A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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In this section
Ormeresfelt (xi cent.); Dokemeresfeld, Dochemeresfeld (xii cent.); Dogmeresfeld (xiii cent.).
The parish of Dogmersfield is north-east of Odiham and contains 1,731 acres, of which approximately 300 acres are arable land, 900 acres permanent grass, and 500 acres woods and plantations; (fn. 1) the soil is partly stiff clay and partly loam, the subsoil clay and sand. The greater part of the parish consists of Dogmersfield Park, containing about 1,000 acres, which surrounds Dogmersfield House, the seat of Sir Henry Paulet St. John-Mildmay, bart.
This house possibly stands on the site of the Palace which, judging from the many documents dated from here by the Bishops of Bath and Wells, existed in the parish in the 13th century, and possibly earlier.
In 1205 the king ordered wine to be sent to Dogmersfield, ' to be placed in the house of the Bishop of Bath,' (fn. 2) and it was here that Reginald Fitz Jocelin, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and John de Drokensford, another bishop of the same see, died in 1191 and 1329 respectively. (fn. 3)
Henry VI apparently often stayed at Dogmersfield, and the meeting of Henry VII and Prince Arthur with Katherine of Aragon took place here; when the king met his future daughter-in-law, though unable to address each other in an intelligible language, ' there were the most goodly words uttered to each other, in the language of both parties, to as great joy and gladness as any persons conveniently might have.' (fn. 4)
Basingstoke Canal, which passes through this parish, is on the eastern side of the park.
In the north of the parish, close to the canal, is the hamlet of Chatter Alley with Chatter Alley Green, and further down the hill there is another hamlet called Pilcot, a reputed manor in the 17th century; Pilcot Mill is close by on the stream which runs along the eastern boundary. All Saints' Church stands on Tundry Hill between Pilcot and the park; it was built in 1843 by the rector, the Rev. Charles Dyson, and his sister, (fn. 5) to replace a church near Flood's Farm which was built at the beginning of the 19th century, when the old parish church, which stood in front of Dogmersfield House, was pulled down. This church, however, was considered to be in an inconvenient situation, and is now dismantled and overrun with foliage. (fn. 6)
A document of the 16th century records ' Westmyll Mead in Pylcote.' (fn. 7)
In King Edward the Confessor's time, Suein held the manor of DOGMERSFIELD 'as an alod ' of the king, and his successor in possession was Hugh with the beard. (fn. 8) A church and a mill existed in 1086, and the latter was then worth 6s. 6d., while the value of the entire manor was given as 100s.
The manor was apparently shortly afterwards acquired by Ralph Flambard, Bishop of Durham (1099–1133), from whom it passed to Henry I, who granted it to the church of Bath, Godfrey, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1123–36) and his successors. (fn. 9)
In the reign of Henry II there was a dispute about the manor of Dogmersfield between Reginald Fitz Jocelin, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1174–92), who claimed to hold in demesne, and Henry de Tilli, which ended in favour of the bishop, who was confirmed in possession by Henry II. (fn. 10) About the same time Geoffrey de Mandeville appears to have acquired a right in the manor, which his descendant of the same name gave up to William Button, Bishop of Bath and Wells, in 1260. (fn. 11)
Jocelin, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1206–44), obtained a confirmation of his right to the manor from King John in 1207, (fn. 12) and the successive Bishops of Bath and Wells retained possession until the reign of Henry VIII, (fn. 13) when the manor was sold to the king. (fn. 14) Henry appointed Sir John Wallop keeper of the manor and park in 1540–1, and the following year leased the demesne land to Oliver Wallop, brother of Sir John, for twenty-one years. (fn. 15) The manor was granted to Thomas, Lord Wriothesley, first Earl of Southampton, in 1547, by Edward VI, in order to fulfil his father's intentions, (fn. 16) and the second earl inherited and died seised in 1581, (fn. 17) leaving the manor to his eldest son Henry, who died in 1624, leaving a son Thomas aged sixteen. (fn. 18) In 1629 the earl conveyed the manor to Edward Dickenson and William Terry, (fn. 19) probably in trust for William Godson, who had apparently acquired the manor in or before the year 1646. (fn. 20)
William Godson was still holding in 1671, in which year he presented to the church, (fn. 21) but before long he had been succeeded by Edward Goodyer, who died in 1686. (fn. 22) Edward is described on his tombstone as lord of the manor, and according to the same authority he left three children, James, John, and Martha; James and John died childless, and Martha became the eventual heiress; she married at Dogmersfield, in 1702–3, Ellis St. John, who was patron of the living in 1718. (fn. 23) Martha left a son and heir Paulet, who was created a baronet in 1772, (fn. 24) and the second baronet inherited in 1780. (fn. 25) Henry Paulet St. John, son of the latter, took the additional name of Mildmay under the testamentary injunctions upon marrying the heiress of the house of Mildmay, which had become extinct in the male line. (fn. 26) The manor is now the property of the sixth baronet, Sir Henry Paulet St. John-Mildmay, J.P.
Dogmersfield Park was made in the reign of Henry II, when licence was given to Reginald Fitz Jocelin, Bishop of Bath and Wells, to impark his wood, (fn. 27) and in 1228 leave was obtained by his successor Jocelin (1206–44) to increase it by 7 acres of pasture, deer leaps being granted to him in 1227 and 1229. (fn. 28)
The park was further enlarged by 3½ acres which were inclosed ' with a dike and a hedge' by Bishop Jocelin, (fn. 29) and in 1276 the stock of Bishop Robert (1275–93) was increased by a royal gift of '20 live does and brockets ' taken from the royal park of Odiham. (fn. 30) There have been no deer in the park for many years. (fn. 31) In the 16th century the keeper of the park received a salary of £12 a year. (fn. 32) The park contains two pieces of water at the present day, Tundry Pond and Dogmersfield Lake; of these one may possibly represent the fishpond granted to Bishop Jocelin in 1205 before the inclosure of the park. (fn. 33)
In 1257 Henry III granted free warren in the demesne land of his manor of Dogmersfield to William, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and this charter was produced in 1280 as a proof of the right of the bishopric to this privilege. (fn. 34)
The mill mentioned under the Domesday Survey may very possibly have stood on the property later known as Pilcot, for a water-mill is known to have existed here in the 15 th, 16th, and 17th centuries. (fn. 35)
A fair was granted to Robert, Bishop of Bath and Wells, by Edward I in 1278, which was to last for six days, beginning on the vigil of Sts. Ciricus and Julitta (16 June) and on ' the day and on the morrow and for the three following days.' (fn. 36)
John atte Berewe, who died in 1351, possessed land in Dogmersfield, which was inherited by John son of Robert atte Berewe. (fn. 37) John Berewe, presumably the latter, died in 1418 seised of a water-mill and land in PILCOT, held of the Bishop of Bath and Wells as of the manor of Dogmersfield, (fn. 38) so that it seems probable that this property, which was called a manor in the 17th century, was also held by the first John.
George Berewe, who was probably a descendant of the same family, conveyed 'all that tenement and cottage with appurtenances in Pylcott . . . and 8 acres of arable land and pasture with other small tenements and a water-mill in Pylcott' to James Wolveridge in January 1567–8. (fn. 39) In 1591 there was a dispute about the right of Anthony Berewe to these lands, a witness asserting that George Berewe had given up his interest in the property to Anthony. James Wolveridge obtained a quitclaim of the manor of Pilcot from George Berewe in 1611, (fn. 40) but he or his descendants appear to have parted with the property, as Edward Dickenson died in 1630 seised of the manor of Pilcot, the overlordship being vested in the lord of Dogmersfield Manor; Edward left a son James, aged eight, the heir of his property. (fn. 41)
The manor has apparently disappeared, but the name and probably the site is preserved in the hamlet of Pilcot in this parish.
The church of ALL SAINTS is a modern one, with a chancel, nave, north and south transepts, west tower, and an open-timbered south porch. The material of the walling is squared rubble with stone dressings; the style generally is that of the first half of the 14th century. The transepts have stone screens dividing them, from the nave. The furniture of the church is all modern, but several monuments antedate the building. On the south wall is a small rectangular brass engraved with the kneeling figure of a lady before a table on which is a book, and, by the book, an infant in long clothes. From the mouth of the lady issues a scroll with the words: 'Not by merytt but by mercy judge me O Lorde.' Behind her kneel her three daughters. The background is formed by a classic arcade of two bays; between them is a lozenge with the arms of Paulet with the difference of a molet in a crescent quartering Cowdray and Andrewes. The inscription below reads: ' Here lieth Anne the eldest daughter of John Poulett of Herryard Esquyer and wyfe to Nicholas Sutton who died in childbed the viiith of Maye 1590 being of the age of xxviiitie yeres on whose soule God have mercy.' Below this is another inscription: 'The above brass was found in Dogmersfield House in 1904. It is supposed it was taken from the old church of this parish pulled down in 1806. It was placed here in January 1905.' There are other 18th-century and later monuments, chiefly to the members of the St. John-Mildmay family.
There are four bells, one being a very small one dated 1843; the treble of the larger three is by Thomas Mears 1843, the second by Warner 1836, and the third is one of the 15th-century Reading group with the inscription 'Sancta Nicollae' and the marks of a lion's face, cross, and groat.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten cover of 1572 and 1569; a silver paten of 1677 given by William Godson and his wife Elizabeth in that year; a silver chalice of 1842 given by John Taylor Coleridge in 1842; a silver parcel-gilt paten of 1844 and a silver flagon of 1711 given in 1744 by Paulet St. John.
There are four books of registers. The first begins in 1695, and contains baptisms and burials to 1782 and marriages to 1745. The second has marriages only from 1755 to 1791. The third has baptisms and burials from 1783 to 1812, and the fourth marriages from 1792 to 1812. There is thus a gap in the marriage entries between 1745 and 1755.
A church existed in Dogmersfield at the time of the Domesday Survey, and the advowson was granted by the Prior and convent of Bath to Reginald Fitz Joceline, Bishop of Bath and Wells, in 1180, together with an annual pension of 20s. (fn. 42)
The bishop constituted this sum a prebend of Wells in 1215, and in 1239 joined it to the prebend of Wedmore and the church of Mark, making a total annual value of £4. (fn. 43) The contribution was evidently too great a burden upon the rector of Dogmersfield, and in 1208 William Giffard, Bishop of Bath and Wells, ordained that it should cease. (fn. 44) In the valuation of the churches in the diocese of Winchester, however, made in William of Wykeham's time (1367–98), Dogmersfield is returned as contributing a pension of the original amount. (fn. 45)
After the sale to the king the advowson seems to have generally belonged to the lord of the manor of Dogmersfield; but in 1639, and again in 1641, Thomas Hussey, M.P. for Whitchurch, presented; and in 1679 Elizabeth Whelpdale, possibly a widow or daughter of Andrew Whelpdale, rector in 1671, presented to the living. (fn. 46) The lord of the manor is the present patron.
A licence was granted by William of Wykeham about the year 1370 to John Harewell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, to 'confer orders in his chapel at Dogmersfield. (fn. 47)
The poor's land formerly consisted of land forming part of Dogmersfield Park. In 1863 the land was sold, and proceeds invested in £584 8s. consols with the official trustees, producing yearly £14 12s., which is applicable by the rector and churchwardens in the distribution of fuel, clothes, or other articles in kind, and in special cases in money payments for the benefit of the most deserving poor resident in the parish. In 1905 there were thirty-eight recipients of coal and clothing.