The pages contain lectures read before the members of St. Margaret's Institute, at Lowestoft, with additions introduced to render the story somewhat more complete.
Lowestoft of the present day, with its harbour, its magnificent fishing fleet, and its fine marine terraces, is the product of the nineteenth century. But the Present is linked with the Past by the retention of the old Town on the Cliff as the nucleus of the greatly enlarged modern town.
The rise of Lowestoft was so much connected with the fortunes of Yarmouth that it would be impossible to tell the story of old Lowestoft without introducing a good deal that belongs to the history of old Yarmouth. Indeed, were it not for the records which have been preserved of the contests between the two towns about the Herring Trade, the materials for a history of Lowestoft would be almost nil. The history of Yarmouth is only introduced into this sketch so far as it is incidental to that of Lowestoft. But I feel that apologies are due to the larger and more ancient town for the partial manner in which its history is dealt with.
The materials from which these lectures have been compiled are furnished by Domesday Book, the Lay Subsidy Rolls, the Parish Register, and the ancient documents contained in Swinden's History of Yarmouth, and Gillingwater's History of Lowestoft. Other historical details of interest have been taken from those valuable old works, and from Nall's History of Yarmouth and Suckling's History of Suffolk.