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  • Writer's pictureHaydn Wheeler

The Hawles, Old Yews of Monkton UpWimborne. "fit for people to show their grievances and strength

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

All Hallows is located between Monkton UpWimborne and Wimborne St Giles. Mentioned in the Domesday Book it references the existence of a church, which served as the church for the area. This church has now gone, with the principal church in the area now at Wimborne St Giles.

At All Hallows Church graveyard stand several old Yews, with the largest having a girth measuring 9 meters, and at over 800 years old this yew witnessed the beginnings of one of the Clubmen leaders in Dorset. Mr George Hawles of Monkton UpWimborne no doubt would have passed this tree on many occasions.

Hawles was one of 6 Clubmen who met Fairfax in Dorchester with a petition (articles of association) on the 3rd July 1645 with five others a Mr. Melchisedec Waltham, Mr. Richard Hooke, Rector of Durweston, Thomas Trenchard, Robert Culliford of Encombe and Richard Newman of Fifehead Magdelene.

This petition was then read, and Fairfax was polite in nature in listening to their desire for peace and self defence. Fairfax agreed his men would pay fair quarter and his troops would be fair to them.

Sprigg wrote of Hawles on his encounter, giving him in writing the name (Hollis)

"He was most peremptory in his opinion, not to be convinced, affirming himself to be one of their leaders and it was fit for people to show their grievances and strength."

Sprigg also went on to describe an encounter with the Clubmen in general, with his feelings for their upfront manner in demands and tone shown.

" Were armend with muskets, some with fowling pieces, and some with clubs, and if they had not satisfied the generals proposition, their own clubs would have beaten reason into them"

Hawles seems to have been a persistent fellow. Just before the Battle of Langport on July 10th he and one other described as club devines were detained by Fairfax. Still pushing for the Clubmen demands (articles of association) he was described as "peremptory and insolent." and "he had appeared in Fairfax's camp with such extravagant demands that the latter had seen it necessary to put him in charge of the provost marshal."

With the battle now ongoing, Hawles is reported to have escaped.

It goes to reason George Hawles and his accomplice from Dorset may have, with the then defeat of the Royalist at Langport on July 10th, had a coming together with the Somerset Clubmen.

The later arrests of the Clubmen leaders on August 3rd gathered at Castle Hill in Shaftesbury Dorset by Colonel Fleetwood included a "John Lovell of Somerset-shire, a notable stickler against godly men." The arrests are recorded in fact as.

A List of the Country-Gentlemen called the Leaders of the Club-men for Wilts, Dorset, and Somerset, brought Prisoners to Sherborne on the Lords day August 3. 1645. taken at Shaftesbury,

From newsletters dated from as early as March of 1645, the Clubmen were being supplied by Sir Lewis Dyve garrisoned at Sherbourne Castle with furniture for horse. Were these horse then being used for meetings across the Counties? The demands and petitions being presented to King or Parliament were all similar in nature.

So it goes to reason Dorset, Wilts and the Somerset Clubmen were in talks with each other, throughout the Civil War.

The Somerset Clubmen were showing their grievances against the Royalist troops after the Battle of Langport. With Goring and his troops (Gorings Crew) in retreat after their defeat The fear that Fairfax had when dealing with the Clubmen and George Hawles while in Dorset if he should be in retreat from Goring came to be a reality for Goring.

The Clubmen infesting their march and knocking all stragglers or wearied soldiers on the head.

Two thousand Clubmen had gathered at Knoll Hill on the 11th July where Fairfax when approaching was received "with a most dangerous volley of shot, intended as it proved, only as a token of delight ."

George Hawles brother Thomas Hawles the Clubmen leader in Salisbury living in The Close, possibly knew the Leveller leader John Wildman. The witness to the "Assignment of moiety of Copperas works on Brownsea Island, Poole, Dorset for Wildman in 1973 and his stake in Brownsea Island in 1677 is signed Thomas Hawles junior. Now is this John Hawles? He was a lawyer.

A later Court of Chancery record from May 12th 1677 names Thomas Hawles elder, Thomas Hawles Junior and John Hawles with Wildman

"Phillipp, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, brother and heir of William, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, deceased; John Tregonwell; and Francis Wroughton, esqs, executors of said William, late earl of Pembroke; Stephen Liddiard; William Sadler; and Herbert Saladine v. Charles, earl of Middlesex; Thomas Hawles the elder; Thomas Hawles junior; John Hawles; and John Wildeman, esqs; William Ashton; and Joseph Copland"

A transcript of the case can be sourced via google books, click on image below for link.

Names of Hawles, Wildman on the original transcript. Click on picture for link.


The mining of copperas (iron sulphate) on Brownsea was used in the making of ink and tanning.

An account of the production of copperas on Brownsea Island is told by Celia Fiennes (daughter of a Colonel Fiennes) in 1682 (extract from Cochrane, 1970) sourced via by Dr. Ian West, Geology of the Wessex Coast of Southern England

"the there is only one house there which is the Governours, besides little fishermens houses, they being all taken up about ye Copperice works; they gather ye stones and place them on ground raised like the beds in gardens, rows one above the other, and are all shelving so that ye raine dissolves ye stones and it draines down into trenches and pipes made to receive and convey it to ye house; yeh is fitted with iron panns foursquare and of a pretty depth at least twelve yards over, they place iron spikes in ye panns full of branches and so as ye liquor boyles to a candy it hangs on those branches: I saw some taken up it look't like a vast bunch of grapes, ye collour of ye Copperace not being much differing, it lookes cleare like sugar-candy, so when ye water is boyled to a candy they take it out and replenish the panns with more liquor; I do not remember they added anything to it only ye stones of Copperice disolved by ye raine into liquour as I mention'd at first; there are great furnaces under, yt keepes all the panns boyling; it was a large room or building with Severall of these large panns; they do add old iron and nailes to ye Copperass Stones. This is a noted place for lobsters and crabs and shrimps, there I eate some very good".

Deed for Brownsea, signed by Hawles and Wildman

Thomas Hawles owned the freehold of what is now The Matrons Collage by the North Gate entrance to The Close in Salisbury. The building at the time of Hawles ownership has gone but a stable built by him still stands behind Matrons Collage. The stable dates from the 1650s and is now a house. The Hawles family of The Close are buried in Salisbury Cathedral.

Copies of the epitaphs in Salisbury cathedral, accompanied by tr. and notes ...

edited by James Harris (of Salisbury)

Son of Thomas Hawles, John Hawles a lawyer (friend of John Wildman), one could argue, had his political views shaped by his Clubmen father. Born at the height of the Clubmen risings in 1645, he is described in the General Biographical of 1814 by Alexandra Chalmers "On the accession of King William he openly avowed revolutionary principles"

John became a professional lawyer and published in 1680 "The Englishman’s Right," an examination of the use and privileges of the jury and the right of jurors to judge both law and fact in a criminal case:

"To say that they are not at all to meddle with, or have respect to, law in giving their verdicts, is not only a false position, and contradicted by every day's experience; but also a very dangerous and pernicious one; tending to defeat the principal end of the institution of juries, and so subtly to undermine that which was too strong to be battered down"

The Hawles in the Civil War from Wilitshire and Dorset through to the later son John would "see it right to show their strength and grievances."

Truths and disclaimers of his links to the Clubmen beginnings in the case of Sir Antony Cooper later Earl whose routes were near UpWimborne in Wimborne St Giles is in the realms of maybe.

As recorded in Whitlocke, Bulstrode, 1605-1675 or 6., Anglesey, Arthur Annesley, Earl of, 1614-1686.

Agents came from the Clubmen in Dorsetshire,* to Sir Thomas Fairfax, desiring his Pass for their Commissioners to go to the King, and others to the Parliament, with their Proposals for a new Treaty of Peace, and for a Cessation of Arms in the mean time; and for the Towns and Garrisons of Dorset-shire and Wiltshire in the mean time to be put in their hands.

Idea of Clubmen communication across Counties raised by my good friend Stephen Burden from ECW otherwise known as the Bishop Bray.

Somerset Clubmen notes, from Proceedings Somersetshire Agrological And Natural History Society. 1877 Vol III

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