Stoke Abbott - Miscellaneous information
 

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Stoke Abbott parish contains the main village street with a number of areas and roads off it and a number of outlying small hamlets often not much bigger than the farms many have now become - Anchor Lane, Berry, Blackney (inc Venn Farm), Brimley (inc water mill), Brimley Coombe (or Coombe), Buck's Head, Butts, Chart Knolle, Croft, Four Ashes, Glitney, Green Lane, Higher Monkwood, Horsehill (inc old flaxmill), Laverstock, Norway Lane, Stoke Knapp, Stoke Water (inc old Beaminster Union workhouse), Swilletts, Wall and Yardley

Following the retirement of the last Rector (Rev Peter D May) on 30 Apr 1982, the Benefices of Stoke Abbott and Netherbury & Salway Ash were assimilated into the Beaminster Area Team Ministry, which already comprised the Benefices of Beaminster, Broadwindsor with Burstock & Seaborough, Melplash & Mapperton, Toller Porcorum & Hooke and South Perrott, Mosterton & Chedington.

Stoke Abbott Parish Council was combined in 1974 with Bettiscombe, Marshwood and Pilsdon to form Upper Marswood Vale (Group) Parish Council as a result of the reorganistion of local government which also saw the local District Council (Beaminster Rural) absorbed into a new West Dorset District Council

 

Inspirational photographs of Stoke Abbott and the surrounding countryside (on Flickr.com)

Stoke Abbott & Lewesdon Hill from Stoutcob/Water Mint
Stoke Abbott, Dorset, England from Dorsetbays

 

STOKE ABBOTT WAR MEMORIAL (like Beaminster served rather than died?)

1914-1918

 

[Richard] George MEECH [161190, Gunner, 5th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery]

Son of Frank and Mary Ann [nee Staples] Meech, christened 4 Jun 1893 in Stoke Abbott, in 1901 a 7 year-old school boy resident in Stoke Abbott with Stoke Abbott-born parents and siblings Frank (43 farm labourer) and Mary Anne (34) Alfred James (12 stone mason's labourer) Ethel Mary (10 school girl) Elizabeth Ann (5 school girl) and Charles W F (2), in 1911 a 17 year-old steel works crane driver resident at 64 Albert Street, Llanelly with his Stoke Abbott-born uncle George Staples (49 steel works teamer) his wife Sarah (48) and children David (25 tin plate works fireman) Arthur (19 tin plate works fitter's mate) Edgar (16 steel works engine driver) Stanley (14 scholar) and Mary (11 scholar), enlisted Aberdare, died 26 Oct 1918, buried VI.C.46 Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, Pas de Calais

 

George BAKER

{? Could be son of Joseph and Emma [nee Saint] Baker, born 1883 in Greenham, Somerset, in 1901 ?, in 1911 a 28 year-old mason's labourer resident in Drimpton with his Wayford-born parents Joseph (65 farm labourer) and Emma (67)

 

Alfred AKERMAN [ACKERMAN]

Son of Levi and Mary Ann [nee Elliott] Ackerman, born 1884 in Broadwindsor, in 1901 a 16 year-old ironmonger's errand boy resident in Stoke Abbott (next door to his parents) with his Broadwindsor-born brother Sidney (18 mason's labourer), in 1911 ?

 

Wilfrid [John] SWAFFIELD [16538, Private, 1st Bn, Dorsetshire Regiment]

Son of John and Mary Jane [nee Bagg] Swaffield, born 1884 in Bridport, in 1901 a 6 year-old school boy resident at (the New Inn), Stoke Abbott with his Netherbury-born father John (37 inn keeper) and Loders-born mother Mary Jane (35) Bridport-born siblings Frederick (13 mason's mortar boy) Lucy (11 school girl) Emily (9 school girl) and Stoke Abbott-born siblings Hilda (4) and Christina (2), in 1911 a 16 year-old farm labourer resident at the New Inn, Stoke Abbott with John (48 inn keeper) and Mary Jane (45) and Stoke Abbott-born siblings Chrisey (Christina) (12) William (9) Lilly (8) Louis (6) Reginald (4) and Winnifred (2), died 04 Feb 1917, buried B.42 Beaumont Hammel, Somme

 

George [Cole] WAKELY [472898, Rifleman, 1st/12th (County of London) Bn (The Rangers), London Regiment, ex 24689 Somerset Light Infantry]

Son of James and Elizabeth Cole [nee Davy] Wakely, christened 5 Apr 1875 in Loders, in 1881 ?, in 1891 a 15 year-old resident in Stoke Abbott with his Stoke Abbott-born father James (50 agricultural labourer) Loders or Bradpole-born mother Elizabeth C (54) and Stoke Abbott-born brother John J (9), in 1901 a 25 year-old stone mason resident in Norway Lane, Stoke Abbott with James F (61 farm labourer) and Elizabeth (64), in 1911 a 35 year-old farm labourer resident in Stoke Abbott, resident of Beaminster on enlisting, killed 07 Oct 1916, commemorated Pier and Face 9C, Thiepval Memorial, Somme

 

John WAKELY

[EITHER John James - son of James and Elizabeth Cole [nee Davy] Wakely, christened 7 Aug 1881 in Stoke Abbott, in 1891 a 9 year-old resident in Stoke Abbott with his Stoke Abbott-born father James (50 agricultural labourer) Loders or Bradpole-born mother Elizabeth C (54) and Stoke Abbott-born brother George C (15 mason's labourer), in 1901 a 20 year-old journeyman carpenter boarding at Brick Yard, Hamworthy Junction with the Maker family, in 1911 a 29 year-old carpenter resident in Hamworthy Junction with his Wimborne-born wife Alice Maria (31) and Hamworthy-born son Leslie John George (2)

OR John Charles - son of Frederick George and Ellen [nee Swaffield] Wakely, born 1893 in Stoke Abbott, in 1901 a 7 year-old resident in Stoke Abbott with his Somerset-born father Frederick George (46 district road surveyor) Beaminster-born mother Ellen (42) and Stoke Abbott-born siblings Frederick WIlliam (5) and Reginald George (2), in 1911 a 17 year-old draper's appentice resident in Stoke Abbott with Frederic

 

Sidney WEBBER [9982, Private, 1st Bn, Dorsetshire Regiment]

Allegedly born 1894-1895 in Stoke Abbott, in 1911 resident in Chilton Cantelo as Sidney Charles Carrot born Stogumber though probably born 1897 in Watchet and registered as Burge, resident in West Coker at time of enlistment at Beaminster, died 12 Jul 1916, buried II.D.7 Etretat churchyard, Seine-Maritime - aunt Emma [nee Foan] Guppy of Stoke Abbott, step father Robert Carrott and mother Eliza [nee Burge, married 1899] Carrott of West Coker

 

Harold WOOD [27418, Private, 6th Bn, Dorsetshire Regiment]

Son of Amos and Catherine Bussell [nee Clake] Wood, born 1895 in Luppitt, in 1901 a 5 year-old resident at Vale House Farm, Marshwood with Farway-born father Amos (43 farmer) and Sidbury-born mother Catherine (36) and brother Walter Edward (16 farmer's son) Honiton-born brother Percy John (15 farmer's son) Luppitt-born siblings Colin George (12 farmer's son) Alice Maud (11 scholar) Edmund James (10 scholar) Ernest (9 scholar) Membury-born Ethel May (3) and Marshwood-born Victor James (1), in 1911 a 16 year-old dairy worker resident at Colmer, Marshwood with his widowed mother Catherine (47 dairy woman) Waletr (26 dairy man) May (13 school girl) and Victor (11 school boy), resident in Beaminster when enlisting at Bridport, died 24 Jul 1917, buried IV.A.27 Brown's Copse Cemetery, Roeux, Pas de Calais

 

Colin [George] WOOD

Son of Amos and Catherine Bussell [nee Clake] Wood, born 1888 in Luppitt, in 1891 a 2 year-old resident at Sharcombe Farm, Luppitt with Farway-born father Amos (32 farmer) and Sidbury-born mother Catherine (27) and brother Walter Edward (6 scholar) Honiton-born brothers Percy John (5) and John Giles (4) and Luppitt-born sister Alice Maud (?m), in 1901 a 12 year-old farmer's son resident at Vale House Farm, Mrashwood with Amos (43 farmer) Catherine (36) Walter Edward (16 farmer's son) Percy John (15 farmer's son) Alice Maud (11 scholar) Luppitt-born Edmund James (10 scholar) Ernest (9 scholar) Harold (5 scholar) Membury-born Ethel May (3) and Marshwood-born Victor James (1), in 1911 a 22 year-old butcher's assistant boarding in South Street, Bridport with the Banger family

1939-1945

 

Alfred CLARKE

 

1798 LANDOWNERS

PROPRIETOR

OCCUPIER

ADNEY Mrs

HARDY George

ADNEY Mrs

STONE Daniel

ARUNDLE Mr James E

CHICK Benjamin

BAKER  George Esq

HOPKINS James

BARRATT Joseph WAREHAM John

BRERETON Rev John

FORSEY Richard

BRYANT Mrs

WELLMAN Benjamin

BULLEN Simeon Esq

BULLEN Simeon Esq

CONWAY Mr William TUCKER William

COX Mr Daniel

COX Mr Daniel

COX  Samuel Jnr Esq

COX  Samuel Jnr Esq

COX Samuel Jnr Esq SEYMOUR John

CROWE Rev William

HOPKINS Rev MM

DANIEL Mrs

DANIEL Mrs

DORCHESTER The Earl of

BULLEN William

DORCHESTER The Earl of

WELLMAN Benjamin

FOLLETT Mr

GAME Robert

FORSEY Richard

FORSEY Richard

FORSEY Sarah

FORSEY Sarah

FOWLER Thomas

FOWLER Thomas

GALPIN Matthew

GALPIN Matthew

GIBBS Samuel

GIBBS Samuel

LEE Mr

WAKELY William

LOVE Mrs

WARREN William

NURTON Robert

NURTON Robert

RUSSELL Mr John

HAWKER James

SANSOM Mrs

HANCOCK Richard

SCOTT Mr

CONWAY John

SEALE Mrs

SEALE Mrs

SEYMOUR Edward

SEYMOUR Edward

SMITH Mr Thomas SMITH Mr Thomas
SMITH Mrs UDALL John

STRICKLAND John

STRICKLAND John

SYMES Richard

SYMES Richard

SYMES Mr Richard SYMES Mr Richard

SYMES Mr John

SEYMOUR John

WARD Widow

WARD Widow

WELLMAN Mr Benjamin

WELLMAN Benjamin

WINTER Mr James

HOPKINS Thomas

WOODCOCK Robert

NURTON Robert

 

1831 JURY LIST  (residences shown with contemporary spellings)

NAME(S)

RESIDENCE

BUSINESS

QUALIFICATION

COOMBES Charles Abbott

Street

Linman

Poor rates

GALE Thomas

Horsehill Farm

Yeoman

Poor rates

GIBBS George

Street

Clothier

Freehold

HAMILTON John

Street

Yeoman

Poor rates

HANN Arthur

Street

Linman

Freehold

HANN George

Street

Carpenter

Freehold

HANN William

Street

Carpenter

Freehold

PEACH John

Laverstock Farm

Yeoman

Poor rates

PROSSER Jonathan

Street

Mason

Freehold

SAMPSONE George & Henry

Swelleiotts Farm

Yeoman

Poor rates

SEYMOUR John

Chartnole Farm

Yeoman

Poor rates

SWATRIDGE William

Brimley Mills

Miller

Poor rates

SYMES Henry

Street

Thatcher

Freehold

TETT Job

Glitney Farm

Yeoman

Freehold

TETT John

Brimley Farm

Yeoman

Poor rates

TUCKER John

Coome Farm

Yeoman

Poor rates

WHEADON Harry

Street

Innkeeper

Poor rates

1831 ELECTORS

FREEHOLDER'S NAME

RESIDENCE

BUSINESS

OCCUPIER'S NAME

BISHOP Thomas

Stoke Abbott

Tailor

Thomas BISHOP

BULLEN William F

Bristol

__ BARRETT

CLARE Manasseh

Stoke Abbott

Labourer

Manasseh CLARE

CONWAY Robert

Beaminster

Linen-Draper

John TUCKER

COOMBS Charles

Beaminster

Millwright

C A COOMBS

COX  Samuel

Beaminster

Esquire

John SEYMOUR

DANIEL Thomas P

Beaminster

Surgeon

Thos. Hussey

DAVIS or DAVY John

Castleton

Dairyman

John SEAL

ELLIOTT Robert

Stoke Abbott

Yeoman

H WHEADON

GALPIN Matthew

Sturminster Marshall

Yeoman

Robert ELLIOTT

GIBBS George

Stoke Abbott

Clothier

George GIBBS

HAND [HANN] Arthur

Stoke Abbott

Arthur HAND [HANN]

HANN George Snr

Stoke Abbott

Carpenter

   George HANN Snr   and another

HANN George Jnr

Stoke Abbott

Carpenter

George HANN Jnr

HANN William

Stoke Abbott

Carpenter

William HANN

HELLIAR Henry

Stoke Abbott

Dairyman

John MEECH

MILLS Richard

Beaminster

Butcher

        Richard MILLS        and another

ORCHARD Abraham

[Monkton] Wild

Yeoman

Richard. SAMSON

PROSSER Jonathan

Stoke Abbott

Mason

Jonathan PROSSER and another

SEAL Robert

Stoke Abbott

Carpenter

Robert SEAL

SMITH Edward

Charmouth

John COOMBS

SMITH Henry

Stoke Abbott

Yeoman

Henry SMITH

STAPLE Isaac

Stoke Abbott

Labourer

Abr. WAKELEY

SYMES Henry

Stoke Abbott

Thatcher

Henry SYMES

SYMES Joseph

Stoke Abbott

Surgeon

Thomas GALE

TATCHELL Job

Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset

Mrs PEACH

TETT Job

Stoke Abbott

Yeoman

Job TETT

WARD David

Netherbury

Butcher

David WARD

WELLMAN Christopher Bridport _ HAMILTON

WINTER James

Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset

Esquire

Wm. SWATRIDGE

WOODCOCK Robert

Burton Bradstock

Brewer

J, HARWOOD

 

1921 ELECTORAL ROLL

NAME

RESIDENCE

Parl'tary

Local

ACKERMAN Ernest

Cottage

R

-

ACKERMAN Frank

Blacksmith's shop

R

O

ACKERMAN Mary Ann

Cottage

O

O

ANDREWS Thomas David

The Union

R

R

BALSON William Henry

Chartnole House

R

O

BARTLETT George

Cottage

R

-

BARTLETT Henry

Cottage

R

O

BARTLETT Charlotte

Cottage

HO

HO

BARTLETT Levi

Cottage

R

-

BARTLETT Matilda

Cottage

O

O

BARTLETT William

Cottage

R

-

BOWDITCH John

Manor Farm

R

O

BOWDITCH Jane

Manor Farm

HO

HO

BOWDITCH John

The Beeches

R

O

BOWDITCH Kathleen

The Beeches

HO

HO

BOWDITCH Samson

Manor Farm

R

O

BOWDITCH Robert Barrett

Land - Res: North Bowood, Netherbury

-

O

BUCKLAND Ellen (Miss)

Cottage

O

O

BUGLER Harry Guy

Venn Farm

R

O

BUGLER Ellen Agnes

Venn Farm

HO

HO

BURROWS William Henry

Laverstock Dairy

R

O

BURROWS Amy Gertrude

Laverstock Dairy

HO

HO

BUSSELL Ben

Blackney Farm

R

O

BUSSELL Lucy

Blackney Farm

HO

HO

CADDY Thomas

Villa

R

O

CADDY Fanny

Villa

HO

HO

CADDY Isabella

Cottage

O

O

CADDY Abigail Jane (Miss)

Cottage

O

O

CANTERBURY John George

Cottage

R

O

CANTERBURY Emma

Cottage

HO

HO

CANTERBURY John

Cottage

R

O

CANTERBURY Sydney

Cottage

R

O

CANTERBURY George Benjamin

Cottage

R

O

CANTERBURY Ada Rebecca

Cottage

HO

HO

CHURCHILL Ernest Edward

Stoke Knapp

R

O

CHURCHILL May Louisa

Stoke Knapp

HO

HO

CHURCHILL James

Cottage

R

-

CLARKE Alfred Samuel (a)

New Inn

NM

-

CLARKE Beatrice Lucy

New Inn

O

O

COX Alfred George

The Union

R

O

CURTIS Charles Jesse Pattimore

Cottage

R

O

CURTIS Helen

Cottage

HO

HO

DANIELS John

Brimley Cottage

R

O

DANIELS Henrietta Bessie

Brimley Cottage

HO

HO

DAVEY Elizabeth

Cottage

O

O

DENSLOW Edith

The Mill

O

O

DORMAN Julia (Miss)

Lower Farm

O

O

DUNHAM Mary Ann

Cottage

O

O

DUNHAM William

Cottage

R

-

DUNSBY Abner

Cottage

R

O

DUNSBY Jane

Cottage

HO

HO

ELLIOTT Fanny

Cottage

O

O

GALPIN Charles Critchell

The Stores

R

O

GALPIN Mary Ann (Miss)

The Stores

O

O

GARRETT Eli

Horse Hill Farm

R

O

GARRETT Mary

Horse Hill Farm

HO

HO

GATES Lucy (Miss)

The Laurels

O

O

GILLINGHAM Frederick James

The Dairy

R

O

GILLINGHAM Mary Jane

The Dairy

HO

HO

GILLINGHAM John Henry

Coombe Farm

R

-

GODDARD Edward Joseph

Stoke Knapp

R

O

GODDARD Annie Maria

Stoke Knapp

HO

HO

GREEN Francis Bowden

Bucks Head

R

-

GREEN Sydney

Bucks Head

R

O

GREEN Ellen

Bucks Head

HO

HO

GUPPY Robert

Cottage

R

O

GUPPY Emma

Cottage

HO

HO

GUY Herbert Tom

Yardley

R

O

GUY Ada Louisa May

Yardley

HO

HO

HALLETT Charles

Cottage

R

O

HALLETT Mary Ann

Cottage

HO

HO

HALLETT Ernest William

Cottage

R

O

HALLETT Edgar Charles

Cottage

R

-

HALLETT Frederick George

Cottage

R

-

HALLETT Herbert Charles

Cottage

R

-

HALLETT Reginald Albert

Cottage

R

-

HANSFORD Elizabeth Ann

Cottage

O

O

HANSFORD John

Blackney

R

-

HANSFORD Joseph Edwin

Blackney

R

O

HARRIS Richard

Land - Res: Monkwood, Marshwood

=

O

HAWKES Lionel Hugo

The Bungalow

R

O

HAWKINS Archibald Stephen

Blackney

R

O

HAWKINS Stephen

Cottage

R

O

HAWKINS Emily

Cottage

HO

HO

HAWKINS George Park

The Bakery

R

O

HAWKINS Susan

The Bakery

HO

HO

HINCHLIFFE Ellen (Miss)

The Mount

O

O

IVORY Ellen

Cottage

O

O

LANCASHIRE George

Blackney

R

O

LANCASHIRE Frances

Blackney

HO

HO

LANCASHIRE Blanche Mary (Miss)

Blackney

O

O

LANCASHIRE Jack

Cottage

R

O

LATHAM Beatrice Rhoda (Miss)

The Union

O

O

LATHEY William John

Barrowfield Dairy

R

O

LENTHALL John Henry

Laverstock Farm

R

O

LENTHALL Alice Hannah

Laverstock Farm

HO

HO

LENTHALL Eli John Henry

Laverstock Farm

R

O

LOARING William George

Cottage

R

O

LOARING Mary Ann

Cottage

HO

HO

LUMBY Emma

The Mount

O

O

MEECH Alfred Thomas

Cottage

R

-

MEECH Charles William Frank

Cottage

R

-

MEECH Frank

Cottage

R

O

MEECH Mary Ann

Cottage

HO

HO

MEECH Tom

Stoke Abbott

R

O

MORGAN Annie

Cottage

O

O

NORRIS William Henry

Cottage

R

O

NORTHOVER Kate

Cottage

O

O

NOTTON Elizabeth (Miss)

Cottage

O

O

ORCHARD James

Land - Res: Monkwood, Marshwood

-

O

OLIVER John

Cottage

R

O

PILE John Francis (+)

Land - Res: Misson Farm, South Wraxall, Wiltshire

-

O

RENDELL Charles

Cottage

R

O

RENDELL Annie Agnes

Cottage

HO

HO

RENDALL [Rendell] Henry

The Croft

R

-

RENDELL Reginald

Stoke Abbott

R

O

RENDELL Samuel

The Croft

R

O

RENDELL Flora

The Croft

HO

HO

RENDELL Samuel

Anchor Inn

R

O

RENDELL Florence Louisa

Anchor Inn

HO

HO

RODGERS George Hamilton

House

R

O

RODGERS Mary Jane

House

HO

HO

RODGERS Sarah

Cottage

O

O

ROWE Edwin

Laverstock Dairy

R

O

ROWE George Walter

Swellett's Farm

R

O

ROWE Jane

Swellett's Farm

HO

HO

ROWE Walter William

Swellett's Farm

R

-

ROWLAND James Walter

The Mount

R

O

ROWLAND Winifred Ada

The Mount

HO

HO

SANSOM Sarah

Cottage

O

O

SANSOM Mary (Miss)

Cottage

O

O

SLADE Albert Edward

Horse Hill Farm

R

O

SLADE Fanny

Horse Hill Farm

HO

Ho

SLADE Henry

Cottage

R

O

SMITH Alexander John (a)

Lower Farm

NM

-

SMITH Elizabeth

Lower Farm

O

O

SMITH Edward Collard

Higher Farm

R

O

SPARROW Hugh Cuthbert Beridge

Chartnole House

R

O

SPARROW Evelyn Lucy Margaret

Chartnole House

HO

HO

SPENCE Hamilton Robert

Hill View

R

O

SPENCE Constance Alina

Hill View

HO

HO

SPILLER George

Higher Dairy

R

O

SPILLER Annie Forsey

Higher Dairy

HO

HO

SPILLER George

Glitney Dairy

R

O

SPILLER Kate Caroline

Glitney Dairy

HO

HO

STAPLES James

Anchor Inn

R

-

STONE Arhur John

Coombe Farm

R

O

STONE Mary Ann

Coombe Farm

HO

HO

SWAFFIELD Tom

Cottage

R

O

SWAFFIELD Ellen

Cottage

HO

HO

SWAFFIELD Frederick James

Cottage

R

O

SWAFFIELD Alice Maud Vicary

Cottage

HO

HO

SWAFFIELD John

New Inn

R

O

SWAFFIELD Mary Jane

New Inn

HO

HO

THORNE Ethel Vivienne (Miss)

The Mount

O

O

TOLLEY John

Stoke Knapp

R

O

TOLLEY Baldwin Pedard

Brimley Cottage

R

O

TOLLEY Mary

Brimley Cottage

HO

HO

TOOGOOD Edgar John

Wall Farm

R

O

TOOGOOD Eva May

Wall Farm

HO

HO

VINCENT Daniel James

Brimley Dairy

R

O

VINCENT Amy

Brimley Dairy

HO

HO

VIRGIN Heny Tom

Brimley Mill

R

O

WAY John William

Cottage

R

O

WAY Emily Jane

Cottage

HO

HO

WAKELEY [Wakely] Frederick George

Fern Cottage

R

O

WAKELEY [Wakely] Ellen

Fern Cottage

HO

HO

WAKELEY [Wakely] Frederick William

Fern Cottage

R

-

WAKELEY [Wakely] Harry

Cottage

R

O

WAKELEY [Wakely] Margaret

Cottage

HO

HO

WAKELY John Matthew Coombs (+)

Land - Res: Beaminster

-

O

WARREN Charles Larcombe (+)

Land - Res: Horn Park, Broadwindsor

-

O

WATERHOUSE Clara (Miss)

The Mount

O

O

WEAVER John

Lewesdon Cottage

R

O

WEAVER Eliza

Lewesdon Cottage

HO

HO

WEAVER Walter (a)

Lewesdon Cottage

NM

-

WELCH Elizabeth

Cottage

O

O

WELCH Herbert John

Cottage

R

-

WOLMINGTON [Woolmington] George

Post Office

R

O

WOLMINGTON [Woolmington] Jane

Post Office

HO

HO

WOLMINGTON [Woolmington] Frederick George

Post Office

R

O

WOLMINGTON [Woolmington] Ethel Mary

The Mount

HO

HO

WYATT Robert John

Brimley Farm

R

O

WYATT Dorothy Mary

Brimley Farm

HO

HO

HO  Qualification through husband's occupation                                                                                  NM  Naval or Military voter                                                                                                                  O    Occupation qualification                                                                                                              R    Residence qualification                                                                                                                (+)  County Council elections only                                                                                                           (a)  Absent voter

 

THE ANNUAL REGISTER for 1858 regarding the murder in Stoke Abbott of Sarah Guppy

[July] 23. The Stoke Abbott Murder. - At the Dorchester Assizes James Seal was indicted for the wilful murder of Sarah Ann Guppy, at Stoke Abbott, on 30th of April last.

The deceased was a young woman, 23 years of age, the illegitimate daughter of Rebecca Guppy, and both lodged with a person named James Seal, who, although bearing the same name, was not related to the prisoner. Under the same roof lived a family named Hutchins [John and Rachel]. The cottages were divided. They were called Puckshorne [Puckhams in Anchor Lane]. It was a very solitary spot. These people were all in a humble condition of life, working as field labourers, and were consequently absent from home the greater part of the day. The deceased, however, was weakly, and not in good health, and did not labour like the others, and she usually remained at home. She bore a very good and chaste character. The prisoner lived with his father [Job SEAL], about 400 yards from these cottages. He was 19 years of age. He was in the habit of frequenting the cottage of Hutchins, and was there shortly before the murder was committed, and had said he wanted some money to provide his father's family with provisions, as they had not any. Now, this was not true, as the father was in comparatively easy circumstances. Something, however, took place which induced Mrs. Hutchins to tell him not to come to her house again. Most of these persons came from the fields to dinner, and left again about one o'clock. The deceased, however, remained at home, and was the only person there. Between 2 and 3 o'clock an old woman, named Cornick [probably Jane, nėe Cox], came down to a garden she had near these cottages, and having been there a short time, she heard a scream from Guppy's cottage, which she knew to be the voice of the deceased, and she called out, "Sarah Guppy," but received no answer. In a minute after hearing the screams she saw the prisoner come out of the cottage where Guppy lived, and close the door after him, and he was in such a position that he must have seen the woman Cornick. He at first crouched down under some palings, as if he intended to walk that way, but, as it would seem, upon seeing Cornick he changed his mind and went towards her. She asked him what he had been doing with Sarah Guppy. He said, "Nothing." She asked him what Sarah Guppy had been doing. He said, "Peeling potatoes." Now, that would appear to be untrue, as it was evident she had been doing nothing of the kind. The old woman saw that there was blood on his hand, and that his finger was cut. She asked him how he had done that, and he said, " Cutting grass." She also saw that there was blood on his clothes. The prisoner and the old woman then proceeded together towards the village, but having walked about 400 yards they separated. The old woman went on, but soon afterwards she heard an alarm of fire, and she returned to Puckshorne cottages, from which she could see that the fire proceeded. She reached there in about three-quarters of an hour from the time she had left her garden. When she got to the cottages they were nearly destroyed, and the body of the unfortunate girl was lying in the garden with her throat cut. The first alarm of fire had been given about 4 o'clock. Seal (not the prisoner), hearing the cry of fire, ran to his cottage, and upon going in he saw the body of the girl lying there, with something over her face. He did not suspect that she was dead, and, being anxious to save his property, he went upstairs to get some things down. When he came down again he went to the body, and saw that the poor girl was dead. The body was then carried into the garden. From all appearances it would seem that the fire had commenced in a building adjoining the cottages. Somewhere near the door of Seal's cottage a key was found, which was the key of the door of Hutchins's house, and which Mrs. Hutchins had given Sarah Guppy to take care of for her while she was at work. In the ashes of the house, near the body, they found three knives, one of which closely resembled a knife which the prisoner had been seen using. It was clear that the girl had been murdered, and the theory was, that the person who had committed the murder had set the premises on fire in the hope that the body would be burnt, and so all suspicion of murder be removed. The, question, therefore, was whether the prisoner was the person who had committed this great offence. The prisoner was seen about half-past 4 o'clock at some distance from the spot, and a person named Paul [possibly Samuel, from the Union Workhouse] walked by his side for some distance, but neither party spoke; however, Paul saw that there was blood on the prisoner's trousers. The prisoner was seen in a field shortly afterwards engaged in rubbing some yellow earth on his jacket and trousers. A constable named [William] Lavender came up, and asked the prisoner how he accounted for the blood on his trousers, and he said he had cut himself in cutting a stick with a knife he had obtained from a carter in the road. He had, however, previously told the old woman, Cornick, that he had cut his finger in cutting grass. The prisoner, in answer to inquiries by the constable, said that he had not been near these cottages since 9 o'clock that morning, that he had been at work at Broadwinsor, and had had two quarts of cider given him, and that he did not know much what had taken place afterwards. That was proved to be untrue, because he had been at work at the village of Stoke Abbott all that morning, the distance from the village to these houses not being more than a quarter of a mile. When he left his work he had not a mark of blood upon him.

Numerous witnesses deposed to the facts stated by the counsel for the Crown; and the jury, after short deliberation, found the prisoner Guilty, and he was sentenced to death.

Before execution he made a full confession of his guilt.

03.02.2013                                                                            HANNfamily                                                                      Next Back