The Three main Parish Churches in Dorchester are
St Peter's,     Holy Trinity,    and All Saints
(see below)

They are of very ancient foundation being as old as the introduction of Christianity in the Kingdom of the West Saxons in the 7th Century. Further more detailed background is freely available from the book 'The History of Dorchester' by James Savage which was published in 1837. A full transcription can be viewed at google books. Most of the text given below however has been transcribed from John Hutchins book 'The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset'. I have taken the liberty of adding some pictures which relate to the text and cross referencing to other information on this site.

The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset
by John Hutchins -- Pages 377-379, and 400
Part 23

(3rd Edition published 1868)

Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester - September 2016 - last update Mar 2017



The Parish of All Saints
(All Saints was also referred to as 'Alhalens' or 'All Hallows').

All Saints Church - Dorchester

The Parish of 'All Saints' commonly called 'All Hallows' or the Lower Parish, occupies the east part of the town and contains all the East Street from the church on one side and the Kings Arms Inn on the other, inclusive to the end of town. Durn [Dorn] Lane which runs parallel with the former; Church Lane, Gaol Lane, at the corner of which the gaol stood, part of Priory Lane; Gallows Hill Lane, at the south end of which the gallows was formerly placed; and the Walls, a lane near the end of Durn Lane.

"The Church" says Hutchins, "is situated near the west end of the parish, is a large, but does not seem an ancient building, consisting of body [i.e. nave] supported by eight pillars, and a north aisle of equal length and height, and tiled. The chancel is not parted from the body. The tower is low, and thought to have been raised since the fire, 1613, in which the church was probably consumed. In it are three bells. It was repaired an beutified, 1720, at the expense of Robert BROWNE of Frampton Esq. On a carved wooden screen is the date 1630.

This Church which stands on the south side of High East Street, on the west side of Priory Lane, was taken down and rebuilt in 1845, and it now consists of a chancel, nave, aisles, surmounted by a lofty spire, which was added a few years ago and forms one of the most conspicuous architectural features in a distant view of the town. The nave has four bays, with arcades supported by octagonal pillars. The east and west windows are large and lofty, the tracery above the lights being of reticulated pattern. They are filled with stained glass, the latter being erected ---

    "In loving remembrance of Arthur DD TROYTE who fell asleep June 19th MDCCCLVIIO"

    [Note:- His full name was Arthur Henry Dyke Troyte ACKLAND (1811-1857). He was the 2nd son of Thomas DYKE of Broad Clyst in Devon. He was educated at Christ Church Oxford where he matriculated on 10th Feb 1829 aged 17. He was awarded a BA Degree 1832; MA 1836 and was a member of the Inner Temple 1833-1848 afterwards becoming Dyke-Troyte. He became a JP and married Frances [Fanny] WILLIAMS by licence at Little Bredy in Dorset 15th Sep 1835. They had 3 children prior to coming to Dorchester in 1840. The following children were baptised at All Saints Church :-

    (4) Mary Dyke Acland bap 8th Nov 1840
    (5) Charles Arthur Williams Acland bap 22nd May 1842
    (6) Joanna Dorothea Dyke Acland bap 23nd July 1843
    (7) Edward Augustin Acland bap privately 31st Jan 1845 buried All Saints 7th Feb 1845
    (8) Sarah Lucy Acland bap 28th Dec 1845
    (9) John Edward Acland bap 5th Mar 1848]
[Note:- The post card left dates from around 1896 and shows High East Street looking back past the towering spire of All Saints Church with the clock tower of the Corn exchange in the distance]

On a tablet of wood is the following insciption: " In perpetuam rei memoriam, quas dederis solas sempar habebis opes 1685. Mr William GAPE late inhabitant of the parish of St Paul in Covent Garden, Westminster, by his last Will and testament hath given and bequeathed to the poor of the parish of All Saints in Dorchester, wherein he was born, out of his five messuages or tenements situate and being in St Syth's Lane, London, five pounds per annum for vever; and ordained the first payment to commence from and after the decease of Mary his wife, who died November 16th 1681. [Note:- The Will of William GAPE an Apothecary of Covent Garden in London dated 3rd Oct 1675 survives at the National Archives Ref: PROB 11/348 and was proved ast London on 20th Oct 1675.]

Arms: Per pale. or and argent, a fess and in chief three crosslets fitchee sable,

" In the middle of the north aisle" says hutchins, "On the north wall, is a large monument of free stone, surrounded by a wooden screen; under an arch, between pillarsof the Corinthian order, is the figure of a man lying at full length, in a gown and ruff. It has been adorned with painting and guilding, which isa now much decayed". This monument now stands on the north side of the tower, where it was placed at the late rebuilding of the church. The figure lies upon an alter-tomb. On a tablet at the back, under the arch, is the following inscription: "Heare lyeth the body of MATTHEW CHUBB, borne in Dorchester. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: They rest from their labours, and their works doe follow them" [Note:- Link to more information inc Will of Matthew CHUBB Dated 21st Jun 1617 which was proved 15 July 1617. Also a transcription of his widow Margaret CHUBB's Will dated 18 April 1625 (Probate granted 14 May 1628) and Chubbs Almshouses. ]

Below this inscription are two shields of arms: on the dexter side: Azure, a cross or between four bezants; Crest, a demi-lion azure, holding in his extended paws a bezant, Chubb. On the sinister side; Sable on a fess bbetween three dragon's heads erased or three esttoiles of the field. Crest, a dragon's head couped sable, collared with two barrulets and guttee d'or. "This Mr CHUBB" adds Hutchins "built an almshouse at Shaftesbury."

There is a modern tablet:
Sacred to the memory of Charles ELDRIDGE esq who died February 1st 1846 aged 56 years. Also Sarah his wife, who died Nov 23rd 1856, aged 58 years; and of Charles their son, who died April 17th 1850 aged 16 years. [Note:- Link to Eldridge POPE Brewery and more information about this family]

There are two small bells in the tower, with the following dates and inscription:
(1) RO:SCUTT, RO:LOKE, CW Anno Domini 1697.
(2) 1624

"Here" says Hutchins, " Is a small parochial library," given in 1709, by Thomas BRAY the founder of the Parochial Libraries, and his associates. It was in conjunction with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and is the only one of the kind to be met with in this county.


Matthew, son of Matthew CHUBB baptised 1621
Thomas son of Robert ERLE, esq and Susan baptised 1626
Thomas son of Rinaldo KNAPTON baptised 1628

Mr Thomas WALKIT and Mrs Mary MELLER of All Saints 1663

Peter CHUBB - 1613
Mr Matthew CHUBB - 1617 [Note:- Link to more information about his will and family]
Margaret CHUBB - 1627
Matthew CHUBB - 1632

Mr Robert CHEEKE - 1617
Mr Thomas BASLARD - 1618
Mr James BAMFIELD Clerk - 1635
Thomas STRANGEWAYS, a prisoner - 1670
Mr William BENN - 1680
Mr Joseph SEWARD - 1681
Sixteen prisoners , Monmouth Rebellion - 1685 [Note:- For a list of their names see All Saints Burial Registers]
Mr John CHAPPEL - 1693
Mr John SEWARD, senior - 1704
Mr Robert IRONSIDE - a prisoner 1706 [Note:- Link to Burial and more infoprmation about the family]
Mr Andrew LODER Senior - 1707
Mr Andrew LODER Junior - 1708
Mr Thomas DELACOMB, Mayor - 1708 [Note:- Actually - Mr Thomas DELACOURT also previously Mayor in 1692]
Mr Henry WHIFFIN Mayor - 1710
Mr Robert LODER - 1711


The patron anciently, according to the Salisbury Registers was always the King; but now the trustees of the school and almshouses consisting of the aldermen and some of the neighbouring gentry. In the Testa de Neville, temp Henry III it is thus mentioned. "The church of All Saints, in the same borough, is in the gift of the King, and is now held by Master henry de Cerne, to whom it was given by King John, and it is worth 34s".

15 Jac I the advowson of the church was granted to the bailiffs and burgesses. It was augmented 1722 with 200l by Thomas STRANGEWAYS esq; 200l by the corporation of Queen Anne's Bounty ; 200l by Mr COLSON of Bristol, with which a little farm of 30/- per annum called Crockers Moor in the parish of Corcomb was purchased. It was a discharged living.

Present value 4. 4s. 7d + Tenths 0. 8s 5½d. Bishop's procurations 0. 1s. 4d Archdeacons procurations 0 2s 3d Clear yearly value 8.

INQUISTIO NONARUM Parochia Omnium Sanctorum in eodem non taxatur. Predicti jurati presentant quod ecclesia ibidem non taxatur, et quod nullisunt ibidem garbae velleres et agni

The return to the commission, 1650, was that it was a parsonage. There was payable out of the parish lands and small tithes to the minister 5 16s 4d out of the impropriate parsonage of Walterson yearly, duringf two lives, formerly given by Sir F ASHLEY, 14; out of the impropriate parsonage of Fordington 60 yearly. In all 79 16s 4d ; Mr William BEN Minister who supplies the cure.
There then follows a long listing of the Rectors of All Saints Church - These have all been included in the listing of Church Officials for Dorchester and collated with other information available from other sources

Hutchins makes the following additional comments regarding his entry in repect of Rev William Benn (c1600 - 1680) which has been incorporated into his Biography:-

" William BENNE was born at or near Egremond, in Cumberland, 1600, educated at St Bee's and afterwards at Queen's College Oxford , which he left without taking any degree, on obtaining a presentation to Oakingham in Berkshire; but one Bateman having got another presentation, rather than contest it at law, they agreed jointly to perform the duty and receive the profits. Afterwards he became chaplain to the Marchioness of Northampton , in Somersetshire, leaving Oakingham to Bateman. In 1629 Mr WHITE invited him to Dorchester, where by his interest, he was made rector od All Saints, and was in great repute among the Puritans; and (except two years that he attended Mr WHITE at Lambeth) continued here until Bartholomew Day 1662 when he was ejected for non-conformity . While rector of All Saints he preached gratis to the prisoners at the gaol, and a room not being spacious enough he procured a chapel to be built within the prison, in good part at his own charge. In 1654 he was one oif the assistants to the commissioners for ejecting such as were called scandalous, ignorant, an insufficiant ministers and schoolmasters. He lived in Dorchester till his death, but was often imprisonbed and fined for preaching there and in the neighbourhood in conventicles. He died 22 March 1680 and was buried in All Saints churchyard. He wrote "An answer to Mr Francis Bampfylde, being a letter in Vindicationof the Christain Sabbath against the Jewish, 1672." Svo. printed with Bampfyldes " Judgement for the Observation of the Jewish Sabbath". "Soul Prosperity, Twelve Sermons on John, ch. iii.ver.2. 1683."Svo"

CHURCH ESTATE - ALL SAINTS Parish (Extracted from pages 400/401 - All Saints Parsonage)

By indenture, dated 12 April, 9 Charles I (i.e.1633) between Richard BLATCHFORD, a parishioner of All Saints, James GOULD, both Capital Burgesses of the said borough, of the one part; and John BLATCHFORD and William WHITEWAY, then bailiffs of the said borough, and two others, capital burgesses of the said borough, and Matthew BUTLER, Edward DASHWOOD, Robert LAWRENCE, and John BUSHRODE, the parishioners of All Saints of the other part; it was witnessed , that the said Richard BLATCHFORD and James GOULD (in consideration of the performance of that trust in themreposed by the said Edward DASHWOOD and Robert LAWRENCE, then churchwardens of All Saints Parish, who therefore, with the consent of the parishioners of the same parish, by fineby themacknowledgedto the said Richard BLATCHFORD and James GOULD, in Easter term, 4 Charles I (i.e.1628) and be deed dated 8th April, 5 Charles I (i.e.1629) declaring the uses of the said fine granted , conveyed , and assured the messuages, lands, and tenements hereafter mentioned to the said BLATCHFORD and GOULD) granted and eenfeoffed unto John BLATCHFORD, William WHITEWAY, Denis BOND, Richard SAMWAYE, Matthew BUTLER, Edward DASHWOOD, Robert LAWRENCE, and John BUSHRODE their heirs and assigns certain messuages, the particulars of which are therein set forth, situate in the borough of Dorchester, to hold all and singular the said premises unto and to the use of John BLATCHFORD and others, and their heirs for ever.

And by a deed poll bearing date with the preceding indenture, reciting the same and under the hands and seals of all the parties thereto, it was declared that the grant and feoffment thereby made was in trust only, that they the said John BLATCHFORD and others should stand seised of the said premises &c., to the uses &c., following: viz that the messuage and garden with the appurtenances therein mentioned, wherein William BENNE, parson of the said parish, then dwelt should for ever thereafter be and remain to and for a parsonage house or a house for the habitation of the parson of All Saints for the time being, and that the churchwardens of the said parish for the time being shoulkdn and might yearly for ever, receive and be paid out of all other the said recited premises an annuity or yearly rent charge of £6 to be issuing and payable out of the same at Lady day, and Michaelmas by even portions for and towards the maintenance, re-edifying, and reparation of the church of the said parish of All Saints, and such other necessary uses as the churchwardens, with the consent of the parishioners of the same parish, should see conveinient and necessary: And as to the residue of all the profits of the said premises both fines and rents, to and for the sole benefit and behoof of the parson of the said parish of All Saints for the time being; and it was agreed that the said feoffees, and their heirs, or any of them, should not make any grant or lease of any part of the said premises but only by and with the consent of the parson for the time being of the said parish, nor for any longer term thanyhree lives, or ninety-nine years determinable in three lives in possession, and that also under the old and accustomed rents at the least, with covenantsto repair.

The property, which consists of several houses and premises in Dorchestrer, has been regularly conveyed from time to time to new trustees.

William GAPE of St Paul's Covent Garden, by will, proved 20th Oct 1675, gave and devised unto the poor of the parish of Allhallows, in Dorchester, where he was born, the yearly rent of £5., viz 20s, a piece a year to issue out of his five tenements in St Sight's lane London.

George LOCK gave by will £20., the interest to be paid to the poor of All Saints by the overseers of the poor there

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