This practice chain starts with John Edwards, who’s first mentioned as a Newmarket medic in 1772 (selling a cure for AGUE! – see the page on John Edwards). It runs through until the death of Mark Bullen in 1839; so it’s history is not that long, spanning only about 70 years. It’s most interesting feature is the unusual for the time triple partnership of Norton, Taylor and Kendall in the middle, which ran for about about 10 years in the 1820s and early 30s. The dominant character in this chain is Walter Norton, who was apprenticed to John Edwards in 1779, and practised until his death at the age of 72 in 1837, a career spanning 58 years! So it could almost be called Walter Norton’s practice.
John Edwards was a surgeon, apothecary and man-midwife, i.e. a well documented true all-round generalist medic (see the page on John Edwards for full details and references). He would have been in his early 30s when in 1779 he took on the 14 year old Walter Norton as his apprentice (which was the normal age to start such an apprenticeship). In addition, John Edwards had a son, also called John Edwards, who became a medic like his father. He would have reached the age of 14 around 1786, so likely became an apprentice about then. By 1788 at least their practice seems to have had particular responsibility for the All Saints side of town. Another apprentice (Thomas Sharpe) came on stream in 1790. Since Walter Norton stayed on in Newmarket after his apprenticeship he likely continued working with John Edwards as an assistant (he is not listed as a separate medic in any directories until after both John Edwards’ deaths). It’s possible that Walter Norton established himself as a separate practice in Newmarket before the death of the John Edwards, but even so he would have taken patients with him, so some degree of continuity of practice would have existed, aside from the training connection. It’s not known what happened to Thomas Sharpe, but John Edwards senior died in 1793 followed by John Edwards junior in 1796, from which point Walter Norton likely continued their practice alone (he also would have been in his early 30s by that point, like his old boss 17 years earlier).
By 1803 Walter Norton had taken on an apprentice of his own, Thomas Lebass or Le Bas. Following his training, as is proposed for Walter Norton under John Edwards above, Thomas LeBass continued as an assistant to Walter Norton, but then died in 1815.
By 1821 James Taylor was in town, first mentioned in partnership with Henry Kendall and Walter Norton as the partnership Norton, Taylor and Kendall in 1823 (although the partnership probably existed for a few years before that). In 1823 Walter Norton would have been in his late 50s, Taylor and Kendall about 30 and 27 respectively. This partnership continued for about a decade, being mentioned several times, and must have been the dominant practice in town during the 1820s, alongside the smaller practice of Robert James Peck. They had at least two apprentices during that time: Charles Edwards and Thomas Golding Cocke, and an assistant called Nairn who relocated to Dedham in 1828. It’s interesting to consider what a partnership must have been like in those days. To what degree did they work together? Presumably they lived in different premises. Did they all work from their separate premises and somehow co-operate? Did they work from Walter Norton’s premises as their main base? See also the possible interesting clue on the page about Henry Kendall.
The 1830s was disastrous for this large dominant practice. Who in Newmarket in 1830 would have believed it if they’d been told that in 10 years’ time the practice would have ceased to exist! A sobering thought and lesson. James Taylor died in 1833, followed by Henry Kendall in 1835 (at which point they were called just Norton and Kendall). By 1836 Norton had taken on a new young partner, John Thomas, but by the end of 1837 both were dead! However, they appear to have passed the practice on to Mark Bullen, another young medic in his early 30s, but he then died in 1839 (described as ‘of the firm Norton and Bullen’), so the Edwards-Norton-Taylor-Kendall-Thomas-Bullen practice chain came to an end.
An interesting feature of this practice towards the end was their taking on of roles in the Newmarket Union, the poor law union covering the Newmarket area established in 1835/6. Norton and Thomas took on the role of medical officers for the undefined District 2 in early 1836 at its inception, then District 3 later in 1836 (comprising Newmarket All Saints, Cheveley, Woodditton, Kirtling, Stetchworth, Dullingham, Borough Green, Brinkley and Westley Waterless). Then in 1837 they switched to District 2 (at that stage defined as Burwell, Reach, Exning, Landwade and Newmarket St Mary’s), and took on the role of medical officers to the new workhouse as well. In addition, John Thomas was the Newmarket registrar. Following their deaths the District 2 and registrar roles went to Mark Bullen, but Richard Faircloth from a different practice was elected as medical officer to the workhouse.
Following their precipitous demise, Newmarket continued to be served by Robert James Peck’s practice and three new kids on the block: Richard Faircloth and Robert Fyson (both first mentioned 1836, but both likely in town a little earlier), and Frederick Page (first mentioned 1839, but also possibly arriving a little earlier). These four practices went on to dominate the 19th century medical scene in Newmarket. They can be seen alongside Mark Bullen in the 1839 Pigot’s and Robson’s trade directories (see the page on Frederick Page for an image of the latter). The fact that Mark Bullen is shown alongside these four, and that at his death is described as of the firm Norton and Bullen (with no mention of the others) proves that none of the others were a continuation of this practice (Page really being the only one who otherwise might have been considered as possibly fulfilling that role, since the others are clearly separate in the Newmarket Union records).
Image 1: Pigot’s trade directory 1830 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of the Cambridgeshire Archives.
Image 2: From The Society of Apothecaries’ Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book 1829-1832, reference MS8241/5 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of The Society of Apothecaries Archives, London. [Note: for further details see the references below.]
Note: see comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well.
1772, 19th September: ‘Edward’s AGUE Tincture. Is a certain and infallible Cure for the AGUE, when the Bark and all other Medicines have been used without Effect. One small Bottle is enough for one Person, Price Two Shillings. Sold by W. Jackson, and Co. at Oxford; Mr. Raikes, at Gloucester; Mess. Pearson and Aris, at Birmingham; Mess. Fletcher and Co. at Cambridge; Mr. Chase, at Norwich; Mr. Perry, at the Star, facing the King’s Arms Tavern, in Cornhill, London; Mr. Leake, Bookseller at Bath; Mr. Cadell, at Bristol; and Mr. Gamidge, at Worcester. N.B. Letters Post Paid, directed to Mr. Edwards, Surgeon, at Newmarket, will be duly answered.’ Reference: Jackson’s Oxford Journal. Saturday Sept 19 1772: 4. [Note: see the page on John Edwards for an image of this.], [Note also, a similar advert with slightly different list of outlets was still appearing in the same paper in 1776. Reference: Jackson’s Oxford Journal. Saturday May 25 1776: 4.]
1779, 18th August: Tax paid regarding Walter Norton’s apprenticeship to Jno Edwards of Newmarket, surgeon. Reference: Online image of apprenticeship tax records held at The National Archives, ancestry.co.uk (accessed 25th July 2015). [Note: see the page on Walter Norton for an image also.], [Note also, Wallis and Wallis below date this as 23rd September with (7/£80) in brackets, apparently obtaining similar information from an alternative source of which I am not aware. Suffolk Medical Biographies also below follows Wallis and Wallis, interpreting the bracketed comment as referring to a 7 year apprenticeship.]
1788, 9th June: John Edwards listed as the surgeon heading up All Saints’ parish alongside William Sandiver as the surgeon heading up St Mary’s parish declaring with others listed underneath, ‘Whereas a Report has been propagated, that the SMALL-POX is in Newmarket: We, the Churchwardens, Overseers, and other principle Inhabitants of St. Mary’s and All Saints parishes, in Newmarket aforesaid, do certify, that no persons have got the Small-Pox in either of the said parishes.’ Reference: The Ipswich Journal. Saturday Jun 14 1788: 3. [Note: see the page on John Edwards for an image of this.]
1790, 9th October: Tax paid regarding Thos. Sharpe’s apprenticeship to Jno Edwards of Newmarket, surgeon. Reference: Online image of apprenticeship tax records held at The National Archives, ancestry.co.uk (accessed 25th July 2015). [Note: Wallis and Wallis below date this as 5th May 1791 with (U/£105) in brackets and the comment <Until 21>, apparently obtaining similar information from an alternative source of which I am not aware. Suffolk Medical Biographies also below follows Wallis and Wallis, interpreting the additional comments as referring to the apprenticeship ending when Thomas Sharpe became aged 21.]
1793, 17th January: Under ‘Died.’, ‘Thursday at Burwell, Cambridgeshire, where he went to visit a patient, Mr. John Edwards, surgeon, Newmarket.’ Reference: Ipswich Journal. Saturday Jan 19 1793: 4.
1793, 21st January: John Edwards buried, aged 45, All Saints’, Newmarket. Reference: Microfiche of Newmarket All Saints’ parish register (fiche 4), (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1796, 24th March: John the son of John and Martha Edwards buried, aged 24, All Saints’, Newmarket. Reference: Microfiche of Newmarket All Saints’ parish register (fiche 4), (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1796, 25th March: Under Monthly Obituary ‘Mr. John Edwards, surgeon and apothecary, at Newmarket’. Reference: The European Magazine and London Review 1796; vol 29 Jan to Jun, in April, pg 286. London: J Sewell, Cornhill; 1796.
1796, 25th March: Under ‘Died.’ ‘Friday, after a long illness, Mr. John Edwards, surgeon and apothecary, of Newmarket.’ Reference: Ipswich Journal. Saturday Mar 26th 1796: 4.
1803, 16th July: Tax paid regarding Thos Lebass’ apprenticeship to Walter Norton, Newmarket, ‘Co of Cambridge’, ‘Surgeon &c’. Reference: Online image of apprenticeship tax records held at The National Archives, ancestry.co.uk (accessed 27th October 2015). [Note: Wallis and Wallis below date this as 1st June with (7/£36) in brackets, apparently obtaining similar information from an alternative source of which I am not aware. Suffolk Medical Biographies did not have Lebass at the time of writing.]
1815, 20th December: Under deaths, ‘Wednesday last, Mr. Le Bas, formerly an apprentice and late an assistant to Mr. Norton, surgeon, of Newmarket: had life been spared him, his ability and inclination would have led him to the attainment of the first degree of eminence in his profession, aided by the extensive practice in the situa-tion offered him. He was universally kind to those who were unfortunately obliged to require his attendance, in manners gentle and obliging, and in his conduct highly respectable.’ Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Friday Dec 22 1815: 3.
1821, 10th January: Under marriages, ‘On Wednesday last James Taylor, Esq. surgeon, of Newmarket, to Mary, only child of Mr. Garrard, of the same place.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 17 1821: 2.
1823: ‘Norton, Taylor & Kendall’ listed under ‘surgeons and apothecaries’ in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s London & provincial new commercial directory, for 1823-4. London: J. Pigot; 1823, pg 172. [Note: Peck Robert James is listed separately.]
1823, 20th November: ‘4 Mr. Charles Edwards : 20 Novr. 1823 of full Age Baptised 6 April 1808, CANDIDATE for a CERTIFICATE to practise as an APOTHECARY in [blank] An APPRENTICE to Mr. Walter Norton of Newmarket, Cambridgeshire APOTHECARY for seven Years. INDENTURE DATED 14 January 1817 TESTIMONIAL of MORAL CHARACTER. W Norton LECTURES. 2 COURSES on ANATOMY and PHYSIOLOGY. 2 – THEORY and PRACTICE of MEDICINE. 1 – CHEMISTRY. 1 – MATERIA MEDICA. HOSPITAL ATTENDANCE. 9 MONTHS at London Dispensary as [?].- EXAMINED by Mr. Wheeler & approved’. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: see the page on Walter Norton for an image.]
1826, 24th January: Under deaths, ‘On Tuesday last, at Newmarket, Charles, youngest son of Mr. Edwards, of Dullingham. In his avocation as surgeon and apothecary, he exhibited superior talent, united with tenderness and affection to the objects of his care, and no less respected by those who were his associates. He studied his profession under Messrs. Norton, Taylor, and Kendall.’ Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Friday Jan 27 1826: 3.
1828, 10th May: ‘Mr. NAIRN, SURGEON, &c. RESPECTFULLY informs the Inhabitants of Dedham, and its Vicinity, that he intends practising the different branches of his profession at that place; and hopes by the strictest attention to those who commit themselves to his care, to merit their countenance and support. Mr. N. begs leave to state, that he has lived seve-ral years with Messrs. NORTON, TAYLOR, and KEN-DALL, surgeons, Newmarket, as assistant, where he has had every opportunity of gaining experience, and by whom he is confidently recommended. And also, that he has studied his profession at the Uni-versity of Edinburgh, from whence he has received his diploma.’ Reference: The Ipswich Journal. Saturday May 10 1828: 1.
1830: ‘Norton,Taylor & Kendall, Newmkt’ listed under ‘surgeons & apothecaries’ in ‘Newmarket, &c.’ Cambridgeshire. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s national commercial directory. London & Manchester: J. Pigot & Co.; 1830. [Note: Peck Robert James, Newmarket and Handcock Charles, Burwell are listed separately.], [Note also, see image above.]
1830, 30th December: ‘Decr. 30th 182 [2 overwritten 30] 24 MR. Thomas Golding Cocke – of full Age CANDIDATE for a CERTIFICATE to practise as an APOTHECARY in [blank] An APPRENTICE to Mr. Walter Norton James Taylor Hry Kendall of Newmarket APOTHECARY for five Years. INDENTURE DATED 3 July 1823 TESTIMONIAL of MORAL CHARACTER. Norton [& Co?] EVIDENCE of AGE. Baptised 19 Feb 1807 LECTURES. 2 COURSES on CHEMISTRY. [Tarads?] 2 – MATERIA MEDICA. Macleod 2 – ANATOMY and PHYSIOLOGY. 2 – Of ANATOMICAL DEMONSTRATIONS [bracketed together] Hawkins 2 – The PRINCIPLES and PRACTICE of MEDICINE Macleod HOSPITAL ATTENDANCE Number. 1737 12 MONTHS at St Geo & St Js Dispes 23 May 1829 2 COURSES of LECTURES on MIDWIFERY. Ley – of CLINICAL LECTURES. [blank] EXAMINED by Mr. Williams & rejected’. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: see image above], [Note also, he presented again on 22nd December 1831, was examined by Mr. Ridout and rejected again, but was eventually approved at his third examination by Mr Blatch on 19th July 1832; with these re-examinations the details of apprenticeships and courses etc. are not filled in.]
1833, 5th February: Under deaths, ‘Yesterday se’nnight… Mr. James Taylor, of the firm of Norton, Taylor, and Kendall, surgeons, of Newmarket.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Feb 13 1833: 2.
1835, 14th December: Under deaths, ‘On Monday, aged 39, Mr. Henry Kendall, of the firm of Norton and Kendall, surgeons, of Newmarket.’ Reference: Huntingdon, Bedford, & Peterborough Gazette. Saturday Dec 19 1835: 2. [Note: The Bury and Norwich Post printed, ‘Mr. Henry Kendall, of the firm of Martin and Kendall, surgeons, of Newmarket’, Martin clearly being a typo for Norton therefore (just in case anyone were to spot this and think that there was a Mr Martin, surgeon, in Newmarket, for which there is no other evidence, and this evidence clearly proves the typo.). Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Dec 16 1835.]
1836, 11th March: ‘Norton and Thomas of Newmarket Surgeons’ elected as medical officers to District 2 of the newly formed Newmarket Union (there were seven divisions, not defined). Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1836, 9th September: The Newmarket Union medical districts redefined and reduced to five from seven ‘having regard to the residence of the Medical Officers’. Walter Norton and John Thomas were allocated District 3, named the Cheveley district, which comprised Newmarket All Saints’, Cheveley, Woodditton, Kirtling, Stetchworth, Dullingham, ‘Boroughgreen’, Brinkley and Westley (waterless). Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1837, 10th March: The Newmarket Union medical districts redefined again, this time from five to six districts. Walter Norton and John Thomas were allocated District 2, which comprised Burwell with ‘the whole Hamlet of Reach’, Exning, Landwade and Newmarket St Mary. Reference: 611/11, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1837, 16th May: ‘The Registrar General having declared the election of Messrs Walter Norton & John Thomas as Registrars of the Newmarket District void the office of Registrar being tenable by only one person Mr John Thomas was elected Registrar for the said District’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1837, 22nd October: Under deaths, ‘On Sunday se’nnight, very much respected and lamented, Mr. John Thomas, of the firm Norton and Thomas, surgeons, of Newmarket.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Nov 1 1837: 2.
1837, 14th November: ‘Mr Mark Edwin Bullen was elected registrar for the Newmarket District’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1837, 17th November: Under deaths, ‘On the 17th inst. aged 72, Mr. Walter Norton, the eminent surgeon, at Newmarket.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Nov 29 1837: 2.
1837, 21st November: Death of Mr Norton ‘Medical officer of district 2 and surgeon to the workhouse’ noted in the Newmarket Union minutes and that the posts be advertised. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1837, 21st November: Notice in The Bury and Norwich Post: ‘Newmarket Union. THE BOARD OF GUARDIANS will, at their Weekly Meeting, on the 5th of December next, proceed to the Election of a Medical Officer for District No. 2, comprising the following parishes: Burwell, with the whole Hamlet of Reach Exning Landwade Newmarket St. Mary. Also a Surgeon to the Workhouse, upon the terms upon which the said Offices were respectively held by the late Mr. Norton. Candidates to send their Testimonials to me on or before the 4th of December. WILLIAM PARR ISAACSON, Clerk. Newmarket, 21st November, 1837.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Nov 29 1837: 1.
1837, 5th December: ‘Mr Bullen was elected Medical Officer of District No 2’, ‘Mr Richard Faircloth was elected surgeon to the Union House’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1839: ‘Bullen Mark Edmund, High st’ listed under ‘Surgeons & Apothecaries’ in ‘Newmarket and Neighbourhood’ Cambridgeshire. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s royal national and commercial directory and topography of the counties of Bedford, Cambridge, Essex, Herts, Huntingdon, Kent, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex…. London & Manchester: J. Pigot & Co.; 1839, pg 65. [Note: Faircloth Richard, High St, Fyson Robert, High St, Page Frederick, High St, and Peck Robert James, High St are listed separately.]
1839: ‘Bullen Mark’ listed under ‘surgeons’ in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Reference: Robson’s royal court guide and peerage, with the commercial directory of London and the six counties forming the Norfolk circuit, viz. Beds, Bucks, Cambridgeshire, Hunts, Norfolk, and Suffolk:… London: William Robson & Co.; 1839, pg 48. [Note: Faircloth Richard, Fyson Robert, Page Frederick, and Peck Robert James are listed separately.], [Note also, see the page on Frederick Page for an image of this.]
1839, 1st January: Under deaths, ‘On the 1st inst., after a long and painful illness. Mr. Bullen, surgeon, of Newmarket, of the firm Norton and Bullen.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 9 1839: 2. [Note: see the page on Mark Edwin Bullen for an image of this.]
Suffolk Medical Biographies. http://www.suffolkmedicalbiographies.co.uk/ (originally accessed pre October 2013). [Note: see comments regarding this website on the Francis Greene page, and on the pages specific to the individuals mentioned above.]
Wallis PJ, Wallis RV. Eighteeth century medics. [2nd ed.]. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Project for Historical Biobibliography; 1988.
Note: For published material referenced on this website see the ‘Acknowledgements for resources of published material’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page. The sources used for original unpublished documents are noted after each individual reference. Any census records are referenced directly to The National Archives, since images of these are so ubiquitous on microfilm and as digital images that they almost function like published works. Census records are covered by the ‘Open Government Licence’ as should be other such public records (see the ‘Copyright and related issues’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page for which references constitute public records, and any other copyright issues more generally such as fair dealing/use etc.).