Former Sheriff of Norwich Nick Williams tells the amazing stories of some of the men, women and children buried at the Rosary.

Tucked away from the busy city centre this cemetery is the last resting place for the rich and famous, the poor and humble – some of the men, women and children who have played their part in Norwich life over the years.

Wander round The Rosary Cemetery, take a look at gravestones, memorials and monuments, large and small, study the names, ages and verses.

You stand and wonder what kind of lives they led and want to know more about these people, many of whom were leading players in city life as it changed over the decades. The famous and the infamous.

Now a new book, by former city sheriff Nick Williams, tells us the story behind 23 people of the people who are laid to rest there.

Buried at the Rosary is a follow-up to The Rosary Cemetery, Norwich – A Place of Decent Interment which was published by the Friends of the Rosary in 2005 and provided a history of the cemetery including brief details of some 50 of those interred there.

This new book contains fuller biographies of 21 men and two women who are buried there. Some were mentioned in the earlier book but not in great detail.

Those featured include Thomas Drummond, the founder of the Rosary, the first non-denominational cemetery in England which opened in 1821.

Then there is John Alexander, the first minister at Princes Street Congregational Church along with Sir Ernest Edward Wild, recorder of London and member of parliament,

Most were prominent in the political and business life of Norwich during the 19th century.

But other, more humble people are included – such as William Roe, the Pockthorpe schoolmaster, and little Willie Parr whose young life came to such a sad end in Norwich of 1905.

Also featured is the once notorious but now forgotten Isaac Coaks – the main beneficiary of the collapse of the Crown Bank.

Any profits from the sale of the book will be given to the Friends of the Rosary, a group which exists to promote the presentation, care and improvement of the Rosary Cemetery as a place of historic and natural interest and as a burial ground.

Buried at the Rosary is on sale at �4.95 in Jarrolds, the City Bookshop, Davey Place, or from Nick Williams on Norwich (01603) 300371 or email

Coming up: We look at the life and times of some of the people laid to rest at the Rosary – the good... and the not so good.