Transcript of the description for Beaminster from Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, & Wiltshire 1851

BEAMINSTER, is a market town and chapelry in the parish of Netherbury, hundred of Beaminster-Forum and Redhone, and Bridport division of the county, 132 miles W.S.W. from London, 18 W.N.W. from Dorchester, which is the nearest railway station, and 6 N. from Bridport; it is a place of considerable antiquity, and at several periods has suffered from extensive conflagrations; the first of these accidents befel it in 1644 during the civil wars, while the town was occupied by Prince Maurice; and in 1684 it was almost totally burned to the ground, again in 1781, fifty houses fell a prey to the devouring element, but the inhabitants being warned by the two previous calamities took the precaution of insuring their property and thus saved themselves from poverty and ruin, a striking instance of the immense benefits afforded by these invaluable institutions, Fire Insurance offices. In consequence of the frequency of these fires the town has almost entirely been rebuilt and Beaminster may now be considered as a pretty, clean, and respectable town; it is located in a luxuriant vale, well watered by the river Birt, a stream formed by the junction of several springs which rise in the neighbourhood. Many of the inhabitants were formerly employed in making sail cloth, this was succeeded by that of woollens, but the latter trade began to decline about 1838, and has since become completely extinct. The town, which is lighted with gas, is a polling place for the county members at elections, and is governed by constables and other functionaries who are selected at manorial courts held periodically by the lord of the manor.

On an eminence, at the southern part of the town stands the church, a noble building dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the western front of this structure is an elaborate piece of workmanship, and the noble tower containing a good peal of bells, 100 feet in altitude, and enriched with sculpture and carvings, altogether render the sacred edifice an object of universal admiration. In 1828 the interior was improved and new galleries added. The living is united cum the vicarage of Netherbury. A new church is now erecting in the Gothic style of architecture, to contain about 400 sittings wholly free, it is situate midway between this town and Wansley. There are also chapels for Independents and Wesleyans. In 1627 alms-houses for 6 persons were founded here by Sir John Strode, knt., and there is a free school endowed by Mrs. F. Tucker for 20 poor boys; there is also an Infant school, and some small bequests have been left by benevolent indviduals. A weekly market well supplied with edibles and other commodities is held on Thursday, and a fair for cattle, cheese, and large quantities of sheep annually on September 19th. Beaminster forms a union under the poor law amendment act, it comprehends 26 parishes, embracing an area of 80 square miles. The chapelry, which includes the hamlets of Axeknoller, Langdon, Marsh, Meerhay, North Mapperton, Parnham, and Wansley contains 4990 acres of land, and had in 1841 a population of 3270.

POST OFFICE and MONEY ORDER OFFICE, Hogshill street. Postmistress, Frances Frampton. Letters are delivered daily at 9 a m. Despatches to Crewkerne at 8 a.m., box closes at 7 50 a.m, Bridport at 8 30 a.m. box closes at 8 a.m. Taunton and Crewkerne at 4 20 p.m. box closes at 4 15. Bridport and London 5 50 p.m. box closes at 5 20 p.m. Letters may be posted to 5 30 by affixing an additional penny stamp.

Gentry & Clergy.

Barratt Mr. John H. Fleet streetBarratt Rev. Alfred (Independent Min.) Woodswater cottage
Bishop Thomas, esq. Church st.
Cox Samuel, esq. North street
Curteis Mrs. East street
Curtis Mrs. Ann, Church street
Davy Mrs. Francis, Church street
Eveleigh Mr. Wm. Fore place
Forward Rev. Chas. (Church of England) Fleet street
Fox Edw. esq. Beaminster house
Fox Thomas, esq. East street
Furmedge John, esq. Langdon
Gilbert Joachim, esq. East street
Gould Mr. Theophilus, East street
Gundry Miss Fanny, East street
Hamilton Mrs. E. Hogshill street
Hine Mr. George, North street
Oglander Sir Wm. bt. Parnham
Pitman Mr. James, East street
Ramsay Alexander, esq. East st
Read Mr. Richard, Fleet street
Schoedde Sir James H. Hogshill st
Way Mrs. Ann, East street
Way Lewis, esq. East street
Woodbury Mrs. Mary East street

Miscellany of Traders, &c.
Not arranged in the succeeding lists.

Bartlett Jas. fellmonger, Fleet st
Bugler Abel, drawing master, Church street
Chubb Jos. gardener, Church st
Clark Wm. master of the union
Coombs Chas. millwright, North st
Cox George, clerk to the union, North street
Cox John, land drainer, Meerhay
Daniel Isaac, assistant overseer, Church street
Dyke Robert, timber carrier Newtown
Gibbs Samuel, sack and sacking maker, St. Mary Well street
Hallett Geo. potter, Hogshill st.
Hunt Jas. ironworker, East st.
March John, basket makr, North st
Meech Sarah, tallow chandler, Church street
Oliver Isaac, registrar of marriages, East street
Oliver John, parish clerk, Fore pl
Podger Charles, miller, Buckham
Pope Thomas, commercial clerk, Church street
Read Rd. woolstapler, Fleet st.
Rendle Jas. vety. surg, Hogshill st
Slade Edwin, regr. of births and deaths, Church street
Slade Mary, hatter, &c. Hogshill st

Auctioneers and Appraisers.

Sherring William, Church street
Warr Richard, Fleet street

Bakers.

Dabinett Joseph, East street
Edwards Charles, North street
Hallett John, Fleet street
Legg Charles, Church street
Long William, Hogshill street
Mills William, East street
Roberts Ann, White street road
Swatridge Richard, Fore place

Banks.

Dorsetshire Bank, East street. (Williams R. & H.) Manager, Atkins William J.; draw upon Williams, Deacon & Co. London
Savings' Bank, Fore pl. Actuary, Hine Richard Open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Beer Retailers.

Beater John, St. Mary's well st.
Brinson Benj. Hogshill street
Cursons Charles, East street
Galpin Samuel, Hogshill street
Gill Sarah, Hogshill street
Hallett John, Fleet street
Hearn Elizabeth, East street
Woodbury Robert, East street
Meech Sarah, Church street

Blacksmiths.

Guy James, North street
Hoare Richard, Meerhay
Lawrence George, Fleet street
Newman & Son (& brightsmiths) Fleet street
Shiner James, North street
Stevens Charles, Hogshill street
Watts Thomas, Beaminster bottom
Weaver Henry, East street

Booksellers & Stationers.

Coombs Edwin (and stamp office) Hogshill street
Spink Samuel, Hogshill street

Boot & Shoemakers.

Allen William, North street
Boon Isaac, Fleet street
Frome William, Hogshill street
Hann Mary Ann, North street
Hoare William, North street
Meech Henry, Hogshill street
Meech James, Church street
Meech Joseph, Hogshill street
Mills Bennet, East street
Mills William, East street
Nossiter Francis, Church street
Winter John, Fleet street

Builders.

Beament William (& cabinet maker & paper hanger) East street
Chick John, Fleet street
Frampton John Purchase, (& surveyor) East street

Butchers.

Barratt John, Hogshill street
Bugler Samuel, Stonecombe
Frampton Giles, Fore place
Guy James, North street
Guy Thomas, North street

Carpenters and Joiners, See also Builders.

Hazlewood John, Beaminster bottom
Marsh Joseph, Fleet street
Oliver Thomas, Fore place
Shiner James, North street

Chemists & Druggists.

Hine Richard, Fore place
Oliver Edwin, Fore place

China & Glass Dealers.

Hallett Fanny, Hogshill street
Swatridge Richard, Fore place

Coopers.

Guy Henry, North street
Swaffield George, Hogshill street

Curriers & Leather Cutters

Bowditch James, Church street
Dunn Richard, Hogshill street

Dairymen.

Aplin William, Meerhay
Coombs Thomas, East street
Groves John, Storridge
Guppy Henry, Beaminster bottom
Woodward John, Shortcombe

Farmers.

Akerman Daniel, Axeknoller
Akerman Danl. jun. Northfield
Bishop Daniel, Stonecombe
Bowditch John, Shatcombe
Cox Benjamin, East street
Dowdeswell John Palmer, East st.
Elliott William, Buckham
Follett John, Higher Meerhay
Furmedge John, Langdon farm
Gale John, Lower Buckham
Genge William, Wansley farm
Guy Thos. jun. Storridge farm
Hearn James, Hogshill Knapp
Hellyar Charles, Knowle
House Thomas, Green
Legg Edward, Combe down
Marsh Thos. & John, Chantry farm
Newman Charles, Willwood
Paul Henry, Whitcombe farm
Short William, Fleet street
Stickland Jas. & Wm. Axeknoller
Swaflield John, New town
Syms Edward, Buckham
Tolley Richd. Lower Meerhay
Trask William, Mapperton marsh
Wakley John, Lower Murgrove
Wakly Henry, Bowgrove
Witty Wm. Chapel marsh

Fire & Life Assurance Agents.
Thus * denotes Fire; thus § Life.

§Anchor, Sherring Wm, Church st
*§Atlas, Frampton Jno. P. East st.
*County & §Provident, Warr Richard, Fleet street
§Minerva, Atkins William J. at the Dorsetshire bank
*Phoenix, Clift William, North st.
§Professional, Coombs Edwin, Hogshill street
§* Royal Exchange, Hine Richard, Fore place
§*Sun, Fox Baruch, East street
*§ West of England, Cox George, North street

Flax Spinners.

Coombs Charles, Hook mills
Hunt Edward, Church street

Grocers and Tea Dealers.

Oliver Edwin, Fore place
Pine Thomas, Fore place
Stocker George, Fore place
Swatridge Richard, Fore place

Grocery and Sundries-Dealers in.

Barter Jonas, Fleet street
Bartlett Jas. St. Mary well street
Dabinett Joseph, East street
Frampton Thomas, North street
Gid Sarah, Hogshill street
Hallett John, Fleet street
Hallett Richiard D. Hogshill street
Hearn Elizabeth, East street
Meech Sarah, Church street
Oliver Daniel, Fore place
Pickard Joseph, East street
White Elizabeth, East street

Hair Cutters.

Allen Edwin, North street
Clare Charles, East street
Marsh John, Fore place
Pomery William, Fleet street

Inns and Public Houses

Crown, North street, Barter Jsph.
Greyhound, Fore pl, Oliver Thos.
New Inn, Hogshill street, Cosby Charles
Red Lion, Fore place, Alexander George
Swan, Fleet st. Milverton John
White Hart, (commercial & inland revenue office), Hogshill street, Foss John

Ironmongers, Braziers, &c.

Seymour Benjamin, Fore place
Toleman Anthony & Edw. Fore pl

Linen Drapers.

Clift William, North street
Coombs Chas. Hogshill street
Hussey Stephanas, Fore place
Stembridge Simeon, Fore place
Virgint Henry, Fore place

Maltsters.

Milverton John, Fleet street
Swatridge Richard, Fore place

Milliners and Dress Makers

Battiscombe Eliza, Little street
Bragg Ellen & Mary Ann, St. Mary well street
Cleal Eliza, East street
Cox Ann, East street
Genge Zillah, Fleet street
Hallett Elizabeth, Hogshill street
Hooper Mary, North street
Keetch Ann, St. Mary's well st.
Kiddle Elizabeth, Hogshill street
Lawrence Eliza, Hogshill street
Morgan Caroline, North street
Peach Mary Ann, Fore place

Painters, Plumbers & Glaziers

Bagg Thomas, Hogshill street
Collins Samuel, East street
Newman Thos. & Son (and gas fitters) Fleet street
Oliver Bennett, St. Mary well st.
Toleman Anthony & Edward, Hogshill street

Printers.

Coombs Edwin H. Hogshill street
Oliver Isaac, East street
Sherring William, Church street

Saddle & Harness Makers

Everett James, Hogshill street
Stembridge Jeremiah, East street

Schools.

Charity, Short moor; master, Whitelegg William
Croker Eliza, East street
Davy Mary, & Summers Sarah R. Hogshill street
Gardner William, Shadderick st.
National, East street; mistress, Clarke Eliza
Hoare Francis, East street

Seedsmen.

Clare Charles, East street
Pine Thomas, Fleet street
Swaffield George, Hogshill street

Solicitors.

Cox Peter, East street
Fox Baruch (and clerk to the magistrates) East street
Russell Thomas, East street

Stone Masons.

Brinson Benjamin, Hogshill street
Brinson George, Clay lane
Chambers Robert, Fleet street
Gill John, Hogshill street
Gollop John, Fleet street
Payne Catherine, East street

Straw Hat Makers.

Brinson Zilpah, Fleet streetNewman Mary, North street
Oliver Harriett, Church street
Nossiter Mrs. Church street

Surgeons.

Daniel James, Hogshill street
Daniel Thos. Palmer, East street
Webb John S. Hogshill street

Surveyors-Road.

Cox Benjamin, East street
Cox John, East street

Tailors.

Brooks William, North street
Cox Thomas & Son, Fore place & Fleet street
Cox William, East street
Dawe Charles, Fleet street
Goldsworthy John, Hogshill street
Hine Joseph H. Fleet street
Larcombe James, Hogshill street
Larcombe Samuel, North street
Marsh Thos. St. Mary well street
Oliver William, North street
Stembridge Simeon, Fore place
Wilkins Henry A. Fleet street

Thatchers.

Paul Henry, Newtown
Tuck William, Green

Timber Merchants.

Lane David, Short's lane
Park Thomas, Meerhay

Tin Plate Workers.

Canterbury Charles, North street
Meech John, North street
Oliver Daniel, Fore place

Watch & Clock Makers.

Farnham Thomas, North street
Guy Jasper, Little street
Hallett Richard D. Hogshill street
Peach Henry, Fore place

Wheelwrights.

Hoare Richard, Meerhay
Shiner James, North street

Wine & Spirit Merchants.

Barratt John, Hogshill street
Hine Philip, East street

COACHES to:

BRIDPORT, Royal Mail, at 5 p.m.
TAUNTON, Royal Mail, at 8 a.m.

CARRIERS to:

LONDON and all parts of the West, Ford & Co.'s Waggons from the Red Lion, tues. and sat. at noon
BRIDPORT, Henry Lathey, daily
DORCHESTER, Hayward, tues, and frid.; Lawrence, same days
TAUNTON, BRIDPORT AND YEOVIL, Crocker's Vans, tues. thurs. and sat.