Bawburgh Village

History Alphabet

is for the Noverre Family,

 “Hillside”, on Stocks Hill was Charles Noverre’s “little place in the country” and remained in the Noverre family for 40 years. Charles hailed from a very interesting family. His great grand-uncle Jean George Noverre was born in 1727 and his great grandfather, Augustine in 1729. They were both dance teachers in Paris, in fact Jean George taught the young Marie Antoinette. The brothers came to London when David Garrick, booked their ballet company to appear at his Drury Lane Theatre in 1765, but anti French riots, which were happening at the time, spilled onto the Drury Lane stage during a performance. Fighting broke out, and, believing he had killed a man, Augustine fled to Norfolk, where he was hidden by Huguenot weavers. When things calmed down, Augustine returned to teaching dance in London and in Norwich, later moving here permanently. His son Francis carried on the family business having studied in France under his now famous uncle the Chevalier Noverre. He taught in the Norwich Assembly Rooms where he later adding the large wing which still retains his name. At the same time he became a director of the Norwich Union. His son, also called Francis, followed the family tradition, teaching dance and becoming a Norwich Union director. The handbill shown indicates that they were teaching dance in Bawburgh in 1835. Charles Noverre (born in 1845) great grandson of Augustine and son of Francis, worked for 26 years with Norwich Union. His connection with Bawburgh, stemmed from his promotion to their London office, and his need for a quiet country retreat. He bought ‘Hillside’ on the corner of Church Street and Stocks Hill (See under H) at the turn of the last century, and endeared himself to our village, giving generously to the Bawburgh Church restoration fund in 1905 and 1908. He died in 1920 but Hillside remained in the family until 1930. Here’s a little rhyme about the dancing Noverres. “Mr. Noverre came from France, And taught the natives how to dance.”  



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