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

(3rd Edition published 1868)

Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester - March 2017




Pages 397-405

Dorchester Hospital was built in 1616, according to Whiteway's Chronicle. This seems to have been a kind of workhouse. Sir Joshua CHILD, in his treatise of Trade, commends the Dorchester method of employing the poor, under the care of the governor and assistants. It stood at the lower end of the South Street (1); and after having been applied to other uses, was again, in 1744, converted into a workhouse, for reception of the poor of the three parishes. (2)

By deed poll enrolled in the Court of Chancery dated Oct 6th 15 James I (3) reciting the Act of 39 Elizabeth. c. 5, for erecting hospitals and working houses, and that the borough of Dorchester had thereto fore abounded with great numbers of poor and needy people, who lived by begging and dishonest courses; but by the care of the magistrates had been reduced to better order, and that it was desired that such reformation begun might come to further perfection, which it was conceived could not be better accomplished than by the training up and instructing of the children of the poor in honest labour; and that the parties thereafter mentioned then stood seized in fee simple of a messuage with the appurtenances in the west part of the High South Street, which had theretofore been called by the name of the Six Messuages , lying together, but afterwards been united and used as one entire messuage and mansion house;

William WHITEWAY one of the bailiffs of the borough of Dorchester, Francis ASHLEY , esq., recorder of the same borough, John GOULD and John PARKINS, Richard BUSHRODE and Joane GOULD, affecting the furtherance and advancement of so good a work as was by the burgesses and inhabitants of the said borough generally intended for the preventing of beggary and idleness by some means to be provided, for the education of the younger sort in exercise and labour, or attending to knowledge in some profitable course of living, declared that they had disposed and appointed the said six messuages and the new workhouse thereunto adjoining, which was lately erected, and all buildings and land thereto belonging, to be for ever hereafter employed and used for an hospital or working house for the relieving, harbouring, and setting to work the poor children in the borough of Dorchester; did, by virtue of the said Act, found, erect, and establish a hospital and working-house there for 50 poor children of the said Borough to be therein relieved and employed in labour in some lawful trade, mystery, or manual occupation, to be called the Hospital of the Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Dorchester, and appointed John COKE of Dorchester, fustian-weaver, the first governor of the said hospital; and they directed that the said hospital and governor, and the woman who should be called matron, and the children there should be ordered, visited, placed, and upon just cause displaced by the bailiffs and capital burgesses of the said borough, or the greater part of them, and according to such rules and statutes as should be by them established in writing under their common seal; and that the said governor should not let or dispose of any of the lands goods of the said hospital, but with the consent of the said bailiffs and burgesses.

Mr Bond's chronology and the register of All Saints Church say, that it was founded about the year 1616, by free and voluntary gifts of divers persons which it pleased God to stir up by the motion of Mr White, minister of the word, effectually, together with many additions thereunto given afterward, towards purchasing and building the house:

    Impremis, by Sir Francis ASHLEY Knight and one of the Kings Serjeant's ---£20

    By Mr. John GOULD, the elder one of the Capital Burgesses's ---£60

    By Mrs Joan GOULD, widow ---£66. 13. 4d

    By John WHITE, minister ---10

    By John PARKINS, one of the Capital Burgesses 20 and 20 for two first years annuity ---40

    By William WHITEWAY, Senior one of the Capital Burgesses --- 75

    By Richard BUSHROD, one of the Capital Burgesses ---24

    By William JOILIFFE, one of the Capital Burgesses ---5

    By Oliver HAYNE, one of the Capital Burgesses ---5

    By William GOULD of Exon ---5

    By William LAWRENCE, gent which he gave in purchase of the house ---£10

    By Dennis BOND, one of the Capital Burgesses ---10

    By James YOKEWAY [YOKENEY], by Will ---£1

    TOTAL £331. 13s 4d

Annuities for years to the House:

    Richard BLACHFORD, one of the Capital Burgesses, gave to be paid in four years ---£20

    Richard BAKER, one of the Capital Burgesses, promised 40s but paid but ---1

    William HORSFORD, one of the Capital Burgesses, gave, which was paid in five years ---£5

    Edmund DASHWOOD, one of the Capital Burgesses, gave which was paid in 5 years ---5

    Mr VAUTER, one of the Capital Burgesses, promised 40s but paid but ---1

    Lady NAPPER gave, during her life £4 per annum, which might be ---£28 [Her first payment began March 25, 1617; so she paid £4 per annum for about seven years out of the dwelling-house against the pound.]

    Sir Nathaniel NAPPER giveth yearly 40sto begin at his mothers decease ---£2

    James YOKENEY gave yearly by will for certain years expressed 20s paid it for five years ---£5 [ See his will for further gifts whereof the copy is in the town chest]

    Bernard TOUP gave £32 which sum was to have been paid in eight years but he advanced it ---£32

    Mr Stephen WHITE of Oxfordshire gave ---£0 [Note:- Stephen WHITE BA (c1576-1629) brother of the Patriarch]

    Mr William DERBY ---£8

    Mr John BLACHFORD ---£0

    Mr John HILL ---£0

Annuities belonging to the house for ever:-

    By John GOULD, Senior one of the Capital Burgesses, by deed enrolled for ever ---£8

    By John PARKINS, one of the Capital Burgesses, by deed enrolled for ever ---£5

    By William WHITEWAY, Senior one of the Capital Burgesses, by deed enrolled for ever ---£5

    By William WHITEWAY, Senior aforesaid, after his decease for ever, except he redeem it by agreement with the town before his death, or dispose of it to some charitable uses in his lifetime ---£5

    By Richard BUSHROD, for ever, by deed in the town chest ---£2

    TOTAL £132. 0s 0d

Hospital gifts, by divers persons as met, towards the buildings:-

    By the old Lady WILLIAMS ---2(4)

    By Sir Robert MABER Knight ---£2. 4s. 0d

    By a Cornish Gentleman, one Mr ARRUNDEL ---£1

    By William LAWRENCE, gentleman ---£0.10s

    By Mr. William HORSFORD, one of the Capital Burgesses, at his death ---£5

    By Mr. Oliver HAYNE, one of the Capital Burgesses, at his death ---£2

    By Richard BAKER, , one of the Capital Burgesses, at his death ---10

    By the general collection, 5th August and 5th November, 1617, in remembrance of the Fire and Gunpowder Treason ---£27. 5s. 0d

    By the general collection, same two days, anno 1618 ---£27. 1s. 0d

    By the general collection, same two days, anno 1619 ---£32. 0s. 6d

    By the general collection, same two days, anno 1620 ---£43. 15s. 4d

    By the general collection, same two days, anno 1621 ---£49. 1s. 9d

    By the general collection, same two days, anno 1622 ---£43. 15s. 4d

    By the general collection, same two days, anno 1623 ---£44. 2s. 10d

Since, this gift goeth to the purchasing of a house for the uses 1625

    By Mrs Margaret CHUBB, widow ---200

    By Lawrence STAFFORD, an inhabitant of this town, by will at his death ---£100

    By Mr. HODGES, a Londoner (but born in this town), by will at his death ---£50

    By the [Blank] which they gave at their departure ---£50

    By the hands of Mr WHITE, which he received of divers persons whose names we have not, the sum of ---£39. 16s. 0d

    By John DALE, an inhabitant of this town, at his decease---£1

    By Robert TURBERVILLE, gent dying homeward bound from the East Indies, who gave by will £50; the rest were spent and taken out for the execution ---£42. 8s. 2d

    HAYMAN's gift of £50, not yet received.

Memorandum: That the residue of the money given to the hospital, and not used about the house and children, is employed in a brewhouse and malthouse; and the profit that cometh out of the said house, either by brewing or malting, goeth wholly to and for the maintenance of the hospital, and for the governors wages and his servants and for the appareling and teaching of the said children that are kept on work therein, as by the books kept by the steward appeareth.

The nature and object of this institution will be seen from the following document:

    An Agreement made and concluded on between the Mayor, Bailiffs, Aldermen and Burgesses of the borough of Dorchester, in the county of Dorset, of the one part, and John TORRINGTON overseer of the children of the hospital, of the other part, the twelfth day of February 1640.

    1. That the said John TORRINGTON shall receive into the hospital as shall be sent unto him by the Maior, Bailiffs and Capital Burgesses of this borough then being, to teach them to spin and burle, that the children may be benefited.

    2. That he shall endeavour to provide in work, and shall take care that they be kept unto spinning and burling work, so much as they are able to doe, and shall take account of them every night what they have done.

    3. That he shall be careful to teach and instruct all the children in the grounds of religion as they are in the printed catechism twice or thrice in the week, and to cause them every week to learn four verses or questions and answers as they are divided in the catechism set forth by Mr. Jno. BALL, and is taught in the churches.

    4. That every Saturday night he shall pay unto every one what hath duly earned for the work he hath done that week

    5. That he do take care that there be a sufficient number of carders for the spinners, and pay them for their work so much as they do earn,

    6. That he do carefully give due correction unto all the male children that shall derserve it. That the women correct the female children.

    7. That every quarter of a year he shall give in a list of all the boys names, and what every boy hath earned every week, and every girl, and what they earn.

    8. That the said John TORRINGTON is to keep this employment three years from the feast day of the Annunciation of our Lady St. Mary the Virgin next ensuing, unless the Mayor, Bailioffs, and Capital Burgesses of this borough shall find just occasion to remove him, and upon such just occasion, uppon six monthes warning being given unto him, he shall remove, &c.

In 1743, it being considered that the Hospital at a small expense might be made a convenient work-house, as well for the reception of aged and other poor as poor children, and that the application of so much of the buildings and ground as should be more than sufficient for the reception of the children, to receive and maintain the aged and other poor, would be furthering the good intentions of the founders of the hospital, it was thereupon enlarged and repaired, and 20th April 1745, was declared fit for the reception of the poor of the several parishes of the town; and from that period till the adoption of the present system of the poor-law unions continued to be used as a workhouse for all the poor of the three parishes of Dorchester

The premises, which stood opposite the site of the present Independent chapel, were taken down some time ago and a row of well built houses now occupies the spot.


By Indenture of bargain of sale enrolled 15th October 1617, between William WHITEWAY of the one part, and John COKE the governor of the poor children of the hospital of the bailiffs and burgesses of the said borough of the other part; reciting that there had been lately erected in the said borough a hospital or working-house for training up poor children in honest labour, relieving and setting to work poor children within the said borough, it is witnessed that the said William WHITEWAY, for the better endowment of the said hospital, granted to the governor of the poor children of the said hospital and his successors for ever governors of the said children, an annuity or yearly rent charge of £5 to be issuing out of his messuage, garden, orchard and outhouses thereto belonging, situate in the parish of St Peter, in the west part of High South Street.


In like manner 15th October 1617, John PARKINS granted an annuity or rent-charge of £5 out of two tenements in the parish of Holy Trinity.

In like manner 29th October 1618 Richard BUSHRODE of Dorchester, haberdasher, granted a yearly rent charge of 40 shillings out of all his messuages or tenements in the parish of Wootton Glanville; and 20th January 1623 , John GOULD the elder and James GOULD his son granted a yearly rent-charge of £8 out of the capital messuage and tenements wherein they then dwelt, situate on the east side of the High South Street, in the parish of St Peter.

Johan [i.e. Joan] GOULD of Dorchester, widow, by will, dated 4th Nov 1630, reciting that she had theretofore given the sum of 100 marks towards erecting a hospital for the poor of Dorchester, gave the governor, &c. of the hospital &c. and to the use of the same and to the poor children £33. 6s 8d to make up with the said 100 marks £100. to be employed and bestowed as the said governor should think meetest.

In respect of the hospital charities, an annuity of £2 per annum was likewise received by the corporation out of a house in the parish of St Peter, formerly the property of Thomas CHANNINGS, afterwards of William HOOPER and of Richard BARNWELL and then Robert WILLIANS, esq. The house is situated in North Street or the Bull Stake.


Edward DASHWOOD, who died in 1666, by will gave £50., the interest to be equally divided among the poor of the three parishes. Thomas GAPE, by Will dated January 2nd 1667/8 directed his trustees to lay out the sum of £100 in the purchasing of of such messuages, lands, and tenements, as the mayor and bailiffs of Dorchester should direct and appoint, half the yearly revenue to be paid to the poor of All Saints in Dorchester where he was born, the residue to be distributed at their discretion among the poor od Dorchester; such distribution to be made on twelfth day yearly. The money arising from these bequests was laid out in the purchase of an estate at Nottington in Broadway containing about 13a.


By her will dated 19th January 1656, gave to the poor of the three parishes of Dorchester £100, to remain as a stock for ever, which money was laid out in the purchase of a rent-charge, to be issuing out of certain messuages, burgages, tenements, called by the name of 'The George', in Dorchester, and at the date of the indenture, 9th April 1660 , in the tenure of John COBB Innkeeper.


In the Parliamentary return of 1786, it is stated that Thomas FREKE date unknown gave £50 to the poor of Dorchester but no payment had been received in respect thereof since the year 1699.


Matthew DERBY by will dated 13 December 1655 gave to the poor prisoners, from time to time, in the prison of the County of Dorchester, 20s for ever, yearly to be distributed in bread at or near the four usual feasts. This annuity is carried to the credit of a general charity fund for the benefit of the prisoners which fund was originally derived from donations given by his late Majesty King George the Third, and then the Royal family, when visiting the gaol, which was augmented by other donations.

THORNER'S CHARITY { Note:- Will PROB 11/402 of Robert THORNER of Baddesley in Hampshire probate 4th June 1691]

Robert THORNER by will dated May 31 1690, devised all his real estate in messuages and lands situate in the City of London, then of the yearly value of £80 and after the lease of the same to Sir Peter VANDEPONT was expired, might be of the value of £400 per annum, be it more or less, unto trustees therein named, and to their successors, to be appointed as therein declared, and after a certain provision for a legacy to his child (in case his wife should have any by him), appointed £20per annum of the remaining neat profits of the said lands during the continuance of the lease then in being towards the maintenance of a free school in Litton, in this county. The testator then gave the remainder of the neat profits of the said lands to the binding out apprentices to mechanical labouring trades, such poor children and youth of the said parish of Litton, the towns of Dorchester and Southampton, and city of Salisbury, to every child £5 for placing out apprentice, and £5 more for a stock to set up at the end of the apprenticeship, to such persons only of the said places as were industriously inclined in the judgement of the trustees. For the more exact direction of the said trustees in this affair the testator appointed that when when such remaining part of the neat profits of the said lands determined to the use aforesaid should amount to £500., received by the said trustees, then the same to be thus disposed of: one fourth part thereof to the children of Litton, the other three-fourth parts thereof to the children of Dorchester: and the second £500 thus to be raised to the children of Southampton; the third £500 in like manner for the children of Sarum, and thus successively as money should be raised to be disposed of as aforesaid. After expiration of the above mentioned lease, which expired March 25th 1700, the testator appointed £100 certain per annum (£10 per annum to the trustees, and the other legatees deducted) to be employed to the uses aforesaid, as follows: one-fourth part to the school at Litton; and the three-fourth parts thereof to the placing and setting up of children of the above places, and to be received and disposed of in like manner as aforesaid, and to continue for ever to the end of time.

ANNE CHURCHILL [Note: Will PROB 11/586 she was buried at Kimmeridge in Dorset 20th July 1722]

Who died 18th July 1722 by will directed Dorothy MILDMAY, her executrix to lay out £400 towards the support of some charity schooling the borough of Dorchester, and that the said sum should be taken out of the money due to her by Charles CHURCHILL, and settled in such manner and for such charitable purposes in the town of Dorchester as Edward CLAVELL should direct. In the year 1730 an information was filed by the Attorney General at the relation of Peter TEMPLEMAN, against William CHURCHILL, Carew Harvey MILDMAYT and Dorothy his wife, and Edward CLAVELL and Daniel SAGITTARY, to have the will and codicil of the testatrix performed, and from the decree made in this cause, 28th Nov 1732, by the Master of the Rolls, it appears that £411. 7s. 9d was found to be due for principal and interest from the defendant CHURCHILL, which sum he paid into the Bank as directed; out of which £385. 17s 6d was laid out in the purchase of £350 South Sea Annuities, in the name of the Accountant General; and it was ordered that the said charity money should remain in the said stock, and that the dividends should be applied for the binding out such children of the poor inhabitants of Dorchester as the defendant Edward CLAVELL should during his life, and after his decease as the person who should be seized of the capital mansion of Smedmore, and in the lands thereto belonging(being the dwelling house of the said Edward CLAVELL in the Isle of Purbeck and the place where the testatrix was born) should nominate and appoint, &c. Since this time the charity has been administered by the CLAVELL Family and their representatives.

BISHOP HALL'S and Dr SLOPERS CHARITY - See Parish of Spetisbury


See Monumental Inscriptions under St Peters Parish [Link to item 13. Elizabeth Cozens who died 1821 aged 84]

Genealogical Notes:-

(1). For the location of the Hospital refer to the later Map of Dorchester dated in 1771 where the index refers to it under item "i"

(2). The three parishes being All Saints (All Hallows) ; Holy Trinity and St Peters

(3). The 15th year of the reign of James I ran from 24th March 1616 to 23rd March 1617

(4). This is probably Dame Eleanor WILLIAMS (1545-1625) of Herringston the wife of Sir John WILLIAMS (1545 - 1617) Knt

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