Craft Academy: Learn Printmaking

St. Peters Church, Dorchester engraved by William Barnes

St. Peters Church, Dorchester engraved by William Barnes

Looking for something to do with the kids this Easter?  Come and join us for a morning of messy fun at Dorset County Museum’s Craft Academy on Wednesday during the Easter Holidays, 10.30am – 12.30pm.

The theme for Wednesday 12 April is Printmaking. We’ve been inspired by our current exhibition in the tea room ‘Praise O’Do’set’ – an exhibition of hand painted woodblock prints illustrating the poetry of William Barnes by artist Jennifer Martindale and children will be able to create their own pieces of art using lots of different printing methods.

We’ll provide the materials and the inspiration – you’ll create a wonderful piece to take home with you. Even better, it’s absolutely FREE thanks to sponsorship from Battens Solicitors.

Each time you create a masterpiece at one of our sessions, we will stamp your Craft Academy passport. If you collect three stamps we’ll give you a special certificate.

The next Craft Academy sessions for 2017:

  • Wednesday 19 April
  • Wednesday 31 May
  • Wednesday 2 August

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Praise O’Do’set: An exhibition of handpainted woodblock prints illustrating the poetry of William Barnes by Jennifer Martindale

The Fancy Feair at Maiden Newton © Jennifer Martindale 2017

The Fancy Feäir At Maïden Newton © Jennifer Martindale 2017

The Fancy Feäir At Maïden Newton
by William Barnes

The Frome, wi‘ ever-water’d brink,
Do run where shelvèn hills do zink
Wihousen all a-cluster’d roun
The parish tow’rs below the down.
An’ now, vor woonce, at leäst, ov all
The pleäcen where the stream do vall,
There’s woone that zome to-day mid vind,
Wi‘ things a-suited to their mind.
An’ that’s out where the Fancy Feäir
Is on at Maïden Newton.

An’ vo’k,a-smarten’d up, wull hop
Out here, as ev’ry traïn do stop,
Vrom up the line, a longish ride,
An’ down along the river-zide.
An’ zome do beät, wi‘ heels an’ tooes,
The leänes an’ paths, in nimble shoes,
An’ bring, bezides, a biggish knot,
Ov all their childern that can trot,
A-vlockèn where the Fancy Feäir
Is here at Maïden Newton.

If you should goo, to-day, avore
A Chilfrome house or Downfrome door,
Or Frampton’s park-zide row, or look
Drough quiet Wraxall’s slopy nook,
Or elbow-streeted Catt’stock, down
By Castlehill’s cwold-winded crown,
An’ zee if vo’k be all at hwome,
You’d vind em out–they be a-come
Out hither, where the Fancy Feäir
Is on at Maïden Newton.

Come,young men, come, an’ here you’ll vind
A gift to please a maïden’s mind;
Come, husbands, here be gifts to please
Your wives, an’ meäke em smile vor days;
Come, so’s, an’ buy at Fancy Feäir
A keepseäke vor your friends elsewhere;
You can’t but stop an’ spend a cwein
Wileädies that ha’ goods so fine;
An’ all to meake, vor childern’s seäke,
The School at Maïden Newton.

William Barnes was a much loved and respected teacher, clergyman, scholar of languages and poet. Most of his poems are written with a strong Dorset accent as he casts a kindly eye over the lives of the hardworking Dorset rural community.

With these rustic woodblocks, hand carved, handprinted and hand coloured images, Jennifer Martindale has tried to share the spirit of the poems.

The techniques used in this tea room exhibition at the Dorset County Museum, lend themselves to simple kitchen table production.

Jennifer explains “Making pictures uses the calm mindful part of myself, and I aim to share with viewers the immense happiness that planning and making the work creates. A childish glee of playing with colours has never quite left me.  Over the years I have worked in most media, and I still move between painting and printmaking. I have long had an interest in South East Asia and have been influenced by the use of space and the concept of capturing the fleeting moment. The handpainted relief block print techniques of this William Barnes series were carefully chosen to represent the rustic nature of the poems.”

Jennifer’s work will be on view from 4 April 2017 to the 10 June 2017 in the museum’s Tea Room, and it will be FREE to come and view.  Mounted, unframed versions of her work will be for sale during the exhibition.

Literary Lives: The Influence of Hardy on the Cornish poet Jack Clemo by Dr. Luke Thompson

Jack Clemo

Jack Clemo. Heather Spears/ Luke Thompson © 2016

Jack Clemo (1916-94) was one of the most unusual poets of the twentieth century, a deaf-blind, syphilitic, self-proclaimed sex mystic who placed his God within the scarred landscape of the china clay mining country in Cornwall. 

But Clemo began his writing life as a novelist, intending his work to be ‘the Christian counterpart’ of Thomas Hardy’s.  Hardy’s influence on Clemo’s debut novel, Wilding Graft, is unmistakable, and it is an influence to which Clemo would return throughout his writing.

On Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 7.30pm (The Museum doors open at 7.00pm).         Dr Luke Thompson will explore Thomas Hardy’s role in Clemo’s life and work, in the poetic and novelistic influences, and in the role of fate and faith, reading from poems such as ‘Wessex and Lyonesse’ ‘Tryphena’ and ‘Max Gate’

Dr Luke Thompson is a writer, editor and academic from Cornwall, who has written the first full-length biography of the poet Jack Clemo, entitled Clay Phoenix (Ally Press, 2016).

The talk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Related Links:

Literary Lives: Thomas Hardy and Folk Song by Dr. Peter Robson

Musicians of Mellstock Choir - Hardy Players 1910 DCM © 2015

Musicians of Mellstock Choir – Hardy Players 1910 DCM © 2015

Thomas Hardy refers to more than thirty folk songs in his novels, with many further references in his poetry, short stories, letters etc. 

Some knowledge of the folk songs in Hardy’s writings helps the reader to appreciate how appropriate they are to the author’s plotting, characterisation and settings. The songs can also occasionally throw light on Hardy’s own background.

This exploration of Hardy and Dorset song will begin by looking at the nature of folksong and at the golden age of folksong collecting, with particular reference to the work of the Hammond brothers in Dorset. Dr. Robson will then illustrate the variety of places where references to folksongs may be found in Hardy’s published and unpublished writings.

From this body of material it is then possible to suggest where and how Hardy might have obtained the songs which he knew and to look at some examples of the ways in which he used folk songs in his novels. Finally, the speaker will identify the songs which seem to have been Hardy’s personal favourites, and at a song which was actually collected from him.

Dr. Peter Robson has been researching Dorset folklore and folksong for many years and has written and spoken widely on this subject. Most recently he has become particularly interested in Thomas Hardy’s writings as an almost untapped source for the study of rural folklore.

The lecture will take place on Thursday 30 June in the Dorset County Museum’s Victorian Hall and is FREE to the public; however a donation of £3 encouraged to cover costs. Doors open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

All the fun of a Victorian Fayre at the Dorset County Museum

The Victorian Fayre last year at the Dorset County Museum

The Victorian Fayre last year at the Dorset County Museum

On Sunday 21st February, from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, the Dorset County Museum opens its doors for the second year running to a traditional Victorian Fayre to celebrate the birthday of William Barnes, Dorset dialect poet. This FREE event will offer something for all the family.

Stalls will include traditional crafts and gifts and the chance to learn rural skills. There will be Maypole dancing for the children as well as popular parlour games.

The friends of the William Barnes Society and Tim Laycock, well-known folk musician, actor and storyteller will provide traditional singing, music, dance and poetry reading throughout the afternoon.

Frome Valley Morris Mummer

Frome Valley Morris Mummer

The Frome Valley Morris Men will perform the Mummers and Hoodening play. The event would not be complete without a raffle, quiz and a Victorian afternoon tea.

Marion Tait, Honorary Curator of the William Barnes Gallery and Archive said that last year the Victorian Fayre was a huge success and was hoping for a repeat performance.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

In Memoriam Rev. William Barnes B.D.

Rev. William Barnes © DCM

Rev. William Barnes © DCM 2015

From the ‘Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society’ Volume 8, 1887, an memoriam written by the Reverend Octavius PickardCambridge FRS.

“Since October 7th, 1886, when we were suddenly called upon to mourn for our old friend and staunch member of the Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club, the Rev. William Barnes, B.D., so much has been written and said and published about him that little, at any rate, little new, can now be said; scarcely a periodical or journal has been silent ; all have been necessarily and deservedly eulogistic. Some, it has appeared to me? have placed his claim to public notice of somewhat insufficient grounds, and others on, as it were, the side issues rather than on the main ones of his long life. It would be, however, quite out of place in our Proceedings to criticise here what has been said and published. Want of space, if nothing else, would prevent it. A very characteristic and faithful portrait of Mr. Barnes forms a frontispiece to our annual volume. As regards this portrait, it may be remarked that this has been designedly chosen rather than another, which, while it, no doubt, faithfully gives Mr. Barnes’ general appearance according to the costume adopted late in life, was by no means characteristic of the man known to those who had enjoyed his friendship in earlier days, and had watched the development of his simple but strong and almost unique character under the more usual garb of the day. What it is proposed to give here as an accompaniment to our frontispiece will consist of such biographical details as may be necessary for the information of those who would hereafter know who Mr. Barnes was, whence he came, and the more salient points of his life. A list of his works is also appended. Some of these are now not known to many, even by name; and probably few have been read or studied.

On two of them I shall offer a few more detailed observations,—viz., his poems in the Dorset dialect, and one entitled “Views on Labour and Gold,” on which last I have not seen or heard any remark made amidst the much that has been said and written on the former. I have not attempted to give any classification of Mr. Barnes’ works, but have drawn out the list in chronological order, as, in flict, he himself drew it up in his later years, and, as by the kindness of his son (the llev. W. M. Barnes, Rector of Winterborne Monkton), I am enabled to give it. Mr. Barnes’ birthplace was Eushhay, Bagber (or Bagberry), a hamlet of Sturminster Newton, in the Vale of Blackmoor, Dorset. It seems that his family had been anciently landowners in or near the Vale, but had subsequently become tenant-farmers there ; and it was in the place above mentioned that his parents, John and Grace Barnes, were living at the time of Mr. W. Barnes’ birth in 1801. From his mother (Grace Scott) he appears to have inherited strong intellectual and poetical tastes, which, becoming marked as he grew up, it was decided to place him in some line of life above that of the toilsome work of the farm. He accordingly, at a very early age, entered the office of a solicitor — Mr. Dashwood—at Sturminster Newton as an engrossing clerk, and from thence afterwards (in 1818) he removed to occupy a similar post in the office of Mr. Coombs, Solicitor, Dorchester.

During the time of these clerkships (about seven or eight years) Mr. Barnes never lost a chance of acquiring knowledge on every possible subject, laying the foundation of his future great knowledge of languages, and qualifying himself for the Mastership of the Boarding School at Mere, Wiltshire ; to this post he was appointed in 1823, and we find him described in 1829 as “Teacher of Perspective and Drawing, and of the Latin, French, Italian, and German languages.” With Italian he seems to have become conversant some time before this date, as in 1827 he published translations in verse from the Italian of Metastasio. It was during his residence at Mere that Mr. Barnes first began seriously to study the origin of his own language, both British and English. It is probable that these studies were suggested and actually begun during a visit to Wales in 1831. At any rate in 1832-33 he published papers on these subjects in the “Gentleman’s Magazine;” and to his latest days Anglo-Saxon and the British language were his favourite study.

In 1835, an opening for advancement offering, Mr. Barnes (who had previously married Miss Miles, a Dorsetshire lady) removed to Dorchester and opened a school in Durngate Street, from which a further move was not long after made (1837) into more convenient premises within a door or two of the Dorchester Grammar School, next to the Almshouses, on the east side of South Street. Here for some years his school filled and prospered, and while giving every attention to his pupils Mr. Barnes carried on his own private studies with extraordinary vigour and success] no subject, no language daunted him when once he made up his mind for the attack; his clear and logical understanding seemed to get hold of the subject, take it in, absorb and assimilate it as completely as a sea-anemone does its food. And not only did Mr. Barnes thus simultaneously carry on his school work and private studies, but he found time for extra lessons to pupils desirous of getting on, and to his assistant masters, (Mr. Isaac Hann and others), as well as for wood engraving and music ; and a glance at the list of his works shows that during the whole of this time his pen was also pretty constantly at work for the publisher.

In 1817 Mr. Barnes removed from the east side of South Street to the opposite side of the street, and it was now (1847) that, having obtained the degree of B.D. at St. John’s College, Cambridge, as a “Ten-years-man,” he was ordained Deacon by Edward Denison, Bishop of Salisbury, on the nomination to Whitcombe as a title by the Hon. Col. Damer, of Came. In 1862 Mr. (now the Rev. W.) Barnes gave up his school (which was afterwards for a time carried on by a Mr. de Winton), and accepted the living of Came on the presentation of Captain Damer, son of his former patron, and himself at one time a pupil of Mr. Barnes’. Here in the faithful work of his small secluded parish and in his own studies and literary recreation the autumn and winter of his life passed on in peace, happiness, and usefulness, until from the natural decay of extreme age he passed away on the 7th of October last at 86 years old.

It has been said that there must be blame somewhere that Mr. Barnes, with all his genius and great talents, should have thus passed a long life without any signal or very substantial recognition in high or influential quarters. I think this is unjust both to himself and to the world in which he was known.

He had no ambition i.e., no desire to use his talents as a mere means of obtaining either the world’s fame or its more solid rewards ; his mind and powers were emphatically himself, and his happiness consisted, and was amply found, in attacking and assimilating those subjects which cropped up at every turn of his path. He would have considered it a prostitution of his powers to have designedly aimed at wealth or position by their means; the attainment of knowledge was the end he always had in view, and that end was to him its own sufficient reward. No greater injury could, I conceive, have been done to him than to have offered, or, perhaps, pressed upon him, the acceptance of honours or position which might have turned him in his course or tended to obscure the end he had in view. So far as concerned himself!; and as respects the fancied neglect of him by others, what was there in his life and work to draw upon him, perforce, the notice of any excepting those of his more immediate circle? From that circle, as occasion called, he did receive such recognition as put him in the very position of all others where his talents would be freely used and his worldly requirements sufficiently supplied for the modest needs of himself and his family. In this view of it Mr. Barnes’ life forms a harmonious whole such as the world rarely sees, and if I were going to lecture to young men on the examples set by striking characters gone before, I do not know of one whom I could select, like Mr. Barnes, as so pre-eminent in all that a Christian man’s life should be both for this world and the next. A sound mind in a sound body and sufficient food for both ; the result, a long life of physical and mental happiness, and a legacy to posterity from his mind’s work, the value of which will be the more felt the more it is used by those to whom it is bequeathed. If the recognition of himself by great men or great minds were an ambition with Mr. Barnes (I am not aware that it was, I think it was not) he did obtain a share of that in the visits paid him while Rector of Came by such men as Tennyson, Allingham, Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, Max Miller, Sir Henry Taylor, Coventry Patmore, and others.

With regard to Mr. Barnes’ family it is enough to say here that he had the great misfortune to lose his wife comparatively early in life, and has left four daughters and one son (Rev. William Miles Barnes, of Monkton Rectory) surviving him, another, a younger son, having died early. Miss Laura Barnes, the eldest daughter, is unmarried; the others are married. Two are settled in Italy, and from the talented pen of one of them, Lucy Barnes (Mrs. Baxter), we hope shortly to have a biography of our old friend such as none but a daughter so well qualified could possibly furnish. Some have questioned whether Mr. Barnes’ career can be pointed to as a successful one; of course that depends on what success in life is taken to mean. If I am right in the remarks I have made above, he must be considered to have been most successful. Some have pointed to his scholastic work and said it is not there that Mr. Barnes succeeded ; others have said his literary works, excepting the Poems in Dorset Dialect, will not live, and most are dead already, and that his clerical life was a mere accident. Well! I think these critics are all wrong. I am very confident that even in these separate parts of his career Mr. Barnes might, were it worth while, be shown to have amply succeeded.

I will only mention one fact in regard to his school work, and that is that he had the faculty of interesting his scholars, and not only of causing them to understand but to love what he taught. I can testify to this from my own experience as his pupil, and I feel confident of the supporting testimony of many others whom he taught. If this be so what scholastic success could be greater As regards his literary labours, perhaps few know anything of them except of the Dorset poems ; but may that not be simply a proof of their ignorance, not of any want of intrinsic value in his other works? And as respects his clerical life, those who know what it was speak of it as being as thoroughly complete as everything else he did; its sphere was no doubt small, but had it been ten, or twenty times the extent it was it could not have been more sincerely or systematically worked. Where is any proof of nonsuccess in these separate parts then of Mr. Barnes’ life? But these parts are simply parts of a whole, harmonious life, and ought not to be taken and analysed separately, rudely dissected like a beautiful flower by a would-be botanist! and that these portions of Mr. Barnes’ life and works are what they are constitutes, it seems to me, his life’s true success.

Space will not allow me to say anything scarcely of Mr. Barnes’ published works, excepting the one mentioned before, “Labour and Gold,” and his Dorset dialect poem’s. Criticism of these poems, in the ordinary sense, would be out of place – impossible! unnatural!

One might with equal propriety criticise a handful of spring flowers plucked fresh from the hedge-row. We might indeed admire one flower rather than another ; we might find greater beauties, greater sweetness, deeper suggestions in one than in another; but criticism, as such, would be, like the dissector’s knife—barbarous, almost brutal ! Mr. Barnes’ poems are the spontaneous outflowings of his remembrance of persons, things, and scenes, of which he bore away as he viewed them, the bright, the pure, the good side only. Lie looked at Nature, and human nature in his Blackmoor Vale haunts, with a soul only open to its beauties—quite closed (as far as it was possible) to all that might have been disfiguring or unsweet. His mind was attuned to harmonies, not discords ; such discords as may occasionally sound out in the songs he sings are instantly resolved into sweet harmony again. I am told, on good authority, that he never, with perhaps one exception, wrote his poems with “a purpose.” With such a purpose (everywhere evident in his poems) as that with which the bird sings, that is from the love that was in his heart and the instinct within his soul he, certainly, always wrote. I leave criticism, therefore, if such be possible, to others. Another thing I think is notable in respect to the Dorset poems; there is, if I do not mistake, not even the smallest reference there to any of the social sins or vices of peasant life. In one only such a reference may perhaps be found (Complete collection of the poems, p. 382), but only there as the product of evil in a higher rank of life, where the selfishness of idle vice has prevailed over the peasant child’s ignorant innocence.

Each poem is a picture true to life, without a touch too much or too little, and never a touch put in for mere effect. Those who have lived amongst, and loved, rural life, will, I think, see and feel this. Each poem, as it is read thus, satisfies the reader just as the picture itself, if viewed in nature, would satisfy. If this is, as I think, the perfection of poetry, then certainly Mr. Barnes approached perfection as a poet. I have remarked that he seldom or never wrote his poems ” with a purpose,” nor ever scarcely brought forward the frail or bad side of his country folk, but it was not that he was ignorant of the latter, or did not desire to have it as he wished to see it and sung of it – No! it would simply have been, in his view and intention, a distortion and blurring of what he saw and felt to have used his powers of song to denounce, or even to correct. Much rather would he look upon country life, wherever possible, from its humorous side, and this he did in his poems, as many of them so abundantly testify. He was indeed possessed with a very keen sense of humour, his laugh, at any sally of genuine wit or humour, was the most infectious that I ever met with ; it must have been a dull-witted one indeed who could fail to be caught by and to join in it. It has been remarked, and with truth, that throughout a volume of nearly 500 pages of poems there is no allusion to the sea, the seaside and its concomitants, or to mountains; but this, if it proves anything, proves the genuine sincerity of the man.

His Jot had been cast and his earliest and deepest impressions had been received inland, where neither sea nor mountain existed, and he sung of what was in him—impressions from the river, the brook, the lake or pond, the coppice, the hedgeside, the farmyard, the country folk of every degree, their thoughts, ways, habits, employments, and amusements ; these and such like formed the staple of his song, and to say that he only sang of these, but not of the sea or the mountain, is only equivalent to saying that a nightingale sings only the nightingale’s song, but never screeches like the seagull nor croaks like the raven ; and what better proof could be given than this that he had no keen ambition for any such fame as a great poet, in the world’s estimation, might aim at ! No! Mr. Barnes was here, as in all else, himself, and in his songs he was, as he was, and always loved to remember that he was, a Dorsetshire country-man. These few allusions to Mr. Barnes’ poems must suffice us here; space prevents any quotations from them. Others (notably Professor Palgrave, National Review, No. 48, February, 1887, p.p. 818-830, and the Rev. Walter Locke in an able Lecture at Dorchester, April 18th, 1887, to be published, I believe, shortly) have gone very fully into them and given numerous and apt quotations. Indeed, if anything I have said be true, the whole volume might be quoted in proof of Mr. Barnes having been a genuine staunch Dorset man; and to that proof I recommend every one who has not yet made a close.

Acquaintance with those genial and pleasant outflowings of a true and loving heart.
Although, as before remarked, Mr. Barnes did not write his poems ” with a purpose,” he could, and did, write with a purpose much, and to good purpose if some of his other works were studied. I fear, though, that most of them are but little known. I allude now to “Views of Labour and Gold,” a volume of 190 pages, published in 1859. He speaks of this work as formed from notes for a course of lectures ; but whether the lectures were ever publicly delivered, or if so, when, I do not know. This work appears to bo the outpouring of Mr. Barnes mind on an old subject, but one at that time cropping- up as a vital one for human society in all ranks, and which has, as we are aware, become the question underlying most of the other questions of the day – the question of the relations and respective rights of labour and capital. Mr. Barnes here, as in all his poems, touching en the temporal welfare of the labourer, is unmistakably in closest sympathy with the sons of toil ; but as in his poems, so here, too, he is filled with the conviction of the need of labour to man, and of its great dignity. But while he extols labour, he is unflinching in his severity upon labour for the mere sake of hoarding, and of labour that injures body, mind, or soul. Some kinds of labour, he observes, have “a painful reaction on the mind,” and others “a bad reaction on the conscience” (p. 33), and which, however easy may be “their action, and however great their gain, are not to be earnestly chosen by Christian men, since as they deaden the conscience they likewise do harm to the soul,” Weighty words of truth which need to be much taught, and still more learnt, in these enlightened days. As we might expect, Mr. Barnes is severe upon capital ! Not by any means that he objected to the prudent laying up for a rainy day, or the gathering of means to carry out works impossible to be effected without stored-up labour in the shape of gold or capital, but it was the ever-growing “monopoly and tyranny of capital” against which he warns.

A chapter is devoted to this under the above heading. Mr. Barnes’ object is “to show the possible effect of the increase of great working capitals and monopolies on the labourers’ freedom or welfare.” And, is there a doubt but that the present labourers’ Unions and Trades’ Unions, and the consequent strikes and lock-outs, and other warfare between employers and workers i.e., between “Labour and gold,” have been the result of that “tyranny and monopoly of capital” Mr. Barnes speaks of? He humorously, but forcibly, illustrates the benefits asserted to be conferred upon workers by capital when in the enlargement of an already perhaps great business, scores of small businesses of the kind are swallowed up by the outlay of capital ; “The kindness which is done by capital when it affords employment to people from whom, by a monopoly, it has taken their little businesses, is such as one might do to a cock by adorning his head with a plume made of feathers pulled out of his own tail.” And as regards these who have sunk from being (though perhaps small ones) masters to mere workers, he says their wages are doubtless better than nothing, but ” yet it may have been quite as well for them if the profit on their toil had been taken by themselves instead of the great capitalist, and if they had taken their money on their own desk rather than on the Saturday pay-table.” This, of course, at once opens up the whole question of the rights of labour to share in the profits of their work ; and this is the bone of contention still. Mr. Barnes also has a pertinent sentence upon a dogma which one frequently now hears, and sees in print, as addressed to our ” masters,” the agricultural labourers, and with a view to content them with their lot. It refers to the “identity of interest between the employer and the labourer,” or, what is the same, between ” capital and labour.” Mr. Barnes remarks (p. 70) —” It is often said that the interests of capital and labour are identical, and so in truth they are as long as they are kept so by the law of Christian kindness ; but if the truth or the broad form of it be misunderstood by the hand-hiring capital, it does not follow that the wealth of the capitalist and workman are identical.” Mr. Barnes here appeals to a higher law than the mere law of the land, or the market price, as a true and potent factor in all questions between labour and capital.

The capitalist may ensconce himself behind the law of the land, he may seek to justify himself by the ” market price of labour,” but no law, in Mr. Barnes’ opinion, can ever enforce any true identity of interest between capital and labour, but that one of which he speaks in the passage quoted, ” The law of Christian kindness,” which, when it works so as to discover that the market price is not always the just, although it may be the legal measure of labour’s value, will also operate so as to accord a share of the profits of Labour to the workman ! When will that be ? Echo answers, when? But if we may hazard a guess we shall not be far wrong, I think, in saying that the considerations and discussions continued in “Labour and Gold,” if widely spread abroad, will not fail to hasten the day. Mr. Barnes, again, speaking on the effects of the monopoly of great capitals, (p. 70), admits that “one man may leave a million to his wife, earned out of his capital by his workmen, but then fewer men out of every hundred in his trade can leave their children a hundred pounds.” Who cannot feel that the loss of the hundred pounds to each of the many is ill compensated for by the gain of a million to one person?

Everywhere throughout this little book the relations of capital and labour are discussed thus earnestly and temperately. If space allowed we might show how fair he is towards capital rightly employed, and how dear to his heart were the interests and well being of the working man, especially in those chapters on ” the measure and quantity of labour,” on ” overwork,” on the “reaction of labour,” and of ” inaction;” as well as on the “dignity and disdain of work,” on ” machinery,” and ” congregated labour.” But what I consider the essential point in this work is the insistence upon a higher law than the law of the land, and the market price as a factor in the relations of labour and capital—’ the law of Christian Kindness.” I have gone thus much into this work of Mr. Barnes’, not only because of the great and pressing present importance of the subject, but, principally, here, to show that Mr. Barnes was not merely a poet, not simply a singer of pretty melodious songs, but a true, a large hearted, and a just philanthropist; and I venture to think that Mr. Barnes ‘ fame will not in the future simply rest upon his Dorset Dialect poems, exquisite as they undoubtedly are.

It is time, though, that some mention should be made here of Mr. Barnes in connection with the Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club. As we might have supposed, Mr. Barnes was always forward to support anything connected with the interests of natural history and natural science. Every morning during his scholastic life before the regular school work began he gave his scholars a short lecture on some natural history or scientific subject. Each scholar had to take down in writing a proposition, generally embracing one point only, on which the lecture was based. Notes were to be taken upon the lecture, which was always illustrated by objects or experiments, and an examination upon it was subsequently made. I have still in my possession the MS. notes of these lectures during the whole of the two years that I was a pupil of Mr. Barnes’.

He was among the founders of the County Museum, and stood firmly by it through evil and good report until it bloomed into its present fair and prosperous form; and at once on its inauguration in 1875 became a member of the Field Club, frequently attending the Field Meetings, even down to a very recent period, and, whenever called upon to do so, always contributed his quota to the proceedings of the day in his habitually retiring, but simple, clear, and concise way. These contributions were usually of an Antiquarian kind, as are all those contributed in writing to the Field Club’s published proceedings. I have given these contributions in a separate list at the end of the general list of his works ; they are 14 in number and are mostly concerned with topics at the moment before the club. The last paper contributed to our Proceedings was in September, 1885, on “Pilsdon,” and is published in vol. vii. p. 102. Mr. Barnes was then in too feeble a state to attend outdoor meetings, and I myself had the pleasure of reading (in his absence) his last words to us ; and the very last words (with which the paper concludes) suggest to us a bit of practical work, which, I hope, some one among us may one day carry out. He was speaking of the curious parallelogram on the area of the Great Earthwork at Pilsdon, and, after hazarding a guess on the subject, concludes with these words—”I wonder what is under its turf?” and I will now add ” Will not some one institute a search and let us know?”

And now, ill done indeed I fear, but yet, so far as I have been able to do it, my task is done. I should have liked to dwell longer on many points of Mr. Barnes’ life and character, and particularly on some others of his published works. I feel little doubt but that if the real value of his philological work were thoroughly gone into he would be found to have been well abreast of the greatest contemporary masters of philological science, but I must leave that to other hands. To say that we of the Field Club most deeply lament our old friend is only to repeat what all the world has said since his death ; to say that we shall never see his like again would be to prophesy when we do not know, a proceeding proverbially unwise ; but I do think that it may well be the ambition of us all, when our time shall come, to have lived as Mr. Barnes lived and to have died as he died.

A CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE PUBLISHED WORKS OF THE REV. WILLIAM BARNES B.D.

1822 Orra : A Lapland Tale. A short poem, published by Clarke, Dorchester. 8vo., p.p. 28, with four woodcuts engraved by the Author,

Other Short Poems, also published in this year.

1827 Some Little Essays and other papers, signed “Dilettante,” in Dorset County Chronicle from 1827, cir. to 1835.

Some Sonnets and other Poems, some of which were printed in a book in 1846.

Translations in Verse from the Italian of Metastasio.

1829 The Etymological Glossary ; or Easy Exposition for the use of Schools and Non-Latinists, wherein the greater part of the English words of foreign derivation are so arranged that the learner is enabled to acquire the meaning at once. By William Barnes, Master of the Boarding School at Mere, in Wiltshire, Teacher of Perspective and Drawing, and of the Latin, French, Italian, and German languages. Shaftesbury : T. Rutter. London : Whittaker, Teacher, and Arnot.

1831 Papers in Gentleman’s Magazine –
ON ENGLISH DERIVATIONS.
ON THE STRUCTURE OF DICTIONARIES.
ON PRONUNCIATION OF LATIN.
HIEROGLYPHICS.

1832 Papers in Hones Year Book –
DORSETSHIRE CUSTOMS, p. 1172.
SINGLE STICK AND CUDGELS, p. 1525.
LENT CROCKING, p, 1599.

In Gentleman’s Magazine –
IDENTITY OF NATIONAL MANNERS AND LANGUAGE.
MERE CHURCH, WITH WOODCUTS.
SONGS OF THE ANCIENT BRITONS.
ANALOGY OF GREEK AND OTHER LANGUAGES.
ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE.
THORNHILL OBELISK, WITH A WOODCUT.
ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE.
ENGLISH COMPOUNDS.

1833 In Gentleman’s Magazine –
NAPPER’S MITE, Dorchester, with a woodcut.
SILTON CHURCH, with woodcut. Supplement to vol. ciii. pt.
STURMINSTER NEWTON CHURCH.
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
NAILSEA CHURCH, Somerset.
CHELVEY, Somerset.
A CATECHISM OF GOVERNMENT in general and of England in particular. Shaftesbury,

1833.
THE MNEMONICAL MANUAL, founded on a new and simple system of Mnemonics. Recommended to the notice of teachers and readers of
history, &c. , &c.

1834 A FEW WORDS ON THE ADVANTAGES of a MORE COMMON ADOPTION OF THE MATHEMATICS AS A BRANCH OF EDUCATION OR SUBJECT OF STUDY.
London : Whittaker. 20vo., and various Local Publishers, 1834.
POEMS OF RURAL LIFE in Dorset Dialect, begun in this year, published in
Dorset County Chronicle.
A DORSET IDYL, written in a sick room coming on to convalescence – ” When I was uphalening from a sickness – an ailing of the liver.”
“ON THE CROSS AT ST. (?).” A paper in Gentleman’s Magazine.

1835 A MATHEMATICAL INVESTIGATION of the principle of Hanging Doors, Gates, Swing Bridges, and other heavy bodies swinging on vertical axes. Dorchester : Simonds and Sydenham, 1835.

In Gentleman’s Magazine –
PUNCK KNOWLE HOUSE, with a woodcut.

1837 ON ROMAN MINERALS, p. 573.

1838 On Æsop.
SOME ETYMOLOGIES.

1840 ANOTHER LETTER to Gentleman’s Magazine on the distinction between VIR and HOMO. According to the general rule of the ‘Elegantitæ Latinsæ ” ViR is equivalent to a man, when noticed for praise or excellence; never when blame is expressed. Homo is used indiscriminately. What Mr. Barnes thought was that VIR is equivalent to man, as distinguished from a woman, as of the female sex ; Homo i equivalent to a human being, in distinction from one of a different order, whether higher or lower ; VIR is equivalent to the German Mann, Homo is equivalent to German MENSCH. He quotes from Ovid, Metamorph, Sallust, Horace, Terence, &c, in proof of his idea.

1839 In Gentleman’s Magazine –
ON THE SO-CALLED KIMMERIDGE COAL MONEY.
BATTLE OF PENN.
THE ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE AT DORCHESTER.
THE HINDOO SHASTERS.
PHŒNICIANS.
HINDOO POORAN AND SCIENCES.

1840 In Gentleman’s Magazine –
HINDOO FAQUEERS.
DORSET DIALECT compared with Anglo-Saxon.
THE OLD JUDGE’S HOUSE, DORCHESTER, with a woodcut.
LAWS OF CASE. An investigation of the Laws of Case in Language
Published 1840. Longman and Co. and Whittaker and Co , London.

1841 EDUCATION ON WORDS AND THINGS.
FIELDING’S HOUSE AT STOWER, with a woodcut.
GOTHS AND TEUTONS.
AN ARITHMETICAL AND COMMERCIAL DICTIONARY. Pubhshed by (?)
HINTS ON TEACHING, in the Educational Magazine, pp. 160, March 1841.
PRONOUNCING DICTIONARY of Geographical Names, pp. 249. Published by (?)

1842 THE ELEMENTS OF ENGLISH GRAMMAR. London : W^hittaker and Co.
THE ELEMENTS OF LINEAR Perspective and the Projection of Shadows,
16 woodcut diagrams, by author. Published by Longman and Co. and Hamilton and Adams.
NUMEROUS REVIEWS of all kinds of books in Gentleman’s Magazine from
1841 to 1849 (inclusive.)

1844 SIX SACRED SONGS “SABBATH LAYS.” Poetry by W. Barnes, music composed by F. W. Smith, Dorchester. Price to Subscribers, 5s. ; to Non-subscribers, 6s. London : Chappell, New Bond-street, London.
EXERCISES IN PRACTICAL SCIENCE, containing the Main Principles of Dynamics, Statics, Hydro-Statics and Hydrodynamics, with 14 diagrams in wood, by author, pp. 65 for my pupils. Pub. Dorchester, Clark,

DORSET POEMS (collected from Dorset County Chronicle) with a dissertation
on the Folk Speech, and a glossary of Dorset words. Published by George Simonds, Dorchester.

1846 POEMS PARTLY OF RURAL LIFE (in national English). London : J. R. Smith. Containing “Some of my Earlier Bits of verse Sonnets and others”, with some later ones in Common English.

1847 “POEMS OF RURAL LIFE IN DORSET DIALECT.” 2nd Edition. J. R. Smith. London.

OUTLINES OF GEOGRAPHY AND ETHNOGRAPHY FOR YOUTH, pp. 242. Barclay, Dorchester. 1857 A new edition, applied for by H. C. Harris ; published 21, Great Alie-street, Goodmansfields, and afterwards brought out.

1849 SE GEFYLSTA (the Helper) an Anglo-Saxon Delectus. J. R. Smith, London. (Another edition since.)
HUMILIS DOMUS. Some thoughts on the Abodes, Life, and Social Condition of the Poor, especially in Dorsetshire. (Printed from the Poole Herald).

1853 and 1854 Papers in ”The Retrosprctivi Review.” London: J. R. Smith. Vols. I. and 11.
POPULATION AND EMIGRATION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 17TH CENTURY.
Art. 4.
ANECDOTA LITERARIA. Extracts from the Diary of John Richards, Esq.,
pp. 97, 201.
PYRRHONISM OF JOSEPH GLANVILLE
ENGLISH MUSIC AND MADRIGALS. Vol. II., Art. 4. The Antiquary.
Art. 6, No. 6. Lelantd, February, 1854.
ASTROLOGY, Xo. 7, Art. 5.
CONTROVERSIAL WRITERS on Waterhouse and Fox, on the Utility of
Learning in the Church. No. 8, Art. 3. Aug. 1854.

1854 A PHILOLOGICAL GRAMMAR, 8vo., pp. 312. J, R. Smith, London.

1859 HWOMELY RHYMES, a second collection of Dorset Poems. J. R. Smith, London.
BRITAIN AND THE ANCIENT BRITONS, pp. 167. J. R. Smith, London.

1859 VIEWS OF LABOUR AND GOLD, pp. 190. J. R. Smith, London.
THE SONG OF SOLOMON, in the Dorset Dialect (for ” Prince Louis Buonaparte).

1861 In Macmillans Magazine (May, 1861)
ON THE BEAUTIFUL IN NATURE AND ART.

1862 DORSET POEMS, 3rd Edition of 1st Coll , being in fact the 4th Edition: John Russell Smith, London.
TIU, OR A VIEW OF THE ROOTS, and stems of the English as a Teutonic
Tongue, p.p., 324. J. R. Smith.

Macmillan’s Magazine –
ON THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF TRIAL BY JURY in Britain, March 1S62.

1863 The “RARIORA” of Old Poetry. May 1863.
Fraser’s Magazine –
ON THE CREDIBILITY OF OLD SONG, History and Tradition, Sept. 1863.
ON PATMORE’S POETRY, July 1863.
POEMS IN THE DORSET DIALECT. 3rd collection, with frontispiece and vignette. 4s. 6d. 1st ed., J. R. Smith, London.
DORSET POEMS. 2nd edition of 2nd collection. J. R. Smith, London.
GRAMMAR AND GLOSSARY OF THE DORSET DIALECT, with the history, outspreading and bearing of the South-western English. Published for the Philological Society, by A. Asher and Co , Berlin – 8vo., p.p. 103.

1863 In the Reader –
A REVIEW OF DEAN HOARE on English Roots and Exotics.
In the Ladies’ Treasury –
“ON CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE.”

1864 In the Reader –
REVIEW OF COOKE’S “NEGLECTED FACT,” in English History.

1865 A GUIDE TO DORCHESTER. Published by Barclay.

1864 and 1865 VERSIONS OF THE PSALMS in English measures (unrhymed), formed upon those of the Hebrew, with some original and other notes – printed in the Dorset County Chronicle. (This appears to have been afterwards published in a vol. by some Liverpool publishers O.P.C.)

1865 “ON DORSET.” Read before the Archaeological Society at Dorchester. Printed in the Transactions of the Society.

1866 In Fraser s Magazine –
ON THE WELSH TRIADS, Oct. 1866.

1866 DORSET POEMS A 4th Edition of 1st coll.—in fact the 5th edition. John Russell Smith, London.

In Macmillans Magazine –
ON PLAGIARISM.

In Ladies’ Treasury –
ON PRINKING OR BODILY ORNAMENT.
A GLOSSARY, with some pieces of verse of the old dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, Co. Wexford, Ireland, formerly collected by Jacob Poole, of Growton. Edited by Rev. W. Barnes. J. R Smith, Lond.

1867 In the Ladies’ Treasury –
THE HOAX.

1867 In Macmillan’s Magazine –
ON BARDIC POETRY.
SOME BITS OF WRITING IN THE HAWK—a monthly hover from the Vale of Avon. Published by W. Wheaton, Ringwood.
THE CHURCH IN IRELAND. Logical anomalies of the disendowment of. Dorset County Chronicle.
THE RATING OF TITHES. Ditto.

1868 POEMS OF RURAL LIFE, in common English, pp. 200. Macmillan and Co.

1869 EARLY ENGLAND and the Saxon English, with some notes on the Fatherstock
of the Saxon English—the Frisians. J. R. Smith.

1869 A PAPER FOR THE GOVERNMENT COMMISSION on the Employment of children, young persons, and women in agriculture. Printed in the Blue Book. Appendix : Part II , to Second Report, p. 12.

1870 DORSET POEMS 2nd Edition of 3rd coll. J. R Smith.
“ON SOMERSET,” read before the Somerset Archaeological Society, at Wincanton.

1871 ON THE ORIGIN OF THE HUNDRED AND TITHING of English Law. Read before the Archaeological Association at Weymouth. Printed in the Transactions.

1878 AN OUTLINE OF ENGLISH SPEECHCRAFT. Kegan Paul and Co.

1879 POEMS OF RURAL LIFE (in the Dorset dialect.) 8vo , pp., 467: Kegan Paul and Co. (This is a complete collection of all the Dorset dialect poems.)

1880 AN OUTLINE OF REDECRAFT (logic) in English Wording. 8vo. pp. 56. Kegan Paul and Co.
In Leisure Hour (a series). Dorset Folk and Dorset, with illustrations.

188(?) A GLOSSARY OF DORSET and West English words as kindred stems from their main roots. Published by (?)

PAPERS PUBLISHED IN THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE DORSET NATURAL HISTORY AND ANTIQUARIAN FIELD CLUB, FROM 1875 TO 1886.

Vol. I. – A British Earthwork, p 94.
Vol. III .- Notes on the History of Shaftesbury, p. 27.
The Tout Hill, Shaftesbury, p. 48.

Vol. IV. – On the Iter xvi., of Antoninus, p. 62.
Addendum to Notes on the History of Shaftesbury, p. 77.
Cranborne, the so called Castle, p. 134.
On the Maze or Mismaze at Leigh, p. 154.

Vol. V. – Some Slight Notes on Badbury Rings, p. 38.
Eggardon and British Tribeship, p. 40.
A Study 0.1 the Bockley, or Bockerly, Dyke, and others, in Dorset, p 49.
Notes on the so-called Roman Roads, p. 69,

Vol. VI. – A Study on the Invasion of the South-West of Britain, by Vespasian, p. 18.
A Study on the Belga:; in South Britain, p. 33.

Vol. VII. – Pilsdon, p. 102.

Several songs have been composed by various composers to words written by
Mr. Barnes. Among these are : –

“There’s a Chakm in the Bloom of Youth.” Music by F. W. Smith.
” The Mother’.s Dream.” Music by Sir A. Sullivan.
“The Bells of Alderburnham.” Music by Dolores.
“John Bleake of Blackmoor.” Music by F. W. Smith,

MSS. NOT PRINTED

  • A Second Set of Poems in Common English.
  • Hymns on Church openings, Harvest Thanksgivings, Baptism, Marriage, Choir Meeting, School.
  • Word Building in English.
  • A Word List of EngUsh Words, which have heretofore holden, or would do, instead of others that have been intaken from other tongues,
  • A Latin Word-book of Words ranked under their Roots or main Stem-words,
  • On Angria the Pirate, and the Indian Wars of his time. (A paper meant for the Retrospective Review.)
  • Utilitarianism. An answer to Utilitarianism, by John Mill.
  • A Version of the Song of Solomon, handled as poetry, with some out-clearing notes from Eastern poetry, and other sources
  • Studies in poetry of less known schools.
  • Notes on Persian Word Stems.
  • Notes on the Song of Deborah and Barak.
  • Alphabetical and Etymological Dictionary of the common names of animals (not polished.)
  • Echoes from Zion – a free version of as many of the Psalms.
  • King Arthur and Welsh poetry, of and since his time
  • Notes on the God-ha-dum, a Redeemer of blood under the Law.
  • Latin Word-building in the noun and verb endings.
  • A Word List of Grammar terms, out-cleared by wording, and English words in their stead.
  • Essay on the Maintenance of the Church of England as an Established Church
    Palraam non meruit.
    (This is the author’s simple endorsement on the rejected essay, which was written in competition for the Peeke prizes in 1872, but failed to win.)
  • Dorset Dialogues.
  • Preaching.
  • Liturgy,
  • Hymn for a Harvest Thanksgiving,

Related Links:

 

Thomas Hardy Lecture: Hardy, Women and Marriage By Professor Ann Heilmann

Emma Hardy

Emma Hardy from the Dorset County Museum’s Hardy Collection © DCM

On Thursday 30th July, Professor Ann Heilmann of Cardiff University is giving a literary talk at Dorset County Museum entitled ‘Hardy, Women and Marriage’.

When, with the death of his first wife Emma, Hardy embarked on his Poems of 1912-13, the estranged husband reconstituted himself in author and journalist Claire Tomalin’s words as ‘a lover in mourning’. It is perhaps a fitting irony that the man who reconfigured his marriage after the event had spent his novelistic career waging war on conventional Victorian ideas of marriage.

Hardy’s attack on marriage as a social and legal institution pervades his entire fiction, from his first novel Desperate Remedies (1871) and its sensation-style foray into bigamy, to his final masterpiece, Jude the Obscure (1895): a book which prompted the Mrs Grundy of Victorian literature, Margaret Oliphant, to denounce Hardy as the leading figure in the contemporary ‘Anti-Marriage League’.

This talk discusses marriage in Hardy’s life and fiction, highlighting his radical critique of Victorian legal conditions and his early espousal of women’s rights.

All are welcome to the talk which starts at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00pm. The talk is free of charge but a donation of £3.00 is encouraged to cover costs.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

The Customs and Traditions of Whitsun

Whitsun (also Whitsunday, Whit Sunday or Whit) is the name used for the Christian festival of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples.  Dorset Folklorist, John Symonds Udal wrote about the traditions of Whitsuntide, the week following Whitsunday, in his book ‘Dorsetshire Folklore’ published in 1922:-

“Whitsuntide was, no doubt, in the old days a time of some considerable festivity amongst a certain class of Dorset folk; although I cannot find that the old ” Whitsun Ales “(Or ” Ale-feasts “, which, according to Halliwell, were festivals or merry makings at which ale appears to have been the predominant liquor) so common in many counties, had—at least under that name — any prominence in Dorsetshire.

It appears, however, from a sermon made by William Ketlie at Blandford Forum in 1570 that it was the custom at that time for the “Church Ales” to be kept upon the Sabbath-day, which holy day ” the multitude call their revelyng day; which day is spent in bulbeatings, bearebeatings, bowling, dyeing, carding, daunsynges, drunkennes, and whoredom, in so much as men could not keepe their servauntes from lyinge out of theyr owne houses the same Sabbath-day at night “.

This does not afford a very pleasant picture of the way Dorset folk spent their Whitsuntide in Elizabethan times, and affords some evidence of the brutal sports that were practised amongst them at Whitsuntide as well as on Shrove-Tuesday. But whatever may have been the amusements which the Dorset “multitude” indulged in at that time, it is some satisfaction to find that their only survival to-day is that of the parish, or village, club-walking.

Nearly every village has, or, until recently, had its “club”. The old time club was not framed upon the modern provident type, such as those excellent institutions of ” Odd Fellows ” and other associations founded upon the Friendly Societies’ Acts, but ” broke ” every seven years or so, when the funds then standing to its credit were distributed amongst the members. It was customary in the old clubs that when a member died all the others were called upon to pay 2s. 6d., as a contribution for ” death-rate pay “. If it was a member’s wife who died the contribution was only a shilling.

Child Okeford Friendly Society Banner

Child Okeford Friendly Society Banner. This type of banner would have been paraded on Whitsun Club Walk

This system, it can easily be seen, was far more favourable to the local tradespeople and shopkeepers than to the members to whom more extended credit was given as the time drew near for the ” breaking “. In most places now I think it will be found that the old club has been replaced by more benevolent institutions, which provide much better terms in case of the sickness or death of their members. In some parishes the old and new societies have amalgamated, though, of course, those members of the old club who were above a certain age would not be able to join one of the modern Odd Fellows’ Societies. They would often, too, join forces for the celebration of the Feast-day. In the parish of Symondsbury, in West Dorset, there has been no “club-walken “, or procession, for some thirty years or more.

There the old club day was the second Tuesday in May; but in most places Whitsun week was the favourite time. The members would don their sashes, rosettes, etc., and with flags and banners and preceded by a band would start about 9 a.m., walking generally four abreast in procession, the outer one of each four— usually an older man—carrying a pole, to call at the principal houses in the parish where they would be likely to obtain refreshments and sometimes money. Cider would be brought out to them in big jugs; and after being refreshed they would move on to some other farmhouse or kindly neighbour, taking care to be back in time for divine service in the parish church at noon.

Stoke Abbot Sick Club Staves - These examples from a collection of staves that the museum have were made by Canon Rogers W. H. Dalison MA Merton College Oxford. Hon Canon of Rochester 1928 - 1934

Stoke Abbot Sick Club Staves – These examples from a collection of staves that the museum have were made by Canon Rogers W. H. Dalison MA Merton College Oxford. Hon Canon of Rochester 1928 – 1934

The poles carried in these processions, generally painted blue with white bands running round them, are often handsomely ornamented with metal tops or points screwed on to a round wooden knob painted yellow, something in the style of the old halberds, and are much prized in the villages to which they belong. I am informed that an elderly lady living in a West Dorset village still keeps a couple of these poles at her house, which were formerly used in the local procession. If I remember rightly, too, the borough officials at Lyme Regis possess quite a number of them ; whilst a very fine collection of Somersetshire ones is preserved in the county museum at Taunton.

The “feast ” was provided in a large tent or marquee erected in a field usually lent by one of the principal farmers in the parish, at which a large company assembled, the rector of the parish usually presiding, with several of the local gentry and farmers in attendance.

Stoke Abbott Club Walking

Stoke Abbott Club Walking Procession at the Stoke Abbot Street Fair 2012

The dinner — which was paid for by the members—over, the speeches usual on such an occasion followed, the loyal toasts always being heartily received. The rest of the afternoon was spent in various amusements, games for the children, and dancing for the young people. There were generally a few ” standings ” for the selling of cakes, sweets, and toys, together with an “Aunt Sally” or a shooting gallery rigged up for the occasion. The field was frequented by a large number of visitors, who looked forward to meeting once a year at this pleasant gathering.

I may add that though I have attended these ” feasts ” on more than one occasion I have not noticed anything in the conduct of the people such as is animadverted upon in the Blandford sermon. It is certainly significant of the improvement in rustic morals in this respect that the modern parson only deemed it necessary to warn his hearers against the possible occurrence of some of those very delinquencies which his Elizabethan predecessor roundly accused them of having committed. (Read Barnes’s poem ” Whitsuntide an’ Club walken “).

In his ” Fore-say ” (ante) William Barnes alludes to these festal gatherings, where he says that ” Whitsuntide is now a time commonly chosen for the yearly meeting of the Friendly Societies” club-walken ‘, as it is called in Dorset “, and mentions amongst the ” resources of mirth ” formerly existing at these celebrations ” the mazes or miz-mazes, to be threaded by such as thought they would guide their feet to a more speedy outcoming than they would always find; but the mazes are now levelled and lost with the May queens “. He continues:—

“The village wake, called in Dorset ‘ Feast’ (Festa) belonged mostly to the Christian seasons, as it was mainly holden at or near to the festival of the Saint to whom the village church was dedicated. At some of these feasts, however, there was cudgel-playing ; and I fear it cannot well be said that cudgel-fighting is the most fitting token of joy for the festival of St. Mary or St. John, albeit it be called ‘ play’; but the feast brought to some houses of the parish merry meetings of friends with kindred and friends from elsewhere.”

A fitting conclusion is afforded to this subject by Barnes’s very interesting dialect poem descriptive of what took place on these occasions – probably half a century before I ever saw them – which I here give in full:-

“WHITSUNTIDE AN’ CLUB WALKEN. “

Ees, last Whit-Monday, I an’ Meäery
Got up betimes to mind the deäeiry;
An’ gi’ed the milken pails a scrub,
An’ dress’d, an’ went to zee the club.
Vor up at public-house, by ten
O’clock the pleaece wer vull o’ men,
A-dress’d to goo to church, an’ dine,
An’ walk about the pleaece in line.

Zoo off they started, two an’ two,
Wi’ painted poles an’ knots o’ blue,
An’ girt silk flags,–I wish my box
‘D a-got em all in ceaepes an’ frocks,
A-weaeven wide an’ flappen loud
In playsome winds above the crowd;
While fifes did squeak an’ drums did rumble,
An’ deep beaezzoons did grunt an’ grumble,
An’ all the vo’k in gath’ren crowds
Kick’d up the doust in smeechy clouds,
That slowly rose an’ spread abrode
In streamen air above the road.

An’ then at church there wer sich lots
O’ hats a-hangen up wi’ knots,
An’ poles a-stood so thick as iver,
The rushes stood beside a river.
An’ Mr Goodman gi’ed em warnen
To spend their evenen lik’ their mornen;
An’ not to pray wi’ mornen tongues,
An’ then to zwear wi’ evenen lungs:
Nor vu’st sheaeke hands, to let the wrist
Lift up at last a bruisen vist:
Vor clubs were all a-meäen’d vor friends,
He twold em, an’ vor better ends
Than twiten vo’k an’ picken quarrels,
An’ tipplen cups an’ empten barrels,–
Vor meaeken woone man do another
In need the kindness ov a brother.

An’ after church they went to dine
‘Ithin the long-wall’d room behine
The public-house, where you remember,
We had our dance back last December.
An’ there they meaede sich stunnen clatters
Wi’ knives an’ forks, an’ pleaetes an’ platters;
An’ waiters ran, an’ beer did pass
Vrom tap to jug, vrom jug to glass:
An’ when they took away the dishes,
They drink’d good healths, an’ wish’d good wishes,
To all the girt vo’k o’ the land,
An’ all good things vo’k took in hand;
An’ woone cried _hip, hip, hip!_ an’ hollow’d,
An’ tothers all struck in, an’ vollow’d;
An’ grabb’d their drink wi’ eager clutches,
An’ swigg’d it wi’ sich hearty glutches,
As vo’k, stark mad wi’ pweison stuff,
That thought theirzelves not mad enough.

An’ after that they went all out
In rank ageaen, an’ walk’d about,
An’ gi’ed zome parish vo’k a call;
An’, then went down to Narley Hall
An’ had zome beer, an’ danc’d between
The elem trees upon the green.
An’ down along the road they done
All sorts o’ mad-cap things vor fun;
An’ danc’d, a-poken out their poles,
An’ pushen bwoys down into holes:
An’ Sammy Stubbs come out o’ rank,
An’ kiss’d me up ageaen the bank,
A saucy chap; I ha’nt vor’gied en
Not yet,–in short, I han’t a-zeed en.
Zoo in the dusk ov evenen, zome
Went back to drink, an’ zome went hwome.”

William Barnes celebrated at Museum’s Victorian Fayre

Dorset County Museum Victorian FayreOn Sunday 22nd February 2015, the Dorset County Museum’s Victorian Hall was transformed into a traditional Victorian Fayre to celebrate the birthday of Dorset dialect poet William Barnes. The atmosphere was full of hustle and bustle with numerous stalls from traditional crafts to popular parlour games; Victorian paperboy selling his broadsheets and a demonstration of net making and other rural skills. The museum’s Tea Room worked flat out to provide Victorian afternoon tea for 350 visitors.

The Language of Flowers proved to be really popular with people queueing to create their own style Nosegays and Tussie Mussies with fresh flowers. Likewise the demonstration on creating Dorset Buttons saw very enthusiastic folk fashion their own design.

Net Making

Sue Worth of The New Hardy Players demonstrates Net Making

The Herb stall gave an informative look into culinary and medicinal uses of that period.
The fantastic display of hand-made bonnets drew quite a crowd as did the dining table which depicted the difference between the gentry and the rural labourers.

The children had their own entertainment including pin the tail on the donkey, making little peg dolls, a variety of toys to buy and dressing up in period costume.

Musician and Storyteller Tim Laycock captivated the audience of his portrayal of a teacher in a Victorian classroom. Whilst fellow members of the William Barnes Society and The New Hardy Players entertained all with music, song, poetry and country dancing which was enjoyed by people of all ages.

Alastair Simpson and the Cantate Rustique choir

Alastair Simpson and the Cantate Rustique Choir

Alastair Simpson conducted the Cantate Rustique choir to perform four pieces: Ralph Vaughan Williams’s famous Linden Lea; a setting of The Lew O’ the Rick by the blind organist of Shaftesbury, F. F. Coaker, from the 1950s; a 2002 work by Peter Lord, Come; and Alastair’s own harmonisation of the folk musician Tim Laycock’s touching melody to the words of Barnes’s grief-stricken poem The Wife a-Lost, the last being a premiere.

William Barnes Collection Curator, Marion Tait said “This was a hugely successful and amazing event where all had a great time at the Victorian Fayre raising over £600 towards the redevelopment of the museum’s William Barnes’ Gallery.”


 

A huge thank you to Battens Solicitors, Dorchester, for sponsoring the event and a special thank you to all volunteers who took part in the Victorian Fayre and celebrating William Barnes Birthday

  • Alastair Simpson and Cantate Rustique
  • Alistair Chisholm
  • Friends and family

Thank you to the following businesses for supporting the William Barnes Collection.

  • Dorset Flower Men, Dorchester Precinct
  • Bridget, Fruit and Vegetable stall, Dorchester market
  • Beth King, Tolpuddle

Is your Turkey Cooked Victorian Style

Dorset County Museum volunteer, Marion Tate and Stuart Jury stand outside County Town Butchers

Dorset County Museum volunteer, Marion Tate and Stuart Jury stand outside County Town Butchers

A splendid turkey has been kindly donated by County Town Butchers, Stuart Jury, to play centre stage at the display of a Victorian dinner. The Countess Elizabeth invites you to view an informal dinner party, only five-six courses, on Sunday 22nd February from 2.00pm to 5.00pm at the Victorian Fayre, Dorset County Museum, Dorchester.

At the Fayre children and adults can also experience a whole range of activities which will include learning about life in Victorian times from classroom lessons reciting Dorset dialect words to traditional rural crafts. There will be demonstrations of Dorset buttons, making bonnets, perfumery and net making. A variety of stalls will include Victorian children’s toys and popular parlour games. Have your photograph taken in Victorian costume as a memento of a very special day. There will also be a Victorian Tea as well as a raffle and quiz.

Tim Laycock, well-known folk musician, actor and storyteller and other performers will provide traditional singing, music, dance and poetry reading throughout the afternoon.

This fundraising event is free and offers members of the public an afternoon of live demonstrations, entertainment and stalls. The funds raised from the fayre will go towards the refurbishment of the Museum’s William Barnes collection and gallery which is dedicated to Dorset’s greatest dialect poet.

We are very grateful to Battens Charitable Trust which has sponsored this event

The Victorian Fayre takes place at 2.00pm to 5.00pm on Sunday 22nd February. The event is FREE but donations are welcome and all are welcome to attend.  For further information please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.