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September 28, 2010

King's Lynn, Norfolk, East Anglia, England

A cherished friend of mine hails from King's Lynn. It's located primarily on the east bank of the River Great Ouse, which flows into the nearby Wash, a huge estuary and shallow bay of the North Sea. A port about 120 miles north of London, it's also about 50 miles northwest of Lindsey, Suffolk, a still tiny village from where my mother's family first emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634. King's Lynn, or "Lynn", is at least 1000 years old. There are references to Lynn (where locals harvested salt from salt marshes) in the Domesday Book, commissioned by William I to get a handle on just what he and his fellow Normans had conquered in 1066. More accurately, Lynn appears in "Little Domesday", the independent work covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Originally named "Bishop's Lynn", the town was part of the manor of the Bishop of Norwich in the 12th century. St. Margaret's Church was founded in 1101. By the 14th century, the town ranked as the third most important port in England. Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1538--and the town and the manor became royal property. And, of course, the name changed. Today industries are fishing and seafood, chemicals, glass-making, light manufacturing and food processing.

Queen Street, 1909

Posted by JD Hull at September 28, 2010 11:57 PM


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