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KINGS HEAD NORWICH K index
Kings Head
25 St STEPHENS STREET St STEPHEN - CLOSED
TOMPSONS to Morgans 25.03.1845
MORGANS   
Licensees :
JAMES STACEY 1760 - 1763
-  
SARAH SEWELL 1810 - 1822
MARTIN FRIEND 1830
JOHN DAVEY 1836
JAMES KING 1839
EDWARD SMITH 1842
JOHN THWAITS
age 46 in 1851
1845 - 1851
ELIZA THWAITS
Age 50 in 1854
1854 -  31.07.1855
Licence refused 13.02.1855
Fine of £2 and 11s 6d costs 14.02.1835
See opposite.
JAMES OSBOURN June 1855
Licence refused 28.08.1855
Licence granted on appeal 17.10.1855


On the evening of Sunday 23th April 1854, a man lodging at the Kings Head, leaped out of his bedroom window into the yard, a few feet beneath. He was almost naked.
Taken back to his bedroom, it was disclosed that he had been suffering from small pox and the severity of the disease had induced mental aberration which had incited him to so desperate an act.



Mrs Thwaits was compelled to leave the house by owners, Morgans Brewery on 31st July 1855, the earliest that the terms of her tenancy would allow.  Mr. Osbourn said that she had not lived in the house since the licence had been transferred to him in June.

On Tuesday 13th February 1855 Elliza Thwaites applied for transfer of her licence to her son, Isaac Moore Twaites. Mr. English, the Chief Constable, objected on the grounds that the house had been conducted in a most disreputable manner. The previous week he had asked the owners to turn out the tenant and procure another. This they had agreed to do. The application presented was a mere subterfuge, and if granted the house would be conducted as before.
The house was a lodging house and well known as the worst conducted in Norwich. It was the resort of thieves and prostitutes as witnessed by local, respectable businessmen who included Mr. Parker, fishmonger, Mr. Brown, pork butcher and Mrs Dady, green-grocer.
It was stated that Mrs Thwaites had been convicted previously. This was said in her defence to have only been for supplying a half pint of beer on a Sunday morning.
The application form of licence was passed round to the magistrates but they all refused to sign it.
A fine of £2 and costs of 11s 6d was imposed, possibly for running a brothel or for not removing from the premises on Monday 12th February as had been agreed with Messrs. Morgans.


On Wednesday 14th February 1855 Mrs Thwaites again appeared before the Magistrates accused of conducting a disorderly house.
On Tuesday 6th March, at about eleven o'clock, Police Constable Barnard received information that a policeman had be assaulted in the house.
He had entered the house and found twelve prostitutes and as many soldiers, they were very disorderly. Searching rooms for the man who assaulted the constable, he saw a girl in bed with a soldier. He believed the girl to be a prostitute.
Isaac Moore, the brother of Mrs Thwaites gave evidence that was quite contrary to that given by the police. To this the Mayor said he had damaged the case very much.
One of the magistrates, Mr. Blake remarked on the impropriety of calling a witness who would perjure themselves. The representative for Mrs. Thwaites said he had urged her not to call any witnesses.

The Magistrates agreed that the worst of characters had been harboured in the house and did not think justice would be done unless they imposed a fine of no less than £2 and costs of 11s 6d.

~

At the Annual Licensing Sessions held before fifteen magistrates on Tuesday 28th August 1855 it was heard that James Osborn was then running the house and Mrs Thwaits was living next door.
One of the magistrates asked if the house had been as bad as reported, he was told it was worse than that. "Worse than naked little boys and girls dancing around ? ".
Licence refused.

~

At the Quarter Sessions 17th October 1855 Messers. Morgans appealed against the decision of the magistrates not to re-grant the licence to Mr. James Osbourn of Lakenham.
Fishmonger Thomas Parker said in evidence that his shop adjoined the KINGS HEAD and said the general character of the house was bad. In the 1840's it had been very good, but during the time of the last three licensees the character had been very bad.
It was a resort of bad girls and he had witnessed them fighting and arguing upstairs about not being properly paid. He had voiced his objections to Mrs Thwaits and asked her to do away with it.
Since then he had seen a naked man turned out of the house by prostitutes.
He confirmed that since the licence had been transferred, he could not swear that he had seen prostitutes or Mrs. Thwaits in the house, but she still lived in the Kings Head Yard.
Mr Henry Morgan said that they thought Mr. Osbourn to be of good character and and pointed out that he was still repairing the house and that business had been untenable since Mrs Thwaits had left.
Messrs. Morgans had understood the property to be a lodging house and had not been informed of its use by prostitutes.
James Kerrison Osbourn confirmed that he had been granted the licence in June and had so far spent £80 on repairs. He had no agreement for Mrs Thwaits to return to the house.
The Chairman retired and returned with the decision that the magistrates had decided on the clear evidence before them at the time, but was bound to admit the appeal and grant the licence to Mr. Osbourn.

House no. 128 on 1845 Magistrates list