Henry Winn was, during the Victorian period, a celebrity in Lincolnshire. The Stamford Mercury penned the headline "Henry Winn the Grand Old Man of Lincolnshire" in an article celebrating his 80th birthday. His poems and essays featured every aspect of life in the county and regularly appeared in newspapers. His knowledge relating to the history of the region was acclaimed across the country and he received many letters requesting information about the county.
Henry lived in Fulletby and ran the village grocery and drapery shop. At the age of 14 he accepted the position of Parish Clerk and continued to serve in that role until 1910. He accepted many responsibilities within the community e.g. Sunday School Teacher, Churchwarden, Parish Constable, Overseer of the Poor and Temperance advocater. He established a Library in the village and donated a selection of books from his own collection. He was a committee member of the Tetford Sick Club and ran a Savings Club in Fulletby. Poorer residents would make small deposits and at the end of the year wealthier members of the community would donate an "interest" payment. He also took an active role in the establishment of the National School which opened in 1850.
Henry's addiction to the pen resulted in a legacy of many manuscript books. During his 98 years he recorded changing social attitudes and improvements to both environmental conditions and facilities within communities during his life time. He provides us with a word picture of daily life in a typical Victorian village - a peep into a past era that helped shape the 21st century.
A visit to Fulletby church is a great starting point to start understanding Henry Winn's life as there is a dedicated display to him there.
A community group in Fulletby is researching the life of Henry Winn and celebrating their findings with events and exhibitions. For more information contact: