Affpuddle, Dorset
in the 19th Century

This Being Page One: The Parish

Page Two being the Manor of Affpuddle.

On this page jump to:
1839 Tithe Map Vicars and Vestry Kelly's Directories Affpuddle Mill Farmers in the 19th Century More Resources

My interest in the parish, which is one-tenth the size in area of my home town of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, stemmed from recording the genealogy my great-grandfather who was the tenant farmer of East farm for the last twenty-five years of his life. In extending the families of his wife, grandparents, parents, granduncles, and cousins, it became apparent that much of the parish was a “family affair” during the nineteenth century. Those connections are explored in the second page. This page is more about the entire parish of some thirty-eight hundred acres.


In the 19th century the ancient parish lands that comprise Affpuddle were originally the Affpuddle Manor and Bryantspuddle Manor, so named in the Domesday Book. Even then the its land had been shaped by Saxons five centuries earlier, parceled into small divisions. The written history of Affpuddle begins in the year 987 with the Foundation Charter of the Benedictine Abbey of Cerne; the written history of Bryantspuddle with the assessment for the Geld Tax in 1084. The parish is bisected by the River Piddle (Puddle or Trent) and bordered on the south by the Frome. The two rivers join and flow into Poole Harbor and the sea.

These rivers gave rise to a system of watermeadows by which the water was run over the flat fields to manure and irrigate them. Watercress is grown and farmed at the south end of the parish.

Anyone picking up Joan Brocklebank’s Affpuddle in the County of Dorset will likely be overwhelmed by the amount of detail and information in her remarkable history of the parish. My two pages, the Parish and the Manor, are interested in the farms of the 19th century, where for decades my family, great grandfathers and their wives, sons and daughters, farmed the principle farms of West and East farm, Waddock and Pallington. To identify the tenant farmers, I have used the tax records, Kelly’s directories, the tithe map of 1839, and the censuses.

By the mid-nineteenth century the parish was well established into eight major farms……..

For most of the 19th century the parish was 3818 acres, or 5.96 square miles. It was reduced from 4,940 acres in 1831 to 3818 in 1851 where it remained until 1891 when it was again reduced to 3,631 acres.

Population of the Parish

The following table is from Brocklebank and "Vision of Britain through Time."
Year Population
1801 344
1811 451
1821 441
1831 442
1841 507
1851 488
1861 455
1871 438
1881 477
1891 434
1901 358
1911 340
1921 357
1931 400
1941 (no census)
1951 371
1961 425
2011 436 (Footnote: Wikipedia )

1851 Census schedule of Farms:

The following is from Brocklebank (Footnote: Brocklebank, page 113. This page also has the rentals in 1864 which show Bryantspuddle East and Bryantspuddle South as well as the other farms. ) with some added information in [brackets].

  • Affpuddle Farm of 287 Acres [East Farm]
    • Mrs. Branston (Widow) [Mary Ann Woodrow, wid William Henry Branston My 2nd great grandparents]
    • 2 sons aged 26, 18, 12 [James, Charles, George Woodrow]
    • 11 Agricultural Labourers
  • Affpuddle Farm of 400 Acres [West Farm]
    • William Pitt [Age 76 My 3rd great grandfather]
    • Son aged 40, Nephew aged 56 [James Pitt, William Jones]
    • 17 Agricultural Labourers
  • Rogers Hill Farm of 450 Acres
    • Robert Besant
    • 12 Agricultural Labourers
  • Waddock Farm of 380 Acres
    • William Seare
    • 2 sons aged 26, 22 [Robert, William]
    • 18 Agricultural Labourers
    • 1 boy
    • 2 women
  • Briantspuddle Farm of 370 Acres
    • Edward Hooper
    • 1 son aged 15 [Edward]
    • 13 Agricultural Laboures
  • Pallington - Scutt's holding of 5 Acres
    • Henry Scutt [aged 22]
  • Pallington Farm of 220 Acres
    • Thomas Parmiter
    • 12 Agricultural Labourers

2112 total acreage

8 sons, 83 Laboures, 1 boy, 2 women. An average of 25.44 labourers per acre.

The Vestry and Vicars of St. Laurence church.

Several people have done a marvelous job of transcribing the Church Registers and Bishops Transcripts. Those are online at OPC Dorset and there is no need to go into these here.

One thing that escapes attention are the vestry minutes that have been digitized and are on buried in their collection “Dorset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812” or collection number 2243: browse: Affpuddle.(You will need an Ancestry subscription to view these images.)

Starting at image 88, of 320, (Footnote: begins image 88 ) is an undated three-page description of the church followed by minutes beginning in April of 1797 following through to 1936 (Image 320). While they are largely accounting ledgers, some include the “Church Rate” or tithes collected. For instance, images 143 and 144 is a spreadsheet of the church rate from Lady Day, 1843 to Lady Day 1844 and details a description of the properties, their value, occupier and owner as well as the rate amounts. It somewhat parallels the schedules issues with the tithe map of 1839. More such spreadsheets follow which give a clear indication of who farmed what until the late 1860s. (Footnote: The first such accounting is at image 121, for the year 1823, and includes the tithes collected for the Parishes of Affpuddle, Briantspuddle, and Pallington. Many names are included followed by the amount collected. ) (Footnote: The church minutes images are from the Dorset Record Office, DRO PE/AFF: IN 1/1 and DRO PE/AFF: CW 1. )


Ms. Brocklebank identifies 41 vicars of the parish to 1960, beginning, ironically, with “Adam” in 1326. In the 19th century there were only four: William M. Ettricke (1787-1808), James Leonard Jackson (1808-1828), Richard Waldy (1828-1868), and Henry Pearce Williams-Freeman (1868-1902).

The minutes also let us know who served as members of the vestry and include disbursements by the churchwardens. The following is a listing of members gleaned from those minutes.

Vestry member # of years served Years Residence
George Boswell 15 years 1797-1812 Waddock Farm (1808-1820)
Thomas Haskell (d.1817) 16 years 1797-1817 Briantspuddle (1817)
Thomas Alner Homer 16 years 1797-1817 Throop, Brockhill, Rogers Hill (1801 - 1816)
John Neppard 24 years 1797-1820 Pallington
John and/or Edward Scutt 29 years 1797-1826 John: Affpuddle E&W, Waddock
Edward: Brook & Ashley & West Farm House
Richard, Robert and/or Charles Pearce 18 years 1797-1837 (All in all years). Various fields.
John, Edward and/or William Hooper 86 years 1797-1883  
William Runyard 12 years 1815-1827 Briantspuddle Farms East & West
Robert and/or Charles Besant 56 years 1820-1876  
William Whittle 13 years 1823-1836 East Farm (1827 & 1832)
Robert Spicer 10 years 1824-1834 Pallington (1823); Waddock (1832)
Henry Frampton 31 years 1836--1868  
William Pitt 15 years 1838-1853 West Farm
William, James, and/or Thomas Branston 32 years 1838-1875 East Farm
James and Ann Cox 13 years 1856-1882 Mill
William Jackson 45 years 1856-1901  
Lawrence and/or George Mitchell 41 years 1859-1900  
Robert Jeffrey 7 years 1864-1869  
Henry Spicer 24 years 1879-1903 East Farm
William Billey 26 years 1879-1905  
Thomas Jones Scutt 7 years 1885-1891  
H.R.Frampton 28 years 1894-1902

Kelly's, Post Office and Harrod & Co. Directories

The following tables of people and occupations are from Kelly’s trade directories in the 19th Century, and 1911. Each entry has a brief description of the parish which I’ve not transcribed. The descriptions are all very similar. The 1911 entry is typical.

1855 (Ancestry image 15)
Bridges, Mrs. Oaker's wood house
Waldy, Rev. Ricard, vicar
Besent, Robert, farmer, Rogers Hill
Boyt, John, farmer, Bryant's puddle
Branston, James, farmer
Branston, Mary Ann (Mrs.), farmer
Branston, Thomas, farmer
Davis, James, carpenter
Hall, William, miller
Hooper, John, farmer, Throop farm
Jackson, William, farmer
Jeffery, Robt. shoemaker, Bryant's puddle
Jeffery, Wm., shopkeeper, Bryant's puddle
Miller, John, carpenter & beer retailer, Bryant's puddle
Pain, John, farmer, Waddock
Mitchell, Lawrence, blacksmith, Bryant's puddle
Scutt, Jane (Mrs.), shopkeeper
Scutt, Robert, shoemaker
Sherwood, stonemason & shopkeeper
1859 (Ancestry Image 12)
Featherstonhaugh, Reuben,
esq. Oaker's Wood house
Waldy, Rev. Richard, vicar
Besent, Robert, farmer, Rogers Hill
Boyt, John, farmer, Bryant's puddle
Branston, James, farmer
Branston, Mary Ann (Mrs.), farmer
Branston, Thomas, farmer
Chilcott, Isaac, parish clerk
Cox, James, miller
Davis, James, carpenter
Hartnall, James, carpenter & beer retailer,
Bryant's P.
Hooper, John, farmer, Throop farm
Jackson, William, farmer
Jeffery, Robt. shoemaker, Bryant's puddle
Jeffery, Wm., shopkeeper, Bryant's puddle
Mitchell, Lawrence, blacksmith, Bryant's puddle
Paine, John, farmer, Waddock
Parmiter, Thomas, farmer, Pallington
Scutt, Elizabeth (Mrs.), shopkeeper, Bryant's puddle
Scutt, Jane, (Mrs.), shopkeeper
Scutt, Robert, shoemaker
Sherwood, stonemason & shopkeeper
1880 (Ancestry image 28-9)
Williams-Freeman, Rev. Henry Peers, vicar
Bennet, John, farmer, Pallington
Besent, Wiiliam, farmer, Rogers Hill
Cox, Ann (Mrs.), miller
Fooks, Jhn. Blacksmith, Bryant's puddle
Jackson, William, farmer
Jackson, William Pitt, farmer, Throop
Jeffery, Robt, shoe ma. Bryant's puddle
Mitchell, George, farmer, East farm, Bryant's pud.
Norton, William Brooks, farmer, Waddock
Pope, George, carpenter & beer retailer
Scutt, Elizabeth (Mrs.), shopkeeper, Bryant's pud.
Scutt, Elizabeth (Miss), shopkeeper
Scutt, Robert, shoe maker
Spicer, Henry, farmer

1889 (Ancestry Image 23-4)
Branstone, Charles, Throop
Williams-Freeman, Rev. Henry Peers, vicar
Billey, Wm. Geo., miller (water) & baker
Clarke, John, shopkeeper, Post office
Cobb, Charles, carpenter
Fooks, Hy., blackmith, Bryant's puddle
Foot, Geo. Leonard, farmer, Pallington
Hansford, Samuel, dairyman
Jackson, Wm. Pitt, farmer, Affpuddle West Farm & Throop
Jeffery, Robt, shoe ma. Bryant's puddle
Kingman, Thos, dairyman, Bryant's puddle
Mitchell, George, farmer, Rogers hill
Norton, William Brooks, farmer, Waddock
Pitcher, Tom, dairyman
Scutt, Eliz. (Mrs.), shpkpr, Bryant's puddle
Spicer, Henry, farmer, East farm
1895 (Ancestry Image 23-4)
Williams-Freeman, Rev. Henry Peers, vicar
Billey, Wm. Geo., miller (water) & baker
Cake, Emanuel, dairman
Clarke, John, shopkeeper, Post office
Courtney, Chas., shopkeeper, Bryant's puddle
Dibben, Charles, dairyman
Fooks, Henry, blacksmith & shopkeeper, Bryant's pud.
House, Wm., dairy frmr. Bryant's puddle
Jackson, Wm. Pitt, farmer, Affpuddle West Farm & Throop
Jeffery, Robt, shoe ma. Bryant's puddle
Kingman, Thos, dairyman, Bryant's puddle
Mitchell, George, farmer, Rogers hill
Norton, William Brooks, farmer, Waddock
Pope, John, estate carpenter
Spicer, Henry, farmer, East farm
1911 (Ancestry Image 29-30)
Private Residents
Brown, Rev Horace Morley, vicar
Fetherstonbaugh-Frampton, Mrs., Oakers Wood house
Billey, Wm. Geo., miller (water) & baker
Bissell, Geo., farmer, Affpuddle West
Budden, Thomas, farmer, Waddock
Caundell, Frank, blacksmith
Clarke, John, shopkeeper
Courtney, Chas., shopkeeper, Bryant's puddle
Fooks, John, thatcher
Foot, George & Wallis, farmers, Pallington
Fowler, William Henry, farm bailiff to Frank Parsons
Green, Stephen, dairyman
House, Richard, farmer, Bryants puddle
Kellaway, Joseph, dairman, Bryants puddle
Laws, John, carrier, Bryants's puddle
Mitchell, George, farmer, Rogers hill & Bryants Puddle East farm
Parsons, farmer, East farm
Woodrow, Arthur, estate carpenter.

The Kelly's Directory tables were collected from images at's "UK, City and County Directories, 1766 - 1946".

Affpuddle Mill

Close up of Affpuddle in the 1885-1888 Ordinance Survey map showing the mill.

The mill at Affpuddle has longer history than any other property in the parish, it being mentioned in the Domesday Book along with the mill at Bryantspuddle. (Footnote: Brocklebank, page 85 ) By the beginning of the nineteenth century the leaseholder was William Hooper by virtue of his marriage, to Elizabeth Crisdy, the daughter of Elizabeth Crisdy who died in 1798. William held the mill until the 1855 when it passed to William Hall and then to James Cox in 1862. A member of the Cox family operated it until 1889 when William Billey took it over and operated it until 1923 when it ceased work. It lay in distress for decades until, evidently, it was converted into living space.

There are a number of pictures of and archival descriptions at the Mills Archive.

There is also a 1948 picture of the Briantspuddle Mill House which I imagine is now long gone.

Affpuddle mill looking west showing the spillway and the church in the background.

19th Century Farmers in the parish.

Farmers 1800-1815 Affpuddle Farm Brook / Ashley Rogers Hill West Farm (1828 - ) East Farm (1828 - )
John Scutt John Scutt (1801-1828) Edward Scutt ( 1802- Thomas Homer (1804-1819) Richard Brine (1828-1836) Wm. & Jacob Whittle (1828-1837
Edward Scutt   Besants (1820-1895), William, Robert, William William Pitt (1837-1854) Wm. Branston (1837-1851)
John Neppard   George Mitchel (1895-   Wm. Pitt Jackson (1854-1895) Mary Branston (Wid.) (1851-1861)
George & Samuel Boswell         James Branston (1861-1876)
          Henry Spicer (1878-1903)

Waddock Pallington Throop Briantspuddle Farm
Samuel Boswell (1808-1816) John Neppred (1801-1820) John Allner ( -1832) James Durden (1831
William Scutt (1817-1822 Robert Spicer (1821-29) John Hooper (1861)  
John Scutt (1822-1828) Charles Besant (1829-1850) Wm. P. Jackson (1881-1910)  
Robert Spicer (1828-1832) Thomas Parmiter (1851-1860) Frank Parsons (1911)  
William Seare (1851-1860) Henry Aldridge (1861-1870) William Hooper (1871), 400 acres (TP)
Charles Paine (1861-1870) John Bennett (1871-1890) Lawrence Mitchell (1871), 210 Acres (BP)
James Mitchell (1871-1880) George Foot (1891 - ) Benjamin Rendell (1871), 200 Acres (TP
Wm. Brooks Norton (1881-1900)    

"Farmers 1800-1815" are from the tax records which list only five persons as such.
The farmers of Throop and Briantspuddle are difficult to discover from the censuses. Perhaps there are other records, but for this I've just used 1871 which listed three farmers in Tonerspuddle and Bryantspuddle.
Direct line ancestors of mine are in light blue.

Rentals in the late 19th century

Rental 1864   Rental 1871   Rental 1886
Farm Tenant Rent   Farm Tenant Rent   Farm Tenant Rent
Affpuddle East Mr. Jas. Branston £ 582. 10. 0   Affpuddle East Mr. Jas. Branston £ 582. 10. 0   Aff. East & BP West Mr. Henry Spicer £ 700
Affpuddle West Mr. William Jackson £ 575   Affpuddle West Mr. William Jackson £ 595   Affpuddle West Mr. William Jackson £ 500 *
Affpuddle Mill Mr. James Cox £ 50   Affpuddle Mill Mr. James Cox £ 50   Affpuddle Mill Mr. W.G. Billey £ 54
Bryantspuddle East Mrs. Boyt £ 215   Bryantspuddle S. & E. Mr. L. Mitchell £ 318. 4. 0.   Bryantspuddle Mr. G. Mitchell £ 288. 2. 0 *
Bryantspuddle South Mr. L. Mtchell £ 67   Pallington Mr. John Bennett £ 350   Pallington Mr. G. L. Foot £ 350
Pallington Mr. Henry Aldridge £ 340   Rogers Hill Mr. William Besant £ 700   Throop Mr. W. Jackson £ 330 *
Rogers Hill Mr. Robert Besant £ 615. 10. 0.   Throop Mr. William Jackson £ 400   Rogers Hill Mr. G. Keynes £ 650
Throop Mr. John Hooper £ 390   Waddock Mr. I.C.G. Mitchell £ 430   Briantspuddle Farm Mr. J. House £ 51
Waddock Mr. Charles Paine £ 330           * Permanently reduced  
£1 in 1864 is worth £127.89 in 2020   £1 in 1871 is worth £118.57 in 2020   £1 is worth £130.83 in 2020
So, for example, in 1886 my Great grandfather, Henry Spicer, paid £91,583.80 in 2020's money to rent Affpuddle East and Briantspuddle West. (Footnote: Using the CPI Inflation Calculator at )

Links and Other Resources

1.) Dorset Online Parish Clerks (OPC) is an awesome and invaluable site for anyone interested in the parish. Click for the Affpuddle Page.
2.) "A Vision of Britain Through Time" has a number of pages on all things Affpuddle. The following open in a new window/tab.
  1. Main Portal.
  2. Total Population through Time.
  3. Portal to Statistics.
  4. Area.
There is also a portal for Turners Puddle
3.) 1891 Census transcribed.
4.) An interesting history of Briantspuddle at the Briantspuddle Community Website.

Other Resources:

  1. 'Affpuddle', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset at British History Online.
    ---While 50 years old, this is an interesting inventory of structures throughout the parish, although strangely the mills are absent.
  2. Brocklebank, Joan, Affpuddle in the county of Dorset A.D. 987-1953. (1968, Bournemouth: Horace G. Commin Ltd., 124 pages with illustrations and maps).
    --- An invaluable source of information on the parish. My father must have met her in 1977 as I have an inscribed copy.
  3. The National Library of Scotland Map Archive is an amazing resource for exploring England and Scotland.
    --- I always find something new on those maps that I didn't know before. (New window or tab.)



Page created October, 2020

© Text copyright: Steve Spicer

Feel free contact me about this page.