A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, London 1831


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FRAMPTON, a parish (formerly a market town) in the liberty of FRAMPTON, Bridport division of the county of DORSET, 5 miles (N.W. by W.) from Dorchester, and 130 (S.W.) from London, containing 418 inhabitants.

The name of this place properly belonged to the site of an ancient priory, and is derived from the river Frome which passes it: in Domesday-book it is written Frantone, and, when that record was compiled, the priory was a cell to the abbey of St. Stephen, at Caen in Normandy. It was purchased, by license of Richard II., by Sir John Devereaux, Knt.; it afterwards fell to the crown, and was granted by Henry V. to his brother, the Earl of Bedford, after whose death it was given to the collegiate church of St. Stephen, in Westminster. In the 14th of Elizabeth, the manor and advowson were given to Sir Christopher Hatton, who sold them to John Brown, Esq., in whose family they now remain. A handsome residence was erected in 1704, upon the site of the priory, by Robert Brown, Esq. A market on Thursday, now disused, was granted by Edward III., and four fairs by succeeding monarchs; of the latter two only are now held, on March 9th and May 4th, for cattle, horses, &c. Courts leet and baron are held annually, at which the constable and tythingmen for the liberty are appointed. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Dorset, and diocese of Bristol, rated in the king's books at 11. 9. 7., and in the patronage of F.J. Brown, Esq. The church, which is dedicated to St. Bartholomew, was built in the reign of Edward IV., and is adorned with several devices of that monarch; it consists of a nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower at the west end having battlements and pinnacles, erected in 1695 by Robert Browne, Esq., the old tower having fallen down: the pulpit is ornamented with three curiously carved figures in niches; one of these is much defaced, the other two represent monks, one holding the sun in his right hand and a book in his left, the other a cross and a book: the entire edifice has been recently altered and repaired, at the expense of the patron. The above-mentioned Robert Browne, by will dated in 1734, left 40 per annum for the support of the minister, likewise an annuity of 15, and a house for a schoolmaster, to be appointed by the lord of the manor, for the instruction of children of both sexes. A National school for boys and girls is supported by subscription.

Volume 2, page 200

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