Dorchester & Fordington
Pigots directory 1830Transcribed for OPC by Jennifer Dando 2004
Note: includes entries for Fordington
Dorchester and neighbourhood
Dorchester, a county town and borough, is situated in the division of its name, and hundred of Uggscombe; 120 miles from London, 27 from Poole, and 8 from Weymouth. It is an ancient and respectable well built town, pleasantly seated on an ascent above the river Frome, which bounds it on the north side, at a distance of about 6 miles from the British channel; and on the south and west it opens on pleasant downs, intermixed with corn fields. Dorchester was of considerable importance under the Romans, standing on the via Icenia, and several vicinal roads issuing hence, the coins and other pieces of antiquity found here, the maiden castel, the amphitheatre (the most perfect of its kind in Britain), and the camp at Poundbury, near it shew it to have been then a place of consideration. This town suffered dreadfully from the plague, which broke out here in 1595, and which proved so destructive that the living were not sufficient to bury the dead. In 1613 the town was almost entirely destroyed by fire; the loss was estimated at £200,000. Dorchester is recorded to have been more particularly disaffected to the royal cause, during the civil wars, than any other place in England.
The town forms an irregular square, and consists principally of three spacious streets; these, with the subordinate ones, are well paved, and in general adorned with handsome buildings of brick and stone. Those of most eminence are the churches; a handsome spacious town hall; the shire hall, a plain neat building, containing the courts; the new gaol, and house of correction, erected on the plan recommended by Mr. Howard. The government of the town is vested in the corporation which, according to the charter granted in the 5th of Charles I, consists of a mayor, two bailiffs, six aldermen and six capital burgesses, who appoint a recorder and a town clerk; six of these are justices viz. the mayor, his last predecessor, the recorder, with two bailiffs and one capital burgess, chosen by the whole body corporate. The assizes and quarter sessions for the borough; a court of record, for the recovery of debts under £40, is held in the guildhall once in three weeks; and a court leet is held annually at Michaelmas by the mayor, who is lord of the manor during the period of his mayoralty.
The privilege of sending members to parliament was conferred upon this borough in the 23rd of Edward I, and the right of election vested in the inhabitants paying church and poor rates in respect of houses, lands or stock in trade; the mayor is the returning officer, and the number of electors is about 500: the present representatives are, the Hon. William Ashley Cooper, of St Giles, in this county, second son of the Earl of Shaftesbury; and Robert Williams, Esq. of Bridehead house, in this county. Formerly this town was considerably engaged in the manufacture of woollens, but this branch is now decayed; and Dorchester is at present, and has been for a long time past, noted for its superior ale, which is sent to all parts of the island.
The edifices for divine worship in Dorchester are the three churches under the establishment, dedicated to St. Peter, the Holy Trinity and All Saints; and four chapels belonging to the Independent and Wesleyan Methodists, Baptists and Unitarians. The church of St. Peter’s is a beautiful and venerable Gothic pile, situate in the centre of town, with a tower 90 feet high, ornamented with turrets and battlements. The livings are all rectories: St. Peter’s is in the gift of the king – incumbent the Rev. John Morton Colson; the mayor and corporation present to All Saints, which is enjoyed at present by the Rev. Evan Davies; the living to the Holy Trinity is in the gift of the feoffees of the free schools, and almshouse, and the Rev. Geo. Wood is the rector. The principle charities are two good free schools, and some well endowed almshouses; also the hospital, or workhouse which is an endowed charity. The environs of Dorchester are extremely pleasant; and the great number of handsome mansions and seats, that are scattered throughout the neighbourhood, conduce materially to the beauty and richness of the general scenery.
The immediate vicinity of the town, on the south and west and part of the north and east, is surrounded by agreeable walks, planted with rows of lime and sycamore trees, as are most of the principle avenues. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday; there are four annual fairs, viz on the 14th February, Trinity Monday, the 6th of july and 6th of august, chiefly for cattle and sheep. By the census for 1821, the population of the borough and parishes of Dorchester was – All Saints parish, 652 inhabitants; St Peter’s, 1,039; Holy Trinity, 1,052: total 2, 743.
POST OFFICE, High East Street, John Pett, Post Master – Letters from London and the East arrive every morning at a quarter before 10, and are dispatched every afternoon at four. – Letters from EXETER, FALMOUTH and the West arrive at a quarter before four in the afternoon, and are despatched every morning at ten. – Letters from CERNE and SYDLING arrive every afternoon at a quarter before four, and are despatched every morning at ten. – Letters from CHARMINSTER, STRATTON, FRAMPTON, MAIDEN NEWTON, CATTISTOCK, EVERSHOT and MELBURY arrive every afternoon at a quarter before four, and are despatched every morning at ten. – Letters from WEYMOUTH arrive every morning at thirty five minutes past nine and at four in the afternoon; and are despatched every morning at a quarter before ten and at half past four in the afternoon.
NOBILITY, GENTRY AND CLERGY
Abbot Thomas, Gent. Came
Harvey Robert R. gent. Fordington
ACADEMIES AND SCHOOLS
AUCTIONEERS & APPRAISRS
BOOKSLLERS, STATIONERS, BINDERS AND PRINTERS
BOOT AND SHOE MAKERS
BREWERS & MALSTERS (See also Malsters)
BUILDERS AND CARPENTERS
CABINET MAKERS AND UPHOLSTERERS
CHINA, GLASS &C DEALERS
CHYMISTS AND DRUGGISTS
CURRIERS AND LEATHER CUTTERS
FIRE &C OFFICES & AGENTS
GROCERS & TEA DEALERS (see also shopkeepers)
INNS (see also taverns & public houses)
LINEN & WOOLLEN DRAPERS
MALTSTERS (see also brewers & maltsters)
MILLINERS & DRESSMAKERS
PAINTER, PLUMBERS AND GLAZIERS
PERFUMRS & HAIR DRESSERS
SADDLERS AND HARNESS MAKERS
SHOPKEEPERS AND DEALERS IN SUNDRIES
STRAW HAT MAKERS
TAILORS (Marked Thus * are also Drapers)
To BATH & BRISTOL, The John Bull (from Weymouth) calls at the Antelope. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at half past eight - and The Wellington, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nornng at nine; both go through Sherborne, Wincanton, & Frome
To BRISTOL, The Royal Dorset (from Weymouth) calls at the King's Arms. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at half past eight; goes through Yeovil, Ilchester, glastonbury & Wells.
To EXETER & FALMOUTH, The Royal Mail (from London) calls at the King's Arms. every morning at ten; goes through Bridport, Axminster and Honiton.
To EXETER & PLYMOUTH, the Celerity (from London) calls at the King's Arms and Antelope, every morning at seven - and the Southampton (from Southampton) calls at the King's Arms every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon at half-past one; both go through Bridport, Axminster and Honiton.
To SOUTHMPTON, The Independent (from Weymouth) calls at the Antelope every morning (sunday excepted) at nine; goes through Wareham, Poole; Christchurch, Lymington & Lyndhurst - the Southampton (from Exeter & Plymouth) calls at the King's Arms, every afternoon at one; goes through Blandford, Wimborne and Ringwood.
To WEYMOUTH, the Magnet (from London) calls at the King's Arms and Antelope, every evening at eight - The Royal Dorset (from Bristol) calls at the King's Arms and the John Bull at the Antelope every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening at five - the Royal George every morning (Sunday excepted) at ten - the Wellington (from Bath & Bristol) calls at the Antelope every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening at five - & the Independent (from Southampton) every evening (Sunday excepted) at five
To BATH, Robert WADMAN from the Wood and Stone every Tuesday
To BRIDPORT, William COOMBES from the Phoenix every Thursday
To BRISTOL, Richard BAULCH, from the Royal Oak every Thursday and John SLADE from South Street every Saturday
To EXETER & PLYMOUTH and FALMOUTH, RUSSELL & Co's Van from High East Street, every night; a Waggon, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
To LYMINGTON, Joseph BIDDLECOMB from the Phoenix every other friday
To MAIDEN NEWTON & TOLLAR, Mary GREEN from the Royal Oak every Monday wednesday and Friday
To POOLE, William COOMBES from the Phoenix every Tuesday
To WAREHAM, William GRADY from the Phoenix every Saturday
To WEYMOUTH, James BEER from Russell's warehouse, and Thomas GAULTON from Pease Lane daily - Richard BAULCH from the Royal Oak every Wednesday - John SLADE from Cornhill every friday and Robert WADMAN from the Wood and Stone every Monday
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