. c1832). 4) John (b. c1834). 5) Ellen, a schoolmistress c1861 (b. c1837). 6) Mary, a music teacher c1861 (b. 1839).

Elizabeth Allen was listed at Library Court in White’s directory for 1854, but by 1861 had moved to Queen Street where she was teaching at a ladies’ school. Ellen was assisting her, while the youngest daughter Mary was a music teacher.

Burlingham & Lloyd Ltd.

By 1951, a partnership had been formed to run the optician’s side of the business, under the name of Burlingham & Lloyd Ltd. They were listed in Kelly’s Directories for 1954 and 1960 at ‘Library Court’. It appears that they occupied the premises at 80a and 80b which had been used for some years by the optician’s department of S. S. Burlingham Ltd., although the latter were not listed separately at that address in the directories. The business continued until it was placed into voluntary liquidation in August, 1972.