Ancient Court Book Arrives at Wimborne Minster

Court Book of the Manor of “Wimborne late Deanery” 1624 to 1689 now in the Chained Library.
New to the Wimborne Minster Chained Library for 2023, the Manor Court Book
is a 17th century manuscript book of 266 pages which was purchased by Dorset
Archives Trust for the Dorset History Centre (DHC) in 2019 with generous
support from Wimborne Minster Town Council and volunteers from the Minsters
Chained Library.
Kindly loaned by DHC after excellent repair and restoration work, this
manuscript is an important addition to the Chained Library which was founded
in the Minster in 1685 and was a public reference library from 1695.
The Book is a record of the proceedings of the manor court and contains the
minutes taken at court sessions.  It contains details of more than 90 of the
courts held in the name of three Lords of the Manor – Thomas Hanham (1625 to
1652), his son John Hanham (1652 to 1662), and his son William Hanham,
created Baronet in 1667, (1662 to 1671).
The records are in Latin except for the period between 1651 and 1672, when
they were in English during Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth and the early
restoration of the monarchy.  They cover a variety of local events such as
the election of new Officers, Jurors of the Court, attendees and defaulters
of attendance, together with offences and local incidents such as violence,
wandering beasts, dangerous defects in houses, blocking roads and offences
against beer selling regulations.
The book was welcomed into the Library by The Revd Canon Andrew Rowland
(Rector of Wimborne Minster), Judith Monds (Head Librarian), Peter Cook
(Churchwarden) and some of the Library volunteers on 27th March 2023. The
Book was handed over by Jessica Pollard, Conservator at the Dorset History
The Wimborne Minster Chained Library is open to the public for the 2023
season from Monday 3rd April – Monday to Friday mornings and afternoons and
the first Saturday morning in the month.