Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 23 No. 4 November 2008

A more recent Blencowe connection with The Everards of shipping fame

The following summary of the Everard and Blencowe Connections from BFA NL Vol 20 No 4 Dec 2005 and Vol 21 No 1 May 2006 is relevant to the following article.

In 1736, William Blencowe, of the Cumbrian family, married Elizabeth Latus of Millom, who had inherited the Manor of Lowick. William duly became Lord of the Manor and lived at Lowick Hall. Their second son, William Ferdinando (1742-1803), inherited the Manor of Lowick in 1769. When William F. died in 1803 he had no children, so he left the Manor to Elizabeth, the daughter of his cousin Henry Prescott Blencowe (1) of Thoby Priory, Essex.

Elizabeth had married James Everard in 1794 at Lowestoft. Thus, James and Elizabeth became Lords of the Manor of Lowick in 1803 and remained so until their own deaths in 1846.

Elizabeth's brothers, Henry Prescott Blencowe (2) married Rebecca the daughter of Edward Everard Snr and John Prescott Blencowe married Rebecca's youngest sister, Pleasance. Henry became head of the Thoby Priory branch of the family; it was he who sold Blencow Hall to the Duke of Norfolk in 1802. It is not known how or if James Everard and Rebecca and Pleasance were connected.

Blencowes and Everards were important citizens of Kings Lynn, a prosperous market town situated where the river Ouse drains into the Wash. After London, it was the most important east coast port, with links to the ports of the Hanseatic League in Scandinavia and Germany. Trade was largely in the hands of half a dozen merchant families of whom the Everards were one of the more influential with interests in brewing along with shipping.

It was John Blencowe who involved himself in the Everard family business, being described as “the leading light of the merchant house of Everard.” Although John Prescott Blencowe and Pleasance had eleven children no grandchildren followed.

Much of the prosperity of Kings Lynn was owed to its access by water to inland towns such as Bedford and Cambridge. However, its heyday passed with the arrival of a railway connection in 1847. Supported by an agriculture-based industry, Kings Lynn still has coastal trade with the Baltic.

Colin Hinks of the Mixbury Blencowes spent his early life in England and writes the following.

When I read those old newsletters it was a great surprise to find out that the Everards are “part of the family”! When I was in the Merchant Navy I was sent to the port of Kings Lynn to join a tanker called the Alacrity but when I got there, I swapped to the Activity. All of the Everard ships began with an A and finished with ITY.

Colins Everards ship The Activity was a cargo ship and plied up and down the coast of England carrying a crew of six, comprising 2 sailors, a mate, a skipper, an engineer and a cook-steward. From Kings Lynn we went up the coast to Blyth north of Newcastle to unload and then load up with coal for the gas-works at Truro in Cornwall on the Fal River. As the Activity was a shallow draft vessel we could get into place's that were inaccessible to other ships. After unloading the coal, we would go to Par or Fowey to load ‘China Clay’ for the paper mill in London on the Thames before taking another cargo back up north and then bring more coal back.

One trip took us to Margate where we tied up to the mole and an old steam crane with grab had to unload into trucks. The tide went out leaving us high and dry so we painted the bottom as much as we could, as the picture shows.

On one trip to Truro we ran into bad weather and had to anchor off the Isle of Wight where we saw huge barrels floating past. I suggested to the mate that we put a boat over the side and get one. However, we found out that a large Greek ship had run aground onto the western end of the Island and was breaking up and that these barrels were full of wine and customs were watching to see that no-one would touch them before they were picked up.

It was a happy ship, and I stayed on her for nine months, until I saw one of my old troopships that ran out of my home town. I got the skipper to sign me off so that I could go on it. My time on the Everard's ship was one when I found out how to be a man. I was very happy on her and together with the rest of the crew we were just like family. I often wonder what my life would have been if I had stayed on her for longer than I did.

Colin Hinks
New Zealand

updated: 26 January 2009