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.