About Me

William Savage

Pen and Pension is the blog of William Savage, who writes historical mystery novels set in Norfolk between 1760 and 1800.

“I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. Throughout my life, I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of my other loves is history, so it seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk, England.

All my books are set between 1760 and around 1800, a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.

The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.

The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations near the North Norfolk coast. Adam builds a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.”

Check out Will’s author page here now.

21 Responses to About Me

  1. Nigel Royall says:

    Dear William,
    I have just read your most interesting article on the Norfolk and Suffolk Beach Companies, it may be of interest to you to know that the last of the beach companies to give up and sell their assets were the Storm and Gorleston Salvage Companies At Brush Bend. They were true beach companies although they actually carried out what they called boat work in the harbour area although this also included transferring harbour pilots, manning the local lifeboats and salvage work. The members were called boatmen, not beachmen as along the coast. Their work really started to dry up from the mid 1930’s when the Gorleston harbour pilots provided their own motor launch thus excluding the two companies boats from this work.The boats that they used were known as Gorleston Four Oared Salvage Boats, a quite distinctive type, twenty feet long overall by six foot four inches beam, the sheerstrake was painted black with white hulls and red waterlines. The old yolls lay mostly unused either side of the slip at Brush Bend opposite the Belle Vue Hotel positioned between the two company headquarters which both had the distinctive white ship lap lookouts on their roofs. The Four Oared Boats were mostly kept ready for instant use in the slip and were also used to help turn and wind the ships passing the warps between the quay and tugs as well as helping the tugs and lifeboats with their various salvage operations. By 1939 the Storm Company Hq (now a cafe) was used as a store room for deckchairs and tents and the two companies seem to have more or less joined together, certainly the crews of the Gorleston Volunteer Lifeboat (Rangers) ELIZABETH SIMPSON and the RNLI lifeboat (Storms) were often mixed up along with a sprinkling of non company members. Because of wartime restrictions the harbour at Great Yarmouth was not nearly so busy with large shipping but in any case neither company did any work for the duration and the boats appear not to have been launched. In February 1946 the members of the Gorleston Salvage Company decided to call it a day followed closely by the Storms, the last of the Beach Companies to finish along the whole of the coast. My great grandad Chris Dido Royall, otherwise known as Arnie purchased two of the remaining Four Oared Boats at this time, possibly the CALM and STORM and selling one to purchase an engine had my grandad convert the other into a motor launch for himself at the Carrow Works Boathouse Section boathouse at the rear of the Carrow Road football club at the top of Carrow dyke by the malting’s. Chris and this boat, renamed WILLING BOYS after a celebrated Lowestoft sailing smack that he did one trip in which although he hated the experience must have left some mark, were then a fixture of the Norwich river for many years. Chris came from a long line of Norwich, King Street wherrymen who left the water and joined the prestigious Carrow Works Fire Brigade in 1915. Anyway the jist of all this is that I still have and use regularly this boat which not only is probably the last Four Oared Salvage Boat to survive but was also one of the last if not the last boats in use by the old beach companies. By the way I meant to say that the first Four Oared Boats began to appear in photographs about 1895 or 96 but both CALM and STORM I think originate from about 1904 certainly STORM appears in the early Gorleston regatta results held in the bay at that time.
    Perhaps the WILLING BOYS which has had quite an interesting time of it since her conversion is the last of the old Beach Company boats afloat.
    I do hope that this is of some interest,
    Very best wishes,
    Nigel Royall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DiannMcBee says:

    I love your Ashmole Foxe books, however, the punctuation drives me crazy. Please consider having an English major proofread!


  3. FreyjasOdyssey says:

    I was just passing, so I thought I’d stop by.
    I’m thrilled you are writing more about MR Ashmole Fox, as I can’t get enough of the books, I have them as ebooks but I intend to purchase them as hard copies over the next few weeks, I much prefer a real book to an iPad/phone screen.
    I adore your blog, and I adore your books, what a gifted writer you are! You make the era(s) come alive, and they fulfill my all consuming passion for history quite nicely. Thank you for all the effort you put into them both. It is deeply appreciated.
    Manja-Freyja Gustafsson (Bookaremyblood).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joceline Rennie says:

    Hi William, I’ve just discovered your lovely verse for English Country Garden on Regina Jeffers blog. May I quote your verse on my Facebook volunteers page for Side by Side, which is a free singing group for visitors to an older folks day centre here is Penzance, Cornwall. Your verse makes much more sense that the US version which I never understood! If you’d like to check us out on FB please search for Side by Side at Pengarth Day centre. Every so often I like to post a bit of background about some of the songs we sing – for interest and as an excuse to post something!

    Thank you so much. Hope to hear from you soon. Joceline

    “How many song-birds make their nests in an English country garden?
    I’ll tell you now of some that I know, and those I miss, I hope you’ll pardon.
    Babbling, coo-cooing doves, robins and the warbling thrush,
    Blackbirds, lark, finch and nightingale.
    We smile in the spring when the birds all start to sing in an English country garden.”


  5. Sharon says:

    Just seen your article on the Noverre family they are part of my family the black & white pic that say possible Jean Georges is correct I do have a couple of others of him aswell I have a lot of family from Norwich/Norfolk.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Green Sickness – Obstinate Headstrong Girl … author Renée Reynolds

  7. artandarchitecturemainly says:

    Thanks for the posts so far. How do I leave a comment or question about a specific post?


  8. carriekwiatkowski says:

    Oh! That’s perfect! Thanks so much. And keep these blog posts coming. They’re very enjoyable.


  9. carriekwiatkowski says:

    Hi William! For some reason I can’t find the link to make comments on the article on physicians, apothecaries, and surgeons. Hopefully, typing it here will be okay. I’m interested in 18th/19th century medicine for a character of mine. Do you know what specific text (or texts) a physician would use back then?


  10. Julie Davis says:

    Hi William I am on the Alburgh parish council and we have been contacted by a descendant of Abigail Hambling who is trying to find out the location of her house in Alburgh would you have any information on this could you also give me your cost for speaking to local groups


  11. Diane Challenor says:

    Ah! I had an inkling that I was incorrect. I do a bit of editing and it flows over to my reading. Best wishes!


  12. Diane Challenor says:

    Hello, I’ve read An Unlamented Death and I’m enjoying The Fabric of Murder. Excellent storytelling, thank you. There’s possibly a repetitive typo related to dyes, that is, the word “receipts” appears where I think the word should be “recipes”.


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