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Robert GALPIN (1802 - 1859) Maltster & Beer Retailer
of Dorchester and Fordington

Robert GALPIN (1802-1859) was Baptised at All Saints Church in Dorchester on 30th Dec 1802 the son of Elias GALPIN (1756-1846) by his third wife Elizabeth nee MOORS. When his father died in 1846 he inherited his household goods, furniture, linen plate and other household effects, his horse and wagon and the copyhold of the brewhouse, cellar and stable known as the Old Malthouse shown in the pictures below.

The Old Malthouse at the turn of High East Street into Fordington High street

Robert remained a bachelor but lived in the Malthouse, and by the time of the 1851 Census (1) he has with him a 'house servant/housekeeper' called Caroline BROOKS (1806-1889) who clearly played an important part in his life. She was a native of Norfolk and gave her birth place as Trowse (presumably Trowse Newton on the outskirts of Norwich). There is a record on the CLDS site which shows she was born on 9th March but baptised on 23rd March 1806 just 8 miles south of Trowse in the village of Woodton in Norfolk, the 5th of 8 children of John & Frances Monseer BROOKS. By the year 1841 (2) she had arrived in Dorset, was still unmarried, and living in Mill Street in Fordington which is presumably how she came into contact with Robert GALPIN as its physically close to the Malthouse. The 1851 Census shows them living together in the Malthouse, both unmarried, and Robert employing 2 men in his business as a Maltster and retailer of beer.

On 8th July 1859 Robert must have been ill as he wrote his will leaving a few bequests to his sister and her children, but the bulk of his estate to Caroline whom he still refers to as his housekeeper. Robert died on the 26th July 1859 and was buried at the Civic cemetery on 29th.

After Robert's death Caroline changed her surname to GALPIN and lived in Durngate Street describing herself as a widow. In 1861 she had her young 5 year old nephew John BROOKS (who had been born in London Middlesex) staying with her (3). By 1871 he had returned to live with his parents William & Matilda BROOKS in Lambeth. William like Caroline was also born at Woodton in Norfolk. John however returned to Dorchester to look after Caroline in her old age and is living with her again in 1881 now aged 25(6). This is interesting as Caroline is recorded as a Beerhouse Keeper and I think that this probably means she still owns the Malthouse and presumably employed the Innkeeper? Caroline GALPIN died at Dorchester in 1889 and was probably buried in the Civic Cemetery but I have not been able to locate any Will.

The Will of Robert GALPIN (1802-1859)

Dated 8th July: 1859 Died 26th July 1859: (Proved 22nd Aug 1859)

©Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester - January 2013
Source National Probate Registry

The Last Will and Testament of me Robert GALPIN of Fordington in the County of Dorset Brewer.

I give and bequeath unto my niece Elizabeth MORGAN (4) shop woman at Mr Steels Dorchester in the said County of Dorset Spinster the sum of one hundred pounds

    To my Nephews William MORGAN and George MORGAN, To my Niece Mary MORGAN and to my sister Sarah MORGAN and to my Nephews Thomas GREEN of Charminster and Henry GREEN of Stratton in the said County of Dorset the sum of Fifty Pounds each.

I give devise and bequeath All that my freehold messuage or dwelling house malthouse and garden situate in the Parish of All Saints near to the Baptist Chapel in Dorchester aforesaid with their rights members and appurtenances unto my Housekeeper Caroline BROOKS now living with me her heirs and assigns for ever.

I give and bequeath all my estate and interest of and in All That my Copyhold Messuage Beerhouse and premises in which I now reside situate in Fordington aforesaid with their rights members and appurtenances unto the said Caroline BROOKS her executors administrators and assigns for her and their own absolute use and benefit All my brewing utensils casks beer malt and hops household goods and furniture and all my money and securities for money book and all other debts and all the rest residue and remainder of my estate and effects not herein before disposed of

I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto the said Caroline BROOKS her executors administrators and assigns for her and their own absolute use and benefit subject nevertheless to the payment of the legacies hereinbefore bequeathed and my just debts and my funeral and testamentary expenses

    But in case my personal estate should not be sufficient to pay the said legacies debts and expenses Then I hereby charge the said freehold dwellinghouse and premises with the payment of the same or any part thereof as may be required to make up the deficiency
    And in case any of my said nephews and nieces or my said sister shall die before receiving his or her said legacy or legacies I direct that the legacy or legacies heretofore bequeathed to him or her or them so dying shall be paid to his her or their executors administrators or assigns
    And I direct that the legacy hereinbefore bequeathed to my said Nephew Henry GALPIN shall be placed out at interest in the Dorchester Savings Bank or other safe security by my executors and the Interest paid to him until he attains the age of twenty one years when he shall receive the said legacy

I hereby appoint Isaac HANN of Fordington aforesaid schoolmaster and Thomas VOSS of Dorchester aforesaid plasterer Executors of this my last Will

In witness whereof I the said Robert GALPIN have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand this eighth day of July One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Nine.



Signed and acknowledged by the said Robert GALPIN as his Will in the presence of us, present at the same time and who in his name and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

Jno: [John] BROWN of Dorchester Accountant

Thomas VOSS of Dorchester Plasterer


Probate granted 22nd August 1859 The Will of Robert GALPIN late of Fordington in the County of Dorset Brewer deceased who died 26th July 1859 at Fordington was proved at Blandford by the oaths of Isaac HANN of Fordington a schoolmaster and Thomas VOSS of Dorchester plasterer the executors effects under 2,000

Genealogical Notes:-

(1). Robert & Caroline are in the 1851 Census Class: HO107; Piece: 1858; Folio: 159; Page: 4; GSU roll: 221005-221006.

(2). Caroline BROOKS is in the 1841 Census Class: HO107; Piece: 284; Book: 24; Civil Parish: Fordington; County: Dorset; Enumeration District: 5; Folio: 24; Page: 7; Line: 14; GSU roll: 241339. Residing in Mill street Fordington age 30 to 34 (1807-1811) Not born in Dorset.

(3). Caroline GALPIN (ie. alias BROOKS) is shown in the 1861 Census Class: RG 9; Piece: 1353; Folio: 19; Page: 10; GSU roll: 542800 as being head of the household a widow, aged 55, born at Norwich in Norfolk and is living with her Nephew John BROOKS a scholar born Middlesex London.

(4). Robert's sister Sarah GALPIN (bap All Saints on 7th Jan 1807) married William MORGAN at All saints church Dorchester on 19 January 1826 see their marriage for more information concerning their children who are all beneficiaries under this will. Elizabeth was baptised at Charminster on 15th Sep 1832 so was 27 years old and still single. She worked as a drapers assistant for Edward STEEL at No. 11 High West Street. He was a master tailor, milliner & woolen draper employing 28 people in his business.

Caroline GALPIN is in the 1871 Census Class: RG10; Piece: 2009; Folio: 22; Page: 13; GSU roll: 831753. living in Durngate Street, still states that she is a widow but aged 57? [actually 65]

(6). Caroline GALPIN is in the 1881 Census Class: RG11; Piece: 2110; Folio: 20; Page: 12; GSU roll: 1341509. recorded as C GALPIN still living in Durngate St Head aged 75 a Beer House keeper born Norwich with her nephew J A BROOKS aged 25 a stationer born Middlesex

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