An Early Dollin Family in Dunster

Phillip Dollin (or Philip Dollin)
born before 1690; d Oct 1763

Phillip Dollin was an early member of the family who lived in Dunster, Somerset, England, in the 1700s. He was possibly baptised in St George Church, Dunster, England, 3 March 1676, son of John Dollin (see tree).

We found quite a few glimpses of Phillip's life in the Dunster Church Warden Accounts for pew rent, rates and allowances that we viewed in the Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton.

Pew Rent  -- 1715

-- Phillip Dollin paid 1s for 'his right in the 3rd seat in the south side of the great Ally'
-- Phillip Dollin paid 1s for 'a right for his wife in the 3rd seat in the north side of the great Ally'

Pew rents were paid by members of the congregation to reserve particular seats or pews in the church during services. 
(see: 'The English Anglican Practice of Pew-Renting, 1800-1960' PhD thesis by John Charles Bennett)

-- In some churches, higher rents were paid for the more desirable seats. Wealthier families sometimes rented 'box pews' that were fully enclosed by high sides for privacy, may have included cushions, carpeting and a fireplace, and may have also been lockable. 

-- From the 15th to the 19th century, men and women were sometimes seated on opposite sides of the church so that they would not distract one another from the purpose of the service. Even a husband and wife sitting in the same pew may have been deemed 'highly indecent'!

Church Rates and Allowances -- 1715

-- Phillip Dollin was charged a 4d rate for repairing the parish church
-- Philip Dollin had an allowance of 8d

Phillip's name was not seen in the archived Church Warden's Accounts between 1715 and 1729.

Church Rates and Allowances -- 1729/30, 1731/32, 1733, 1734/35, 1737/38, 1739

-- Phillip Dollin was charged a 6d rate for repairing the parish church
-- Phillip Dollin had an allowance of 4d in 1729/30

Church Rate Book - 1769

-- Philip Dollen was charged 6d for his house
-- Philip Dollen was charged 3d for 'late Strongs Meadow'

In the subsequent Rate Books (1772 to 1782), Phillip's sons, John and William were charged for a house in Church Street (probably 'Dollon's House') and for 'Strongs or Gallox Meadow' (see below). Phillip apparently died in 1763 so the liability for these rates may have passed to his sons at about that time.

An extract of a will of 'Philip Dollen', dated 1757, was found in the Somerset Heritage Centre. Phillip's executors and heirs were his sons, John and William Dollen. Phillip's occupation was given as a cordwainer (or shoe maker).

The Dunster Church burial register records a Philip Dollin who was buried on 30 Oct 1763.

Dunster Photo Gallery

Children of Phillip Dollin

John Dollin - birth date unknown
William Dollin - bap at Dunster 1 Apr 1705
Elizabeth Dollin - birth date unknown; buried at Dunster 6 Nov 1716

Symbols: b = born; bap = baptised; d = died

Glimpses onto the lives of John and William Dollin were also found in the Dunster Church Rate Books that we viewed in the Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton.

Church Rate Books - 1772, 1774, 1778, 1780

-- John Dollen/Dollon was charged 6d for 'his house in Church Street'
-- John Dollen/Dollon was charged 3d for 'Strongs or Gallox meadow'

Church Rate Book - 1782

-- Wm Dollen was charged 6d for 'his house in Church Street'
-- Wm Dollen was charged 3d for 'Strongs or Gallox well meadow'

There were no listings for the Dollin family in the Rate Books for 1784 to 1788.

Dollon's House

There is an old building in Church Street, Dunster, known as 'Dollon's House'. It was run as a bed and breakfast for many years. However the current business in Dollon's House is a lovely gift shop called the Hummingbird.

This building is probably John and William Dollin's 'house in Church Street' described in these Rate Books. The old 'Dollon's House' name probably dates from the occupancy of this building by John and William Dollin in 1772 - 1782.

dollons house
Above: The Dollon's House Bed and Breakfast as seen on an old postcard. This was probably the house of the brothers, John and William Dollin, in 1772 - 1782. The brown building behind Dollons House is 'The Nunnery'.
Below: The excellent Hummingbird gift shop now occupies the Dollon's house building.
hummingbird dunster

Gallox Well Meadow

Gallox Well is an old well located just south of the Gallox Bridge at the end of Park Street. There is a large meadow adjacent to this well (see map below)

This may have been the field occupied by Phillip Dollin and his sons, John and William in the 1760s-1780s and described as Gallox Well Meadow in these Rates Books.

Above: an 1904 map of Dunster showing the location of Gallox Well, south of the Gallox Bridge at the end of Water Street (now called Park Street). William Dollin was charged a rate in 1782 for 'Gallox Well Meadow' which probably was in this area.
Below: Anne Dollin in the meadow between Gallox Well and the River Avill where William Dollin's land was probably located.
dunster map

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