In the Dorset History Centre the original books are available to view covering the years 1729 to 1963.
Our supertranscriber John Quinn has now transcribed these from 1729 to 1781, entering 8400 records into a spreadsheet. We have begun our analysis of these.
Together with our transcription of the Overseers of the Poor Books 1771 – 1800 these give us a good deal of information about the move of the Old Town. In particular the number of ratepayers diminishes rapidly after 1780, although the total amounts raised for the Church and for the Poor remains similar.
The Churchwardens not only paid for the repairs to the church (Milton Abbey was used as the Parish Church until 1786), the churchyard walls, but also for the extermination of vermin. The vermin included stoats, polecats, badgers, foxes, and sparrows. These payments ceased around 1777.