Author Archives: cbolsterNRO

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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The Unusual Burial Request of Stephen Kendall, singleman of Hempstead cum Eccles, Norfolk

Introduction The wills of 16th and 17th century testators can provide researchers with some remarkable insights into the lives of ordinary people by telling us their actual thoughts and beliefs, albeit in a stylised form, as opposed to what written … Continue reading

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Defending the Nation, Looking after the Poor and Preventing Coastal Erosion: the Varied Expenses found within Churchwardens Accounts

The churchwardens accounts give more than just details of how the parish ran its own affairs. They can be invaluable in understanding what was happening in surrounding parishes, other counties and nationwide. Looking into the accounts for Loddon has drawn … Continue reading

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The Cinemas of King’s Lynn from the Building Control Plans

The King’s Lynn Borough Archives hold the building control plans for the old Borough Council of King’s Lynn from 1883 up to 1960. The plans from 1960 to 1974 were sadly lost during the flood of the 1978. The plan … Continue reading

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