‘Slices of Bacon’ – Sir Nathaniel, his family and his papers

Nathaniel Bacon (?1546-1622) was the second son of the Lord Keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon and his first wife Jane, the daughter of Thomas Ferneley, a Suffolk merchant. Nathaniel had two brothers, Nicholas and Edward, both of whom became county figures in Suffolk, and two half-brothers, Anthony and Francis, the sons…

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Overseas Trade (and Smuggling) in Early Modern King’s Lynn

The King's Lynn Port Books 1610-1614 While not as important as London, King’s Lynn was still definitely in the premier division of the urban commercial leagues in the early modern period, alongside ports such as Newcastle, Hull, Southampton, Bristol and Chester. Liverpool and Glasgow at that time were still ‘emerging’…

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The Whirlpool of Misadventures

The Whirlpool of Misadventures: Letters of Robert Paston, First Earl of Yarmouth, 1663-1679 The famous Paston Letters document the rise to wealth and status of a Norfolk family from 1422-1509, and first appeared in print in 1787. The most significant collection of letters detailing the family’s subsequent fortunes is in…

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The Civil War Comes to Norwich

The Great Blow: Examinations and Informations relating to the Great Blow in Norwich, 1648 On 24 April 1648 a rioting crowd unwittingly unleashed the largest explosion in seventeenth-century England, detonating ninety-eight barrels of powder in the house rented to Norfolk’s County Committee, very close to Norwich market place. The blast…

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Norfolk’s Navigator

The World of John Secker 1716-95, Quaker Mariner John Secker was a Norfolk sailor who penned his personal recollections of around 65 voyages, mainly undertaken in British and foreign merchant vessels, to encompass destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas between 1729 and 1755. The son of a Quaker…

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Architecture and family life in early-Georgian Norfolk

John Buxton, Norfolk Gentleman and Architect, Letters to his son 1719-1729 Reading other people’s letters is not obviously legitimate, but past collections can fairly be explored to illuminate the lives of individuals and their families. Between 1719 and 1729, John Buxton (1685-1731), a south-Norfolk landowner remembered as a gentleman-architect, exchanged…

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