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Dorset Record Society

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Dorset Record Society



Chairman: Sam Johnston (

Secretary: Ann Smith (

Treasurer: Geoff Smith

General Editor: Mark Forrest

Committee Members: Martin Ayres, Katherine Barker, John Chandler, Graham Hoddinott


Publications can be ordered by completing and returning the following form: DRS Order Form Nov 2017


Treswell’s Survey of Purbeck 1585-86

When Elizabeth I’s courtier Sir Christopher Hatton acquired lands in Purbeck he commissioned Ralph Treswell to produce a survey of his estate. Treswell used the most advanced and revolutionary mapping techniques to create a document that still conveys the character of the late Tudor landscape. The detailed plan of Corfe Castle gives an insight into the building’s features and construction only sixty years before its destruction in the Civil War.

This facsimile edition reproduces all of his maps, together with maps by Saxton and Hawsted with which they were bound, the accompanying written survey and a transcription in modern English.

Martin Papworth, National Trust regional archaeologist, Rose Mitchell, map curator at the National Archives, Jenny Halling Barnard, conservator, and Mark Forrest, archivist, both at the Dorset History Centre introduce the text in four essays that provide a national cartographic, archaeological and historic context by exploring the themes of early map making, land use, manuscript conservation and estate management.

Hardback, 190 pages, including colour plates of the maps and text. £19.95, £2.50 postage and packing.


Three Tudor SurveysThree Tudor Surveys


Dorset Record Society, Volume 18

June Palmer (Editor), 2015.

The Dorset manors of Lytchett Minster, Durweston cum Knighton and Okeford Fitzpaine were all owned by Sir Thomas Kitson of Hengrave, Suffolk, in the late sixteenth century. This volume brings together the surveys of the manors that he commissioned and which were later dispersed to archives in Dorset, Suffolk and Norfolk.

The surveys reflect the differences between the three East Dorset manors and how the underlying geology influenced local farming: the dispersed settlements on the heath of Lytchett Minster, the open fields and downland sheep grazing at Durweston cum Knighton and the inter-locked enclosed fields at Okeford Fitzpaine.

A broad ranging introduction highlights the key themes of the surveys: inclosure of common land, the techniques of sixteenth century surveying and the management of the Kitson family estates. In part this is achieved through comparison with later estate documents and maps which allow much of the written surveys to be plotted and individual pieces of land to be identified.

The texts are presented in translation from Latin, with a series of maps, colour plates and a comprehensive index. The volume has a hard cover and coloured dust jacket.


Sherborne Almshouse RegisterSherborne Almshouse Register


Dorset Record Society, Volume 17

Ann Clark (Editor)

The register includes foundation and endowment documents, surveys of lands, governance decisions and bequests from benefactors. In addition, two registers were compiled listing elections of brethren and admissions of over eight hundred almspeople from 1582 till the 1860s many of which record their possessions.


Birth, Marriage, Death and Taxes, the Lyme Regis Censuseslyme-censuses


Dorset Record Society, Volume 16

Judith Ford (Editor)

The book reproduces in full all the Marriage Duty Act censuses and assessments for Lyme Regis and Colway, with an index of names, and is of particular value to the family historian.


Dorset in Wartime, the Diary of Phyllis WaltherDorset in Wartime


Dorset Record Society, Volume 15

Robert and Patricia Malcolmson (Editors)

Phyllis Walther worked during the war for the WVS as a volunteer when compiling her Mass Observation Diary. She was responsible for the welfare of evacuees, particularly for providing clothing for children and displaced civilians.


Dorset Quarter Sessions Order Book 1625-1638, a CalendarDorset Quarter Sessions Order Book


Dorset Record Society, Volume 14

T.W. Hearing and S.E. Bridges (Editors)

The earliest surviving Order Book for Dorset Quarter Sessions records the administrative business of the county as well as the criminal cases (theft, violence, bastardy, begging, etc.) heard by the courts.  This publication summarises the entries in English and is comprehensively indexed by place and personal name.


Farming in Dorset: the diary of James Warne, 1758, and letters of George Boswell, 1787-1805Farming in Dorset


Dorset Record Society, Volume 13

J.F. James and J.H. Bettey (Editors – hardback reprint)

James Warne’s diary is a remarkably comprehensive snap-shot of the life, work and attitudes of a respectable tenant farmer before agricultural improvement. It is set alongside the letters of George Boswell whose working life as a tenant farmer saw many agricultural changes.


William Whiteway of Dorchester: his diary 1618-1635William Whiteway of Dorchester


Dorset Record Society, Volume 12

Introduction by D. Underdown (hardback reprint)

William Whiteway was the son of a leading Dorchester merchant and a friend and associate of John White, the rector of Holy Trinity and a founder of the Massachusetts Bay Company, who turned Dorchester into a model Puritan stronghold in the generation before the Civil War.


Publications can be ordered by completing and returning the following form: DRS Order Form Nov 2017