Skippings Gallery

In 2012, this building was purchased and restored by the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust before the building fell into terminal decline.

According to the deeds, the original house on this site was demolished in 1729 by John Dowson, a mariner of Great Yarmouth, on his marriage to Elizabeth Gibson. The new property had outhouses, stables, cellars and yards.

The previous house belonged to Henry Wright, who was also a mariner. He purchased the property in 1709 for £20 from the herald, historian and antiquarian Peter Le Neve (1661-1729). Henry Wright passed it on to his son, Henry, who in turn passed in on to John Dowson.

Eventually, the new property passed to Henry Gibson Dowson, a merchant, who died in 1757 and then the property was left to his son, also Henry Gibson Dowson and then to Benjamin Dowson (a merchant and Henry’s brother). In 1772, the property included kilns, leaden steeps (for soaking or infusing) and a malthouse. By 1772, Benjamin Dowson had died. The property was then sold to Samuel Hurry on a lease for £290. It was then abutting upon the yard of a malthouse and the ground of Thomas Dowson. The malthouse was converted into a dwelling sometime between 1772 and 1801. Samuel Hurry, who was born in 1727, was in the Merchant Navy. Hurry was employed on the coast of America and France in ships transporting goods. In 1775, he left the sea and became a ship owner and a general merchant. In 1763, he had launched a ship called the Pitt, which was the largest vessel launched in Great Yarmouth for many years. Samuel Hurry married Isabella Hall. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert Alderson (1752-1833). It seemed that the newly married couple moved into this house with Samuel Hurry. Samuel Hurry died suddenly in 1800 at the age of 74 years and left his large fortune to his grandchildren, which included his estates at Badingham, Peasenhall and Bedingfield; all in Suffolk.

Robert Alderson continued living in this house. In due course, he was the Recorder of Norwich, Ipswich and Great Yarmouth. Robert Alderson was born in 1752 and he died in 1833 at the age of 81 years and was buried in Norwich Cathedral. His eldest son, Edward Hall Alderson was born at 133 King Street, Great Yarmouth in 1787. He became a distinguished lawyer and a judge who became Baron of the Exchequer and his judgments on law helped to shape the capitalism of the Victorian age. Edward Alderson’s daughter, Georgina Charlotte, married the British statesman, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury in 1857. He was the Prime Minister three times.
The next person living at 133 King Street from 1801 was Thomas Hurry, a merchant and ship owner. He died at the age of 78 years in 1828. After his death, Joseph Palmer acquired the property in 1828 and used it as a boarding school for boys. Plummer died in 1863.
In 1864, the premises were taken over by Mrs. Mary Ann Jayness and she was running a school here for young ladies. This school continued until 1880. In 1881, the property was purchased by William John Bartram, a pawnbroker.

In 1885, the premises were converted into a shop and accommodation. In 1886, W. J. Bartram, described as a carpet and furniture warehouseman, was resident here. He died in 1889, when the premises were conveyed to George Carr, a linen draper. In 1909, he then rented 133 King Street to Ernest Skippings, a draper, who purchased the premises in 1919 when George Carr died. The shop then passed through the Skippings family via Leslie Ernest and Richard until 1998, when Richard Skippings emigrated to Australia.

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