Home - Museums - Themes - Exhibitions - News - Contribute - Search -

Exhibitions

Museums' Exhibitions

Click on the titles and pictures below to enter the online exhibitions
or click on the museum names for musuem information.

Index

Great Yarmouth's Herring Curing Industry

Introduction

For hundreds of years, Yarmouth was an important port that played host to a great fishing industry. East Anglian herring fishing can be traced back to the Domesday book, when various herring rents were noted. The process of landing the fish, curing and then packing them created great prosperity for the town – and many jobs for people.

The industry has fluctuated over time, and now we find it has all but gone. This online exhibition tells the story of the curing industry and how is affected Yarmouth.

Add a Comment

In order to defeat spam we require javascript to be enabled in your browser before you can comment on this site.

This Page

Great Yarmouth's Herring Curing Industry

Previous Page 1 of 7 next

The Herring Fair

The Herring Fair was one of the most important trading fairs of medieval Europe, and lasted from Michaelmas, the 29th September, until Martinmas, the 11th November.

16th century historian Damet wrote ‘great numbers of the fishermen of Fraunce, Flaunders and of Holland, Zealand and all the lowe countries yerelie, from the feaste of Sainte Michaell the Archangell, untylle the feaste of Sainte Martine, about the takinge, sellinge and buyenge of herringes’. The period of time he wrote of developed into the Free Herring Fair.

The Fair was successful in its early days. There was freedom to all to catch, sell and buy herrings at Yarmouth. However, local citizens tried to monopolize the trade. Visiting fishermen lodged with families or merchants in the town who undertook to sell their catches then, fixing prices and taking profits. Trade and legislation had to be passed to stop this, known as the Statute of Herring (1357).

Competition for controlling the Fair was strong. The Cinque Ports sent representatives each year to the Fair to share in governing the town. This began in the 11th century and continued until 1622. The Cinque Ports Confederation originally comprised the five ports of Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich. Under the system of ship service, the Ports were required to supply 57 ships, each with a crew of 21 men and a boy, for 15 days every year. These ships were used not only in warfare, but also to transport the King, members of his entourage and his armies to and from Normandy and other parts of the Continent. In return, the Ports were granted rights, one of which was to regulate the Yarmouth herring fair. It has been suggested that the Conferderation was initially set up for this very purpose! Those with controlling interests met at the Tolhouse, which is also where people had to come to pay the herring tax…or Heighning Tax. The fair was abandoned by the Cinque Ports in 1663.

Add a Comment

In order to defeat spam we require javascript to be enabled in your browser before you can comment on this site.

Previous Page 1 of 7 next

Related Pages

Oil Painting by William Joy 1803 -1867

Dutch Schuyts on the Beach

Oil Painting by William Joy 1803 -1867

Faithful and Historical Reminiscences of Captain Manby

Faithful and Historical Reminiscences of Captain Manby

During four winters after my appointment to the charge of the Barracks at Yarmouth in 1803, I res…

Line carrying rocket

Line carrying rocket

Pains-Wessex self-contained line carrying rocket with instruction card

This rocket is a &l…

Lifeboat Being Towed out of Yarmouth Harbour by Joseph Nash

Lifeboat Being Towed out of Yarmouth Harbour by Joseph Nash

Joseph Nash
(1835—1922)

c. late 19th century

This arresting scene empha…

Dean Regan showing how to paint

Dean Regan

Dean Regan showing how to paint

felixstowe talks

Activity photos

felixstowe talks

Captain Thomas Harper White

Captain Thomas Harper White, Master -Cockle Light Ship (1871?)

Captain Thomas Harper White, born Dec 16 1812 in Plymouth Devon is my great great grandfather. I …

Your Ocean Exhibition at Time & Tide

Your Ocean exhibition

Your Ocean Exhibition at Time & Tide

Caister shore

Caister shore

Caister shore