Historic book has strong links with Kings Lynn

big c victorian gentlemans North Norfolk

A new local history book with strong King’s Lynn connections is due to be launched at the Big C Centre, Norfolk Street on Monday 2nd December.

The new book entitled ‘A Victorian Gentleman’s North Norfolk’, has been written by former Norfolk cricket captain Richard Jefferson in memory of his wife Pauline whom he lost to cancer. Richard has pledged to donate all of the income from its sales to the Big C, Norfolk’s own Cancer Charity.

Pauline’s great, great uncle, WJJ Bolding, had been a North Norfolk farmer and photographer during the early to late Victorian period when photography was in its infancy. As a pioneer of photography, Bolding learnt the art and then went on to photograph Norfolk scenery and local characters as well as using his own family members as models for his pictures.

Many of the photos in the book show his Kings Lynn relatives, members of the Monument family. WJJB’s sister Esther married William Monement in 1845 in Weybourne Church.

big c victorian gentlemans North Norfolk 2

Other interesting links with Kings Lynn and WJJ Bolding were:

  • Monement’s father, also William Monement, was a cork importer and manufacturer of 78/79 Norfolk Street. The son took over the business from his father at some stage. In the 1851 Census they employed 11 people. Both generations lived above the business.

  • In 1846 WJJB and his brother-in-law bought the schooner ‘Enterprise’, which was registered in King’s Lynn, and several times sailed to collect cork from Portugal.


  • All William and Esther Monement’s eleven children were born in King’s Lynn.

  • WJJB took several photographs in West Norfolk: Castle Acre, Castle Rising, North Runcton and King’s Lynn (see photo below of King’s Lynn High Street).

  • William Monement (jr) was Mayor of King’s Lynn in 1864, and in the early 1880s was still a senior alderman and a JP in the town.

big c high street WJJ Bolding

The photograph on the jacket of the book (c1853, see above) shows William and Esther Monement with their four eldest children.

Roger Watson, Curator of the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock said of the Victorian Photographer:

“WJJ Bolding was a photographer of the first rank. His work deserves to be more widely seen and appreciated”

You can visit Richard Jefferson at his book signing in King’s Lynn at the Big C Centre on Norfolk Street, between 12pm – 2pm and 2pm – 4pm, on Monday 2nd December.

You can also purchase a copy of the book from any Big C Charity Shop across Norfolk, The Big Blue Sky Shop at Wells-next-to-sea and Jarrolds. All proceeds from the sale go directly to Big C.



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