Dorsington - Down-Ampney

Pages 78-84

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.

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Dorsington (St. Peter)

DORSINGTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Stratford-on-Avon, Upper division of the hundred of Kiftsgate, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 6 miles (S.W.) from Stratford; containing 141 inhabitants. The manor was held at the Domesday survey by Roger de Belmont, from whom it descended to his eldest son, afterwards Earl of Warwick. The parish comprises about 1200 acres, chiefly arable: the soil is a stiff clay; the surface is generally level, and a spring of remarkably pure water, called Udwell, supplies the whole of the district. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 12. 19. 2.; patrons, E. H. Fielden and Wm. Lawrance, Esqrs. The tithes were commuted for land in 1776; the glebe altogether comprises 230 acres, valued at 199 per annum. The church was burnt down in 1754 by an accidental fire, which also destroyed the greater part of the village; and was rebuilt of brick, with a small tower: the chancel has a painted window, presented by the Rev. R. Lawrance, the rector, who has also repaired the glebe-house.

Dorsington, Little.See Bickmersh.


Dorstone (St. Peter)

DORSTONE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Hay, hundred of Webtree, county of Hereford, 8 miles (E. by S.) from Hay; containing 539 inhabitants, and comprising 3787 acres, of which 550 are common or waste. Fairs for horned-cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs, are held on April 27th, May 18th, Sept. 27th, and November 18th. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with the greater portion of the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at 7. 11. 10.; patron, the Rev. Thomas Prosser. The great tithes have been commuted for 120. 10., and the vicarial for 402. 10.; the glebe contains 26 acres, with a glebe-house. The Rev. Meredith Maddy, in 1643, bequeathed certain rentcharges, producing in the aggregate 63 per annum, for the support of a school, which is open to children of the parishes of Dorstone, Clifford, and Michael-Church. A castle formerly stood within the parish, at Snowdhill; some remains are still visible.

Dorton (St. John the Baptist)

DORTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Thame, hundred of Ashendon, county of Buckingham, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Thame; containing 151 inhabitants. This place is situated near the bases of three hills, whereof the principal is Brill. It is supposed to have derived its name from the celebrity of its mineral springs, which, though they afterwards fell into neglect, and for many years remained unnoticed, are said to have been well known to the ancient Britons, and to have obtained for the place the appellation of Dwr-ton, or "the town of the waters." That it is of considerable antiquity, is evident from the site of an encampment on the summit of a hill on the southern border of the parish, and which, though neither its precise form nor extent can now be distinctly traced, appears to have been of British or Roman origin. The parish comprises 1400 acres. Dorton House, erected by Sir John Dormer, Knt., and modernised and greatly improved by Sir John Aubrey, Bart., in 1784, has a very interesting appearance: the park, situated in the north-eastern part of the parish, and formerly an inclosure for deer, is contiguous to Bernwode Forest, and was once probably a part of it. In the grounds is the chalybeate spring, the efficacy of which in the cure of many disorders has, within the last few years, attracted a progressively increasing number of visiters; a pump-room and baths have been erected on an extensive scale, with which are connected a reading-room and a ball-room, and 12 acres of the park as a pleasure-ground. The spring issues from a small orifice in the upper grounds of Dorton Park; the iron absorbed by the water amounts to more than one-fifth part of its solid contents, which is a far greater proportion than is contained in any other chalybeates in this country. The neighbourhood abounds with objects of interest; there are many pleasing rides, and in the village of Brill adjoining are ample accommodations for visiters. The living is a perpetual curacy, united to that of Ashendon: the church is a plain edifice, with a tower, and a spire of wood surmounted by a cross covered with lead.


DOSTHILL, a hamlet, in the parish of Kingsbury, union of Tamworth, Tamworth division of the hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick, 3 miles (S.) from Tamworth. Here is a chapel of ease to the vicarage of Kingsbury.


DOTTON, an extra-parochial liberty, in the union of St. Thomas, hundred of East Budletgh, Woodbury and S. divisions of Devon; containing 17 inhabitants. It comprises 214 acres of land.

Doughton, with Dunton.See Dunton.

DOUGHTON, with Dunton.See Dunton.


DOUGLAS, an ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Eccleston, union of Chorley, hundred of Leyland, N. division of Lancashire, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Wigan. This district is formed of part of the township of Wrightington, and the whole of the township of Parbold, and lies on the north side of the river Douglas, where the scenery is very beautiful. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Eccleston, with a net income of 134. The church is an ancient structure, supposed to have been built in the 10th century; it was restored and repaired in 1845, and has a campanile tower. There is a Sunday school.

Doulting (St. Aldelme)

DOULTING (St. Aldelme), a parish, in the union of Shepton-Mallet, hundred of Whitestone, E. division of Somerset, 2 miles (E.) from Shepton-Mallet; containing 666 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Frome to Wells, and comprises by measurement 3449 acres: the land abounds with freestone of excellent quality for building, which is extensively wrought, and from which some stone is said to have been raised for the erection of the cathedral of Wells. The living is a vicarage, with the livings of East and West Cranmore and Downhead annexed, valued in the king's books at 29. 12. 6.; patron and impropriator, Col. Horner. The great tithes of the parish have been commuted for 190, and the vicarial for 410; the glebe contains 72 acres, with a glebe-house. The church is a spacious cruciform structure, with an octagonal tower and spire rising from the intersection, and stands on the site of a chapel or oratory, erected by the monks of Glastonbury, in honour of St. Aldelme, who was distinguished for his learning and piety, and died Bishop of Sherborne in 709: in the churchyard is a singularly perfect cross, upon which are carved all the emblems of the Crucifixion. In digging the foundations of the parsonagehouse, numerous skeletons were discovered, indicating its having been the cemetery belonging to the ancient chapel. There is a fine spring, formerly called St. Aldelme's Well.


DOVENBY, a township, in the parish of Bridekirk, union of Cockermouth, Allerdale ward below Derwent, W. division of Cumberland, 2 miles (N. W.) from Cockermouth; containing 246 inhabitants. This place was called also Dolphinsby, from Dolphin, son of Alward, whose descendants were seated here till the reign of Henry III. The township comprises 1720 acres, of which 141 are common or waste. Sir Thomas Lamplugh, in 1609, endowed an hospital for four widows with the tithes of Redmain, now worth 50 per annum, 4 of which, for reading prayers at the hospital, are paid to the master of a grammar school founded by the same individual, and endowed with land and tithes producing 33 a year. The school was built in 1708, by voluntary contributions: the buildings of the hospital have entirely fallen into decay, and nothing remains but the site. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for 108, and the vicarial for 35. The Rev. Thomas Harvey, an eminent divine, and author of a translation of the Old Testament with Hebrew notes, still preserved among his manuscripts, was born here in 1740.

Dover-Court.See Harwich.

DOVER-COURT.See Harwich.

Doverdale (St. Mary)

DOVERDALE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Droitwich, Upper division of the hundred of Halfshire, Droitwich and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 3 miles (N. W. by W.) from Droitwich; containing 54 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name from the British words Dur, water, and Dal, a valley, which are faithfully descriptive of its situation in a well-watered vale. The parish comprises by measurement 739 acres; the soil is chiefly a stiff clay, with some beds of marl at a small depth below the surface. The substratum is mostly red sandstone, of which a quarry is wrought for building purposes. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at 5. 3. 6., and in the patronage of Mr. and Mrs. Curtler: the tithes have been commuted for 200, and the glebe comprises 39 acres, with a glebehouse. The church is a small ancient edifice without tower or spire, pleasantly situated in a plain, among orchards; it was repaired, and a gallery erected, in 1832, at the expense of the rector, patron, and chief landowners.


DOVERHAYS, a hamlet, in the parish of Luckham, union of Williton, hundred of Carhampton, W. division of Somerset; containing 203 inhabitants.

Doveridge (St. Cuthbert)

DOVERIDGE (St. Cuthbert), a parish, in the union of Uttoxeter, hundred of Appletree, S. division of the county of Derby, 1 mile (E. by N.) from Uttoxeter; containing 816 inhabitants. This manor, which had belonged to Edwin, Earl of Mercia, was held by the prior of Tutbury, under Henry de Ferrers, at the time of the Domesday survey; and in 1275 the priory obtained the grant of a market to be held here, but it has been long discontinued. In 1552 the manor and Doveridge-Holt were granted to Sir William Cavendish. In 1792, Sarah, the lady of Sir Henry Cavendish, was created Baroness Waterpark, of the kingdom of Ireland, which title, with the baronetcy and the Doveridge estate, were inherited by her eldest son, Richard, Baron Waterpark. The parish is situated on the river Dove, and comprises 4266 acres of fertile land; about 57a. 2r. are on the west side of the Dove, which has in several places changed its course. The Churnet, from Staffordshire, has its confluence with the Dove in the hamlet of Eaton. The noble mansion of Doveridge Hall, built about 1770, occupies a bold ridge above Dovedale, and commands an extensive view towards Staffordshire, with the town of Uttoxeter: about a mile distant is Lord Waterpark's farming establishment of Upwood House. Clownholme is a handsome residence, picturesquely seated above the vale.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at 12. 2. 1., and in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire: the tithes belonging to the living have been commuted for 366. 7. The church stands on an eminence above the Dove, and has a nave, chancel, and aisles, with a tower and spire; considerable portions are in the early English style: it was repaired and improved in 1842. In the churchyard are part of an ancient cross, and a curious old yew-tree. The vicarage is a large and beautifully-situated mansion, south of the church. There are places of worship for Primitive Methodists and Wesleyans. Isaac Dance, in 1786, bequeathed 40s. a year towards the support of a school, which annuity is vested in Lord Waterpark, who contributes 30 in addition annually: a schoolroom was built in 1787, when Sir Henry Cavendish gave 100. Several small charities are appropriated to the poor.

Dovor, or Dover

DOVOR, or Dover, one of the cinque-ports, a borough and market-town, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, locally in the lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 15 miles (S. E. by S.) from Canterbury, and 71 (E. S. E.) from London; containing 13,872 inhabitants. The ancient British name of the town was Dwyr, derived from Dwfyrrha, a steep place; by the Romans it was called Dubris, and by the Saxons Dofra and Dofris, which in Domesday book are softened into Dovere. In the time of the Romans Dovor was a sea-port, and at one period was surrounded by walls having ten gates. It is supposed that Julius Csar first endeavoured to effect a landing here, and that, finding the coast dangerous, and the cliffs covered with warriors, he landed about eight miles eastward. The Romans attached much importance to this position, and the celebrated Roman Watling-street, which passed over Barham Downs to Canterbury, in its course towards the western part of the kingdom, commenced here. At a very early period the Saxon invaders made themselves masters of the castle, and constructed works which are yet in existence. Edward the Confessor granted the town a charter of privileges, and in his reign the institution of the cinqueports is supposed to have taken place, Dovor being one of them. Earl Godwin was governor of the castle, and considerably strengthened its fortifications. After the battle of Hastings, many of the natives fled to Dovor Castle, as an impregnable fortress, which was however taken by the Conqueror, who put the governor to death, and destroyed the town by fire. According to Domesday book, Dovor equipped 20 vessels annually for the king's service, in consideration of being exempt from all tolls and taxes, and of various other privileges. It has been ascertained, beyond doubt, that King John resigned his crown to Pandulph at a small house of the Knights Templars on the western heights of Dovor, and afterwards retired to Swingfield: the foundations of the house are still to be seen, and in a fine drawing by Harry Lee, taken in or about 1530, and preserved among the Cotton manuscripts in the British Museum, the walls of the building are shown. In 1216, Louis the Dauphin, having landed at Stonar, near Sandwich, and captured several strong places, besieged Dovor Castle, but was unable to take it; and in the reign of Edward I. a great part of the town, with some religious houses, was burnt by the French, who were nevertheless soon driven back to their ships. According to the town records, Dovor, in the reign of Edward II., was divided into 21 wards, each of which was compelled to provide, at its own charge, a ship for the king's service, and in return the town had the exclusive privilege of a licence for a packet-boat, to convey passengers to and from France.


In 1382, Anne, daughter of the Emperor Charles IV., and afterwards consort to Richard II., arrived here. When the Emperor Sigismund disembarked at Dovor, in 1416, on a visit to his cousin, Henry V., he was formally met at the water's edge by the Duke of Gloucester and several of the nobility, with drawn swords, in order to oppose his landing, should the object of his visit be of a hostile nature. In 1520, the Emperor Charles V. was met here by Henry VIII., when both monarchs proceeded to Canterbury, and there kept the festival of Whitsuntide. Henry, aware of the importance of Dovor, then called the "key of the kingdom," contributed 80,000 towards the erection of a pier, which was completed in the reign of Elizabeth, when the harbour likewise underwent improvements. Its more effectual preservation is to be ascribed to the charter of James I., under which were appointed eleven commissioners (the lord warden of the cinque-ports, the lieutenant of the castle, and the mayor of Dovor, being the principal), as special conservators of the port, under the title of "Warden and Assistants of the Port and Harbour of the Port of Dovor." The powers of the commissioners have been repeatedly enlarged by acts passed in subsequent reigns: their jurisdiction extends one mile east of the mouth of the harbour. In 1814, on the restoration of Louis XVIII. to the French throne, his Majesty George IV., then Prince Regent, accompanied that sovereign to Dovor; and in the same year, Alexander, Emperor of Russia, and Frederic William, King of Prussia, with the veteran Blucher and other distinguished foreigners, landed here on a visit to the Prince Regent: at this place also they embarked on their return. In 1835, on the King and Queen of the Belgians embarking hence, Her present Majesty, accompanied by the Duchess of Kent, walked down to the quay from the Ship Hotel, and bade them adieu on board the packet.

The town is built in a semicircular form, in a fine valley between stupendous cliffs of chalkstone, from the summits of which the view of the sea in front, with the opposite coast of France, is very beautiful. That part of tion of visiters, is situated just above high-water mark, between the castle and the pier; the old part of the town is irregular, and the streets are narrow, but tolerably well paved, and lighted with gas, under an act passed in the 3rd of George IV. A theatre and assemblyrooms were erected in the year 1790. On the parade are warm, cold, and shower baths of salt water, with every accommodation for sea-bathing; also good libraries and reading-rooms; and a very excellent museum was established about 1837, in the old Guildhall. Many respectable families frequent the town, it being a wateringplace of great celebrity; the environs are delightfully picturesque, and there are several fine views.

The castle is of very ancient foundation, being attributed by vulgar tradition to Julius Csar, and by respectable antiquaries to Claudius. It is situated on a lofty eminence, about half a mile northward from the town, approached by a bold ascent, and occupies a site of 30 acres; it consists at the present time of two courts, defended by wide ditches, and communicating with the towers within by means of subterraneous passages. The lower court, excepting on the side next the sea, is surrounded by an irregular wall called the curtain, and flanked at unequal distances by numerous towers of different shapes and dates, which, during the lapse of years, have all undergone very considerable alterations. That which Godwin erected, in the time of Canute, has long been removed, nor was its site known for ages, until recently discovered in making a new road. Chilham, or Caldescot Tower is the third from the edge of the cliff, and at the back of it was a postern upon the vallum which joined the Roman and Saxon works, with a subterraneous passage into the castle, through which Stephen Pincester is said to have led the reinforcement that enabled Hubert de Burgh successfully to withstand the Dauphin, in the reign of John. This tower was built by Fulbert de Lucy, whose family came over with the Conqueror, and was originally named after the manor of Chilham, the possessors of which are still bound to keep it in repair: Caldescot having succeeded to the command, it subsequently went by his name. It is the debtors' prison for the cinque-ports: all writs from the superior courts at Westminster are directed to the lord warden, as constable of Dovor Castle, and persons taken thereon are committed to this prison, in which the Bodar or keeper resides. Fiennes or Newgate Tower, called also the Constable's Tower, has been used ever since the Conquest as the governor's apartments, and was occupied some months by their late Majesties, then the Duke and Duchess of Clarence. It stands upon the site of a more ancient tower, said to have been built after a design by Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, who was employed by the Conqueror in making designs for castles, and superintending their erection. Crevignor, Craville, or The Earl of Norfolk's Tower is opposite the north entrance of the quadrangle of the keep, and near it is a subterraneous passage leading to a vault which is sufficiently capacious to contain a large garrison, and is protected by a draw-bridge, moat, and round tower: the tower in the ditch, and the adjoining subterraneous works, are supposed to have been constructed in the reign of John, by Hubert de Burgh, then constable of the castle, who bravely defended it, in 1216, against the aggressions of the French. Fitzwilliam's, or St. John's Tower is the next in order; it was named after Adam Fitzwilliam, who accompanied the Conqueror to England, and who received from that monarch the scarf from his own arm at the battle of Hastings, as a reward for distinguished bravery. Avianches, or Maunsel's Tower stands in an angle formed by the curtain wall, and is one of the noblest relics of the Norman towers; it was named after two constables, or governors, the latter of whom was lord warden in the reign of Henry III. The first floor was a kind of vault, arched with stone, and open in front; and in the wall, which is very thick, is a gallery or passage ascended by stone steps, where archers could range one above another, and through small apertures command the ditch on either side, as also the approaches to it from the curtain. Through the gallery is an ascent to the platform over the top of the vault, partly surrounded by a wall, and having a spiral stone staircase, which leads to the summit of the tower. Near the entrance denominated the Palace Gate, is a stately fabric, named in the reign of Edward IV., Suffolk Tower, from De la Pole, Duke of Suffolk; adjoining is the old arsenal tower, and further on were the king's kitchen and other offices. All this side of the castle presents a modern appearance, the back part having been cased over, and the front being hid by barracks erected in 1745. The Keep, or Palace Tower, built after a design by Gundulph, stands near the centre of this court. The entrance, originally on the east, is now on the south side; it opened by a grand portal, now walled up, into the state apartments, which were in general lofty and spacious, and, as was usual in castles in earlier days, on the third story. The staircase has two vestibules, and was guarded at different heights by three strong gates. Ascending by the vestibule on the right hand, is a room apparently designed for the warden of the first gate, and opposite is another, probably the chapel, adorned on every side with beautiful arches, richly embellished with zig-zag and other work. Above this is a third, similarly ornamented, and under the chapel and the first vestibule is the dungeon, in which at different times persons of distinction have been confined. In the walls of the keep are galleries with holes, through which an enemy might be fired at, but so constructed as to protect the defenders. The second floor was intended for the use of the garrison, and the ground floor for stores. Part of Dovor Castle is used for a gaol. In the north angle a well, for ages arched over, has been lately found, which is probably that which Harold, before his accession to the throne, promised on oath to deliver up to William, Duke of Normandy; there are four other wells, each 370 feet deep, within the Saxon lines of defence.

The more recent works are, batteries mounted with heavy ordnance, casements in the chalk rock, magazines, covered ways, and subterraneous passages, the last having accommodations for 2000 men, light and air being admitted through holes cut in the chalk, and other apertures extending to the front of the cliff. The old road to Deal having become so hollow as to afford protection to an enemy approaching the castle from the town, a new one was constructed under the direction of the Board of Ordnance, to the top of the hill. Near the edge of the cliff is a curious piece of brass ordnance, twenty-four feet in length, cast at Utrecht in 1544, and called Queen Elizabeth's pocket-pistol, having been presented to her by the states of Holland: it carries a twelve-pound shot, and it has been affirmed that, if loaded well and kept clean, it would carry a shot to the French shore. Dovor Castle was formerly extrajudicial, but as several of the franchises are lost or in disuse, the civil authorities have of late years exercised a jurisdiction within its limits, independently of the lord warden: it is still extra-parochial. During the war with France, the western heights of the town were strongly fortified upon the modern system; the works are so admirably arranged, and the position so advantageous, that, whilst a small garrison would suffice for its defence, a large army can be disposed of within the walls. There are three entrances to the heights, one by Archcliff Fort, another by the New Military road, and the third from the centre of the town, by a staircase of very peculiar construction, called the Grand Military Shaft. The immediate entrance to the harbour is protected by Archcliff Fort, westward of the pier, and Amherst Battery, to the east of the north pier head. The whole line of defence round the town is complete, from the castle to Shakspeare's Cliff, so called from the sublime but somewhat exaggerated description given by the great dramatist, in his tragedy of King Lear. There is a military hospital of recent erection at the west side of the town. An hospital of ancient foundation, called the Maison Dieu, was converted into a victualling-office in 1555: this was purchased by the late corporation, and converted into a spacious common-hall, with a sessions-house, jury-rooms, and other suitable offices; underneath which is the prison, capable of containing from 70 to 80 prisoners. The common-hall is embellished with various portraits of kings and queens of England, and wardens of the cinque ports, and with a splendid portrait of the Duke of Wellington.

As a port, Dovor derives its chief importance from its proximity to the continent, and, at a large annual expenditure on the harbour, receives and protects ships not exceeding 500 tons' burthen. This expenditure is defrayed out of revenue applicable to the reparation and improvement of the harbour, arising from land granted by royal charter, or devised by will, and let on lease; and from the duty paid on tonnage, &c. During the war, the port supplied the service with many cutters and some transports; the docks are well constructed, and there are several good storehouses and a custom-house. Some works for the enlargement of the harbour were completed in 1846. The passage to and from the continent, especially Boulogne, is a lucrative source of employment to the inhabitants; steam-packets sail daily. The foreign trade is very trifling, but the coasting somewhat considerable, and many vessels are employed in the fisheries. A large quantity of grain is shipped for the London market, and there are several corn-mills in the vicinity; at Buckland and River, near the town, are paper-mills, and some business is done in the tanning of leather. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday, and there is a fair on Nov. 23rd. The South-Eastern railway has its terminus here: the line diverges from the London and Brighton railway at Redstone Hill, Reigate, and proceeds south of Tonbridge, by Ashford, Hythe, and Folkestone, to Dovor; the whole line from Redstone Hill being 60 miles in length, and from London 87. In the construction of this work, much difficult labour was encountered. At Shakspeare's Cliff is a double tunnel, 1430 yards long, 12 feet wide, and 30 feet high, with a solid wall of chalk 10 feet in thickness between the apertures: it has 7 shafts, 180 feet in depth from the surface, and 6 feet in diameter; and 7 galleries, each 400 feet in length, leading from the tunnel to the face of the cliff. The line, after leaving this tunnel, is continued in the direction of Folkestone by an embankment three-quarters of a mile in length, and sixty feet above the sea.

Seal of the Harbour.

The first charter of incorporation was bestowed by Edward I.; another was offered by Charles II., but not accepted. The old charter was probably surrendered to Charles II., and in 1684 a new one was granted, according to the provisions of which, the corporation consisted of a mayor, deputy-mayor, recorder, twelve jurats, thirty-six common-councilmen, a chamberlain, town-clerk, and other officers. By the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76, the government is now vested in a mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors. The borough was formerly divided into twenty-one wards, afterwards altered to thirteen, and finally, by the above-mentioned act, reduced to three: the municipal and parliamentary boundaries are co-extensive. The recorder, mayor, and late mayor, are justices of the peace, and the total number of magistrates is nineteen. The town returns two members to parliament: the right of election was in the freemen at large, upwards of 2300 in number; but by the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the former non-resident electors, except within seven miles, were disfranchised, and the privilege was extended to the 10 househelders of an enlarged district, comprising 1319 acres, and now forming the borough. A court of record of unlimited extent was granted, by charter of confirmation in the 20th of Charles II., to Dovor, as well as to the rest of the cinque-ports: the recorder is sole judge; the town-clerk issues the processes. Sessions for the town and liberties are held four times a year, in the new sessions-house: the criminal jurisdiction of Dovor, as one of the cinque-ports, extends to Margate, St. Peter's, Birchington, and the vill of Wood, in Thanet, and Ringwould, near Deal. Petty-sessions are held weekly. The powers of the county debt-court of Dovor, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Dovor.

Corporation Seal.

The town formerly consisted of the parishes of St. James the Apostle, St. Mary the Virgin, St. John, St. Martin the Greater, St. Martin the Less, St. Nicholas, and St. Peter; of these, the five last no longer exist, and the churches have been demolished. The parish of St. James the Apostle contains 3057 inhabitants, and that of St. Mary the Virgin 10,159. The living of St. Mary's is a perpetual curacy; net income, 287; patrons and impropriators, the Parishioners. The church was built by the convent of St. Martin's, in the town, and has some portions in the Norman style: the old churchyard where Churchill, the poet, was buried, was sold in 1846 for 145. The living of St. James' is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at 4. 17. 6.; net income, 145; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church belonged to the castle, and to this day the courts of Loadmanage, for the appointment and regulation of the pilots, and the court of admiralty for all the cinque-ports and their members, are held in it. According to tradition, Lucius, the first Christian British king, built a church within the castle, and endowed it with the duties of the port. Of this edifice, the chapel is demolished; but the steeple, in which several Roman bricks are visible, and the principal parts of the external walls, forming the body of the church, are yet standing: it was dedicated to St. Mary, and subsequently called "the Lady of Pity's Chapel." There is still a chapel in the castle, for the garrison. Trinity district church is in the later English style, with two turrets and spires; it is situated in Stroud-street, in the parish of St. Mary, was built at an expense of 6250, and consecrated in Sept. 1836: the living is in the gift of the Archbishop. There are places of worship for General and Particular Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Unitarians, and Roman Catholics. Among the schools is one for the maintenance and education of forty-five boys and thirty-four girls, founded in 1789, and supported by voluntary contributions, in addition to an endowment of 900 five per cent. stock. An endowment of about 150 per annum is applied to the relief of poor invalid persons. The union of Dovor comprises 23 parishes or places, and contains a population of 24,522. A priory of Secular canons was founded here in the seventh century, which, in 1140, was changed into a Benedictine priory; the revenue, at the Dissolution, was 232. 1. 5. The remains of a preceptory of the Knights Templars at Swingfield, near Dovor, afterwards occupied by their successors, the Knights of St. John, are now a farmhouse; the eastern or oldest part was the chapel, the east wall of which has three windows of early English architecture, and three Norman ones above them: various other fragments of the original edifice are still apparent, and the remains of foundations to a considerable extent may yet be traced in different parts of the farmyard. Dr. White Kennet, Bishop of Peterborough, who died in 1728; and Earl Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of England, who died in 1764, were natives of the town. Dovor gave the title of Baron to G. J. W. Agar Ellis, only son of Viscount Clifden, who was raised to the peerage in 1831, and died in July 1833, leaving male issue.

The Cinque-Ports, or five havens, viz., Hastings, Sandwich, Dovor, Romney, and Hythe, so named from their supremacy over the other ports opposite the coast of France, still retain that designation, although two other ports, Rye and Winchelsea, have been added. They are not mentioned collectively in Domesday book, but Dovor, Sandwich, and Romney, only as privileged ports, whence it has been inferred that at that period there was no community in them; yet John, in his charter to the cinque-ports, expressly refers to charters in the possession of the barons, granted by various kings, from the time of the Confessor. Hastings, which, together with Hythe, was added by William the Conqueror, has always been esteemed the first port in precedency; Rye and Winchelsea were added after the Conquest, but more in the character of appendages than principal ports, and are designated "the two Ancient Towns." Most of the coast from the north side of the Isle of Thanet to Hastings is within the jurisdiction of the cinque-ports. They had two great courts: the less one, called the Court of Guestling or Brotherhood, was held annually on the Tuesday after St. Margaret's day, at New Romney, and consisted of seven delegates from each of the cinque-ports, including Winchelsea and Rye, with a speaker and other officers; the summons is still issued annually, but a full court has not been held for many years. The great court for all the ports and members, called that of Shepway, was held by the king's summons before the lord warden at Shepway Cross, near Hythe, but is now only formally convened on the election of a new warden. The offices of lord warden of the cinque-ports and constable of Dovor Castle are now invariably united. The warden has a right of warren over a very considerable tract, called the Warren, and appoints warreners to preserve the game. The freemen of the cinque-ports are styled "Barons," and in former times enjoyed great dignity, being ranked amongst the nobility of the kingdom. Before the formation of the two houses of parliament, the members were called over in the following order, viz., on the first day the lower class, as burgesses and citizens; on the second, the knights; and on the third, the barons of the cinqueports and the peers; whence it may be concluded that the barons ranked with the peers, and above the knights, and that these two superior orders, previously to the investiture of knights and citizens with legislative authority, composed the national council. The barons of the cinque-ports have the honour of bearing canopies over the king and queen at the coronation, where none but noblemen (except certain of the royal domestics) and privileged persons form part of the procession; and at the feast after the coronation, they dine at a table on the right hand of the sovereign.

Although the services rendered by the cinque-ports have ceased with the alteration in naval affairs, yet for a long period they were eminently useful. During several reigns they fitted out fleets which formed a great portion of the royal navy, and were engaged in many renowned actions. By their aid John, who had been obliged to flee to the Isle of Wight, recovered his kingdom; and soon afterwards Hubert de Burgh, with "forty tall ships" belonging to the ports, defeated a French fleet of eighty ships, carrying reinforcements for Louis the Dauphin. In the reign of Edward III., the shipping of the ports conveyed the armies of that warlike prince to France, and guarded our coasts; and in the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., the "Ports' Navy" was frequently employed on similar services. The records which mention the number of vessels that were, or ought to have been, furnished by the cinque-ports and their appendant members, vary; but the general number (before large ships were introduced into the navy) which these ports furnished was fifty-seven, manned and equipped at their own cost, for the space of fifteen days, and if their services were needed longer, they were victualled and paid by the king. Hastings provided twenty-one ships, armed and manned with twenty-one men each, besides a boy; Dovor the same number; Sandwich, five ships; New Romney, five ships; and Hythe, five ships; all equipped as above; making the whole number of mariners 1254. The last charter granted to the cinque-ports was in the 20th of Charles II., who not only confirmed the preceding charters, but conferred on the freemen additional privileges. This was confirmed by James II., and under it the ports are now governed.

Dowdeswell (St. Michael)

DOWDESWELL (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Northleach, hundred of Bradley, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 4 miles (S. E. by E.) from Cheltenham; containing 249 inhabitants. It comprises 2000 acres, which are arable, with the exception of about 400 acres of woodland. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 13. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the family of Rogers: the tithes have been commuted for 416. 4., and the glebe comprises 21 acres, with a glebe-house. The church is a cruciform structure, built in 1577, with a tower and spire rising from the intersection. There are remains of several ancient fortifications, and some leaden coffins have been found. Near Andover's Ford a battle was fought between Charles I. and the parliamentary forces.


DOWLAND, a parish, in the union of Torrington, hundred of North Tawton, South Molton and N. divisions of Devon, 5 miles (N. N. E.) from Hatherleigh; containing 244 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1362 acres, of which 435 are common or waste. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, 76; patron and impropriator, Sir S. H. Northcote, Bart., whose tithes have been commuted for 125.

Dowles (St. Andrew)

DOWLES (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Kidderminster, hundred of Stottesden, S. division of Salop, 1 mile (N. by W.) from Bewdley; containing 80 inhabitants. It comprises 680 acres: coal is found, and there is a mine of excellent fire-clay. The living is a, discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at 4, and in the gift of the Heirs of the late Samuel Skey, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for 136.

Dowlish-Wake (St. Andrew)

DOWLISH-WAKE (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Chard, hundred of South Petherton, W. division of Somerset, 1 mile (S. E. by S.) from Ilminster; containing 374 inhabitants. This parish, including that of West Dowlish, with which it was consolidated in 1828, comprises 1232a. 3r. 8p.; and contains extensive quarries of limestone, which is raised both for building and for burning into lime. A canal has been formed, to open a communication with Chard, and thence to the Bristol Channel. The living is a discharged rectory, with that of West Dowlish annexed, valued in the king's books at 8. 9. 9., and in the gift of W. Speke, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for 360, and the glebe comprises 34 acres. The church was repewed, and a gallery erected, in 1837, at the expense of the parishioners; it contains a monument to the family of Wake.

Dowlish, West (St. John the Baptist)

DOWLISH, WEST (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Chard, hundred of Abdick and Bulstone, W. division of Somerset, 1 mile (S. E. by S.) from Ilminster; containing 31 inhabitants. The living is valued in the king's books at 3. 7. 6.: the church has been demolished, and the inhabitants attend the church of Dowlish-Wake.

Down (St. Mary)

DOWN (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Crediton, hundred of North Tawton, South Molton and N. divisions of Devon, 2 miles (N. E.) from Bow; containing 407 inhabitants. It comprises 1858 acres, of which 327 are common or waste: the soil is partly a stiff clay and partly of lighter quality, on a substratum of rock; the surface is very hilly, and the low lands are watered by the river Yeo. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 12. 13. 4.; net income, 233; patron, B. Radford, Esq. The church has a Norman doorway, and some curiously carved oak seats, and some ancient tiles in the same style.


DOWN, a parish, in the union of Bromley, hundred of Ruxley, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 2 miles (S. by W.) from Farnborough; containing 444 inhabitants. It comprises 1654 acres, of which 254 are in wood. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with the small tithes; net income, 105; patron and appropriator, the Rector of Orpington. The church contains various memorials of the Petlees, lords of the manor from Edward III. to Henry VIII., and whose sumptuous mansion has been converted into a farmhouse. There is a place of worship for Particular Baptists.

Down-Ampney.See Ampney, Down.

DOWN-AMPNEY.See Ampney, Down.