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Parish 57

Date of Agreement / Award

Date of Confirmation of Apportionment


8/11/1844 25/9/1845

Date on Map

Scale of Map


None 6 chains

John Baverstock Knight

John Martin

John Martin

John Baverstock Knight


The road to Dewlish from Cheselbourne. To the right is a similar slope ; the surveyor had to reduce all these fields to the plane. Not easy when the close on the right curves around the bend.

Dewlish was the last commutation that Martin worked on and it is perhaps fitting that he did so with his old colleague John Baverstock Knight and in a parish where the Earl of Ilchester held large amounts of land. Three people were eligible to claim the tithe, the vicar George Hadley, the Earl of Ilchester and John Michel ‘A General in the army.’ For a large parish of just over two thousand acres the amount of tithe was relatively small, one hundred pounds payable to the vicar and three pounds to John Michel. The Michel family had long connections with the parish having lived there for over a century. It is not clear why the Earl received nothing. For generations another family had lived in the village – the Basketts’. This is the same name as the solicitor who came to Evershot from London on the death of Joseph Crew Jennings and it maybe that he was a member of this family

The maps are signed by both men and as at Evershot, the church is not shown only the churchyard. The reason being that although it had a church, at this time Dewlish was a chapelry to the main parish of Milborne St Andrew. Hutchins notes that at one time it had been a separate parish but did not know when it had become subordinate to Milborne St Andrew. The fair held at Milborne St Andrew on the 30th November each year was actually held at Dewlish.

There are many peaceful churchyards in Dorset. The one at Dewlish must surely have one of the best views.

The two landowners in Dewlish apportioned the rent-charge over their whole estates so that individual plots were not apportioned a particular amount. Martin listed Cottage and Gardens in one place and unusually the Church yard is included with other ‘gardens’. It even had it’s own occupier – Samuel Adams.

The power to merge tithes with freehold land was granted as we have seen under the Tithe Commutation Act but does not appear to have been widely adopted. Two later amending acts made it possible for those who held copy or lifehold tenancies to merge their lands and also made it easier for tithes to be merged with land where there was a possible encumbrance [1] on the land. This may be why the last commutation also has two mergers of land whereas none of the earlier ones had any. For once the Earl was not the largest landowner, that privilege belonged to one General John Michel retd. In the agreement he is referred to as General but in the apportionment he is a Colonel. As he was 75 it is unlikely that he gained a recent promotion.

20th February 1845 Went to Dewlish Respg Commutation Matters slept at Waterson
26th February 1845 Working on Dewlish Apportionment
21st February 1845 At Dewlish
26th February 1845 Working on Dewlish Apportionment
1st March 1845 Working on Farming Business of Dewlish Apportionment
13th March 1845 Doing something to the Dewlish Map
15th March 1845 Working on the Dewlish Map
21st March 1845 Working on the Dewlish Commutation Maps
22nd March 1845 Ditto
29th March 1845 Went to Dorchester and sent the Dewlish Apportionment to London
17th April 1845 Working on The Hon Mr Ashleys Valuation of Fordington Estates and sent the Dewlish Apportionment to London a second time
21st July 1845 Arthur Deposited the Dewlish Appn Map Making Dft of Child Okeford Award Journey to Dewlish 1 day ½ £3 3 0
11th August 1845 Dewlish Tithe Meeting Ten o clock. Attendg Commissioner at Dorchester hearing Objections to Rent Charges Mr Knight Also (2 2 0)
9th September 1845 Finishing the Dewlish Maps Arthur and Self

The final entry for the Dewlish commutation turns our attention to a new area of his work which was to occupy his time– the railroads.

10th September 1845 Sent off the Dewlish and Warmwell Engrossments and Maps to London and preparing for Railroad works


List of Commutations under the Tithe Commutation Act

Next  Ports,Road & Rail

1 I see no reason to change the spelling of the nineteenth century.