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The Free School
(1567-1680)


[Also known as 'The Thomas Hardye' or 'Dorchester Grammer School']

By Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester © September 2009
(Revised September 2010)

The Dorchester Library

In the 'upper room' above the 'school room' in the reconstructed building they gradually established the town library, and an inventory taken in 1631 gives the names of the donors. Perhaps as Rose Toup puts it ' a bit stodgy but sufficiently varied to suit the palates of the towns people'.

    A Catalogue of the Bookes in the Library of Dorchester with the givers taken in the year 1631 C10
    Biblia Regia, VII. Vol. unknown
    The Acts and Monuments of the Church, by J . Pox. II. Vol. : Mr. James Gould.
    Henrici Stephani Thesaurus Linguae Graecae. V. Vol, Mr. Jno. White.
    Caluini Opera Omnia. VIII. Vol. : Mr. Wm. Whitway, Senj.
    Zuinglij Opera. VII. Vol. : Mr. Goldesborough.
    Melanchtonis Opera. V. Vol. Eiusdem Tabulae Locorum Com. et Professio Regia P. Rami. : Mr. Giles Greene(1).
    Furchas, his Pilgrimage :Mr. Robt. Coker.
    Zanchius de Natura Dei. : unknown
    Pars Dictionarij Pet : Bercharij.. :unknown
    Tertia et 5° pars Hugonis Cardin .: unknown
    Ouidij Opera cum Comment : Mr. Wm. Coker, Esq. +-
    S'nt Augustine of the Citty of God : lohn (i.e. John) Burrell, Esq.
    Heylin's Geography : William Robinson, Esq.
    Minsheu's Dictionary : Mr. Wm. Perkins.
    Purchas, his Pilgrimes. IV. Vol. : Mr. Jno. Mounsell.
    Saliani Annales, Vol. III. : Mr. Wm. Blachford.
    Centuriae Magdeburgh, Vol. III. Mr. Wm. Blachford
    Zanchij Opera, Vol. III. Mr. Wm. Blachford
    Bradwardinus de Causa Dej . :Mr. Wm. Blachford
    Chrysostomi Opera Grae Vol. VIII. :Dr. Tho : Rieues. [i.e. Dr Thomas Reeves]
    Ortehj Tabulae Geograph : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Biblia Graeca Septuag Interp : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Eusebij Histor : Bccles : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Plauij Josephi Opera Grae-Lat : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Scriptores Rerum Anglicarum ab Houedeno editi : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Justinus Martyr : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Mason of Bishops .: Sir John Croke, Knt.
    The Bishope of Rochester of the Pope's Authority Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Tortura Torti : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Dr. Beard of Antichrist : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    The History of Tithes by Selden : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Barclay of the Pope's Authority : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Justinus cum Comment. Strigelij : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Montague against Selden : Sir John Croke, Knt.
    Tabulae Geograph : Ger : Mercatoris : Mr. Wm. Whiteway, the younger.
    Two Globes with Frames and Boxes . :Mr. Wm. Whiteway, the younger.
    Concilia Generalia et Particularia omnia. V. Vol,: Sr Francis Ashley, Knt and Kinges Sergeant. .,
    The Maps of Bngland by Speed : Mr. Robt. Midleton.
    Speed's History of England .: Mr. Robt. Midleton.
    Josephus, his History in English : John White, Esqr.
    The Mystery of Iniquity : John White, Esqr.
    Bishop Cooper's Workes : John White, Esqr.
    An Italian Diet : by J. Plorio. : John White, Esqr.
    Hugh Sandford de Descensu Christi ad Inferos : John White, Esqr.
    Elton vpon the Commandements : John White, Esqr.
    A Conference of King James with the Clergy : John White, Esqr.
    Epitome Annalium Cardinal. Baron : Mr. John Ball.
    Dr. Hall's Workes . : Mr. George Bull.
    Dr. White's Workes . : Mr. George Bull.
    Serres, his History of Prance . : Mr. Tho : lefferys.
    Perkins, his Workes. Vol. III. : Mr. Jno. Perkins.
    The new Testament printed at Rheimes : Mr. Rich. Kelway.
    Cartwright's Confutation of the Rhemish Translation : Mr. Rich. Kelway.
    Historia Concilij Tridentinj . : Mr. Rich. Kelway.
    Biblia Iunij et Tremelij : Wm. Bull, Esq.
    Thomae Aquinatis Summa : ex Dono plurium.
    Saunders, of the Supper of the Lord
    Kellison's Survey of Religion . .
    A Reckoning with Mr. Tho : Morton
    Stapleton's Returne of Vntruths
    Aqusepontani Concertatio Ecclesise Catholicae
    Harding's Reply to Iewell
    Harding's Confutation of the Apology for the church of England
    A Reply to a libell of Parsons
    An Answere to Parsons his warne-word
    An Answere to the treatise of the abstract
    Bristowe's Reply to Fulke .
    A Catholike Divine's Answere to Sr Ed. Coke's Reports
    Dorman's Disproofe of Mr. Nowell
    Alexandri Gill Logonomia Anglica
    The copy of Discourses extorted from Diverse .
    Mr. Perkins, his reproofe of Dr. Abbot's defence
    T.P., his defence of the Catholicke cause. A Defence of English Catholikes
    Harding's Answere to lewell' s Challenge
    Relatio Turbarum lesuitarum Rothomagi
    T. Higgins against Dr. Field. A Reply to John Rastell
    Sanders de Schismate Anglic :
    A Dialogue betwine a secular Prist and a lay Gentleman
    An Answere of a Letter to a Iesuited Gentleman, by A.C.
    An Answere of a Secular Prist to a Letter of G. Blackwell
    Bell's tryall, examined by B.C.
    RasteU's 3 Bookes against Iewell
    Stanislaus Hossius, his treatise on the Word of God
    Andreas Philopater de Elisabetha Angliae Regina
    A Defence of the English Hierarchy. . .
    Hoc est corpus meum
    Dolman of the Succession of the Crowne of England
    The Rocke of the church by Sanders . .
    N.D., his wamword to Sr Francis Hastings watchword
    H. Ely, his notes vpon an Apology set out by the Priests
    Radford's Directory to the Truth
    The Life of Mathew, Archbishope of Canterbury
    Dr. Watson's Sermons before the Queene
    S.R., his Answere to Bell's challenge . .
    T.W., his Relation of Six English Catholike Martyrs
    S'nti Augustini Opera Omnia. Vol.: Mr. John Gould.
    lacobi Augusti Thuani Historia. Vol. : Mr. Ioseph (i.e. Joseph) Pit.
    A parchment Booke . :Mr. Iohn Gould.
    A Bible in Dutch, foil. : Mr. Fred : Schler.(2)
    Baronij Annales Eccles., VI. Vol : Ms. Gould, widow.


    " xi° Octobris 1632 all the bookes aboue said were viewed and called over by Mr. Bailiff Long and William Derby with Mr. Nathaniell Cooke, and delivered over to the said Mr. Cooke to bee kept and seene vnto. Only the Conference at Hampton Court is found to be missing. Jn° Long, Will: Derbie, Nathanaell Cooke."

    1640-1, March 24. " It is agreed that Mr. Forward, now Vsher of the Free Schoole, shall haue the care and custody of the Library, and keep the key of the roome, and to be responsible for the bookes there in the custody of him, and suffer no clothes to be hung in the roome, and he shall haue 20s. for his paines therein, which shall be by addicion of 20s. vnto the 40s. for teaching the children their catechisme, and his quarter to begin at our Lady day, and the Steward of the Towne to provide 4 sacks of cole yearely, yf soe many be needed, to aire the roome and books." C. 9.

    1663, May 13. "It is desired by Mr. Maior and the Company that Mr. Wm. Wade (a member of the said Company) doe goe downe to the Schoolehouse and take a Cattilogue off all the bookes that are in the Liberary belonging to the said Schoole, and that Mr. Stephens doe signe one Cattelogue and Mr. Wade another, and farther to inquier what bookes haue ben lent ether per Mr. Steuens or his predicessors." C. 15.

Genealogical Notes:-

(1). Mr Giles GREEN was the son of John GREEN (d. 1614/15) whose will has been transcribed on this site. Giles was an investor in the Dorchester Company see link for notes on his life

(2). Frederick Schloer made his declarations, on being licensed to preach in his Diocese by the Bishop of Bristol, 18th January, 1629-30. (Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, Vol. vi, p. 191.) He was sent to officiate at Langton Long Blandford, 18th June, 1650 but had a son Randolph baptised at Holy Trinity Church Dorchester on February 5th 1650/1 . (Minute Books of Dorset Standing Committee, Page 572)

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