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Authority record
King's Lynn Borough Archives

King's Lynn Borough, Town Clerk's Department; ?-1974; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/11104
  • Corporate body
  • ?-1974

Chief administrative officer of the Corporation who would also advise on legal matters.
Name of Town Clerk followed by the date they took office.

Leonard Malham - 1524
Humphrey Kervyle - 1528
Henry Castell - August 1542
Robert Houghton – 29 August 1545
John Houghton – 22 August 1569
Thomas Baker – 16 January 1571/2
Thomas Oxborough – 24 September 1584
Thomas Valenger – 20 May 1597
Robert Gawsell – 29 August 1606
Thomas Revett – 29 September 1614 (11 October 1614 in Le Strange Official Lists)
William Leeke – 3 May 1633
John Williamson – 29 August 1645
Thomas Utber – 6 December 1654
Francis Rolfe – 19 August 1654
Edmund Rolfe – 29 September 1678 (Son of Francis Rolfe. Removed with several members of the Corporation including the Mayor by Royal mandate of James II on 2 June 1688)
Matthew Cusande – 11 June 1688
Edmund Rolfe – 29 August 1689
Jonas Rolfe – 21 December 1711
Edward Bradfield – 18 July 1725 (Discharged for misconduct, 29 September 1729)
Robert Underwood – 29 September 1729
Scarlet Browne – 14 February 1767
Robert Whincop – 16 April 1785
Robert Whincop – 13 October 1803 (Nephew of previous)
Frederick Lane – 14 February 1833
Edward Lane Swatman – 8 October 1846 (Resigned calling the job ‘onerous’)
Thomas Goodwyn Archer – 21 November 1864
Johnston William Woolstencroft – 12 April 1899
Frank G. Reeves – 15 June 1934 (retired due to ill health)
Edward Willis Gocher – 18 September 1953
John Robert Davison – 16 April 1970 (in post until 1974)

Thomas Philip Bagge; 1771-1839; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/12472
  • Person
  • 1771-1839

Son of Thomas Bagge and Pleasance (nee Case). Part of the Bagge family of King's Lynn and Stradsett, merchants and connected with the Corporation of the town.

King's Lynn Borough, Treasurer; 1836-1974; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/20985
  • Corporate body
  • 1835-1974

Created after the 1835 reforms. The position took on the duties which had previously been performed by the Corporation Chamberlain, being the Borough's chief financial officer, in addition to the duties imposed by the Municipal Corporations' Act of Parliament.

Edwin Elmer Durrant – 1st April 1835 to 20th September 1866
Resigned, became councillor and alderman.

Charles W. Harding – 20th September 1866 to 29th September 1884

George Francis Addison Creswell – 29th September 1884 to 10th August 1898
Is paid ¼ year salary in KL/TR 2/43 but is still listed as the Borough Treasurer in Kelly’s Directory in 1900, 1908, 1912 & 1916 even though no formal salary was drawn.

George Howard Anderson (Borough Accountant) – 10th August 1898 to 31st March 1927
Not listed in Kelly’s Directories with other Borough officials in 1900, 1908 & 1916 but is in 1912. Was retained in a consultative capacity for 6 months after his retirement.

Ernest Henry Bradford – 31st March 1927 to March 1946
Had been deputy to Anderson for many years. Signs off 1926-27 minutes but Anderson still appears as Borough Accountant.
DOB 29/03/1884 – DOD Q2 1948

R.C. Hankinson – March 1946-1957
Deputy Borough Treasuerer and Deputy rating and valuation officer at Wigan

Leslie Hall; 1903-1974; Town Hall Keeper, Mayor's Officer; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/20986
  • Person
  • 1903-1974

Born in King's Lynn, Norfolk, in 1903. Trained as an upholsterer and married Eileen Stringer in 1930. Successfully applied to be Town Hall Keeper in November 1933 after being made redundant. The role was expanded to act as Mayor's Officer in 1946. Leslie had an interest in local history and used the town muniments to research aspects of it. He died in 1974.

King's Lynn Borough, Guildhall Court; c 1537-1841; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/9482
  • Corporate body
  • c 1537-1841

A charter of 7 July 1537 from Henry VIII granted two Courts every week to be held in the Guildhall. Met twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, before the Mayor, the Recorder, or their deputies in the Trinity Guildhall. The court heard civil pleas, mainly relating to debts and broken contracts, and a few for assault and trespass on property. In 1841 it was retitled the Court of Record for the trial of civil actions.

King's Lynn Borough, Court of Pie Powder; 1537-1977; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/9485
  • Corporate body
  • 1537-1977

A court for dispensing summary justice among itinerant traders during the mart, granted to the borough in Henry VIII's 1537 charter. By 1835, it was still being nominally held once a year, in February, when the great mart or fair was proclaimed. The Administration of Justice Act (1977) provided that Courts of Pie Powder throughout the country would cease to have jurisdiction to hear and determine legal proceedings.

King's Lynn Borough, Chamberlains; ? 1319-1835; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/9489
  • Corporate body
  • ? 1319-1835

The chamberlains were the borough's main financial officials until 1835. They also acted as surveyors of the waterworks and the corporate estates. Until the early years of the seventeenth century there were four chamberlains, elected annually, but, from the early sixteenth century, the accounts are mainly of the chamberlains' two deputies and from 1612 only two chamberlains were appointed. On 29 September 1724, the Hall ordered that in future there would be a single salaried Chamberlain and surveyor of the waterworks supervised by a committee.

King's Lynn Borough, Treasurers; ?-1835; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/9490
  • Corporate body
  • ?-1835

Until the reform of the Corporation in 1835, the treasurers were minor financial officials. They dealt mainly with fees and fines arising from grants of freedom, and with Sir John White's legacy. By 1835, the office was considered nominal, with no salary attached, and was usually held by the coroners.

Gaywood Parish Council; 1894-1935; local government; Gaywood, Norfolk

  • Corporate body
  • 1894-1935

Parish councils were formed under the Local Government Act 1894. They took over the civic and social welfare duties of existing groups hitherto based around ecclesiastical parishes (notably the overseers of the poor). Records of parish charities managing commons under distribution of land as a consequence of the Enclosure Acts can often be found in parish council records.
They are elected bodies, usually on a four year cycle. The number of councilors varies according to the population of the parish.
Parish Councils tend to be responsible for the provision of such facilities as village halls, recreation grounds and children's play areas. They have a legal right to be consulted and to comment on all planning applications in their areas.
Gaywood Parish Council was absorbed into the Borough of King's Lynn in 1935.

King's Lynn Borough, Surveyor; c1872-1974; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • Corporate body
  • c1872-1974

When the Public Health Act 1872 was presented before the Council they decided the Paving Commissioners were virtually abrogated by the act. They decided to take the responsibilities on themselves which saw the Paving Commissioners surveyor brought into Borough control. The duties of the Surveyor were reclassified in 1923 which saw the end of the ability of the Surveyor to take on private jobs. See KL/TC 1/21 p559-560.

The Borough Surveyor also had a number of additional roles throughout different points in time. They were responsible for the town waterworks. They also acted as superintendent of the fire brigade.

The role continued until the Borough Council was dissolved in 1974.

John Hall – 1880’s to September 1883
Worked for the Paving Commissioners as their surveyor.
DOB 1810 (Lynn, Norfolk)

E.G. Mawbrey – September 1883 to August 1887
Worked in Market Harborough. Went on to be City Surveyor of York.

Edward John Silcock – August 1887 to June 1898
Appointed on 15th June 1887. Was Surveyor in Leeds.
Resignation accepted on 9th March 1898 but on the understanding, he would continue for 3 months as Surveyor. He would, however, carry on with the Waterworks and Sewerage schemes that were underway.
Appointed as City Engineer of Norwich in August 1892. (see KL/C 7/23 p605-6)
DOB 1862 (Stalham, Norfolk)

Henry James Weaver – July 1898 to July 1905
Worked in Gloucester before coming to King’s Lynn.
DOB 1869 (Gloucestershire)

Joe H. Webb – 1905 to December 1910
Worked as Assistant Surveyor of King’s Norton Urban District Council.
DOB 1863 (Stourbridge, Worcestershire)

Alfred John Smith – January 1911 to October 1923
Originally from King’s Lynn (according to 1911 census). Worked as Engineer and Surveyor to the Urban District Council of Caversham.
Asked the Streets, Buildings and Markets Committee to sanction his commission into the Royal Engineers, on the same terms as those offered by the Corporation. On 27/10/1915 it was resolved to comply with the request but to keep him in post for as long as possible. He returned to his post after the war.
He resigned to become Borough Surveyor for Thornaby-on-Tees on 12/09/1923.
The duties of the Surveyor were reclassified after his departure. See KL/TC 1/21 p559-560.

R. A. Newstead – Acting Borough Surveyor 03/05/1917- 06/03/1919 (then appointed deputy)

John Caunter Matthew – November 1923 to July 1942
Worked in Chelmsford prior to taking the post.
Resigned in July 1942 citing poor health for his departure.

Horace George Ridler – July 1942 to March 1974
Was working as Deputy Borough Surveyor and appointed as acting Borough Surveyor on 8th July 1942 following the resignation of J.C. Matthew.

West Lynn Parish Council; 1894-1935; local government; West Lynn, Norfolk

  • Corporate body
  • 1894-1935

Parish councils were formed under the Local Government Act 1894. They took over the civic and social welfare duties of existing groups hitherto based around ecclesiastical parishes (notably the overseers of the poor). Records of parish charities managing commons under distribution of land as a consequence of the Enclosure Acts can often be found in parish council records.
They are elected bodies, usually on a four year cycle. The number of councilors varies according to the population of the parish.
Parish Councils tend to be responsible for the provision of such facilities as village halls, recreation grounds and children's play areas. They have a legal right to be consulted and to comment on all planning applications in their areas.
West Lynn Parish Council was absorbed into the Borough Council of King's Lynn in 1935 when its administrative boundaries were expanded.

Alfred John Smith; fl 1911- fl 1923; Borough Surveyor; King's Lynn, Norfolk

  • Person
  • fl 1911 - fl 1923

Originally from King’s Lynn (according to 1911 census). Worked as Engineer and Surveyor to the Urban District Council of Caversham.
Asked the Streets, Buildings and Markets Committee to sanction his commission into the Royal Engineers, on the same terms as those offered by the Corporation. On 27/10/1915 it was resolved to comply with the request but to keep him in post for as long as possible.

He returned to his post after the war.

Resigned to become Borough Surveyor for Thornaby-on-Tees on 12/09/1923.