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The manor of Ogres was possessed from shortly after the conquest by the Moy[g]ne family until, in the reign of Henry VI, it came to the Stourton’s of Somerset and many other places. In 1557 the manor was occupied by Lord Charles Stourton who Hutchins in his first edition describes as “this unfortunate nobleman.” Maybe; but not so unfortunate as two guests “one Hartgill and son” who the good lord caused to be beaten with clubs and then had their throats cut. Nor was he as unfortunate as the four servants who were ordered to commit the crime and then had to bury the body in a hole in the cellar 15’ deep. He was of course found out and after a spell in the tower was hanged at Salisbury along with the four servants. One suspects he would have been let off had not the four servants been involved. A peer of the realm may be forgiven much, his servants less so. In the event he appealed to Queen Mary who “though he was a Roman catholic…” could not “be prevailed upon to make any other alteration in the sentence than to allow him an halter of silk in respect of his quality.” Interestingly in Hutchins 3rd edition there is a note that Queen Mary sent a reprieve but that it was “eluded by the Sheriff”. What the source for this was is not given. The church being more forgiving of his crimes than the Sheriff, it allowed him to be buried in Salisbury cathedral.

On the 7th March 1831, at a time when John Martin was working at Owermoigne, James Salmon and three other excise officers discovered 50 tubs of foreign brandy in the village. Perhaps inadvisedly they loaded them on a waggon and accompanied by a carter and boy headed towards Dorchester. At Warmwell Cross a gang of smugglers to the number of 40 and upwards attacked the excise men in what was described as a desperate affray and carried off the brandy. Despite a £100 reward for information it appears never to have been recovered.

Of the Owermoigne inclosure little is known. The bill and act were introduced into parliament in 1829 and Kain records that it was finally enrolled in 1846 – seventeen years later. I believe this is an error. The quarter sessions records do not show it to have been enrolled with them at any time and I cannot find any records at DHC concerning the inclosure. There are however a number of newspaper notices from which we can discover that work began in July 1829 with the sole Commissioner being Edward Thomas Percy, a local land surveyor. The tithing [it was not a parish] was over three thousand acres [1] but the size of the village itself was relatively small and the available evidence is that the inclosure was completed by 1832 although there are no notices of meetings to confirm this. The inclosure seems to have progressed quite quickly; the roads were laid out by 1829 [although set out again in 1832] and in 1830 Percy published a rather chilling notice,

I Edward Thomas Percy the sole Commissioner appointed in and by an Act of Parliament for inclosing Lands in the Tithing of Ower Moigne within the Parish of Ower Moigne in the County of Dorset,

Do in pursuance thereof, hereby give Notice to all persons whomsoever, Body or Bodies Politic, Corporate or Collegiate interested in the said inclosure, that from the eleventh day of this instant October all Rights of Common in, upon or over the Common Field, Common Down, Common Heath and other Commonable Lands within the said Tithing of Ower Moigne ceased and were for ever extinguished….”

In 1832 the diaries record only two entries and there are none in the 1838 or 1845 diaries.

25th July 1832

Ower Moigne Inclosure To hear objections to Private Roads I met Commnr today to settle Rate &c

26th July 1832

Ower Moigne Inclosure Hearing objections to Private Roads and making Rate of Expenses.

A rare treat for the viewer, a whole page of diary entries.


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1At the time of tithe commutation.