Dick Nunn Smith Preservation Trust

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Henry Nunn, known to all as ‘Dick’ was an eccentric Coggeshall blacksmith born in a cottage on the Colchester Road in what was called ‘Rotten Row’. His two brothers died as children, his mother of smallpox when he was three and on Boxing Day 1854 his father finally succumbed to TB. Dick found himself at 18, half way through his apprenticeship as a blacksmith, as sole provider for his family – his sister, stepmother, and two half brothers. By then they had moved to Swan Yard off East Street, the cottage on one side and his forge on the other. Somehow he kept things together and his family survived. Dick grew to be a man of very strong opinion who delighted in argument and was a born campaigner, a champion of the labouring class and anyone oppressed by the inequities of the world. More than just a talker, he was a practical man driven to act on his opinions whatever the opposition and as a showman he loved playing up to an audience and revelled in his growing notoriety.