John Hancock, gamekeeper


John Hancock with his
eldest daughter Amelia







John's second daughter, Pattie married a Chapel Preacher William Cubitt, but suffered from hydrophobia and never ventured outside the house further than the well, and always in her slippers.



left: John's wife Elizabeth standing outside their house in Cross Street (later named 'Lorcot' by granddaughter Lorna who inherited it). This house was originally the Hancock Bake office. John's father and grandfather were Bakers. The house was listed in the survey of 1838 as a Beer Shop and Bake office

Amelia (left with her father) was the favourite daughter, and her
first music lesson on May 28th 1899 was an important event which merited a place in her father's gamekeeper's note-book, along side the recording of Mr Steward's 5 young stock coming onto the marsh three days later.

John even had a special organ sent out from America for his daughter, and Amelia, who married a baker Herbert Pigott who took over the family bake office on the Coast Road, was reknowned for her singing and organ playing in the Chapel. She has been mentioned by several older members of the community who can just remember her great importance and her loud voice and big hats.

'Sea Pie' (Captain Borrer of Cley) wrote:

In the beginning of the twentieth century,
poaching was rife in this district of wild heaths and wooded uplands, and one night when the faithful John and his son were

watching their young pheasants and ducks, a rough gang came up from Holt Lowes and began stoning the keeper.

John at once sent the boy home, and stood his ground till the volleys of stones became a serious matter, whereupon he 'upped his gun' - as he subsequently described to the magistrates - and shot two of the miscreants, whereupon the rest of the gang ran away.

From a newspaper article by 'Sea Pie' of Cley

posing for the Press


Here John's younger son Arnold is posing as a shot miscreant being revived with something out of a bottle, for the benefit of the Press.


Sons Leonard and Arnold were very different from each other. Arnold stayed in the village and farmed a smallholding in a desultory way according to those who remember him, and Leonard was the one who excelled himself further afield in employment as a groom and coachman.
The story goes that he refused a job offered him by the King of England because, he said, it was too easy a job and it required no skill as everything on the road made way for the King's coach. He took the job of pack groom to Sir Edward and Lady Stern instead, and here he is (right) on his Lordship's spare hunter, and (below) as head groom standing at the head of Sir Edward's Ascot coach at Sunningdale.

Lorna, Leonard's daughter, married Tom Fox and after Tom retired from farming they came to live in the Hancock's house in Cross Street, naming it 'Lorcot' as it is named today.

On the 19th March 2001 they celebrated their diamond wedding and received congratulations from the Queen (see below)




And here are four Salthouse men dressed in Sunday best for an outing to Yarmouth. Arnold Hancock is second from left, his mates are: Joe Dack, Matthew Dack and Henry Dew.

Lorna Fox Collection

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