Category Archives: Snapshots from the Archive

What was the True Identity of ‘Black Bart’?

The Outlaw Black Bart was an infamous US outlaw who committed some 28 holdups of Wells Fargo stagecoaches, in California, between 1875 and 1883. He was known for his politeness, for taking only the contents of the strongbox and the … Continue reading

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Post-war Demining Operations in the Norfolk Wash and Police Invasion Procedures from the Second World War

A closer look at Norfolk Record Office document, C/PO 1/60. This intriguing document contains primarily Copy Number 500 of the 1942 revised version of procedures that the British Police should take in the event of an invasion by Nazi Germany … Continue reading

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Gruesome goings-on in Old Hunstanton

There is a slim uncatalogued file in the King’s Lynn Archive which contains some 14 documents, dated to the 24th year of King George III’s reign labelled, “Customs Murder Suit”. George III reigned from 1760 to 1820. These documents include … Continue reading

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A Seaside Holiday in Sketches

Inspired by Norfolk Record Office document MC 2784/G/16. In 1884, Juliet Mary Seebohm – later wife of Sir Rickman John Godlee, one of the first surgeons to remove a brain tumour – holidayed in Cromer with her family and the Weber family. Her sketches … Continue reading

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The Struggles of Motherhood Recorded in the 19th Century Norfolk Lunatic Asylum

Mental health issues are a feature of modern life and the archive of Norfolk Lunatic Asylum, or St Andrew’s Hospital as it was renamed in the 1920s, shows this is not new. It is interesting to compare the ‘causes of … Continue reading

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Norfolk Lunatic Asylum/St Andrew’s Hospital

Case notes for the Norfolk Lunatic Asylum show that the admission of a significant number of female patients in 1845-1870, was due to women’s mental health after childbirth. The notes suggest that their physical condition was frail and the physical … Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Spectres: Will the Real Syderstone Ghost Please Stand Up

Search online for the Syderstone Ghost (Syderstone is a village near Fakenham in Norfolk) and you will find one strong connection. Look a little closer and you will come across a less well-known contender. Fortunately, Norfolk Record Office has you … Continue reading

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‘It was a dreadful sight to see!’ Descriptions of the Crimean War

‘It was a dreadful sight to see! Both to my left and right men were cut away from me. I thought it would be my turn every minute but, thank God I have escaped as yet.’ These words were written … Continue reading

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