Fifth Stories of Lynn lecture

Dr Paul Richards gives Michael Portillo a copy of his book about the Hanseatic League.

Dr Paul Richards gives Michael Portillo a copy of his book about the Hanseatic League. Photo: John Beck

The fifth in the successful series of autumn lectures telling the Stories of Lynn takes place on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 at the Town Hall in King’s Lynn at 6.15pm.

The lecture entitled ‘The Merchants of Lynn & Their World 1685 – 1789’ will be given by Dr Paul Richards.

Born and bred in King’s Lynn, Paul Richards studied for both BA and PhD degrees in History at Birmingham University. He taught in further and higher education at the College of West Anglia and part-time for several university extra-mural departments as well as The Open University.

Paul was a borough councillor (St Margaret’s ward) and Mayor (1998-2000) before becoming an Honorary Alderman. In 2013 he was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk and in 2015 made an Honorary Borough Freeman. Paul is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London) and of the Royal Society of Arts.

His ‘History of King’s Lynn’ was published in 1990 and ‘King’s Lynn Through Time’ in 2014. Amongst other interests, he is trust chairman at True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum, a King’s Lynn Festival director and town guide.

In the 18th century, Lynn was in the premier league of English port towns, with buoyant international trade. Its merchants built vessels in their own shipyards to import and export wine, corn, salt, coal, timber and luxury goods.

The wealth generated by commerce allowed them to redesign their riverside mansions in the fashionable classical style evident today. Dinner parties and musical soirées in these grand houses reinforced the common interests of those ten or twelve families who governed Georgian Lynn.

In this lecture, Dr Richards reveals the lifestyles of these merchants of Lynn who were as much urban lords as traders. Interwoven by marriages and business partnerships, they controlled the social and political life of Lynn from the Town Hall, much extended in 1767 by the classical Assembly Rooms.

Each of the lectures lasts for about 1 hour and costs just £2.50 to attend. Lectures take place at 6.15pm in Town Hall’s magnificent Georgian Assembly Room. Refreshments are provided.

The series of lectures concludes with:

24 November – Mr Adrian Parker – The Angel Roof of St Nicholas Chapel

About Stories of Lynn

Opening in 2016, Stories of Lynn will enhance and remodel the town hall complex, allowing people to explore the buildings and learn more about the economic and social history of King’s Lynn – one of England’s most important medieval port towns.

Using the archive, collections and fabric of the buildings, innovative interpretation devices and a diverse activity plan, the attraction will unlock the stories of the seafarers, explorers, merchants, mayors, magistrates and miscreants who have shaped King’s Lynn.

Although based within King’s Lynn Town Hall, Stories of Lynn will act as a gateway to other heritage sites and attractions in King’s Lynn, drawing together elements of the town’s history to provide a complete story of our unique heritage.

The project has been made possible thanks to a £1,850,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and £800,000 investment by the borough council and has been developed by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service and Norfolk Record Office.


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