Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
The COLSON Family of Dorchester
(From 1596)

Apothecaries, Barber Surgeons, Capital Burgesses, Clergymen
& Mayor in 1712 & 1722


Surname also spelt Coulson: Colston: Colsone
© Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester January 2015 (last update July 2016)


St Peters Church Dorchester
where many members of the family were buried

Relationships between the various members of this family are very complex because descendants of various branches of the family have continued to use the same names.
I have tried to show source material throughout but if anyone is aware of errors or has additional information please let me know.


The COLSON Family has long held a place of distinction in Dorchester. A deed relating to a plot of land commonly known as 'East Walls Town Land' survives in the Municipal Records of Dorchester. This refers to a plot on the east side of South Street and provides for John Watts and William Golsey who in order to repay a debt of £150 to Mathew CHUBB the richest man in Dorchester (who often financed the towns development) enclosed, divided and sold off strips of this arable land to five individuals retaining some portion for themselves. The deed is dated the 13th November in the 39th year of the reign of Elizabeth I (1596) and shows that a Robert COLSON was one of those who purchased a sub divided plot. A further reference to Robert can be found in the Will of Richard BARKER (1542-1621) where he is shown to be an Apothecary (22) . Given the scarcity of records surviving at this date we cannot be sure of relationships but it seems likely that Jasper COLSON was his son as he is also described as an apothecary by trade when on 7th Nov 1621 he became a member of the Company of Freemen of Dorchester. Unfortunately for us many records were destroyed during the Civil War (1642-1651) and of the three main churches in Dorchester, only the parish registers for Holy Trinity survive prior to 1653 which makes sorting out individual relationships difficult. This is particularly so because of the tenancy to name children after their parents, sometimes resulting in many generations with the same name. With this family it is almost a religious conformity leading to much confusion throughout the ensuing generations. Some general pointers however do exist concerning these early years. David Underdown for example in his book 'Fire from Heaven' points the way by describing medical practices of the day(1), which is particularly helpful as it refers directly to this family:-

    "For a brief moment in history Dorchester had something very like a municipal health service. Between 1646 and 1650 the Physician Dr Losse , received a stipend of eight pounds a year for treating the poor patients. Other local doctors were employed in individual cases ; in 1659 one at Crewkerne was paid three pounds for performing cataract operations on an elderly Dorchester couple. Regular payments were also made to the apothecaries. Jasper COLSON began providing 'physic for the poor people' in 1648; three years later he handed in an itemised bill for almost three pounds worth of medicine supplied to twelve persons 'not able to pay for it' and in 1655 he received a total of eleven pounds for such services".
This statement is supported by the Municipal Records of Dorchester(5) on page 521 which records against the date 1st September 1662:-
    "This Company do order the Steward of the Hospital [a euphemism for the workhouse] to pay vnto Mr. Jasper COLSON the somme [sum] of twenty pounds towards his bill of fifty-seaven pounds, in charges of Phisick deliuered out to sick people in seueral yeares last past, many particulars whereof this Company think fitt that Mr. COLSON should demand of the parties themselves to whome the same was deliuered, and this monny to be payd to him betwixt this and Christmas"
(1). Jasper COLSON (bur.1667) was clearly therefore operating as an apothecary in Dorchester at the same time as the Rev. John White (1575-1648) was putting in place his vision of a 'Godly Community'. Whilst continuing to play his part in supporting the poor of the town after John White's death he nevertheless expected the Corporation to pay his fees and the provision of medicine was clearly a prosperous business when you consider that the overseers of the poor were paying only a shilling a week to the poor to live on. All we know about Jasper is that he had married Sarah HAYDON in the adjacent parish of Stinsford on boxing day 1619 and settled in Dorchester to ply his trade as an apothecary and raise a family. Control of trade in Dorchester with the power to imprison offenders etc was clearly established under the Charter of James I signed on 26th June 1610, but it was not until 1619 when they had problems over excluding a mercer from London who claimed he had been given permission to trade in the town and contested their decision to exclude him, that they decided to issue bye laws and record who did have permission. These laws were enacted on 22nd Oct 1621 which is when they established the Company of Freemen as a means of exercising that control and created an admission register to record individuals names and trades. In typical John White fashion an admission fee was charged to make the operation self funding and the clerk started adding peoples names to the register each week as they paid. Eight people signed up on the 25th October, followed by another 16 on the 2nd November. Jasper attended the Shire Hall and paid his fee with 61 other traders in the town on the 7th followed by another 42 the following week. Jasper may therefore have been trading in Dorchester from prior to his marriage.

Following his marriage their eldest son would normally have been named Jasper after his father and born circa 1621. He appears to have died however as his father passed away in 1667 and he makes no mention of a son Jasper or any possible descendants from him such as grandchildren in his will which I have transcribed below. Jasper the apothecary was buried at St Peters Church on the 15th October that year(2) and this makes it clear that by that date his eldest surviving son was Joshua. There were other Jasper Colson's alive at this date who were undoubtedly closely related to him and I have tried to deal with these in section (3) below.
    Will of Jasper COLSON Apothecary of Dorchester Dated 5th June 1667; Proved 31st December 1667 PROB 11/325

    The Will and Testament of Jasper COLSON In the name of God Amen: First I bequeath my soul to God that gave it me and my body to be buried where my wife [is] in St Peters Churchyard And my will is that the little estate which God hath entrusted me withall shall be disposed of as followeth:

    First I make my son Joshua COLSON my heir and executor unto whom I do give my land house and garden in Allhallows Parish for ever And do also give him my book of debts due unto me for the consideration thereof I would have him to pay my debts

    And to give my son Frederick COLSON thirty pounds of lawful money and to be paid him five pounds by the year

    And I give unto my daughter Anne COLSON and Sarah COLSON her sister All my household stuff and plate and all my Phisick wares in the shop or elsewhere and the term of years I have in the house I dwell in to order and dispose as my daughter Anne COLSON thinks fit

    And I desire the Lord God to bless them all and to give them his grace that they may walk and live in the fear and love of God all their days and to love one another that this is my last will and testament I have unto set my hand and seal June 5th 1667 Jasper COLSON:

    In the presence of Joane Butcher, Anne Colson, Sarah Colson, her mark Elizabeth Long.

    Probate:- proved in the Strand in the County of Middlesex by William Merick doctor at Law at the prerogative court of Canterbury the 31st December 1667 by Joshua COLSON executor
From this 'Will' and other surviving records it is clear that his wife predeceased him and that they had at least the children listed below. It's possible that his wife died either in childbirth in 1651 or prior to 1653 when burial records for Holy Trinity are missing. They also seem to have moved to live in St Peters parish about this time and their surviving registers also only date from 1653.

    (1.1) Joshua COLSON (bur 1696). He remained a bachelor and was executor of his fathers will in 1667 under which he inherited his house and garden in All Saints Parish. He signed the Oath of Loyalty to Charles II on 31st Aug 1681. In his own 'Will' which I have also transcribed below, he refers to himself as an 'Apothecary of Dorchester' so he clearly followed his father in the family business with his two spinster sisters running the 'physic shop'. He was buried at St Peters church in Dorchester on 12 Jun 1696. Importantly he leaves bequests to other members of his extended family:-

    Will of Joshua COLSON Apothecary of Dorchester : dated 1st June 1696; Proved 4th Aug 1696 PROB 11/433

    In the name of God Amen the first day of June Anno Domini 1696 I Joshua COLSON of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Apothecary being weak of body but of sound and perfect memory thanks be to Almighty God do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following First I commend my soul into the hand of Almighty God hoping through the merits death and passion of my Saviour Jesus Christ to have full and free pardon of all my sins and to inherit life everlasting and my Body I commit to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors hereinafter named and as touching my temporal estate as it hath pleased God to bestow upon my I give and dispose thereof as followeth

    Impremis I give and bequeath unto my kinsman Jasper COLSON the sum of 50 pounds and also a piece of gold the value of three and twenty shillings

    Item I give and bequeath unto his sister Sarah the wife of Austin WIGGINS ? piece of gold of the like value:

    Item I give and bequeath unto my dear sister Ann COLSON the sum of two hundred pounds and I do moreover give [her] all that my house and garden with the appurtenances situate and lying and being in the parish of All Saints in the Borough of Dorchester in the County aforesaid now in the occupation of Bernard TOOP (19) To hold to her and her assigns for and during the term of her natural life and from
    And after her decease I give and bequeath the same unto my kinsman Robert COLSON the elder of Dorchester to hold to him his heirs and assigns for ever and I do moreover give and bequeath unto my said kinsman Robert COLSON a broad piece of gold of three and twenty shillings and to Joan his wife and Robert his son I give to each of them a piece of gold of the like value

    Item I give and bequeath unto kinswoman Sarah HERNE the now wife of Thomas HERNE Chyrurgeon the sum of two hundred pounds which said sum shall be and is hereby construed and meant the two hundred pounds I promised to give unto her in marriage with Thomas HERNE as by certain articles of agreement to that purpose made and exempted more at large appeareth and my will is that the said sum shall be paid and remain to the same intent and purpose as it is mentioned meant and intended on the said articles and covenants of marriage And I do moreover give unto her a broad piece of gold to the value of three and twenty shillings

    Item I give unto the poor of the parish of St Peters in Dorchester the sum of twenty shillings and the like sum I give unto the poor of the Holy Trinity and the like I give unto the poor of the parish of All Saints

    All the rest and residue of my goods chattels and estate whatsover I give and bequeath unto the said Thomas HERNE and my dear sister Ann COLSON and do make and ordain them my sole and joint executors of this my present last will and testament

    And I do hereby desire my trusty and well beloved friends James COLE of Dorchester aforesaid Esq Thomas ROSE Doctor of Physic; George LESTER of the same pewterer and Robert RASKER of the same maltster to be my trustees and supervisors to see this my present last will and testament duly executed and for a recompense of their kindness I give unto each of them a gold ring of the value of twenty shillings a [piece due if it shall happen at any time hereafter any doubt or question to arise concerning any of the words clauses and sentences in this my present last will and testament or my true intent and meaning herein that then the further and better explanation interpretation and construsion of such doubt or ambiguity I will that my said trustees and supervisors shall expound and explain and interpret it accordingly to their wisdom's and good discretions and shall finally determine all differences that may happen to arise betwixt any of the legatees and my executors herein before named

    In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written the hand of Joshua COLSON:

    signed sealed acknowledged & published and declared & in the presence of John LOVETT Francis GARLAND; & Richard SAMWAIES:: Probate granted to Thomas HERNE 4th day of August 1696

    ,
    (1.2) Frederick COLSON (bur. 1683) He and his wife named Tomasine had a daughter Sarah COLSON baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester on the 18th Dec 1653 but then moved to live in St Peters Parish. Tomasine soon died being buried there on 2nd July 1656, the same day as another kinsman of theirs Jasper COLSON the Younger, and only a few days after her still born male child was buried there on 28th June 1656. Frederick was also a beneficiary under his fathers will in 1667 receiving a lump sum payment of £30 and a yearly annuity of £5 which had to be paid him by his elder brother Joshua who inherited the estate. They both signed the declaration of Loyalty to Charles II on 31st August 1681. I cannot trace that he played any prominent part in the affairs of the town however, for example he is not listed as being a member of the Company of Freemen in Dorchester, and he died 2 years later being buried at St Peters Church on 20th July 1683.

    (1.3) Anne COLSON (bur.1709). A beneficiary and witness with her sister Sarah to her fathers will in 1667 ,she never married and was left their house and garden in All Saints Parish for life only. She died and was buried at St Peters on 20 May 1709 when the property passed to her kinsman Robert COLSON the elder (See section 2 below).

    (1.4) Sarah COLSON (1648-1669) bap Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester on 24th April 1648 she was a beneficiary under her fathers will in 1667 but her brother Joshua in his will in 1696 only refer to his sister Ann so she is the Sarah COLSON that was buried at St Peters on 4th January 1669/70.

    (1.5) Martha COLSON (1649-1657) bap Holy Trinity Church Dorchester on 14th Oct 1649 but buried at St Peters Church on 04 May 1657

    (1.6) Unnamed COLSON (1651-1651?) baptised as an unnamed daughter at Holy Trinity Church Dorchester on 13th April 1651. She clearly did not survive as she is not mentioned in her fathers will. Also parish registers for Holy Trinity have not survived from 1649 to 1652 and 1653 is mostly illegible. The omission of her name in the baptism register might also mean she died at or close to birth with an urgent baptism carried out at the bedside by an officiating minister who could not remember the child's name when he later advised the parish clerk or priest who made the entries in the register. It's just possible that this could be the baptism of Anne but from the way she is recorded in her fathers will she appears to be the elder of his daughters so I have left
These two wills suggest therefore that Jasper COLSON's immediate family died out with their property passing upon the death of Anne to their kinsman Robert COLSON the elder(section 2 below) and to the surgeon Thomas HERNE the husband of his kinswoman Sarah nee COLSON (Section 3 below)
The Four Colson Families who sign the 'Oath of Loyalty' to Charles II - 1681


King Charles II circa 1680-1685
by John Riley

The other very valuable document to survive was 'The Oath of Loyalty' given to Charles II which contains the signatures of over 300 of the most important citizens living in Dorchester on 31st August 1681. As such it is close to a census although there were presumably some people of significance in the town who refused to sign.

Four families with the surname COLSON are listed in the Oath and two of these, Joshua and Frederick have already been covered above. The most prominent of the four Robert COLSON is covered immediately below this section and the last Jasper COLSON is the subject of section 3 below which can be accessed via the link provided.

(2). Robert COLSON the Elder (bur 1704)

Robert settled in St Peters Parish in Dorchester where the parish registers prior to 1653 have not survived. There are two brief mentions in the Municipal Records of Dorchester (5) concerning a Robert Colson. The first on page 699 refers to a Robert Colson a grocer by trade being the lessee of a town burgage in St Peters Parish on a lease originally dating from 30th Nov 1596 granted to John YEATE of Dorchester a clothier and Richard BAKER of Dorchester a shoemaker. We know from William Whiteway's Diary (6) that both of these gentlemen were Aldermen of Dorchester and Richard Baker died on 29th Aug 1621 followed by John YEATE on 20th December the same year. Robert COLSON's name is next to appear on the lease so it would seem likely that he purchased the lease shortly after their demise. 1621 was of course the year Jasper COLSON became a Freeman of Dorchester so perhaps they were brothers? The fact that he was able to lease a house in Dorchester from Aldermen suggests that this was a substantial property and that Robert was already a part of the ruling elite.

The second mention is on page 710 dated 19th August 1670, nearly half a century later, when it refers to a Robert COLSON being empowered by the Corporation, together with Thomas Cooper and the Serjeants-at-Mace, to enter the 'George Inn' in St Peters Parish and make an inventory of the fixtures. Given the passage of time this may have been his eldest son rather than the same person. Be that as it may it is this Robert COLSON who is referred to in Joshua's will of 1696 as 'Robert COLSON the Elder'. This is useful as he is not only referred to as a 'kinsman' but clearly well thought of as he, his wife Joan and their son Robert are all left 'a broad piece of gold of three and twenty shillings'. From the parish Registers of St Peters we know of two children from their marriage:-

    (2.1) Joshua COLSON (1673-?) Baptised at St Peters 23rd May 1673. At 8 years old in 1681 he was too young to have been the Joshua Colson who signed the Oath of Loyalty and was probably therefore named after him.
    (2.2) Robert COLSON (1676-1724) Baptised at St Peters on 15th April 1676 he is the subject of the next section detailed below.
It also appears the Robert had a sister Sarah COLSON who married Thomas HERNE a Chirurgeon operating in Dorchester so would have been well known to a family of apothecaries. Thomas Herne died and and was buried in St Peters 31st Jan 1700. He left a will dated 18th January 1700 which was proved on 3rd June 1701 which I have transcribed below:-
      The last Will and Testament: of me Thomas HERNE of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Chirurgeon as followeth Vizt

      First: I give to my wife Sarah HERNE for her life my chief rent issuing due and payable out of certain lands in the parish of Netherbury in that said County

      And after her decease I give and devise the said chief rents unto my brother Mr John HERNE his heirs and assigns forever

      Item: I give and devise after the death of my said wife all that my messuage burgage and tenement with the appurtenances in dorchester aforesaid wherein I now live unto my brother the said Mr John HERNE and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten

      And for default of such issue I give and devise my said messuage burgage and tenement with the appurtenances unto my sisters Elizabeth HERNE and Anne HERNE and the heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten

      And for default of such issue to my brother Gilbert HERNE and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten

      And for default of such issue I give devise the same unto my Nephew Mr Robert COLSON his heirs and assigns forever

      And whereas I have power by certain articles of agreement in case my said wife shall happen to survive me to dispose of one hundred pounds part of four hundred pounds due on a Bond entered into by Mr William ROSE deceased and Mr Thomas ROSE his brother to me I give the said hundred pounds to be distributed after my said wife's death as followeth:-
        To Edward LESTER son of my Cousin George LESTER the sum of £25
        To my cousin Robert RUSKER the sum of £10 and
        To his sister Mary KINGSTON the interest of the sum of £25 to be paid into her hands yearly from my wife's death for her life.

      And in case she the said Mary KINGSTON shall have any child or children I give the said £25 for the benefit of such child or children

      And in case she shall die without issue I give the same unto the said Robert RUSKER

      Item: I give to my cousin Mary IRONSIDE the sum of £10 and the sum of £30 to complete the said £100 I give to my said sisters Elizabeth and Anne HERNE;

      Item: I give to my said wife all my broad gold in house and all my plate except two of my last bought silver spoons one whereof I give to my goddaughter the daughter of Daniel GLISSON and the other I give to my goddaughter the daughter of William TURNER

      Item: I give to my said wife All my household goods implements of household and shop goods And if after my debts paid there shall remain out of the monies due to me on bond book or otherwise a surplus to my said wife and the remainder of such surplus I give to my mother Mrs Margaret HERNE Widow if she shall live till all my debts shall be paid but if she shall die before I give the said surpluses to my said sisters Elizabeth and Anne

      And I do devise to give to Mrs Mary NELSON one half broad piece of gold

      And I do hereby desire my said cousin Mr George LESTER and Mr Philip BYLES of Dorchester aforesaid to see this my will performed to each of whom I give a ring in witness whereof I Have hereunto set my hand and seal this 18th day of Jan 1700
Robert COLSON died and was buried at St Peters Church on 24 Jul 1704 and Joan followed on 28th March 1709.

2.2 Robert COLSON Junior (1676-1724)
Attorney at Law, Capital Burgess and Mayor of Dorchester in 1712 and 1722

Robert was baptised at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 15 Apr 1676 the son of Robert COLSON the Elder by his wife Joan. He studied to become an attorney at law and about the turn of the century he married Mary MORTON (1681-). Her pedigree is recorded in the 1677 visitation of Dorset (4) and this shows that she was the 6th and last child of Charles MORETON of Hembrey in Dorset (1650-1681) by his wife Mary the daughter of John Lawrence (1653-1691) of Milton Abbas. Mary Morton was baptised on 12th Jan 1681 and had an elder brother John Morton who was baptised 7th Jan 1677/8. John Hutchins entry for the parish of East Stoke also usefully records that:-

    "The farm of North Bestwell was bought by John MORTON of Henbury on 14th Feb 1699. 'He died on 10 March, 1750, having devised all his estates to his nephew, the Rev. John Colson, clerk, son of Robert Colson, by Mary Morton, his sister and co-heir, from whom this farm has descended to the Rev. John Morton Colson, the present owner"
Robert and Mary had nine children together as detailed below. He was elected a Capital Burgess of Dorchester on 26th July 1707 when he replaced Alderman Andrew LODER(7)

and served as Bailiff of Dorchester three times in 1709/10, 1713/14 and 1723/4. He became a Freeman of Dorchester on 27th Sep 1710 and was elected Town Clerk in place of Robert Loder on 29th Oct 1711, being elevated to the position of Mayor of Dorchester the following year. He indentured several notable apprentices; Andrew the son of Rebecca NAPPER of Tintin Hull in 1712; William the son of the widow Anne ROSE of Wimbourne Minster in 1716; and John the son of William Merryfield of Woolmington in Bridport in 1721. Having completed his Mayorality he was re-elected Town Clerk on 5th Nov 1713 and was Treasurer of the Western division of the Dorset Quarter Sessions in 1716. He was elected Mayor for a second time in 1722 and again re-elected Town Clerk on 4th Oct 1723. He was buried at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 24th Oct 1724 but I have not been able to locate a Will..


Children:-

    (2.2.1) Rev. John COLSON MA (1701-1769) He was baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester on 22 July 1701 and educated at Balliol College in Oxford where he matriculated on 23rd Feb 1718/9, then aged 17. He was awarded his BA in 1722 and MA in 1725. He was elected Town Clerk on 1 Oct 1722, taking over from his father for 1 year whilst his father was Mayor of Dorchester. John was ordained a deacon at Christ Church Cathedral on 31st May 1724 and appointed Rector of Woodsford 13th July 1725; and Frampton 2 days later and West Coker in Somerset on 1st Aug 1728. The burgage rate in Dorchester for the year 1737 nevertheless shows that he was in possession of a house in St Peters Parish and another house and gardens in All Saints. He is also listed in Municipal Records as a Freeholder of the Borough of Dorchester owing suit and service to the Court Leet and law days in 1749 and 1750. He was buried at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 11 Nov 1769 and left a Will dated 27th Oct 1769 which I have transcribed below leaving everything to his spinster sister Sarah and after her death to his brother Rev Thomas COLSON.

      The WILL: I John COLSON of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Clerk do in the name of God by this my last Will and Testament give and devise as follows:

      Impremis, I bequeath my soul to God (in humble hopes of his mercy through Jesus Christ) and my body to the earth.

      Item I give devise and bequeath unto my dear sister Sarah COLSON Spinster (as my dear and only brother is by God's blessing proposed of a proper competency) All my lands Tenements and hereditaments whatsoever and wheresoever for the term of her natural life with full power for my said sister to change them or any part of thereof by her last will and testament or by any deed or writing properly executed with the payment of an annuity or annuities to any person or persons not exceeding in the whole twenty pounds yearly and for and during one life only.

      And from and after her decease I give devise and bequeath my said Lands Tenements and hereditaments (subject however to the payment of such annuity pr annuities as aforesaid unto my brother Thomas COLSON Clerk and his heirs for ever. To my said dear sister I give the use of my plate for her life and after her decease I give the same to my said brother, but devise it may be considered by him as an heirloom

      All the rest and residue of my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever I give and bequeath unto my said dear sister & I appoint her sole executrix of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made

      In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty seventh day of October in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixty nine. Signed sealed published and declared by the said John COLSON as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witness hereunto Jane Morgan; John Pope and William Templeman

    (2.2.2) Thomas COLSON (1702-1702) Bap HT 28 Dec 1702 and buried at St Peters 3rd Feb 1702

    (2.2.3) Mary COLSON (1704-1739) Bap HT 7th June 1704 and buried there still a spinster 19th Oct 1739

    (2.2.4) Sarah COLSON (1705- 1772) She was baptised at Holy trinity Church in Dorchester on 13th Dec 1705 although the codicil to her will suggests that she was born in St Peters Parish. She she remained a spinster throughout her life and inherited her brother William's estate in 1769. She left a Will dated 8th Dec 1769 which I have transcribed below and was buried at St Peters on 12 Oct 1772.

      The WILL: In the name of God Amen this is the last Will and Testament of me Sarah COLSON of Dorchester in the county of Dorset made and published this eighth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine First:I bequeath my soul to God in humble hope of his Mercy through Jesus Christ and my Body to the earth and I desire to be buried by the side of my late dear deceased brother at eleven o'clock at night in a private and decent manner and that Mr William TEMPLEMAN: Mr John TEMPLEMAN; Mr John PITMAN;Dr CUMING; Mr John MORGAN and Rev Samuel GOULD be may Pall bearers Whereas my said late dear deceased brother in and by his last Will and Testament bearing date the twenty seventh day of October last past did give and devise to me all his lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever and wheresoever for the term of my life with such power for me to change them or any part thereof by my last will and Testament or by any deed in writing properly executed with the payment of an annuity or annuities to any person or persons not exceeding in the whole twenty pounds yearly and for and during the life only; Now in pursuance of the power in me vested I do hereby give and devise unto Anna HUNT (11)of Dorchester aforesaid who now lives with me (subject however to the condition hereinafter mentioned) one annuity or yearly sum of ten pounds per annum for her life to be issuing and payable out of the said Lands Tenements and hereditaments devised to me as aforesaid situate and lying and being in Corfe Castle, Stoke, Dorchester or elsewhere in the said County and every part thereof the said annuity to be paid by four quarterly payments to wit Christmas Day, Lady Day, Midsummer Day and Michaelmas Day yearly and the first payment to be made on such of the said days as shall happen next after my decease and that when and as often as the same or any part thereof shall be behind and unpaid for the space of thirty days next after the said feast days on which the same aught as aforesaid to be paid (being lawfully demanded) that then and as often and at any time or times thereafter it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Anna HUNT into or upon the said Lands Tenements and Hereditaments chargeable therewith or any part thereof to enter and distrain and such distress or distresses to detain/ keep/ and dispose thereof until she shall be lawfully paid all such arrears with the costs and charges in and about making taking and disposing thereof Item: I give and bequeath to my Nephew John Morton COLSON my small diamond ring and cypher ring with two diamonds which was his grandfather COLSON's Item: I give and bequeath to my Niece Mary Morton COLSON my largest diamond ring my gold watch, my white satin suit of cloths and my best suit of sinner ruffles handkerchief and cap Item: I give and bequeath to my two Nephews John Morton COLSON and Thomas Morton COLSON all other my rings trinkets and ornaments of my person to be equally divided between them share and share alike Item; I give and bequeath to Mrs Jane MORGAN of Forthington [i.e. Fordington]in the said County for her great friendship to me a legacy of ten pounds Item: I give and bequeath to Ann the daughter of the said Jane MORGAN my second best suit of sinner handkerchief Ruffles and cap my second best silk suit of cloths (purple cloured) my other flowered silk suit of cloths four of my best muslin aprons, one white negligee and one white satin quilted petticoat Item; I give and bequeath to the said Anna HUNT all other my wearing apparel whatsoever and of what nature or kind so ever and I do hereby declare that the devise of the above annuity to the said Anna HUNT for her life and also the above bequest to her of my wearing apparel and upon this also one condition that she be living with me at the time of my decease otherwise the said devise and bequest are to be void and of no effect Item: I give to Lucia the wife of John TEMPLEMAN of Dorchester aforesaid a Mourning Ring of one guinea value Item: I give to my dear brother Thomas COLSON all my household goods china household linen and furniture and all my books Item: all my money securities for money arrears of rent and all other my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kind so ever I give and bequeath unto my said nephew John Morton COLSON for his better education and maintenance And Lastly I appoint my said dear brother Thomas COLSON Executor of this my Will In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written Sarah COLSON: Signed sealed published and declared by the said testutria as and for her last will and testament in the presence of us who in her presence and at her request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our hands as witnesses Jane THOMSON; John POPE; John TEMPLEMAN;

      CODICIL: I Sarah COLSON of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Spinster do make this codicil to my last will and testament which I direct shall be taken as part thereof i do hereby give and bequeath unto my dear sister Jane COLSON the sum of one hundred pounds for mourning whereas since the making of my will Ann the daughter of Jane MORGAN of Fordington to whom i gave part of my wearing apparel is dead Now I do therefore hereby give unto my good friend Jane the wife of the said John MORGAN the sum of ten pounds over and besides the legacies already given her by my will Item: I give to the poor of the parish of Saint Peters in Dorchester aforesaid where I was born the sum of five pounds the said sum to be distributed at the direction of my executor Also I do appoint my good friend Mr James BROOKS of Forthington [i.e. Fordington] aforesaid to be one of my pall bearers in the place of and stead of Mr John PITMAN In Witness whereof I have to this codicil to my last will and testament set my hand and seal this 4th day of February in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy two. Sarah COLSON Signed sealed published and declared by the said Sarah COLSON as a codicil to her last Will and Testament in the presence of John TEMPLEMAN

      APPEARED: personally Edith STICKLAND of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Widow and being sworn on the Holy Evangelists to depose the truth made oath as Follows: That she knew and was well acquainted with Sarah COLSON late of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Spinster deceased for some time before and to the time of her death and also with the manner and character of handwriting and subscription having often seen her write and subscribe her name and now viewing and carefully perusing the paper writing hereunto annexed purporting to be and contain a codicil or addition to her will and testament beginning thus "I Sarah COLSON of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Spinster" ending thus " In Witness whereof I have to this codicil to my last will and testament set my hand and seal this 4th day of February in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy two" and thus subscribed " Sarah COLSON" this deponent saith that she verily and in her conscience believes the name "Sarah COLSON" set and subscribed to the said Codicil to be of the proper handwriting and subscription of the said deceased Edith STICKLAND 21st June 1777 The said edith STICKLAND was duly sworn to the truth of this affidavit before me thomas BRYER Commissioner

      PROVED: This Will was proved at London with a Codicil the twenty eight day of June One Thousand seven hundred and seventy seven before the Right Worshipful Sir George Day KNIGHT Doctor at Law master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath of Reverend Thomas COLSON Clerk the Brother of the deceased and sole Executor named in the said Will to whom Administration of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased was granted he having been first sworn by commission duly to administer

    (2.2.5) Elizabeth COLSON (1707-1708) Bap HT 21st Jan 1707/8 and buried there 27th april 1708

    (2.2.6) Robert COLSON (1709-1709?) Bap St P 1st Sep 1709. I can find no trace of him after his baptism & I suspect he may have died between 24 Jun 1709 and 9 Jan 1709/10 when we may be missing some burials in the register.

    (2.2.7) Thomas COLSON (1712-1712) He was baptised at St Peters church in Dorchester on 27th Mar 1712 and buried there 16th July 1712.

    (2.2.8) Rev. Thomas COLSON MA (1716-1784) was baptised at St Peters church in Dorchester on 25th Jan 1716/17. He graduated at Balliol College Oxford where he matriculated at the age of 18 on 11th Nov 1735, going on to be awarded his BA in 1739 and MA in 1742. He joined the church being ordained a deacon at Christchurch in Oxford on 1st June 1740 and a priest at Wells Cathedral on 24th May 1741. Probably because of his fathers status as a gentleman he was appointed Rector of St Andrews at Stoke Trister in Somerset which included the hamlet of Bayford. He was then appointed Rector of Studland in Dorset on 31st May 1744 where he remained for 40 years until his death there in 1784. He married first Mrs Jane CULME in Studland on 19 Jun 1753 but she died and was buried there on 27 Mar 1759. He then married Jane WORGAN on 15th May 1760 at Andover in Hampshire. They had three children:-

      (2.2.8.1) Mary Morton COLSON (1761-1826) She was baptised at Studland on 29 Feb 1761 and was the niece of John WORGAN, Rector of Linkenholt. She married Henry FESTING (1757-1807) from Weymouth at all Saints Church in Dorchester on 19th Dec 1786. Henry was a native of Wyke Regis having been born there on 13th Mar 1757 the son of Michael FESTING by his wife Katherine GREENE. He became a Commander Royal Navy and died 29 Jul 1807(9) being buried at Linkenholt(10). They raised a family of nine children the first 4 being baptised at All Saints Church in Dorchester. She is reported to have died in 1826. Her children were beneficiaries under Anna HUNTS(11) will proved in 1814. There are some interesting accounts of her sons exploits in the Navy in the British Naval Biographical Dictionary of 1849 (available to view on ancestry.com) Her son Benjamin Morton Festing aged 15 was present at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21st Oct 1805.

      (2.2.8.2) Rev. John Morton COLSON (1762-1837) he was baptised at Studland on 8 Sep 1762. According to the Clergy of the Church of England Database he studied at Balliol College Oxford where he matriculated on 30th March 1781 then aged 18. [Note:- His university record incorrectly only refers to him as John Colson and does not give any details of his graduating] He was ordained a deacon at Christchurch Oxford on 22nd May 1785 serving as curate of Studland. His ordination as a priest was at Bristol on 24th September 1786 when he was awarded a salary of £30. He was made Rector of Studland on 6th Nov 1786 a position he retained until his death in 1837. He married by licence at Sherborne to Elizabeth HOBSON (1761-1848) on 29th Aug 1786 and they had the children listed below. He was also made Rector of Piddlehinton in Dorset on 22nd Aug 1809 being buried there on 22nd Dec 1837. Link to memorial Inscription at Studland. He left a long will in which he refers to being late of Corfe Castle but now of Piddlehinton. He refers to an assurance policy for £1,000 and leaves bequests in which he refers to his son Rev. John Morton Colson of Piddlehinton (see 2.2.8.2.2.below) and his nephew the Revd. John Morton Colson of Fordington. His nephew was a bachelor and Rector of St Peters in Dorchester (see 2.2.8.3.1 below) but lived on Fordington Hill within Fordington parish as that was where the rectory for St Peters was actually situated. He left monies in trust for his wife, named as Elizabeth Colson, and his granddaughter Julia Colson until she reached the age of 21. His wife son and nephew were all executors under his will which was dated 27th Oct1836 and proved on 27th April 1838. After the death of her husband Elizabeth appears to have moved to Swanage but was returned to Piddlehinton for burial when she died aged 87 on 27th Oct 1848:-

        (2.2.8.2.1) Thomas COLSON (1787-1787) bap at Studland on 19th Sep 1787. but he only lived for 12 days being buried there on 1st Oct 1787.

        (2.2.8.2.2) Rev. John Morton COLSON MA (1796-1866) He was born and privately baptised on 22nd Nov 1796, but received into Lady St Mary's church in Wareham Dorset on 26th July 1797. He studied at Balliol College Oxford where he matriculated on 13th Dec 1814 then aged 18 being awarded his BA degree in 1818 and MA in 1823. He was presented to St Andrews Church in the tiny Parish of Peatling Parva in Leicestershire by his patron King George IV on 13th April 1822(13), the event being published in the 1822 edition of the 'Gentleman's Magazine' (14) and church records reflecting his appointment there in June 1822 as Rector(12). These records thereafter however are incomplete denying us any useful information about his tenure there, but from published Clergy listings it would appear that he had the support of a resident curate (e.g. Rev W Heygate BENN was curate there in 1841)(15). Despite his appointment in Leicestershire census returns for 1841 to 1861 inclusive show his family as living in Swanage in Dorset. I can be sure it is the same family however as John Morton COLSON's own entry in both 1851 & 1861 Census returns for Swanage record him as being Rector of Peatling in Leicestershire. A strange arrangement to say the least. He married Julia STOREY in Durham on 27th April 1826 and they had two children Julia and Thomas Morton recorded below. Julia his wife predeceased him on the 13th Nov 1865 being buried at Swanage at the age of 70 on 18th. John died at the age of 69 being buried at Swanage on 14th July 1866(16) leaving a will and an estate of just under £1,500 to his daughter Julia.

        Julia COLSON (1830-1916) Their daughter was baptised at Piddlehinton by her grandfather(17) the Rector of Piddlehinton on 21st March 1830. She remained a spinster living her entire life in her beloved Swanage. She grew up with her parents who employed three servants to ensure the smooth running of their household. After their deaths in 1865/6 she moved to live at Belvidere Lodge with its magnificent views over Swanage Bay and continued to have the comfort of a house maid and cook until her death in 1916.

        Belvedere Lodge, Swanage


        On 9th June 2012 an article appeared in the excellent on-line publication 'Dorset Ancestors' which usefully gave a first hand account of reflections on her life in the local community. Some confusion in the article has arisen over her parentage due to the extremely confusing family tree which is hopefully set out correctly here - I have tried to quote source material wherever possible but it is clear she was not directly related to the Rector of St Peters in Dorchester who remained a bachelor. I have taken the liberty of reproducing the personal reflections from this account as I feel they are important and I am grateful to 'Dorchester Ancestors' for bringing this information into the public domain.

        "In his seventy-ninth year Thomas Masters Hardy (1887-1976), the son of a Swanage builder, thought it important to write down his memories of this “grand old lady.” As a boy he had attended classes run by her and she clearly played a part in shaping his life and the lives of many other young men of Swanage. She was a kindly, good-hearted lady, a stalwart of the church, confident and not shy in letting her opinions be known.

        Mr Hardy recalls: “she was a great church worker and used to run a Coal Club and Blanket Club for Swanage and Herston.”

        In those days Swanage had a fleet of ketch-rigged sailing vessels, taking away stone, bringing back coal and building materials as well as engaging in other coastal work. Julia Colson was the local agent for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society and she is remembered for attending the wreck of the Netto at Peveril Point ledges in 1900 and making all the arrangements for the welfare of the captain and his crew. When Mr William Brown, Coxswain of the Swanage lifeboat, lost his life in a gale during 1895(18) it was Julia Colson who broke the news to his widow and family and some years later she had to tell Mrs Brown that her youngest son had been drowned when a sailing boat was run down off Swanage by the pleasure steamer Stirling Castle.

        For well over fifty years Julia Colson ran a class for teenage boys and taught them reading, writing and drawing. Mr Hardy remembers she had text books on trades and encouraged her pupils to take up subjects connected with their trades, such as masonry and building construction. Mr Hardy recalls “there were piles of drawings of church tracery windows, arches, buildings, also ships and boats – mostly etchings these latter – and she could tell you the names of former lads who copied these same drawings. I think every boy who went to the classes copied the particular etching called ‘The Wolf, Brig of War, off Dover, flying signal flags.”


        The classes commenced in the autumn and went on until the spring.  The Sunday classes lasted only half-an-hour as Julia Colson knew the lads liked to take a walk along the cliffs. A dinner was held at the end of each year when roast beef, two large veal and ham pies and other treats were served and the best drawing by each lad was exhibited. There was no charge for the classes; Julia Colson provided everything and each Christmas she gave each lad the Parish Church Almanac and also a pair of mittens that she had knitted herself. There were book prizes for the best class attendance. Mr Hardy recorded an occasion when he could not decide which of his drawings he would put forward for the “party.”  He told a chum that he “would toss a coin.“ Miss Colson overheard him and told him in a stern voice “I will have no gambling in this house” and selected the drawing herself.

        She kept a library and her students would take out books, returning them on Fridays. She employed a young lad to work in the garden and run errands for her and he would take books to the lighthouse-keepers and bring back the ones lent previously. On a fine summer’s evening she would have ‘her boy’ row her boat to the stone quay where she would board and he would row her around the bay.

        Mr Hardy remembers her arriving at church one Sunday and seeing a silk top hat placed on the font – she knocked it off with her umbrella as she sailed down the aisle. On another occasion the parson’s sermon was rather long, so Miss Colson announced she had to get home to her dinner and left the church.

        Mr Hardy tells us: “If we met Miss Colson outdoors, we had to give her the naval salute and she would promptly return it, but she wore dark blue glasses and looked straight in front. However, she would reprimand a boy if, thinking she did not see him, he did not salute.”


        A Miss Bartlett of Wareham was a life-long friend and the two ladies visited each other for their summer holidays. Julia Colson died during the First World War when some of her lads were away in the services but they were well represented by many of her older ‘old boys’ who were present at her funeral.

        Julia died on 29th Dec 1916 with probate of her will being granted at Blandford on 12th Feb 1917 leaving an estate of £12,561. 8s. 7d.

        Thomas Morton COLSON (1833-1908) He was baptised at Piddlehinton by his grandfather(17) on 10th May 1833 but grew up in the High Street at Swanage where he lived with his parents and elder sister Julia. (See 2.2.8.2.2 above ) By the age of 17 however he was already branching out on his own to become a midshipman serving with the Royal Mail Steam Packet Coastal Service. On 13th November 1855 he was awarded a 2nd Mates competency Certificate which I have reproduced below.

        Certificate of Competency - Second Mate (1855)


        Ten years later he was living in Islington Middlesex when on 8th January 1861 he married to Sarah WARDLEY a native of Glemsford in Suffolk. Her parents Abraham and Susan WARDLEY had moved in her infancy to live in Lambeth where Abraham worked as a labourer, but by the time of their marriage he gave his occupation as that of a farmer. Prior to her marriage Sarah was employed as a house servant to a Coffee House Keeper in Marylebone so given Thomas's background he married somewhat beneath his station in life. He gives his occupation on his marriage, and in the 7th April 1861 Census, as that of a gauger in HM Customs. They lived initially in Bethnal Green at 37 Sewardstone Road but by 1871 they had five children and had moved to live in Somerset just 3 miles east of Taunton in the village of Creech St Michael where Thomas was now a Landowner. The birth of their children give a good indication of just how much they moved around:-

        1. John Morton Colson (1861-1861) - born 27th Sep 1861 baptised at St Peters in Stepney 20th Oct 1861, abode 37 Burlington Terrace Sewardstone Road; fathers occupation gauger HM Customs. He was buried at Swanage still an infant on 10th Dec 1861.
        2. Anthony Morton Colson (1862-1862) - born on 17th August he was privately baptised on 20th Aug 1862 at St Marys Stratford, Bow when the fathers occupation is given as Gauger in H.M.Customs. He died the same quarter in the district of Poplar London Ref 1c/435.
        3. Louisa Story Colson (b.1864) - born on 15th April she was privately baptised at Holy Trinity church Mile End Old Town on 21 Apr 1864 and received into the church on 19th June 1864. fathers occupation gauger. She married Arthur Leonard Williams at Kensington in the last quarter of 1891.
        4. Julia M Colson (b.1867) - born 2nd quarter 1867 in the district of Mile End Old Town, London; age 14 1881; age 4 1871
        5. Florence Maude Colson (b.1868) - baptised 17th May 1868 Nethrbury resident at Weytown fathers occupation an Esquire;
        6. Thomas Moreland Colson (1869-1944) - baptised 25th September 1869 at Creech St Michael Somerset, he became a chief electrical engineer working for GEC and married Gertrude Annie and had 2 children living in Surbiton surrey in 1911. He died on 27th July 1944 at maidenhead Hospital with probate for his estate of 33,053.19s 3d being granted to John Robert Morton Colson also an electrical engineer and Phillis Morton Colson spinster.
        7. Mary Makepieace Colson (b.1870) - baptised 18th Sep 1870 Swanage abode Creech St Michael Somerset fathers occupation landowner; she lived with her parents until she married a seaman Henry Augustus GEORGE at Mortlake in Richmond on 12th Nov 1907 when she was resident at 32 Mexfield Road in Putney and she described her father as a retired farmer.
        8. Robert Worgan Morton Colson (1872-1960) - baptised 10th March 1872 abode Radipole occupation of father landed proprietor. He died 22nd Aug 1960 at Parkside Hospital Macclesfield

        We do not know how long they stayed in Dorset but by 1881 the family had moved to Linkenholt in Hampshire. The census for that year reveals that Thomas is a Farmer Landowner occupying 1030 acres and employing thirteen men, eleven lads and two women. the five youngest children are with their parents and in education, whilst Louisa, is a pupil at a boarding school at Littlehampton.

        A decade later we find the family back in London at 3, Adam Street, St. Martin-in-the-Fields where they own a small hotel run by Sarah who is described as a Hotel Keeper; she is assisted by daughters Louisa and Florence. Thomas Junior is an Electric Engineering Student; Mary is a clerk in an envelope addressing office and Robert is a clerk in a stained glass works and their father is working as a clerk in a newspaper office. Ten years on and we find Thomas and Sarah still running their hotel; with them is their daughter Mary who works as a clerk. Judging by the guests registered at the hotel in the 1891 and 1901 census returns the hotel was not a tremendous success.

        His died at 32 Mexford Road in Wandsworth, Surrey on 9th March 1908 leaving a modest estate of just £78.14s; he was 75 years old and administration of his estate was granted on 31st march that year to his son Thomas Morland Colson. Three years later we find his widow on her own, a lodger at 24, Sydney Road, Richmond, Surrey: she is said to have “small private means.” Sarah’s death was registered early in 1913 at Chelsea, London, she was 73 years old.

        (2.2.8.3) Rev. Thomas Morton Colson BA (1764-1830) He was baptised at Studland on 15th May 1764 and educated at Wadham College at Oxford where he matriculated on 20th June 1782 at the age of 18 and he was awarded a BA degree in 1786. He was ordained a deacon at Christchurch Oxford on 5th Nov 1786 being appointed to the curacy of Winterbourne St Martin on 21st December. Thomas married Mary DAMPIER at Wareham on 16th March 1790 when Thomas was described as being resident within All Saints Parish in Dorchester and raised a family of 4 children moving from Holy Trinity to live in Fordington in 1792. . He employed a faithful man servant John WHETHAM who when he died in 1822 made Thomas his executor to pay interest to support his wife and legatee to safeguard the future of his 5 children. Thomas Morton went on to become curate at Winterbourne Monkton (14 Jan 1797) before being appointed as Rector of Winterbourne Came in 1800, Linkenholt in 1801 and Pilson in 1804 a position he retained until his death in 1830. Thomas was buried at St Peters Church Dorchester on 28 June 1830 and left a will which is at the National Archives and was proved on 16 September 1830 (PROB 11/1775) Link to a transcription of his will. There is a memorial tablet in St peters church to him on the north wall. Mary lived until 1st Dec 1833 and was buried at St Peters on the 9th. Link to transcription of her will.

          (2.2.8.3.1). Rev. John Morton COLSON LLB (1791-1863)(21) He arrived the the year after his parents marriage (confusingly given the same name as Thomas's elder brother) and was duly baptised on 28th April 1791 in Dorchester, but at Holy Trinity Church. He studied at Hyde Abbey, Winchester (Mr Richards) before university where he is listed in the admission registers for Wadham College on 17th May 1809 (aged 18) and shows that he was Maddox Exhibitioner 1810 and Hody (greek) Exhibitioner 1811-1813. He transferred to Jesus College Cambridge on 18 Mar 1814 and joined the church being ordained a deacon that year. He studied Civil Law at Jesus College (1815-16) being awarded his LLB in 1817 (i.e. a Bachelor of Law). His ordination as a priest was at Salisbury Cathedral on 22nd Dec 1816 and he was appointed Rector of St Peters Church Dorchester on 3rd Oct 1822 a position he held until his death in 1863. He was also from 1830 the domestic Chaplain to Lord Wynford.

          There is a long account of a legal case in 1826 between Wood and John Morton Colson which rehearses the case that Holy Trinity and St Peters have had the same rector since 1303 and that George Wood is Rector of both. It also states " In August 1821 Mr Colson was presented to the Rectory of St Peters by his late Majesty in right of the crown, and in the month of October following he was inducted to the same. In 1830 Mr Colson vacated the Rectory at St Peter and was again presented thereto by his Majesty and he was again inducted in the month of October in that year. In November 1824 the Rev Richman died and on the 24th January following the Rev George WOOD was presented to the united Rectory of Frome & the Holy Trinity and that he may hold the same in the manner he now holds it is my earnest wish - and in such manner I also wish that Mr Colson may hold the living at St Peters.

          John lived in the Rectory House of St Peters parish which was actually situated on the right hand side of Fordington High street just after it divides and becomes Fordington Hill and is still clearly marked as such on the 1886 Ordnance Survey map of Dorchester. He never married as evidenced by his entry in the 1861 census His death at Dorchester on 14 Sep 1863 is recorded in the parish registers and by Hutchins:- In St Peter's Church, Dorchester, is the following," In memory of the Rev. J. M. C., LL.B. for 41 years Rector of Dorchester, St Peter, who died on the 14th of Sept. 1863, and was buried in a vault in the churchyard

          (2.2.8.3.2). Mary Bond COLSON (1792-1849) She was baptised at St Georges Church in Fordington on 18th Sep 1792. Mary remained a spinster living in Fordington and made her will on 1st March 1839 but did not die until 1849 when she was buried at St Peters Church on 5th November 1849. There is a Memorial plaque in St Peters to her:- "Sacred to the memory of Mary Bond COLSON who died October 27th 1849 and was buried with her parents hear beneath the alter". [Note:- Link to a transcription of her will]

          (2.2.8.3.3). Ann Catherine COLSON (1794-1874) She was baptised at St Georges Church in Fordington on 12th Aug 1794. She remained a spinster being returned from Middlesex for burial with her family in St Peters church on 29th Aug 1874 aged 82 years. There is a memorial plaque to her " In Memory of Ann Catherine second daughter of the Rev T.M.and M. COLSON who died August 23rd 1874 aged 81 and was buried with her brother in the churchyard".

          (2.2.8.3.4). Elizabeth Dampier COLSON (1794-1874) She was baptised at St Georges Church in Fordington as Elizabeth COLSON on 12th Aug 1794 but appears to have adopted her mothers maiden name as a middle name. She married by licence Rev.William ENGLAND from Winterbourne Came in Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester on 25th Feb 1834 with her siblings Mary Bond and John Morton acting as witnesses. . She also has a plaque in St Peters:- "In Memory of Elizabeth Dampier widow of the Rev W ENGLAND Rector of Winterbourne Came and third daughter of Rev T.M. and M COLSON who died July 13th 1874 aged 80 and was buried with her husband at Came".

        (2.2.9) Betty COLSON (1723-1724) Bap St P 8th Oct 1723 and buried there 13th May 1724


The last of the four families of COLSON that signed the declaration of Loyalty to Charles II in 1681 was another Jasper COLSON. It is tempting to think of him as a direct descendant of Jasper COLSON the apothecary who was buried at Dorchester on 1667 but he makes no mention of a son of that name in his will in 1667. Importantly the Jasper Colson that signed the declaration appears in Joshua Colson's will dated 1696 where he is referred to as a kinsman not a brother. I have therefore dealt with him separately below:-
    (3) Jasper COLSON the elder (bur 1726) He was one of the four signatures to the Oath of Loyalty to Charles II on 31st Aug 1681. In 1696 he was left £50 and a piece of gold to the value of three and twenty shillings under the will of Joshua Colson . Joshua also left a piece of gold to the same value to Jasper's sister Sarah the wife of Austin WIGGINS. A surgeon he died suddenly on 27th Dec 1726 and was buried 2 days later at St Peters. He left a nuncupative will leaving all his estate to his kinsman Austin WIGGINS with a letter of administration of his estate being issued to Austin on1st July 1627.
      (3.1). Jasper COLSON the Younger (bur.1656) married Sarah and had the following children. Jasper also died suddenly being buried at St Peters on 2nd July 1656 as jasper Colson the younger.

        (3.1.1). Judith COLSON (1654-1656) baptised St. Peters on 14th March 1654/5 and buried there 06 May 1656

        (3.1.2). Jasper COLSON (1656-1675) baptised posthumously at St. Peters by his mother Sarah now recorded as a widow on 31st Aug 1656. Buried at St Peters on 24th Feb 1675/6 as Jasper Colson the younger.

Sources of Information and Genealogical Notes:-    
(1). 'Fire From Heaven' by David Underdown published by Pimlico 2003 Pages 122 and 223
(2). Parish Registers for the three main churches in Dorchester as transcribed on this site:- Holy Trinity Church (from 1559); St Peters Church (from 1653
) and All Hallows / All Saints (from 1653) . Also transcriptions of the Parish of Stinsford on the OPC Site and confirmed on Ancestry.com
(3). Wills from both the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and those held at the Dorset History Centre as itemized.
(4). The Visitation of Dorset 1677 made by Sir Edward Bysshe transcribed by GD Squibb published London 1977: page 49 Marriage Mary Morton to Robert Colson
(5).  Municipal Records of Dorchester by Charles herbert Mayo - 1908 : pages Jasper 422, 521, 555, 642, J. 461, 555, 693, 694, 696, Josh, 642, R., 408, 430, 461, 462, 641, 699, 710, 718, 719.
(6). William Whiteway of Dorchester His Diary 1618-1635. Published in 1991 by the Dorset Record Society Volume 12
(7). Mr Andrew LODER Senior Capital Burgess from as early as 1688 and Alderman of Dorchester was buried at All Saints Church in Dorchester on 4th June 1707
(8). The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset by John Hutchins - Parish of East Stoke
(9). National Archives ADM 6/352/15 Description: ff. 60-63. Mary Morton Festing, widow of Henry Festing, Commander Royal Navy who died 29 Jul 1807. Includes: Extract from Parish Register, married 19 Dec 1786. Papers submitted to the Charity for the relief of Officers' Widows. Date: 1807
(10). The History of the Free School of Andover Pages 54 and 55
(11). Anna HUNT remained a spinster and left a will dated 4th May 1803 which was proved on 20th Feb 1814. Link to transcription
(12). Clergy of the Church of England Database
(13). Lincolnshire Archives [057] Presentation Deed Reference Name DIOC/PD/1822/8
(14). The 1822 edition of the 'Gentleman's Magazine' (14)(page 559) :
(15). The Clergy List for 1841 Published by C.Cox at the ecclesiastical Gazette Office Southampton Street.
(16). The burial of Reverend John Morton COLSON is recorded in the Parish burial Register at Swanage entry 78 in the year 1866 carried out by the Rev. R.D.Travers his age being given as 69. He was buried at the Northbrook Cemetery which was opened in Swanage in 1856 beside the railway line but has since been closed. The Northbrook Cemetery Burial Index gives his date of death as being the 7th July 1866 which is at variance with his probate record but usefully gives his burial plot number as CA74 together with those of other members of his family. His probate record shows that he died at Swanage on 9th July 1866 leaving a Will which was proved on 1st Nov 1866 by the oath of Julia COLSON his spinster daughter and sole executrix. His effects were under £1.500. His death Certificate is at the GRO under 1866 district of Wareham age 69 Ref 5a/179
(17). To be sure I checked the signatures on Piddlehinton Registers - her fathers only appears once when his father the rector was seriously ill shortly before he died, when her father clearly returned to Swanage and stood in at Piddlehinton as officiating minister.
(18). Newspaper report January 17th 1895: School closed this afternoon on account of the funeral of Mr William Brown, Coxswain of the Swanage Lifeboat who was drowned on Saturday last (12th) during a gale, by being washed out of the lifeboat off Old Harry Ledge while proceeding to the rescue of the crew of a Norwegian barque wrecked off Hook Sands to the north of Poole Bar.
(19). This is Bernard TOUPE (1661-1721) Junior
(20). Oxford University Alumni 1500-1889
(21). Cambridge University Alumni 1261-1900
(22). Although Richard Barker's Will is dated in 1621 he refers to land he bought from Lawrence Waldo grocer of London who died in 1602

Dorchester / Fordington Page      OPC Page