Engravings from Illustrated London News (Sept 5th 1846)  
"The Peasantry of Dorsetshire"

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Village of Whitchurch, Dorset
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  • "The first of our Illustrations is a fair specimen of a village in Dorset - Whitchurch, on the road from Blandford to Dorchester and, as an inscription upon one of the cottages states "109 miles from Hyde Park Corner." The scene has attracted our Artist by its picturesqueness. The cottages are built with mud walls' composed of road scrapings, chalk and straw: the inundation is of stone or brick, and on this the mud wall is built in regular Layers, each of which is allowed to dry and harden before another is put oven it, Every dwelling is thatched, as are also the garden walls."
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Interior of a Dorsetshire Labourer's Cottage
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  • "Our interior illustration is a specimen of a labourer's cottage, in the Blandford district, with somewhat nearer approach to comfort than the above. Still, the furniture is poor and scanty; and the cradle, in which the infant is asleep, consists of rough boards, clumsily nailed together. The walls and ceiling, too, have wide fissures. The little girl seated in the chair is a portrait, and the neatness with which her hair is arranged, is by no means singular, among the children of the poor in this county."
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Dorset Peasantry
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  • "The Group of labourers in the annexed page is an average specimen of the Peasantry. We quote a few details;-- There is one custom which prevails among the farmers of this country which seems extraordinary. It is the repugnance they exhibit to regard a young and unmarried man (with respect to his wages) in any other light than that of a mere boy. Those who, to use the words of Bardolph, are not 'accommodated with a wife,' are usually paid at the rate of 5s. or sometimes 6s. per week."
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Labourer's Cottage, near Blandford
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  • "The exterior view of the Cottage is sketched from the same locality as the preceding - the village of East Morden, in the neighbour-hood of Blandford. This is a charmingly picturesque bit for the painter; though its propped-up walls and decaying thatched roof, but too closely indicate the privation and suffering of the inmates.
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Page last revised July 2001