North Runcton

More about Victorian North Runcton

This is the entry for the village in Francis White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk 1854, pp. 667-668
[Complete entry. Transcription Copyright © A.J. Carter, December 2000]
Courtesy of Paddy Apling's web site


RUNCTON (NORTH,) 3 miles S.S.E. of Lynn, is a pleasant village and parish, which comprises 58 houses, 282 souls, and 1,329 acres of land, of which about 800a. are in the hamlet of HARDWICK, about one mile from Lynn.

Joseph Gee, Esq., of Hull, is lord of the manor of North Runcton, with Hardwick and Setch, in which the copyholders pay arbitrary fines. The manor farm has recently been rebuilt in the Elizabethan style. RUNCTON HALL, a handsome white brick mansion, rebuilt in 1834 at the cost of nearly £5,000, has recently been ornamented with a tower 59 feet high. It is the seat of Danl. Gurney, Esq., the patron of the CHURCH, which is dedicated to All Saints, and was re-built after the old one had been destroyed by the fall of the tower, in 1701.

The rectory has annexed to it the churchless parish of Setch, and is valued in the King's book at £8 10s. but is now worth about £750 a year, in the patronage of Trinity College, Cambridge, and incumbency of the Rev. James Cumming, MA., F.R.S., Professor of Chemistry, at Cambridge University.

Here are 15a. of glebe. The benefice was endowed in 1616, by the Rev. T. Hopes, with the Notley tithes (400 acres in Middleton,) subject to the yearly payments of 20s. fee farm rent ; £3 8s. 8d. to Trinity College, for poor scholars from the Lynn Grammar School, and several small sums for charitable uses. A yearly rent of £99 18s. is paid in lieu of tithes. The Rev. T. Hopes also bequeathed the rectory house, with one acre of land to it ; £3 8s. 8d. to the poor of this parish, who have also 3a. of land, one acre being divided into 12 gardens, and four tenements occupied by poor families. And the remaining 2 acres are let for £4 a year.

The Church land, 11a. 3r. 37p., is let for about £26.

National Schools were established in 1833 ; about 50 boys, and 60 girls and infants attend.

Cooper Hugh, shoemkr. & beerhse
Cummings Rev. James, M.A. F.R.S. rector
Gurney Daniel, Esq. Runcton Hall
Gurney Rev. Wm. Hay, B.A.
Harbour Wm. gardener
Hulton Fras. mert.
Orton Wm. National schoolmaster
Richardson Anthony, blacksmith
Storey Jas. joiner & builder, parish clk. & road surveyor
Thrower Edw. gardener & carter
Wright Wm. shoemkr. & shopkpr.

Greenacre Amy
Greenacre Ann
Greenacre Thos.
Greenacre Robt.
Mason My. Ann
Mc Pherson Dnld.
Robertson Jas.
Smith Geo.
Wright Thos.

Transcription Copyright © A.J. Carter, December 2000.


In the 1864 edition of the Gazetteer, the people listed are:

Alflatt Edward, bricklayer
Baxter William, parish clerk
Bell Misses Mary Ann and Harriet
Cooper Hugh, shoemaker and beerseller
Gurney Dnl. Esq. F.S.A. Runcton Hall
Gurney Rev. Wm. Hay, M.A. Rectory
Orton William, schoolmaster
Richardson Anthony, blacksmith
Storey James, joiner and builder
Thrower James, gardener
Wright William, tobacconist


Greenacre Amy, Manor Farm
Greenacre Thomas
Greenacre Robert
Robertson James
Mason Mary Ann, Hardwicke
Smith George
Thom William
Wright Thomas


According to the licencees for the beerhouse were Nicholas Cooper (from 1845 to 1854) and Hugh Cooper (from 1864 to 1883), although the name of the establishment isn't known.

Some of the people listed here are mentioned in "Life Amongst the Troubridges": Rev. William Hay Gurney (1827-1898) was a son of Daniel Gurney (Laura's grandfather) and father of the Troubridges' cousins. They are mentioned in particular on the occasion of a fire at their home, the rectory, in February 1876. Laura refers to him as "Uncle Willie"; William Orton, the village school master tutored the Troubridge children in arithmethic and geography. He is described as "a kind but weary looking man.....we liked him".

Rev. James Cumming (1777-1861) was a professor of Chemistry at Cambridge University. He published several learned papers & books including "A Manual of Electro-dynamics". In 1835 his newly ordained nephew Joseph George Cumming (1812-1868) was appointed as his curate. Joseph moved on to become a teacher at the West Riding Preparatory School in 1838 and, later, was for 15 years Vice-Principal of King William's College on the Isle of Man. Here he conducted notable geological surveys. James Cumming died in the parish in 1861 (biographical notes from Matlock and Matlock Bath: brief lives). There is a substantial biography of Joseph Cumming at

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