Letters: June Mitchell, February 3, 2015

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With reference to the article on the 1582 map in Tilney All Saints Church (Lynn News, January 30), I am writing to clarify some points.

The map is definitely not a West Norfolk map – it is the Marshland area.

The title of the map specifies even more detail: Seven marshland townships near Kings Lynn. Co. Norfolk; Emneth, Walsoken, Walton, Walpole, Clenchwarton, Terrington St Clement, Terrington St John. C 1582..

This means that Tilney/Tylney is not given as one of the seven towns at that time​ (although by 1662 and Dugdale’s map) the two Terringtons are given as one, and Tylney the seventh town), but most certainly features​ on the 1582 map, and this is our special interest.

The map gives details of the 16th century features of the villages, including Tylney, with the greens, drove roads, rivers, churches, windmills and the dwellings with their red roofs.

The British Library description adds:

It was probably commissioned by the government to distinguish rights of summer grazing on the Smeeth for the townships which had formerly belonged to the Bishop of Ely, and from 1581 was owned by Elizabeth 1 and the Duke of Norfolk.

The map is not on display at British Library. It is in the archives, but available to view on request.

Tilney All Saints History Group did not unearth the “genuine documents” that are deposited in the Wisbech and Fenland Museum.

Rev Kenneth Forester, who was vicar in the 1960s had discovered the Parish Chest with its wealth of ancient documents high up in the bell tower. He sought out the Oxford academic, CLS Linnell for advice, and they were mentioned in Linnell’s Short History of Tilney All Saints Church, in 1963. Forester’s successor, Rev Lloyd Jukes examined the papers further and wrote a short account of them in the Norfolk Archaeology in 1976.

It was Lloyd Jukes, together with his churchwardens, EM Baker and Alan Middleton, and local historian, Michael Begley who catalogued the documents. Tilney History Group members rediscovered the parish chest documents and the catalogue at the Wisbech Museum, and commenced research and transcription work.

Finally, our thanks to Minuteman Press is not for ‘providing their copy of the map’ but for the brilliant work they have done in printing from the digital copy and mounting so beautifully for us.

June Mitchell,

Tilney All Saints History Group