COMMENTS AND EXPLANATIONS
SPELLING AND FORMAT
In reproducing this book I have tried to retain as far as possible the formatting style of the original page. Not easy as the original page seems to have been 115mm with a justified paragraph width of 80mm. I hope I have retained the style if not the measurements. Colonel Drew's paragraphs are short, sometimes restricted to one sentence, I have not always retained this as I felt it would look untidy on the web page layout.
Now to spellings. The most obvious is the word "shew", its use is consistent throughout the book and has been retained. You may come across other individual examples which may be typographical errors or may have been the correct spelling at the time of writing (around 1926 - 1928) or may appear that way in church records e.g. the word "copey" as written in the church records in 1813, if you feel the error is mine, please let me know using the email link on the homepage. The "error" that surprised me is in the Roll of Honour. The book definitely has 1914 to 1919. I cannot account for this but given that Charles Drew was a Colonel and most certainly served in that great war, plus his proximity to it in time, I must accept his text.
I have not made any attempt to convert the feet and inches, acres and chains into metric measurements. This will be an exercise for later generations as I know what they mean and it could prove a useful homework exercise for future generations who will no doubt complain and groan at having to deal with these long forgotten standards. Similarly the pounds and pence go unconverted as I have no trouble in adding 1s11d plus 1s3d to make 3s2d. Work it out. The one concession I make, as this came as new knowledge to me, is in the use of the accountancy term "mark" as mentioned in Church Records. Wikipedia has this explanation
In England the "mark" never appeared as a coin, but was only used as a unit of account. It was apparently introduced in the 10th century by the Danes. According to 19th century sources, it was first equivalent to 100 pence, but after the Norman Conquest (1066) it was worth 160 pence, or 13 shillings and 4 pence.
WEST PARLEY, THE PLACE
One of the most fascinating features of the text is the way the book refers to place names and fields as if there was a common understanding of them. One gets the feeling that even if the book was not being read by a local person, on coming to visit West Parley they would hear these place names in common use. Try asking todays locals where "Barn Field" is (I don't know either). Remember that even in Colonel Drew's day West Parley was some travelling distance from the nearest town and sat in amongst many green fields. Its population was 1100 in 1921 and 1600 in 1931 and probably had the feeling of time had passed it by. It was in the Wimborne & Cranborne Rural District. Remember also that when this book was written New Road really was new and it was projected to run through the heath to Ferndown.
I can do no better than to refer you to the excellent web pages found here, and if you look at this map you will see the gibbet is marked (zoom in). Remember too that the "parish" was the administrative as well as the Church boundary and would have been roughly the area controlled by the Manor and Lord thereof. It was in comparitively modern times that secular and church parishes became separate entities. In the chapter "Church Records" reference is made to support for the poor by the giving of a "pass". There are two very good articles in Wikipedia which illustrate how ancient the care for the poor and needy is in England. They both concern the Poor Law, originally created by the 'state' administered by the parish then by the secular state. The links are Poor Relief and Poor Law
Finally this commentary is an unfinished work and will change from time to time as I make further enquiries regarding its contents and try and seek fuller information. If you have anything to contribute I would love to hear from you. Webmaster