Excavations in the north aisle of Milton Abbey

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The Milton Abbas Local History Group were extremely fortunate in being able to view the excavations. These will shortly be covered over again probably for another one hundred years. We await the full archaeological report with interest.

This gravestone is important. The crispness of the carving shows that it cannot have been exposed to the weather for long. It bears the date 1754, and we guess that it was broken up in the 1770’s and used as infill for the restoration of the Abbey by Wyatt shortly after.

The decoration at the head of the stone is beautifully carved.

The inscription reads “Here… of …R… died the 19th of Ap.. Aged 73 years… of Elizabeth his Wife …d of Septembr 1754 … years”.

There is sufficient information to figure out who this memorial is dedicated to. I leave to our readers to use opcdorset to discover more.

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The Rise and Fall of Merry England

The Rise and Fall of Merry England, HuttonThis excellent book by Ronald Hutton is a great background to the events in Milton Abbas in the 16th and 17th centuries. It explains a lot of the information in our Churchwardens Books for the 17th century.

For example there are clear changes in the expenses on Communion wine during the Interregnum and Restoration. There is no income from Church ales from the start of the existing records in 1638, since these had been declining since Elizabethan times.

 

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Kelly’s Directory of 1848

TRADERS

Bertie, David, ‘Portarlington Arms‘, & farmer

Cadie, Thomas, carpenter & wheelwrgt

Calnes Christopher, farmer

Eaton, Henry, tailor

Frizle, Thomas, carrier

Formidge John, farmer

Guy, James, blacksmith

Ham, John, farmer

Hawkins, Mill Maria, shopkeeper

|Hopkins Samuel, tailor

Ingram Robert, farmer

Jacob John, carpenter & wheelwright

Jeffery Wm. beer retailer & shopkeeper

Jerrard Samuel, farmer

Keynes John, farmer

Keynes Thomas, butcher

Kiddle John, shopkeeper

Longman, Thomas plumber

Miller Michae1, farmer

Morey Mrs. Frances, shopkeeper. & beer retailer

Mitchell James, blacksmith

Morey James? mason

Morey, Jonathan, shopkeeper

Rogers John, farmer

Rogers Joseph. Shoemaker & shopkeeper

Sanders Thomas, blacksmith

Smith, Mrs Harriet, shopkeeper

Tett John, farmer

Tuffln Jolm,shoemaker. & post office

Warne Charles, brewer

Webber Jacob, millet

POST OFFICE.-John Puffin, receiver. Letters are received (through the Blandford office, delivered at ½ past 8 a.m. Box closes at 4p.m.

CARRIER.-Thomas Frizle, every tues. &. thurs to Blandford, & wed. & sat. to Dorchester.

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Land Tax Assessments

We now have a good run of Land Tax records for the years 1780 – 1832, and we are beginning to transcribe them. They show the “proprietors” and “occupiers” of each property. There were 25 names in 1780, 20 in 1800, and 35 in 1832 – hardly an explosion in population or wealth! Surprisingly, the amount assessed remained at £277 over this fifty year period.

These records should show the movement of people into and out of the Old Town and new village, at least men of the “middling sort”. Probably not including the agricultural labourers on Lord Milton’s 8 000 acre estate, for which there is only the Overseers of the Poor Books, until the 1841 census.

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Lord Milton’s Ad quod Damnum 1763

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This is a small part of this document which is the first in Quarter Sessions Order Book in the Dorset History Centre to show Lord Milton closing some of the roads.

Some of the places named are well known to us today but some, e.g. New Lodge, Old Lodge, White Hill, are not. They may be shown on the old maps we have, but they will take some finding!

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Stopford Sackville Family

This is a real long-shot: in an article by Alan J Miller in Dorset Life, Apr 2003 “Heartless Landlord and Devoted Husband”, there is an image of a young Joseph Damer, by permission of LG Stopford Sackville.

I understand that Drayton House is now owned by Charles Lionel Stopford Sackville. Does anyone know how we could contact them for more information – such as where is the painting, is there any other information on Joseph Damer, Lord Milton?

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Milton Abbas Local History Group Meeting

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Our first meeting of the new season was well attended and 34 of us enjoyed a talk by Chris Fookes on the old roads and tracks of Milton Abbas, illustrated with maps from 1652 to today.

We had two visitors from Australia who were researching their ancestors, the Vine family. Samuel Vine occurs in the 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census as living in, and being the proprietor or inn keeper of the Hambro Arms.

Next meeting on 1 Nov will feature a presentation on how the roads were moved by Joseph, Lord Milton in the late 18th century for his privacy, and destroyed the town.

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Overseers of the Poor Book 1782

104, 1781-10

Carol Sastradipradja has just transcribed page 104 and come across this interesting piece of information.

It reads:

“Memorandum. Sunday Jan 13 Several Labouring People having complained to the Officers of the Parish that They Wanted Houses. In consequence of their Complaint the Following Inhabitants met in the Vestry after Divine Service and Unanimously agreed not to pay the House Rent for them.”

This is the first evidence of a lack of new houses in the new village. Clearly not enough had yet been built to house the labourers.

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Lord Milton’s Ad quod Damnum, 1769

I have just finished transcribing this document which is in the Dorset History Centre catalogue reference Q/S/M/1/9 page 414.

It describes the roads which Joseph, Lord Milton had a writ issued by Chancery, to move. These road closures spelled the end of the old town of Milton Abbas as a thriving community. Now the town was no longer on the main through route, and was subsequently bypassed by the turnpike which went from Blandford to Dorchester through Milborne St Andrew.

It should be possible to locate the old roads on a modern map. Anyone fancy doing that?

this is a literal transcription:

“….beginning at the Foot of Saint Catherines Hill opposite to the said Lord Miltons Stable and from thence to the Top of the Hill where another Road Branches out of it to the Eastward leading to Beer Regis in your County and from thence Northward through the same Field called Saint Catherines Hill to a Gate leading into Higher Haydon Field and from such Gate through the South East End of Higher Haydon Field to a Gate leading into Houghton Common called Houghton Down Gate having the Lands of the said Lord Milton on both sides thereof and which said Road from the Foot of Saint Catherines Hill to Houghton Down Gate aforesaid measures in length Five Thousand six Hundred and Fifty four Feet and in breadth Twenty Feet or thereabouts Also the said Road which branches off from the before mention Road on the Top of Saint Catherines Hill aforesaid and from thence Eastward through the said Field called Saint Catherines Hill leading to Beer Regis aforesaid to a Gate which opens into Hoggen Down having the Lands of the said Lord Milton on both sides thereof and which said Road measures in length from the Top of Saint Catherines Hill to the gate which opens into Hoggen Down aforesaid two Thousand four Hundred and one Feet and in Breadth Twenty Feet or thereabouts Also another Road lying in the Parish of Milton Abbas aforesaid beginning at the Cross Roads on the Top of White Hill and from thence down the Hill called White Hill Road to the bottom thereof where another Road comes into the same called Hollow Way having the Lands of the said Lord Milton on both Sides thereof and which said Road measures in Length One Thousand seven Hundred and Forty two feet and in breadth Sixty Feet or thereabouts Also the said Road called the Holoway lying in the Parish of Milton Abbas aforesaid beginning at the Bottom of White Hill aforesaid and ending where it falls into the Cross Lane or Road leading from Milton Abbas Pound to the Parish of Dewlish in your County having the Lands of the said Lord Milton on both sides thereof and which said Road measures in length One Thousand One Hundred and Eighty Feet and in breadth Forty Feet or thereabouts”

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The Liberty and Manor of Milton Abbas

An original document in Dorset History Centre was brought to our attention by Debbie Winter. Catalogue reference D-1168/1.

This is the only manorial court record which is in existence, and is of great interest. This one was held 13 May 1754. If only we had the complete annual series.

There are 55 people named.

Here is a part of my transcription:

The Court Leet and Law Day and View of frankpledge together with the Court Baron of the Mannor of Right Honourable Joseph Lord Milton held in and for the said Liberty and Mannor this Thirteenth Day of May one Thousand seven Hundred and fifty Four.

By the Lumley Kingston Steward

Bailliffe Joseph Legg – Appeared and was sworn to this due execution of his precepts.

Constables – John Harvey, Josiah Vacher – Appeared and were sworn to present and presented all well.

Tythingman – Andrew White – Appeared and was sworn to present and presented all well.

Assizors of Bread and Beer – William Elford, Joseph Hewit – Appeared and were sworn to present and presented all well.

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