King's Lynn, Norfolk
email: Richard Ball
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Tuesday Market Place, Lynn
The Eastern side of the Tuesday Market Place, Lynn
Kings Lynn, as a busy and prosperous port, reached the peak of its size and wealth in the early eighteenth century and this is largely the face of it that we see preserved now in the older parts of the town1.

Lynn connected the inland of eastern England with the outside world by means of the river Ouse which joins the sea at Lynn. In those days the river was navigable for freight traffic (barges) as far inland as Bedford and there was a huge flow of commerce both up and down the river, all brokered at Lynn.
The River Ouse at King's Lynn - looking south
Looking South to the hinterland of the River Ouse, Lynn

Also from the surrounding country side to Lynn, during the eighteenth century, came many families looking to benefit from the prosperous commerce of the town.

Among these were Robert Pescod, a furrier, and his wife (place of origin unknown) who had three children baptised at St. Margarets between 1751 and 1754.  In 1775 their daughter, Mary Pescod, married James Saddleton the son of a fairly well-off yeoman family in Westacre, south of Lynn.

Their only son, James Parlett Saddleton, eventually became a watchmaker with a workshop and shop in Lynn High Street. He was one of the first plebeian town councillors to be elected after the reform bill of 1832. In his 'Memories of Lynn' printed in the Lynn Advertiser 1872, William Armes suggests that James Saddleton seemed to the grand oligarchs of the Lynn Council a particularly unthreatening representative of the 'lower classes' and they hastened to nominate him whom they would never given a thought to prior to the reform act.

Also from the Norfolk countryside came Christopher Fysh, already in Lynn by 1761. The son of a thatcher in Cockley Cley near Swaffham, he became a woolen draper in Lynn. He was joined by his brother Francis, also a tailor and woolen draper. John PG Fysh2 says they were in business together but I have yet to find the evidence for this.

Francis Fysh married Elizabeth Wollaston, the daughter of William Wollaston, a wheelwright who had come to Lynn from Denver, in the marshland south of Lynn. Their daughter, Martha Fysh, married James Parlett Saddleton in 1801.

The last to come to Lynn was John Marsters in 1815. He came from Gayton, aged 15, to be apprenticed to John Dixon, merchant of Lynn and in 1823 he married Mary Saddleton, the only daugther of James Parlett Saddleton and Martha Fysh. The Bury and Norwich Post of the 5th April 1823 apparently notes the marriage3  and suggests that the bride had a handsome fortune!

Their eldest child, Mary Saddleton Marsters, was my great grandmother. She left Kings Lynn for Burwell, Cambridgeshire, when she married Thomas Thwaites Ball in 1849.

Richard Ball, April 2002

Buildings opposite St. Margaret's Church, Lynn
The North side of the Saturday Market Place, Lynn

1. King's Lynn, by Paul Richards. Phillimore 1990.
2. Goodbye. Norfolk, I Must Leave You By J P G And A V G A Fysh
The Norfolk Ancestor, no. 3, part 7, December 1984.
3. Norfolk and Norwich Clocks and Clockmakers, edited by Clifford and Yvonne Bird,
Phillimore, 1996.


photographs by Richard Ball 2001,2002