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St Andrew's Church, Hingham, which dates from about 1350
Hingham is a market town and civil parish in the Forehoe district in the heart of rural Norfolk, in Englandmarker. It covers an area of and had a population of 2,078 in 944 households as of the 2001 census. Grand architecture surrounds the market place and village green. In the 18th century, when the socialites of high society built and took residence in Hingham, it became fashionably known as "little London".

Hingham is 17 miles from Norwichmarker, Norfolk’s county town. While many Hingham people now work in Norwich, commuting by car or bus, the town has maintained a strong base, providing work in a wide range of commercial businesses in its industrial estate on Ironside Way. A major employer in the parish is E. F. Shingfield & Sons, agricultural suppliers.Several other firms provide a variety of services to agriculture and industry.

The many and varied local shops have the special character of a small market town but are up-to-date in what they provide. Despite the influence and attractions of neighbouring Norwich, an active and independent town life continues to thrive and grow in Hingham. A fair visits every year, on the historic Fairlands (an area of several triangular greens). There is a village school, state-run, offering education from the ages of 4-11. The school is lucky to have a large field around the back of the infant playground.The civil parish has an area of and in the 2001 census had a population of 2,078 in 944 households. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of South Norfolkmarker.


In the early 17th century, a number of Puritan residents of Hingham, led by Hingham's former vicar Robert Peck and his associate Peter Hobart, emigrated to the then colony of Massachusetts, where they founded the town of Hinghammarker. Peck had been censured by religious authorities for his Puritan practices, and his daughter had married the son of another well-known Puritan minister, John Rogers.

The parishioners who left Hingham with Peck and Hobart had been so prominent in the community that the town was forced to petition Parliament for help, claiming that it had been devastated by the loss. Amongst their number were Samuel Lincoln, ancestor of President Abraham Lincoln, and Edward Gilman Sr., ancestor of Nicholas Gilman, New Hampshire delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the U.S. Constitution. Memorials to the Gilman family, ancestors of those who went to America, are still visible in St Andrew's Church in Hingham, which also has a bust of Abraham Lincoln on the wall. (Several centuries later, the Gilmans of Hingham supplied two mayors of Norwichmarker.)

In 2000, it was reported that Adrian Semmence, whose family had farmed at Hingham for three generations, was opening a woodland park (to be funded by the sale of 36-square-foot plots, mainly to Americans having connections with Hingham) to commemorate the links between his village and Hingham, Massachusettsmarker..


  1. Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Retrieved December 2, 2005.
  2. Godly Reformers and Their Opponents in Modern England, Matthew Reynolds, Boydell Press, 2005
  3. Samuel Lincoln's mother Bridget was the sister of Edward Gilman Sr., who emigrated to America.
  4. The Church Heraldry of Norfolk: A Description of All Coats of Arms on Brasses, Monuments, Slabs, Hatchments &c., and now to be found in the county, Rev. Edmund Farrar, 1887
  5. Searches into the History of the Gillman or Gilman Family, Alexander Gillman, London, 1895
  6. Morris, Jan. (1999). Lincoln: A Foreigner's Quest. London: Viking Press. ISBN 0670881287; (2000). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0684855151.
  7. The Gilman family came from nearby Caston in Norfolk to Hingham in the 16th century.
  8. Family Tree Magazine, September 2000.

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