Robert Porter

The Strangers Guide Book for the Polite Village of Martham”

Sketch of Robert Porter

Robert was the author of the book “The Strangers Guide Book for the Polite Village of Martham”. The book was published around about 1830. He was the village schoolmaster at Martham and he wrote most of the book whilst living at The Vicarage although he was never the vicar. The book is deposited in the Norfolk Records Office in Norwich (Ref: 90/1,2.536) and is small being about A5 size. It is written by hand in a jocular tone and includes general historical and local statistical material as well as sketches, maps, drawings of comically distorted figures and caricatures including a miniature portrait of the author himself. There are informative sketches of Martham Green just  after the Inclosure Award.  There is a plan of houses in Martham and a map of estates in Martham, West Somerton and Winterton belonging to John Barker Huntington Esq. Other entries show a surveyor of 1824; a painting of the ship ‘Mercury’ on her way from Tobago in 1800. Pasted in and inserted are prints and copy prints including adjacent churches and halls; abstracts of accounts of East and West Flegg Poor Law Union 1823-1824, 1828-1829 and of Tunstead and Happing Union 1829-1830.

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