HINGHAM gives name to a deanery, and is a small market-town, consisting of a square of good houses and shops, with several narrow streets, pleasantly seated on rising ground, near an extensive lake, abounding in fish, and supplied by several springs, which give rise to a rivulet flowing eastward to the Yare. The parish contains 388 houses, 1,698 inhabitants, and 3,525 acres of land. It is distant 6 miles W. of Wymondham; 9½ miles S. by E. of Dereham; and 14 miles W.S.W. of Norwich. The Market—formerly held on Saturday—was revived some years ago, after being obsolete; and is now held on Tuesday, when the chief business is transacted at the Cock Inn. Large fairs for stock, &c., are annually held March 7th, Whit-Tuesday, and October 2nd. Lord Wodehouse is owner of most of the soil, and lord of the manor of Hingham; but some portions of the land are in the rectory manor, and the Rev. W. B. Hurnard's manor of Gurney's. The manor of Hingham was anciently held by the Marshals, Earls of Pembroke, from whom it passed to the Morleys, and subsequently to the Wodehouses. The Church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is a handsome edifice, with a lofty tower and eight bells. It was built in 1316. There were no less than seven guilds held in the church, each having a stipendary chaplain serving at their altars, and a great many images, all of which had wax tapers burning before them in time of divine service, prior to the Reformation. The east window is beautifully adorned with stained glass, purchased on the continent by the late Lord Wodehouse, in 1813. The subjects are—The Crucifixion, The Descent from the Cross, The Resurrection and Ascension, &c., in figures as large as life, which are much admired for the beauty of the colours. On the north side of the chancel is an elaborate monument, reaching from the floor to the roof, richly decorated with imagery and tracery raised to the memory of Thomas Lord Morley, Baron of Rye, who died in 1435. Lord Wodehouse is patron of the rectory, valued in the King's book at £24 18s. 4d.; incumbent, the Hon. and the Rev. W. Wodehouse, who has a yearly rent of £1,260 12s. 3d. awarded in 1842 in lieu of tithes; and 33a. 3r. 3p. of glebe. In 1605, Robert Peek M.A., was rector here, and being a man of a "violent schismatical spirit," he pulled down the rails—levelled the altar—and sunk the chancel a foot below the nave; but being prosecuted for it by Bishop Wren, he, with many of his parishioners, who sold their estates for half their value, fled to New England, and founded a new colony by the name of Hingham, where many of their posterity still remain. Sir Ralph de Ingham, Knt., was a native of this parish, and Justice of the King’s Bench, in the reigns of Henry III. and Edward I.; but being found guilty of bribery, he was fined 7,000 marks, which not being paid, he, with nine more judges convicted of similar crimes, were afterwards banished. He ultimately paid the fine, and was made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, in the First of Edward II. The Independents and Friends have each a chapel here. Petty Sessions are held at the White Hart Inn on the first Tuesday in every month. There are good Bowling-greens at the White Hart and Cock Inns. Here are several Benefit and Friendly Societies, and an Odd Fellows’ Lodge, M.U. in the town; the latter has about 120 members, and holds its meetings every other Tuesday, at the White Hart.
Hingham Free School was founded and endowed in 1727, by William Parlett, for the support of a master and usher, to instruct in the Greek and Latin tongues, and also in English, writing and arithmetic, all the sons of the inhabitants of Hingham, Woodrising, and Southburgh. In 1728, Sarah Day gave £40, on condition that one boy should be admitted from Scoulton. In 1750, Sir John Wodehouse gave the land on which a house and school-room were built. Part of the school estate was sold for the redemption of the land-tax, and some portions of it were exchanged at the enclosure, in 1783. It now consists of a farmhouse and 122a. 0r. 4p. of land, let for £200 per annum. Since 1789, the master and usher have kept two separate schools; the former instructs about ten boys in Latin and Greek gratuitously, and has a good dwelling-house. The usher has usually about forty boys, who are instructed in reading, writing, and accounts. Here is also a National and British School. The poor have £5 a year, left by F. Seaborn, R. Baldwin, and C. Adcock. Thos. Heyhoe, in 1708, left 2a. of land (now let for £4 10s.) of which 10s. are paid for a sermon; 1s. to the clerk; and the rest expended in bread. Wm. Thurrold, in 1724, left land for a weekly distribution of bread, which was exchanged in 1808 for 2a. 3r. now let for £6 a year. E. Payne, in 1734, gave certain land to the poor, afterwards exchanged for 2a. 2r. 8p., now let for £7 10s. At the enclosure in 1783, 2a. 2r. 24p. and a Fuel allotment, consisting of 30a. was awarded to the poor, which now produces £37 a year. These, with other charities, are chiefly expended in coals, and given on St. Thomas’s day and Candlemas-day. The Church estate, purchased with £20, in the reign of Henry VIII., was exchanged at the enclosure for 8a. 16p., let for about £20 a year.
Post Office at Miss Large’s; letters arrive at 9 a.m., and are despatched at 6 p.m.
1891 Census Names Index
Brief history of Hingham
Blomfield, 1739 on Hingham
Universal British directory 1793
Pigot's 1830 [GENUKI-NFK]
1831 Lewis's Topographical Dictionary [GENUKI-NFK]
White's 1845 and 1883
Kelly's 1883 and 1937
Notice of Enclosure [GENUKI-NFK] (search for "Hingham")
Hingham watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Hingham early postmill, Mill Corner tower mill, Deopham Road postmill and towermill and Hardingham Road postmill [Jonathan Neville]
Hingham Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Parish Register information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
More on Hingham [GENUKI-NFK]
Local Web-site Pictures, maps, events, etc
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