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Dorchester Poor Law Records

Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester January 2013, updated March 2017

1. Bastardy Order for Betty MOORES & David CASHIER

Dorset Borough of Dorchester - 23rd Aug 1766

DORSET: To all Constables, Tythingmen, and others, his Majesty's Officers of the Peace, for the said County, whom it may concern to Execute and Return These:-

Whereas: Betty MOORES (7) of the said Parish of Sherborne in the said County, single woman, hath by her Voluntary examination taken in writing upon oath, before me John HUTCHINGS Esq. one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said County, this present day declared herself to be with child, and that the said child is likely to be born a Bastard, and to be chargeable to the parish of Sherborne in the said County, and that David CASHIER of Dorchester in the said County of Dorset is the father of the said child:

And Whereas George ALLANBRIDGE one of the Overseers of the Poor for the parish of Sherborne aforesaid, in order to indemnify the said parish in the premises, hath applied to me to issue my warrant for the apprehending of the said David CASHIER I DO therefore hereby command you immediately to apprehend the said David CASHIER and to bring him before me, or some other of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County, to find security to indemnify the said parish of Sherborne or else to find sufficient surety for his appearance at the next general Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be holden in the said County, then and there to abide and perform such order or orders as shall be made in pursuance to an Act passed in the Eighteenth year of the reign of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth concerning bastards begotten and born out of lawful matrimony. Given under my hand and seal this 23rd day of August 1766 - Jno. HUTCHINGS

2. Bastardy Order for Jane SHEPPARD & Samuel GODDARD

Dorset Borough of Dorchester - 16th Feb 1780

Bastardy Bond of Samuel GODDARD of Dorchester

KNOW: All men by these presents that I Samuel GODDARD of Dorchester in the County of Dorset post chaise driver am held and firmly bound to William GALPIN and Edward PAREY Churchwarden sand John REYNOLDS and Richard THORLEY Overseers of the Poor of the parish of Blandford Forum in the said County of Dorset In Trust for the parishioners and inhabitants of the said parish of Blandford Forum in Forty Pounds of good and lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to the said William GALPIN, Edward PAREY, John REYNOLDS and Richard THRLEY or their certain attorney executors administrators or assigns which payment to be well and truly made I bind myself my heirs executors and administrators firmly by these presents sealed with my seal dated the sixteenth day of February in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty.

The condition of this obligation is such that whereas Jane SHEPPARD of Blandford Forum aforesaid single woman hath in and by her voluntary examination taken in writing and upon oath before Geo. ---?----- one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County of Dorset hath declared that on the twenty seventh day of December which was in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Seven she was delivered of a male bastard child named James within the said parish of Blandford Forum (8) which is now living and likely to become chargeable to the same parish and hath charged the above bound Samuel GODDARD with being the father of the said child

If therefore the above bound Samuel GODDARD his heirs executors or administrators do and shall from time to time and at all times hereafter fully clearly indemnify and save harmless as whole the above named churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the said parish of Blandford Forum and their successors for the time being as also all and singular the other parishioners and inhabitants of the said parish of Blandford Forum which now are or hereafter shall be for the time being of and from all manner of costs taxes rates assessments and charges whatsoever for and by reason of birth education and maintenance of the saiud child and of and from all actions suits troubles? and other charges and demands whatsoever touching or concerning the same that then this present obligation to be void or else to be and remain in full force and virtue.

The mark of Samuel GODDARD

Sealed and delivered being first duly stamped in the presence of Geo, HARPER? and John BROWN

3. Bastardy Order for Sarah CRUET & James SEARLE

Dorset Borough of Dorchester - 5th Oct 1795

Examination of Sarah CRUET taken before me on oath this 17th February 1740/1

At the General Quarter Sessions of the peace of our Lord the King Held in and for the said Borough on Monday the fifth day of October in the thirty Fifth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King, Defender of the faith and so forth and in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Five before Charles WHITE Esquire Mayor (1), Nathaniel BOND Esquire Recorder (2) these two of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace and of the locum for the said Borough James CHAFY, Roben STICKLAND and other Justices of our said Lord King assigned to keep the peace of our said Lord King in and for the said Borough And also to hear and determine divers felonies trespassing & other misdemeaners done or committed in the said Borough.

Whereas it appears unto this Court as well upon the complaint of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the poor of the parish of All Saints in the said Borough as upon Oath of Sarah CRUET of the said parish single woman taken the tenth day of December last part before Christopher ARDEN Mayor (1) and one of his Majesty's justices of the peace for the said Borough that she the said Sarah CRUET was then with child which child was likely to be born a Bastard, and to be chargeable to the said Parish of All Saints (3)

    And that James SEARLE of the Borough aforesaid Journeyman Carpenter was the father of the said child (4)
    And whereas the said James SEARLE entered into a Recognizance to appear at the next General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held in and for the said Borough then and there to abide by and perform such order or orders as then to be made pursuant to the statute in that case made and provided
    And whereas it appears upon examination of the said Sarah CRUET this day taken on Oath in Court that on or about the eleventh day of August last past she was delivered of a female bastard child in the said parish of All Saints which child is now living and chargeable thereto and that the said James SEARLE the father of the said bastard child this Court upon examination of the cause and circumstance of the premise doth order that as well for the better relief of the said parish of All Saints as for the sustentation & maintenance of the said bastard child that the said James SEARLE shall pay or cause to be paid unto the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the said parish of All Saints or to some or one of them the sum of twenty shillings for and towards trhe lying in of the said Sarah CRUET & the maintenance of the said bastard child for the first month
    And this Court doth further order the said James SEARLE shall likewise pay or cause to be paid unto the churchwardens and Overseers of the poor of the said parish of All Saints for the time being or to some or one of them the sum of one shilling and six pence weekly and every week from the end of the said first month for and towards the keeping sustenation & maintenance of the said bastard child & during so long as the said bastard child shall be chargeable to the said parish of All Saints
    And this Court doth also further order that the said Sarah CRUET shall pay or cause to be paid unto the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said parish of All Saints for the time being to some or one of them the sum of six pence weekly & every week towards the maintenance of the said bastard child for and during so long time as the said bastard child shall be chargeable to the said parsh in case she refuses to take care of and to name the said child herself.

Examined Thomas STICKLAND Junior


4. Bastardy Order for Sarah HOW & James BOND

Overseers of the Poor Bastardy Order - 8th September 1796

DORSET: The order of Francis FANE Esq and the Revd George Tito BRICE Clerk (5) two of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace in the said County - one whereof is of the Quorum, and both residing next unto the limits of the parish of within the parish of Blandford Forum in the said County made the eight day of September in the 38th year of the reign of his said Majesty King George the third (6) concerning a male Bastard child lately born in the parish of Blandford Forum aforesaid of the body of Sarah HOW single woman.

Whereas: it hath appeared unto us the said Justices, as well upon the complaint of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said parish of Blandford Forum as upon the oath of the said Sarah HOW that the said Sarah HOW on or about the now last past was delivered of a male Bastard child at and within the said Parish of Blandford Forum in the said County and that the said Bastard child is likely to be chargeable to the said parish of Blandford Forum and further that James BOND of Dorchester in the said County of Dorset did beget the said Bastard child on the body of her the said Sarah HOW

An Whereas: The said James BOND hath appeared before us for that purpose but hath not shown any sufficient cause why he the said James BOND shall not be the reputed father of the said Bastard Child we therefore upon examination of the cause and circumstances of the premises as well as upon the oath of the said Sarah HOW as otherwife, do hereby adjudge him the said James BOND to be the reputed father of the said Bastard child And thereupon we do order, as well for the better Relief of the said Sarah HOW as for the sustentation and Relief of the said Bastard child that the said James BOND shall and do forthwith upon notice of this our order, pay or cause to be paid to the said churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said parish or to some of them the sum of twenty shillings for and towards the lying in of the said Sarah HOW and the maintenance of the said Bastard child to the time of making this our order.

And we do hereby further order, that the said James BOND shall likewise pay or cause to be paid to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said parish of Blandford Forum for the time being, or to some or one of them the sum of one shilling weekly and every week from the present time, for and towards the keeping, sustention and maintenance of the said Bastard child for during so long time as the said Bastard child shall be chargeable to the said parish of Blandford Forum.

And we do further order that the said Sarah HOW shall also pay or cause to be paid to the said Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said parish of Blandford Forum for the time being or of some or one of them the sum of six pence weekly and every week so long as the said Bastard child shall be chargeable to the said parish of Blandford Forum in case she shall not nurse and take care of the said child herself. Given under our hands and seals the day and year first written above.


Genealogical Notes: -

(1). Link to Mayors of Dorchester which confirms Christopher ARDEN was Mayor in 1794 followed by Charles WHITE in 1795

(2). Link to a listing of Recorders of Dorchester for more information on Nathaniel BOND

(3). There is no trace of a bastard female child being baptised in Dorchester

(4). Note:- The only other reference that I can locate of a James SEARLE is a document called a 'Vagrants Pass' issued at Shaftsbury by J Obowen Esq a JP for Southampton in respect of a James SEARLE and Elizabeth his wife who were apprehended as vagrants in Overton. Overton is situated between Andover and Basingstoke in Hampshire. The order is for their conveyance together with a Horse and Cart from Shatftsbury to Henstridge in the County of Somerset on the 21st May 1787, a distance of 10 miles. This is just one step in the chain of orders that would have been issued to return him to Ashburton in Devon his place of settlement. Further research is needed ( in Ashburton Devon) to establish whether this is the same James SEARLE referred to in this bastardy order.

(5). Revd George Tito BRICE was ordained a deacon at St Peters le Poor of London on 18th May 1788 and served his curacy from the 19th May 1788 at Holy Trinity with St Martin (annexed Arne Chapel) . He was ordained a priest at Bristol Cathedral on 21st Sep 1788 and appears to have been made Rector of St Michael's, Holy Trinity and St Peters in Wareham in Feb 1790. He was also curate at Shapwick 17th July 1793 and Vicar of Great Canford 27th Dec 1798.

(6). The 38th year in the reign of George the Third ran from 25th Oct 1795 to 24th Oct 1796 so the correct year is 1796.

(7). Betty was a colloquial form of Elizabeth. Elizabeth MOORES had her base born child James baptised at Sherborne on 21st April 1767. See also the marriage of David CASHIER to Jane WILLIAMS at Charminster16th June 1766 for more information

(8). "James the son of Jane SHEPERD Base Born" was baptised at Blandford Forum on 28th December 1777.

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