Court Book

of the Manor of 'Wimborne late Deanery' 1624 to 1689

The Manor Court Book 1624 to 1689 (photo taken by Mike Twomey)

The Manor Court Book is a 17th century manuscript book of 266 pages which was purchased by Dorset Archives Trust for the Dorset History Centre (DHC) in 2019 with generous support from Wimborne Minster Town Council and volunteers from the Minsters Chained Library. It is new to the Wimborne Minster Chained Library for 2023.

Kindly loaned by DHC after excellent repair and restoration work, this manuscript is an important addition to the Chained Library which was founded in the Minster in 1685 and was a public reference library from 1695.

The Book is a record of the proceedings of the manor court and contains the minutes taken at court sessions. It contains details of more than 90 of the courts held in the name of three Lords of the Manor - Thomas Hanham (1625 to 1652), his son John Hanham (1652 to 1662), and his son William Hanham, created Baronet in 1667, (1662 to 1671).

The records are in Latin except for the period between 1651 and 1672, when they were in English during Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth and the early restoration of the monarchy. They cover a variety of local events such as the election of new Officers, Jurors of the Court, attendees and defaulters of attendance, together with offences and local incidents such as violence, wandering beasts, dangerous defects in houses, blocking roads and offences against beer selling regulations.

The book was welcomed into the Library by The Revd Canon Andrew Rowland (Rector of Wimborne Minster), Judith Monds (Head Librarian), Peter Cook (Churchwarden) and some of the Library volunteers on 27th March 2023. The Book was handed over by Jessica Pollard, Conservator at the Dorset History Centre.

The Wimborne Minster Chained Library is open to the public for the 2023 season Monday to Friday mornings and afternoons and the first Saturday morning in the month from Monday 3rd April.

The Group (photo taken by Anthony Oliver) (from the left) Norma Jackson, Library volunteer, Judith Monds, Head Librarian, The Revd Canon Andrew Rowland, Rector, Jayne Twomey, Library volunteer, Peter Cook, Churchwarden, Mike Twomey, Library volunteer, Jessica Pollard and Margaret Turner, Library volunteer

The Chained Library

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