Church of England Diocese of Norwich St. George, Tombland, Norwich

Trattoria Rustica (The Plumbers Arms): A history of 20 Princes Street by Geoffrey Kelly

 

<h1 style="text-align: center; "> 20 PRINCES STREET</h1> <h1 style="text-align: center; "> NORWICH</h1>

 

<h1 style="text-align: center; "> <strong>A History</strong></h1> <h2 style="text-align: center; "> <strong>By</strong></h2> <h1 style="text-align: center; "> <strong>Geoffrey I. Kelly</strong></h1>

<strong>Special Abbreviations:</strong>

CEAS = Centre of East Anglian Studies

NCC = Norwich Consistory Court

NCR = Norwich City Records

NHL = Norwich Heritage Library

NRO = Norfolk Record Office

TNA = The National Archives

UEA = University of East Anglia

 

<strong>Manuscript Sources Consulted:</strong>

Alehouse Recognizances: St George Tombland (parish, Norwich, henceforth understood re citations), 1763-1807 (NRO: NCR 14e Vol.I)

Board of Health General Rate Books: (including) St George Tombland, 1853 and 1857 (NRO: N/T 2/2 and 2/6)

Censuses of Population: St George Tombland, 1841-1901 (TNA, albeit held in NHL: as cited in text)

Churchwardens’ Accounts: St George Tombland, 1772-1886 (NRO: PD 106/49-50)

Duties on Land Values Schedules: (including) Princes Street, 1910 (NRO: P/DLV/1/52)

General District and Sewerage and Irrigation Rate Books: (including) St St George Tombland, 1871, 1876, 1881 and 1886 (NRO: N/T 2/26, 2/22, 2/30 and 2/41)

Kirkpatrick, J., St George Tombland (NRO: NCR 17f14) (cited as Kirkpatrick)

Land Tax Assessments: St George Tombland, 1712-1832 (NRO: NCR 23/11)

Landgable Rent Books: Norwich, 1541-1549, 1568-1570 and 1606-1626) (NRO: NCR 18d2-4)

Norwich Survey: File on [20 Princes Street] (CEAS, UEA)

Norwich Survey: Medieval Property Reconstruction Map 63 (NRO: MC 146/52)

Parish Registers: St George Tombland, 1538-1856 (NRO: PD 106/1-13)

Poor Rate Books: Norwich, 1633/4, 1659/60, 1663/4 and 1672/3 (NRO: NCR 20c3-4, 7 and 12); 1774 (NRO: COL 5/16); and 1825-1844 (NRO: N/T 23/1-66)

Registers of Licences for the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors: Norwich, 1867-1965 (NRO: PS 1/8/1-4)

Tillett, E.A., St George Tombland (NHL: Tillett MS XI)

Wills of the NCC (NRO: as cited in text)

 

<strong>Printed Sources Consulted (other than standard reference works):</strong>

Beecheno, F.R., ‘Some Account of St Peter’s Hungate Parish, Norwich’, <em>Norfolk Archaeology</em>, Vol.XXI, pp.111-133 (cited as Beecheno)

Blomefield, F. and Parkin, C., <em>Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk</em> 2nd ed. (London, 1805-1810) (cited as Blomefield)

Cozens-Hardy, B. and Kent, E.A., <em>Mayors of Norwich 1403-1835 </em>(Norwich, 1938) (cited as Cozens-Hardy and Kent)

Davis, N.(ed.), <em>Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century</em> (Oxford, 1971-1976) (cited as <em>Paston Letters</em>)

Directories of or including Norwich: 1783-1975 (various publishers) (NHL and writer’s collection)

Gourvish, T.R., <em>Norfolk Beers from Norfolk Barley </em>(Norwich, 1987) (cited as Gourvish)

Hudson, W. and Tingey, J.C., <em>Records of the City of Norwich</em>, Vol.II (Norwich and London, 1910) (cited as <em>Records</em>)

Jay, G.B.(ed.), <em>First Parish Register of St George of Tombland</em> (Norwich, 1891) (cited as Jay)

Kirkpatrick, J., <em>Streets and Lanes of the City of Norwich</em> (ed. Hudson, W.) (Norwich, 1889) (cited as <em>Streets</em>)

Millican, P., <em>Freemen of Norwich 1548-1712 </em>(Norwich, 1934) (cited as Millican)

<em>List of Inns in the City of Norwich and County of the Same Name </em>(Norwich, 1845) (cited as <em>List of Inns</em>)

Maps and Plans: 1696-1972 (NHL and writer’s collection)

Registers of Electors: (including) Princes Street), 1957-2002 (NHL)

Venn, J. and J.A., <em>Alumni Cantabrigienses</em> (Cambridge, 1922-1954) (cited as Venn)

 

<strong>Arrangement of this History:</strong>

Section 1: Introduction.

Section 2: The Princes Inn.

Section 3: The Plumbers’ Arms.

Section 4: 20 Princes Street since 1881.

 

<h3> <strong style="font-size: 12px; ">Section 1: Introduction.</strong></h3>

 

This History has not resulted from a specific commission, rather it has been urged upon me by one to whom I might refer as an interested party. Beyond material held in my own library and files, the necessary research has been carried out in the NHL and the NRO, together with access to the Norwich Survey files held at CEAS, UEA. Permission to make use of the latter files was granted me by the then Director of the Norwich Survey, the since deceased Alan Carter, MA, FSA.

 

To save confusion, I will in general refer to the subject of this History as ‘the site’ or as 20 Princes Street (albeit this number was not applied until 1901), save when it was specifically named Princes Inn (or variant spellings thereof) or the Plumbers’ Arms. I generally refer to highways and alleys by their modern names.

 

Dates given in this History, other than regnal years, are in New Style, that is the year is consistently dated from 1st January, rather than 25th March as was the case prior to 1752 (Old Style). Younger readers may need to be reminded that, until 1971, the pound sterling was comprised of twenty shillings, a shilling was comprised of twelve pence (£ s d).

 

This History has been prepared as a Microsoft Word document: consequently, should further information concerning its subject be forthcoming, the text may readily be supplemented. In any case, given I have not been commissioned by the current proprietors of 20 Princes Street, the Trattoria Rustica, an Italian Restaurant, I have not given full details of this property’s story in recent years.


<strong>Section 2: The Princes Inn.</strong>

 

The site under consideration, which lies within the ancient parish of St George Tombland in the City of Norwich, is likely to have been settled no later than the 10th century; however, there is no documentary evidence for a dwelling here until 1320. What is now known as Plumbers’ Arms Alley, which links Princes Street by the west side of the site with Waggon and Horses Lane, was first recorded as a common way in 1323/4 (<em>Streets</em>).

 

The story of the site from 1320 until 1330 is known from the evidence of deeds, these thoroughly investigated by the Norwich Survey team which operated under the aegis of the CEAS, UEA. They give the following details (NRO: MC 146/52 Map 63):

 

From 1320 until 1325, the property here was held by Mabel, widow of William Gotte. In 1324, Mabel conveyed it to one William de Camel de Skeyton, whereupon the latter granted it to her for term of her life. However, in 1325 Mabel conveyed it to Robert de Fornesete, a baker. In 1330, Robert conveyed it to John de Wicklewode.

 

On 9th September 1373, a licence was granted to the Dean and Chapter of the College of the Blessed Mary in the Fields (the site of which is now occupied by the Assembly House) to shut up the common lane (Plumbers’ Arms Alley) with two gates (<em>Streets</em>).

 

Beecheno stated that he first found the name Princes Inn recorded in 1391, although he did not cite a source. It was noted in the Norwich Domesday Book in 1397 that the Dean of the College of the Blessed Mary in the Fields was to pay the Treasurer of the Community of Norwich twopence for the tenement ‘late the Princesin’ (<em>Records</em>)

 

The Norwich Treasurers’ roll for 1412/3 recorded the payment of 5s 4d to William King and John Preston for wine sent to Simon de Felbrygg, John Wynter and others when they were ‘supping at the Princes Inn’. It further noted the payment of 11s 11d for divers expenses at divers times at ‘Dowes’ [location unknown] and ‘The Princys Inn’ (<em>Streets</em>).

 

After 18th February 1415, Norwich Corporation granted the common lane – now Plumbers’ Arms Alley - to Ralph Gunton, clerk, notary public; it then had his tenement to the west and ‘le Prince Inne’ to the east. In this grant, it was stated that the common way was open but incumbered with dunghills to the great nuisance of the neighbours, moreover it had not served as a common passage for a long time. It would be for the benefit of the city if it were enclosed because of the lying in wait there of malefactors in the night season. Gunton was to pay one penny annually for the privilege of enclosing this way, and was to maintain a door at each end of it which was to be opened only in time of necessity such as a fire or for the purpose of repairing the adjacent properties (<em>Ibid.</em>).

 

On 15th May 1456, John Bokkyng, Sir John Fastolf’s clerk, wrote from Caister Castle to John Paston: ‘Your cofre is at the Prinse Inn’ (<em>Paston Letters</em>).

 

After 1456, I failed to find specific details concerning the Princes Inn until 9th January 1535. The void grounds declared at the Convocation of Aldermen then included the ‘Prynces Inne’ (<em>Records</em>). This refers to the fact that, at least above ground level, this building had been destroyed in either the great fire which raged in Norwich in March 1507 or in the one which broke out in the following June. At the Norwich Assembly on 8th February 1538, Alderman Augustine Steward petitioned for a reduction in rent on ‘voide and decayed grounde… called the Prince Inn off the graunt of the Deane off the Chapell in the Feldes in Norwich ffor the terme off an hundred year, which voide grounde is soore accombred and replenysshed by divers persons with muk and such other vile mater to the grette noysaunce of all the Kynges liege people passing by the same by reason that itt hath ben open and nat ffensed by many yeres’ (<em>Ibid.</em>). The site was still described as a void messuage [called the] Princes Inn in the Landgable Rental of 1541-1547. (Landgable rents were small sums levied on property which were applied towards the payment of the Fee Farm to the Crown by the City.)

 

The back undercroft of the Princes Inn did survive the fire; the complex of undercrofts here having been described in the Norwich Survey as follows:

 

Rear range, two bay rib vaulted with side chambers. Heavy double order chamfered brick ribs <em>circa</em> 1400-1450. Under street range possible lost barrel vaulted undercroft running parallel to street. Two brick moulded arches on east wall, twin lighting niches on south and west walls. A possible lost barrel rising higher than rear undercroft could explain disparity of floor levels in building above between street and back range. Was [the] front undercroft built post 1507 on to existing 15th century back undercroft?

 

With regard to the Princes Inn site, the Landgable Rental of 1541-1549 confirmed that it was still owned by Augustine Steward, albeit he had yet to rebuild the house here. The Norwich Survey’s initial remarks that the house which was in due course rebuilt (by the Landgable Rental of 1568-1570) suggested an earlier dating were consequently incorrect. However, I give the full description of the house above ground from this source as follows:

 

Complex L shape block with large undercroft. Street range, two storey plus attic, much rebuilt. Ground floor façade modern. First floor jetty, with exposed studwork and modern sashes. Interior ground floor completely lost. Ceiling joists modern. First floor single room though originally second small room over entry, other side of stack. This now part of next door. Main room with cambered ceiling, three main ties and cross batons. Each tie supported on wall posts with expanded heads. Originally each post supported arch braces save for central front post. Batons with lozenged chamfers. In remaining section of room over entry, one arch brace survives at rear, with roll moulding. Roof, single purlin, diminished principals, arched collars, possibly original ridge piece. Rafters square pegged to purlins. Dormer added. Remaining section of rear wall first floor shows it to be studwork. Street range suggests date <em>circa</em> 1500. Rear range, long block with jetty to west over yard. Rear east wall of flint/rubble. Two storeys plus attic. Yard façade rebuilt 20th century. Interior ground floor with one room either side of central stack. Each room with cross timbers with chamfered edges and end stops. First floor with 16 square ceiling, broken into by stack. Arch braces over yard, two remaining with hollow chamfer and roll. Appearance is 15th rather than 16th century. Re-used (?). Rear wall first floor three in situ frieze windows with diamond plan mullions, six light, three light and eight light. Roof, diminished principal, single purlin, pegged rafters. Wind braces in first and third bay but not in central stack bay. Arched collars, possibly original ridge piece. Possibly, street and rear range all of one piece rebuilt post 1507 fire.

 

Two carved timbers which were at some date removed from the Princes Inn were recorded by Tillett. I did not establish if the first of these, a carved oak newel, which had been acquired by one Taylor, a plumber of Palace Street, by 1851, survives. The other carved timber, bearing the inscription ‘Princes In’, inserted over a doorway of the former Ship public house in King Street, remains there.

 

20 Princes Street today enjoys Grade II* Listed Building status.

 

As for Augustine Steward who had owned this site, I cannot say if it had been he who was to build the post-fire house here or his son William; however, it had clearly been built by the Landgable Rental of 1568-1570, when it was owned by the latter. Augustine, who was the son of Alderman Geoffrey Steward, was born in St George Tombland parish in 1491, and was admitted to the Freedom of Norwich as a mercer in 1515/6 (Rye). He served as a Sheriff of Norwich in 1526, as Mayor in 1534, 1546 and 1556, and as a Burgess in Parliament in 1541/2. By his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Read of Beccles, he had the aforesaid William, another son, and six daughters; by his second wife Alice, daughter of Henry Repps of West Walton, he had a son Edward and two daughters. Should Augustine have rebuilt the Princes Inn, there is no evidence that he ever lived here: he certainly owned and occupied the house which bears his name in Tombland, later moving to Elm Hill where he died in 1571 (Cozens-Hardy and Kent).

 

As for William Steward, while he was named in respect of the Princes Inn in 1568-1570 (<em>ut supra</em>), he was not listed as a poor rate payer in St George Tombland parish in 1570/1 (Jay).

 

At the Norwich Assembly held on 6th February 1596, it was recorded that Richard Hall, cook, was to have ‘a certain late waste ground, now re-edified, called Prynce Inn’ (<em>Ibid.</em>).

 

The next mention of the Princes Inn which I found was in the Landgable Rental of 1606-1626; it was then (1626) owned by Lady Berney. She was Dame Julian, the widow of Sir Thomas Berney of Reedham who had died in 1616. She was not entered as a ratepayer in St George Tombland parish in 1633/4, and made no mention of owning any property here when she wrote her will at Swardeston on 8th January 1640 (NRO: NCC Will 1645 f.110 Burlye).

 

On 22nd March 1673, John Dawson of Framlingham, Suffolk, gentleman, and Sarah his wife, the only daughter of John Gostlin of Bawburgh, gentleman, deceased, and Thomas Muddycliffe of New Buckenham, gentleman, and Mary his wife, the widow of the aforesaid John Gostlin, released the messuage called the ‘Prince’s Inne’, then occupied by John Beecroft and Joel Sargesson or their undertenants, to William Burgesse of Norwich, carpenter (Jay).

 

William Burgesse, who acquired the Princes Inn in 1673, had been admitted to the Freedom of Norwich by patrimony on 21st January 1657, his father Peter, deceased, having been a Freeman. Furthermore, William had been apprenticed to Bartholomew Balderston of Norwich, carpenter, for seven years on 9th December 1644 (Millican).

 

As for Joel Sargesson, one of the tenants of the Princes Inn named in 1673, he had been baptized at St George Tombland on 17th August 1627, the son of Thomas Sargesson. As for John Beecroft, the other tenant named then, according to the Poor Rate Book of 1659/60 his predecessor here had been his father Robert (Jay). Robert wrote his will as a carrier of Norwich on 11th March 1663, and he was buried at St George Tombland eight days later. His will, proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on the following 25th August (Register Juxon f.105), was summarized by Jay as follows:

 

He left his son John his horses, wagons and harness, which were made use of on the London Road.

 

He named his other children as Robert, Ann, Abraham, Elizabeth, Alexander and Thomas.

 

He named his wife Jane.

 

He named his brother-in-law Abraham Masculine of Norwich.

 

He named Thomas Bull of Bury St Edmunds, carrier.

 

He left Mr Seaman, minister of St George Tombland, £2 to preach at his funeral.

 

He left the poor of St Clement’s parish the house and grounds called Wrenne Park [being the Blyth School site of the 20th century].

 

Witnesses and executors: John Burrage, notary public, Nathaniel Garey, notary public, and John Hall.

 

Robert Beecroft’s posthumous daughter Frances was baptized at St George Tombland on 2nd August 1663. His widow Jane and their son John were listed here as poor rate payers in 1663/4, the latter alone from 1664/5 to 1678/9 (Jay).

 

Joel Sargesson appears to have given way to Stephen Rose as a tenant of the Princes Inn by 1679, when the latter was supplied here by John Barker, brewer (Jay, citing the Norwich Court of Mayoralty).

 

William Burgesse, owner of the Princes Inn, wrote his will as a carpenter of the Bishop’s Palace, Norwich, on 31st October 1686, and he had died by 30th July 1689 when it was proved by his brother and executor. The provisions of this will were as follows (NRO: NCC O.W. 38 1689):

 

He asked to be buried by his children in Norwich Cathedral.

 

He left the poor of the parish of St Martin at Palace £2 and the poor of the parish of St George Tombland £1.

 

He left his wife Anne his household stuff, rings and plate. He also left her the houses, messuages, tenements and hereditaments in St George Tombland [parish] bought of John Dawson and his wife Mary and Thomas Muddycliffe and his wife Mary, in the several uses or occupations of Ralph Nicholas, Mr Peter Delahay, clerk, William Lintell, William Clarke and Samuel Portland [being part of the overall Princes Inn estate on the east side of Plumbers’ Arms Alley], for term of her life, after which this property was to go to his kinsman Peter Burgesse, clerk, and his heirs. The latter, from the testator’s death, was to have the messuages, lands and tenements [being the other part of the overall Princes Inn estate on the east side of Plumbers’ Arms Alley], charged with an annuity of £5 to his [the testator’s] sister Elizabeth Foulger.

 

He left his brother Daniel and his heirs the messuage or tenement in the use, possession or occupation of William Robbins and John Well [being that part of the overall Princes Inn estate on the west side of Plumbers’ Arms Alley], charged with an annuity of £4 to the aforesaid Elizabeth Foulger.

 

He left Edward, Elizabeth and Anne Foulger, children of his sister Elizabeth, £50 apiece at their respective ages of twenty-one.

 

He left his brother Daniel’s daughter Sarah £5.

 

He left his brother[-in-law] Henry Allen £5.

 

He left his sister[-in-law] Mary Butler £5.

 

He left Thomas Burgesse £2.

 

He left Robert Hugill £1.

 

He left Susan Buxton 5s.

 

He left Barbara the wife of Abraham Vallent £1.

 

He left Titus Nicholas 5s and his wife Martha £1 15s.

 

He left John Nicholas and his wife £1 apiece.

 

He forgave Simon West the money he owed and left him 10s.

 

He left his brother and executor Robert the rest of his goods, chattels, debts, mortgages, bills, bonds, timber and working tools, and personal estate.

 

Witnesses: Robert Wenman, Joseph Tenison, notary public, and Nicholas Browne, notary public.

 

I failed to identify if what we should regard as Princes Inn proper, being 20 Princes Street, was that initially left to the above testator’s widow, with remainder to Peter Burgesse, or that initially left to the latter.

 

The widowed Anne Burgesse wrote her will at Norwich on 19th March 1698, and this was proved by her executor on 13th June 1701. The provisions of this document may be outlined as follows (NRO: NCC Will 1701 f.174 Edwards):

 

She left her brother-in-law and executor, John Butler of Attlebridge, yeoman, her personal estate, out of which he was to pay her debts and funeral charges. She also left him £72.

 

She left John Butler’s daughter Rebecca £20, while she was also to have her best bed and bedstead furnished [meaning with its accoutrements].

 

She left John Butler’s sons John, Daniel and Isaac £2 apiece.

 

She left her kinsman Thomas Darley of Norwich, apothecary, £1.

 

She left her kinswoman Ann Hamilton of Norwich, widow, £1.

 

She asked to be buried near her husband in Norwich Cathedral.

 

Witnesses: John Knights, Thomas Bayfield and Jo. Bunton.

 

Thus it was that no later than 1701, Peter Burgesse inherited the entire Princes Inn property by the east side of Plumbers’ Arms Alley. According to Venn, he was born in Norwich about 1661, the son of Samuel Burgesse, weaver. He was admitted as a sizar (one who performed menial duties in return for his accommodation) at Pembroke College, Cambridge, on 9th April 1679, aged eighteen. He successively graduated Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in 1683 and 1686. He served as perpetual curate of St Martin at Oak, Norwich (re which neither Venn nor Blomefield gave the dates), as vicar of Scarning from 1690 to 1712, and as vicar of Whinbergh until his death in 1728.

 

I did not locate any will which Peter Burgesse may have made; indeed, I cannot be sure if he owned the Princes Inn at the time of his death.

 

I found no further reference to the Princes Inn until 1763, when its licence was granted to John Wright, a labourer (Alehouse Recognizance evidence). I did not identify Wright as the owner or occupier of this property in the Land Tax Assessments.

 

The Poor Rate Book for 1774 named John Ollyett in respect of the Princes Inn Alehouse, and further recorded that it was then empty. I did not identify Ollyett as the owner or occupier of this property in the Land Tax Assessments; however, he wrote his will as a tailor of Norwich on 16th October 1773, and this was to be proved by his executor and executrix on 23rd September 1774. The provisions of this document may be outlined as follows (NRO: NCC Will 1774 f.188 Buttrie):

 

He left his wife and executrix, Mary, his otherwise unbequeathed personal estate. He left her for term of her life his messuages, tenements, gardens, orchards, farms, lands and hereditaments in the City of Norwich and in Gresham, after which they were to pass to his son-in-law and executor, Robert Woodhouse, for term of his life, then to the latter’s eldest son Ollyett.

 

He left Samuel, son of Matthew King, deceased barber of St George Colegate, Norwich, £20, and Matthew’s eldest daughter Mary £5.

 

He left his cousin Daniel Skip of Potter Heigham £5.

 

He left the children of one Forster of Shotesham by his late wife Diana, nee Bishop, £5 apiece.

 

He left the children of Thomas Nevil by his late wife Mary, nee Bishop, £5 apiece.

 

His executor and executrix were to pay his debts and funeral and probate charges out of his personal estate.

 

Witnesses: Prisca Gay, J. Gay and Rishton Woodcocke.

 

I found no further reference to the Princes Inn until 1798. From then until 1808, the licensee here was Arthur Ladell (evidence of Churchwardens’ Accounts and Alehouse Recognizances).

 

The next two licensees here, John Hague in 1809 and 1810, and Benjamin Clark from 1811 to 1814, were identified from the Churchwardens’ Accounts. I failed to identify an occupier of the Princes Inn in 1815, while from the following year, as I reveal in the next Section of this History, this house was to trade under a new name.

 

<strong>Section 3: The Plumbers’ Arms.</strong>

 

From 1816 until between 1881 and 1886, the subject of this History traded under the name of the Plumbers’ Arms.

 

From 1816 until 1819, Thomas Dawson was the licensee of the Plumbers’ Arms, followed by his widow Margaret from 1820 to 1827 (evidence of Churchwardens’ Accounts and Land Tax Assessments, together with Pigot’s <em>Directory</em> of 1822).

 

It was not until 1823 that I identified the owner of the Plumbers’ Arms. This was John Morse, who owned it from 1823 until 1832 (evidence of Land Tax Assessments). John Morse had acquired Day’s brewery in Oak Street, Norwich, in 1797, together with twenty-one public houses (Gourvish); however, I cannot be certain if he owned what was then the Princes Inn from that date. According to Gourvish, John Morse gave up his brewing interest in favour of his son George in 1829; however, as John was not to die until 1837, he may indeed have retained the ownership of the Plumbers’ Arms after 1832 as indicated by the Land Tax Assessments.

 

Map 1 accompanying this History shows Princes Street and its vicinity as surveyed by Millard and Manning in 1830.

 

In 1831, George Morse agreed to amalgamate his brewery with that of Steward, Patteson & Steward of Pockthorpe, Norwich. The latter firm, then renamed Steward, Patteson & Co., was more interested in the Morse family pubs that in its brewing plant, as this was promptly sold. Steward, Patteson & Co. merged with Peter Finch’s brewery in 1837, and then became known as Steward, Patteson, Finch & Co (Gourvish). This partnership was to retain the ownership of the Plumbers’ Arms until between March 1871 and March 1876, according to Rate Book evidence.

 

Returning to the topic of the occupation of the Plumbers’ Arms, one Hooper was its licensee in 1828 and 1829, followed by Reuben Widdows from 1830 to 1836 (evidence of Land Tax Assessments, Poor Rate Books and Directories). I failed to identify an occupant here from 1837 to 1839.

 

From 1840 to 1844, Charles Chaplin was the licensee of the Plumbers’ Arms (Poor Rate Book evidence). In the Census of 6th June 1841, his household was enumerated as follows (TNA: HO107/788/9 f.15 p.25):

 

Charles Chaplin: [aged] 38, publican, yes [meaning born in Norfolk].

Maria Chaplin: 25, yes.

Maria Love: 18, servant, yes.

 

The 1841 Census gave fewer details than its successors; given the above data, we cannot be sure if Maria Chaplin was Charles’ wife or his sister.

 

According to the <em>List of Inns</em>, John Moore was licensee of the Plumbers’ Arms in 1845. I can add nothing further concerning Moore.

 

From 1846 (Churchwardens’ Accounts evidence) until his death, Joseph Hewing was the licensee of the Plumbers’ Arms. In the Census of 30th March 1851, his household was enumerated as follows (TNA: HO107/1814 f.20 p.32):

 

Joseph Hewing: head, married, 41, innkeeper, [born] Norwich.

Jane Hewing: wife, married, 38, Dublin.

Ellis Garrard: visitor, unmarried, 23, H.M. 98th Regiment of Foot, Great Wratting, Suffolk.

William Yaxley: visitor, unmarried, 36, H.M. 52nd Regiment of Foot, Aylsham, Norfolk.

George Coleman: visitor, unmarried, H.M. 98th Regiment of Foot, Stratford [upon Avon], Warwickshire.

Elizabeth Hales: visitor, unmarried, 23, dressmaker, Norwich.

Hannah Catchpole: visitor, unmarried, 20, shoebinder, Norwich.

Elizabeth Hunt: visitor, unmarried, 23, dressmaker, Norwich.

Elizabeth Hunt: visitor, 3, Norwich.

 

I suspect that most if not all of those described in the above Census as visitors were actually boarders or lodgers at the Plumbers’ Arms.

 

Joseph Hewing’s first wife Jane died in 1855, and two years later he married Sarah Mayes in Norwich.

 

In the Census of 7th April 1861, the occupants of the Plumbers’ Arms were listed as follows (TNA: RG9/1214 f.6 p.24):

 

John [<em>sic</em>, <em>recte</em> Joseph] Hewing: head, married, 50, publican, Norwich.

Sarah Hewing: wife, married, 35, Cawston, Norfolk.

Lodey Warton: lodger, unmarried, argicultural labourer, Thorpe, Norfolk.

 

In the Census of 2nd April 1871, the occupants of the Plumbers’ Arms were described as follows (TNA: RG10/1812 f.18 p.30):

 

Joseph Hewing: head, married, 60, publican, Norwich.

Sarah Hewing: wife, married, 44, Cawston, Norfolk.

 

Rate Book evidence is that Joseph Hewing purchased the Plumbers’ Arms from Steward, Patteson, Finch & Co. between March 1871 and March 1876. He died in 1877, aged sixty-seven, and from then until at least the Census of 3rd April 1881, his widow Sarah was the licensee of this house. The Rate Book of March 1881 listed Sarah as its owner. In the 1881 Census, the occupants of the Plumbers’ Arms were enumerated as follows (TNA: RG11/1942 f.5 p.4):

 

Sarah Hewing: head, widow, 55, publican, Cawston, Norfolk.

Robert Wegg: nephew, married, 27, iron moulder, Bodham, Norfolk.

Sarah U. Wegg: niece, married, 29, Cawston, Norfolk.

Alice L. Mayes: niece, unmarried, 19, dressmaker, Clerkenwell, London.

Ellen Grand: servant, unmarried, 17, general servant, Norwich St Mary’s.

 

After the above Census was taken, I was unable to confirm the ownership and occupation of the property under consideration until March 1886, by which time it had been delicensed.


<strong>Section 4: 20 Princes Street since 1881.</strong>

 

At some time between the Census of 3rd April 1881 and March 1886, what had been the Plumbers’ Arms was delicensed. The General District and Sewage and Irrigation Rate Book of the latter date described this house, which we may now refer to as 20 Princes Street, as owned and occupied by James Thomas Furse. Jarrold’s <em>Directory  of Norwich</em> of 1886 described Furse as an upholsterer and blind maker.

 

I do not know who occupied 20 Princes Street in 1887 and 1888, nor was I to discover who owned it again until 1910. Directory evidence is that it was occupied by Reuben Levine from 1889 until 1892; in 1889 he was described as a second-hand bookseller and dealer in antiquities, in 1890 as a dealer in antiquities, and in 1892 as a furniture dealer. In any case, it would appear that it was his mother who was head of household here, at least according to the Census of 5th April 1891, viz. (TNA: RG12/1523 f.5 p.3):

 

Rebecca Levine: head, widow, 58, living on own means, Norwich.

Reuben Levine: son, unmarried, 25, dealer in antiquities, Norwich.

Minnie Levine: daughter, unmarried, 22, Norwich.

Amelia Levine: daughter, unmarried, 19, Norwich.

 

I did not discover who occupied 20 Princes Street from 1893 to 1895. Directory and Census evidence is that it was the home of William Henry Claxton from 1896 to 1901; in 1896 he was described as a herbalist and medical botanist, and in 1900 as a chiropodist. In the Census of 31st March 1901, his household was enumerated as follows (TNA: RG13/1838 f.34 p.5):

 

William H. Claxton: head, married, 57, chiropractor ([working on] own account at home), Norwich.

Lucy S. Claxton: wife, married, 58, Hingham, Norfolk.

 

I did not discover who occupied 20 Princes Street in 1902 and 1903. From 1904 to 1922, Directories reveal that it was occupied by Albert Turner, a coach builder. Furthermore, the Duties on Land Values Schedules of 1910 recorded that Turner also owned this property. From 1924 until 1956, this house was occupied by Albert Wigby Turner, furniture dealer, whom I suspect was Albert Turner’s son.

 

Maps 2 and 3 accompanying this History show Princes Street and its vicinity as surveyed by the Ordnance Survey in 1905 and 1938, respectively.

 

I do not know who occupied 20 Princes Street from 1957 to 1963. This house has since served as a restaurant: the Anglian Grill (Norwich) Ltd. in 1964 and 1965, and as the Anglia Restaurant from 1966 until (at least) 1975, according to directories.

 

Registers of Electors named the following persons as occupiers of 20 Princes Street from 1965 to 1981 as follows:

 

Alfred and Rose Dennis: 1965 to 1966.

 

Kenneth and Lily Lee: 1967.

 

Mark and Loretta Turner: 1968 to 1976.

 

Mark Turner: 1977 to 1978.

 

Roger and Jacqueline Hill: 1980 to 1981.

 

From 1995, 20 Princes Street has been the Trattoria Rustica, an Italian Restaurant.

 

<strong>Geoffrey Ian Kelly, BA(hons), MCLIP</strong>

<strong>12th May 2008</strong>

 

<strong>END OF TEXT</strong>