Dorset Record Society

Please note that the Dorset Record Society is no longer part of DCM/DNHAS and is now an independent society.The address for DRS is now: c/o Dorset History Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester, DT1 1RP

DRS was set up in the 1960s with the aim of publishing original manuscripts to make them accessible to the general reader.

A full list of Dorset Record Society publications available in 2018 appears below. These may be ordered from the above address.

Vol. 19   Maps and Survey of Purbeck 1585, by Ralph Treswell.

Vol. 18   Three Tudor Surveys, 1684-1584, edited by June Palmer       

The Dorset manors of Lytchett Minster, Durweston cum Knighton and Okeford Fitzpaine were all owned by Sir Thomas Kitson of Hengrave, Suffolk, in the late sixteenth century. This volume brings together the surveys of the manors that he commissioned and which were later dispersed to archives in Dorset, Suffolk and Norfolk.

The surveys reflect the differences between the three East Dorset manors and how the underlying geology influenced local farming: the dispersed settlements on the heath of Lytchett Minster, the open fields and downland sheep grazing at Durweston cum Knighton and the inter-locked enclosed fields at Okeford Fitzpaine.

A broad ranging introduction highlights the key themes of the surveys: inclosure of common land, the techniques of sixteenth century surveying and the management of the Kitson family estates. In part this is achieved through comparison with later estate documents and maps which allow much of the written surveys to be plotted and individual pieces of land to be identified.

The texts are presented in translation from Latin, with a series of maps, colour plates and a comprehensive index. The volume has a hard cover and coloured dust jacket.

Vol. 17      The Sherborne Almshouse Register, 1437-1866, edited by Ann Clark.

Hardback with jacket. £12.50. The register includes foundation and endowment documents, surveys of lands, governance decisions and bequests from benefactors. In addition, two registers were compiled listing elections of brethren and admissions of over eight hundred almspeople from 1582 till the 1860s many of which record their possessions.

Vol. 16    Birth, Marriage, Death and Taxes: Lyme Regis Censuses, 1695-1703, edited by Judith Ford.  

Hardback with jacket. £10.50. The book reproduces in full all the Marriage Duty Act censuses and assessments for Lyme Regis and Colway, with an index of names, and is of particular value to the family historian






Vol. 15    Dorset in Wartime, the Mass Observation Diary of Phyllis Walther of Blandford, 1941-1942, edited by Robert and Patricia Malcolmson.   

Hardback with jacket. £10.50. Phyllis Walther worked during the war for the WVS as a volunteer when compiling her Mass Observation Diary. She was responsible for the welfare of evacuees, particularly for providing clothing for children and displaced civilians.






Vol. 14        Dorset Quarter Sessions, 1625-1638, edited by T. W. Hearing and S. E. Bridges. Hardback. £10.00. The earliest surviving Order Book for Dorset Quarter Sessions records the administrative business of the county as well as the criminal cases (theft, violence, bastardy, begging, etc.) heard by the courts.  This publication summarises the entries in English and is comprehensively indexed by place and personal name.

Vol. 13        Farming in Dorset, 1758 and 1787-1805, edited by J.H. Bettey.

Hardback re-print, £12.50. James Warne’s diary is a remarkably comprehensive snap-shot of the life, work and attitudes of a respectable tenant farmer before agricultural improvement. It is set alongside the letters of George Boswell whose working life as a tenant farmer saw many agricultural changes.   









Vol. 12        The Diary of William Whiteway of Dorchester, 1618-1635, edited by Jude James and J.H. Bettey. Introduction by D. Underdown. Hardback re-print, £12.50. Whiteway was the son of a leading Dorchester merchant and a friend and associate of John White, the rector of Holy Trinity and a founder of the Massachusetts Bay Company, who turned Dorchester into a model Puritan stronghold in the generation before the Civil War.