Article MT217

Glimpses into the 19th Century Broadside Ballad Trade

No. 32: Robert Walker of Norwich1

This piece is the first of two that examines the career and output of Robert Walker, an important figure in nineteenth century ballad-printing terms in Norwich, as the survey of his murder and execution ballads has already indicated.  His work, together with that of his son, also Robert, spans a good deal of the century although, as will be seen in this first piece, there are certain aspects of investigation into the lives of each of them that are incapable of resolution at this stage.  The second piece will concentrate on the conventional forms of single ballad-sheet-printing as we have encountered them throughout this series.  Something of the jobbing side of printing is revealed during the course of discussion.

The bones of a life for Robert Walker can be assembled from the usual sources.  Census details for 1841 give us a Robert Walker, Printer, aged 50, living in Bridge Street, St Michael's Coslany with his wife, Ann, four children - one of whom, Robert (aged 16) is listed as 'Printer's Apprentice' - and James Mann, Printer, aged 24.  All were born 'in county'.  Mary, then aged 20, subsequently disappears from the family home (no other information concerning Mary has yet been found).  Her sisters, Isabella and Henrietta, we will find, stay on.  And at least a clearly established business can be perceived.  The 'Bridge Street' address is investigated below in a discussion of the location of 'White Hart' in connection with Walker.

The 1851 census has Robert Walker, aged 61, in Church Street, St Michael's Coslany as Printer Master, living with his wife, Ann, aged 52, and two daughters, Isabella (21) - working as a 'Binder' - and Henrietta (20).  There is no mention of either Robert junior or Mary.  In Robert junior's case, though, there is elsewhere further evidence of his career that complicates the Walker story and this will be discussed below.

The 1861 census has Robert Walker, Printer Master, aged 72, living in Church Street, St Michael's Coslany, with his wife, Ann - now described as 'Straw Hat Maker' - and daughter, Isabella, now a Kingsmill by name, aged 30 and her husband, John (35) and son, John (6).  Isabella's husband had been born in Middlesex.  Henrietta Walker is still living at home, aged 32, her occupation given as 'Dress Maker'.  There is a boarder, Henry Harcourt, aged 24, a 'Hot Presser'.  Apart from Isabella's husband, all are described as having been born in Norfolk; Ann, indeed, we now learn, at Wood Dalling.  Once again, Robert Junior's name is missing, as is that of Mary.  It is also interesting to note the variety of occupations.  Perhaps printing itself was not sufficient to support the household, a familiar story, broached early on in this series; although it will be seen that Robert Walker may not have existed right on the breadline.2

A civil registration death for Robert Walker was reported in June 1868.

If we then compute the available census entries with other official details, Robert Walker would have been born around 1790 and a Robert Walker was, indeed, baptised at St Ethelreda, Norwich, in 1793.  A mother, Elizabeth, is recorded but no father.  On the death certificate his date of birth is given as 1788; but we are used to the possibility of discrepancies where there are errors in official entries or where individuals were not certain of their own age; nor are dates of birth and christening necessarily in accordance; and there seems to be no doubt that we are talking about the same man.  A marriage entry in St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, for a Robert Walker and an Ann Risebury on September 12th 1818, would appear to be the relevant one if we count back the years to the births of children and, reversing the trail, the names of their parents.3

Additionally, a Robert Walker is listed as a Freeman of Norwich on 21st September 1812, a 'printer at J.  H.  Payne': a confusing state of affairs.  Is this is the same Robert Walker?  He would have been in his twenties: perfectly possible although this might seem to be a late age for apprenticeship … and as a Freeman?  This puzzle is as yet insoluble but might imply that he was already a householder or occupier.4

A group of street directories fills in some of the gaps around and between the censuses.  Pigot's 1822-3 directory, for example, has a Robert Walker as 'Bookseller, Stationer, Binder and Printer' at St Andrew's, Broad Street.  Pigot's 1830 directory lists Robert Walker as printer at St Lawrence's Steps which link St Benedict's and Westwick Street, to the west of the city centre.  The christening of both Henrietta and Isabella at St Lawrence in 1827 and 1829 respectively - St Lawrence's church is located on the other side of the steps from the spot that would appear to be where Walker's own premises were situated (see photograph 3, below) - hones in on the period spent at St Lawrence; and details on copy help to fill out the parameters of dating.  Before 1827 the christening of Walker's other two children, Mary (1821) and Robert (1825), in St John Madder Market, gives us a likely district in Norwich for domicile south of the Duke's Palace from where many of Walker's first independent pieces were issued (still in the city centre, near to Bridewell Alley where Walker first printed with Robert Lane, as discussed below, and, as it happens, not at all far to the east of St Lawrence).

White's 1836 directory has Walker in Timberhill, south of Norwich Castle, the only time that Walker is found elsewhere than in the north-and-west-central part of the city.

Blyth's 1842 directory has a Robert Walker at White Hart, Coslany and, in view of the family situation revealed in the 1841 census entry, it looks as though it was Walker senior.  The White Hart was also known as 28 Coslany Street.  It stood on the eastern side of the street, in a continuous row of premises leading to St Michael's (St Miles') church; this row, at present, being made up of modern flats and apartments that reach to and go 'round' into Colegate Street (see photograph 5, below).5

White's 1845 directory has a Robert Walker in 'Oak St'.  This address is outside Norwich city centre and to the north of Coslany.  There is a problem here, to do with Walker printings coming out of both 'White Hart', St Miles' (the diminutive form of St Michael's) and St Martin at Oak, apparently at the same time, as will be seen when detail from copy is examined below.  It does seem as if Oak Street and St Martin at Oak were one and the same.  Oak Street 'begins' as a northward extension of Coslany Street.  The church of St Martin at Oak is situated in Oak Street at the junction with St Martin's Lane (see map - which actually shows Oak Street as 'St Martin at Oak'; photograph 6; and further discussion below).  So who printed out of the two addresses?

For, following on from the apparent confusion of location noted above, we find that Mason's 1852 directory lists two Robert Walkers.  The first is as 'Printer and Bookseller', operating from Church Street, St Michael's, Coslany, which would fit the census details for Robert Walker senior given above.  But Mason also has a Robert Walker at 'Bridge-st, St George's' on the north side of the River Wensum.  Although Bridge Street is not found on modern maps St George's Bridge is and there is little doubt that the street is the same as that on the Muskett 1849 map given in text below.  The point is that the Robert Walker in question can surely only be the son, Robert Walker junior, then aged 26 (again, see further below).  Church Street, Coslany, does not now exist but a late nineteenth-century street directory, Eyre's, in 1883, lists Church Street, St Miles' as linking the present Colegate Street and Coslany Street.  The accompanying map does not reveal this - we see that Colegate Street runs directly into Coslany Street.  A possible explanation is that Church Street constituted the western end of Colegate Street at the time of Walker's residence at White Hart; or, alternatively, that Church Street formed the 'bottom' part of Coslany Street and ran across the 'gable' end of St Michael's church, south to north.  The street may also have entirely disappeared as the city changed.

White's 1854 directory lists a Robert Walker as printer at 'St.  Mile's Church st' (sic) in the general Coslany area which address looks once more to correspond with census details for Walker senior; and this address might confirm the relative positions of Church Street and Coslany Street.  White also lists 'Robert Walker jun', printer, at Bridge Street St Andrew's.  Bridge Street itself links St George's Colegate with St Andrews and we might assume a one and the same location.

An 1856 directory, from 'Craven & Co', has a Robert Walker, presumably senior, in 'St.  Mile's Church st' (sic).  There is no mention of Robert Walker junior.  Melville's 1856 directory has the same details.6  Roger's 1859 directory has a Robert Walker as Printer and newsagent at 'Church Street, St Miles', Coslany'.  White's 1864 directory has a Robert Walker at Church Street, St Miles.  It does seem clear that this Robert Walker is the father and that all the addresses in directories as just adduced here coincide with his domicile in Church Street, St Michael's, Coslany and with the absence of the son, Robert, from the family home during the taking of the 1851 and 1861 censuses.  Discussion below reveals Robert Walker junior's whereabouts.

Kelly's 1865 directory has the two Robert Walkers, one as 'printer and bookbinder' at 'Church Street, St Miles' and another as 'news agent' at Bridge Street.  These two entries confirm information about Walker senior in a familiar address and Walker junior at Bridge Street, St George's, as found in Mason (1852) and White (1854).

Mathiesen's 1867 directory has Robert Walker junior at 'Bridge Street' as 'News Agent, Printer & Stationer' and 'Harrod & Co's' 1868 directory has a Robert Walker as printer and bookbinder in 'Bridge St, St George's'.  The two locations, of St Miles' and St George's, are sufficiently far apart for there to be no possibility that they are one and the same address.  And, in view of the 1868 death certificate for Robert Walker, we can hardly doubt that it is the scion at Bridge Street.  This would give us an explanation of sorts for anomalies that crop up on copy and as they are examined below.

Kelly's 1869 directory, following White in 1854 and Mathiesen in 1867, has a Robert Walker, 'news agent', at Bridge Street - although in 'St.  Andrew's'.  This would appear to nail the link between St George's, Coslany and St Andrew's; and, further, we should be able to take all Bridge Street addresses to be one and the same.

Finally, a series of electoral rolls in the Millenium library, stretching from 1847 up until 1872, make it more clear as to the whereabouts of the Walkers, senior and junior, as Freemen of Norwich.  Although details for 1848, 1855, 1856, 1857 and 1861 are not available, Walker senior's address is given as St Michael's (sometimes 'at') Coslany for the years 1847, 1849-1854, 1858-1860 and 1862-1866 and Walker junior's as the same between 1849 and 1851 after which he is found at Bridge Street St George, Colegate until 1854.  There is, though, a glitch - a marriage certificate, dated October 23rd 1849, for Robert Walker junior and his wife, Maria (Smythes), that has the couple marrying out of the 'hamlet' (so described in census details but, in actuality, heavily populated) of Heigham.  It looks as if Maria was in her father's house (Theodore, a tailor) - though he is not listed in the 1851 Heigham census.  The anomaly, given Walker junior's Bridge Street address between 1851 and 1853 according to the electoral rolls, remains.

Then, in 1854, Walker junior's address is given (in the rolls) as Green Hills Augustine's Road, St Clement.  In 1858 it is given as Green Hills, St Augustine's gates, St Clement (surely the same address) and this suggests that he was living there in the intervening three years.  In 1859 and 1860 Walker junior's address is given as 'Augustine's road' again and in 1863 'Augustine's gates' again.  Then he is in 'Pitt Street, St George Colegate' between 1863 and 1865 before, in 1866, he appears once more in Bridge Street.

Walker junior remains at Bridge Street until 1871 when the address is given as 'Church Alley' and then yet again, in 1872, in Bridge Street.  No known Walker printings exist from this period although the 1881 census has Robert Walker junior down as 'Printer' (see further below).  As seen elsewhere in this survey some streets in Norwich went under more than one name or changed as the years passed.  Church Alley here may have been part of Bridge Street or just off it; but the particular area of Norwich was the same and the known perspective on Walker junior's whereabouts remains the same.

There is, though, one more unsolved problem here to do with the census details for 1851 that have Walker junior (aged 25) at '6 Golden Croft', St Augustine's, as 'Printer Compositor' living with his wife Maria, aged 25 and a son, Walter, aged eleven months.  Obviously, this conflicts with the information on electoral rolls that he was at Bridge Street unless we take entries on the rolls to refer to business premises.  For St Augustine's and St George's Colegate are contiguous parishes, not one and the same.  We might have to assume a change of address during a matter of months.

With regard to the one time when Walker senior is found south of the city centre, one electoral roll entry for 1837 has him at a 'House and shop' in Timberhill Street, Orford Hill; the only clear indication that domicile and business were at the same premises even if the St Michael's, Coslany address looks to be another instance.  Timberhill and Orford Hill are actually joined at their northern end (see map and photograph 4).

Otherwise, in trying to assess Walker's geographical wanderings, the stability of the St Michael's, Coslany address between 1841 and 1861 suggests a settling down until death in 1868.

The accompanying map here may be referred to as indicating much of what is known about location so far.


The first principal news of Walker's activity (but not quite the only news - one recalls the apprenticeship), according to details on copy, comes in a known association with a Robert Lane that might be located during the second decade (perhaps part of the first also) of the nineteenth century.  The association was certainly a solid one and has already been mentioned in this series of articles.  The two men printed together out of Bridewell Alley, St Andrew's until Walker moved to separate premises 'near the Duke's Palace' whilst Lane apparently continued to work for some time out of Bridewell Alley.

In Bibliotheca Norfolciensis7, a volume held in the Millenium library, Norwich, we find a date of 1817 in one reference giving the names of Robert Lane and Robert Walker as joint printers (Norwich Tabernacle … A Statement of Facts) and in other material in the same source this same date is given for 'Lane and Co.' (printings of works by James Browne of North Walsham: The Perpetuity of the Word of God; Rev.  Mr.  Moor of Burston: A Sermon … ).  Does this mean that 'and Co.' was Walker?  These printings, by the way (so far unlocated), look to have been books - perhaps pamphlets - as opposed to ballad material.  There is yet another piece, a single sheet, in the Bridewell Museum, Norwich, a sermon on death of H R H Princess Charlotte (by James Browne) that has a printed date of 1817 on it, having been issued by 'Lane & Co Bridewell Alley'.  Charlotte was the daughter of George IV and Caroline of Brunswick who both feature in Walker output, as will be seen.  Unfortunately, for dating purposes, one other reference (in Bibliotheca Norfolciencis) to a volume printed by Lane and Walker together - W Dodd: Reflections on Death - has a date of 1820 on it and this throws out general calculations and, together with information noted below, indicates that there must have been a degree of overlap between the time when Lane and Walker printed together and when they printed separately.

There are yet other printings from Lane and Walker together listed in Bibliotheca Norfolciencis that do not give a printer's address - in total some twenty-five titles - and these are separate to dates for other Walker printings in the same volume, again without addresses but with dates ranging from 1823-1834.  We can then work back and around in time from detail in these printings that, after all, amount to a considerable output and see that the period of joint activity can, to an extent, be circumscribed.

More dates on various Walker copy - that is, apart from references in Bibliotheca Norfolciensis - of 1822, 1823, 1824 and 1826 (examples only) give his name as an independent printer and mirror the 1823-1834 dates for separate Walker printings in Bibliotheca Norfolciensis.  Already, then, we have a general period during which Lane and Walker operated and then ceased to operate together.

Some of the printings from these varied sources will be considered in detail in the next Robert Walker piece in this series.  But, for now, as example, there is in Bibliotheca Norfolciencis a date of 1818 for a broadside title, Parliamentary Elections … Election Budget of Speeches, songs, etc … , giving the name 'R.  Lane' as an independent printer.  The date of this piece is confirmed by a copy of a jobbing advertisement in the Bridewell Museum for farming goods being sold at auction where Lane's printing address is given as 'Bridewell-Alley' and which also dates from 1818.

Where Lane is concerned, Bridewell Alley, just to the north of the city centre, is only one of two addresses for him (the second being in St George's, north of the Wensum, as discussed below).  An advertisement for the sale of goods with Lane then in St George's Bridge Street dates from 1823; and Trial and execution of 3 Men, Castle Hill Norwich 1829 (both these copies are in the Bridewell Museum) also has Lane alone at St George's Bridge Street.  The Colman collection in the Millenium library, an invaluable repository of the actual ballads, has several Lane pieces issued from Bridge Street: The Catholic Lady And the Disappointed Carpenter from 'St.  George's, Bridge Street' and The Coalition, Or General Election (Smith and Peel), in which connection the Norfolk Official Lists give the names of William Smith and Jonathan Peel as MPs in Norwich in June 1826; and then Cobbett's Dinner, Open Ports and Great Guts the Manufacturer from 'St.  George's'; The British Book Trade index has Lane at Bridge Street in 1830.8

There is, still further, copy in the Millenium library that gives an address at St Andrew's for printings issued by Lane and Walker, and this address, as was noted in a previous article, was actually one and the same with Bridewell Alley - St Andrew's church is positioned at the northern entrance (or exit) to Bridewell Alley.  Other available copy gives the address as 'Bridewell Alley, St Andrew's' - for instance, a printing issued jointly from 'St.  Andrew's', entitled Crib and Molyneau concerning fights between these two men that took place in 1810 and 1811, this piece possibly the first known joint printing venture, certainly the first extant evidence as far as can be judged.9  Here, though, we do encounter a difficulty over Walker's apprenticeship in 1812.  How was he able - if it was, indeed, he - to both serve his apprenticeship and to print with Lane?  Was Walker's apprenticeship, nominally under the auspices of J.  H.  Payne, as noted above and again below, actually undertaken with Robert Lane?  When did this apprenticeship begin and end?  How did it operate?  These are relevant questions because before and during Walker's supposed apprenticeship with J.  H.  Payne there are pieces issued from the St Andrew's address by Lane and Walker together that have Napoleonic content: The glorious victory - at Trafalgar, 1805; The battle of Salamanca (1812); Runaway Boney … , which appears to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon in Russia in 1812; The Bombarding of Paris, a post-Waterloo piece; A crocodile's tears, issued when Bonaparte had been sent to Elba in 1814; The triumph of Peace, which is post-Waterloo, but gives no real indication of exactly when; and The Devil and Bonaparte.10  Was Walker still serving his apprenticeship or just finishing it?  Was he simply aiding Lane?  Was he an instigator of printings?

So far no evidence has emerged to provide clear answers to these questions.

There is some information, as it happens, about J H Payne.  Peck's 1802 Directory was actually printed by a John Payne, Printer and Bookseller, from 22 Market Place, Norwich.  It seems likely that this was the J W H Payne, quoted in Mackie's Norfolk Annals in a reference from 1819 as being a native of Norwich, and in which reference he was described as 'formerly' a printer and a bookseller, who:

being reduced in circumstances was allowed to appear at the Theatre in the character of Hamlet.  He succeeded in exciting the risibility of the other performers, and the loud laughter of the audience.
Mackie goes on:
Impromptu on Mr Payne's Performance of Hamlet
    "Let mortal man his grief and care give o'er,
    Nor crave the aid of potion or a pill;
    For Payne now makes our sides with laughter sore,
    And tho' he threatens, yet - he neglects to kill.11
Such an embarrassing fate indicate the economic level at which some printers and booksellers existed - perhaps not Walker and maybe involving individual profligacy, of course; but the two references, from Peck and Mackie, encapsulate the probable time of Robert Walker's apprenticeship and there appears to be no other Robert Walker and no other Payne to fit the bill of association.

Another item helps in the dating of Lane's and Walker's separate activities: a piece from Walker entitled Christmas 'to the tune of John Bull and Buonaparte' that came from a Walker address 'near the Duke's Palace' and, one would think, because of the tune title, was issued after 1815.  Its content, a simple celebration of the season, gives no hint as to dating.  Nonetheless, it may offer us a clue as to Walker's movements subsequent to the Lane partnership in Bridewell Alley.  For it was Lane alone who, from Bridewell Alley, printed Sandy the Waterloo Man with its obvious 1815 connotations; and, conversely, The Loss Of One Hero (a version of The Plains of Waterloo) was printed by Walker alone from an address 'near' the Duke's Palace, and would also clearly have come after 1815.  Both this piece and Lane's Sandy … could even have been printed at quite a distance in time from the events (we know how Nelson material often appeared in this way)12 in which case the independent dates of 1817 (for Lane) and 1818 (for Walker) given in Bibliotheca Norfolciensis - as noted above - and, perhaps, Christmas and then the 1820 Dodd volume, even with its inherent contradiction in terms of dating, all help to hone in on a period when Lane and Walker were working together and then when they separated.  And the Pigot street directory entry for 1822-1823 with Walker at 'St.  Andrew's, Broad Street' - which we might be inclined to take to be Bridewell Alley (in actuality the full address inclusive of 'Broad Street' was shortened in general usage as time went on) - holds up any rush to see Walker moved away from his first premises.  The particular moment is still debatable although separate printing of pieces on the Queen Caroline affair of 1820-1821 (below) underlines a time of separation for the two printers.

To compound this circumstance, there is an extensive set of material from the Bodleian Allegro archive (some pieces to be considered in more detail in a forthcoming piece) where there are thirty-three sheets issued with Walker's name in conjunction with that of Robert Lane (some sheets are repeats), that were all issued from the Bridewell Alley, St Andrew's address whose parameters of activity are now beginning to emerge and whose elimination as joint premises can be tentatively set around 1820 - although Walker, certainly, had already issued copy independently, in 1818 (see his piece on the fight between Painter and Sutton noted below).


That lack of definition is extended because, as usual, problems at source accrue - although they are separate to the Lane and Walker relationship.  For example, fourteen sheets in the same Bodleian source (two duplicated within this number) bear the legend 'Walker, Printer, Norwich'; some in upper case lettering; all with a characteristic type-face.  Unfortunately, for dating purposes, there seems to be a span of time in the backgrounds of these pieces.  For example, one, The Shopkeepers' Rebellion, carrying the legend 'Walker, Printer, Norwich', was written by a Samuel Lane who was then living in Coslany whilst Walker could have been resident either in St Lawrence's in the late 1820s (see below) or in Coslany during the 1840s and after, as confirmed by other Samuel Lane pieces and by other detail in and on copy.13  The latter dates are favourites since there are references in the piece to both O'Connell and the Chartists.  O'Connell was not active in Parliamentary matters in England before the 1830s.  He actually visited Norwich in November 1837, was 'entertained at dinner at the Angus Inn … by members of the Whig-Radical element' and 'prior to departure' addressed 'a large meeting' at St Andrew's Hall.  Chartism may be said to have been most important after 1839 and the National Convention, until 1848 when it had died as a movement.  However, the movement itself actually 'commenced' in Norwich in October 1838.  It must be added that Walker printed King O'Connell's Invasion whilst he was at St Lawrence's, as far as can be ascertained during the late eighteen-twenties; and we know (see more below) that Walker was in Orford Hill at around 1837.14.  We cannot, then, be quite sure which date for issue of Walker's shopkeeper ballad applies although the 1840s look to be the favoured time.

Elsewhere in the Bodleian collection and each with a slightly different appearance, two printings have 'Orford-Hill' on them, one other 'St.  Lawrence's' and another has 'Church Street, St Mile's' - all, we will find, locations for Walker's printing activities.15  Type-face does not appear to be noticeably altered and both upper and lower cases were used for the addresses in the way that the designation 'Walker, Printer' Norwich' appears.

Ultimately, the brief designation on those fourteen sheets of Walker copy noted above is not one that can be easily attached to any one period - in the way, say, that items from Walker's early Duke's Palace venture can.  It is not possible, as a result, draw any significant conclusions from any of this circling round unyielding detail as described here except to underline Walker's continued production, to note that all the addresses given are by now becoming familiar locations, to show that the most of Walker's printing career is represented in the Bodleian archive and to illustrate something of a printer's idiosyncratic way of presenting himself in exactly the same way on various items in both the Bodleian and Colman sources.  This does not help in dating copy but could be a useful perspective on the way that printers worked.

There is another problem attached to the Bodleian source.  The material is notable for the juxtapositioning of ballads in alphabetical sequence of words or even letters and where some Walker copy presented with that from other printers bears little obvious relationship to the respective periods of activity of those different printers - no real clues, in other words, for tracing Walker's movements in detail in relation to the work-span of other printers on copy.  A piece on Lord Raglan and Sebastopol, for instance (an extract from the Manchester Express - and this must date from the Crimean war of 1854-1856), sits alongside a Walker issue of The Loss of One Hero.  Another Walker issue of The Loss … was issued with a Birt printing of the same ballad; Ryle's Song of the Haymakers with Walker's The Sons of AlbionThe Don-Side Lovers, from Crowshaw in York, placed with Walker's The Dogs-Meat Man and Pitts' The Distressed Maid; Walker's The Thrasher with Thorney-Moor Woods, from Hogget in Durham; Walker's The Unruly Tongue with The Girl of my Heart, from Kendrew in York.  Some printings have pieces from Walker and from Lane and Walker together - The Sand-Man And His Donkey and (from Walker alone) The Female Baker … (there are more).  Other combinations extend the roll-call of printers - Roger's Request … from Jennings together with Walker's Rogue Of All Sorts and Rofy Hannah, from Shelmerdine; and Walker's Britons Claim Her As Your Queen with The British Flag from Jennings and The Braes of Birniebousie from Pollock in South Shields; Rab Rorison's Bannet ('banner' in text) from Forbes in Stirling with Walker's The Rage of Fashion (yet again, there are other examples).16  All told, there are some fifteen identifiable pieces (bar those from Pitts, Jennings and Evans considered below) representing printers other than Walker in the Bodleian cache, all posted alongside Walker; and then, in addition, some pieces that have no imprint.  A considerable number of conjunctions, on the other hand, set Walker with Pitts (in thirty-six cases) and, to a lesser extent, Jennings of Water Lane and, occasionally, with Evans of Long Lane.  For example, Sweet Kitty of the Clyde, from Walker, can be found with The Sweet Little Girl … , from Jennings and Pitts' The Sun From The East and Walker's See The Conq'ring Hero Comes with Evans' Second Thoughts Are Best (again, these are but examples).  Whilst there was a whole Evans clan operating in London the Long Lane address on copy (at numbers 41 and 42) narrows the field somewhat to dates between 1791 and 1828.  Even more dramatically, according to the British Book Trade Index, there was only one John Jennings in Water Lane, the address on copy in this set of combinations of pieces from Jennings and from Walker - between 1802 and 1809.  This must be viewed in the context of the Jennings family business operating from the 1790s on - which date the Bodleian confirms - but the particularity is striking.  The overall impression is still somewhat too indefinite in nature to be able, with any facility, to extract any clue to a precise period for dating of Walker pieces - or, for that matter, any pieces where the activities of other printers are concerned.  Further still, the Pitts addresses are inconsistent, from both 14 Great Saint Andrew Street (before 1819) and at 6 Great St Andrew Street (after 1819).  The better help to place Walker in historical time at the Duke's Palace address is got from what we know about him at Bridewell Alley and then at St Lawrence's Steps (following Duke's Palace).

Given also that the Bodleian cache, alongside those pieces from Walker, includes some from Haly in Cork whose active period was between 1821 and 1843 (his daughter printed between 1856 and 1870) and from Sanderson in Edinburgh, the latter very much a 'late' printer, it becomes clear that editorial jurisdiction has thoroughly mixed the goods.

What we arrive at in the Bodleian cache is, nonetheless, a substantial contribution: a total of fifty-one Walker titles (this being separate to Lane and Walker printings), twenty-four of which appear on more than one sheet.  These repeats look to be the work of the collector or editor rather than testifying to continuous issue on Walker's part.  The one or two printings that do suggest a prolonged interest on Walker's part in a particular piece will be considered in the next Walker article in this series in the course of a closer look at his output.17

It should be added that some of the Bodleian pieces are replicated in the Colman collection.

One might argue something of a prolonged diversion from the main thrust of this article but the Bodleian archive is worth concentration.  In the end it offers clear evidence for the nature of activity at the Duke's Palace address and something of its extent in the summation (of sorts) of production as represented by those fifty-one titles.  There could, of course, be further additions in so far undiscovered sources.


The earliest appearance of the 'near the Duke's Palace' as premises for Walker alone is not clear although the address can be found on Walker's Death of Abercrombie which, initially, we might think, could have been issued soon after the event in 1801.  Once again, though, this has to be extensively qualified as pointer to Walker's progress: a second piece of 'negative' evidence, after the abrupt 'Printer, Norwich' address, for Walker's movements around Norwich.  In this case, the existence of the Abercrombie piece under the Walker aegis would first appear to indicate that he was printing before he undertook his apprenticeship - unlikely; and even more so since in 1801 he would have been only ten or twelve years of age.  Was his piece copied?  Was it Lane's, with Walker's name attached, merely a printing exercise?  Was it, perhaps, wholly retrospective and issued as such - at the time that Walker was printing independently?  We know - as far as extant material allows us to - that Abercrombie pieces disappeared rapidly from view save for one issue from Stark in Gainsborough later in the century.  So the odds that might appear to favour a more contemporary date of issue rather than a wholly retrospective one for Walker lengthen; particularly because we have to take into account the sundering of the Lane and Walker connection, clear enough by 1820-1821 and the Queen Caroline affair (below), and the Duke's Palace address for Walker alone on subsequent copy.  This detail suggests that the Abercrombie printing was, as noted above, retrospective in nature and the date of 1801 for Abercrombie's death irrelevant in tracing Walker's movements.  Further, though, the possibilities for printing of the piece 'near' the Duke's Palace extend up to around 1827 when Henrietta Walker's christening at St Lawrence comes into the equation as indicator of change in location.18

If there is no clear date for Walker's first printings from the Duke's Palace address detail on Duke's Palace copy and elsewhere given below will still allow us to submit some parameters for Walker activity there.  For instance, there is a piece issued by Walker from the Duke's Palace address entitled A Battle Fought Between Painter and Sutton (written by a 'J.  Parkerson Jnr.' who figures in several other Walker printings).19  We know that this fight took place on August 7th 1818 so this date is again highlighted as another possible dividing date between Lane and Walker (even if joint ventures took place in 1820 as the Dodd volume, discussed above, shows) and for estimating the beginning of the Duke's Palace years; certainly a date before which the piece could not have appeared.

The relevant period for Walker's earliest separate ventures at Duke's Palace, then, can begin to be circumscribed c.1818-1820 and after this time it becomes clear on copy that Robert Lane and Robert Walker were printing separately, through the months of the Queen Caroline affair of 1820-1821, and then up until the middle twenties at least when Robert Lane 'disappears' from immediate view.  We also recall the christening of Walker's two elder children, Mary in 1821 and Robert in 1825, in St John, Maddermarket coincidental to Walker's printing out of the nearby Duke's Palace address and then Henrietta's christening in 1827 at St Lawrence's that allows us a morsel of understanding of when Walker changed domicile.  As a whole these details both confirm limits to the connection between Lane and Walker and 'allow' printing by the two men together, as those pieces with Napoleonic themes cited above and then the separate issue of Sandy the Waterloo Man (Lane still in Bridewell Alley) and Loss of One Hero (Walker at the Duke's Palace) both post-1815, all illustrate.

The separation between the two printers can be further confirmed and a date indicated by a printing from Lane alone issued from 'Bridewell-Alley, St Andrew's' entitled The New Coronation Ode, 'Supposed to have been Written by R Southey, PL', and celebrating the accession of George IV in 1820 - interesting in that Lane also 'supported' George's Queen, Caroline (below); and so demonstrating that printers owed no particular allegiance (one thinks of Merry's printings for both Tory and Whig candidates in local elections).20

Again, in material from the Millenium library other than in Bibliotheca Norfolciensis and the Colman collection, there is a piece issued by Walker from the Duke's Palace address entitled The King's Speech To Both Houses Of Parliament, dated January 23rd, and this would seem to have been in 1821 since there is a reference to 'the demise of his late Majesty' which must have been George III, who died on 29th January 1820, and to disturbances in Italy that took place 'lately', most likely the revolt of the two Sicilies and in Piedmont in 1820, both risings crushed by Austrian overmasters.21

Above all (in boxed copy from the Millenium library separate to the Colman collection), the Queen Caroline connection provides clear evidence of Walker's activity at the Duke's Palace address.  There are pieces from Walker with titles, respectively, of The Last Dying Speech & Confession Of The Green Bag, The Triumph Of Innocence, Non mi Ricordo and Sweet Caroline Me Store (the latter two on one sheet).22  Such was the national furore and the appearance of a host of contemporary broadside printings that it seems unlikely that any Walker printing would have been greatly retrospective.  As far as has been ascertained, no other single-sheet printing on the Caroline affair throughout the country adopted a retrospective view.  In the face of widespread current interest it would not have made either social or commercial sense for printers to have revamped gossip especially since, in any case, Caroline was dead by 1821 and public interest had faded rapidly after the King's coronation.23

The actual historical dates ought, therefore, to indicate a contemporary printing from Walker.  Further still, copy on the Caroline affair from all printers in the country illustrates its progress on an almost day-to-day basis, another suggestion of contemporary issue.  Indeed, Joseph Hone printed a booklet in precisely that form, beginning with an English royal proposal of marriage through which to redeem the then Prince's profligate life-style and ending with the new King's coronation and his perceived degradation because of the conduct of his affairs as they affected Queen Caroline.24

The whole affair was a complicated one and ballads acted as popular reference points although the brief notes added here do not reveal the full extent of convolution in the progress of the affair when constitutional crisis, Radical interests, personal ambitions and political clashes all featured.  Nonetheless, various titles from various printers give an idea of the succession of printings.  Pitts put out The Arrival of Queen Caroline, in England (5th June 1820).  Sweet Caroline Me Store, from Williams in Portsea as well as from Walker was a piece about Alderman Woods' attendance on her when she first arrived in England after exile (5th-6th June 1820 - Woods had actually travelled over to St Omer to meet the Queen before she embarked for England and then accompanied her up to London, giving over his own family home to her).  Brave Alderman Wood, from Catnach … was issued subsequent to the Queen's arrival in England, Wood appearing as close defender as much as those who spoke for her during her trial.  The Green Bag from Carrall in York was a piece referring to the evidence that had been assembled by the prosecution before and at trial and first coming to the public notice on 6th June 1820 - contained in green bags which, thereafter, featured as a symbol of the prosecution's attack.  Non Mi Ricordo was from Pitts, the title a play on the regular response to questioning of Italian witnesses of the Queen's alleged adultery.  They were actually attacked by a mob on July 7th 1820.  Caroline Triumphant from Pigott in London was issued after the verdict of the court … a botched verdict, indeed, in which the Queen, though her adultery had been established, would not be further pursued since George IV's own affairs and his secret marriage to Mrs Fitzherbert would then have been exposed.  The House of Lords refused a third reading as a result and the House of Commons, generally in uproar over the proceedings due to a large proportion of Radical sentiment that had the government in trouble in any case, did not then need to pursue the case (10th November 1820).  Verses on the Funeral of her Majesty Qn.  Caroline (7th August 1821) from Batchelar, has an obvious subject-matter.  Sequence, as noted here, is clear enough and there were no ballads that pursued the affair after Caroline's death.25

The Queen Caroline episode is interesting too in that, despite much evidence of retrospection where public figures and then printing of ballads are concerned, discussed before in this series and then again above, it is unwise to think that this was always the case.  Such pieces, it now seems, must be judged singly as the contrast (the point, admittedly, is being a little laboured here) between the issue of Walker's Abercrombie piece and of the Queen Caroline pieces described above demonstrates.

At least the Caroline pieces, all issued from the Duke's Palace address, confirm absolutely Walker's activity there during 1820-1821.

Robert Lane, independently it should be noted, printed Italian Liars, also a piece concerned with the affair of Queen Caroline, from 'Bridewell-Alley' (as it is put on copy), and God Save the Queen (Caroline), The Visit and Trial of Our Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Caroline, The Italian Witness and Sir Francis Burdett's Speech at the Middlesex Meeting To Address The Queen and A Copy Of Verses On the Death Of Queen Caroline (1821) - all from Bridewell Alley.  There are two more Lane pieces still, large-sized, issued from Bridewell Alley, the first entitled A Queen's Appeal To The Female Inhabitants Of The United Kingdom, an extract from Queen Caroline's defence during her trial in the summer and autumn of 1820, and the second seemingly addressed by the printer to C R (with a finely drawn heraldic device between the two letters) To Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Caroline.  All these pieces can be found boxed in the Millenium library (there are more titles still issued by Lane from Bridewell Alley in this cache). Importantly, Lane's activity, independent of Walker, is underlined.  One more Robert Lane piece, on a Norfolk County Council website, The Victory and Triumph Of Our Most Gracious Majesty Queen Caroline was also issued from Bridewell Alley.26

Robert Lane's subsequent career will be discussed elsewhere but the separate activities of Lane and Walker by 1820-1821 can be confirmed once again by reference to Lane's individual piece on the Pycraft execution in 1819 and Walker's on the execution of William Hardiment dating from 1822, both discussed in a previous article; and then Walker's piece on the 1821 speech from the throne noted above - all indicating an apparent sundering of association in printing; and then to yet another Walker piece, Sale By Auction, which is a straightforward example of jobbing printing and has a printed date of November 1822 on it.27

Further still, we have already found that, during the 1820s, Walker was much associated with a Samuel Lane, a man who turns out to be a jobbing poet, working for both Robert Lane and Robert Walker (and others such as Stewardson in Magdalen Street and Broadhurst in St Benedict's both of whom we encountered in the course of investigating the work of Norfolk printers in respect of executions) and eventually dying in 1853.  One notes that all Samuel Lane's pieces for Robert Lane come from Robert Lane's individual Bridewell Alley address, seemingly vacated at some stage after 1821 - Lane was certainly printing out of Bridge Street, St George's by 1824 as a piece entitled Sentence of the Prisoners who were tried at the Thetford Assizes, March 20th 1824 helps to make clear.28

Another piece in the Colman collection from the pen of Samuel Lane and issued by Walker from the Duke's Palace address is suggestive of a break by Samuel Lane from Robert Lane and an increasing adherence to Walker.  This is The Death of Derrydown - referring to somewhat draconian activity by a landowner, so far unidentified, in Ireland.  There is no record of this piece elsewhere as a printed ballad.29

But the Duke's Palace address on this piece is important because it does seem to reveal a particular period of issue that has been established as having begun between 1818 (the Painter and Sutton piece) and 1821 (the end of the Queen Caroline years affair).  There are, unfortunately, no Samuel Lane compositions in the Colman collection made for Walker at his Duke's Palace address: all were issued when Walker was at St Lawrence's or after.  Nor are there any Samuel Lane pieces for Walker in the Bodleian assemblage of Duke's Palace pieces.  So this one stands out.  There are, however, three Samuel Lane pieces to be found on the Norfolk County Council website that, like the 'Derrydown piece', offer no clue as to Lane's address but give Walker's as being at the Duke's Palace.  These are John Hodges Visit to Norwich To See the Gas Lights which would have been issued around 1820 when gas lighting was first introduced to Norwich; The Norfolk Militia, so far undateable; and, likewise, Fox Dinner, in memory of Charles James Fox.

Further, if at a tangent, three pieces in the Bodleian cache written by R.  Howard (The Kind Shepherd), J Parkerson, Jnr. (the Painter and Sutton piece already discussed) and 'C. D.' (The Maid I Adore) that illustrate how Walker was already prepared to use his own group of writers during the Duke's Palace years and that emphasise how he was beginning to turn to a concentration on local events and personalities for subject-matter.  In this latter regard, Samuel Lane came into his own.30

It is, of course, quite possible that the Derrydown piece was issued after 1821 but this would still have been before 1827 when Walker was in St Lawrence's; and so - in a seemingly trivial detail - parameters begin to join up.

Walker's actual premises during this time cannot be identified but the Duke's Palace pub might be a reasonable bet in terms of a degree of pinpointing.  It stood on the site of the old palace, on the east side of Duke Street south of the Wensum and just north of St Andrew's, actually with its southernmost walls on the line of Charing Cross running west to east.  'Near' on Walker copy denotes a clear enough location.  The accompanying photograph is hardly illustrative but does offer identity of the site of Walker's premises in a present-day context!31

As summary: historical timing for the Duke's Palace as a location for Walker seems to have extended from c.1818 up until the late 1820s when the christening dates of two of Walker's children at St Lawrence's in 1827 and 1829 supply firm evidence of some sort of change of premise as domicile and, it seems, for immediate business purposes and we then begin to come across increasing evidence that Walker printed at St Lawrence's Steps.


In this connection, there are yet more pieces by Samuel Lane in the Colman collection (and, of course, in different sources) when Walker had obviously moved from Duke's Palace.  For example, there are a host of printings that have an address at Charing Cross for Lane - Charing Cross is a thoroughfare leading from St Lawrence's towards the market area of Norwich - and this address, as noted earlier, can be seen to correspond in part to a time when Walker was working out of St Lawrence's during the latter part of the 1820s.  The fact that Lane's address can also be associated with Walker during the latter's domicile in St Michael's, Coslany does not alter the validity of the prior dates at St Lawrence's.  The nature of these pieces will be examined more fully in a forthcoming piece but can safely be said to deal in large part with local events, particularly elections and political manouevring.

Again, Samuel Lane's address, on some copy, is given as being at St Gregory's.  The London Establishment, discussed briefly above, has him at St Gregory's (c.1829 according to the hand-written date on the piece) although, in this case, Walker's address is given only as 'Printer, Norwich'.  More clearly, Earl Grey's Martial Law, pinpoints Samuel Lane at 'Thoroughfare Yard, St Gregory's' and Walker at St Lawrence's.  Grey took office on 22nd November 1830 and detail on copy suggests that the piece referred to the Irish Coercion Bill of 1833.32  Thoroughfare Yard is off Magdalen Street, to the north of the city centre, just along from St Lawrence's Steps.

On two other printings, The Blessings of A Upright Committee (sic) and The Horse Riders All A Humbug, found on the Norfolk County Council website, we again find Lane at Thoroughfare Yard, St Gregory's and Walker at St Lawrence's.33

Samuel Lane, though, leads us a merry dance.  He is at Thoroughfare Yard when Walker had moved to 'Orford-Hill', as indicated on another Norfolk County Council piece, The Runaway Ministers.34  One other of Lane's ballads, The Sprowston Goose, this time in the Colman collection, has him at 'Thoroughfare Yard, St Gregory's' and with Walker at 'Orford-Hill' - at that time the current way of printing the address.35  Yet another printing, The Gold Day Feast for the Tax Eaters, has Lane at 'Thoroughfare Yard' although there is no address for Walker.36  All told, whatever the slight discrepancies, there is some degree of help in dating Walker's and Lane's association.

We are able to fill out the bounds of this association from the Colman collection where we find that there are equally striking references in pieces written by Samuel Lane and giving his address as 'St.  Lawrence, near the Pump' (without an address for the printer, Walker) - The Shepherd Forsakes The Flock, with a handwritten date of 1830 on it and, again with a handwritten date, this time of November 1830, a piece entitled A Trip to America.37  Similarly, the association is confirmed on other pieces by Lane as writer such as The Disappointment of the Black Club and The Lost Key Found … for, whilst there is no address for Lane on either piece, it is Walker's that is given as 'St.  Lawrence, near the Pump'.  Finally, More Impositions … has Lane in St Lawrence's though there is no address for Walker, still most probably indicating the time where, as given elsewhere, Lane lived 'near' the Pump: no other printings for Lane carry an address presented in its simplest form as St Lawrence's.  38

The said Pump was erected as early as 1576 by one Robert Gybson and according to Mackie's Norfolk Annals, was, in 1821, receiving a new coat of paint so it was evidently held in some kind of affection or even veneration in Norwich.39  The Pump was located on the other, northern side of Westwick Street from St Lawrence's Steps (the one-time Anchor brewery, now an accommodation block, occupied the site) - a matter of yards away.  The use of the word 'near' suggests that Walker was working out of premises on the Steps themselves; at the eastern end of the church of St Lawrence's (steps at the western end were known as St Lawrence's Passage).  Since the possibilities on the Steps are physically constricted, it may be that the present buildings represent the actual spot where Walker printed.  Whatever the case, the association of that 'near the Pump' and the definite identification of a Walker address at St Lawrence's Steps seem further to bind the two locations as one and the same and, even though there are no precise dates, help cement the Robert Walker and Samuel Lane association.

Some of the above puzzles regarding Samuel Lane and his activities may be partially unravelled or at least made understandable by reference to Lane's obituary which declares that he was constantly on the move and spent time in both the workhouse and gaol, never paid rent - was in St Edmund's, for instance, for one week and St Gregory's for but a day (considering the number of pieces issued from St Gregory's as listed above, can we quite believe this?), in St Lawrence's, presumably, at the Pump, 'the longest' (the actual time is not specified but the suggestion, especially if it is to a short period of time, highlights Lane's prolixity at the time, underlined in his obituary) and died in Sheep's Head Court, Mutton Square, London - his life, then, the stuff itself of fiction.40

Samuel Lane's removal to London can be confirmed although, like most detail concerning Lane, its timing remains unclear.  The obituary gives no dates.  We do know from copy in the Bodleian archive that he was there when Jenny Lind paid her second visit to Norwich in 1849 - there is an address simply recorded as 'London' on a Lane piece about the visit, printed by Walker from 'Church-st, St Mile's' (sic); this latter, as will be seen, a fairly 'late' time in Walker's history.41  Other pieces in the Millenium library Colman collection such as The Landowners Thrown Overboard again give Lane's address in 'London' and have Walker at 'Church St, St Mile's' (sic).42  We know from personal details given at the head of this article that Church Street was Walker's domicile from at least 1841 on.  Three pieces on the Norfolk County Council website, also giving Walker's Church Street address, have Lane in 'London'.  The first, The Landowners thrown Overboard, clearly duplicates the Colman collection ballad - or vice versa.  The second is entitled The Norwichers Cooked Again.  The third piece, The Tea Shop Humbug (another Colman 'repeat'), gives a Walker address as being at St Martin at Oak.43  The latter piece especially confirms not just the period of Lane's own London sojourn but a relatively 'late' period of Walker activity, St Martin at Oak being a Walker location associated with the 1840s that has puzzling ramifications, first raised by some street directory entries and as will be seen further below.  Two more Colman pieces give Lane's address as 'Hackney' and Walker's immediately contemporary printing address as 'opposite St Mile's Church' (sic).44  Apropos Samuel Lane, we are none the wiser yet in knowing the location of Sheep's Head Court, London.  The available material is very slow to yield the extra tid-bit that would enable us to posit definitive dating of the whereabouts of the principals.  Nonetheless, together, these pieces demonstrate Lane's concentration on local Norfolk events and issues - in one way, he never left.  In turn, they highlight Walker's growing concentration on local affairs.


Lane's activities, as checks and balances of as sort, help us to gain a degree of perspective on Walker's movements.  Through them as they reflect printing at St Lawrence's and together with internal details in other pieces we can also assemble an account of Walker's activities in St Lawrence's - for instance, through a piece in the Millenium library, large-sized (approximately twenty by thirty-two centimetres, although the process of reproduction may well have been instrumental in defining the size) that contains the King's speech on November 2nd 1830 at the opening of Parliament and has the St Lawrence's address on it.  The King must have been William IV who had acceded to the throne after George IV's death in June of that year.  The relevant references in the speech - as well as to the death of King William's brother (George, that is) - are to an amnesty between warring factions in Portugal; the accession of the Duke of Orleans as Louis-Philippe of France; and machine-breaking in England - all dateable to 1830.45

Run Away Wellington OR THE Cock Won't fight, issued from St Lawrence, involves Wellington's defeat as head of the Tory party in November 1830.  The text was composed by Samuel Lane, by now from an address in Charing Cross.46  Further still, on the piece entitled Peel and Ogle's Farewell, written by Samuel Lane (no address is given), and printed by Walker at St Lawrence's, there is a handwritten date of 1830.  The piece looks to refer to elections in Norwich during 1830 when a Colonel Peel and 'Vice Admiral Sir Charles Ogle, Bart.' represented the 'Purples' - that is, the Tory party - and were defeated in the polls by the Whig candidates, Gurney and Grant.47  Another Walker issue from 'St Lawrence', this time copied from the Morning Chronicle, has a printed date on it of November 25th 1830.  It, like the previous piece mentioned, concerns the election of Robert Grant - who served as a Norwich MP during 1830 and 1831.48  Yet another 'St Lawrence' issue, a jobbing piece consisting of a notice urging the muzzling of dogs in Norwich, has a printed date of June 12th 1830 on it.49  A Song Air - "The King God Bless Him" - that refers to Keppel, Windham, Brougham and Queen Adelaide and was printed at St Lawrence's, with that appellation Queen, suggests a period after Adelaide's coronation in 1831 when the other characters were active.50  A speech from the throne to parliament, printed at St Lawrence's, refers to Belgian aspiration for independence and most likely dates from the then current session of parliament in 1831 at the time of the London conference that determined support for Belgium in its attempt at severance from Dutch rule.  Another reference was to the current state of affairs in Portugal.  There, in April 1831 Pedro I (1798-1834) unexpectedly abdicated in favour of his five-year-old son, who became Pedro II.  In a convoluted way Britain was drawn into offering advice if not assistance in the subsequent turmoil.51

Finally, as described in a previous article, we recall Walker's piece on the execution of Richard Knockolds, issued from 'St Lawrence' and dated 1831.52  It is worth adding that Walker copy inevitably has the location printed out as here - 'St.  Lawrence'.

It looks, then, as if Walker's activities in St Lawrence's began at around 1827 (the date of Henrietta Walker's christening at St Lawrence's) and continued at least until 1831.  Unfortunately there does not, so far, appear to be much clearly dateable copy from 1827-1829 to confirm activity except that The London Establishment may give us a clue.


After this time, at any rate, Walker moved from St Lawrence's to Orford Hill, south of Norwich city centre; and his transfer there - we remind ourselves - represents the only time that he moved out of the general St Lawrence and Coslany areas.

This Orford Hill sojourn was a productive period of operation.  We have a tentative date for its beginning since there is a piece entitled King William and the Whigs from the Orford Hill address marking the change of government under the new King when Wellington left office and the Whigs came in under their leader, Grey - precisely on November 22nd 1830, although the nature of Walker's printing is general and, in any case, aforementioned dates of 1831 for St Lawrence's - in the Knockolds execution piece, for example - precludes any more precise dating.  Furthermore (a reminder), the reference in the piece to Queen Adelaide could not have preceded her coronation on September 8th 1831.  This piece was one of Samuel Lane's compositions written whilst he was in 'Charing Cross' (for Lane, as mentioned before, this was a relatively stable period and although he is known to have moved on from there to Coslany).53  We might surmise a date for change of premises for Walker from St Lawrence's to Orford Hill c.1831.

To support this suggestion there is another Orford Hill piece from Samuel Lane at Charing Cross entitled Lord Althorp's budget that can most likely be dated from a time after the budget of February 1831; one would think not too long after if maximum commercial benefit was to accrue to the printer at a time when Samuel Lane and Walker appear to have issued printings commenting on events and personalities in Norwich almost on a daily basis.54  Althorp, be it said, was dismissed by King William in 1834.

The Reformers Triumphant!  OR, THE Last Dying Speeches of the Corporation, again from Samuel Lane at Charing Cross, printed by Walker at Orford Hill, implies currency at the time of local political upheaval, in this case when Tory candidates suffered losses:

Only six Tory Aldermen, throughout the whole City
Are returned into office …
This subject-matter looks to involve implementation of the Municipal Government Act of 1835 which abolished older - sometimes 'rotten' - boroughs and transferred power to new bodies elected through a wider franchise, the result in this case being the appearance of a Norwich City Council.  The Norwichers Lamentation for the Loss of Their Guild, the 'Guild' being replaced through the new government organisation, would have come out at the same time.55

Further (using detail from a previous article in this series), Walker's piece on the execution of James Clarke and those on the execution of Mary Taylor and then of Frances Billings and Catherine Frarey all date from 1835 and were all issued from Orford Hill.  Walker's piece on the execution of Smith and Timms, also discussed previously and issued from Orford Hill, dates from 1837.56

Reverting to the Colman collection: a piece from Orford Hill entitled High Life above Stairs, Or, The Amours of the Premier and Mrs.  Norton refers to Melbourne's affair with Caroline Norton which led to a court case in June 1836, Melbourne being acquitted but Caroline Norton disgraced, ostracised and forfeiting all rights to the upbringing of her three children.  We also recall the White street directory entry for Walker at Timberhill in 1836.57

Another piece issued from Orford Hill, Smith and his Wet Nurse OR THE Whigs and their Parity of Election, gives us another likely 1837 date.  There are references to a political confrontation between Douro and Robert Scarlett which took place during that year when elections were held following the dissolution of the second Reformed Parliament after King William IV died.  Both Douro and Scarlett, as it happens, were elected to Parliament: Smith was not. Douro (see more below) was the son of Wellington and Robert Campbell Scarlett the son of James Scarlett who was MP for Norwich between 1832 and 1835.  Another reference in the piece has some bearing - that to Thomas Spring Rice who was Chancellor in the Whig government between 1835 and 1839; but it is the local election, during which Scarlett was victorious, that offers the best clue to dating.  The piece was a Samuel Lane composition though no address for Lane is given.  A second Smith piece (Lane again; without an address), Good Bye Nurse!  OR, Ben Smith Wrapped Up in a clout, has a handwritten date of 1837 on it - hardly conclusive but certainly concerning the same subject-matter as the previous piece discussed and issued from the same address and also with comment that suggests almost daily comment as already canvassed in connection with Queen Caroline.  Comical Dialogue Between Ben Smith And His Nurse is an obvious variation on the themes noted here - a Samuel Lane piece without an address but Walker at Orford Hill.  The Conservatives' Mortal Gorge, a piece about Robert Scarlett and the election, comes from Walker at Orford Hill.58

Lastly as guide to Walker's activities at Orford Hill, again as noted in a previous article, Walker's execution piece on Charles Daines, issued from Orford Hill, dates from 1839.  In contrast, Walker's coverage of the John Randalsome murder and execution case, discussed in a previous article in this series and dating from August 1840, was issued from 'White Hart, St Miles'' (sic), a limit to Walker's Orford Hill activities thus being set.59

There are, in total, thirty-nine printings out of Orford Hill in the Colman collection, thirty-five of which are attributed on copy to the pen of Samuel Lane, the majority of these having Lane's 'Charing Cross' address on them.  The conjunction of writer and printer helps to give us a strong impression of the association between writer and printer.  It can be seen to have become established as a matter of routine.  When, exactly, Lane moved from Thoroughfare Yard to Charing Cross is not known.

There is also an important snapshot to be placed against Orford Hill activities.  One piece out of the thirty-nine aforementioned in the Colman collection, from Lane's pen, stands out by reason of its address: The Rout Comes For the Whites, a piece with local subject-matter, by Samuel Lane 'Printed by R Walker, Timberhill Street, in the parish of St John of Timberhill, in the city of Norwich'.60  Timberhill Street, south of Norwich Castle, joins Orford Hill, as shown on the accompanying map and in photograph four and it may well be that the two addresses at the apex of the junction between the two roads were, in actuality and as in other Walker circumstances noted above, one and the same.

The years at Orford Hill begin to take an inclusive shape, beginning, it seems, at some time during 1831 and ending in 1840.  The census details for 1841, we remind ourselves, place Walker in Coslany.


We turn next to consider other Walker addresses as they appear on copy in the Colman collection in the Millenium library, firstly St Miles.  We know from the Randalsome execution piece that Walker worked out of St Miles in 1840 - and from census details that he was domiciled in St Michael's, Coslany in 1841.  We remind ourselves that the names St Michael's and St Miles' refer to the same church.  We also know, again from sources discussed previously in this series, that a Walker piece on the execution of John Jones and issued from 'White Hart, St Mile's'(sic) dates from 1842.

Three addresses are normally given for St Miles on various copy, one in 'Church Street', another at 'White Hart' and a third merely as 'St. Mile's' (the apostrophe before the 's' is by far the most common usage on Walker copy).  There is also one piece, entitled The Fat Headed Club; Or The Devil Among The Farmers, written by Samuel Lane in 'Hackney' (London) that Walker issued from a location 'opposite St Mile's Church' (sic).61  It would seem likely that this location was one and the same with the 'White Hart' in question but 'opposite' gives us a slight problem since it would imply a position for Walker's premises either round the corner of the flats in the photograph (in other words, in Colegate Street) or on the opposite side of Coslany Street (on the left in the photograph).  Since, judging on older available photographs, the White Hart itself was one from the end of a row now replaced by the flats as shown, neither of these possibilities seems likely.  The identification of White Hart as given here, therefore, remains the more probable one.62

We can pursue the Walker involvement at St Miles through a piece entitled Sir Robert Peel, And His Budget issued by 'Walker & Co.  Printers, Church Street, St Mile's' (sic), that offers a probable date of 1841 when, after the general election that year, the Conservatives took office with Sir Robert Peel as Prime Minister, and his budgetry was put into effect.  Another piece, this time from 'White Hart, St Mile's' (sic) entitled The New Income Tax, can likewise be associated with Sir Robert Peel.  Although he had once opposed income tax, an empty Exchequer and a growing deficit gave rise to the surprise return of the tax in his 1842 Budget.  Together these pieces frame the Jones execution piece of 1842 from 'White Hart'.63

The combination of address and dates can be confirmed in a somewhat curious manner.  There is information that in 1842 the licensee of the White Hart pub was none other than a Robert Walker … surely one and the same since his son, Robert, was then only aged 17.  We know from the Walker Randalsome piece that 'White Hart' was an address for issue in 1840, positing a narrowing period of time - a matter, it seems, of digging out a month rather than a year, impossible as yet - during which Walker moved from Orford Hill; and it is worth recording that a list of licensees has a Harry Kemp in the White Hart in 1839 and that this list might indicate that the particular licensee worked up until the next date given which, in this case, was 1842 - it is admitted that this by no means certain.

We know that In 1842 'White Hart' was also described as being at 28 Coslany Street.  Odd and even numbering did not appear wholesale in Norwich until quite late in the century (present-day Coslany Street has numbers 27 and 29 on its left-hand side - western side - as one looks northwards).  Again, then, identification of White Hart as being on the right in the photograph is our best guess.64  Contrariwise, the location was, around 1836, known as 'Bridge Street' and St Miles was evidently an alternative name used for the same area.  This helps to explain an anomaly noted right at the start of this piece and repeated in the 1841 census.  The Bridge Street in St Miles looks to have been an extension of Coslany Street, leading south across the Wensum.  Ultimately, one would expect, in the end, that all these locations can be conflated to the one - unless one were to assume a whole group of buildings amongst which Walker flitted, at this point a somewhat fanciful idea.65

The Present State of the Country, printed out of St Miles, can be found to have an array of references: 'Bob' Peel for instance, indicating a period most likely during his second ministry (1841-1846) since 'Jem' Graham, Home Secretary at this time, is implicated.  The Scarletts, 'Jem' and Bob', put in an appearance; 'Bob' was serving member for Norwich between 1835 and 1838 and succeeded his father 'Jem' (who died in 1844).  The latter, first Baron Abinger, had been MP for Norwich between 1832 and 1835 (as noted previously in this article) after which he was made up to be Baron of the Exchequer and took on the Norfolk circuit.  The mention of both at one time posits a possible date (1844) for the piece although this date appears, at first, to conflict with Jem Scarlett's death and then with the date of the Saville execution piece issued in 1844 from St Martin at Oak, which itself suggests printing from more than one set of premises (see more below).66

Another piece issued at 'White Hart, St Mile's', and entitled More Blessings for John Bull, is centred on the birth of a princess to Victoria and Albert and this princess was either Alice, born on April 25th 1843 or Helena, born April 25th 1846.  'Bob Peel went and look'd at it … ' and both Wellington, still active, and Brougham are mentioned in the piece.  Whichever of the princesses was the subject of the piece the focus is still on a relatively short period of time that is consistent with other information grounding Walker firmly in St Miles.67  The St Miles years are also underlined in the dating of a lighthearted piece entitled The Last Dying Speech And Confession of the infamous Corn Laws that posits issue in or around 1846, after May and Peel's speech on Repeal, and was issued by Walker from 'Church Street, St Mile's' (sic).68

More clearly, a piece issued from 'Church Street. St Mile's' (sic) entitled Trial and Sentence Of Hardy and Goward, refers to a case heard in June of 1847.  As we know from previous Walker coverage of trials and executions a long-term retrospection is not the way in which he treated cases so the date here sets the particular printing looks to set the piece in a dateable context.69

Similarly, A New Song; Jenny Lind's Second Visit to Norwich, written by Samuel Lane in 'London' and printed by Walker at 'Church St St Mile's' (sic), a piece mentioned before in this article, must date from Jenny Lind's actual visit in January 1849 (Jenny Lind's first visit had been in September 1847).  Jenny Lind's Concert, another Samuel Lane piece written in 'London', was also printed from the St Miles address and, whichever date of connection is assumed in this piece, 1847 or 1849, it does not alter the parameters of the St Miles printing activity.70

The Compromisers Defeated, another piece issued from 'St. Mile's' (sic), concerning Samuel Morton Peto and Douro, son of the Duke of Wellington, looks to refer to the period that the pair of them spent as MPs for Norwich between 1847 and 1852: not exactly specific but helping to confirm that 'St Mile's' was a covering address for Church Street and extending the our perception of the period spent there.71

Two more pieces do the same - in these manifestations, under the name of 'White Hart'.  A Rare Row In The Parliament House Or The Dying Groans of the Whig Ministry contains a reference to Peel died on July 2nd 1850.  The Humbug of the Whig Ministry!!! has a reference to Queen Victoria 'sending Russell away' which would seem to refer to the demise of the Whig government in 1851.72

Further still, although there might be a slight element of confusion in the details, there is a Walker printing entitled The Norfolk Heroes that concerns the Crimean war (1854-1856) and was printed out of 'St.  Michael's Coslany', the current (1851-1861) address for Walker's domicile as it is rehearsed in census details.73  Here, if the 'Craven & Co.' street directory date of 1856 to St Miles is also taken into account, a dual reference to St Miles and to St Michael, Coslany becomes evident.  The answer to this puzzle, already canvassed, lies in usage of the dimunitive, apparently not an unusual occurrence in Norwich at the time where the particular building was concerned.

Another piece from St Miles entitled Norwich and Glory, Peace and Plenty invokes the then current alliance between France and England and suspicion of Tsar Nicholas and his son 'Alick' and would, like The Norfolk Heroes, have been issued around the time of the Crimean War of 1854-1856 - Tsar Nicholas died just before the battle of Sevastopol.74

There is also a piece, the last dateable one in the Walker repertoire, entitled Anticipated Festivities, referring to the coming marriage of the then Prince of Wales, which took place in 1863, and this too was printed out of 'Church St, St Mile's' (sic).75

The apparent dichotomy exposed in the 'Craven & Co.' 1856 street directory and the census details for Walker senior of 1841, 1851 and 1861, between St Miles' and St Michael's, Coslany as locations for printing, and the simple explanation that St Michael's, Coslany (the church) was also known as St Miles', leaves us with the inference that Robert Walker senior's domicile in Church Street, St Michael's, 1841 to 1861, covers all the dates canvassed for activity at the St Miles' and St Michael's, Coslany addresses.  Further, 'White Hart' seems to have also been one and the same as location with 'St.  Mile's' and 'St.  Michael's, Coslany'.  The final piece in this particular puzzle is then to determine if 'White Hart' was the same location as Church Street, St Miles - not possible at the moment but on the other hand not, strictly, a handicap, since the area in Norwich referred to by the several names noted here is quite specific: a matter of square yards.  And all the concentrated information looks as if it confirms a single site for printing purposes (rather than the group of buildings noted previously).

All in all, the outline period for the St Miles years seems to extend from 1840 to 1863 (perhaps beyond this date, Walker senior dying, we remind ourselves, in 1868) and encompasses the St Miles street directory references of 1854 and 1856 - when the two addresses of 'White Hart' and Church Street, one and the same, were used.


There is, though, a big problem, that has already surfaced and brings us to our last locations.  We take first an execution piece on Saville (discussed in a previous article), issued from St Martin at Oak, that dates from around the execution itself on 8th August 1844.76  And there is also a piece on the Norwich politician, Ben Smith (we have already encountered Smith and his Wet Nurse), entitled A Dialogue Between Ben Smith And The Marquis of Douro and issued from St Martin at Oak77, that, like the Saville piece, seems to compromise the St Miles address.  Douro, Richard Arthur Wellesley (1807-1887), the son of the first Duke of Wellington, was involved in elections with Ben Smith in Norwich in both 1837 and 1841.  He represented Norwich as MP with Ben Smith between 1838 and 1847 (and from 1847 until 1854 with Samuel Morton Peto) but we can take the Ben Smith reference in the title of Walker's piece to be to the period between 1838 and 1847.  It would not have been in 1837, the time of Douro's and Smith's first encounter, because Walker senior, who issued ballads on that encounter as noted above, was then still at Orford Hill and there was no possible confusion of addresses - St Miles and St Martin at Oak - at the time; and, what is more, Walker junior was still in the family home in St Michael's, according to the 1841 census.  This still leaves us with quite a choice of year of issue for the Walker piece but a reference in the piece to Peel as Prime Minister (between 1841 and 1846 - his second ministry) and, specifically, his introduction of income tax, should imply currency around 1842.  A further internal reference in the Douro piece to troubles in Ireland and Canada would seem to highlight the famine years beginning in 1846 and the problems in Canada that ensued as a result of vastly increased Irish immigration.  This just about puts the piece within the boundaries of the Douro and Smith association until the time when they parted elective company in 1847; but the clash of possible location for printing between St Miles and St Martin is clear; and if we take the churches themselves as geographical markers then there is some distance between the two - St Miles to the south of St Martin at Oak (see map).  In all this we have the hitherto unexplored factor of White's street directory date of 1845 for 'Oak Street' that helps to confirm a possible time of issue although it does not help identify the Walker mentioned - if we take 'Oak Street' to be one and the same as 'St.  Martin at Oak' (the latter is situate 'on' the other geographically).  So who did issue this piece?

This clash of locations is further underlined in a Walker piece in the Colman collection issued from St Martin at Oak (written by Samuel Lane, be it said, whilst he was in St Michael's Coslany - at the same time as Walker senior) and entitled The Life And Adventures of Father Mathew.  Father Mathew had been born in 1790 and began his temperance crusade in 1838 in Cork, travelling through Ireland - Limerick in 1839, Dublin in 1840, Kells in 1841 - and then over to Glasgow (1843) and then Liverpool (1843), pursuing his aims through the years of the great Irish famine and eventually dying in 1856.78  In fact, Mackie helps to pinpoint both event and printing.  In an entry in Annals … dated September 9th 1843 a visit to Norwich on the 7th for a temperance festival by Father Mathew himself is described and a newspaper report cited that observed, somewhat dismissively:

We cannot but feel that the members of the Church of England are pledged to temperance already, and have therefore no necessity to repeat the pledge before a Romish priest.79
This would still put the piece, from St Martin at Oak, in the middle of St Miles operations.

A group of 'railway' pieces exacerbates the problem.  Railway Trips, issued from White Hart, St Miles' (a Lane piece from Coslany Street), about the new line between Norwich and Yarmouth 'soon in use', has a handwritten date of April 27th 1843 on it.  Mackie noted the formal opening of a railway line in Norwich on 30th April 1844 (the first completed through railway line from London via Cambridge to Norwich was actually opened in 1845).  But Travelling By Steam; Or, The Opening of the Yarmouth and Norwich Railway, clearly referring to the event, is a Walker printing from St Martin at Oak.  Similarly, The Benefit of Railways, written by Samuel Lane (in St Michael's, Coslany) has Walker at St Martin at Oak yet again.  .80  Here we have a slightly complicated situation.  Only one piece looks to have been issued by Walker senior.

To add to the complication, a piece issued from St Martin at Oak entitled The Benefits of Mesmerism OR, THE Queen's Pranks at Buckingham Palace, has an obvious subject-matter; and Mesmerism as cult was at a height in Britain during 1843 and 1844.  References to the Duke of Wellington (who died in 1852) and to 'Jem Graham' as Home Secretary, in which capacity we know that he served Peel between 1841 and 1846, would look to suggest a date of issue during the middle 1840s.81

There is no obvious explanation for why there was an apparent coincidence of printing work at the two premises, St Miles (and its associated names) and St Martin at Oak, the latter during the period between (roughly) 1843 and 1846.  To account for these clashes, we can only assume that printing in Oak Street - St Martin at Oak - came from Walker junior.

There are, though, related problems.  First, there is a Walker piece on the attempted assassination of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, wrongly dated on copy to 1804, and more probably issued around 1840 when the actual event occurred - but from Bridge Street, St George's.  In this case, even if we assume that this piece was issued by Walker junior, there is a likely clash of the St Martin at Oak and Bridge Street addresses.

Second, a large format piece in the Millenium library, A full account of an Interesting discovery and release of JOSEPH FORBES, An Englishman, after SEVENTEEN YEARS slavery among Savages, refers to the event when Forbes was 'picked up at the island of Timour Laut, in Torres' Straits, on 1st April, 1839'.  Web sources confirm Forbes' captivity between 1822 and 1839.  The Walker piece, as news, might be thought to have seen the light during late 1839 or early 1840.  At least a date is given before which it could not have appeared.  But it, like the piece on the abortive assassination noted above, was printed at Bridge Street, St George's.  If Walker senior was, as has been pointed out, in Orford Hill in 1840 and, taking into account the Randalsome execution piece at 'White Hart' as well during the same year, where and when, exactly, does Bridge Street, St George's fit in and when was the Torres strait piece printed?  The answer must be that the piece was printed by Walker junior and, probably, retrospectively.82  He was, after all, in the family home in St Michael's, Coslany in 1841 and does not appear to have been a printer in his own right as far as can be determined.  Or was it precisely at this point, in 1841, that he emerged as a printer (the first clear reference to Bridge Street involving Walker junior is in Mason's street directory of 1852)?

We do note '& Co.  Printers' on the piece from St Miles, Sir Robert Peel and his budget (c.1842).83  Perhaps Robert Walker junior was involved as '& Co.' in the family concern and gradually assuming a separate printing identity.  After 1841 we know through electoral rolls that he remained in the family home (or at least in touch with it) until 1851 and from the 1851 census that he was then living in St Augustine's, one of the northernmost parishes in Norwich.  At the same time he could have occupied a different address and worked from there - a reasonable enough possibility.

To 'complete' Walker junior's life-history, we can turn to the 1861 census showing this Robert Walker domiciled at 'Church Alley, St George's of Colegate' as 'Compositor (printer)'.  Further, in the 1871 census Robert Walker junior is at Heigham, Norwich (presumably where Heigham Street is situated in Norwich and evoking memories of Walker junior's marriage in 1849) although the 1871 electoral roll has him at Church Alley still (perhaps another case of the existence of domicile and work premises?).  In 1881 he re-emerges as a fully-fledged 'Printer' in St Augustine's.  None of the latter locations can be mistaken for Bridge Street, St George's.  It really does look as if Walker junior lived at one address (and more) and printed from a different one.

Robert Walker junior, then, as far as evidence can be interpreted at this point, looks to have been printing from St Martin at Oak during the 1840s as perhaps confirmed by the Saville execution printing of 1844 - an eliptical view to that first promulgated when Walker execution pieces were considered in previous articles - and the 'Oak Street' directory entry of 1845.  The Ben Smith and Douro piece, discussed above, might then have come out of the middle 1840s, probably in 1846.  Subsequently, as entries in street directories from Mason (1852), White (1854), Kelly (1865), Mathiesen (1867) and Craven & Co.  (1868) make clear, Walker junior operated out of Bridge Street, St George's; and we recall those census details indicating that Walker junior was domiciled in St George's, Colegate - one and the same, it appears, with 'St.  George's' - in 1861.

We are left then with the Torres Strait piece that may simply have printed retrospectively - and by the son.  We should not forget the case of John Swepson Merry, who looks as if he had been installed as printer in his father's business aged 16 when the father, Charles Barber Merry, was imprisoned for bankruptcy in 1835 and when the son was still an apprentice.  Further, two premises for printing are connected with the Barber family, in use at one and the same time, and it may have been that the father printed at one and his daughter, Mary Anna - who eventually took over the family business - at the other.  In this light, questions about possible family arrangements for working out of more than one location can all - perhaps - be confirmed and we may well assume, therefore, that it was Robert Walker junior who printed the Torres Straits piece.84  But the clash between St Martin at Oak and Bridge Street as printing addresses remains when the assassination piece is taken into consideration.  So far no resolution of this problem has been possible.  Walker senior cannot be implicated in this issue.  Did Walker junior print it, too, retrospectively?  Perhaps we fall back on idiosyncracy amongst printers!

What we are left with is a 'disputed' period and we can only sum up in a not particularly satisfactory way.  It is suggested, tentatively, that it was Walker junior who printed at St Martin at Oak whilst his father still operated at St Miles'; and that Walker junior moved to Bridge Street, St George's at some stage during the 1840s.


Whatever the case, we do, at the last, have a reasonably full picture of Robert Walker senior's career (and some knowledge of that of his son) and, whilst unresolved problems as described above are frustrating, the extent and variety of the life and output of Walker senior is clear enough.  We note how he moved around Norwich as opposed to, say, Besley in Exeter, Williams in Portsea, Hurd in Shaftesbury, Pollock in North Shields, Ringham in Lincoln and Willey in Cheltenham who all remained in one place; but he does not otherwise seem to have existed on the breadline if the stability of the St Michael's, Coslany home address is anything to go by.  A solid printing life would appear to have extended over a half-century at least which factor may underline Walker's relative comfort; in this respect, aspects of his jobbing career surface, ranging from a small variety of printing (perhaps there is still more to unearth here) and inclusive of a spell, apparently, as innkeeper.  His two major associations, with Robert Lane and with Samuel Lane, are clear enough.  He became a freeman - one sign also of his social and, possibly, financial standing, that is also underlined by his inclusion on electoral rolls as owner and occupier.  Walker's is a complex enough case by all accounts - and it is still likely that some of the details given above will need to be revised in order to account for lacunae and if more information surfaces.

In the next Norfolk piece some attempt will be made to assess the extent and nature of Walker's output following clues and suggestions already made in this piece and in the piece on his murder and execution ballads (almost inevitably this will involve overlapping and repeating certain features).

Roly Brown - 5.7.08
Oradour sur Vayres, France


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