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Zephaniah Jarvis (1865-1955)


Zephaniah (aka Zechariah) Jarvis was born in 1865 (Baptised on 27th July) in Whitwell, about ten miles northwest of Norwich. He started his working life on farms, but by his early twenties was a self-employed carpenter. His mother died when Zephaniah was very young and his father moved to Middlesborough (it is not known if Zephaniah went with him, or stayed with grandparents in Norfolk) where a second marriage produced a large crop of children. By 1879 the family had moved back to the Bawdeswell area and by 1881 Zephaniah was plying his trade from the Ram Inn in that village.


  The Willows (formerly The Ram Inn, Bawdeswell


He settled here, marrying Edith Harrowen in 1894 and having one child, Violet (later Warner) soon afterwards. By 1901 the Jarvises had taken on the licence of the Bawdeswell Crown. They were there until 1905 and then moved on to the Lodge pub in nearby North Tuddenham and then to the Dial Inn in Swanton Morley, where they stayed until about 1921. He continued to work as a carpenter and wheelwright throughout this period and afterwards.


Bawdeswell Crown (formerly the Bear) - landlord 17.12.1900 to 9.4.1905 (described as a carpenter aged 36 in 1901) - Pub closed in 1920.

North Tuddenham Lodge - landlord 7.4.1905 to 4.1.1906 - Pub remains open as a restaurant and bar.


Swanton Morley Dial Inn - landlord 4.1.1906 to 8.4.1921 - Pub closed in 1961.


More details of his life are known from an obituary in the The Journal (Dereham and Fakenham Times) from 17th June 1955, where it states that he had made seven dulcimers, the last one quite recently. He was evidently well known in the area as a musician, playing the violin as well as the dulcimer. His last dulcimer was described as being made from ‘yellow pine, a piece of walnut and some spare parts from an old piano’. The obituary also mentions a previous article in the same paper which had apparently resulted in ‘two Hingham’ men visiting him and playing duets on his two dulcimers. One of these would undoubtedly have been Billy Cooper, and it sounds as if they had not met before. We have not yet been able to unearth the other article referred to.


N.B. This article is the only place his name is given as Zechariah – all censuses etc have Zephaniah (although often mis-spelled).

Zephaniah Jarvis died, aged 89 in 1955



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Photo descriptions & sources

Pub photos: norfolkpubs.co.uk





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