William Atkin
William Atkin, Mayor of King’s Lynn. Image: Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

John Atkin’s name is on a blue plaque outside the Greenland Fishery in King’s Lynn – it says he’s the builder, in 1605, of the house.

The wall paintings in the house suggest he was a religious man, and perhaps one who wasn’t reluctant to display his wealth and piety. Apart from that, we don’t know much.

John’s son, William’s portrait hangs in Lynn’s Town Hall – the oldest picture of a Mayor the town has.

William Atkin’s portrait in The Greenland Fishery

Both John and William rose to the town’s Jacobean elite and became Mayor in the early seventeenth century. Both were merchants trading overseas from Lynn, and extensively in Scotland, specialising in exporting beer.

Business and Politics in the reign of James I: The careers of John and William Atkin of King’s Lynn by JFrank Jackson on Scribd