Thorpe - Mousehold


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Norfolk Windmills

There was a postmill marked on the 1750 map in the same position as that later occupied by the postmill known as the Black Mill. This could be the same mill as the Black Mill or an earlier mill on the same site. The Black Mill was described as "New" in 1778, a description generally applied to a mill less than twenty years old. In 1841 the Black Mill was dismantled and sold at auction. Strangely, a new Black Mill was built on the same site immediately afterwards.

Mousehold Black Mill was a post mill and was standing by 1778 when James Parkerson was the miller and two sailcloths were taken from the mill.

WHEREAS on Tuesday night the 3rd instant or early on Wednesday Morning, some Villains did maliciously cut and carry away two Sail-cloths from the new Wind-mill at Thorp, near Norwich; and on Thursday Night the 19th instant, or early on Friday morning, the said Mill was broke into, and robbed of One Sack of Meal. Whoever will give Information of the Offender or Offenders, so as he or they be brought to Justice, shall upon Conviction receive FIVE GUINEAS, to be paid by

Norfolk Chronicle - 21st March 1778

James Parkerson took out an insurance policy on the mill about the time of the robberies.

Sun Fire Insurance Policy No. 396197

James Parkerson jnr. of Norwich, Baker.
On his Wind Mill with the going geers therein at Thorpe near Norwich, £300.
Utensils and stock £200.

William Daynes was listed in Chase's Directory of 1783 as a miller at moushold mill. Peter Blomfield may have been the owner of the mill. There are two insurance policies bearing his name that appear to relate to the mill.

Royal Exchange Fire Insurance Policy No. 109726.

24 Dec. 1788: Peter Blomfield of the City of Norwich. On a Post Windmill and Roundhouse under situate at Thorpe near Norwich aforesaid £200. On utensils and trade therein £100.

Royal Exchange Fire Insurance Policy No. 119465

11 Jan. 1791: Peter Blomfield of the City of Norwich. On a Windmill and Roundhouse under situate at Thorpe near Norwich aforesaid £200. On utensils and trade therein £100.

Royal Exchange Fire Insurance Policy No. 109726.

24 Dec. 1788: Peter Blomfield of the City of Norwich. On a Post Windmill and Roundhouse under situate at Thorpe near Norwich aforesaid £200. On utensils and trade therein £100.

The Parkerson's were also at Keswick and Hellesdon watermills and were also Corn Merchants.

Norwich, September 5.1789.

TAKE this Method of informing the Gentlemen and Farmers, in the Neighbourhood of this City, that they constantly attend their Office on Tombland; and on Saturdays, during the Corn Season, at Mr. Mayhew's, at the Castle and Lion, White-Lion-Lane, for the Purpose of buying Grain in General.
N.B. Flour, Malt, Oats etc. by retail.
Norfolk Chronicle - 12th September 1789


Saturday last died, aged 85, Mr. Joseph Parkerson, father of Mr. Parkerson, miller, at Hellesdon.
Norfolk Chronicle - 6th February 1796

The mill was marked on Faden's map of 1797.

John Carter Parkerson was the miller in 1801, when he took out an insurance policy on the mill. The reference to a steam engine may be because a Steam Mill was then being erected by public subscription in Norwich. That steam mill only lasted 10 years before being dismantled.

Royal Exchange Fire Insurance Policy No. 183504.

22nd April 1801. John Carter Parkerson of the City of Norwich, Baker, On a Corn Wind Mill House timber built £300. On the standing and going gears, millstones and machines in the same £100. On utensils and stock in trade £300. Situate in the Hamlet of Thorpe belonging to the City and in his own occupation. Warranted no steam engine in adjoining or communicating with the said Mill.


Lot I. A Capital POST WINDMILL, situated in the hamlet of Thorpe, about half a mile on the road opposite Bishop-bridge, with two pair of 4 feet 6 inches French Stones, a cylinder for cleaning wheat, a cylinder and flour-mill for making flour, with improved Straining tackle so admirably conceived as to vie with the regularity of the motion of any water-mill; also two Cottages, a summer-house, stable, a garden, well laid out, and commanding an extensive prospect, an 37 acres, or a smaller quantity, of land, adjoining to the mill.
Lot II. A genteel DWELLING-HOUSE, situate in St. George of Tombland, next the Baking-Office late in the occupation of Mr. Parkerson, consisting of two parlours, kitchen, four lodging rooms, and large cellars, together with a yard paved with flagstones, and wash-house, and other conveniences.
For further particulars, apply to Foster, Son, Unthank, and Forster, attornies, in Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 20th March 1802

The mill was not sold and was put up for auction In October 1802.

(Unless disposed of by private contract)
On Saturday October 2nd, 1802, precisely at 4 o'clock,
at the Waggon and Horses, St. George, Tombland

A Capital POST WINDMILL, situate in the Hamlet of Thorpe, (about half a mile on the road opposite to Bishop bridge) with two pair of French stones 4 feet 6 inches, a cylinder of cleaning wheat, also a cylinder and flour mill for making flour, with improved straining tackle, adapted to vie with the regularity of motion of any water mill. Also two cottages and a summer house commanding extensive prospects with or without 37 acres of land, as shall be agree on at the auction.
For further Particulars apply to Foster, Son, Unthank, and Forster, Attornies, in Norwich

Norfolk Chronicle - 25th September 1802

William King was the miller in 1815. He was born c.1776 in Mettingham, Suffolk. He assigned his estate and effects to Messrs. Simpson and Rackham, Solicitors, in November of that year. His effects were put up for auction in December 1815.

On Thursday, December 28, 1815, and following day,

ALL the STOCK in TRADE, Household Furniture, and other Effects of Mr. WM. KING, Miller, at Thorpe next Norwich. The Furniture consists of four-post, tent, and other bedsteads, and hangings, feather-beds and bedding, mahogany and other chairs, mahogany dining tables, mahogany chest of drawers, mahogany bureau bedstead, capital eight day clock in mahogany case, pier and dressing glasses, mahogany wash hand stand, bedside and other carpets, glass, china, and earthenware, copper boilers, saucepans, tea kettles, and frying pans; Bath range, stoves, fenders, and fire irons, candlesticks, box irons, and many culinary articles &c. &c.
Likewise a useful bay horse, black poney, young cow, two luggage carts, small tumbril, water cart and tub, a quantity of cart and plough harness, about 100 sacks various, sack barrows, bushel and other measures, large iron beam and wood scales, a quantity of iron weights, mill ropes, bills, flour bins, pigs' troughs, corn bins, water tubs, long and short forks, shovels, chaff cutter, grindstone, and many other useful implements, small quantity of hay, straw, and muck.
The whole will be sold without reserve, and the sale to begin each morning at half-past ten o'clock.
The furniture will be sold on the Thursday.
N.B. all persons to whom the said Mr. King stands indebted are requested to send the account of their respective debts to Messrs. Simpson and Rackham, Solicitors, Norwich; and all persons indebted to the said Mr. King are requested to pay the same immediately to Messrs. Simpson and Rackham, at whose office the Assignment is left for execution.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd December 1815

However, these measures did not prevent William King's bankruptcy.

WHEREAS a Commission of Bankrupt is awarded and issued Forth against WILLIAM KING, now or late of the hamlet of Thorpe, in the county of the city of Norwich, Miller, dealer and chapman, and he being declared a Bankrupt, is hereby required to surrender himself to the Commissioners named, or a major part of them, on the twenty-ninth and thirtieth days of March instant, and the twentieth day of April next at four o'clock in the afternoon on each of the said days, at the Norfolk Hotel, situate in the parish of Saint Gregory, in the city of Norwich, and make a full discovery and disclosure of his estate and effects, when and where the creditors are to come prepared to prove their debts, and at the second sitting to choose assignees; and at the last sitting the said Bankrupt is to finish his examination; and the creditors are to assent to or dissent from the allowance of his certificate. All persons indebted to the said Bankrupt, or that have any of his effects, are not to pay or deliver the same but to whom the Commissioners shall appoint, but give notice to Messrs. Simpson and Rackham, solicitors, in Norwich, or to Messrs W. and G. Taylor, solicitors, Featherstone Buildings, Holborn, London.
Norfolk Chronicle - 9th March 1816

William King was later to run Gallant's Mill, Mousehold. In 1851, William King was given as an inmate of The Great Hospital, St. Helens.

William Smith was the next miller. He also became bankrupt and was in prison by January 1826. However, by 1850 he was running Buck's postmill in Lakenham.

Persuant to the several Acts of Parliament for the relief of Insolvent Debtors, in England.
Office of the Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors, No.33, Lincoln's Inn Fields.
PETITIONS of Insolvent Debtors to be heard at the Court House in and for the City of Norwich, in the county of the same city, on the 21st day of February, 1826, at Ten o'clock in the Morning.
WILLIAM SMITH, formerly at Sprowston, Norfolk, Baker and Miller, afterwards of the hamlet of Thorpe, in the county of the city of Norwich, and late of Thorpe, next Norwich, Miller.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th January 1826


ALL Persons who stood indebted to WILLIAM SMITH, late of Thorpe next Norwich, in the county of Norfolk, Miller, at the time he became Insolvent, are requested to pay the amount of their respective debts to Jay and Cremer, Norwich, who are duly authorised to receive and give discharges for the same, otherwise proceedings will be instituted against them for the recovery thereof.
Norwich, April 25th, 1826

Norfolk Chronicle - 29th April 1826

James King was the next miller and he had a millstone for sale in December 1826.


A Capital NEW STONE, four feet six inches over. - For further particulars apply to Mr. J. King, Thorpe Wind Mills, Near Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 9th December 1826

Richard Weeds was the miller in 1830. The mill was marked on the 1834 map and was to let in 1836.


THE WIND-MILL on Mousehold, called the "Black Mill," within half a mile of the city of Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 24th December 1836

William Rump took the mill, which was marked on the 1838 map. The mill was for auction to be removed in November 1839.

To Millwrights, Millers, and Others
By Mr. John Culley,
At the Bell Inn, Orford Hill, Norwich,
On Saturday, 2nd Nov. 1839,
At four o'clock in the Afternoon,

To be removed off the Premises immediately, or if convenient to the Purchaser, at any time before the 1st April next.
ALL that capital POST WINDMILL, called the black Mill, now occupied by Mr. Wm. Rump, situated on Mousehold Heath near Norwich, with all the Going Geers and other Machinery, one pair of French Stones, four feet ten inches in diameter, nearly new, a Cast Iron Shaft, a new Flour Mill, &c. &c. all in excellent condition.

Norfolk Chronicle - October 1839

The mill was not sold and was again to let later that month.


THE POST WIND-MILL in the Hamlet of Thorpe, Norwich, called "The Black Mill," either to be Removed, or to Remain for any term of Years at a small Annual Ground Rent.
Or the same to be LET with a Cottage, Stable, and Cart-lodge.
For particulars apply to Messrs. Newton & Woodrow, Land Agents, Tombland, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd November 1839

A William Rump later ran Sprowston sawmills.

The last miller was a Mr. M. Smith. The mill was again for sale and removal in 1840

To Millwrights, Millers, & others.
by Mr. CULLEY,
At the Bell Inn, Orford Hill, Norwich,
On Saturday, Nov. 14th, 1840,
At Three o'clock in the Afternoon,

To be removed off the Premises within two months from the day of Sale.
ALL that Capital POST WINDMILL, called the Black Mill, now in the possession of Mr. M. Smith, situated on Mousehold Heath, near Norwich, with all the going gears and other Machinery, one pair of French stones 4 feet 10 inches diameter, nearly new, a cast iron shaft, a new flour mill, &c. &c. all in excellent order.
For further particulars apply to the Auctioneer, St. Andrew's Hill, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 31st October 1840

Mr. Smith had died by November 1841, when the mill was finally taken down and the materials sold off by auction.

To Millers, Millwrights, and Others,
On Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 1841,

ALL that Capital POST WINDMILL, the Property of the late Mr. Smith, (near Sir Robert Harvey's Plantation) on Mousehold Heath, Norwich, which is being taken down and will be divided into suitable Lots; consisting of a superior cast-iron shaft, capable of driving four pair of stones, neck and tail brasses, nearly new, an eight feet head wheel, stone nut and irons, a pair of French stones 4ft. 10inc. four sails, 10 yards long, crowntree, post, crosstrees, stairs, spindles, braces, flooring, and weather boards, and various useful requisites for a mill.
Sale to begin at Eleven o'clock.

Norfolk Chronicle - 27th November 1841

A new mill was built on the site of the Black Mill. In 1841 William Woolnough was given as a miller aged 45 living at Mousehold, Thorpe Hamlet with his wife Martha (40), son William (15), and daughters Martha (15), and Sarah, (12). William, who was listed in Blyth's Directory of 1842, was born c.1823 at Bungay, Suffolk and may previously have been at Buck's_postmill, Lakenham. William Woolnough later took the Plumstead Road mill. After leaving the Black Mill, he was followed by Robert Stegall by 1845 and Peter Cannell by 1849. when there was a robbery at the mill in December of that year.

Norwich Police - Guildhall.
Before P. J. MONEY, Esq., N. PALMER, Esq., AND J.H.BARNARD, Esq.
BREAKING INTO A MILL. - Robert Sadd and James Graver, both of Pockthorpe, were brought up on a charge of having broken into the mill of Mr. Peter Cannell, of Thorpe Hamlet, on the road to Plumstead, and stolen therefrom about 18 stone of meal - The prosecutor said he was a miller, and lived on the Plumstead Road. On the previous night had had fastened up the mill doors, and gone to bed. About one o'clock that morning, his wife heard a noise as if some men were at the mill, and she went to see what they wanted. She returned back very much alarmed, saying, that the doors had been broken open. He then went to the mill, and missed a sack of meal containing about 18 stone weight. The doors had been forced open by some iron instrument. He believed the meal produced to be his property. It was like that which he had lost. - Constable King, of the rural force, said, he was in Pockthorpe that morning about six o'clock and he saw a man dressed like Graver come out of a yard, and look about as if on the watch. He could not swear that Graver was the man. - He then saw Sadd and the other man cross the street from the Griffin yard, to the Black Horse yard, in Pockthorpe. Sadd was carrying a sack which appeared to contain either meal of flour. Witness then went and gave information at the station-house. Inspector Amies, of the city force, said he went with constables King and Emms to Sadd's house, and they found a sack of meal covered up with some brakes. The witness asked Sadd if he could account for the possession of the property? He answered "It is mine." Witness then asked him of whom he had bought if? He said "I shall not tell you." The prisoner was then taken into custody, and the sack conveyed to the station-house. When there, his boots were taken from his feet, and it was found that the sole of one boot had a plate on it and the other had none. There were other peculiarities in the soles. - The witness took the boots, and traced the foot-marks of two persons from the mill along a driftway, and from thence across a field near Mousehold Heath, and thence down the lokes (narrow lanes) into Pockthorpe, as far as the stones, within a few yards of Sadd's house. All this way one pair of the foot-marks exactly corresponded with the impressions made by the soles of the boots. - Another witness, who accompanied Inspector Amies, confirmed his evidence as to the foot-marks. - Sadd was committed for trial, and Graver was discharged, as there did not appear to be sufficient evidence against him.
Norfolk Chronicle - 8th December 1849

The City Sessions.

Robert Sadd, (24), was charged with having stolen two sacks, and 18 stone of wheat-meal, the property of Peter Cannell, of Thorpe Hamlet.
Mr. Evans prosecuted; and Mr. Druery defended the prisoner.
Mr. Cannell said, he occupied a mill on the Plumstead-road. On the night of Dec 3d. he was at work at the mill, and left it safe. On the following morning it was broken open, and in consequence of an alarm given by his wife, he went to the mill, and found that two sacks of meal had been stolen. Afterwards, he compared a sample of his meal with some wheat that had been found by the police, and they corresponded. He had seen impressions of boots taken from the prisoner compared with the footsteps leading from his mill, and the impressions corresponded with the footsteps. He had not seen the footsteps before the constable had examined the track. The sample of meal produced had been taken from the mill. It was of the same kind as the meal taken from the prisoner's house. - Cross-examined, -- All the footsteps were found in the lane outside of the mill-yard. There were none visible in the yard.
Henry King, a constable of the rural force, was in Pockthorpe, watching, on the morning of Dec. 4th. He saw a man looking into the Black Boy yard, and then return across the street to another yard. He came out again, followed by the prisoner, who carried a sack. Witness gave information to the city police, and went with two of them to the prisoner's house, where they found the bag of meal, and some other bags. The bag of meal was covered over with brakes. The prisoner was then taken into custody. Witness was quite certain that the prisoner was the man.
John Emms, a constable, assisted in searching the prisoner's house, and saw the sack covered with brakes. When the prisoner was searched his clothes were wet, and brakes were found in his pocket. Some flour was seen on the prisoner's head. - Cross-examined. - There was a barrow load of brakes in the house.

Inspector Amies produced the meal. He had assisted in making the search, and in taking the prisoner into custody. He had taken the prisoner's boots from his feet, and had examined the road to the mill. He saw footmarks of two persons. The impressions of the boots on the ground corresponded exactly with one set of the footmarks. He traced them from the mill-yard all the way to the pavement near the yard where the prisoner lived. - Cross-examined. - Witness had made the impressions by pressing the boots into the ground, beside the footmarks.
Mr. DRUERY the addressed the jury in defence; and argued, that there was no evidence to convict the prisoner with the robbery.
The RECORDER then summed-up, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. A previous conviction was proved, and the prisoner had been 8 or 10 times in custody. He was sentenced to seven years' transportation.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th January 1850

Peter Cannell was born c.1793 at St. Faiths, Norfolk. In 1851 he was given as a miller aged 58 living in Plumstead Road, Thorpe next Norwich with his wife Maria aged 54. He was last recorded at the mill in 1865 and the mill is marked with four dots and the legend Old Windmill on the 1884 map. This could indicate that the trestle of the mill stood for a time after its demise, however the 1887-88 OS map simply marks the site as
Old Windmill. It is not marked on the 1908 map.

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Nat Grid Ref TG24600883
Mousehold -1750+ and Black Mill -1788 to 1841
then 1841 to 1865+
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