|Date of Agreement / Award||
Date of Confirmation of Apportionment
Date on Map
|Scale of Map||
John Martin Valuer
In 1838 Allington was a small parishes, clinging to a separate existence near the town of Bridport. Hutchins in his first edition noted it contained 600 acres 50 houses and 500 inhabitants. A ‘wake’ or fair was held on 22nd July for cheese and ‘pedlary’. The editors of the third edition note that in 1790 there were 113 houses with 687 occupants. Since the rest of their entry is verbatim from the first edition it is likely they got their numbers wrong. In addition to food one of the principal products of the parish and surrounding parishes was hemp. At one time there was a lazar or leper hospital in the parish.
Martin had a strong connection with the area and was to commute the tithe in the slightly more distant [from Bridport] parishes of Symondsbury, Shipton Gorge and Burton Bradstock.
Martin’s connections with Bridport went back a long way and were almost certainly due to the Earl of Ilchester, one of whose ancestors, Wadham Strangways was killed whilst helping to repel a three hundred strong contingent of the Duke of Monmouth’s men when they landed at Lyme Regis in 1685. Martin’s first recorded work was in 1810 when he surveyed the harbour and worked on the turnpike there. He was back again measuring the harbour in 1827,
|5th September 1810||Went to Bridport Harbour by Water with Commissioner 7s|
|26th April 1810||Went to Bridport Respg Loder &c
Received of Mr Templer bill on Bridport Turnpike £32 10s 0d
In April 1827 he was back measuring at Bridport:
|Received of Mr Nicholls for measuring boundaries at Bridport Harbour £3 3s 0d|
as well as surveying the parish for the rector Mr Fox in connection with the tithe [see previous section].
In 1838 Henry Fox was the incumbent at Allington – a perpetual curate but the instrument of apportionment refers to him as the impropriate rector and Hutchins makes the following comment: “in the year 1840 the impropriate tithes were commuted for a rent-charge, then estimated at £190/ 10s., of which the Rev. Henry Fox is the sole owner as well as incumbent.” In other words he had no claim to the tithe by virtue of his being the incumbent; his right to them arose from the fact that at the dissolution of the monasteries a layman had purchased the land at Allington together with the right to claim the tithe.
The instrument of apportionment is the only one that I have come across where there is a composition “For every Acre of Ground customary measure sown with Hemp or Flax the sum of four shillings in lieu of tithe”. Of interest is the term “customary measure” implying that the locals still used customary acres rather than statute. Hemp and flax was of huge importance in Allington: for such a rural community [at the time] the number of farmers and agricultural workers is dwarfed by those involved in the hemp trade. The 1841 census for Allington is fascinating for the range of trades involved. We find spinners, weavers, hemp and flax combers, braiders, hackler’s, rope makers, bag rubbers [sic], bag sewers, milliners, twine cleaners, line makers, bleachers, flax dressers, shoe thread winders, dyers, spoolers, numerous dress makers as well as a lace maker, thread winder straw hat maker, spooler and a warper.
Another points of interest is that “Beasts bred for the plough or pail [sic]” were exempt from the tithe. The original and copy maps are almost identical but not quite. Although the body of both maps are orientated in exactly the same way there is a very noticeable difference in the orientation of the cartouches. That on the original map is angled at approximately 355 ° whilst that on the copy map is orientated due north.
If Compton Vallence has not altered greatly the same cannot be said for Allington. Fully a quarter of the parish has been given over to housing. On the plus side those field boundaries that have survived are the same today as on the tithe map.
Drawn at three chains to the inch there is considerable detail including turnpike toll gates, bridges, a rendering of Allington Hill [ornately named] and a structure that in the census is identified as “Hownsells” Factory. This was itself a major employer of “factory workers,” mostly women and appears to be a complex devoted to the processing of hemp and flax. Now known as North Mills several buildings still survive one of which is listed as a rope walk. Whilst the maps were drawn at 3 inches to the mile there is no evidence of construction lines on the original map and it was not given the TC seal.
The Allington commutation appears to have been accompanied by a simultaneous survey under the Parochial Assessment Act. Even though he had prepared a valuation and map in 1827 someone had decided that a new survey was to be made.
|14th April 1838||Doing a Little to Allington Map|
|16th April 1838||Writing Names of Fields in Allington Map”|
|17-19th April 1838||Making out Fair Valuation of Allington Tithes|
|24th April 1838||Went to Allington with Mr Pyne for Measuring that Parish|
|5th June 1838||Working on Allington Map|
|June Accounts||Paid Bill at the White Lion measuring Allington £9 10s
Paid Chain Man at Allington and boy £3 8s 0d
|26th 27th June 1838||Valuing at Allington , Do and returned Home|
|9th July 1838||Haymaking and Numbering the Allington Map|
|20th 21st July 1838||Working on Allington Particulars|
|23rd 24th 27th 28th 30th July 1838||Working on Allington|
|31st July 1838||Working on Allington in the morning and went to Bere Regis in the Afternoon|
|6th August 1838||Went to Ilminster with Arthur And returned by way of Allington resp rate slept at Bridport|
|7th August 1838||Examining Rate with Mr Tucker and returned home in the evening.|
|13th August 1838||Putting the Office to rights after papering And adding Canvas to the Toller Map writing letters etc and working on Allington Rate|
|20th August 1838||Working on Allington Rate and sent off the same to Allington and working on Downfrome|
|8th November 1838||Mr Nicholetts Journey to Bridport to make affidavit to Value of Field in Allington Dined with the Revd Mr Fox.|
- 9th November 1838 “Allington Rate and Tithes Attending Tithe meeting for Mr Fox agreed at £190 Attending Parish officers on Poor Rate charged 2-2-0”
Although the commutation was completed by 1840 there are further references to Allington in the 1845 diary.
|31st May 1845||Making up Accounts &c Looking into Valuation of Col Michels Lands at Allington and working on Warmwell 1st Class Map.|
|16th June 1845||Under a heading of Received more of Burton Rate £12 7s 2d
Do of Allington £1 10 9d
|20th June 1845||Receiving arrears at Allington and returned Home|
|24th December 1845||Reced Revd Mr Colmers Allington Rate £1 8s 6d|