In the middle of the 20th Century Douglas Jackman of Dorchester put together a collection of trading bills.
There are 318 in total, ranging in date from 1825 to 1906, representing 130 individual tradespeople, mainly from Dorchester. 40 per cent. just consist of the actual heading but the remainder are complete accounts, covering varied items such as alcohol, building, ironmongery, silverware, transport (horse), etc.
What follows is a very brief simplified sample from the collection. The trading dates refer to the directories in which they appear.
The Museum Library contains (personal inspection only) a full detailed catalogue of every bill, a directory list giving an indication of where and how long the business traded and some customer details. For the Dorchester items there is also a detailed list of their address, who is there now (2008) and details of any old photographs. A covering essay, various notes and an index of all names mentioned completes the catalogue.
Click on any picture to enlarge
The Antelope Hotel, 14 Cornhill, Dorchester. Bills from 1830 to 1872. Notable customers: The Magistrates.
This was one of the main coaching inns and appears both as a supplier and customer. The County Magistrates met every 4 months (Quarter Sessions) and held a dinner, alternating with the Kings Arms. They imported claret (see later) which formed part of this. Two men named Ffookes were in charge of the legal proceedings (more later). The bills are all incomplete but some details are on the reverse. The Hotel closed in the 1990s and is now offices and a shopping arcade.
Charles Bastable, High Street, Shaftesbury. Trading from 1840 to 1880. Customer: Mr Hammond of Sturminster. Date: 1856
Unfortunately an incomplete
bill. Besides paper products
and agent for the Bible Society
he was also an insurance agent
as were many of the other
traders. Mr Hammond was the
Police Superintendent at
Sturminster Newton from 1851 to 1867
and then possibly moved to
Wimborne as deputy chief
Thomas Hodges Bennett, Salisbury St, Blandford. Trading 1823 to 1859, then Bennett and Bird. Customer: Mr Seward. Date: 1835
Unfortunately although Mr Seward
appears on a number of bills we
have not been able to find out
who he was.
Thomas Bennett, 19 High East St, Dorchester. Trading 1840 to 1875. Customer: Antelope Hotel. Date: 1865
The directories gave conflicting
information about this trader.
His address varies from High
East Street to West Street and
back again! The early
directories are sometimes rather
vague and inaccurate. Assuming
they all refer to the same
person he was probably situated
on the corner opposite All
Saints Church (now a dress shop,
although the road has been
David Budden, High St, Wimborne. Trading 1840 to 1853. Customer: Mr Seward. Date: 1839
He seems to have moved about three times in this period.
Burdon, The Quay, Weymouth. Trading 1830 to 1835. Customer: Mr White of Cerne. Date: 1831
He was a ship owner besides a coal merchant and sometimes acted through agents. His christian name varies widely. The price of coal varied from 7d to 9d per lb and did not seem to decrease with the advent of rail.
The 1830 directory has Mr John W.
White, gentleman, Up Cerne
Clare and Galpin, High East St, Dorchester. Ceased trading by 1840. Customer: County Hall (Mr Evans). Date: 1834/5.
This was for minor ironmongery
items with the receipt as long
as the bill! (7s 6d). Another,
but incomplete, bill was for the
Mr W. Evans was the County
Surveyor in 1840 and his son (?)
G. Evans, was the same 1842 - 1871.
Both lived in Wimborne. We have
not been able to trace the
Malachi and Henry Field Fisher, Market Place, Blandford. Trading 1830 to 1871. Customer: Curtis and Sons. Date: 1834.
The customer was
probably Thomas Javell Curtis
trading in Dorchester, first in
North Street then High West
Street and then settling in
Fordington 1842 on. They were
hosiers, drapers and tailors.
Charles Frampton, The Square, Wimborne. Trading 1842 to 1859. Customer: Mr Seward. Date: 1840.
Genge and Co., High West St, Dorchester. Customer: Dorset County Council
This started off as Steele (1842-1880),
then George Dixon and
Jameson (1889-1899) before
becoming just Genge and
expanding from the original
corner site. The whole block
was rebuilt as a department
store in the 1930s, then became
part of Dingles and now forms
the block with Argos, Ladbrokes,
Theophilus Bartlett Goddard, Market Place/Broad St, Lyme Regis. Trading 1842 to 1853. Customer: Mr Tucker. Date: 1840.
customer was probably the W.
Tucker, butcher and beer
retailer (1830-1855) who was
either in the Butter Market or
Church Street, Lyme.
E. Godwin, and later J. T. Godwin, Dorchester. Trading 1846 to 1907. Customers: Antelope Hotel, 1866, and County of Dorset House, 1891.
These are two of the nine bills for this China and Glass Warehouse. E. was Mrs Eliza, followed by John Thomas. First reference is 1846 and then to the end of this research (1907). The premises are now the café 'The Horse with the Red Umbrella'. But prior to the Godwins it belonged to the ironmongers Curme (4 bills), one of whom built the first theatre in the town behind the shop. Godwin's also owned all the premises in Trinity Street now rebuilt as Georgian House. A later heading shows a photo of the inside of the shop. Note the use of the word House to describe what we now call Shire Hall, which was then where the County Council was based, with the main officials living in various towns.
B. Harvey, Cornhill, Dorchester. Trading 1823/4 to 1830s. Customer: Forston Asylum. Date: 1830.
His widow Mary took over and
traded 1840-55. This and an
earlier ironmongery bill are
incomplete but interesting
because of the reference to the
Forston Asylum. There are a
small number of other bills
mentioning this place which was
being built at the time (later
Herrison Hospital and now the
site of the 'village' of
Where their shop was is not
known, possibly No. 6 where a
Mary Harvey was living 1848.
John Francis Hodges, 22 High East St, Dorchester. Trading 1830 to 1907. Customer: The Magistrates. Date: 1873.
The names slightly varied during
this period. All their bills
are incomplete, but they
supplied wine for the
Magistrates' dinners (see
Antelope/King's Arms). This is
now offices and the Housing
Advice Centre. Henry Ling (next
door up) along with the King's
Arms are the only premises still
trading from the collection.
David Howell, East St, Bridport. Trading 1840 to 1855. Customer not stated.
He also manufactured twine.
Customer not known but on the
reverse is a list of names and
how much they bought. Our
impression was that it was a
year's bill (but only for 17s
Jennings and Ford, Cheapside, London. Customer: Ffookes, for Magistrates. Date: 1843, 1846.
These accounts are for bringing
claret from London for the
Magistrate's dinner. There were
two men of this name (Ffookes).
They were Sherborne Solicitors.
One was Clerk of the Peace (1830-72),
the other Clerk to the
Lieutenant of the County and
then Clerk of the Peace (1872-89).
The next Clerk was another
of the same name (E. A.), 1889-1925.
Their names may also be seen on
the bridge plaques threatening
transportation if damaged.
The King's Arms, High East St, Dorchester. Date: 1828 to 1878.
This was the other main coaching
inn of the town. Here again the
bills are incomplete, but mainly
involve the Magistrate's dinner.
However, one of the Ffookes
family also used to stay here
during the Quarter Sessions,
and possibly brought his wife
One of these headings was
printed in London and
surprisingly nearly 20 per cent. of the
traders had their headings
printed out of the county.
Thomas Pouncy, Cornhill, Dorchester. Trading 1874/5 to 1907. Customer: Dorset Constabulary. Date: 1889-92.
There were 2 men of this name as
Saddlers: Charles at No. 3 (1 bill) trading 1846-67 then
Thomas Crook at No. 5 (just changed to the clothes shop).
Thomas was also Collector of
Taxes and connected with the
police. He supplied a range of
Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, Ludgate Hill, London. Customer: Mr Galpine. Date: 1827.
This bill was not collected by
Mr Jackman but was donated
whilst the research was being
They were an extremely important
firm of gold and silversmiths,
and jewellers, supplying a great
deal to George IV etc.
This was the highest bill
(£92 17s 0d less a discount).
Most expensive item was for a
'part fluted Tea Pot silver
handle' plus a little extra for
Mr Bridge of the title came from
Dorset and retired to
Piddletrenthide in the 1840s,
dying there in 1849.
Mr Galpine was an attorney in
Blandford and appears in the
1823 and 1830 Directories.
Samuel Russell, North Square, Dorchester. Trading 1840 to 1848. Customer: Mr Staples. Date: 1839.
The left-hand portion of his
premises are now the offices of
Dorchester Town Council, and
right hand side the Victory
Mr Staples was the owner of the
Anchor Inn. This was in Pease
Lane (now Colliton Street)
roughly at No. 6 (John White's
house) or next door.
The White Horse, Maiden Newton. Trading 1885 to 1903. Customer: Miss Wylde; Dorset County Council. Date: 1895.
This refers to 'posting' Miss
Wylde to Cattistock. She was an
employee of Dorset County
Council (and Principal of the
County Technical School for
Women & Girls). Presumable she
arrived at Maiden Newton by
train and then had to be taken
to Cattistock by horse
W. Woolston, 16 Cornhill, Dorchester. Trading 1859 to 1874 (widow in 1875). Customer: Antelope Hotel. Date: 1866.
This is by far the most
decorative bill heading. He was
situated 2 doors down from the
hotel; Mr Gardener was the then
manager (another bill shows he
received £25 per quarter salary,
or £1 17s 7d per week compared
to 7s 6d for an agricultural
The bill contains 46
miscellaneous food items and
comes to £1 19s 1d after 9s had
been taken off to pay for a
phaeton to Osmington. The
premises now form part of the
We have used trade directories dating from 1792, but mainly 1823-1907, and one street directory for 1898, thirty in all, either in the Dorset History Centre or the DNHAS library.
There are only 5 copies of this research; one at the Dorset History Centre, two in the DNHAS library, the others held by the researchers. Included are a compact disc of all the images, other photographs, 11pp introduction, 43pp catalogue, 22pp directory catalogue and notes, 4pp on customers, 9pp "Dorchester Then and Now", 9pp index to names, 6pp appendices.
Research by P. D. Anthes and L. Mutti, 2008.
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