Extract from:-




Jeremy Harte


The most popular of birds seem to be the cuckoo. There are eight sites in the county named Cuckoo Pound or Pen. The allusion, as has long been recognised, is to a legend of foolish villagers, which circulated by means of chap-books, like that about the Wise Men of Gotham, and became localised at various towns and villages. Wareham is its scene in Dorset :


It was at Wareham that the cuckoo was first heard in the county and strangers frequenting Wareham Spring Fair, formerly held on April 6 th, were wont to confirm this statement, but says my informant, there came an April fair day when the note of the cuckoo was not to be heard, and it also happened that this season’s produce was very late in ripening. The wise men of Wareham decided that the backwardness of the season was to be attributed to the non-arrival of the cuckoo, and they devised a plan whereby the bird should be compelled to become a permanent resident. The following year the cuckoo was both seen and heard at Wareham Fair, and the wise men of the town immediately erected a high fence around the field in which the bird was located. The cuckoo observed this erection with contentment, but when the work had been completed, it flew away. “Oh!” said one of the wise men of the town, “we ought to have made our fence a little higher” The fenced field is not identified, but it may have been the enclosure at the corner of the walls of Wareham known as the Bowling Green ; there were fairs held there.


It was a common saying in Purbeck that the cuckoo comes in time for Wareham Fair, to buy himself a pair of breeches.






Loss of the Wareham and Poole Passage Boat.





THE BOAT left Poole Quay between five and six o’clock on Thursday evening, deeply laden, and besides had on board twelve passengers (two men and ten woman) besides MR. GILLINGHAM of Wareham the owner of the boat, and two boatmen (WM. TURNER AND CHARLES WHITE, Junr.) in all fifteen persons: the wind was, right a head, - between six and seven o’clock it it blew hard, - darkness hastened on, with a thick fog and rain; just as they entered Wareham river (at a place called the first and last boom) the boat ran aground, and, remained athwart the channel, the wind blowing so strong on her larboard side, and ……………. being all …………………. Several times; they perceived their danger and all crowded towards the mast and rigging, the men got aloft, in a few moments she sunk! and the current running against the sails drove all under the water, so that those who had got to the top of the mast for safety were obliged to commit themselves to the mercy of the waves. MR EVERETT of Wareham (the only man who escaped, and by whose humane exertions a poor woman of the name of WHITE was also saved) attempted to swim to the nearest shore, which was scarcely a hundred yards on the Purbeck side, but being incumbered with a great coat and the woman having hold of his ……………preservation so far getting the better of humanity) he had formed the dreadful (tho’ necessary) resolution of shaking her off and leaving her to her fate, but at that moment one of the oars floated just before him, which he eagerly caught at, and placed the woman upon it; and after struggling with the waves for one hour and a half he found himself on the shore with the woman, who was too much exhausted to proceed a step. He hastened immediately to a house and requested their assistance, but they were deaf to his entreaties, he then went to the next house where he obtained it & went on to Wareham, about 2 ½ miles from where he landed, when the humane exertions of Capt. BARTLETT were eminently conspicuous, and who immediately hastened with every thing necessary, to the relief of the poor woman, and brought her in a post chaise to his own house, ------------------------ of her till she was restored to her grateful husband and children.




William GILLINGHAM of Wareham 52

William OXFORD 37

William TURNER 52

Charles WHITE, Jun. 33

Elizabeth PINDAR 27

Betty BROWN 39

Amelia RANDALL of Stobro 19

Edith RANDALL 24

Elizabeth MINTERN 38

Elizabeth FOSTER 27?

Mary NEW of Church Knowle 33

Jane BARNES 33

Sophia DOREY of East Stoke 19



Mr Edward EVERETT, of Wareham .

Mrs WHITE, Church Knowle











The Free School was founded by George Pitt of Strathfieldsaye, esquire, who gave 20l. for the benefit of children of Wareham , and his son afterwards added 5l. more for Stowborough. By his will, 28 Nov. 1693, he gave the two sinecures of St. Peter’s and St. Michael’s, and all tithes belonging thereunto, and a messuage called Chafins in Wareham, and leave to carry away 10,000 turves yearly from Stowborough Common, and his right of horse leases in Wareham common, to his executors in trust, that they permit the mayor and corporation to nominate a person to the said churches when vacant, to be schoolmaster to instruct the children of Wareham and Stowborough to read, write, cast accounts, and other good learning; and in case the mayor &c. shall not nominate a person that shall be approved of, if the person entitled to Strathfieldsave be a minor, the rector of that place shall present one to the said churches during a minority. And every schoolmaster, at his election, shall enter into a bond of 300l. to the elector to resign. After Mr Pitt’s death, the mayor &c. finding it difficult to procure a clergyman to accept of this place, agreed with his son to reassume his presentations, and allow the 25l. per annum in lieu, which was accordingly done. But this agreement, either being never reduced into a formal instrument or lost, and all the parties and witnesses to it being dead, part of the corporation were prevailed upon in 1747, to take advantage of this, and claimed an absolute right of presentation. The affair was some year litigated in Chancery, till in Trinity term, 1754, it was determined that Mr Pitt’s will was void, he being only tenant for life; but the right of presentation to be absolutely in Mr George Pitt, the school to be established at a salary of 25l. per annum, and the appointment of the master declared to belong solely to Mr George Pitt and his successor.


In 1763 the premises called Chafin’s were destroyed by fire, and have never since been restored.*


The present master was appointed about 1823, on the recommendation of the Mayor and corporation, by the representative of the family of the testator George Pitt. From him he received the salary until Christmas 1830, at which time an objection was raised on the ground that the estates to be charged had never been designated by the Court of Chancery, and nothing has been since paid. The schoolmaster enjoys the profits of the devised premises, the site of the dwelling house, the quarter of an acre of land adjoining, has the right of pasturing two horses on Wareham Common, and of cutting 10,000 turves annually on Stowborough Common.


Henry Harbin, late of London , merchant, by will, dated 19 July, 1703 , gave the corporation 200l. to purchase land to the value of 10l. per annum, for a person to instruct the poor children of this town in the English tongue; and the interest of 50l. to be added if the principal was not sufficient.


In 1709 this sum, which by the donor’s direction had been put out to interest and had increased to 250l., was laid out in the purchase of a rentcharge of 10l., charged upon an estate called Bothenwood Farm, now in the possession of H.J.P.Bankes, a minor whose steward pays the sum in half-yearly instalments. A schoolmistress to receive the money is appointed by the corporation, to teach, in respect of it, such children as are appointed by the mayor, under eight years of age, and not exceeding thirty in number.



WHEREAS of late the peaceable Inhabitants of this Borough, have, in the night-time,
been disturbed and alarmed in their beds, by numerous idle and disorderly Persons of
both sexes, ringing at the bells, beating at the window-shutters, as well as committing
other acts against the Peace of the Town: --- AND whereas it is strongly suspected,
that these acts of insubordination arise in consequence of many of the Public Houses
and Beer Houses being kept open at late hours of the night: ---


The Mayor and Magistrates



To all Licensed Victuallers, and Beer-House Keepers within the said Borough, that if
they, or any of them, shall be found guilty of any Offence againt the tenor of their
Licence, they will be proceeded against according to the Statutes in such cases made and provided.

C. O. Bartlett,


11th December, 1839

C. Groves, Printer, Wareham


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