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:

 

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The Dorset Ooser

This monstrous wooden mask, a bull’s hair and horns mounted on its low brow, was used to scare people at midwinter gatherings. Another was reported at Shillingstone and there may have been many more throughout Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.  The Rev. William Barnes defines Ooser, oose or wu’se, as ‘a mask…with grim jaws, put on with a cow’s skin to frighten folk. “Wurse” … is a name of the arch-fiend.’

The replica Dorset Ooser mask that hangs in the Writer’s Gallery of the Dorset County Museum was carved by John Byfleet in 1975 for the Wessex Morris Men and is often used in May Day celebrations at Cerne Abbas and in dance performances.  DCM © 2015

The replica Dorset Ooser mask that hangs in the Writer’s Gallery of the Dorset County Museum was carved by John Byfleet in 1975 for the Wessex Morris Men and is still used in May Day celebrations at Cerne Abbas and in dance performances. DCM © 2015

From the ‘Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society’ Volume 84, 1962, an article written by the H. S. L. Dewar. entitled ‘The Dorset Ooser

This extraordinary object, portrayed in the illustration, has, most unfortunately disappeared from human ken. Some 65 years ago it was in the possession iof the Cave family at Holt Farm, Melbury Osmond. When Dr. Edward Cave left Holt for Crewkerne in Somerset before the year 1897, he took the Ooser with him. Leaving Crewkerne for Bath in 1897, for the time being the mask was left in ‘the care of the family coachman. When Dr. Cave enquired for it subsequently, it appears that he was told it had been disposed of. It is suggested that it may have eventually found its way to America.

Dorset Ooser, Melbury Osmond. This horned mask was formeriy in me possession of Mr. Gave of Holt Farm, but has long since disappeared. DCM © 2015

Dorset Ooser, Melbury Osmond. This horned mask was formeriy in me possession of Mr. Cave of Holt Farm, but has long since disappeared. DCM © 2015

The hollow mask, for such it was, is said to have been in the care of the Cave family from time out of mind. But although it has now been lost to sight, the memory of it and its associations in the district still provide great interest to students of folklore and others. That the mask was the last of a long line of renewals can hardly be doubted, since it was made of wood as a base, and must have suffered periodically from woodworm and decay.

As can be seen in the illustration, the mark was provided with a lower jaw which was moveable, and gnashing teeth, the jaw being worked by a string. It was adorned with crisped hair, flowing whiskers, a beard, and a fine pair of horns. Between the eyebrows it bears a rounded boss for which it is difficult to find an explanation. The expression of the eyes conveys a really agonized spirit of hatred, terror and despair. That the head in its turn was intended to inspire terror in the minds of the foolish and the wicked is unquestionable. It is perhaps the latest representation of ithe Devil to be made and used in England. The Devil, be it said, whom the Church of England has recently decided to retain in the Catechism, no doubt with good reason. The Ooser was, nevertheless, an unorthodox representation of the King of Evil.

The tradition that inspired both the creation of the Devil at large and the manufacture of his varied images is, of course, nearly as old as man himself. We find his prototypes, probably connected with phallic or fertiility worship, in the Mesolithic period. At Starr Carr in Yorkshire some 9000 years ago, the primitive hunters of the Middle Stone Age were making skull-caps for ‘wear out of the skulls and antlers of deer. Archaeologists believe they were intended to be worn for ritual use in dances connected with their hopes for ‘successful hunting. The fertility of both the hunters and the hunted was something that had to be achieved for the perpetuation of the tribe and for its sustenance.

The rituals that inspired this kind of performance were already thousands of years old. We have only to turn to the painting of a man disguised in the skin and horned head of an animal in the cave of Les Trois Freres in France to see what is perhaps the earliest representation of a priest of this fertility cult, his face turned to the spectators for admiration. Antlers have been recorded as found near the heads of individuals buried in Bowl-barrows of the Early Bronze Age in Dorset.

Today, in the famous, annual horn-dance at Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, the modern equivalents may be seen, though politely modified, perhaps descended from remote antiquity through various -media. Incidentally, the Abbots Bromley horns are said to be hung up in the Church between the ceremonies.

It is not difficult to trace the evolution of a god of an early cult, or a fertility spirit with attendant ritual., to the Devil of a succeeding religion. The new priests still needed to keep some of the images of the older faith, and to trot them out periodically for the edification of the people, or as a warning. The transition from god of pleasure or plenty to god of pain, often in a subordinate and derogatory position as a devil, was assured. For example, the crude fertility symbolism of the Giant of Gerne Abbas was preserved, probably through May Day revels, by the local inhabitants, with the presumed, though perhaps tacit assent of the Church, and of the Abbey of Cerne.

Thus it may well be, as the inhabitants of Melbury Osmond believe, the Ooser, originally an image connected with fertility worship, was eventually relegated to occasions for “Skimity Riding” (Information from Mr. K. G. Knight.), (sometimes rendered as “Skimmerton”) as in Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, and “Rough Music”. This performance may be explained by pointing out that before the days of the Divorce Courts and the popular press, public opinion had a good way of expressing interest in and disapproval of husband-beating, scolding, sexual unfaithfulness or irregularity, and cuckoldry. Many of these are, after all, often due to the uncontrolled excess of the urge to fertility. And so, when an aberrant pair, or an erring spouse was located, the man, or sometimes the woman, or both, were made to ride on a donkey or a horse, face to tail. Meanwhile the crowd made rude and rough music by beating on frying pans and ketitles, bull’s horns, marrow bones and cleavers. Such was the band with which they had earlier woken and serenaded the sinful. Elsewhere, the donkey was called a “celebrated Jerusalem,” a curiously inverted form of sarcasm. At Melbury it is related that the Ooser was brought out and paraded to complete such a show. Skimmity Riding is portrayed on a panel in one of the rooms in Montacute House in Somerset.

By now the once triumphant horn of plenty, fertility and power had become a symbol of scorn, horror and derision. The latest phase of all seems to have been when the Ooser’s head — or was the head itself the Ooser — on occasion used to be brought to the door of the tallet (hay-loft) of a barn to terrify the children of the village(Information from Mr. K. G. Knight.) should occasion call for it. The word “tallet” is of some interest here, since it seems to be akin to the Welsh : “taflod”, a hay-loft, and its use as a dialect word in Dorset could indicate a Celtic origin.

The tale is still told in (Melbury that it was sometimes used to scare grown up people as well as young ones, chains being attached, while lucifer matches were pushed alight into the head. One is tempted to visualize smoke pouring from the infernal nostrils. The story goes that once it was so used to frighten a stable-hand (Information from Mr. K. G. Knight.), and that in a fright he jumped through a window and so injured himself that his ‘life was despaired of. At one time it is said that the Ooser was kept in the Malt House, which was once a Button Factory, and now a Chapel. If one looks for a parallel elsewhere, Violet A If or d in her book on English Folk-Dances, records that a man used to accompany the ‘Christmas Wassailers at Kingscote in Gloucestershire, “dressed in a sack, his head in a real bull’s face, head and horns complete”.

The name Ooser may be connected with “Wurse,” as William Barnes remarked, the name of the arch-fiend-himself in Layamond’s Brut. Others believe it connected with “Osor,” a name used in Italy in the 17th century for the Devil of the ‘Christians. It seems possible that the Ooser may claim relationship with such figures as the Mayday Jack-in-the-Green, or the Green Man of our Inn signs. He is likely enough an off-shoot from the 14th century and later Mummers’ plays. Some authorities hold that the older form of Mumming was “(Masking”, while Polydore Vergil relates that the disguising and mumming at Christmas were derived from the feasts of Pallas that were done with vizars and painted -masks. Again, it is known that in early ‘Christian times people ran about wearing masks upon New Year’s Day on the occasion of the Feast of Circumcision, imitating a pagan superstition. In ancient missals the words written in the mass for this day were : “Missa ad prohibendum ab idalis” A clue can very likely be seen also in Isaiah xxxiv. 14.

These masques or mysteries may have evolved eventually into the Morality Plays. In France, men and women (wearing such disguises are said to have been forbidden going to the Churches in 1598 at the instigation of the Bishop of Angres, and by State Legislation in 1668. A suggestion has also been made that “Ooser” is a derivative of “Guisard” or “Guiser”, connected with such words as “vizard,” “vizor,” or “vizard,” the old words for “Mummer” or “Guise.”

Mr. G. W. ‘Greening of Dorchester can recall the figure of a Beelzebub which puffed smoke, had four short legs and a tail like a crocodile, in a play performed by the Bradstock Mummers when he was a boy. It is a great pity that such figures as the Ooser should have faded into the mists of time. It is only due to the great interest taken in folklore by a few enthusiasts, and by Mrs. H. H. (Marshall, a daughter of Dr. Edward Cave, and by Mr. K. G. Knigiht of Evershot, and the very retentive memories of the older men and women of Melbury Osmond that many of the above details have been preserved.

Those who wish to pursue the subject may be referred to F. T. Elworthy’s Horns of Honour, and to Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, Vol. ii (1891), p.289, or to any of a vast number of books concerning the Devil and his Works that are to be found in most public libraries. Skimmity Riding is discussed in Brand’s Popular Antiquities, and elsewhere.
It may be permissible to ask philologists whether there is any evidence that the ‘well-known Hampshire dialect word “Wooster”, meaning a lover, and “Wooster blister,” a mark allegedly caused by a lover’s kiss, is related to the Ooser?

  • The writer’s thanks are most cordially given to Mr. R. N. R. Peers, to Mr. G. W. Greening, and to Mr. K. G. Knight of the Melbury Estate Staff, for their interest in local traditions about the Ooser, and for the trouble they have taken in the matter. Last but not least, also to Mrs. H. H. Marshall, who has come forward with some new facts after this paper had been almost completed. It should be noted that “Ooser” is pronounced with a short, quick “s”, as in “boss,” not as in “nose.”

St. Edward the Martyr

St. Edward the Martyr as depicted on the stain glass window of St. George's Church, Fordington, Dorchester © Mark North/DCM 2014

St. Edward the Martyr as depicted on the stain glass window of St. George’s Church, Fordington, Dorchester © Mark North/DCM 2014

The following is an extract taken from the ‘Chambers Book of Days’ March 18th 1864, with regards to the death of Edward the king of England who was brutely murdered near Corfe Castle, Dorset.

“The great King Edgar had two wives, first Elfleda, and, after her death, Elfrida, an ambitious woman, who had become queen through the murder of her first husband, and who survived her second; and Edgar left a son by each, Edward by Elfleda, and Ethelred by Elfrida. At the time of their father’s death, Edward was thirteen, and Ethelred seven years of age; and they were placed by the ambition of Elfrida, and by political events, in a position of rivalry. Edgar’s reign had been one continued struggle to establish monarchism, and with it the supremacy of the Church of Rome, in Anglo-Saxon England; and the violence with which this design had been carried out, with the persecution to which the national clergy were subjected, now caused a reaction, so that at Edgar’s death the country was divided into two powerful parties, of which the party opposed to the monks was numerically the strongest. The queen joined this party, in the hope of raising her son to the throne, and of ruling England in his name; and the feeling against the Romish usurpation was so great, that, although Edgar had declared his wish that his eldest son should succeed him, and his claim was no doubt just, the crown was only secured to him by the energetic interference of Dunstan. Edward thus became King of England in the year 975.

Edward appears, as far as we can learn, to have been an amiable youth, and to have possessed some of the better qualities of his father; but his reign and life were destined to be cut short before he reached an age to display them. He had sought to conciliate the love of his step-mother by lavishing his favour upon her, and he made her a grant of Dorsetshire, but in vain; and she lived, apparently in a sort of sullen state, away from court, with her son Ethelred, at Corfe in that county, plotting, according to some authorities, with what may be called the national party, against Dunstan and the government.

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Corfe Castle, Dorset

The Anglo-Saxons were all passionately attached to the pleasures of the chase, and one day—it was the 18th of March 978 — King Edward was hunting in the forest of Dorset, and, knowing that he was in the neighbourhood of Corfe, and either suffering from thirst or led by the desire to see his half-brother Ethelred, for whom he cherished a boyish attachment, he left his followers and rode alone to pay a visit to his mother. Elfrida received him with the warmest demonstrations of affection, and, as he was unwilling to dismount from his horse, she offered him the cup with her own hand. While he was in the act of drinking, one of the queen’s The Murder of King Edward the Martyr attendants, by her command, stabbed him with a dagger. The prince hastily turned his horse, and rode toward the wood, but he soon became faint and fell from his horse, and his foot becoming entangled in the stirrup, he was dragged along till the horse was stopped, and the corpse was carried into the solitary cottage of a poor woman, where it was found next morning, and, according to what appears to be the most trustworthy account, thrown by Elfrida’s directions into an adjoining marsh.

The young king was, however, subsequently buried at Wareham, and removed in the following year to be interred with royal honours at Shaftesbury. The monastic party, whose interests were identified with Edward’s government, and who considered that he had been sacrificed to the hostility of their opponents, looked upon him as a martyr, and made him a saint. The writer of this part of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, who was probably a contemporary, expresses his feelings in the simple and pathetic words, ‘No worse deed than this was done to the Anglo race, since they first came to Britain.’

The story of the assassination of King Edward is sometimes quoted in illustration of a practice which existed among the Anglo-Saxons. Our forefathers were great drinkers, and it was customary with them, in drinking parties, to pass round a large cup, from which each in turn drunk to some of the company. He who thus drank, stood up, and as he lifted the cup with both hands, his body was exposed without any defence to a blow, and the occasion was often seized by an enemy to murder him. To prevent this, the following plan was adopted. When one of the company stood up to drink, he required the companion who sat next to him, or some one of the party, to be his pledge, that is, to be responsible for protecting him against anybody who should attempt to take advantage of his defenceless position: and this companion, if he consented, stood up also, and raised his drawn sword in his hand to defend him while drinking. This practice, in an altered form, continued long after the condition of society had ceased to require it, and was the origin of the modern practice of pledging in drinking. At great festivals, in some of our college halls and city companies, the custom is preserved almost in its primitive form in passing round the ceremonial cup—the loving cup, as it is sometimes called. As each person rises and takes the cup in his hand to drink, the man seated next to him rises also, and when the latter takes the cup in his turn, the individual next to him does the same.”

Extract from an article written by the George J. Bennett. titled ‘The Religious Foundations and Norman Castle of Wareham’ from the ‘Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society’ Volume 19 1898, 

St. Edward the Martyr Sign

St. Edward the Martyr commerative sign Corfe village © DCM 2014

The Saxon Chronicler asserts that in A.D. 979 the Saxon King Edward was slain at eventide at Corfe Gate, on the 18th March, and then he was buried at Wareham without  any kind of kingly honours. Those acquainted with the records of Edward’s murder and burial are aware that the monkish historians  affirm that three times the dead king’s body was discovered by supernatural lights:- 1. In a cottage at Corfe Gate. 2. By the light which appeared above the marshy ground. 3. By the light over the grave at Wareham.

When the treacherous blow had been dealt, the mortally wounded monarch rode hastily away, but, falling from loss of blood, he was dragged a considerable distance by his horse. We learn from Hutchins (Hutchins, 1st Ed., Vol I.p. 177.) that Elfrida immediately despatched some trusty servants to ascertain the result of her treachery. Russel (Russel’s Hist. Eng., p. 47.) informs us that they traced it by the blood, and found the king’s corpse much bruised and defaced. From conflicting records we gather that Edward’s body was found at the base of the hill, by what was afterwards termed St. Edward’s, or King Bridge. Elfrida then commanded that the body should be hidden in a cottage. The superstitious affirm that during the night, the house became illuminated by a blaze of miraculous light, by which the sight of a blind inmate was restored. On the site of that house a church was afterwards built. Corfe Castle Church is one of the very few in England dedicated to King Edward the Martyr.

The morning after the murder, when she had been informed of these circumstances, Elfrida commanded that Edward’s body should be removed from the cottage secretly, and hidden in a marshy place. This was done, and it is evident that only Elfrida’s confederates in guilt were entrusted with the work. When the guilty Queen had seen her orders executed, she, in order to avoid suspicion, left Corves-geiite, and retired to the Royal residence at Bere Regis. Ineffectual search continued to be made by Edward’s retainers for the body of their late master. At length their efforts were rewarded. The superstitious supposed that “a pillar of fire,” descending from heaven, illuminated the place where it was hid. Edward’s body was then carried to Waieham, and buried with as much secrecy by the late monarch’s friends as his enemies had used in hiding it. If Edward’s body was really concealed in one of the Purbeck peat bogs, Brannon says : “The astonishing power of peat would actually embalm the body ; the presence of animal matter evolve at a strong phosphorescent light, and the ‘ pillar of fire,’ in this case an ignis not factuus, would rest over it.” By accepting this theory the supposed miracle is accounted for. When writing of the discovery of Edward’s body in the marshy place, Hutching, quoting Brompton, observes : ” Some devout people of Wareham brought it to that town, to the church of St. Mary, and buried it in a plain manner (non regio more) on the east side, where a wooden church, (Hutchins, 2nd Ed., Vol. I, p. 177. ) afterwards built by religious persons, was to be seen in that author’s time.” From Brompton, the historian, we learn some important facts. First, that the actual spot where Edward was buried at Wareham was unknown, even to the ecclesiastics, so secret was the burial. In his Magna Britannia, (Dorsetshire, p. 562. ) published 1720, the Rev. T. Cox shows that it was only by a supposed miracle that Edward’s burial place at Wareham was discovered. He writes of Edward thus : — ” His body had been clandestinely buried at Wareham, in hopes that his murder might have been concealed ; but it being afterwards discovered by a miraculous blaze of light hanging over his tomb.” The reports of the miracles and wonders at Wareham, were, according to Malmesbury, wide spread ; and much good is said to have been effected by the sanctity of the royal remains. As an historical fact, Brompton, Abbot of Forvant, informs us that the body of King Edward was buried, not in, but on the east side of St. Mary’s Church. The fact that Edward was not buried in a church, and the statement of some, probably correct, that the body was discovered in unconsecrated ground, would be ample reason for the removal of the body from Wareham. When the report of the miracles (Dorsetshire, p. 562.) and discovery of the body had been communicated to Elfrida, she granted permission for Edward’s remains to be removed to Shaftesbury Abbey, and there royally entombed. We are informed by the Saxon Chronicler that in A.D. 980 ” St. Dunstan and Alfere, the ealderman, fetched the holy king’s body, St. Edward’s, from Wareham, and bore it with much solemnity to Shaftesbury.” For his information, though brief, we are under an obligation to Brompton. He tells us that the Saxon King Edward was buried on the east side of St. Mary’s, and that on the spot where Edward had been buried a wooden church was built. And what is also important, Brompton asserts that the wooden church was still existing when he wrote at the close of the 14th century. Here we have a substantial proof that the body of King Edward was never buried in St. Mary’s Church ; that church was also existing. None of the monkish historians tell us that King Edward was buried in St. Mary’s Church, nor do the modern make any such statement.

That the late Mr. T. Bond accepted Brompton’s statement is certain. In his ” Corfe Castle ” he writes : — ” Search being made for the body, the place where it was concealed was discovered, and thereupon some devout people of Wareham, having conveyed the corpse to the church of St. Mary, in that town, buried it in a plain and homely manner on a spot where religious men afterwards built a wooden church, still standing when Brompton’s Chronicle was written.”

When, in 1841, the nave of Lady St. Mary’s was demolished, and the original St. Mary’s shortened, some ancient stone coffins were discovered and destroyed. One, however, was preserved, the remarkable boat-shaped sarcophagus of Purbeck marble now standing at the entrance to the church. In circumference it measures 17ft. it is 8ft. 2in. in length ; width at shoulders, 30in. ; greatest outer depth, 17in. ; it is estimated to weigh considerably over a ton. Some think King Edward was buried in that coffin; competent judges assert that it is much too modern. Supposing that the King’s body had been laid therein, it would have been an utter impossibility to have buried a coffin of such size and weight secretly in so small a building, 12ft. wide and about 45ft. long. To such a secret burial as King Edward had, this huge coffin would have been a mostserious hindrance. The original St. Mary’s is now used as a choir vestry and called King Edward’s Chapel.

Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Vol 135 – 2014

Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Volume 135 - 2014The Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Vol 135 – 2014 is out now and available at the Dorset County Museum shop for £15.00. For more enquiries Tel: 01305 262735 or email enquiries@dorsetcountymuseum.org

One of the articles featured in the Proceedings and which is of particular interest this time of year is the folk custom of Mumming Plays.

Mumming plays, like several other winter customs, have enjoyed a huge revival in modern times, largely due to the enthusiasm of morris sides. This paper written by Jerry Bird titled  ‘Mumming Plays in Hardy’s Wessex’, delves into the mysterious origins of the Christmas mumming play, before examining its extent and importance in the County of Dorset.

The Mummers, as remembered by Thomas Hardy for the Mummers' play in the 'Return of the Native' performed in Dorchester in 1920 by The Hardy players

The Mummers, as remembered by Thomas Hardy for the Mummers’ play in the ‘Return of the Native’ performed in Dorchester in 1920 by The Hardy players © DCM

Thomas Hardy famously used a mumming play as a dramatic device in his novel Return of the Native, and seems to have had an abiding interest in folk-drama generally; his last published work which was not poetry was The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall, billed as a ‘play for mummers’. He came from a long line of folk-musicians and his cousins performed in the Puddletown play. Despite this, the play he used in his novel appears not to have a local origin, though his description of the players was accurate, and he later borrowed a genuine Dorset script to write a new version for a stage production of ‘Return of the Native’ in the 1920s, thus inadvertently becoming an early revivalist.

Jerry Bird has collected together numerous references to mumming plays in Dorset, and the paper is well illustrated with photographs from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and elsewhere. The incident in which the Fordington mummers did battle with the Bockhampton band in Dorchester in 1845 is covered, with contemporary newspaper accounts reproduced here in full for the first time.The author explores the social and economic background to this event in the context of the upheavals of the time amongst the rural workforce, which included rick-burnings and the’Swing riots’ as well as the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ trial.

The well-known folklorist John Symonds Udal, author of Dorsetshire Folk-lore was an early collector of mumming plays, and fortunately the author was able to have access to his original play scripts and notes. There seems to have been a distinctive character to West Dorset plays in particular, which incorporated other traditions such as the ‘hobby horse’ and the Dorset Ooser.

The Appendix includes the scripts of ten Dorset plays, including Hardy’s own version. These are well annotated with extensive notes, and illustrations, including some musical notation and a photograph of one of Udal’s original scripts.

Other Papers in the Proceedings include:

  • Mabel St Clair Stobart 1862-1954: The Lady of the Black Horse, Peter Down, 1-19
  • ‘Primitive Betrothal’: The Portland Custom and Thomas Hardy’s The Well-Beloved, Jacqueline Dillion, 20-32
  • Sir Claude Scott and the development of Lytchett Minster in the nineteenth century, June Palmer, 33-45
  • How the Newburghs of Lulworth came to own Sutton Poyntz, William Egerton, 46-55
  • The Poets’ Christmas Eve: mythology into verse, Alan Chedzoy, 56-61
  • An account of Mary Anning (1799-1847), fossil collector of Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, published by Henry Rowland Brown (1837-1921) in the second edition (1859) of Beauties of Lyme Regis, Michael A. Taylor and Hugh S. Torrens, 62-70
  • An anonymous account of Mary Anning (1799-1847), fossil collector of Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, published in All the year round in 1865, and its attribution to Henry Stuart Fagan (1827-1890), schoolmaster, parson and author, Michael A. Taylor and Hugh S. Torrens, 71-85
  • Mumming Plays in Hardy’s Wessex, Jerry Bird, 86-148
  • The Cyril Diver Project, John Newbould and David Brown, 149-159
  • The Steve Etches collection of Kimmeridge Clay fossils: a Jurassic jewel on the Jurassic Coast, David M. Martill, 160-164
  • Severe drought and exceptional summer flooding: consequences for the South Winterborne macroinvertebrates, J. A. B. Bass, Patrick D. Armitage and J. L. Pretty, 165-166
  • Coastal landslide mapping of the Black Ven Spittles complex, Charmouth, Chloe Morris and Servel Miller, 167-180
  • New insect fossils from the Lower Lias (Lower Jurassic) of West Dorset, Robert A. Coram, 181-188
  • The gastropod and ammonite fauna of two anomalous facies in the Inferior Oolite of Burton Cliff, South Dorset, John Whicher, David Sole and Robert Chandler, 189-197

Archaeology

  • Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth, Mike Trevarthen, 198
  • Wood Hill, Charlton Down, Charminster, Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 198
  • 2 Wick Lane, Christchurch, Mike Trevarthen, 198
  • HMP Dorchester, Dorchester, Tom Weavill, 198
  • Max Gate, Dorchester, Mike Trevarthen, 198-199
  • Wall behind Wadham House, 50 High West Street, Dorchester, Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 199
  • New sea wall, Kimmeridge Bay, Kimmeridge, Mike Trevarthen, 199
  • Keates Quarry, Home Field, Acton, Langton Matravers, Mike Trevarthen, 199
  • Lewis Quarry, Home Field, Acton, Langton Matravers, Peter Bellamy, 199
  • Bottle Knap Cottage, Long Bredy, Mike Trevarthen, 199
  • Geophysical survey of the South Lawn, Kingston Lacy Park, Pamphill, Martin Papworth, 199-200
  • Limekilns at Inmosthay Industrial Estate, Inmosthay, Portland, Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 200
  • Land to the west of Reap Lane, Southwell, Portland, Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 200-201
  • Sherborne House, Newland, Sherborne, Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 201
  • Belle Vue Farm, Herston, Swanage, Lilian Ladle, 201
  • Geophysical survey of Long Mound, Beacon Knap, Swyre, Martin Papworth, 201-202
  • Chapelhay Gardens, Weymouth, Peter Bellamy, 202
  • Land to the south of Chickerell Road, Wyke Regis, Weymouth, Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 202
  • South Dorset Ridgeway: Purlands Farm (Winterborne St Martin) to north of Tatton House (Portesham), Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 202-203
  • Cross Farm, Church Street, Yetminster, Richard Tabor and Cheryl Green, 203
  • Dewlish Roman villa: post-excavation report 2013, Iain Hewitt, 203-204
  • The Langton Herring mirror and grave goods, Jon Murden, 205-208
  • The Roman villa at Druce Farm, near Puddletown, Lilian Ladle, 209-211
  • Ower Quay, Keith Jarvis, 212-216
  • The Durotriges Project, phase one: an interim statement, Miles Russell, Paul Cheetham, Damian Evans, Ellen Hambleton, Iain Hewitt, Harry Manley and Martin Smith, 217-221
  • Roman Purbeck Limestone mortars, John Palmer, 222-234
  • Portable Antiquities Scheme 2013, Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen, 235-236
  • Excavation of c. eighteenth-century wall footings at Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock, Martin Papworth, 237-240
  • Roman remains found at Hyde Farm, Shapwick, Kingston Lacy Estate, Martin Papworth, 241
  • The Romano-Celtic temple at Badbury Rings, Dorset, Martin Papworth, 242-271
  • Investigations on the south shore of Brownsea Island by the Dorset Alum and Copperas Industries Project, Peter S. Bellamy, Gill Broadbent, Mark Corney and Clare Wilson, 272-283
  • Investigations at Kimmeridge Bay by the Dorset Alum and Copperas Industries Project, Peter S. Bellamy, Gill Broadbent, Mark Corney, Alan Hawkins, Mike Trevarthen and Clare Wilson, 284-296
  • Investigations on the Studland Circles by the Dorset Alum and Copperas Industries Project, Peter S. Bellamy, Gill Broadbent, Mark Corney and Clare Wilson, 297-310

County Boundary Survey

  • Hampreston: A parish in the counties of Dorset and Hampshire, J. W. Hart, 311-315
  • Boundaries of Dorset, J. W. Hart, 316-319
  • The Dorset County Boundary Survey 2013, Katherine Barker, 320-324
  • The Dorset County boundary at Biddlesgate, between the parishes of Cranborne (Dorset) and Damerham (Hampshire from 1885; formerly Wiltshire), Katherine Barker, 325-333

Reviews

  • A. Eccles, Vagrancy in law and practice under the Old Poor Law, Martin Ayres, 334-335
  • Michael Millgate and Keith Wilson (eds), The collected letters of Thomas Hardy, volume VIII: further letters, Will Abberley, 335-336
  • Michael Hill, East Dorset country houses, Helen Brown, 336-337

Obituary

  • Liz-Anne Bawden MBE (1931-2012), Max Hebditch, 338-339

Natural history reports 2013

  • General weather survey, John Oliver, 340-341
  • Dorset rainfall, John Oliver, 341-345
  • Butterfly survey, Bill Shreeves, 345-349
  • Frome Valley winter bird survey, John Newbould and John Campbell, 350-351
  • Some Dorset plant gall record highlights, John Newbould, 351-352
  • Field meeting reports, John Newbould, 352-355
  • County Boundary Survey visits, Katherine Barker and John Newbould, 355-357

Local auction report 2013, Gwen Yarker, 358-359

Report of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society for 2013, 360-372

Index, 373-376

Notes for contributors, 377-378

_______________

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The Altar Frontal from Wool Church

From the ‘Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society’ Volume 55 1934, an article written by the G. DRU DRURY, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., F.S.A entitled ‘The Altar Frontal From Wool Church.’ (Read the 21st day of November, 1933.)

This interesting frontal is made up from portions of mediaeval vestments, which local tradition would have us believe came from the neighbouring Cistercian Abbey of Bindon.

In the year 1886 the Vicar and Churchwardens of the Church of the Holy Rood, Wool, placed it with the Dorset County Museum, and being extremely fragile, it was carefully repaired by Mrs. Stillwell the following year.

The descriptive references by Hutchins and his continuators are scanty and inaccurate ; and the fact that, during the 47 years our museum has sheltered this fine example of mediaeval embroidery, no adequate description has been attempted can only be regarded as a reproach, with the object of removing which this paper has been written.

Several doubtful points were cleared-up by a visit to the Department of Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum, with a photograph of the frontal; and I take this opportunity of recording gratefully my indebtedness to Mr. C. E. C. Tattersall for his kindness and courtesy on that occasion.

The most gratifying fact established was that the embroidery is undoubtedly English, though the velvet was probably all imported from Italy.

Most of the work dates from the end of the 15th century; and some of it may even be 16th century, the figures on the second and fourth strips being just about as late as any pre-reformation type.

The  Altar  Frontal from Wool Church

The Altar Frontal from Wool Church © DCM

The frontal is composed of eight approximately equal vertical strips joined together to fit an altar 4ft. 6ins. in length by 3ft. high. These strips differ both in design and material, four being of velvet and four of linen, but in the latter case, not all of the same texture.

The first strip (from the left-hand side) is of blue velvet, the pile of which has nearly all worn off. It is embroidered with coloured silks and gold thread in a design of “fish flowers” and sprays. The name” fish flower” is derived from the fancied resemblance of the central portion to the inverted body and tail of a fish. The rich blue of the velvet still survives in the centres of the two flowers and where it has been protected by the sprays here and there. It is not difficult to imagine this as part of a sumptuously decorated chasuble ; in fact there is in the Victoria and Albert Museum a red chasuble of late 15th century date which is embroidered with practically the same design.

The third, fifth and seventh strips are all from one piece of velvet—probably from a cope—once a rich purple but now faded to a brown colour. The design of “pine flowers” and sprays is finely embroidered in coloured silks, the heads of the flowers being of white linen applique and worked over. Comparison with a cope of purple velvet in the Victoria and Albert Museum which, though still definitely purple, – has faded in places to a colour nearly resembling these strips, confirms this opinion as to their original colour, in spite of the fact that Hut chins mentions brown velvet. Furthermore Mr. Tattersall reminded me that though red, blue, green or purple vestments are frequently mentioned in the inventories of church goods of 1552, brown is unknown.

The  Altar  Frontal from Wool Church © DCMThe second and fourth strips are parts of orphreys made of rather coarse linen embroidered with silks in the designs of figures standing on the ground, beneath architectural canopies, the style of which dates them as late 15th or early 16th century work. Some of the orphreys of English work of this period in the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibit canopies similar to these in general form, in the character of the vaulting beneath the canopy arches, and in the round-headed recesses of the shafts.

It will be noticed that the figures on these two strips face inwards towards each other, doubtless because they formed parts of orphreys from the front of a cope, but not all the panels are complete as to their tops and bases.

Saint Matthias? © DCM

Saint Matthias? © DCM

It is not easy to determine whether these bearded figures represent prophets, apostles or saints, much less to assign them names. None of them have ecclesiastical vestments and with one exception they wear a nondescript kind of “traditional” costume, of forgotten origin after generations of copying; possibly in like manner the very identity of the persons represented may have meant little to the worker who carried on the tradition. The top figure of the second strip carries a spear and wears a large flat-topped hat, his hair and beard are white. The middle figure, who carries a long-handled axe, also has white hair and beard, but appears to have a halo rather than a hat; the upper part of his canopy has been cut off, consequently it is not certain that his position in relation to the

Moses? © DCM

Moses? © DCM

figure above is the original arrangement. The lowest figure with brown beard and small pointed hat might (as has been supposed – Hutchins’s History of Dorset, 3rd Edition, Vol. 1, p. 361.) represent Moses holding the tables of the law in his left hand and a rod in his right.

On the fourth strip the top figure with a long brown beard is dressed as a merchant with a belt and gypcière, his turban hat has a long liripipe which depends below the level of his right knee. The second figure with white hair and beard has a halo and grips a long knife and may perhaps represent St. Bartholomew. The lowest figure has brown hair and beard with ruddy cheeks, he wears a tall pointed “Steeple” hat with a broad turn-up and carries a scroll in his left hand.

St. Cuthburga, Abbess of Wimborne? © DCM

St. Cuthburga, Abbess of Wimborne? © DCM

The sixth strip is also part of; an orphrey, perhaps the central strip of a chasuble. It has been rubbed very bare of its silk embroidery, exposing the linen surface which is of very coarse texture.

Two female saints in veil and wimple are worked upon it; the upper figure bears a church in her hands, the symbol of a foundress ; the lower one holds a cross in both hands and might perhaps represent St. Helen. Their canopies are of an earlier type than those just mentioned.

The eighth strip is again part of an orphrey and is worked on linen of fine texture. The design consists of two male saints, each adorned with a blue halo, standing beneath canopies. The lower figure holds a chalice in his left hand but the object held by the upper figure is not now recognisable though it appears to terminate above in a small round knob. The canopy is only complete in the case of the lower figure, and though this resembles in some respects those on the sixth strip, it is not the same, the pediment has a more stately pitch and the diaper work is better, and a date may be assigned to this earlier in the 15th century than any of the others.

The Altar Frontal from Wool Church © DCMIt would seem, therefore, fairly obvious that the sixth and eighth strips belonged to different vestments, and it is a not incredible supposition that the sixth strip, in so far as its canopy work is concerned, may have been a rather poor copy of the eighth strip.

But there are parts of yet two more vestments incorporated in the frontal. On either side of the second strip a thin edging has been added consisting of green and gold “cut velvet” while between the third and fourth strips there is a similar edging of crimson and gold “cut velvet” Both of these are Italian and of 15th century date.

The fragments, preserved between glass in the small frame, came from the back of the Altar Frontal at the time it was repaired by Mrs. Stillwell.

With the Council’s permission I submitted them to Mr. Tattersall for his opinion, and have since labelled them in accordance with it.

The Altar Frontal from Wool Church © DCMNos. 1 and 2 are pieces of 15th century Italian velvet, doubtless from a cope. The crimson pile, which is woven on at least two warps, is cut to show a design in gold. A fine example of such a cope is to be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Nos. 3 and 4 are pieces of the green and crimson edging dividing the strips, described above. The green velvet is much rarer than the crimson. It was noticed that several of the vestments in the Victoria and Albert Museum had an edging of this material round the bottom.

Nos. 5, 6 and 7 are pieces of handwoven linen of various texture and colour, used as linings for the frontal.

To summarise briefly, it is definitely established that there are incorporated in the frontal parts of at least three vestments, probably a chasuble and two. copes, and parts of three different sets of orphreys; but whether the orphreys belonged to these particular vestments or were taken from others it is impossible to say.

Now in regard to the traditional connection with Bindon Abbey, what is the evidence?

It must be acknowledged at once that there is no real evidence and, after all, it is hardly likely that there should be; nevertheless where a strong local tradition exists in matters such as these it is unwise to ignore it.

The compilers of the 3rd Edition of Hutchins’s History of Dorset state that “it was probably brought from Bindon Abbey” Hutchins himself, in the 1st Edition, states rather more explicitly “it is most probable it belonged to Bindon Chapel and was preserved when that and the house were burnt in the Civil Wars.”

The house and chapel here referred to were built by Lord Thomas Howard (created 1st Viscount Bindon in 1559) who “raised a fair house” out of the monastery ruins. The actual position of this house and its domestic chapel cannot now be determined with any certainty, but it seems probable that it covered very much the same area as the present house within the Abbey precincts. It was burnt down during the Civil Wars about the year 1644.

A return of Church utensils in 1550 belonging to this Bindon Chapel is quoted by Hutchins, (Hutchins’s History of Dorset, 3rd Edition, Vol. 1, p. 352.) which includes a pair of vestments and an altar cloth. Perhaps this may have been the source of his idea.

In the Inventory of Church goods of 1552 (Proceedings, Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club, Vol. XXV., pp. 210 &211.) the ” Chapell of Byndon ” possessed “one payre of vestments of rede & gryne saye” and “one alter clothe”

In the same Inventory “The parische of Woolle” had ” iiij payre of vestmentes with branchis of silke. ij copis with branches ” ” iiij aulter clothes ” : of which ” one cope and all the table clothes ” were allowed for the church use.

On the face of it the supposition of the late Rev. W. Miles Barnes (Ibid, p. 198.) would seem to be quite likely, viz.:—that these vestments and the remaining cope were eventually made up into altar hangings after purchase from the Commissioners, of which the frontal is all that now survives.