Remembering Sir Robert Walpole, of Houghton Hall, MP for King’s Lynn
PUBLISHED: 10:48 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:48 01 February 2018
Sir Robert Walpole and Houghton Hall are the subject of this year’s Diana Bullock memorial lecture.
King’s Lynn Town Guides stage the event each year in memory of their founder.
This year’s event is on Wednesday, March 28 at King’s Lynn Town Hall (7.30pm).
Chris Boxall, who will be the speaker, has been a guide at Houghton Hall for 23 years.
He is an expert in military history and the early Georgian period, along with Walpole.
“To the nation he was Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister,” said Mr Boxall.
“But to the people of King’s Lynn, not ones to stand on ceremony, he was just Bob of Lynn.
“Walpole was a great politician, statesman, orator and rogue. He was vain, ambitious and corrupt - not a bad job description for Britain’s first prime minister.”
Guides’ chairman Bob Price said: “Walpole was a remarkable statesman, not only for becoming this country’s first and longest serving Prime Minister, but for holding office for 20 years.
“Houghton’s founder, Robert Walpole, and his descendants owe their fortune to the wealth and trade that existed in King’s Lynn in the 17th Century.”
Houghton-born Walpole (1676 - 1745) was a country squire first elected to Parliament in 1701.
He celebrated his victory at the Duke’s Head Hotel, on the Tuesday Market Place in King’s Lynn.
He spoke persuasively, arguing for lower taxes, a stronger economy and a better relationship between Parliament and the monarchy.
In 1712 he was found guilty of corruption, expelled from the house and locked up in the Tower of London for six months.
After he was released the following year, he was re-elected MP for King’s Lynn.
In April 1721 he was appointed First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons - effectively our first prime minister.
Tickets for the lecture cost £7.50 and include a glass of wine. All proceeds from the evening will go towards the town guides’ fundraising in support of heritage and conservation organisations in King’s Lynn.
Tickets are available from King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre, in the Custom House on 01553 763044.