Social History...


During the period 1760-1820 came the private Acts of Parliament for enclosing of open fields. The survival of the best corn growing areas of East Anglia could no longer be tolerated with an increasing population to feed. It was therefore in the reign of George III that East Anglia took up its present appearance of small fields enclosed by hedges. Reference to this enclosure as it concerns Wicklewood is seen in a statement of claims delivered to the commissioners published in 1808 and headed "Wicklewood Enclosures":-

"Notice is given that if any person or persons have any objections to the claims they are to bring them to the notice of the Commissioners on or before their next meeting, which is to be held at a public house called the 'White Hart Inn' in Hingham, Norfolk, on the 17th day of November 1808"

Typical claims entered are as follows:-

Claimants - Rights Claimed.

Thomas Tawel Colman - Claims a right of common of pasture for all his commonable cattle, levant and couchant, upon the said premises, over the commons of Wicklewood at all times of the year.

The Rev. Ellis Burroughs - Claims a right claims the right of common of pasture for sheep and all commable cattle whatever, levant or couchant upon the same premises.
Also a right of taking flags, turves and peat, upon all the said Commons for necessary fuel, to be burnt and consumed within such a messuages; and also a right of taking sand for repairing and improving the said messuages and buildings from any part of the said, commons in Wicklewood where such clay and sand can be found.

The Right Hon. John Lord Wodehouse - Claims of the Manor of Wicklewood, with the sole and exclusive right in and to the soil on the said common and wastelands in Wicklewood, together with all timbers and other trees, saplings and pollards. His lordship also claims the sole and exclusive right of Wicklewood Mere, and the fishing therein. Also the right of digging clay and sand from the said common to repair and improve buildings.

Numerous other claims are made and it is interesting to note that the claimants included six parsons.

A fuel allotment of twelve acres was awarded at the enclosure under the act of the 47th during the reign of George III, this realized £15.10.0p per annum, and was given to the poor in the forms of gifts of coal.

“Queen Elizabeth Slept Here”
In the year 1578 Queen Elizabeth made a progress in her loyal counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridge. Arriving at Norwich on Saturday, August 16th, she stayed until Friday, August 22nd, and was entertained right royally, so that she took farewell of the city with great regret. Just after leaving Norwich she had paused at the house of Sir Edward Clere at Blickling and had there knighted, amongst other gentlemen, Roger Wode-house, descendant of an old family established at Kimberley since the 13th century." And so," says John Nichols, F.S.A., in his account of Queen Elizabeth's Progresses, “the Queene, passing from Norwich to Cambridge, came to Maister Woodhouse' that night, August 22nd, where she was well received and nobly entertained." No details of that entertainment appear to be available, but in "The Wodehouses of Kimberley " by John, Earl of Kimberley, K.C. (published 1887), it is mentioned that according to tradition " the oaks standing on the hill near Kimberley House were planted to commemorate the Queen's visit Their age warrants the belief that the tradition is well founded." Blomefield also states : "There is still in the family a noble Throne which was erected for her Majesty in the grand hall there. It is of crimson velvet, richly embroidered with gold, having on it the arms of Wodehouse and his quarterings, with the supporters all in curious work; and on the top are the same arms empaling Corbet." (Sir Roger's wife was Mary Corbet.)
Some five or six years ago the Elizabethan treasures of Kimberley were examined and constituted, according to a contemporary article by Andrew Carfax in " Apollo," " The most important find of relics of the most masterful of English Queens that has been made within living memory." Some of the relics were wrapped in copies of the "Morning Post" of a century previous; others had been undisturbed for a much longer period, and all were in a perfect state of preservation. Amongst them was the Throne referred to by Blomfield. a picture of which is reproduced in this issue by the courtesy of Messrs. Acton, Surgey, Ltd.

The Throne formed a principal feature of the Art Treasures Exhibition in London in October-November, 1932, and is thus described in the official catalogue: "It consists of a suspended canopy of which the front and sides are of ruby red velvet on which is applied a gold and silver tissue 'tinted with colours and edged with gold bullion thread."

The Throne is 6 ft. 7 in. long, 5 ft. 1 in. wide, the only portions which have required restoration are the velvet on the actual seat, sides, and below the headpiece.

The family arms are stated to have come to the Wodehouses through John Wodehouse, Esquire to Henry V., and were won at Agincourt.
According to an ancient verified pedigree: —
"At famous Agincourt
He won that martiall motto.'Frappe Fort.'
His Crest, a hand and club stretcht from a cloud,Though antiently the Creast to them allowed
Had been a savage or wild Wodhous with A ragged club engyrdled in a wreath, Supporters now he had,an honour given King's favourits, two woodmen deckt in green. In this black field three Cinqfoyls Ermin stood, A gulden chevron charged in dropes of blood"

The quality and intricacy of the work supports the supposition that Sir Roger Wodehouse must have had longer notice of the Queen's intended visit than the few days which elapsed between his knighting and her Majesty's return from Norwich, and prompts the conjecture whether any of the work could have been accomplished by any of the craftsmen of the city. The Throne was exhibited at the Royal Treasures Exhibition held in London in April and May last by its joint owners, Acton, Surgey Ltd and Mallett & Son, of Bruton Street, W1. As a unique historical souvenir of Queen Elizabeth's Norfolk progress, the Castle Museum at Norwich might be suggested as a most appropriate resting place for a treasure of such remarkable beauty and so fully authenticated.

The tithes were committed in 1844 for the sum of £340 to the Impropiators, and £130 to the Vicar.

Near the Church of All Saints, stands the remains of a mill and chaff house. This mill was used for the purpose of grinding corn for the people of Wicklewood, and ceased to function many years ago. Figures worked into the brick of the chaff-house read 1848.

Population In common with the rest of the country the population of Wicklewood increased during the 19th century, although it will be noted that this tendency was reversed during the close of the century.

Population figures. 1801 696, 1821 672, 1831 787, 1841 775, 1851 894, 1871 802, 1881 730, 1901 626.

In 1851 the number of houses in Wicklewood totalled 159