The town’s links to the rest of the world are revealed in parish register entries, apprenticeships indexes and other records which refer to people from as far afield as Holland, Scotland and France. This can be seen in the town’s numerous apprenticeship records as when Elias Fuller, the son of Ann Fuller, a widow of Cauldecott in the county of Huntingdon, was apprenticed in 1662 to William Beddingham, a mariner of Lynn for seven years. Or, when Robert Syms of King’s Lynn was apprenticed to his merchant father John in February 1653-54, it was agreed upon completion that he would become a free burgess of Lynn as well as the Company of Grocers Hall London and the Society of Margarets [sic] trading into the ‘East Land’.
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King’s Lynn viewed across the Wash from West Lynn. When Daniel Defoe toured Norfolk in 1722 he commented on the ‘trade and navigations’ of Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Wisbech, Wells-next-the-Sea, Burnham and Cley, as well as smuggling activities along the coast: From Weyburn west lies Clye, where there are large salt-works and very good salt made which is sold all over the county, and sometimes sent to Holland and to the Baltic.
From Clye we go to Marsham and to Wells in which whereof there is a very considerable trade carried on with Holland for corn, which that part of the county is very full of. I say nothing of the great trade driven here from Holland, back again to England, because I take it to be a trade carried on with much less honesty than advantage, especially while the clandestine trade, or the art of smuggling was so much in practice: what it is now, is not to my present purpose.
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