The King of the Norfolk Poachers. (2)

"I was born in a small villige in historick Norfolk. The third Largest County of England, famed for its corn growen lands, beside bein the home of some of the highest nobility in the land, and his Majesty the King and Royal Family.   It can bost of some fine townshipps and many Ancient Abbies and Castles and other landmarks.  Abler pens than mine extolled the County of Norfolk, but like many Norfolk men, I sometimes think there is no place like it."

"The villige where I was born was a verry old villige and there were a lot of old houses in it.  I can well remember wen every cottage had a horse shoe nailed on the door, and a stone with a hole through it.  That was to bring them luck and preevent witches from hurting them."

"The first job I had  .. I had to light the fires, help the servants and make myself generally useful.  The people that I worked for were gentlemen farmers, Paul was the name, of Pentney, east of Lynn.  A straggling vilige but bosted a fine old Abbey and an ancient Market Cross."

"My parents did there best for me and sent me to school, and there I lerend those things they thought proper, reading and Aritmatics, the colleck for the week, and Beleff and that sort of thing.
We used to read the Bible one hower in the mornings, and do Aritmatic in the afternoon.  The girls had to lern to sew and knit.
The children in the School were made up into Classes.  There was no age limit then for leven school, a boy or girl could leave any tuime that they could find a job of Worck to go to, and that had to be sone if there were a lot of them, or there was nothing  to eat."

"My old grandad, he told me tales of the fights he had with Keepers at nights; tales of the Smuglars that worked all along that coast, and how they used to come up the River and hide there cargoes in holes in the ground.  They used to bring there boats as far as Lynn Wash.  The cargoes came from Holland or Amsterdam, and other parts of Germany, and were Brandy, and spirits, silks, and many other goods.  The Smuglars used to meet what they called Luggers out on Lynn Wash, then bring the cargoes and row them up the Nar, or take them over land. . Near where Grandad lived, ther was a verry old roadside house, and the Smuglars used to meet there at nights to discuss their plans.  A farmhouse was built on the site, now called Crossgate Farm.  It is about 200 yards from the Ancient Market Cross wich stand there today, and a mile from Pentney Abby"

"I used to go to Sunday School and rember verry well bein put up to recite the Legend of the Swaffham Tinker, and rember most of it to this day.  It was at the Sunday School party at Pentney"

Poaching and Punishment
The next part of the story

Email: rasheridan@lineone.net

Rita Sheridan, Warwickshire,  England