Norfolk (Nor'fok), an eastern county of England, bounded by the North Sea, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and the Wash. With an extreme length and breadth of 66 miles by 42, it has an area of 2119 sq. m. or 1,356,173 acres. Pop. (1801)273,371; (1831)390,000; (1881)444,637; (1901) 460,040. Its coast-line, upwards of 90 miles in length, is for the most part flat, and skirted by low dunes, except near Cromer, and again at Hunstanton, where cliffs, from time to time undermined by the sea, rise to a height of from 100 to 200 feet. Inland the surface is undulating, well timbered, and well watered, the principal rivers being the Ouse, Bure, Yare, and Waveney, which last three fall into the sea near Yarmouth, and in their course link together the numerous Broads (q.v.). The soil consists chiefly of light loams and sands-in places there are extensive rabbit-warrens, and with so much wood (over 50,000 acres) there is naturally an abundance of game. Agriculture has here been brought to the highest state of perfection ; upwards of 3400 acres are occupied as market-gardens and orchards; whilst great attention is paid to the rearing of turkeys and geese for the London markets, and on the rich marsh-lands in the extreme west of the county, as well as on the pastures bordering the various rivers, great quantities of cattle are grazed. Norfolk comprises 33 hundreds, the city of Norwich, the municipal boroughs of Lynn, Yarmouth, and Thetford, and 736 civil parishes with parts of 9 others, mostly in the diocese of Norwich. Its parliamentary divisions are six in number. Towns other than the foregoing are Dereham, Diss, Downham Market, North Walsham, Swaffham, and Wymondham. In the history of the county the most notable incidents have been the settlements within its borders of the Flemish refugees and Walloons in the reigns of Henry I., Edward III., and Queen Elizabeth ; and Ket's rebellion (1549). Venerable antiquities are the ruins of priories at Castle Acre, Thetford, and Walsingham, the castles of Norwich, Castle Rising, and Caistor, the earthworks at Bucken-hain, Caistor, and Thetford, and the old halls of Blickling, Holkham, Houghton, Oxburgh, and East Barsham. Among Norfolk 'worthies' (omitting those noticed under Norwich) are Sir John Fastolf, the Earl of Surrey, Sir Thomas Gresham, Skelton and Shadwell (poets-laureate), Sir Edward Coke, Spelman, L'Estrange, Sir Cloud-esley Shovel, Sir Robert Walpole and his son Horace, Tom Paine, Windham, Godwin, Lord Nelson, Porson, Manby, Sir Astley Cooper, Elizabeth Fry, Fowell Buxton, Lord Cranworth, Captain Marryat, Cattermole, Borrow, Bulwer Lytton, and Rider Haggard. See county histories by Blomefield (11 vols. 1805-10), Chambers (1829), Rye (1885), and White (new ed. 1890).
Norfolk, a city and port of entry of Virginia, on the right bank of the Elizabeth River, 8 miles from Hampton Roads, and 33 miles from the sea. Its large deep harbour is fortified. A government navy yard, dry-dock, and hospital are at Gosport, a naval suburb of Portsmouth, on the opposite bank of the river. Norfolk ships cotton, oysters, and early fruits and vegetables. Off here the turret-ship Monitor defeated the Confederate Merrimac, 9th March 1862. Pop. (1880) 21,966; (1900) 46,624.
Norfolk Island lies in the Western Pacific, about half-way between New Zealand and New Caledonia, 400 miles NNW. of the former. The coasts are high and steep, and the surface generally uneven, rising in Mount Pitt to 1050 feet. The island is 6 miles long, and has an area of 13 1/2 sq. m. The soil is fertile and well watered, and the climate healthy. The Norfolk Island Pine grows to a height of 200 feet. Norfolk Island was discovered by Cook in 1774. In 1788-1805, and again in 1826-55, it was a penal settlement for convicts sent from New South Wales. In 1856 many of the inhabitants of Pitcairn Island (q.v.) were transferred hither by the British government. In 1905 the pop. was 830. Norfolk Island is the headquarters of the diocese of Melanesia, founded in 1861. The people govern themselves, under the superintendence of the government of New South Wales; they fish, farm, and supply provisions to passing vessels.