The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset
by John Hutchins:

(3rd Edition published 1868)

Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester - September 2016



Bridges and People of Dorchester
Page 374-377

Great and Little Mohun Bridges:
In the neighbourhood of this town are several stone bridges over the River Frome. On the north-west part of the town are Great and Little Mohun's Bridges near each other; so called, perhaps, from their founder, one of the Mohun's of Wolverton. To the end of the latter is joined a causeway of paved stone, three or four feet high, extending almost to Burton. They were first ordered to he repaired by the county, 7 Car. I. [i.e. In the year 1631)
    [Note:- Link to John Speed's Map of Dorchester dated 1611. Page down to the index: Great and Little Mohun Bridges are shown at Map Ref 'Mb' so clearly predate 1611.

    British History On-Line states:-) Great and Little Mohun's Bridges carry the road to Charminster over the river Frome (689912). Hutchins (II, 375) records repairs to these bridges ordered in the reign of Charles I, and the small side spans of Great Mohun's Bridge, to the S., may in part antedate them, but the main span of the bridge was reconstructed and widened in 1782; Little Mohun's Bridge was rebuilt in 1775 (Quarter Sessions Record Book III, 127, 389). Great Mohun's Bridge has a segmental arch of brick faced with stone between two small roughly pointed stone arches, and brick parapets. Little Mohun's Bridge, on the Borough boundary, has three small segmental arches with stone facing and rusticated voussoirs. One of the brick parapets carries a metal plate inscribed 'MB of the B of D 1835' ]
About half a mile eastward of these, near Fordington, was Stocking Bridge, which was ordered to be repaired by the county, 1689.

Not far from this is a very neat stone bridge of three arches, on the new road into the town, built by Mrs. Lora PITT, 1747, at her own expense.

" In making this road were found a Roman hypocaust on the south side of the old Roman road; many bricks retained marks of the fire; some were three inches and a half thick, but none preserved quite perfect. The perforated ones had two sides, and one had all the three sides entire. Several pieces of glass vessels, about two or three inches square. Had the new road run a little more to the north, more discoveries might have been made."

April 2, 1776, an act of parliament received the royal assent, for better cleansing, lighting, and watching the streets, lanes, and other public passages within the borough of Dorchester, in the county of Dorset, and in the tithing of Colliton Row, in the town of Dorchester aforesaid; for paving the footways of such parts thereof as are turnpike, and for paving the footways, and repairing the horse ways thereof as are not turnpike; for removing nuisances, annoyances, and obstructions therein, and for preventing houses hereafter to be erected in the said borough and tithing from being thatched.

" In Dorchester," says Hutchins, " still remain many large ancient houses, once no doubt inhabited by considerable merchants and tradesmen; but we do not find that it was ever the residence of persons of any great quality." A large house, at the south-end of the corn-market, was the seat of James GOULD, esq. a son of James GOULD, brother of John GOULD of Upway, esq. His daughter Mary married in 1702 General Charles CHURCHILL, the fourth son of Sir Winston CHURCHILL, and younger brother of John the great Duke of Marlborough. He died without issue Dec. 29, 1714, and his widow, Feb. 13, 1716, married Montagu Earl of Abingdon, by whom she had a son, James lord Norreys, who died of the small pox Feb. 25, 1717. The Earl died 1743, and this house was inhabited by Lady ABINGDON till her death. She survived her second husband and father till Jan. 1757, and was buried at the entrance of the chancel of St. Peter's church, Dorchester. It was after wards occupied for some years by a Mrs. MASON, in whose time (the early part of the present century) it was used by the judges as their lodgings at the assizes; hence it came to be called the "Old Judges' House." It was subsequently bought by a Mr. FISHER of Dorchester, and pulled down about 1837, to make room for a modern house erected on its site."

Another large house, at the higher end of the West Street, formerly known by the name of the "New Inn" was the residence of John DAMER esq and afterwards belonged to his nephew the Hon. Lionel DAMER of Came. Over the door was a shield with the Damer arms, and , according to the Rev. Mr CUTLER, the house was built from the Portesham "stone of the New Inn on the same site before the Reformation", and was converted into two smaller houses about twenty years ago.

May 16, 21 Rich II. 1398, Peter BLOUNT of Dorchester confirmed to John BLOUNT of the same place, and Claricia his wife , a tenement there situate on the south side of the High street opposite "la Nywe hyn", "between the tenement of John SYWARD on the east and the tenement of John BENEFIELD on the west, rendering to the said Peter and Julian his wife, and the survivor of the 13s 4d annually." [Note:- See Charter 37]

By Will dated 17th Dec 1450, John MARTIN of Dorchester bequeathed his soul to God Almighty and the Blessed Mary and All Saints, and his body for sepulture in the church of Holy Trinity of Dorchester before the cross there. [Note:- See Charter 551] Item to the Cathedral Church of Sarum 6d. Item to the rector aforesaid for one trentale (trinital) 2s 6d. Item to the friars Minors of Dorchester 3s 4d Item to Joan my wife a burgage and shop annexed, with appurtenances, in Dorchester between the hospice called le New Inne on the east , and the church of the Holy Trinity on the west. Witnesses, Sir John ARPARR curato meo, Sir John KNYLLE, Nicholas L'eyr, Sir Robert GASKYN, William BYRCHE and other witnesses specially called and entreated by me (et aliis testib p me vocat specialitet rogat )

In the Visitation Book 1623, is the following pedigree of five descents of a family named BEKE, styled of this place; also a number of five descents of HAYNE, styled of Ibberton and Dorchester [Note:- Link to Visitation of Dorset 1623
- Also Link to more information about The HAYNE Family of Dorchester - The pedigrees are repeated by Hutchins on page 376 but I have not transcribed these as they are a direct quote from the Visitation record to which I have provided a link. Elizabeth BEKE nee BUCKLER the wife of Robert BEKE of Dorchester was buried at Holy Triunity Church in dorchester on 11th Feb 1617/18.]

John WHITE, called "the Patriarch of Dorchester" was born at Staunton St John, co. Oxford 1575 educated at Winchester School and admitted Fellow of New College , 1595. left that college 1606, and became Rector of Holy Trinity here where "in the course of his ministry" quaintly remarks Wood, "he expounded the Scriptures all over and half over again having had an excellent faculty in the clear and solid interpreting of it, so that his name being up in those parts gave occasion to a neighbour of his (a Puritanical physician) to style him, 'pastor et minister fidelissimus, in quo praeter doctrinam insignem, ingeniique vim acrem, mirum judicium, deinde et sedulitas, pietas, atque fides incredibilis invicem certabant,' &c. But it must be known that these things were spoken of him after our author White had bequeathed to the said physician of Dorchester one of his pieces of plate." [Note:- See his Will i.e. Frederick LOSSE of Dorchester Physician ]

He was at first a moderate Puritan, and conformed to the church of England, kept the town in good order, and was useful in reforming the manners of the inhabitants; but in the beginning of the Long Parliament he, together with Hugh Thompson (who later became lecturer here 1634) and Benne, Rector of All Saints , his creatures, seduced all the town to take the Covenant. In 1643 he was chosen one of the Assembly of Divines, took the Covenant and sat often with them, showing himself one of the most learned and moderate among them. When Prince Rupert was in these parts a party of his horse plundered Mr White's house and carried away his library, on which he retired to London, and was made minister of Savoy. Soon after he succeeded Dr Featly at Lambeth, who was ejected thence and had his library given him till the doctor could get Mr White's restored. When the war was over he returned to Dorchester and was designed Warden of New College 1647 on the death of Mr Plink, but refused it. He had great influence over the Puritan Party who respected him more than his diocesan. He died suddenly July 21st 1648, and was interred in the Porch of St Peter's church. His works are " a Commentary on the three First Chapters of Genesis: London 1656" folio; "Directions for the profitable reading of the Scriptures," Svo.; "Of the Sabbath;" "The Way to the Tree of Life, or Directory of Perfection, 1647," Svbo.; "Several occasional Sermons", "Ten Vows to Dorchester 1628;" MS, answered by Gilbert Ironside Bishop of bristol 1660. [Note:- See Rose Troupes "John White The Patriarch of Dorchester page 419 can be accessed at and elsewhere]

RICHARD MOCKET [MOKETT] DD (1577-1618) according to Mr Whiteway's chronology, was born here 1577. He was elected from Brazenose College, Fellow of All Souls Oxford , created DD 1609, chaplain to Archbishop ABBOT and Warden of All Souls 1614, Rector of Monks' Riseborough co Bucks and Newington co Oxford. He published a Latin translation of the Liturgy and Thirty Nine Articles, the Book of ordination, and the greater and lesser Catechism,&c., to which he added his own book, "De Politia Eccleaiae Angliae 1616,". fol reprinted 1683 in 8 vo. This book was burnt 1616, because the first clause in the twentieth article was omitted. His grief for this was thought to have occasioned his death July 1618. He was buried in the upper end of All Souls Chapel.
    [Note:- According to the Oxford Alumni he was awarded a BA degree at Brazenose College Oxford on 16th Feb 1595/6, made a Fellow of All Souls College in 1599, and awarded his MA on 5th April 1600 , a BD on 23rd April 1607 and a DD 6th July 1609. He was admitted Warden of his College on 21st April 1614 a position he held until his death in 1618. According to the Church of England Clergy dastabase, he was born in Melcom Dorset and ordained a deacon in the Great Chapel at Bishops Manor, Fulham by Bishop Bancroft on 24th Feb 1605 and also ordained a priest there on 26th May 1605. He was a domestic chaplain to the Bishop of London 4th March 1610 before being collated 29th Dec 1610 as Rector of St Clemets Eastcheap in London. On 1st Oct 1611 he became Rector of St Michaels Crooked Lane in London and on 6th May 1614 Rector of Newington and 10th Oct 1615 Rector of Riseborough. His university records gives his date of death as 6th July 1618 with administration of his estate being grated at Oxford on 10th Sep 1618. Parish Registers for Melcome Horsey in Dorset and all but Holy trinity in Dorchester have not survived so it is not possible to now locate his baptism]
HUMPHREY GOWER DD (1638-1711) Master of St John's College Cambridge and Prebendary of Ely, was born and educated here and at St Paul's School, London. He seems to have been the son of Stanley GOWER, Minister here during the Usurpation. He founded two exhibitions in St John's College for scholars educated in one or both of the schools where he received his educatio. He died March 17th 1711 aet 74 and was buried in his collegiate chapel, where he has an epitaph. He published two funeral sermons for Bishop Gunning.
    [Note:- He was the son of Rev. Stanley Gower BA (1603-1660) who was Clerk of Brampston in Hereford where he was born, but his father was appointed Rector of Holy Trinity and St Peters Churches in Dorchester on 26th November 1648 so he was educated at the 'Free School' in Dorchester by Samuel Crumblehome (1618-1672) before being admitted pens aged 17 years at St John's College Cambridge on May 21st 1655. He was awarded BA 1658-9; MA 1662; BD 1669, DD 1676 and Fellow 1658. Taxor 1667, Master of Jesus July to Dec 1679, Master of St John's 1679-1711. Vice Chancellor 1680-1; Lady Margeret Professor 1688-1711; Rector of Hammoon Dorset 10th Apr 1663 to 7th Dec 1667; Rector nof Paglesham Essex 1667-75; Rector of Newton Isle of Ely 20th Nov 1675; Recor of Fen Ditton, Cambridge 4th July 1677; Prebendary of Ely 25th Oct 1679-1711; Rector of Terrington Norfolk 1688-1711. Died March 27th 1711 Buried in the College Chapel Will PCC. A much fuller account of his life is given in the DNB page 298]
Sir William CHAPEL Knight, Member of Parliament for this Borough, was an eminant lawyer, and made serjeant-at-law, and Judge of the King's Bench 1736; died 1744.
    [Note:- Sir William CHAPPLE (1677-1745) Has a short entry in the Dictionary of National Biography - Of the Chapple Family of Waybay House at Upwey in Dorset. Originally a 1,000 acre estate. Elected MP for Dorchester 1722 and sat for the Borough till 1737. I have not researched the family but he does not appear to have lived in Dorchester marrying Treharne Clifton daughter and heiress of Susan Clifton of Green Place in Wonersh Surrey where his is buried. Died 15th March 1745 leaving a Will]
The town has given title to several families Henry Pierpoint, Earl of Kingston, was created Marquis of Dorchester 20 Car I March 25th 1625 [Note:- The year may be a type error as the 20th year of the reign of Charles 1st ran from 27th March 1644?]; but this title became extinct, 1680 on his decease without male issue. After which, Catherine daughter of Sir Charles Sedley, bart., and wife of David Collyer, Earl of Portmore was created 1 James II Jan 12th 1685, Countess of Dorchester; on whose death the title was revived in Evelyn, third son of Robert Pierpoint, esq, great nephew of the former, who was created Marquis of Dorchesterec 23rd 1706, 5 Anne, on account of this title having been enjoyed by his great uncle. He was afterwards in 1715, advanced to the dignity of Duke of Kingston ; and in 1726 was succeeded by his grandson of the same name, on whose death in 1773 both these peerages became extinct.

Joseph Lord Milton was created Earl of Dorchester May 15th 1792, and died at Dorchester House London 12th Feb 1798 and was succeeded by his son George the second Earl at whose death in 1808 s.p. the title became extinct

William WHITEWAY, who was born in Devonshire , and died here 1639, was one of the messengers of this town. By Mary his wife, daughter of John MONSOLL of Melcomb Regis he was father of William WHITEWAY his son and heir who was born in 1599, and married Elianor daughter of John PERKINS, of Martin's Town. The last named William WHITEWAY died in 1635, having had a son of his own name who was born in 1622. One of them kept a chronology containing several particulars relative to this town and county, which is still preserved in the library of St John's College Cambridge. They had an estate in the parish of Martin's Town.
    [Note:- Biography of William WHITEWAY (1570-1640) Senior Mayor of Dorchester 1631/2 and Biography of William WHITEWAY (1599-1635) The younger the diarist.]
Thomas, fifth son of Thomas COKER of Ash, in Stour Painbe inhabited here. From him two descents are given in the Visitation book of 1623.

John GIBBONS of Dorchester esq had these arms granted by Sir William SEGAR: Sa. a Lion rampant guardant, crowned or, between three escallops argent.

William PITT esq alderman and mayor died 1687, He was grandson of Sir William PITT and uncle to Governor Pitt.

Thomas ROSE MD resided in this town, and was possessed of some estate in All Saints parish and Fordington. of w3hose posterity see in Slape in Netherbury. [Note:- See link to Dr Thomas ROSE MD (1650/1-1700) for more comments about this family]

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