25-8-1803.—Mr. George Wyer, of Downham Market, “carried a 20 stone sack of flour
one mile, leading through the town of Watton, for a wager of 230 guineas,
which he performed with great ease in 18 minutes, to the astonishment of
a vast number of spectators.”
29-10-1806 .—A trotting match for 50 guineas took place on the turnpike road from
Norwich to Watton, between Mr. King’s chestnut hone Doubtful and Mr.
Jeary’s brown mare Velocity. “The horse won by about two lengths. Owing
to a dispute respecting the horse galloping within the last hundred yards
the match still remains undetermined. Fifteen and a half miles were
covered in one hour.”
16-10-1819.—The East Dereham and London Telegraph coach was advertised by John
Leverett and Co. It started from the Cherry Tree Inn every Sunday,
Tuesday, and Thursday at 6.30 a.m., and travelled by Shipdham and Watton
to the King’s Head, Thetford, to meet the Norwich Telegraph. The Dereham
Telegraph then proceeded to the Woolpack Inn and the Angel Inn at Bury
St. Edmund’s, whence it returned to Thetford on the following day and met
the Norwich Telegraph on its return from London, and arrived at Dereham
the same evening at nine o’clock. On Saturday the Dereham Telegraph ran
to Norwich and back.
20-1-1823.—A coach commenced running from the Crown Tavern, Lynn, every Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday morning by Swaffham and Dereham to Norwich. It
returned from Norwich _viâ_ Hingham, Watton, and Swaffham. Another coach
set out from the White Swan, Norwich, every Tuesday, Thursday, and
Saturday morning at eleven o’clock, and travelled by Dereham and Swaffham
to meet the Stamford coach at Lynn. It returned after the arrival of the
Stamford coach, by Swaffham, Watton, and Hingham.
5-3-1829.—The Westacre Staghounds had a remarkable run. The meet was at Watton,
where the stag was turned off, and led a field of between 60 and 70 to
Ovington, Shipdham, Whinbergh, over Reymerston Common, touching
Southbergh, to Carbrooke, crossing Griston Common, to Thompson Heath.
Here there was a short check, which was hit off in good style, and away
they went for Tottington, on to Wretham, leaving the decoy on the left,
thence to Kilverstone and Brettenham Heaths, to the left of Croxton, and
to the River Ouze, which was crossed between Santon Downham and Thetford.
Only nine horsemen forded the river; they dashed away across the open in
the direction of Barton Mills, where another check occurred. They then
passed over Wangford Warren to Lakenheath Common, straight for Bramber
Hall, and the stag was killed in the plantations of Mr. Edward Bliss,
after a run of three hours and three-quarters. (The hounds were
advertised to be sold at the first Newmarket meeting, April 22nd.)
18-3-1843.—The Watton coach, on its way from Norwich, with six female outside
passengers, stopped at Barford Cock. During the temporary absence of
Allen, the coachman, the horses started off at full gallop, and were not
stopped till they arrived at Hingham. With the exception of a wheel
being taken off a passing vehicle, no damage was done.
A CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD OF REMARKABLE EVENTS IN
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
(_Compiled from the files of the_ “_Norfolk Chronicle_”)
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“It is beyond the capacity of the human intellect to discriminate
beforehand between what is valuable and what is valueless in the
pursuit of historical research. What would we give now for
newspapers and trade circulars illustrating the social habits of many
bygone times and peoples?”—_The Times_, May 4, 1900.
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[_Entered at Stationers’ Hall_]
Printed at the Office of the “Norfolk Chronicle” Market Place Norwich