Somerset County Herald 22 Jan 1938 The Late Mr Arthur DICKINSON Oldest Justice on Somerton Bench Funeral Service at Kingweston Died at the Mount Somerton

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Somerset County Herald and Taunton Courier. Saturday 22 Jan 1938

Page 12 Column 4




The death occurred at his residence, The Mount, Somerton, on Saturday, of Mr. Arthur DICKINSON. In his 91st year, he was the oldest magistrate of the Somerton Petty Sessional Division and chairman of the local Bench. He had been an invalid for the past two years.

Fourth son of the late Mr. Francis Henry DICKINSON, some time M.P. for the Taunton Division, he was born at Kingweston. The present church at Kingweston was built just over 80 years ago, and Mr. DICKINSON was the last to be baptised in the old church. He was educated at Uppingham, and later at Trinity College, Cambridge. For some little time he held an appointment in Stuckey's Bank, after which he took up farming in Surrey.

On the death of his father in 1890, Mr. Arthur DICKINSON went to reside at Kingweston House with his mother until her death seven years later. He then went into residence at The Mount, Somerton, where he spent the rest of his life.

In 1873 he married Alice Berkley, daughter of Augustus WOODFORD, of Ansford, Castle Cary, and widow of the Rev. George GOODDEN, of North Barrow. Mrs. DICKINSON died in 1921. He had two sons. The elder, Major Francis Arthur DICKINSON, died of wounds in the Great War, and his younger son, Major Stephen DICKINSON, now resides at Preston Plunknett, Yeovil. Mr. Arthur DICKINSON was made a Justice of the Peace for Somerset in 1898, and also served on the Standing Joint Committee of the Somerset County Council for some years.


A true sportsman, he was a keen and fearless follower of the hounds, and in his younger days was a popular rider at many of the point-to-point steeplechases. He was an enthusiastic race-goer and a good shot. For some years he was the secretary of the Sparkford Vale HUNT, and regularly hunted with both the Blackmore Vale Hounds and the Sparkford Vale Harriers. He was also keenly interested in cricket, of which he played much whilst at Uppingham.

Mr. DICKINSON served one term as a member of the Somerton Parish Council. He was a member of the Somerton Unionist Association. His sympathies extended to many charitable causes in the district.



The funeral took place at Kingweston on Tuesday afternoon. The coffin had been brought from Somerton on Monday, and remained before the altar during the night.

The service was conducted by the Rev. W. WILLIAMS (rector of Kingweston and vicar of Barton St. David), assisted by the Rev. L. J. JACKSON, R.D. (vicar of Somerton). Mrs. Gordon SAWTELL was at the organ. The 90th Psalm and the Nunc Dimittis were chanted, and the hymns were “The King of Love” and “Abide with me.”

Relatives attending the service were Major Stephen DICKINSON, son; Capt. and Mrs. W. F. DICKINSON, nephew and niece; Viscount CLIFDEN, nephew; the Hon. Everilda AGAR-ROBARTES, niece; Miss Joyce DICKINSON, Mr. Caleb DICKINSON, Mr. and Mrs. R. W. PRETOR-PINNEY, and Mrs. CLOWES, cousins; Miss ADAMS, housekeeper; and Nurse ROWE, Bristol.

Among the many others present were Lieut.-Col. H. C. METCALFE, D.S.O., D.L., Chief Constable of Somerset (also representing the Somerset County Club), Mr. E. Q LOUCH (representing the Justices of the Somerton Division, also Mr. F. W. WILLMOTT, justices' clerk), Sir Walter JENNER, Bart., D.S.O., Messrs, T. WATSON and T. G. COGGAN; Supt. R. DUNSTER (Yeovil), P.S. COOMBES (Somerton), and constables of the Somerton Petty Sessional Division, Mr. P. C. HARDING (also representing Westminster Bank), Rev. E. G. DAY (former rector of Kingweston), Rev. L. A. BELLHOUSE (rector of Charlton Mackrell), Major and Mrs. J. W. GOODFORD (Chilton Cantelo), Mr. Claud NEVILLE (Charlton Adam), Dr. and Mrs. C. Durban INGLE, Miss BRYMER (Ilsington, Dorchester, also representing Mr. BRYMER), Messrs. J. HUNT (representing Somerton Parish Council), R. B. DREWETT (Castle Cary), A. E. RAWLINS (Totnes), F. H. RAWLINS (South Petherton), W. AYRE, J. W. SEARLE, and D. LOCKE (Somerton), Gordon SAWTELL, W. MAUNDER, E. W. DABINETT, F. CLEASBY, and T. A. SHERRIN (Kingweston), Mrs. Bruce AYRE (representing Mr. D. NEEDHAM), Mrs. A. BROWN, Mrs. W. H. FURZE, Mrs. S. SMEDLEY, Mrs. M. HOCKEY, Mrs. L. ROLES, and Mrs. PAYNE (Somerton), Mrs(?) W. WILLIAMS, Miss BUCKLE, Mrs. John CHARLTON, Mrs. C. WEBB, Mr. and Mrs. F. POPE (Butleigh), Miss DOLLING (of the household staff), &c.

The bearers were Messrs. T. HOCKEY, P. WESTLAKE, S. DEAN, H. ROLES, O. SCRIVEN, and E. DUNSTER.

There were many beautiful floral tributes.

Afterwards the service touches were given on the half-muffled church bells.



At Somerton Petty Sessions on Monday the presiding magistrate, Mr. T. WATSON, referred to the loss the Bench had sustained through Mr. Arthur DICKINSON's death. “Mr. DICKINSON had been a magistrate and served on this Bench for 40 years,” he said. “By virtue of seniority he was the Chairman of our Bench, and while ill-health has kept him from sitting here for the past few years, he has up to the very end, and that was on Saturday morning when he passed away, taken the greatest interest in the work which we are doing here. While he was unable to come and share with us in our judgment, he still did his share of the clerical work, and during that tremendous rush of summonses which we had in the summer, he asked our sergeant to let him have his share so that he could sign with his fellow magistrates. Had he lived until to-morrow he would have been 91 years of age – a splendid age. He was a wonderful man, a sportsman in every sense of the word; a hard rider – I don't suppose there was a better in the country of Somerset or any other. We shall miss him here. We can only hope that he may rest in peace.”

The Clerk (Mr. F. W. WILLMOTT) associated himself with the Chairman's remarks, and intimated that he would send a message of sympathy with the relatives at the wish of the justices.

Mr. G. N. PORTER (Messrs. Rendall & Co., Yeovil) expressed regret and sympathy on behalf of the solicitors practising at the Court, and Supt. R. DUNSTER added his tribute on behalf of the police in the Division. “I have known the late Mr. DICKINSON for a number of years,” he said. “and since I have been in charge of this Division he has always been ready and willing to assist us in every way. Our sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives.”

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