The city of Norwich, chapter 30: Of the city in the time of the Usurpation

Pages 399-403

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 3, the History of the City and County of Norwich, Part I. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.

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Soon after the murder of their Sovereign, the broad seal was altered, and proclamation made, that no King should be proclaimed without consent of Parliament; and I find the year

1649, is said to be the first year of the Keepers of the Liberty of England, by authority of Parliament. Which style continued till the 16th of Dec.

1653, the first year of his Highness Oliver (Cromwell) Lord Protector.

And 1658, is said to be the first year of his Highness Richard (Cromwell, his son) Lord Protector.

1659, was a year of anarchy, and in

1660, was the restoration of King Charles the Second, being the 12th year of his reign.

In April, 1649, the city petitioned the Parliament to be eased in. their taxes, by reason of the great loss and decay of trade, and poverty of the city, wheat being 40s. a comb, rye 22s. barley 15s. and all other provisions accordingly, and that care may be speedily taken to open a trade at sea.

May 30, Alderman Andrews proclaimed the act for abolishing kingly government.

In July they petitioned for a grant or commission for the justices of Norwich to be justices of the peace in the precinct of Christ Church, (fn. 1) and to have power to unite parishes, and provide for the ministers thereof, out of the revenues of the cathedral.

Several young men and boys, clothed at the charge of the city, werecarried to London, bound apprentices, and sent to Virginia and NewEngland.

In 1650, Will. Tooke or Tucke of Lakenham, was chosen sheriff, and kept his sheriffalty at Lakenham Wood-house.

The pulpit was taken out of the Green Yard, and placed in the New-hall or Black-Friers Yard, and an exchange was begun to be kept in that hall.

Many aldermen, &c. were discharged for not taking the covenant or engagement.

June 26, Oliver Cromwell was made general of the English forces, and on the 28th he advanced for Scotland. Oct. 7, an insurrection was intended in Norfolk, near Norwich, in favour of King Charles II. but being discovered, several were apprehended, and three judges were sent down to Norwich by the parliament, who sat at the New-hall as a high court of justice on Friday Dec. 20, in great pomp, with the sword, mace,&c. on Saturday they condemned six, who were executed the Monday following, on a gallows erected between the cross and the well in the market-place; (fn. 2) on Tuesday they condemned six more: on Wednesday, being Christmas day, they passed sentence on Mr. Cooper, a minister at Holt, who was hanged there. On Thursday the 26th, five more were condemned: on Friday, Col. Saul and a shoemaker were condemned, and after hanged at Lyn. On Monday, Dec. 30, Major Francis Roberts, and Lieutenant John Barber, and two others were condemned; the two former were hanged on die gallows in the market, and the other two at two several market towns; one Mr. Will. Hobart, who gave witness against Mr. Cooper, was the next day himself condemned, and hanged at Dearham.

In 1651, mackerel, good and fresh, were sold in the market at 17 for a penny; hops were 12l. a hundred, and wheal 20s. a comb.

In 1652, the long parliament having sat 20 years, the members were turned out by Cromwell, the general of their army.

In 1653, General Cromwell was sworn Lord Protector, Dec. 16, and on the 22d of the same month, was proclaimed at Norwich.

And it was now ordered by the Protector, that Norfolk county should send 10 members to parliament, Norwich, Lyn, and Yarmouth, two members each, and Thetford and Rising none at all, but should vote in the county.

In 1654, on certain intelligence of "risings in several places in the nation, against the publique government," whereby the disaffected are like to be mutinous, a company of 120 well affected persons, such as may be confided in, were listed, to be in readiness at any warning to take up arms, to be aiding and assisting to the mayor and sheriffs, for the appeasing of all turn alts in the city, and Mr. Buret was to be their captain, Mr. Knights lieutenant, and Mr. Scolding ensign.

Many quakers in the city were imprisoned and tried at the city sessions.

June 24, this year, was the ordinance settled for an assessment for six months, for the maintenance of the armies and navies of the commonwealth, at the rate of 120,000l. a month for the first three months, and 90,000l. for the last three months, towards which last sum the county paid 4660l. a month, and Norwich city and county 240l. a month. (fn. 3)

On August 29th was published the ordinance for the ejection of scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient ministers and school-masters, (fn. 4) by which, most of the ablest divines were ejected, and others, fit for the purpose of those times, put in, by the sole power of a set of commissioners appointed in each county for that purpose; any five of which had power to eject any man, if five of the ministers, assistants to the commissioners, joined with them; the commissioners and assistants for the counties of Norfolk and Norwich, were, Henry Lawrence, Lord President of his Highness's counsel, Philip Skippon, Esq. Hezekiah Haynes, Charles-George Cock of Norwich, Esq. Sir John Hobart, Knt. and Bart. Sir Thomas Hogan of Great-Dunham, Robert Wood, Edw. Wood, Tobias Fryer, Henry King, Edward Bulwer of Heydon, John Reymes, Ralf Woolmer, Roger Harper, John Green, and Thomas Scot of Lyn, Tho. Baret and Nic. Salter of Norwich, Isaac Preston of Yarmouth, Mr. Tho. Garret, and Tho. Russell of N. Basham, Esq. Edmund Cremere of Snetesham, Esq. Martin Hastyngs of Hindringham, Esq. and John Toft of Norwich.

The assistant ministers were, Mr. Will. Bridges, John Brinsley of Yarmouth, John Martin of Edgefield, John Money of Wimondham, Timothy Armitage of Norwich, Charles Frank of Thetford, Nat. Brewster of Aldby, Edm. Broome of Southreppes, Mr. Breviter, Sam. Smith of Sidestrond or Sistern, Ric. Wells of Fakenham, Mr. Harmer of Saxlingham, Israël Shipdham of Swaffham, Tho. Thorowgood, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Hogan of Lyn, Edw. Corbet, Mr. Collings of Norwich, Mr. Peck of Hingham, John Newton of Great-Dunham, and Will. Hall of Eveningham.

In 1656, on Sunday, July 20, about five in the evening, was a most terrible tempest of thunder and lightning, with hail stones as big as pullets eggs, which did great hurt to the corn, glass windows, &c. to the value of 3000l. in the city and adjacent country. The late Lord Bishop Hall deceased, gave 20l. to the city poor.

In 1657, the Lord Protector Cromwell being proclaimed in London with great solemnity on July 1, on the 10th following he was proclaimed here, the mayor justices and aldermen, riding in scarlet gowns, and the sheriffs in violet gowns, attended by two trumpeters, and two companies of volunteers, and the city waits; the whole company were gallantly entertained at the mayor's.

In 1658, Sept. 3, the grand Usurper died, on which day the wind was so very high, that much damage was clone in many places: and on the 7th of the same instant, the mayor received letters intimating his death, and ordering,

Richard Cromwell, his eldest son, to be proclaimed Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland; upon which the court assembled at 2 in the afternoon, in scarlet, and attended by the sheriffs and two companies of the militia, proclaimed him according to the form prescribed by the council.

Nov. 23, the Usurper's funeral was celebrated with greater pomp than was commonly used for the best of kings.

24 Dec. Christ. Pooley came into court, and openly declared, that the Lord's day is not to be sanctified or kept holy, but that the Saturday is the Sabbath, and ought to be kept, calling the Lord's day an idol day, and openly charged the justices on the bench, of injustice, &c. and in like manner did several others, calling the rulers of the nation Antichristians, and the magistrates of the city, limbs of the beast.

In 1659, Apr. 7, Richard Cromwell's party deserting him, his parliament dissolved, and he was laid aside, and Oct. 13, the rump parliament was kicked out by the army.

An order was sent to the city goaler, to deliver the goods of Mary Oliver, who was executed for witchcraft, to be sold for the city's use.

Dec. 14, the necessities of the poor were allowed by the court to be so great for lack of work, sicknesses, and diseases, occasioned by want, and the severity of the season, that they were forced to gather at all the church doors for their support every time there was service; to such misery had these unhappy divisions brought not only this place but the greatest part of the kingdom.

Dec. 26, the rump sat again, and on Jan. 2, voted "an oath of "RENUNCIATION of the title of his Majesty and the whole line of King James."

Feb. 2, the secluded members were restored by General Monk.

March 16, the rump parliament was dissolved,, and a new parliament summoned, which was held April 25.

In 1630, the peers took their places by virtue of their ancient dignities and birth-right.

April 25. by order of General George Monk, Capt. Drake's company or Evelin's regiment were sent and quartered at Norwich till further orders.

May 1, his Majesty's declaration was read in parliament, and a present ordered to be sent him.

May 8, his Majesty was most solemnly proclaimed in London; and on the 29th, being his birth-day, he arrived at White-hall, with incredible demonstrations of joy, for his miraculous restoration.

Mayors And Sheriffs.

1649, Robert Baron, died Aug. 1. Alexander Peckover died suddenly Nov. 7, in the council chamber, Sam. Brewster chosen the same day, John Man.
John Rawley or Rayley, chosen Aug. 3. Erasmus Earl, Serjeant at law, recorder.
1650, Mathew Lindsey, died Jan. 23. Will. Tooke or Tuck, Nehemiah Bond.
Thomas Baret, chosen Jan. 24.
1651, Bernard Church. Tho. Johnson, John Knights.
1652, Will. Barnham. Clement Parnell, who dwelt in Norfolk county, Rog. Whistler of Catton.
1653, John Man. Christ Jay, Rog. Mingay.
1654, Tho. Toft. John Andrews, Joseph Paine.
1655, John Salter. Hen. Wood, Ric. Coldham.
1656,Sam. Puckle. Robert Powle or Powel, James Long.
1657, Christ. Jay. Rob. Gooch, Will. Heyward or Howard.
1658, Rog. Mingay. Roger Hawys or Hawes, Math. Marcon.
1659, Will. Davy. Tho. Wisse, John Lawrence.

Burgesses In Parliament.

1649, Ric. Harman, (fn. 5) Ric. Catlyn, Esqrs. members in the long parliament.

1656, August 20. Bernard Church, alderman, John Hobart, Esq. of St. Giles's.

1658, Jan. John Hobart, Esq. Will. Barnham.


  • 1. John Rayley, Edward Boreman, Adrian Permenter, and Henry Watts, aldermen, made justices in the palace and precinct, by the keepers of the liberties, &c. together with the mayor, recorder, and steward. Test nobis ipsis apud Westm. 28 Mar. 1650. Under the broad seal in the Gildhall.
  • 2. Will. Trott, Will. Wilson, Nat. Bennet, and Edm. Brady, hanged at Norwich. Stephen Winwood and Rich. Knapp at Downham. John Baker and John Olley at Swaffham. Tho. Collop at Thetford. Will. Rastall and Tho. Wragg near Wisbitch. Tho. Richardson at Fakenham. Mr. Roberts at Walsingham, &c. And by order of a court held Dec 4, 1675, these words were added to the account of their condemnations, viz. "For their loyalty to his Majesty Charles the First."
  • 3. From the Catalogue, &c. of all the Ordinances, &c. published by the Lord Protector, in 1653 and 1654, in fo. Lond. 1654, fo. 137.
  • 4. Ibid, fo. 202, 111.
  • 5. He received 115l. at different times for his wages in parliament.