Edmund Licence Jnr was born deep in the Norfolk countryside, near Diss and not far from the River Waveney. The river valley was damp and ideal for growing flax and hemp which was made into linen. The area had been known for its linen since the 5th Century and Edmund followed the local trade.
By the age of 24 he was a master linen-weaver and had taken on at least one apprentice. The indenture specifies Edmund Licence Junior so possibly his father was also a linen-weaver. I know little about flax and hemp, but I would recommend George Sand’s story “The Devil’s Pool”. Despite being a bit patronising (and set in France), it gives insights into rural life and includes a description of hemp-dressing.
Edmund married Elizabeth Bishop from the Suffolk bank of the Waveney at Palgrave and they had four children: Elizabeth, Edmund, Mary and Robert, our ancestor. He lived to see them all married but sadly not to know Robert’s children.
Elizabeth became Mrs Joseph Moore and I have lost track of her. Mary was Mrs Levi Lincoln. She moved to Diss nearby. Her first child, Mary, was born just months before grandfather Edmund died.
His son Edmund moved a little way to Garboldisham with his wife Martha where they had a fine family and possibly introduced Robert to his wife Rebecca! She was born in Garboldisham; she and Robert moved to South Lopham after their marriage.
Edmund’s wife Elizabeth may well have lived another twenty years to the grand old age of 83. There is a burial record for Elizabeth Licence, widow, at South Lopham in 1772. It would make sense for her to be at South Lopham, living with Robert and his family.
Father of Robert Licence and son of Edmund Licence Snr
Baptised on 9 June 1690 at Bressingham, Norfolk
Married Elizabeth Bishop in 1717
Buried 29 November 1752