©Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester & Fordington March 2011
Between the years 1632 and 1741 parish burial registers suggest that a minimum of seven people with the name of John LONG lived in Dorchester making differentiation difficult. I still (March 2011) need access to many of the early parish registers for Holy Trinity & St Peters which may shed some additional light on family relationships. This is only therefore meant as a research document, and to provide somewhere to record facts about them as they are discovered. If anyone has additional information please make contact.
John LONG the investor in the Dorchester Company, our primary interest, was clearly a wealthy man and he and his son of the same name were booksellers in Dorchester for many years and we can clearly relate some facts directly to them but I will start at the beginning.
The earliest reference that I can find to a John LONG in Dorchester is in Charter 621 dated 1551 which relates to the ownership of a burgage on the South Side of High East Street. By law at that date an adult, we can expect him to have died pre 1610 before the earliest registers that we have for Dorchester (so that makes 8!). He may well have been a progenitor of our John LONG and as a property owner perhaps this is where some of his wealth came from.
We then have 4 marriages all in Holy Trinity church (between 1599 and 1613) starting with the marriage of John LONG to Elizabeth Twichen in 1599 followed by 3 girls. This suggests one family with John LONG the eldest but we need some baptism confirmation to be even reasonably sure. The average age at which men married at this date was 27 so if he was a descendant of the first John LONG he might have been a grandson rather than a son. It’s worth noting that the Rev John WHITE arrived in Dorchester in 1606 so this family (if that's what they are?) became parishioners of his and he would have married the last 2 girls.
We then have two references in 1616 & 1617 to a ‘John LONG the barber’. There are no later references to a barber and he was clearly running a successful business as he took on an apprentice.
From 1621 onwards there are only references to a John LONG as being a bookseller - so it’s possible that John LONG started life as a barber and changed to that of bookseller. From 1621 we are on firmer ground in being sure that we are talking about our investor in the Dorchester Company:-
JOHN LONG senior (d1632)
According to William Whiteway's diary he was elected Constable of Dorchester on 11th Sep 1621 and then returned again in Sep the following year. 1623 saw him progress to 'Assistant to the Governor of the Company of Freemen' and he was returned again to serve for another year on 3rd Oct 1625. On 1st Oct 1627 he was made 'Governor of the Company of Freemen' for the first time and although Richard BURY served the following year when a new Charter was drawn up for Dorchester by Charles I in 1629 he is named as Governor again. William Whiteway also records that when his brother-in-law William PERKINS died in 1631 John LONG was made a Capital Burgess in his place, and tells us that 'his wife was delivered of a daughter called Mary on 24th February 1630/31. This seems very late for it still to be Elizabeth again highlighting the need for more comprehensive information. In 1632 he served as Bailiff of Dorchester but died that year being buried on 20th Dec 1632 and the diarist succeeded him as Bailiff.
John LONG junior (born 1607/13-1692) We also have solid evidence about the existence of his son John LONG junior. Municipal records show that he was formally apprenticed to his father for 7 years in April 1625. Trade apprentices by law had to be between the ages of 10 & 18, serve a minimum of 7 years and the apprenticeship last until the age of 21. So when his father died in 1632 he had just completed his 7 years training and to be over 21 he would have to have been born between 1607 and 1611. Rose Troup states that he took over the booksellers business from his father and subsequent records confirm this to be the case. On the 16th April 1635 he was formally admitted to the Company of Freemen and the 3 year delay since the death of his father could mean that was when he became eligible. He clearly did well as in 1646 he was elected Governor of the Company of Freemen as his father had been before him.
We then have the death of two John LONG's in 1654 & 1656. Coming close together like this suggests (& no more than that) that they might be young children. If John LONG junior married in the 1630's they could be the death of grandchildren. We need to get at the parish register to see whether this gives more information than the NBI. Neither can be John LONG junior himself as we have later references to him continuing his business in 1658 and 1661. He appears to have died in 1692 and been buried in St Peters as he is unlikely to have been the death in 1695 which was in the parish of All Saints. [Note:- St Peters although the largest and the principal church in the town, is only a chapel to the Holy Trinity, and has been since 1303. As such it had at this time only one rector - John White for example administered and preached in both churches]
Whilst therefore we know some details there is simply insufficient information at the moment.
in Dorchester Records
[Note:- I have added notes and references to other members of 'Long' families in Dorchester in italics ]
1551 - MRD Page 340 Charter 621 Ref to a John LONGE living in a burgage on the south side of High East St in Dorchester
03-Apr 1611 Marriages Holy Trinity Dorchester - John NARTON & Phillippe LONGE were married
09-Feb 1613 1611 Marriages Holy Trinity Dorchester - William EAIRES & Elinor LONGE were married
1616 01 Apr - John DICAS of Abbotsbury, clerk bound over in the sum of £40 to appear at the next Assizes by warrant of the Bishop of Bristol together with John LONG of Dorchester, barber by trade bound over in the sum of £20 and Edward ASH of Dorchester shoemaker in the sum of £20. Source The casebook of Sir Francis Ashley JP Recorder of Dorchester 1614-1635 Page 23
1621 02 Oct – WW Diary page 39 John LONG Elected Constable Dorchester
1622 30 Sep – WW Diary page 48 John LONG Bookseller Elected Constable
1623 03 Oct – WW Diary page 54 John LONG Elected Assistant to Gov Co Freemen
1625 April - MRD page 393 Loan from Corp £20 + £10
1625 09 Oct – WW Diary Page 75 John LONG elected Assistant to Gov Co Freemen
1626 1 Apr - MRD page 413 John LONG son of John LONG bookseller apprenticed to his father for 7 years
1627 01 Oct - MRD page 408 Listed as Governor Co Freemen WW page 92 Governor John LONG Bookseller
1629 18-22 Sep - MRD Page 59 & 82 in Latin, also pages 395, 396 and 408 :– John LONG of Dorchester shall be the first Governor (of the Company of Freemen) to continue in office until Monday after Michaelmas
1629 06 Oct - WW Diary Page 106/107 John LONG Governor Co Freemen
1631 12 Apr - MRD page 716 Elected Capital Burgess - John Long, v. Wm. Perkins
1632 11 Oct - (See Dorchester Free School annex for its Library) " xi° Octobris 1632 all the bookes above 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."
20 Dec 1632 WW Diary Page 126 DEATH: Mr John LONG Bailiff 20 December 1632
1632/33 02 Jan - WW Diary Page 127 This day Mr Richard BURY was chosen a Capital Burgess in the place of Mr John LONG late deceased, and in his place of Bailiffe William WHITEWAY the younger succeeded.
1633 20 Sep - Note a possible Will for a John LONG or LONGE proved at National Archives Ref Prob 11/164 but gives no location?
1633 25 Mar - See STRAYS File - Samuel son of John LONG of Dorchester buried at Long Burton
1635 16 Apr - MRD page 427 John LONG Bookseller servant to his father 2 shillings admitted to the Company of Freemen.
1646 - The great interest of states & kingdomes. The second part. A sermon preached on a publike thanksgiving, on the 12th. of May, 1646. at Botolphs Alders-gate: and after (upon the desire of some friends) enlarged at Pauls Church in Covent-garden, on the Lords Day, May 17th. 1646. By Simon Ford, minister of the Gospel at Puddle-Towne in Dorsetshire - Published 1646, printed by W. Wilson, for Francis Eglesfield, and to be sold by John Long, bookseller in Dorchester
1646 - Elected Governor of the Company of Freemen
1658 Dec - FFH Page 225 ‘ In Oct 1651 the Corp estab Trinity School so that poor children 'should be taught to read at the charge of the Hospital'. In Dec 1658 John LONG the bookseller sent in his bill for £3.5s.7d for bibles, testaments, primers, and other small books delivered to Goodwife GIFFORD.’
10 Apr 1678 – Burials St Peters Dorchester Elizabeth LONG buried [Left a will 'Will of Elizabeth Long, Spinster of Dorchester, Dorset' proved 12 Jan 1680]
03 May 1679 – Burials St Peters Dorchester Margaret LONG Buried
1681 04 Nov - Baptisms All Saints - John s of John & Luce LONG baptised [Note: - IGI also has death as 15 Oct 1682 buried All Saints]
1685 21 Jun - Baptisms All Saints - John s of John & Luce LONG baptised
1689/90 12 Mar - Baptisms All Saints - Josias s of John & Luce LONG
1695 15 May - Burials All Saints - John LONGE was buried
1696 - MRD John LONG elected Governor of the Company of Freemen
01 Feb 1704 Burials St Peters Dorchester Edward LONG Buried
29 Feb 1731/32 Mary LONG aged near 3 score was baptised [i.e. 60 years old]
1737 - MRD page 692 Parish of Holy Trinity Widow of John LONG assessed for rates for her home
1740 10 Apr - Burials All Saints John LONG a prisoner [From Dorchester County Gaol so may well originate from elsewhere in the County]
1741 25 Mar - Burials All Saints John LONG a prisoner [From Dorchester County Gaol so may well originate from elsewhere in the County]
BMD Records this site
FAC - The Casebook of Sir Francis Ashley JP Recorder of Dorchester 1614-1635; Dorset Record Society 1981
FFH - Fire From Heaven Life in an English Town in the 17th Century by David Underdown published by Pimlico 1992
MRD - Municipal Records of Dorchester by Charles herbert Mayo - 1908
Strays file this site
National Archives Probate records
RT - 'John White The Patriarch of Dorchester [Dorset] and Founder of Massachusetts' by Frances Rose-Troup published by GP Putnam's Sons in 1930. Additional comments from her in addition to the main biographical listing.
WW - William Whiteway of Dorchester - His diary 1618-1635 based on notes compiled by Thomas D Murphy Dorset Record Society
(1). Access to Parish registers for Holy Trinity and St Peters Church Dorchester that still need to be transcribed
(2). Copy of Will at National Archives for John LONG proved 1633