Amsterdam (1611) (1)
'Anabaptists': Long before the English Baptist movement came into being there had been 'Anabaptists' in England. 'Anabaptists' held that infants were not punishable for sin because they had no awareness of good and evil and thus could not yet exercise free will, repent, and accept baptism. Denying the validity of infant baptism, they accepted adult baptism, which was regarded as a second baptism by those outside the group who identified them as 'Anabaptists'. Although there were many differing factions, they should not generally be confused with the Baptists who were to establish a church in London in 1611. From the earliest of days Dorchester had been a place to which non-conformist religious sects gravatated. Although many of these suffered persecution there were many others that surfed the changing political climate such as the Rev John WHITE (1575-1648) who worked tirlessly to create a more Godly community within the existing church of England.
In 1611 the English Baptist movement was founded in Amsterdam by John SMYTH MA (1570?-1612)
His life is covered in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He was an English Puritan in exile from England since 1608, who reformed his church in Holland in 1609 and who died there of tuberculosis in 1612. One of his followers, Thomas HELWYS (1550-1616), drew up 'A Declaration of Faith' in 1611 and isolated in Holland, and desirous to further the cause of his newly discovered religious beliefs, Helwys and his group returned to England, probably in the winter of 1612–13, to form the first Baptist Church in England in Newgate Street (one authority says in Spitlefields). His life is also covered in the Dictionary so I will not repeat it here.
This however was the origin of the General Baptist denomination. They gained their name because they believed with the followers of the Dutch theologin Jacobus Arminius, that Christ died for all men. They therefore believed in 'general redemption' from their first beginings. They repudiated infant baptism and Calvinistic predestination, and affirmed the Armenian view of individual responsibility for the salvation of one's soul.
In 1633 A church of independents broke away and formed the first Calvinistic or Particular Baptist Church in Southwark. They believed that Christ died only for the elect, but they too rejected infant baptism and shared a very similar position on many aspects of the doctrine of the church to the General Baptists.
In 1640 The first local Baptist Association was founded in Bristol.
In 1644 A Confession of Faith was published by the Particular Baptists. This was a theological agreement, but not an organisational conjunction, between the General and Particular churches. They adopted baptism by immersion, and most Baptist churches admitted only those who had been so baptised. the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire churches, influenced by John Bunyan, were the chief exceptions to this rule.
1642-1651 - The English Civil War was essentially a dispute between Parliament and King for ultimate sovereignty over the affairs of the nation. However there was a strong religious undercurrent to the dispute as on the one hand the Crown drew its support from Roman Catholics and the strong Anglo Catholic wing of the Church of England. Whilst, on the other hand, Parliament was greatly influenced by the new Dissenting churches, the Presbyterians, the Baptists and the Independents. Although few in number Baptists were to hold a large number of important posts in Cromwell's new army and Government.
The King believed that Puritans (or Dissenters) encouraged by five vociferous members of the House of Commons, John Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, Arthur Haselrig and William Strode along with Viscount Mandeville (the future Earl of Manchester) who sat in the House of Lords, had encouraged the Scots to invade England in the recent Bishops' Wars and that they were intent on turning the London mob against him. When rumours reached the court that they were also planning to impeach the Queen for alleged involvement in Catholic plots, Charles decided to arrest them for treason. On Tuesday, 4 January 1642, the King entered the House of Commons to seize the five members but forewarned they were absent. After his failure to capture the five members and fearing for his family's lives, Charles left London for Oxford and the Country descended into Civil War.
Denzil Holles therefore, although not a Baptist himself, was from the outset at the heart of the Parliamentary cause and later served in the Parliamentary Army having command of a Regiment at Edghill (Oct 1642) and Brentford (Nov 1642). Within his command was an Anabaptist trooper called William ALLEN.
William ALLEN was a typical example of the growing influence of Baptists at this time. A mere trooper at the outbreak of war, a feltmaker from Warwickshire, he served in Essex's Army under Denzil HOLLES. They were defeated at Brentford and he was one of 500 prisoners taken that day. After seven days of captivity he was condemned with seventeen others to be hanged, joining others that had been tried. When it came time to carry out execution every tenth man was drawn out to be hanged and William ALLEN was lucky, being dismissed with the remaining survivors. He was wounded at the first battle of Newbury (Sep 1643) , and again at Henley (May 1644) gaining all the time the respect of his comrades and superiors.
In Dorchester (1645) (2)
In July 1644 Parliamentary Commanders won a decisive victory at the Battle of Marsden Moor in which Cromwell played a prominent part leading to his ascendancy. Simultaneously, Essex pursued his campaign to conquer the West Country coming to Dorchester. The baptist Church in Dorchester has long maintained that William ALLEN is recorded as having preached somewhere in the town and that the church dates its earliest origins to this event. It's easy to see how this would have occurred. Denzil Holles was held in high regard in Dorchester being one of its most prominent citizens and William Allen by now had his own growing reputation and it was standard practice for the Religious amongst the Army to preach wherever they went. As far as I can see William Allen was described as an Annabaptist at this date but this was not a strict term during the war, he clearly converted to become a true Baptist and we are dealing with views often expressed well after the event. There can be no doubt however that the arrival of the Parliamentarian Army in Dorchester stimulated religious fervour and before the Earl of Essex moved on he was arguably at his finest hour. The climate was right, and I have no doubt that this led directly to the formation of a Baptist Church in Dorchester as within a few years we know it was to become strong enough to actually host a convention.
Military movement however soon took the Army and William Allen into Devon but before we move on we need to cover another Parliamentarian who was with the Army in the shape of John VERNON. In 1644 the very year they arrived at Dorchester he published a pamphlet called "The young horseman or the honest plain-dealing Cavalier". This was intended to bring 2 years of experience of war in the cavalry as an update to existing Military instructions. The only known cuirassier units to see action in the Civil War were the bodyguard troop of the Earl of Essex and the regiment of Sir Arthur Haslefrigge. Both William Allen and John Vernon moved with the Army and whilst they were in Devon they married two daughters of James HUISH Esq of Sidbury(23).
Essex suffered a major defeat at Lostwithial in September 1644 which effectively ended his career and opened the door for Cromwell to establish the New Model Army in 1645. Both William Allen and John Vernon were just the sort of dedicated religious soldiers Cromwell was looking for and they continued to gain influence.
In 1651 William ALLEN was appointed Adjutant General of Cromwell's Army in Ireland and John VERNON Quartermaster General. More than once William Allen's name appears in Carlyle's Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell. To Carlyle, Adjutant-General Allen was "a most authentic, earnest man . . . a strenuous Anabaptist . . . a rugged, truehearted, not easily governable man; given to Fifth Monarchy and other notions, though with a strong head to control them." When Cromwell dissolved the Barebones Parliament in Dec 1653 and made himself Lord Protector there is no doubt that it did not go down well with those of firm republican ideals. Even among those who favoured Fifth Monarchy views there were wide differences of approach and it is quite possible that the views of individuals may from time to time have flucuated considerably. There is some evidence to believe that both John Vernon and William Allen who were now powerful army officers in Ireland (Allen had become a Baptist by, at latest January 1652) may have shared Fifth Monarchy views and they were certainly strong republicans. Allen was personally fond of Cromwell but toward the end of 1654 he returned to England for an interview with him at which he seems to have made plain his hostility to the institution of the protectorate and angered Cromwell. Although in the autumn of 1655 he returned to Ireland, in December 1656 he and Vernon resigned their commissions and returned to England. In the meantime events at Dorchester were progressing.
In 1655 the celebrated Baptist Henry JESSEY, visited the congregation at Dorchester, together with many others in the West of England.(3 & 6)
His subsequent career and persecution can be found in the Dictionary of National Biography but after finding refuge for a time as Chaplain to Sir Matthew Boynton of Barmston, near Bridlington, Yorkshire he was appointed as an Independent pastor at St George, Southwark, 1645-6. Jessey remained unconvinced of the merits of believers' baptism but came to believe that sprinkling or pouring was a mere modern invention, and that the proper form was immersion. For many months he baptized infants by this means and according to 'The English Baptists of the 17th Century' published by the Baptist Historical Society, his church was predominately Baptist but continued to include members who had only been baptised as infants. By 1650 Jessy's church was in Swan Alley Coleman street a famous centre of radicals and of many conventicles. Here Jessey preached on Sunday afternoons with George Barrett as his assistant, but he was also from 1651 a weekday lecturer at All Hallows-the-Great, Thames Street. In 1650 Jessey visited other open membership Independent churches in the north-east. He was also in touch with churches in the west of England which had been influenced by another open membership Baptist, John Tombes.
Jessey became acquainted with the open membership church at Broadmead in Bristol where he seems to have baptized its pastor, Thomas Erwin, and its ruling elder Robert Purnell in 1654, and helped to steady them during the offensive of the Quakers in the city which followed shortly afterwards. In 1655, on the suggestion of the Bristol church, he visited Wells, Cirencester, Somerton, Chard, Taunton, Honiton, Exeter, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Lyme, Weymouth, Dorchester, Southampton, and Chichester. He died September 4th 1663 and was buried in Bunhill Fields.
"I asked them why they were so angry; were they angry with the Bible? But they fell into a discourse about their water-baptism. I asked them whether they could say they were sent of God to baptize people, as John was; and whether they had the same Spirit and power that the apostles had? They said they had not. Then I asked them how many powers there are; whether there are any more than the power of God and the power of the devil? They said there was not any other power than those two. Then I said 'If you have not the power of God that the apostles had, then you act by the power of the devil". Many sober people were present, who said they have thrown themselves on their backs'. Many substantial people were convinced that night; a precious service we had there for the Lord, and his power came over all. Next morning, as we were passing away (on the road to Weymouth), The Baptists, being in a rage, began to shake the dust off their feet after us. "What said I 'in the power of darkness! We who are in the power of God, shake off the dust of our feet against you".
In 1659 George FOX paid a second visit to Dorchester. The entry in his journal records the meeting he had there although he does not appear to have encountered the Baptists on that occasion:-
In 1660 - The Restoration of the Monarchy led to a period of persecution of Dissenters throughout the country and once again Dorchester found itself at the center of political events. In 1662 all the Ministers of the 4 main churches in Dorchester were ejected from their livings. Out went Rev George HAMMOND (1620-1705) the Rector of Holy Trinity and St Peters, out went Joshua CHURCHILL (1627-1693/4) the Vicar of St Georges Church at Fordington as did the Rev William BENN (1600-1680) the Rector of All Saints Church.
The seriousness of the situation however was described by David Underdown in his book 'Fire From Heaven' about Dorchester at this time. He states:- "In September 1665 the King came to Dorchester. He was greeted with loyal enthusiasm: the bells were rung and the Corporation spent freely for his entertainment. The Court was at Salisbury, having been driven out of London by the plague, and Charles took the opportunity to make a leisurely tour through Dorset, which he had not seen since his escape after Worcester. But his visit to Dorchester had a more politically symbolic purpose. While in the town the King ceremonially gave the royal assent to an act recently passed by Parliament. The measure had been carefully chosen as one conveying an important message for Dorchester. It is known to history as the 'Five Mile Act' because it prohibited nonconformist ministers who would not swear the oath on nonresistance from living within five miles of any corporate town, or any place where they had previously held a living. The act was to prove something of a paper tiger, but in the short run it led to a swift clerical exodus from Dorchester and many other places".
He was elected canon of Exeter in 1641 and collated to a prebend in Exeter Cathedral in which he was reinstated at the restoration. A conviction that the church was in urgent need of reform he fell out with his parishioners and after much solicitation accepted in 1653 the less valuable living at Sherborne; Here he remained until the Act of Uniformity forced his ejection in 1662; In September of that year he was arrested at home and compelled to find sureties for his good behaviour. Soon afterwards he was again arrested and detained for nearly nine years in Dorchester Gaol where he continued to preach nearly every day forming a church, but whether that which he had formed in the goal was part of the one of the same faith in the town is now not known. At his discharge in 1675 he traveled through several counties ending up living in London.
He preached at his home for a time before in March 1676 forming a Sabbararian Baptist church which met in Pinner Hall. Here he met with the usual disturbances, the congregation being often broken up by the officers of miss-called justice. On February 17th, 1683, while he was preaching, a constable entered and interrupted him. "I have a warrant from the Lord Mayor to disturb your meeting," said the constable. "I have a warrant from Jesus Christ to go on," replied the preacher, and was proceeding with his discourse, when he was seized and taken, with six of his brethren, to the Lord Mayor, who fined them ten pounds each. Nevertheless, they met again in the afternoon, but were compelled to separate, on which they retired to Mr. Bampfield's residence, where he finished the exercises of the day. That day week he was apprehended once more, and committed to Newgate. At the next Quarter Sessions he and several others were placed at the bar, and the oath of allegiance was tendered to them. They declined to take it, because it was understood to comprise an obligation to conform to the Church of England, to which they could not bind themselves; whereupon the Recorder passed sentence to this effect: -- "That they were out of the protection of the King’s majesty; that all their goods and chattels were forfeited; and that they were to remain in jail during their lives, or during the King's pleasure." It was not "the King's pleasure" to release them. Death in jail was a common thing during the reigns of Charles II and James II. Mr. Bampfield died in Newgate, February 16th, 1684, being in the seventieth year of his age.
Wood the historian says of him "that he was first a churchman, then a presbyterian afterwards and independent, an anabaptist, and at length almost a complete jew. He died in Newgate prison 16 Feb 1663/64
1665-1670 Throughout this period the Baptists continued to suffer persecution. A baptist conventicle at Fordington for example, some of whose members were Dorchester people, was broken up by soldiers in March 1665. Four years later there were said to be two hundred dissenters in Fordington, that number presumably including members of Benn's and Churchill's congregation as well as Baptists. Governed as it was by Anglican county magistrates, Fordington was a more dangerous place for nonconformists than Dorchester: In 1670 the JP Robert Williams levied fines totaling over sixteen pounds from people caught at a conventicle there. But juries were more inclined to be sympathetic. When Williams brought another charge against members of the Fordington conventicle they were acquitted at Bridport Sessions. (5)
To deal with the immediate aftermath of the rebellion an Assizes were held at Dorchester presided over by the infamous Judge Jeffries (1645-1689). The house he stayed at during the trial still exists today in Dorchester High street. The prisoners were transferred from Salisbury and Winchester gaols and according to John Hutchins in his The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset 30 were tried in 3rd Sep 1685 and 29 found guilty, and on the following day 292 found guilty and 80 ordered for execution.
1689 Under William III the Act of Toleration ends persecution.
Desperate as the plight on non-conformists seemed, help was at hand, and from an utterly unexpected source. In the spring of 1686 the new King himself reversed his earlier policy and turned from supporting the Church of England towards easing the lot of dissenters. On 10th March he issued a general pardon freeing from gaol all those of his subjects that had been imprisoned on grounds of religion. Whilst persecution continued from the Church of England and its many supporters the change in the wind was made clear and in November the King's protection was made more generally effective through the establishment of a Licence Office. There for fifty shillings a licence could be purchased to protect a whole family from all legal proceedings for their nonconformity, and as a result open dissent gradually increased. In 1689 the Act of Toleration cemented protection in law allowing Protestant Dissenters other than Unitarians to engage in organised public worship as long as their meeting places were registered and they were organised separately. The Particular Baptists then grew to become more numerous than their General Baptist brethren.
From the year 1689 to 1692 Mr Thomas COX was the pastor of the Baptist congregation at Dorchester and represented it in each of the 3 years at the general assembly in London (6). Little is known of its subsequent history as all the papers relating to this congregation were lost; but it is certain that the Baptists had for many years a small chapel here, which was converted into a beer store, and a burial ground, then used for gardens. Long after the Baptist congregation had declined the few remaining members continued to have a sermon preached once a year.
18th Century it is clear from the Will of Caleb BROOKS who died in 1730 that prior to 1709 when his father wrote his Will that baptists had been meeting on a regular basis in the High Street in All Saints Parish and were still doing so in 1730:-
There is also reference in The Baptist Magazine issued in 1829 to "When the Countess of Huntingdon's ministers first visited Dorchester, they were accommodated by the Baptists with the use of their chapel". In consulting their parish register they seem to have only operated in Dorchester between 1822 and 1826.
(See above for earlier history of the Baptist church in Dorchester)
The Old Dorford Baptist Chapel (1830-1915)
Foundation 1830: In the 19th Century membership of the Baptist church recovered to such an extent that they were able to build a new Chapel at Fordington in 1830 which they named 'DORFORD' . It still stands today at the bottom of High East street by the side of the river Frome, adjoining Fordington. It was built in 1830, and opened for divine worship, on 3rd June, on which occasion Mr. Stephen SINCOX was ordained pastor of the congregation (6). The name DORFORD is a combination of the words (Dorchester) and (Fordington) by which name many local people still identify it. The name is derived from the fact that it sits on the old boundary between Fordington and All Saints Parish. in Dorchester.
Location:: Because of its location the address over the years seems to have varied between High East Street, Fordington High Street, and Durngate Street or Durngate Lane. We have access to several maps one for 1771 on this site, one for 1890 on the British history website and the 1901 Ordnance Survey Map, again on this site. The 1771 Map shows the layout prior to the construction of the Chapel in 1830 and the 1890 map after it was built from which its fairly clear that it replaced an existing building. It is actually situated just round the corner after the end of High East Street before it becomes the London Road (re-named East Parade on the 1901 map). In 1771 it was a real junction of roads with 'Durn' or Durngate Lane [marked 'E' on the 1771 map]. Although not clear I think at this date that Durngate Lane extended right round the corner to join Fordington High street. Durngate Lane was renamed Durngate Street by 1852 and the turn of the street became Salisbury Street extending past the end of the re-named Durngate Street to join Salisbury Walks. The Chapel actually fronts onto the start of Fordington High Street ( See picture 7 taken in 2012). As such it was never properly in High East Street. There was no accommodation within the Chapel so Ministers lived nearby, some of them in Durngate Street.
Roberts directory of 1839 and Pigots' of 1844 confirm that apart from Baptists there were also chapels in Dorchester for the Wesleyans, Independents, and Unitarians. Several local Baptist churches were founded during the Victorian era, namely Buckland Newton (1864), Winterbourne Abbas (1872) and Piddletrenthide (1875). Sadly all are now closed.
Closure 1915: When they moved to a better and larger church at the top of town in 1915 the building was sold and renamed Kingdom Hall. It was Grade II listed by English Heritage on 8th May 1975 and today (2013) it houses the 'Dorset Teddy Bear Museum' in one part and the 'Terracotta Warriors Museum' in the rest of it.
Baptists tended to refer to Pastor but both terms are used frequently throughout historical documentation
He was born at Shaldon in Devon circa 1799 and educated at the Bristol Academy(10) run by the Baptist Education Society. He married Ann Louisa CHASE (1791-1875) at Ross-on-Wye in Hereford on 25th September 1827. She was a native of Maldon in Essex. After arrival as Baptist Minister in Dorchester in 1830 they lived in Back South Street Dorchester and had 2 children born in Dorchester as shown below.
Stephen SINCOX certainly returned to Dorchester as there is reference to him in the 13 June 1846 edition of the Sherborne Mercury preaching at the Dorcford Chapel Sunday school and the 1849 Post Office Directory for example records him as still being "The Baptist Minister of Dorford Chapel" in Dorchester and the 1851 Census shows him still living close to the chapel in Durngate Lane Dorchester. On the 5th June 1852 several newspapers reported "The anniversary of the opening of the Dorchester baptist chapel will be celebrated on Tuesday next by two special services. A tea meeting will take place in a large barn, kindly lent for the occasion, after which several gentlemen are expected to address the company" (13) This seems to have been the handover point to the next Minister Mr George Kerry and by 1861 Stephen is shown as living with his bachelor son at Millbrook South Stoneham in Hampshire. Stephen died in the 1st quarter of 1873 and his wife in the 1st quarter of 1875 at South Stoneham.
Mr George KERRY (1826 -1906) (Pastor of Dorford 1852-1856) (14)
Mr Josiah MILLER (1832 - 1880) (Pastor of Dorford 1856-1860) (15)
Born in Hackney Middlesex; In 1851 an unmarried Baptist Minister, a lodger at Redruth Cornwall aged 30. Resident in 1861 at All Saints parish St Marylebone London with wife Emily (b1826 Surrey) & 3 children (1) Emma Harding b. Barnstable district 1855, d. Bromley Kent aged 27 ; (2) Henrietta Elizabeth 1857 (3) Lewis Edward (1861-1943) born St Johns Wood London. Lewis married to Helen J Roberts and they had a daughter Marie M born in France. He died at the age of 82 in 1943 in the district of Croydon. there is a nrewspaper report in te Western Gazette for Friday 21st May 1869 saying that the Rev Edward Merriman had resigned his pastorate at Dorford Baptist Church because of ill health. The Rev Edward Merriman died at 2 Morden-villas Russell Street in Reading Berkshire on 13th January 1870 aged 48. I have not however been able to locate anything about his career in the church or his term of office at Dorford.
He was born on 23 Jan 1848 & baptised at Broadwater Worthing Sussex the son of Joseph Humphrey HARRINGTON by his wife Mary Amelia STARTIN. A graduate of Bristol Baptist College in 1862 he is said to have been at Stoke Devonport in 1873: He married Kezia HARMAN (1859-1921) at Poole in Dorset the daughter of Joseph & Ann HARMAN in 2nd qtr 1879 at Poole: He carried out a marriage in the Dorford Chapel in Dorchester in 1875 (listed below) and his son George Alfred was born whilst he was in Dorchester in 1887. This tenure seems to overlap with that of Robert Ridgeway below. He is described in the 1901 Census as a Baptist Minister and Farmer.
They had following children (1) Lydia Mary b. Boscombe Hants c1881 (2) William Joseph b.Boscombe Hants c1885 (3 ) Annie Helen b. Boscombe c1887 (4) George Alfred Dorchester Dorset (1887-1960) (5) Susie Beatrice b. 3rd qtr 1889 Manorbier Pembrokeshire Wales, buried there 1st qtr 1891 (6) Mary Amelia born and buried 4th qtr 1892 at Manorbier (7) Reginald Humphrey b. Manorbier Pembrokeshire Wales c1894 (8) Alice Adelaide b. Manorbier 1896 (9) Grace Victoria b. Manorbier 1897 (10) Albert E Startin b. Manorbier 1900 (11) Rhoda May b. Manorbier c.Feb 1901.
Kezia died at the age of 63 at the Tudor Lodge at Manorbier in 1921 and Joseph died on 21st June 1927 leaving an estate of £1,276.10s.
Photograph by kind permission of © Ruth Roberts: The Harrington Family (apparently this photo and inscription are still on view in the Lodge) Back row L-R –Will Harrington, Lydia Harrington, George Harrington, Lena Harrington, Reg Harrington, Alice Harrington. Front row L-R – Grace Harrington, Mrs Harrington, Rhoda Harrington, Rev’d Joseph Harrington, Bert Harrington.
He was baptised on 27th July 1837 in St Peters Southport Liverpool the son of Leonard & Charlotte ALBIN, originally an Inspector of the Constabulary (1841) and later a wine merchant (1861) by his wife Charlotte. Robert also joined the Police serving as a Constable at Stones End Greenwich. On 13th Oct 1861 he married by Banns to Agnes BOORMAN (born circa 1841 at Harrietsham in Kent the daughter of a wheelwright John BOORMAN) at St George the Martyr church in Southwark. They had a daughter and Agnes Ruth born at Depford, baptised at St James Church Hatcham on 18th May 1862 and another Annie Eliza baptised at Hatcham on 17th July 1863. He retired from the Police Force circa 1874 to become a Baptist Minister & they adopted a young girl Ethel Woodlhouse (born in 1880 in Middlesex) before bringing his wife and 2 children to Fordington to serve as the Minister at Dorford. I have not however been able to locate anything else about him after his arrival until he emigrated to the United States in 1884. In the 1900 US Census he was living at ED 167 Shenandoah, borough ward 3, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania with his wife Agnes and a 20 year old daughter Esthell Alpin. By the time of the 1910 US Census he had moved to live at Woodstown Salem New Jersey where he is shown to be aged 72 with his wife Agnes aged 70.
1889- Mr Robert Bone CLARE (1828-1914) (Pastor of Dorford circa 1890 until between 1895 and 1901)(20)
1893 The 70th Annual Meetings of the Western Baptist Association commenced at Dorchester on Monday and continued on Wednesday. Mr TS Penny of Taunton is the president elect; the retiring president the Rev A MacDonald of Chard. The proceedings began with a luncheon given by the Pastor and deacons of the local church to the committee who subsequently met for business in the chapel. In the evening a sermon was preached at the Baptist Chapel by the Rev E Francis of Fivehead. The delegates assembled at the Dorford Baptist Chapel on Wednesday morning when the president was introduced and the usual business of the association transacted. Source:-The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post (Bristol, England), Saturday, June 17, 1893; Issue 14072
I would like to display in this section photographs of wedding etc that took place at the Chapel
please make contact if you have any photographs or are aware of other marriages baptisms etc
Mikeatstrayleaves[insert the @ symbol here]yahoo.com
21 Mar 1831 BIRTH: Edward Stephen son of Stephen & Ann Louisa SINCOX Maternal Grandfathers name Edward Chase place of birth Dorchester Dorset Source Dr Williams Library in London and is held in the Dissenting Deputies Registers (1728-1837) [Note:- Also on IGI where refers to RG5/159]
15 Dec 1832 BIRTH: Louisa daughter of Stephen & Ann Louisa SINCOX Maternal Grandfathers name Edward Chase place of birth Dorchester Dorset Source Dr Williams Library in London and is held in the Dissenting Deputies Registers (1728-1837) [Note:- Also on the IGI where refers to RG5/159 and film 815951 and index batch C-14622-g]
30 Oct 1848 MARRIAGE: At Dorford Chapel Dorchester Mr William VINCENT to Miss Emma REYNOLD Sources Sherborne mercury 11th Nov 1848 and GRO 4th qtr 1848 Ref 8/151
Aug 1849 MARRIAGE : At Dorford Chapel Mr Richard LOCKETT a Harness maker of Piddlehinton to Louisa 4th daughter of Mr SQUIRE sources Sherborne Mercury dated 18th aug 1849 & GRO 3rd qtr 1849 Ref 8/119 also 1851 Census resident at Piddlehinton Richard born at Dorchester aged 31 louisa aged 37
23 July 1853 MARRIAGE : At Dorford Chapel Mr Samuel Ralph ATKINS and Miss Harriette BUCKLAND Sources Salisbury & Winchester Journal dated 23rd July 1853 & GRO 3rd qtr 1853 Ref 5a/609
27 Nov 1854: MARRIAGE John BARTER to Elizabeth TAPP Certificate of Marriage located 1854 marriage solemnized at the Dorford Chapel Dorchester Ref 187 27th Nov 1854 between John BARTER aged 25 years a bachelor a dairyman resident at Frome in the Parish of Holy trinity dorchester father John BARTER Dairyman married Elizabeth TAPP aged 22 years a spinster resident at Bradford Peverell father William TAPP Grocer were married at the Dorford Chapel according to the rites and ceremonies of the Baptists their signatures in the presence of James and Mary GEALL by Rev George KERRY Minister John Petty ALDRIDGE Registrar Source Marriage Certificate on Barter Family website
22 Mar 1858 MARRIAGE: Mr Thomas GOLLOP to Mrs Susan EDWARDS On the 22nd Inst at the Baptist Chapel Dorchester by the Rev. J MILLER; Mr GALLOP builder and Mrs EDWARDS both of Dorchester were married: Source: Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian (Southampton, England), Saturday, March 27, 1858; pg. 8; Issue 1804 : [Note:- GRO marriages Mar Qtr 1858 Thomas Gallop married Susan Edwards Dorchester District Ref 5a 539]
1875 - MARRIAGE John HODINOTT and Emily BROWNSEA were married in Dorford Chapel by Rev Joseph HARRINGTON.
22 Mar 1891 - MARRIAGE: Mr Samuel DEMMER to Miss Amelia MITCHELL On the 25th March 1891 at the Baptist Chapel Dorchester; Mr Samuel DEMMER of Dorchester married to Miss Amelia MITCHELL of Winterbourne Abbas. Source The Hampshire Advertiser (Southampton, England), Saturday, March 28, 1891; pg. 4; Issue 4674 also GRO 1st qtr 1891 5a/613 & 1901 Census living Chilmark Wiltshire him 36 born Haselbury Bryan her aged 34 at Piddletrenthide Beer Seller and Baker
28 Mar 1895 - MARRIAGE At Dorford Chapel George Henry SALISBURY to Charlotte PALMER Sources Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser & GRO 1st qtr 1895 Ref 5a/473
06 Jun 1897? - MARRIAGE At Dorford Chapel Robert Elias FUDGE of Poundbury Farm to Lavinia Amelia SHEPPARD Sources :- Western Gazette dated 11th june 1897 and GRO 2nd qtr 1897 Ref 5a/779
24 Oct 1898 - MARRIAGE At Dorford Chapel Charles GREEENING was married to Jane the daughter of the late Mr Henry MARTIN by the Rev J McClune UFFEN Sources:- Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser dated 2nd Nov 1898 & GRO 4th qtr 1898 Ref 5a/798
1904: MARRIAGE: Joseph Henry JOHNSTON to Eleanor Edith STOVEY. I have been researching my grandparents who lived in Dorchester. My
grandmother Eleanor Edith Stovey married Joseph Henry Johnston (a private in the
RAMC) in Dorchester around 1904. I have a letter on file from one of their
daughters stating that they married at "the Baptist Church at the bottom of town". - Henry Johnston Pembrokeshire. Source Rootsweb [Note:- Marriage at the GRO between Henry JOHNSTON & Eleanor Edith STOVEY 3rd qtr 1904 Dorchester district Ref 5a/749 - They are in the 1911 Census living at 16 Colliton Street Dorchester with 3 daughters]
17 Aug 2006 DEATH: Robert & Joyce PEINKEY: Thanksgiving Service for church's landmark couple - A special thanksgiving service marked Dorchester Baptist Church's tribute to the longest serving member couple in the history of the church, who recently died. Bob and Joyce PEINKEY , 94 and 89, respectively, died within a few days of one another. Married for 67 years they were members of Dorford Baptist Church for 72 years landmarks that no other couple of this church have attained according to the church Minister the Rev. Clive JARVIS. Bob and Joyce lives revolved around the two bedrocks of the family and their faith, the latter in terms of their devotion and commitment to Jesus here at Dorford Baptist church said Mr Jarvis. --- Baptist Times See Newspaper transcripts for 17 Aug 2006
© Picture Copyright Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester & Fordington 2012
In 2005 to celebrate the end of ten months of refurbishment, costing over £1 million, Dorchester Baptist Church hosted two weeks of events. The refurbishment project saw most of the original 100-year-old church, originally, pulled down and rebuilt. The plan was to create a building that's more inviting - a modern and functional place of worship with access for the disabled and a youth centre. The new church, housed in the newly named Dorford Centre, now has seating for 350 people and boasts an administration suite, a creche and several community rooms.
2008 - The church had 167 members an increase of 10 on the previous year.
Born in the small village of Frant on Rowden Farm in Sussex in 2nd qtr 1882 the son of a farmer Charles BOORMAN by his wife Mercy Hephzibah (nee) Hill. He grew up on the farm and by the age of 18 was a sorting clerk and telegraphist at the Post Office in Frant. He soon left to join the Baptist Church and Frederick was already living in Dorchester by the time of the 1911 Census recorded as a Baptist Minister, single and aged 28. He married to Elsie Christina THORNHILL in Wiltshire (Calne district) in 3rd qtr 1920. He left Dorchester to become the Minister of the Baptist Chapel at Albermarle Taunton in Somerset where he is recorded in Kellys Directory in 1923, he lived at 6 French Weir Ave Taunton. He remained at Albermarle up to 1946. He died intestate at the Manse Bratton in Wiltshire according to court records on 30th October 1950, administration of his estate of £599 being granted to his widow on 18th Nov 1950. He was buried at Bratton where his memorial inscription states " With Christ Which Is Better' Rev. Frederick Edward BOORMAN Pastor of Bratton Baptist Chapel 1946-1950 died 31st Oct 1950 aged 68"
Trustees report for the year ended 30th Sep 2006 - 13 pages
Baptist Historical Society Obituary Index