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.
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.