Wednesday, April 21, 2010


1603, 24th March, accession of King James I (VIth of Scotland), until 1625.
  From now until 1624 was to be the longest period of peace in the country's history, which was to be partly responsible for change in the country's prosperity.
  According to the 73rd Church Canon of 1603, marriage could only take place between 8 a.m. and noon during Divine Service (possibly hence then the 'marriage breakfast').
  Following last year's drought and consequent food shortage, rats practically competed with man for food, and spreading themselves out caused a bubonic plague which was to last for a year or more. The Tudor 'Vermin Acts' were thus not being successful in this respect.
  Readers are advised to read J. H. Bettey's article: 'Parish Life in Dorset during the Early Seventeenth Century', published in the Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society, Volume 114, 1992.
  Edward Highmore was installed during the year as rector of Purse Caundle church, the first of five successive ones from the same family.
1604, 31st January. Purse Caundle Manor Court of Christian Dodington, widow.
Homage: John Hewlett, John Curtis, William Damick, Thomas Kinge, Anthony Stone, Ellis Mewe, George Kinge, John Sock, Simon Evered, William Browne, William Stone.
Freeholders in default: Heirs of James Hannam, dec., and William Albert did not appear.
Freeholders appearing: Geoffrey Foot, James Hewlett, William Damick.
Presentments (by Head Man John Hewlett):
Thomas Crosse, tenant of a messuage and quarter virgate of land (4s per annum) [£30 at 2007 values] has died since the last court - 3s 4d [£25] heriot due to Lady of manor - Alice his widow should enjoy premises for her life as long as she does not remarry - she is admitted tenant.
Thomas Toogood: chamber within his house, and barn and stable, fallen into great decay - fined 6s 8d [£50] - to be repaired.
Lady Mary Hastinges: her tenenment called Maies is in ruin - fined 6s 8d.
William Stone: his wainhouse is ruinous.
Anthony Stone: his tenement has decayed roof and watling - fined 2d [£1.26].
Nicholas Polden: his stable totally in ruins - to be repaired by Michaelmas - fined 2d.
John Curtis: his well house has decayed roof fined 1d - to be repaired.
Elizabeth Mewe: her dovecote has decayed roof - fined 2d - to be repaired.
Alice Crosse: her ditch is unscoured and thus a nuisance to other tenants - fined 1d - to be scoured.
George Kinge: his barn has decayed roof - fined 1d - to be repaired.
Anthony Stone: his cowstall has decayed roof - fined 2d - to repair it.
John Overs, son of William Overs, dec., takes from Lady of manor the reversion of one messuage or tenement and garden, orchard (6 lugs), three closes of meadow and pasture 2 1/2 acres), close of land called Cleverland (4 1/2 acres), now in tenure of Alice Crosse, widow, to be held by John Overs and John Clarke, son of Robert Clarke, dec., for their lives. Fine £15 [£2,259]. Rent 4s.
Assessors: John Hewlett, John Sock.
 Sum of this court: £15 5s 6d [£2,300]
(heriot of 3s 4d, amerciaments 2s 2d, fine £15)
Judging by the above, the village again at this time appears continuing to be somewhat run-down, possibly due to the combination of an absentee Lord of the Manor, and a slack Steward. With the death of Sir William Dodington, and his wife Christian being now sole Lord/Lady of the Manor, matters may well have begun to be tightened up, though the fines in some instances appear somewhat derisory. It is interesting tp note the type of buildings, etc. there were in the village at this time. Regarding Lady Mary Hastings, see APPENDIX C2.  Her property of Maies was just across the road immediatedly,opposite the manor house.
  Matthew J. Clark, in his paper 'Manorial courts and the management of the land in early Stuart England', considered that the role of Manor Courts were neither the perogative of either the Manor Lords nor the courts' juries, but were an endeavour to maintain a long-standing mutually achieved status quo. On the other hand, those presented for infringements were encouraged by juries to rectify faults rather than suffer immediate draconian fines. In these latter instances the Lords would of course suffer by not receiving the fines.
  From the end of June to December there was plague about in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, e.g. at Cranborne and Salisbury. Though according to the Milborne Port parish register there were some sixteen deaths from plague there from 6th December to the following 25th February.
Illustrated are reproductions of a James I silver sixpence and twelve pence.

1605, 23rd October. Purse Caundle Manor court of Christian Dodington, widow.
Freeholders in default: Heirs of James Hannam esq., William Albert, heirs of William Dammyck.
Homage:John Hewlett, James Hewlett, Thomas Kinge, Anthony Stone, Thomas Toogood, Ellis Mewe, George Kinge, John Sock, Simon Evered, William Browne, William Stone, Nicholas Polden.
Presentments (by Head Man John Hewlett):
Death of John Curtis who held messuage or cottage with garden (1/2 virgate), 8 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow - rent 7s 3d [£54] - heriot due to Lady of the manor = bedstead valued at 20s [£149] - his widow Alice should inherit and enjoy premises for life, as long as she remains unmarried - she is admitted tenant.
Death of William Dammick, who held for life one tenement and 4 closes of meadow and pasture (19 acres) - rent 5s 3d - heriot is one cow. His widow Alice should inherit, not admitted however because she did not appear. The said William Dammick also held in perpetuity a cottage and yard (1/2 acre)  part of the possession of William [Horner?], thereafter Michael Bryne - annual rent 4d - relief to Lady of manor 4d [£2.49].
Anthony Stone has not repaired his tenement as ordered - forfeits 6s 8d [£49] and ordered to repair it. The said Anthony has not repaired his cowstall as ordered - forfeits 40d [£25] - to repair it.
Alice Curtis, widow: her barn has ruinous roof - to be repaired.
Ellis Mewe and Thomas Toogood: have taken sub-tenants into thir houses, a burden to the parish - ordered to remove them or to give security to the parish.
Thomasina Mewe, wife of Ellis Mewe, with his consent, took from Lady of manor the reversion of a messuage and 4 closes of meadow and pasture (19 acres), now occupied by Alice Damyck, widow, to be held by Thomasina, and James, son of said Ellis and Thomasina, for their lives - rent 5s 3d [£39] - heriot to be paid on death = best beast - fine £50 [£7,483] - paying £5 in hand, the remainder in instalments.
Sum of this court: £51 10s 4d and one cow
made up of: fine £50, heriot 20s (for cow),
relief 4d and forfeited penalty 10s.
5th November, the 'Gunpowder Plot' of Guy Fawkes, etc. was foiled.
1607 Severe frosts and heavy rains caused an 'extreme dearth of corn.'
December. Five weeks of cold weather began shortly before Christmas, when victuals were so frozen they would take no salt.'
  From the seventeenth century onwards, increasing quantities of marl and lime were used to improve the fertility of the soil, as well as ashes, soot, and all sorts of industrial refuse. There were at one time four working lime-kilns in Purse Caundle, with their associated quarries; and in a field called 'The Allotments' on Church Farm there is much evidence of the earlier spreading of pottery wastes.
1609, 2nd June. Purse Caundle Manor court of Sir William Dodington, knight, Lord of manor.
Homage: Nicholas Polden, James Mewe, William Stone, George Kinge, Laurence Ellis, John Clarke, Simon Evered, William Evered, John Overe.
Presentments (by Head Man Nicholas Poulden):
Death of Katherine Hulett, widow, who held during her widowhood, one messuage with garden and yard adjoining (4 acres), close of pasture and arable (3 acres), close called Grene Way (14 acres), close of pasture called Beanecloses (16 acres), close of meadow called Duffettes Meade (1 1/2 acres) - no heriot - all now in hands of Lord of manor.
Richard Barrett: house decayed because of falling timberwork, this timber is allowed him for repairs.
James Hannam ordered to cut down tree in Mayes Close near James Mewe's close.
George Derby: to scour out his ditch leading to Greene Hill Lane.
Alice Kinge, widow: to scour out her ditch in Mill Lane.
Nathaniel Heighmore, clerk: to scour out his ditch in Parsons Lane, and Greene Lane.
Richard Barret: to repair road leading to the church inj close called Beaneclose and to scour his ditch in Duffettes Lane.
Edward Heighmore, clerk: to scour out his ditch in Horners Close.
Edward Heighmore: to give sufficient security to parish of Purse Caundle for discharging the parish for William Clotworthy his sub-tenant.
No tenant of the manor to lease his customary tenement or part of it unless to another tenant of the manor.
Richard Barrett: received from Lord of manor a grant of messuage or tenement with garden and yard and various closes late in occupation of Katherine Hulet, widow, dec. [see entry above for details of this land], to be held now by Richard Barrett and Thomas Barrett and Caleb Barrett, his sons for their lives - rent 6s 8d [£44], fine: £120 [£15, 847] - paid £20 in hand, the rest secured by bond.
Licence is granted to Richard Barrett to lease to Thomas Parker of Purse Caundle for 7 years a close of pasture and arable adjoining his customary tenement (3 acres), three closes called Greeny Way (14 acres), four closes called Beanecloses (16 acres), close called Duffettes Meade (1 1/2 acres).
Sum of this court: £120
Examined by me John Grey, steward.
  Only one property now seems to need attention, but possibly due to the previous winter rains, and thoroughfares flooded and damaged by badly maintained ditches, those responsible had now to undertake appropriate measures to ensure there was no repeat in the coming winter.
1610 During the year another map of Dorset was to be published - see illustration below of part of the northern boundary with Somerset, where 'Candelpurfe' is clearly shown.
1611 According to the Milborne Port Parish Register: 'Silvester Hulet, gent., of London, by his will dated 9th April 1611, proved the last of April by Elizabeth Hulet, his relict, gave £10 [£1,594] each to the towns of Blandford forum [sic], Sherborne and the parishes of Purse Candle and Stalbridge, and the town of Milborne Port, "for bynding of apprentices of the poorest sorte of children vunto needful trades."'
During the year was published what was to be become known as the King James Bible, to be renowned as one of the finest examples of English prose. 
1612 'A true Terrier of the Gleabe landes &c. belonging to the psonadge of Candle Purs taken by those whose names ar vnder written.
  Imprmis a parsonadge howse wth a barne and stall.
  Itm an Orchard Garden and backside conteyning by estimaco an Acre.
  It' one pasture ground called by the name of psons lanes conteyninge by estimacon fowre and twentie Acres.
  It' the pasturinge of fowre oxen and a horse in a ground belonginge to the farme of Elize Mewe caleed by the name of Court Lease conteyning by estimacon fiftie Acres from the third day of May called Hollierood day to the feast day of St. Andrew the apostle [30th November].
  It' out of the farme of James Hulet 2s to be paid at Easter.
  It' the whole Tythes of the rest of the P'she to belong to the said psonadge.
  In witness whereof we haue sett or hands the xj th of October Ao Dni 1612.
Per me Eduardu Highmore  Rectore                                                          James Hulet  } Ward'
Ellis Mewe  } Sidme'
Willm Stone }           
The whole is in the handwriting of Edward Highmore except the last three signatures (SDNQ VI, 1888/9).

Illustrated is the obverse and reverse of a James I 'Gold Laurel' coin of twenty shillings, dated 1613.
1614 or15, 16th January a great snow started accompanied by frost, and it continued until mid-March. This took two months to clear, with resulting floods. This was followed by a warm and dry summer, with drought. Hay and corn became very scarce.
1622 Physician's licence granted to William Fookes:
'George etc. to our beloved in Christ, Nathaniel Heamor [Highmore], clerk, Rector of CaundlePurse, Francis Scarlett, clerk, Vicar of Sherborne in the county of Dorset, and John Clerk, clerk, minister of Mappowder, greeting and grace whereas one William Fookes of Caundle Purse aforesaid in the diocese of Bristol and Province of Canterbury, professor of medicine, and whereas the said William Fookes is now working in distant parts and cannot come before us personally to take the Oath of Supremacy according to law, therefore to receive the oath from the said William Fookes for acknowledging the royal supremacy in matters ecclesiastical and temporal, and for renouncing all other powers and jurisdictions, they [those named above] are to do so in his name and stead and to certify it into the Bishop's registry. Dated 9 Feb 1621 [1622 new style]'.
'On 18 April 1622 licence was granted to William Fookes of Caundle Purse, Dorset, professor of medicine, to practice the art of medicine in and throughout the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire, Southampton [co. Hampshire], Gloucester, Monmouth and Glamorgan in the province of Canterbury, having taken the oath of royal supremacy according to law, for as long as he behaves well and in a praiseworthy manner.' (Lambeth Palace Library ref: Reg.Abbot2,ff.196-7)
1623 The Rev. John White, calvinist rector of St. Peter's, Dorchester, as part of his scheme to found a non-conformist colony in Massachussetts in New England, America, he formed 'The Dorchester Company'. Amongst the speculators were three from Purse Caundle: The Rev. Nathaniel Highmore, James Mew of the manor house, and Nicholas Polden, with each subscribing  £20 [£2,510], to form a fishing enterprise in a plantation set up in Massachussetts. The first attempt resulted in a Chancery Suit - Beale v White - heard at Dorchester on 2nd and 12th July 1636. To quote from the Rev. White's preliminary answer to the suit, dated 12th October 1634, as reported in SDNQ XVII, 1921/3:
'Eleven years sithence and upwards divers knights, gentlemen, and others did agree to ioyne togither in purse as ioynt adventurers for the setling of a Plantacon in New England in America for the better and more convenient taking and saving of the fish of those parts, and also for bartering and exchange of commodoties transported from the Kingdopm of England with the natives of New England aforesaid as of such others as afterwards became adventurers with them; this defendant to his best knowledge and remembrance hath hereunder particularly menconed and expressed viz:-
[Amongst the many listed investors were:]
James Mew of Caundle manor house.
Nicholas Polden of Caundle.
Nathaniell Heighmore of Caundle.'
  During the 1620s many soldiers were moving from one place to another; whilst sick and maimed soldiers were on their way home, having to be paid for by the places through which they passed. Purse Caundle being some little way south of the main route from London to the West Country may well not have been so burdened, though several footpaths criss-crossed the parish. Whilst in 1624 the vicar of neighbouring Henstridge complained that "the prices of all things are grown to such an unreasonable height, that the common, that is the meaner sort of people, are even undone."
1625, 27th March, following the death of James I, the accession of Charles I as king until 1649.
1626 In August there was a plague prevalent in Dorset, e.g. Blandford.
Illustrated are reproduction gold Crown (five shillings) and silver sixpence coins of Charles I; with a well-used real silver 'rose' penny.
1630  There was to be a poor harvest, being followed by a wet winter, which led grain prices to more than double again. Added to this was the sparodic return of the plague in the area in 1626 and 1630s; and smallpox in 1626, 1634 and in the 1640s which did not help the lot of the agricultural labourers. In nearby Milborne Port during this period there were linsey-woolsey manufacturers, who could well have employed Purse Caundle womenfolk.
1631, 3rd January, was held a Purse Caundle Manor court. Although there is not an extant copy record, an extract can be found in APPENDIX A2.
  During the Tudor and Stuart period there was in the clay areas a marked agricultural arable expansion, but the main speculation was in cattle. A contemporary writer noted in 1633 that n these areas were "verie good Pastures and Feedings for cattell."
  At Easter, some examples of annual wages as regulated by magistrates were:
'3rd. Noe Bayliff of Husbandry shall take above £3 10s. 0d. by the yeare, and for his livery 13s 4d.
4th. Noe carter, ploughman, or shepherd shall take above £2 13s. 4d., and for his livery 13s 4d. meat and drinks.
5th. Noe common servant of husbandry above the age of twenty years shall take above 40s. by the yeare, and for his livery 6s. 8d.
9th. Noe day-labourer in harvest shall take for their wages, the man for reapinge of corne above 6d for mowing of corne and grasse above 6d the day; the woman for reapinge of corne 4d, and for makinge of hay 3d meat and drinke, and not above.
10th. Noe day-labourer at husbandry shall take from Allhallontide to the 25th March above 3d. the day with meat and drinke, and from 25th of March to Allhallontide 4d the day with meat and drinke and not above.
19th. For reapinge an acre of wheat to taske 2s. 6d., and for mowing an acre of hay att taske 12d. and not above.
20th. Noe person shall take for making an acre of hay to taske above 12d.
21st. Noe person or persons shall take for threshinge of a quarter of barley to taske above 8d., and for a quarter of beanes and oattes to taske above 6d.
22nd. Noe person or persons shall take for threshinge a quarter of wheat or rye to task above 16d.
23rd. That noe woman-servant unmarried from the age of eighteen nyears and upwards to foure and twenty shall take above 25s. per annum; and for her vesture or garment 5s., and from foure and twenty and upwards, not above 26s. 8d., and for her livery 6s. 8d.'
Other trades were similarly regulated.
1634 The King's universal 'Ship money' tax was imposed. This was a tax levied on English maritime towns and shires to provide ships for defence - to be abolished in 1640. It caused hardship in Dorset, with an increasing number of people, mostly the poorer classes, having their goods seized for non-payment of this and other taxes. There was to be an increase of beggars.
1639, during 7th-9th May a troop of King's horsemen were quartered at Stalbridge.
1640 The younger James Hanham sold the manor house to his cousin Thomas Hanham, owner of Dean's Court, Wimborne.
  There were supposedly trained bands, which drilled once a month in the use of the pike and musket. 600 Dorset men reluctantly and mutinously marched north for the King's fight against Scotland. Whether anyone from Purse Caundle was involved is not known.
1641, 8th January, there was a Royal proclamation announcing a national general humiliation before Almighty God in Fasting and Prayer on the last Wednesday of every month, 'to continue during the troubles in the said Kingdome of Ireland'. People were expected to attend church, etc. on those days.
  There was a Poll Tax, but the records for Dorset do not seem to have survived.
1642 During February and March everyone, especially those in public office, had to take The Protestation Oath: "Protestation Religion expressed in the doctrine of the Church of England, against all Poperie and Popish Innovation within this Realme contrarie to the same Doctrine and according to the duties of my Allegiance to his Ma'ties Royall person, honor, and estate I doe, in the presence of Almightie God, promise, vow, and protest to maintain and defend, so farre as lawfullie I may, with my life, power and estate, the true Reformed Protestant Religion . . . as also the power and privilges of Parliament, the lawful rights and liberties of the subject.' As far as Purse Caundle within the Sherborne Hundred was concerned, 'The names of those ministers, constables, church wardens and ouseers of the poore who have taken the ptestacon before William Coker and John Walcot, Esqrs, two of his Mats Justices of the pece of the said County wthin the division of Sherborne were:
Caundle Purse
Nathaniell Highmore minister                                                                       John Clarke      ) ourseers
James Mewe   ) wardens                                                                           Edward Everett  )    
Lawrance Ellis )

Nathaniel Highmore, rector
James Mewe   ) ouerseers                  Nicholas Polden                    Simon Rivers
Lawrence Ellis )                                 Thomas Polden                      James Cuffe
John Clarke      ) guardians                 Richard Marks, senior           John Pellie
Edward Everet )                                 Richard Marks, junior           Andrew Sherly
John Kinge                                         John Blecke                          Thomas Hussey
George Kinge                                    Simon Eueret                         William Highmore 
William Kinge                                    William Goadinche                 John Clarke
Thomas Kinge                                   Richard Goadinche                 William Socke
John Keepinge                                  William Everett                       Thomas Stone
Richard Barnet                                 John Ouer                               Thomas Gillet 
William Ellis                                     James Pope                             Silvester Pope
  Also early in the year there were outbreaks of plague on the Somerset border.
  22nd August 1642. Following civil unrest against the King (details of which are not basically the concern of this History), what was to become known as The English Civil War (or The Great Rebellion) could be said to have officially started on this day, when King Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham. Many of the following entries concerning legislation have been derived from the publication Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum 1642-1660 by C. H. Firth & R. S. Rait (see BIBLIOGRAPHY). This publication has been fully uploaded on the website
  Dorset during the Civil War was mostly Protestant and Royalist, including the Blackmoor Vale. Sherborne Old Castle  had been built by a Bishop of Salisbury in the 12th century, being one of the few medieval fortresses in Dorset still defensible during the Civil War. It wass held by the Digby family for the King during the Civil War, being garrisoned in early 1642 with 500 horsemen. The Marquis of Hertford occupied it in the August, plus further soldiery. Hertford repaired the defences which had been partly destroyed in the late 16th century when Sir Walter Raleigh began trying to convert it to a more residential use.
  The Marquis of Hertford's appeal from Sherborne for volunteers to fight for the King met with widespread inertia - with but twelve men from Somerset and ten from the Blackmoor Vale. Few gentry could afford to raise a troop of soldiers, and one of the Highmore family had to sell several manors to raise and equip a volunteer corps for the King.
  The Sherborne garrison by the September was 1,000 strong when unsuccessfully sieged for a few days by a far superior Parliamentary force, who then departed. Hertford himself marched off later in the month.
This illustration is of a Civil War enactment Parliamentary field gun battery in operation during the siege of a Royalist stronghold. It is doubtful that Purse Caundle would have had this sort of heavy ordnance passing through the village itself, as it would have been more easily - though still with some difficulty in view of the hilly terrain - transported along the medieval London-Exeter 'Causeway' which ran across the northern edge of the parish up by Gospel Ash and the top of Crendle Wood.
This illustration is of a Civil War re-enactment  of part of a Royalist force on the move against a Parliamentary one.
This Civil War re-enactment shows opposing forces of pikemen engaged, each with their 20-foot long pikes. 
As this re-enactment by members of the Sealed Knot demonstrate, ranks of Musketeers would also stand bravely and steadfastly at a distance face to face with their opponents, and fire at one another with obvious resultant carnage.  
After a battle or major skirmish there would inevitably be many dead and wounded to be attended to. 
After the hostilities at Sherborne, the Dorset countryside then went on with harvesting, though Dorset was to be criss-crossed with armed forces from both sides. At times these were to be totally undisciplined. The following extract from a contemporary letter from a Dorchester merchant to another in London gives a flavour of the times:   
"Here in the Countrey we dare not send seven miles abroad, for feare of the Cavaliers, who lye at Sherborne, pillaging, robbing and killing like so many Sonnes of Hell; but they were met withall this weeke to the purpose, by some London Troopers, and our Dorchester Troopers." (DHC ref: RON22/2/8)
These representations of a Royalist cavalry officer and a mounted Trooper may give some indicationn how intimidating an armed troop of such may be when suddenly descending on an unsuspecting village. Whether across hedged fields, or along winding lanes, as at Purse Caundle, there may well not have been any warning of their approach until their actual sudden arrival. 
  On 24th August was passed 'An Ordinance for the better observation of the monethly Fast' proclaimed in January 1641 (q.v.), but which was being neglected. Parliament ordained that on the Sundays immediately prior to such Day of Fasting and Prayer, priests should announce such a Day during church service. Parish constables and churchwardens were required to report any priest who omitted to do this. On these Fast Days people were to attend church, and refrain from all sports and pastimes, and also their usual trades and business; whilst establishments of refreshment of any sort were not to keep open their doors or sell their wares until the required observances were over.
  There was to be an unseasonably cold winter, which put a break on warlike activities.
1642/3, 15th February was published: 'An Ordinance exhorting all his Majestie's good subjects to the duty of Repentance, as the onely remedy for their present Calamities, with an Earnest Confession, and deepe Humiliation for all particular and national Sins, that so at length we may obtaine a firme and happy Peace both with God and Man.' Parish priests, etc. were required to persuade and inculcate their congregations into this practice, especially on Fast-days.
  Also in February was passed an Ordinance requiring the raising of money for defence against foreign invasion and the maintenance of a required army, etc. Dorset had to raise the weekly sum of £437 10s, beginning 1st March for the next three months. (Hampshire for example had to raise £750) Each county had its own Committee to oversee this. This was followed by 'An Ordinance for the Assessing and rating of such as have not contributed at all, or not contributed according to the Proportion of their Estates . . . Provided . . . that no Person be assessed above the Sum of Ten Pounds the week.' In March was a further Ordinance to counter the slow collection and delivery of this money.
  In August was 'An Ordinance for the utter demolishing, removing and taking away of all Monuments of Superstition or Idolatory.' This was to cause a repeat of the situation within church buildings following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, particularly during the reign of Edward VI (q.v.). Wanton damage to altars, monuments and effigies, paintings, etc. has been well documented. Would this have been the time when wall paintings in Purse Caundle's church would have been coverd over of which a fragment is now on display in the tower?
This is a contemporary portrayal of Roundhead soldiers burning 'popish' images.
1643 and 1644 saw Sherborne castle change hands several times. Spring in 1643 came early, together with high prices. In mid-April 1643 the Sherborne townsmen repulsed a Parliamentary party, but a few days later Parliament captured Sherborne town and castle., followed by general pillaging and plundering, when houses were burnt, fat sheep and calves killed, and almost all the barley and malt in the town taken away. A large Parliamentary force of horsemen plundered their way through Dorset on their way through to the Welsh borders, frustrated by a truce. Dorset ended being mostly Royalist, except for some coastal towns. The weather had been appalling for getting in the harvest whilst hostilities were quiet.
1644 In the New Year, in north Dorset there was heavy snow, and having to bear the cost of billetting and provisioning of Royalist forces on their way through to Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, about five miles north-east of Shaftesbury. As well as Sherborne having to provide for the garrison,. so did farmers round about.
  In April was a further 'Ordinance for the better observation of the Lords-Day.' Anyone doing business or labour, or undue travelling would be fined ten shillings. Anyone indulging in sport or pleasure activities would - if aged over fourteen - be fined five shillings. Parents and guardians of children who engaged in these offences would be fined twelve pence. Parish officers were to remove May-poles, and their failure to do so would result in fines of five shillings. Non payment of fines could result in a period of three hours in the stocks. Even 'Rogues, Vagabonds and Beggars' had to soberly attend church on the Sabbath.
  A month later, in May, was another pro-Reformation ("blessed and so happily begun") 'Ordinance for the further demolishing of Monuments of Idolatry and Superstition'. There was to be an end to the use of such as altars, fonts, vestments, organs and the like, and their defacement.
  In June, fleeing Royalists from their defeat at Wardour came to Sherborne. At the same time the Earl of Essex, a senior Parliamentary general, marched on the south-west, passing through north Dorset and south Somerset. Dorset country people were for the Royalist when they were doing well, but could change their opinion, being usually for the strongest party. Thus hundreds of volunteers flocked to the Earl of Essex's army which already contained 'Swedes, Germans, Danes, French, Walloons and Scotts.' But on 3rd June there was, however, at least one pro-Royalist skirmish - when on 3rd June a group of poorly armed peasants at the small village of Poyntington, two miles north of Sherborne, attempted to ambush a body of Parliamentarian soldiers under the Earl of Essex on his way to Wincanton. The result was a foregone conclusion, and the depopulated village was never to be the same again.
  During the summer Lieutenant-General John Middleton had his Commonwealth headquarters at Milborne Port.
  The King and Prince Maurice, with a 10,000 strong army, visited\Sherborne Castle for two days in early October, where the troops were reviewed in the park. They all left there on Tuesday, 8th October, leaving 150 men to garrison Sherborne Castle. The King and his force encamped at Stalbridge that night, with food and forage needed for the men and horses. The King slept that night at Lord Cork's mansion at Stalbridge. On the 9th all marched to Sturminster Newton, where some camped, and others to quarter at Durweston. (SDNQ XIX, 1927-1929)
  Much cattle had been looted by the Roundheads, and the following was an order issued regarding such cattle recovered by the King's party:
'Where as these bearers being twenty three men wth threescore oxen and three horses have been pressed for his Mats service in Prince Maurice his highnes carriages and have performed it and are discharged and are to pass quietly wrth their cattle to their several dwelling places ffrom Styrminster Newton the nynth day of  October 1644.
John Payne
WaggonMr Generall to his highnes
Prince Maurice
To all his Mats officers
souldiers and others whom
this shall or may concerne.'
  King Charles authorised the Sheriff and county commisioners for an impressment for recruits, and supplies from local farmers. The resultant general impressment seemed so probable that many people "were forced to fly from their dwellings." The King's army then left for Blandford.
  In December a Parliamentary force from Abbotsbury marched eastwards through Sturminster Newton and Shaftesbury, with the Royalist garrisons fleeing at its approach. Thus the wretched people of Dorset suffered at the hands of both sides.
  As many persons for various reasons were not now paying their tithes, there was passed 'An Ordinance for the true payment of Tythes, and other such Duties, according to the Laws and Customs of this Realm', with appropriate penalties for non-payment.
  On 19th December, regarding the last Wednesday in the month Fast, there was passed 'An Ordinance for the better observation of the monthly Fast; and more especially the next Wednesday, commonly called The Feast of the Nativity of Christ, Thorowout the Kingdome of England and Dominium of Wales'. So definiitely no Christmas celebrations that year!  
  During the first 15 months of the civil war church records had generally recorded the names of buried soldiers, but by 1644 few parishes bothered any more.
1645 At the beginning of January was passed 'An Ordinance for taking away the Book of Common Prayer, and for establishing and putting into execution of the Directory for the publique worship of God.' This Ordinance set out in quite some detail how church services were to be held as regards its form, sermon, baptism, marriage, etc.
  The end of January came with heavy snowfall, and weeks of freeazing rain and sleet. At the end of February the country people of mid-Dorset had had enough, and turned on the oppressing Royalist soldiery. They banded together, arming themselves as best they could, and became known as 'Clubmen'. There were several skirmishes around the county in March. At one such on 29th April, near Oborne, a Royalist Irish soldier, Morice Lee, was killed. (DHC ref: PE/OBN RE 1/1). During May numbers of Dorset Clubmen were increasing, and becoming more organised.
  There was to be in June an Ordinance authorising when necessary 'the raising and impresting of Men, within the Western Association' from the ages of 18 to 50. There were naturally exemptions, mainly those of the better sort; with penalties of prison or fines of £10 for refusal to be imprest. This was for a period of six months.
  Each parish was to have a committee of three, with two constables, to raise the alarm. Arms and ammunition were stockpiled, and villages rang the church bells to warn each other of the approach of soldiers. The Clubmen were not only poor rural workers, but also farmers, craftsmen, minor gentry, and knights. There were also several ministers amongst the leaders. Although supposedly neutral they tended to lean one way or the other. They wore white silk ribbons in their hats, and carried banners with such slogans as 'Peace and Truth', or
'If you offer to plunder or take our cattle,
Be assured we will bid you battle.'
Both the Royalist and Parliamentary leadership had to be conciliatory to these determined Clubmen who could prove a real thorn in the side if provoked, but could only be tolerated to a limited extent.
  Parliament now had a New Model Army in Dorset. At some time a Parliamentary force under Sir William Waller had men quartered at Shaftesbury and Gillingham. On 29th June the Royalist won a clash at Sturminster Newton.
  At the end of June, the Royalist Sherborne Castle was again to come under seige by Parliamentarians under Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had Oliver Cromwell as a Lieutenant-General. The garrison endured a fortnight of heavy bombardment. On 22nd and  24th July a Parliament soldier was killed at Folke, and another at Alweston.
This is a representation of Oliver Cromwell, Lieutenant-General of Horse, with a general Officer of the Parliamentary staff.
  Believed also operating in the area was the Parliamentary brigade of cavalry under the command of Major-General Edward Massey. One of its officers was a Captain Joseph Swettman, probably of either Sherborne, or possible (in 1689) of Stourton Caundle, who at some time was to marry Hannah Mews of Purse Caundle.
  On 4th August, Cromwell having come from the seige at Sherborne, was to defeat around 3,000-4,000 Clubmen at Hambledon Hill, north of Blandford. Cromwell took quite a number of Clubmen ring-leaders as prisoners with him back to Sherborne. He was at the capture of Sherborne Castle on 17th August, which followed its undermining for 16 days. Although the above prisoners' names were listed, their places of abode were not given; but no Purse Caundle names are recognised (DHC ref: RON22/2/14). Similarly with those Royalist prisoners (officers, ministers, and gentry, plus 344 un-named soldiers) taken at the capture of Sherborne Castle - which Parliament forces were later in the year to considerably destroy. Purse Caundle must surely have been affected to some degree by all this activity not more than a handful of miles distant, if only at the least to hear the distant gunfire.  
  By 18th August there was a fear and panic of an invasion by France, started mistakenly, illegally, or wilfully. A letter from Sir John Horsey of Sherborne stated that "about Sherborne [a] commandment was brought by men of honesty as is supposed" to constables and tithingmen to search the houses of priests and to put all "weapons, books, letters and spits wherewith they roast their meat" in safe keeping. Also during the summer it was reported that Sherborne had been seriously afflicted by the bubonic plague then ravaging the country. It is not known if this affected Purse Caundle.
  Following on from the relevant Ordinance passed in January, during August there was passed an 'Ordinance for the more effectual putting into Execution the Directory for Publique Worship, in all Parish-Churches and Chappels.' These books were to be sent to Constables who should then deliver them to the Minister of each parish, to be paid for by the inhabitants. Further use of the Book of Common Prayer was to be discontinued, and failure by a Minister to use the new Directory could result in a fine of forty shillings. Churchwardens or Constables were to deliver the old Prayer Books for disposal.
  During 1645 many Dorset estates were sequestered, including at Purse Caundle - see Hannam in APPENDIX C1, so presumably Parliamentary soldiers were in the village, and possibly billetted there.
1646, by July any organised forces of the King had gone from Dorset. But still soldiers and ex-soldiers, many undisciplined and disorderly, were roaming about fleeing from the Model Army, to the distress of inhabitants - until as late as March 1647. It was abrutal time. Soldiers were clamouring for outstanding pay, and civilians likewise for billetting, provisioning, and plundering and debts. Soldiers with war wounds sought compensation reparations from wealthy Royalists. See 1647 re. wounded and killed Parliamentarian men.
  At the Standing Committee meeting at Dorchester on 19th March 1646, 'It is ordered that Mr Russell and Mr Raymond and their assignes forbeare to dispose of or put to sale any more of the coppice woods now in sale, belonginge to the Lord Stourton in Candle, or any other woods whatsoever belonging unto him, pvided thr said Ld or his assignes will give such reasonable and valuable consideracon for the same it will yield to others.' William, 11th Baron Stourton, was a recusant and had property at Stourton Caundle, and possibly still leased some at Purse Caundle.
  Parliament in December passed 'An Ordinance for the better Observation of the Monthly Fast.' There had been a "great neglect and prophanation of the Monethly Fast" around the Kingdom, and this Ordinance was to strongly enforce previous Ordinances "for the Sanctification of the Lords Day."
1647 In February there was 'An Ordinance concerning the growth and spreading of Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies, and for setting apart a day of Publike Humiliation, to seeke Gods assistance for the suppressing and preventing the same.' Wednesday, the 10th March was chosen for this day, with Ministers in churches to announce this on the Sunday ("Lords Day") prior.
  In May there was passed 'An Ordinance for Relief of Maimed Soldiers and Mariners and the Widows and Orphans of such as have died in the service of Parliament during these late Wars.' For this purpose each parish was obliged to continue to be charged weekly as they had been rated under 43 Elizabeth chap. 3 (1600), plus an additional sum as may be ordered between 3d and 2s 6d weekly. The Dorset Standing Committee on 11th November authorised payments of 12d [£5.50] and £60 [£6,640] to 'maymed souldiers and Wyddowes' in the county.
  Then in June there was 'An Ordinance for Abolishing of Festivals', whereby all Festivals and Holy Days were no longer to be observed. These included the Nativity of Christ (Christmas), Easter and Whitsuntide. Masters of Scholars, Apprentices and Servants, when possible, were to allow the  "convenient reasonable Recreation and Relaxation ffrom their constant and ordinary Labours on every second Tuesday in the moneth throughout the year."
  In September there was again plague at Sherborne.
  December saw the passing of 'An Ordinance for the constant Reliefe and Imployment of the Poore; And the punishment of Vagrants and other disorderly Persons.' This was to be the responsibility of the City of London, Counties, Corporations, or Boroughs, though it could obviously affect parishes.
1648 February saw the passing of 'An Ordinance for repairing Churches, and for payment of Church Duties.' For the upholding and keeping of all parish churches and chapels from utter ruin and decay, yearly on the Monday or Tuesday in Easter Week, the parishioners of each Parish according to its size was to choose one or more of its substantial inhabitants to be Church-wardens, or Collectors of moneys for Church Duties, within such Parish. These Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor were to tax the inhabitants as appropriate for the repair and maintenance of the churches, the provision of books, and of the bread and wine used there. This Ordinance also confirmed any such rateable provisions made since 1st March 1641.
  In August was 'An Ordinance for the further and better regulating the Sequestrations of Papists and Delinquents Estates.' It is not yet certain what implications this might have had on those associated with Purse Caundle. Courts Leet and Courts Baron were to be re-established in sequestered Manors. Though during the year John Hoskyns was to buy the manor house at Purse Caundle from the Commonwealth Commisioners who had confiscated it from the Hanham family.
  From about this time copper farthing tokens began to be issued by traders and local authorities in England, with halfpennies following some years later. These unofficial pieces of money were used because there was a widespread insufficient official silver small currency in circulation, which greatly inconvenienced the poor people. The shortage had been mainly caused through clipping of coins, loss, and lack of minting. The inscriptions on the tokens usually bore the name of the trader, his trade and place of residence, and other emblems. In north Dorset this seemingly did not start until 1657 (see 1658 below).
1649 News would eventually reach Purse Caundle of the execution of King Charles I which took place on 30th January in London.
  Ordinances were now longer passed by Parliament, but again Acts. In April was passed a lengthy 'Act for Raising Ninety thousand pounds per Mensem [month], For the Maintenance of the Forces raised by Authority of Parliament, for the Service of England and Ireland, For Six Moneths, from 25th March, 1649 to the 29th of September, 1649'. Of that sum, for the first three months Dorset had to provide £1,403-6s-4d, and the second quarter £1,682-10s-od. To oversee this the designated County's Commissioners inluded "James Mew of Candlepus".
  On 17th April a Manor Court of Edward Dodington was held, with the only business known being the Memorandum of leasing enrollments to be found in APPENDIX A2.
  Another Act in April was one 'For setting apart a Day of Solemn Fasting and Humiliation, And repealing the former Monethly Fast.' As it had been noticed that this Fast on the last Wednesday of each month had been neglected throughout the Commonwealth (it no longer being a Kingdom), Thursday 3rd May was to "be set apart and appointed for a publique and solemn day of Fasting and Humiliation, to be observed in all Churches and Chappels"; and likewise Thursday, 17th May.
It was to be the wettest summer for years, and thus a poor harvest, with hard times following. This contemporary woodcut illustration, however, depicts hay-making (and other activities) in a happier atmosphere.
  Dorset was to become even more pro-Royalist, but Royalist statues, etc. were being destroyed. Passes were now required to travel.
There was privately published during the year this DECLARATION. The cause being that Lords of Manors and Lords of Land were considered not to have Divine Right to the complete ownership of woodland and trees, and land and the fruits thereof for their exclusive use. (For fuller details of the 'Digger Movement' and its Land and Freedom cause, see such internet websites as and
The alehouse was considered by the authorities as the seat of sedition, and the "nursery of naughtiness".
  During December was an Act ordering payment of another £90,000 per mensum for the quarter from 25th December (of which Dorset's share was again £1,682-10s-0d), and £60,000 for the second quarter - with county, etc. quotas in proportion. This time there was no mention of of any Dorset Commissioner named Mew as previously.
1650 Following the poor summer, the winter of 1649/50 was one of the worst on record, and carried well into the early Spring of 1650. Unemployment was very high, food was scarce and expensive, with some areas bordering on possible riots. People wwere sick and dying throughout the country. Again how unfortunate that the Purse Caundle Register for this period went missing, to show how Purse Caundle could have fared.
  In the January, Charles II was secretly proclaimed King at Blandford. He managed to raise an army, but was defeated at Worcester on 3rd September. Subsequently in flight he passed briefly through west and north Dorset on his escape journey to Brighton, and ultimately France. There is a tradition that Charles, when escaping to Salisbury, was hidden at Purse Caundle manor house. He did stop at Charlton Hawthorne which is only some four miles away northwards.
  In February was an Act appointing Thursday, 28th February as a Day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.
  Another Act, in April, was titled 'An Act for the better Observation of the Lords-Day, Days of Thanksgiving and Humiliation. Goods cryed, or put to sale on the Lords day, or other days of Humiliation or Thanks-giving, to be seized. Travellers, Waggoners, &c. not observing those days, to forfeit ten shillings. Any Writ, Warrant, &c. executed on those days to be of no  effect; and the person offending to forfeit five pounds. No person to use or travel with Boat, Horse, Coach, or Sedan, except to Church upon pain of ten shillings. The like penalty for being in a Tavern, Alehouse, &c.; Dancing; Grinding Corn. Neglect by those responsible for enforcement could also be fined. Inability to pay by all offenders could lead to six hours in the Stocks or Cage. The Act was to be read out yearly in Churches on the first Lords-day in March.'
  May saw the 'Act for suppressing the detestable sins of Incest, Adultery and Fornication.' Incest and Adultery were considered Felonies, with a penalty of death, without benefit of clergy; though in the latter case a married woman would not be so guilty if her husband had been three years absent. Fornication warranted three months imprisonment. A common Bawd, or anyone keeping a common Brothel, for a first offence would be openly whipped and set in the Pillory, and there marked with a hot iron in for forehead with the letter B, and afterwards committed to prison for three years and until he/she could provide sufficient Sureties for future good behaviour. A second such offence would be a Felony, warranting death without benefit of clergy. Husband and wife could not be witnesses against each other.
  June saw another puritanical Act, 'for the better preventing of prophane Swearing and Cursing.' For such offence a Lord would forfeit thirty shillings for a first ofence; a Baronet or Knight twenty shillings; an Esquire ten shillings; a Gentleman six shillings and eight pence; and all inferiors three shillings and fourpence. It would be double for the second offence.
  In September was the 'Act for the Repeal of Several Clauses in Statutes imposing Penalties for not coming to Church.' These Acts of former Kings and Queens had been basically against Recusants, who in many cases were now "well-affected" to the prosperity of the Commonwealth." But this new Act did not inany way allow people "to neglect the performance of Religious Duties."
  There ws published this year The ORDER Of keeping A COURT LEET And COURT BARON, With the Charges appertaining to the same. Truly and plainly delivered in the English Tongue, for the Profit of all men, and most commodious for young Students of the Lawes, and all other within the Jurisdiction of those Courts. This was solemn and very detailed, with the dealing of murder to the straying of animals, with sometimes the quoting of statutes dating back to Edward I which authorised such control and penalties, plus legal case law.
  In November was an 'Act for easing the charge of Lords of Manors or Liberties, and their Bayliffs in passing their Accompts in the Court of the Public Exchequer.' For details see APPENDIX A1.
  Another Act in the same month was for raising this time 'One hundred and twenty thousand pounds per Mensem for Four Moneths, To commence the Five and twentieth of December 1650, for Maintenance of the Forces in England, Ireland and Scotland, Raised by Authority of Parliament for the Service of this Commonwealth.' Dorset's share was to be £2,243-6s-8d. Among the administering Commissioners for Dorset was "Mr. Mew of Candle".
  Also during the year was: "The answeare of the parishioners [of Caundle Purse] to a [Commission] warrant concerning the parsonage:
Imprimis: What and how mannye parsonages or other spiritual lyvings or donatyves you have within your parish?
To this wee answeare: wee have butt one parsonage.
Secondly: whatt the true yearlye value of the parsonage is?
Wee answeare that the trewe value is fortye six pounds per annum.
Thirdly: howe is it supplyed?
Answeare: it is supplied by Mr Richard Heighmore, he receiveth the proffittes to his own use.
Fourthly: what parish churches or chappells you have, how are they scittuated and whether they are fitt to be united?
Wee answeare that we have one chappell named Goatehill scittuate neare a myle from our parish church whose proffitts have tyme out of mynde belonged to our Mynyster and which we thincke very fitt to be united. It lyeth in Somerset shire. And the yearely value thereof is twenty-five pounds per annum." (Lambeth Palace Library ref: COMM-12A-6-84)
1650-1656 Sometime during this period was the following subsequent Commission record:
"Candle Purse: Wee presente that there is in the parishe of Candle Purse one parsonage and one parishe churche. There is a little place called Stalbridge Weston which lyes about three quarters of a mile from Stalbridge. We conceive this place very fitte to be united to Candle Purse, what the value of the yearly profittes are, wee are not certainely informed of.
Patron: Mr Edward Dorrington [Dodington?]
Incumbents: Mr William Heymore [Highmore]
Value: The proffittes of fortye pounds per annum or thereabouts, which the said Mr Heymore receaves to his owne use." (Lambeth Palace Library ref: COMM-12A-5-5)
1651 The Iterregnum Parliament had legislated that from 1st January all legal documents, including Manor Court rolls, should cease to be in Latin but were to be in English.
  In April was 'An Act for continuing the Assessment of One Hundred and twenty thousand pounds per Mensem for Six Months, from the Five and twentieth of March, 1651, for Maintenance of the Armies in England, Ireland and Scotland.' The individual County assessments were in the same proportion as before; and the same Commissioners as in the previous similar Act.
  July saw the 'Act against stealing or killing of Deer.' Any one who killed, hurt, or took away any TRed or Fallow Deer without permission of the owner would forfeit fifteen pounds, with half to the informer and the other half to the Poor of the Parish where the offence occurred. If unable to pay then it would be Prison for twelve months.
  August saw the 'Act concerning the Militias in the respective Counties within this Commonwealth', whereby County Militias were to be assembled at appropriate rendezvous; and all those who were required to supply Horse-men and Foot-men were to immediately furnish them, giving them one month's pay. They should stand in full force until 1st December.
  Another Act that same month stipulated that each inhabitant should declare what arms and ammunition he had. Householders were also to declare details of any lodgers they had; and keepmtheir sons and Men-servants within house or in order so as not to allow them to have "tumultuous Meetings together, or any disorderly Actions."
  John Hoskins of Purse Caundle manor house died. The rector of neighbouring Stalbridge ws to be forcibly evicted by the Parliamentarians.
1652 Dorset was now settling down, though people were expected to swear that they would 'be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England as it is now established, without a king or House of Lords'. Churchwardens could still be expected even now to have to pay for travelling maimed soldiers. Puritan anti-festive culture, e.g. abolition of Chrsutmas during which markets and shops may be open, was far slower to penetrate the pasture regions of north Dorset and south Somerset.
  There was yet in December a further 'Act for an Assessment at the Rate of One hundred and twenty thousand Pounds by ther Moneth for Six Months, from 25th December 1652; to 24th June 1653, towards the Maintenance of the Armies in England, Ireland and Scotland; as also for the Navy.' Dorset's share was £2,243-6s-8d, but again it is not known what parishes and/or individuals had to contribute. One of the overseeing Commissioners was "James Mew of Candel." 
1653 In August was 'An Act touching Marriages and the Registring thereof; and also touching Births and Burials'. This Act for example stipulated that banns of marriage should be declared for three consecutive weeks in church or market place; and where the parties were under twenty-one years they should have the permission of parents or guardians. The age of consent for a Man should be sixteen years, and for a Woman fourteen years. Marriages were now pronounced as merely a civil contract; being performed by Justices of the Peace. The form of marriage was set out, being that the Man takes the hand of the Woman, saying: "I A.B. do here in the presence of God the searcher of all hearts, take thee C.D. for my wedded Wife: and do also in the presence of God, and before these witnesses, promise to be unto thee a loving and faithful Husband." The Woman should then take the hand of the Man, saying: "I C.D. do in the presence of God the searcher of all hearts, take thee A.B. for my wedded Husband: and do also in the presence of God, and before these witnesses, promise to be unto thee a loving, faithful and obedient Wife." A Register book of vellum should be kept to record details of Births, Marriages and Burials.
Coins struck during the Commonwealth had inscriptions in English, as the usual Latin was considerd to savour too much of the papacy. Illustrated is a reproduction silver Twelve Pence coin, dated 1653.
1654 March saw 'An Ordinance for prohibiting Cock-matches', it being considered that gatherings for this purpose tended to become unruly "to the Dishonour of God". It was "Ordained by his Highness the Lord Protector[!]" that such meetings must cease. (Note that Cromwell has now been elevated to a form of royalty.)
  Also in March was 'An Ordinance [or Act] for the better amending and keeping in repair the Common High-ways within the Nation.' This was because existing legislation was not having the desired good effect. Now in each Parish, two or more Householders holding either land there worth £20 per annum, or personal Estate worth £100, were to be elected and chosen yearly on the first Tuesday following 25th March, who must then be sworn before a Justice of the Peace. It would be the duty amongst others of such Surveyors of Highways to maintain all highways and roadside ditches in the parish, obtaining suitable materials and hiring labour, to levying a parish tax to pay for it all. There were also restrictions on the number of animals pulling carts, waggons, etc., though a subsequent Act in May excluded such restrictions to vehicles carrying Ordnance, Timber or Artillery for the use of the Army or Navy. The final clause of in the Act was:
'Shirborn Causeyway
. . . That one Act made in the first year of the Reign of the late Queen Mary, for and concerning the making, repairing nd amendment of the Common High-way and Causey, in the Counties of Dorset and Somerset, between the Towns of Shaftsbury and Shirborn, in the said county of Dorset, Entituled, An Act to Repair Shirborn Causey in the Counties of Dorset and Somerset, from henceforth shall be revived and stand in force, until the First of September, One Thousand six hundred sixty two.'
  There was continuing taxation with the 'Ordinance for an Assessment for Six Moneths, from June 24, 1654, for maintenance of the Armies and Navies of this Commonwealth, at the rate of £120,000 per mensem, for the first three moneths. And at the rate of £90,000 per mensem, for the last three Moneths.' Dorset's first quarter's share was £1,686-5s-0d, and in proportion for the second quarter. The same Commissioners were to oversee as previously.
  August saw 'An Ordinance for ejecting nScandalous, Ignorant and insufficient Ministers and Schoolmasters.' Amongst the Commissioners appointed to administer the Act was a "James Mew Gent", who was probably from Purse Caundle. Although Purse Caundle's minister was to be safe, it was seen in 1651 that the rector of Stalbridge had already been ejected.
  This Ordinance was followed in September by 'An Ordinance for the better maintenance and encouragement of Preaching Ministers, and for uniting of Parishes.' Purse Caundle with its resident minister, the Rev. Richard Highmore, would seem to have been adequately catered for - but see 1655-1659 below.
1655 Dorset was considered by some Parliamentarians as that most "disaffected county of Dorset". With the Commonwealth Protectorate under Cromwell, matters generally settled down, albeit reluctantly, and normal daily life returned.
  But taxation continued to be imposed with in February 'An Ordinance and declaration of His Highness the Lord Protector with the Advice of his Council, for an Assessment of three-score thousand pounds by the Moneth, for six Moneth, for and towards the Maintenance of the Armies and Navies of this Commonwealth.' Dorset's share was £1,124-3s-4d.
1655-1659 Inquisitions were held to investigate any need for the Union or Division of Parishes. Regarding the parish of Caundle Purse, 'A chappell named Goatehill belonging to it, very fit to be united to it.' (See 1650, and DNHAS Volume XXXVI, 1915)
1657 In June was a further 'Act for Assessment upon England at the Rate of Sixty thousand Pounds by the Moneth, for three Moneths.' Dorset's share each month was £1,124-3s-4d. One of Dorset's administering Commissioners was again "James Mew of Candle".
  The Puritanical Parliament again paid attention to a central tenet with 'An Act for the better observation of the Lords Day.' It was considered that previous legislation on the matter was "frequently neglected and prophaned to the dishonor of Christ, and Profession of the Gospel." Between the hours of midnight on Saturday night to midnight on Sunday night there was very little that any person could do, except they must attend church. Churchwardens and other parish officers were to enforce this Act, and the minister on the first Lords Day in March yearly should read out the Act before the morning Sermon.
    In June was yet another 'Act for an Assessment at the Rate of Five and thirty thousand pounds by the moneth upon England [and other sums on Scotland and Ireland], for three years; from the 24 June 1657, for a Temporary Supply towards the maintenance of the Armies and Navies of this Commonwealth.' Dorset's share each month was to be £655-15s-3d.
1658, 3rd September, saw the death of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, with his eldest son Richard succeeding him as Lord Protector.
  Regarding the production since 1648 (q.v.) by businesses of unofficial copper trade tokens, because of the general shortage of official small denomination silver coinage, Thomas Snooke of Stalbridge this year issued copper farthings, followed by James Cane in 1666. Tokens were also to be issued at Sherborne (1657-16690, Shaftesbury (1657-1669), and Sturminster Newton (1664).
1659 Following Oliver Cromwell's death, there was support for a plot for the return of Charles II, with some minor gentry and skilled workers around Sherborne, Stalbridge and Shaftesbury promising help and a handful of horses. There were to be abortive Royalist uprisings in the South and South-West for the Restoration of a Monarchy, but there was not to be another civil war.
  On the 25th May, in the face of unrest within, and opposition from the Army, Richard Cromwell handed in his resignation. The Commonwealth was then to be ruled by a Rump Parliament, composed of those with self-interest.
  Perhaps it was as a result of this unrest that in July there was an 'Act for Householders to Give an Account of Lodgers, Horses, Arms, and Ammunition.'
1660 One of the last pieces of legislation of the dying Commonwealth was unsurprisingly and partly in view of the domestic opposition to the Commonwealth, 'An Act for an Assessment of One hundred Thousand Pounds by the Moneth, upon England, Scotland, and Ireland, for Six Moneths.' Dorset's monthly share was £1,311-10s-6d. Of the ppointed Commissioners for the county, only a John Hannam could have had a Purse Caundle connection.
  The Rump Parliament bowed to the inevitable, and negotiated for the return from abroad of Charles Stuart. Charles II finally succeeded to the throne on the 29th May, though there had been previous joyful Proclamations in Dorset and elsewhere. Sherborne celebrated on Monday, 14th May. Large bonfires were lit on the three highest hills about a mile from the town, being visible in the greatest part of Blackmore Vale. (SDNQ XIII, 1930) The Civil War had changed conditions little: there was still a Stuart King, a Parliament still elected by the same limited electorate, and the same state religion. Bu some things had gone for ever, such as many church documentd, registers, etc. which had been destroyed by soldiers. An above national average of deaths had occurred in Dorset as a result of the many skirmishes and sieges. Thus there had been great disruption to farm work, and to maintenance and repairs. Heavy taxation had depressed the living standards of the people.
  Legislation was to be passed which reversed the 1651 requirement (q.v.) that all legal documents, including Manor Court rolls, should be in English, i.e. they would again now be in Latin. This was to continue until 1733.
1661 King Charles II had brought substantial debts with him, which Parliament considerd should be repaid by a population grateful for his return. Thus an Act (13 Charles II, chap 4) was passed for the collection of a "Free and Voluntary Present" to the king. Although no sums were stipulated, it was expected that the richer a person was the more should be contributed. Although not compulsory, records of donations were made, and refusal frowned upon, and sometimes recorded. Unfortunately, practically no returns survive as to Dorset "Present" contributions, so it is not known how generous was Purse Caundle. (For more details see 'The Free and Voluntary Present 1661-62' by Cliff Webb, in the Journal of the Society of Genealogists, c.1986.
1662 On 3rd May a violent thunderstorm apparently erupted above Purse Caundle. Dorothy Chapman, who had a reputation for cursing and using 'very sad imprecations', was struck down by a bolt of lightning that burst through the front door of her house, and striking her dead as she sat before the hearth. Her clothes above her waist were ripped and torn, and her hair stripped from her head and scattered about the house. Her three children were thrown to the floor. The lightning also broke the bars and glass of a window. The house was literally turned upside down, and in the air hung a thick layer of smoke, and the distinct odour of brimstone. He husband, Leonard Chapman, came back to witness the devastation, but soon left the house with his eldest son, vowing never to return, fearing he too would be struck down by this malevolent force. What did he do about the other two children?
  Amongst the Acts passed this year were the following two. Firstly, an Act to assist those who had fought for the late Charles I in the Civil War. For mention of Caundle Purse, see APPENDIX C1 re. Hoskins. (SDNQ XVIII, 1926) There was also the Act of Settlement (13 & 14 Charles II, chap 12), which gave powers to parish Overseers of the Poor, on making complaint to Justices, to return to their parish of settlement any newcomers to the parish who had no legal settlement within it. This meant that rather than have to provide for these incoming persons (e.g. widows) from the parish poor rate, unless they had perhaps been born in the parish, could find work there, or had some other close tie with it, they could be returned to whence they came. See later in 1722.
  On 4th December there was a Manor Court of Evan [?Peys] and Francis Coldes, with leasing enrollments extract in APPENDIX A2.
1662/1664 The Hearth Tax Assessment.
Sherborne Division - Caundle Purse Tithing [number of hearths being charged],
Mr Richard Heymor  v                    John King senr'  j
Mrs Ursula Hoskins  xiij                  John King junr'  iij
Edward Everatt  j                            James Pope  j
James May  iiij                                Anthony Stone  iij
Willm' Everatt  ij                              Willm' Ones  ij  demoleshd j
Richard Barrett  iij  wold upp j         Ann Ellis  ij
George Bartlett  iij                           Willm' Ellis  ij  wold j
Willm' King  j                                  Giles Hawkins  j decayd
David Clark  j                                 David Wooder senr'  iij
John Clark  j                                   Reynold Burgesse  ij
John Pere  iiij
(i or j = 1. v = 5. x = 10. wold upp = walled up. demoleshd = demolished.)
1665 The GREAT PLAGUE came to England in early November. It was still active on the 13th, but the onset of cold weather thereafter temporarily extinguished it, but it did not finally end until 1670. Because of the missing church Register, how it directly affected Purse Caundle is again not known, though it did reach Sherborne, and Donhead St. Mary just north-east of Shaftesbury. Charles II temporarily moved his Court from London to Salisbury, and visited nearby towns.
1666 Following the Great Fire of London in the firstv few vdays of September, churches throughout the land started receiving 'Briefs' asking for donations  from congregations "for the reliefe of the sufferers by the great fire at London."
1667 A third bell was hung in Purse Caundle church tower, and still survives.
1671, 1st April, a Court Baron of Philip Hoby, esquire, was held at Purse Caundle, at which certsin premises and lands there were leased to John Clarke - for details see APPENDIX A2.
  The first Game Act was passed, which restricted rights for taking game to those with a rental income of at least £100 per annum - which would naturally exclude the majority of people.
1673 Hearth Tax, Ladyday Assessment of Purse Caundle:
61 total chargeable hearths.     20 chargeable entries.   3 exempt.  
1674 Production and use of Trade Tokens was abolished by Royal Proclamation, with the eventual minting of official currency copper halfpennies and farthings.
1675 saw the publication of John Ogilby's illustrated road network: Britannia, Volume the First: or an Illustration of the Kingdom of England and Dominium of Wales
Of particular interest for this History was this section of the London to Lands End road between Shaftesbury and Sherborne. Depicted is the old medieval pre-turnpike road - the ill-maintained Causeway of Tudor times - that can still be followed from Toomer Hill westwards, just south of Gospel Ash to Crendle Hill Wood.
1677 As part of a nationwide exercise, there was a Visitation of Dorset by Heralds of the College of Arms, to verify claims to armourial bearings.
1678 June, death of Philip Hoby, Lord of the Manor, being succeeded by his widow, Elizabeth Hoby of Glamorganshire.
14th October, was held a Purse Caundle Manor Court, when a messuage and 9 acres in occupation of James Ellis were granted to William Ellis for his life. Also the surrender by William Ellis and Johan his wife, and Johan Ellis, spinster, their daughter, of three closes containing 8 acres, and also 9 acres called [---]ckway.
  The reversion of the Manor after Sir William Dodington's lease had been granted to Lady Brooke and her children, the books and writings of the Manor were handed by Llewellin to Mr. Joseph Gray by order of Mr. Parker for the use of Lady Brooke. (Dorset Chancery Suits, Vol. XIV)
1679 Illustrated above is a real silver Threepence of Charles II.
1683, 10th April, a Purse Caunle Manor Court of Thomas Hoby, with an extract in APPENDIX A2.
1683/1684 In December began an exceptionally severe spell of cold weather. Apparently some trees, particularly oaks, split with the frost, exploding with a noise like a gun. The severest part of this spell, however, was in the following January and February.
1685, 6th February, was the accession of James II as king.
11trh June, Thursday, James, Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis as a claimant to the throne, and began recruiting many followers on his progress northwards into Somerset. But extremely wet weather towards the end of the month, plus lack of sufficient followers and supplies, were contributory reasons for his defeat at the hands of the King's forces at Sedgemoor on Sunday, 5th July. Among the latter was Bishop Peter Mew, originally from Purse Caundle, who prior to the battle stayed at the house of a man named Baker. There immediately began not only a determined search by soldiers for Monmouth, but also for his surviving rebel followers and sympathisers. Monmouth's flight route went through Semley Common, White Sheet Hill, Cranborne, Wimborne St. Giles to Horton Heath where he was captured on Wednesday, 8th July. He was eventually executed on Tower Hill, London, on Wednesday, 15th July. Fear among pro-Monmouth sympathisers continued with the issuing of an Order to constables of the Hundreds within the area of the Rebellion. This required them to return names of all persons absent from their houses at the time of the insurrection, or who, for any other reason, were suspected of having joined in it. Consequent on this, these persons were Presented as Rebels at Judge Jeffrey's 'Bloody Assizes'. Whilst there seemingly was not anybody from Purse Caundle so named, the immediate area did not escape this retribution:
3rd September, Thursday. Sherborne Hundred and Liberty presentments at the Dorchester Assize held on Saturday, 5th September:
Nether Compton    6) "Suspected to bee in the late Rebellion,
Bradford [Abbas]  2)  being absent from their homes."
Upper Compton    3)  "Absconding from their homes and
Stalbridge              1)  suspected to bee in the Rebellion."
Sherborne             2)
No local person seems to have been presented at the Exeter Assize on Saturday, 12th September.
17th September, Thursday. Horethorn Hundred presentments at Taunton Assize:
Milborne [Port]  2) "For being in the late Rebellion with James
Trent                  4) Scott, late Duke of Monmouth, &; at large."
The final Assize was at Taunton on Tuesday, 22nd September. (DNHAS Vol. V, 1882)
Some 840 rebels were convicted, with many being executed, but the majority were sentenced to ten years transportation to the West Indies, almost as slaves. Many were held in the cloisters at Wells cathedral, before being made to walk to Weymouth to catch a boat. There was a two nights' rest at Sherborne gaol (where some escaped). Sick prisoners were carried in carts. (A source for further details is The Dorset and Somerset Rebellion by K. Merle Chacksfield, 1985)  
1686, 29th July. 'Purse Caundle Manor Court held of Thomas Hoby Esq, and Lady Brooke, his wife:
Bailiff: Browne presented that all is well and remains in office.
Jury: Anthony Stone, William Stone, Edward Everitt, William Over.
Thomas King (12d) [£6.64], Margaret Foote, widow (12d) - free suitors of manor, they owe suit of court but did not appear and are in mercy.
John Clarke, senior (12d), John Clarke, junior (12d), James Pitman (12d) are customary tenants owing suit of court, but did not appear, are in mercy.
William Ellis: holds by copy of court roll a messuage or tenement with 2 closes of pasture and 1 close of meadow (8acres); also 3 closes called Munckway (9acres) - has died since last court. Joan Taylor, once wife of said William Ellis, now wife of John Taylor, is admitted tenant to his lands.
Edith Pope, widow: holds by copy of court roll a messuage or tenement with curtilage, garden, and orchard, and close of meadow adjoining (1 acre), a close of pasture called Lay Close (2 acres), close called Claverland (9 acres), another close of pasture called Moss Leaze 1 1/2 acres) - she died since last court - her son James is admitted tenant to her lands.
Jane Ellis, widow: holds by copy of court roll messuage or tenement - has died since last court - lands revert to Lord and Lady of manor.
Thomas Polden: holds by indenture a messuage or tenement - died since the last court - land reverts to Lord and Lady of manor.
All the customary tenants should make repairs, and ought to have houseboote, plowboote, fireboote, gate posts, rails, wattles, spars.
A watercourse from Hob Crosse to the end of a close called The Lower End of Shore Mead should be properly repaired and scoured before 3 May next - all those defaulting fined 3s4d [£22] each.
Robert Seyes, esq, came to court and took from the Lord and Lady a house called Hornswell House, with a stable, orchard, garden, and a close of meadow called Greenewell (3 acres), close of arable land at Greenway (12 acres), late in tenure of James Ellis, now dead, to be held by himself Richard Seyes, John Shipton, gent, and William Tippin, gent, for the term of their lives or the survivor. Rent 5s 3d [£34] per annum. Fine to Lord and Lady £112 [£14,878].' See also Court Baron of 3rd May 1687 and APPENDIX A2. Hornswell House is no more, and site a small Council housing estate.
1687, 3rd May. 'Manor Court held of Thomas Hoby esquire and the most noble Anne, Lady Brooke, his wife, before Josephe Mede, gentleman, steward of the Manor.
Jury: John Taylor, James Pitman, Edward Everet, John Clarke, William Overs, James Pope.
John Clarke, senior, copyholder of manor, died since last court. [This entry crossed through in original.]
Abraham Cave's ditch is blocked and should be scoured out by Michaelmas under pain of 3s 4d [£25].
thomas King's ditch at Greenhill is blocked, to be scoured out before St. John's Day under pain of 20s [£148].
Ditch at Highmorne  is blocked, should be scoured out and repaired by St. John's Day, on pain of 20s.
Ditch of Widow King at Greenhill is blocked, to be scoured out by St. John's Day on pain of 12s 4d [£91].
Elizabeth Evered's ditch at Greenehill is blocked, to be scoured and repaired by St. John's Day on pain of 10s.
James Pope's ditch at Cleverland is blocked, to be scoured and repaired by St. John's Day on pain of 3s.
Thomas Whittle's ditch at Mill Lane within the Bars adjoining Lake Close, is blocked, to be scoured out before St. John's Day on pain of 20s.
Abraham Cave's ditch at Little Panck Hill is blocked.
Richard Seyes, esq. appeared at court - he holds by copy of court roll dated\29 July 1686 Hornswell House, stable, orchard, garden, meadow called Greenehill (3 acres) . . .' [incomplete entry on damaged document].
  Also at this Court  a lease of certain premises and lands at Purse Caundle were surrendered by Richard Seyes, and leased to Thomas King, Ambrose James and James Brown - for details see APPENDIX A2.
1688, 15th June, 'Manor Court held of Thomas Holby and Dame Anne Brooke.
Freeholders: John Hoskins Esq, William Browne, John Clothier, Widow Foote.
Jury: John Taylor, James Pitman, Edward Everet, John Clarke, William Overs, James Pope, Thomas King, Anthony Stone, William Stone.
George Maynard, gent, [Robert Tite crossed through] took from the Lord and Lady a messuage or tenement, garden, orchard, barn, meadow ground (12 acres), backside, pasture ground Greenehill (8 acres), close of arable (4 acres) Monkeway, all which were  once held by Elizabeth King widow, to be held by George Maynard, Richard Seyes, esq, William Tipping esq, for the term of their lives or the survivor. Rent: 6s 8d [£50] per annum. Fine: £80 [£1,229]. Tite surrendered and George Maynard took it.
Robert Tite took from the Lord and Lady a messuage or tenement, barn, porch, orchard, close of meadow (2 acres), two closes of pasture called Greenehills (8 acres0, close of arable land called Monkway (4 acres) now in tenure of Elizabeth King widow. To be held by said Robert Tite, George Tite and James Tite his sons, for the term of their lives or the survivor. Rent: 6s 8d per annum. Fine: £80.
Robert Tite who holds by copy of court roll dated 15 June a messuage and land [as above] surrenders it to the Lord and Lady, cancelling the reversion to sons and George Maynard receives it [as above].'
  Soon after his landing at Tor Bay from Holland, on 5th November, William of Orange stayed at Sherborne Castle for three nights as the guest of John Digby, 3rd Earl of Bristol - see 1689.
1689, 13th February, was the subsequent accession of William III and Mary.
  The 'Toleration Act' gave Protestant Dissenters religious liberty, but not political equality. In practice the religious equality was extended to Catholics as well.
1690 'Att the Court Barron held att Candle Purse the 12th Day of November Anno Dom 160 and in the second year of the reign of King William & Queen Mary by Thomas Hoby Esqr & Dame Anne Brooks, his wife, before Richard Highmore, steward there.
First: Wee doo present that the Lord of this Mannor may grant two lives in reversion after one in possession accrording as it hath been formerly presented.
item: Wee doo present that the Lord of this Mannor cannot grant a Coppy upon a Coppy in Reversion.
item: We doo present House Boot, Plow Boot, Gate Boot & Fire Boot with allowance.
item: Wee present fire Wood without Assignment.
item: Wee doo present Elizabeth Everett to allow Wm Brown a footway through Greenhill.
William Ellis      - ) All these are to   
Robert Penny   - )  have Wattle &
John Everett     - )  Sparrs out of
Tho Barrett      - )  Whittles Wood
William Brown - )  in Night Gate

Thomas King  - )  All these are to
Antho Stone   - )  have Wattle &
John Clarke    - )  Sparrs out of Plumly
Wm Stone      - )  Wood with Wm Taylor
Simon Everett - )  Rents.
James Pope    - )
James Pitman  - )
Widd Clarke   - ) 
Anthony Stone
Wm Stone
Tho King
William Brown
James Pitman
The mark of
Sym. Everett
The mark of
Tho Barrett
John Clarke
  Sometime during the 1690s there was a malignant fever recorded in the Stalbridge Parish Register.
1693 Up until now residents and visitors to Sherborne would have seen displayed as a warning and deterrent the body parts of those hanged and then quartered.
1695 Soon after the 'Restoration'a major campaign against bird pests was initiated, being concentrated on the kite, buzzard, and raven which preyed on farmyard poultry and on weak lambs, or damaged the hides of dead and dying sheep; and secondly on bullfinches and jays which stripped whole orchards of buds. This was because poultry, sheep rearing, and fruit production had grown. The original 'Vermin Acts' were still being implemented in other respects, as witness at Stalbridge where twopence was being paid for a hedgehog, and one shilling for a fox. Churchwardens' Accounts for Purse Caundle covering this period have apparently not survived - the earliest known dating from 1822.
1702, 8th March, was the accession on his death of William III's wife Anne as Queen, until 1714.
1703 On Wednesday, 24th November, following a fortnight of very windy weather, there began a 'Great Storm' which lasted a week, with possibly the most severe storm ever recorded in the British Isles on the night of the 26th. A 120-mile per hour "perfect hurricane" affected southern England, and did not die down until 2nd December. Daniel Defoe, in his first book The Storm in 1704, called it "the tempest that destroyed woods and forests all over England." Many houses and barns were also blown down, with thousands of both people and animals killed by drowning. Further violent gales occurred on the 7th/8th and 27th/28th December.
Illustrated is a real Queen Anne silver penny, with a diameter of only 12 mm. No wonder that they could easily be lost.
1707 According to the Stalbridge Parish Register there were deaths from smallpox in the area.
1710 An Act was passed requiring Lords of the Manor to register with a Clerk of the Peace the appointment of the one gamekeeper allowed by that Act at any one time.
1712 According to the Stalbridge Parish Register there were deaths from smallpox at Milton Abbas.
1714, 8th March, the death of Queen Anne; and with the accession of George I, being the beginning of what was to become known as the Georgian period.