Author Archives: cbolsterNRO

St Andrew’s County Asylum portrayed in the Cartoons of George Yates

Users familiar with the records of St Andrew’s, the County asylum, may be interested to know about a new collection of records that show a side to the hospital not typically seen in the official records. George Yates, attendant and … Continue reading

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Stepping Back In Time

In the beginning When I first started doing my family history many years ago, I wasn’t surprised to find that most of my ancestors had gravitated to the heavily-industrialised area of Salford and then to the Bolton area of Lancashire … Continue reading

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Golden Balls of Aylsham: A Shining Example of a Funny Name

We enjoy a comedy name at the Norfolk Record Office. Twins called Lemon and Orange Pitcher who were born in Great Melton, Cinnamon Man from Thompson and Snow Frost of Little Walsingham, to name but a few. But one of … Continue reading

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The ‘eccentric female explorer’

 “Only ignorant fools think that because one likes sugar, one cannot like salt” Marianne North, Recollections of a Happy Life. For much of the population in 2020, travel restrictions have been a common source of discontent, despite the understandable unavoidability … Continue reading

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A Generous Gift Compromised by Events? The will of Alice Spratt, widow, of Eccles against the Sea

The will of Alice Spratt [1] dated January 11th 1558/1559 [2] clearly shows counter-Reformation tendencies despite the fact that Catholic Queen Mary had died in the previous November and her younger sister Elizabeth now sat on the throne. Alice bequeaths … Continue reading

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John Fenn – A Dereham Man: The Diaries of Sir John Fenn, 1786-1794

Taken from documents held at the Norfolk Record Office, NRO, MC 525/1 Sir John Fenn was a man most notably known for his publication of the Paston Letters.  But his eight engagement diaries, spanning 1786 to 1794 tell us so … Continue reading

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Examining Marriage Licence Bonds

Marriage licence bonds for the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, 1704-1886, and for the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral, 1705-1860, have recently been indexed by a group of dedicated Norfolk Record Office volunteers. In a few cases, the … Continue reading

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Allan Glaisyer Minns: The First Black Mayor of a British Town

October is Black History month: how many people know that the first ever black mayor of any British town was in Norfolk? Allan Glaisyer Minns was one of ten children of John and Ophelia Minns (nee Bunch) of Inagua in … Continue reading

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