Norfolk, England Genealogy

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Norfolk is a maritime county located in the middle eastern part of England

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NORFOLK, a maritime county in the E of England; bounded, on the N W, by the Wash, which divides it from Lincolnshire; on the N and the N E, by the Northsea; on the S E, by Breydon-water and the river Waveney, which divide it from Suffolk; on the S, by the river Waveney, a short artificial line and the river Little Ouse, which divide it from Suffolk; on the S W and the W, by the rivers Old Welney and Nen, and a short artificialline, which divide it from Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. It is so nearly surrounded by its marine and river boundaries as to be almost an island, Its outline is somewhat ellipsoidal, but suffers indentation by the Wash. Its greatest length, from E to W, is 60 miles; its greatest breadth, from N to S, is 40 miles; its meanbreadth is about 29 miles; its circuit is about 200 miles; and its area is 1, 354, 301 acres. Only three English counties, York, Lincoln, and Devon, exceed it in size...

The county contains 743 parishes, parts of 3 others, and 7 extra-parochial places; and is divided into the hundreds of Blofield, Brothercross, Clackclose, Clavering, Depwade, Diss, Earsham, North Erpingham, South Erpingham, Eynesford, East Flegg, West Flegg, Forehoe, Freebridge-Lynn, Freebridge-Marshland, Gallow, North Greenhoe, South Greenhoe, Grimshoe, Guiltcross, Happing, Henstead, Holt, Humbleyard, Launditch, Loddon, Mitford, Shropham, Smithdon, Taverham, Tunstead, Walsham, and Wayland, and the boroughs of Kings-Lynn, Norwich, Thetford, and part of Yarmouth. The county was divided, in 1832, into two sections, East and West, for parliamentary representation; and was redivided, in 1867, into three sections, North, South, and West; each section sending two members to parliament. The registration county gives off part of 1 parish to Suffolk, and 11 parishes and parts of 2 others to Cambridge; takes in 14 parishes, part of another, and an extra-parochial tractfrom Suffolk, and part of a chapelry from Cambridge; comprises 1, 300, 311 acres; and is divided into the districtsof Yarmouth, Flegg, Tunstead, Erpingham, Aylsham, St. Faith, Norwich, Forehoe, Henstead, Blofield, Loddon, Depwade, Guiltcross, Wayland, Mitford, Walsingham, Docking, Freebridge-Lynn, Kings-Lynn, Downham, Swaffham, and Thetford. Norwich and Lynn send eachtwo members to parliament; and Yarmouth and Thetford also sent each two, but have been disfranchised. Other towns, with a pop. in 1861 of above 2,000, and ranging from 3, 164 to 2, 152, are Diss, Wells-next-the-Sea, Dereham, Swaffham, Walsham, Downham, Aylsham, Fakenham, and Wymondham; and there are about 770 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets.

The county is governed by a lord lieutenant, a vice-admiral, a high sheriff, about 112 deputy lieutenants, and about 400 magistrates; is in the home military district and the Norfolk judiciary circuit; and, excepting Emneth parish and part of Brandon parish, is all in the diocese of Norwich. The assizes are held at Norwich; and quarter-sessions, at Norwich, Swaffham, and Walsingham. The county-jail and a city jail are at Norwich; county houses of correction are at Swaffham and Wymondham; and borough-jails are at Lynn and Yarmouth...  Marriages in 1863, 3,052, of which 559 were not according to the rites of the Established church; births, 13, 851, of which 1, 559 were illegitimate; deaths, 9, 318, of which 3, 331 were at ages under 5 years, and 433 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 32, 709; births, 137, 594; deaths, 91, 632. The places of worship, in 1851, were 719 of the Church of England, with 168, 49 of Independents, 67 of Particular Baptists, 3 of General Baptists, 6 of New Connexion General Baptists, 15 of Baptists undefined, 15 of Quakers, 7 of Unitarians, with 1, 213 of Wesleyan Methodists, 1 of New Connexion Methodists, 254 of Primitive Methodists, 2 of Bible Christians, 2 of the Wesleyan Association, 44 of Wesleyan Reformers, 2 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, 1 of Sandemanians, 1 of the New Church, 19 of isolated congregations, 13 of Latter Day Saints, 6 of Roman Catholics, and 2 of Jews...  Poppulation in 1801, 273, 479; in 1.821, 344, 368; in 1841, 412, 664; in 1861, 434, 798. Inhabited houses, 96, 672; uninhabited, 4, 978; building, 359. Population of the registration county in 1861, 427, 466. 

The above extract comes from:  John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72).  For the full account go to Vision of Britain


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