Others

In our extensive revisiting of those days we came across many interesting people, some from Poole and others from further afield. In some cases we found them so interesting that their lifetimes were explored and a few have been written up more extensively in these pages.

Amongst Poole people, for instance, we discovered Elizabeth Hyde, a woman steeped in the clay trade, introduced to it by her father. Elizabeth married a clay coastal shipper and late in life became the only woman bondsman in the port of Poole, given her experience and reliability. Elizabeth was unusual in that her life and times are described quite closely, whereas in general the lives of the women of Poole then are not found in the written record. We wrote a short play about her exploits in the period of the Glorious Revolution at the time of William’s march to London via north Dorset and Wiltshire.

The play will be performed for the first time at our Scaplen’s Court event in August 2021. Elizabeth Hyde – Poole’s Glorious Revolutionary – Poole 1688 is set in the Hague in Holland, in Poole and in North Dorset and tells of the significance of their assistance, to William and Mary of Orange, who became King and Queen of England in 1689.

Some people highlighted in ur work had nothing to do with Poole. William Dampier is perhaps the most famous today. His significance to us was as the first person to have circumnavigated the globe 3 times by 1711. On his third round the world voyage he went as Woodes Rogers’ experienced navigator from Bristol in 1708, with two vessels and 330 men. They returned in 1711, with Woodes Rogers a national hero.

Dampier was born and grew up in East Coker, Somerset and in his teens he went to the Caribbean to manage a plantation. In quick succession he became a buccaneer, pirate, privateer, explorer, naturalist, author and navigator, discovering parts of north west Australia in 1688. His lifetime experience demonstrates that even then, when so little was known about the wider world, life as a mariner offered extraordinary opportunity as well as experience, while also of course being an uncertain and threatening existence, scarcely believable today.

Related Posts

Henry Harbin and the Battle of the Fishing Nets 

The Admiralty Court of Poole assumed authority over activities in the harbour, including fishing and the conservation of young fish by the use of nets of suitable mesh size. They were particularly suspicious of the practices of fishermen from Wareham. This witness statement from the early 17th century tells of a confrontation, not exactly on the high seas but on the calmer waters of Poole harbour …
Read More

No Friendly Fire

The blockhouse on Brownsea Island was built in 1547, one of a string of coastal defences ordered by King Henry VIII against invasion from the continent. It was based on a solid platform and consisted of a single storey square tower about 13m by 13m with walls 2m thick and guns mounted on the flat roof of the tower. On the eastern side was a barbican …
Read More

The Smuggler’s Curse

Copy of an original letter written by a smuggler to a Captain Bursack of the Revenue Cutter Speedwell and was found in Poole Custom House during renovations. The gentleman in question, a one J. Spurier, is hopping mad that Captain Bursack has dared to interfere with his (un)lawful smuggling activities and says as much in very colourful language! ‘Sir, Damn thee and God Damn thy two Purblind Eyes …
Read More

The Fate of the Anne

Early in August 1625, three sailors, Nicholas Nurrey, Robert Rapson and Thomas Marryner arrived in Poole with an ominous tale to tell. A meeting was hastily arranged with the Mayor John Harward and three Justices of the Peace, and the men were soon relating their story. A few days before, the three, together with 12-year-old ship’s boy, Nicholas Jerrard, had been sailing to ‘Croysick’ in France …
Read More

The Pirate Code

Pirates are considered to be a brutal, lawless lot.  But on board ship, they live under a set of rules called ‘The Pirates Code’ or ‘Articles of Agreement’.  Each Captain had his own set of rules for the ship and crew under his command but they followed a general pattern.  These included discipline, compensation, share of the booty and compensation for injury.  Each crew member must …
Read More

Swanskin

With many thanks to Roger Guttridge for his permission to use these extracts from his articles ‘A habit from the past’ and The water that is passed’ for Dorset Life. Swanskin had nothing to do with swans.  It was a coarse, wool-based cloth known for its warmth and waterproof qualities.  The material was used to manufacture hooded garments popular with fishermen travelling to Newfoundland. This picture shows a …
Read More
1 2 3