"It is, however, certain that this William Hoskyns who was living in Beaminster in 1419 is the ultimate source of the family in this part of England."
From "A History of The Hoskins Family of Devon and Dorset" by W. G. Hoskins, (Preface, Page ii)
"that this William Hoskyns was then living in Beaminster and was the fountain and origins of the Hoskins family which spread throughout western Dorset and Devon in the next three to four hundred years."
From "A History of The Hoskins Family of Devon and Dorset" by W. G. Hoskins (Preface Page i)
"The Hoskinses of Beaminster are, in fact, so numerous that in the absence of both the parish registers and the court rolls of the manor it is quite impossible to disentangle the various families who were living at the same time."
From "A History of The Hoskins Family of Devon and Dorset" by W. G. Hoskins
"Anthony Hoskins’ family lived in the Beaminster, Dorset area prior to their American migration in the early 1600’s. Although related Hoskins families lived in the area for over a hundred years, Anthony's family had only migrated to Dorset during the last generation." ( From the Anthony Hoskins Speculation/Theory)
Dorset was the launching point for Anthony Hoskins' family's migration to America. In the early 1600's, the Dorset area was strongly influenced by the Rev. John White of Dorchester with his desires to reform the Church of England. This influence can be measured by the significant number of West Country participants in Puritan America. The West Country was second to only East Anglia in their contribution to the great Puritan experiment across the ocean.
The towns of Beaminster, Broadwindsor and Purse Caundle are highlighted in this section. These communities were important for the Hoskins family and their contribution was significant. This is historically documented in W.G. Hoskins' paper: A History of The Hoskins Family of Devon and Dorset.
Beaminster: "A MARKET and hundred town, In the division of Bridport, is 132 miles from London, 18 from Dorchester and 6 from Bridport; situated on the fertile borders of the small river Birt, whose stream propels three mills for the spinning linen yarn employed in the manufacture of sail cloth, which is here carried on to a small extent. Formerly the woollen trade flourished here; it is now but of little importance to the place. This town was nearly destroyed by fire in 1645, and again in 1686; it now consists of one main street, the houses of which for the most part are well built and of modern appearance. The public buildings are the church, a methodist chapel, the town-hall, and a good market-house. The church, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a stately edifice, standing on an eminence at the south side of the town. The tower is an object of great admiration, being nearly one hundred feet in height, extremely well proportioned, and consists of three stories with double buttresses at the angles, enriched with niches towards the basement, and terminating with small regular shafts. The west front is also particularly grand, and altogether forms a very handsome design. In the church yard is an alms-house, founded in 1634, by Sir John Strode, Knight, and a free school for teaching 20 poor boys of the town, reading, writing and arithmetic, founded by Mrs. Frances Tucker, in the reign of William III. Beaminster is a parochial chapelry belonging to the vicarage of Netherbury; the Rev. James Brookland is the present Incumbent. The great tithes of the parish are held by Robert Conway, Esq. as lessee of the manor of Beaminster Parsonatus; besides this manor there are two others belonging to the parish, Beaminster Prima and Beaminster Secunda: all rested in the prebends of Salisbury Cathedral, from whom the lands are leased. The country around here is hilly; the land fertile, and the views are of a pleasing rather than of a bold or picturesque character. The market, which is well supplied with corn, butcher's meat, &c. is held on Thursday, and an annual fair for cattle on the 19th of September. By the returns for 1821 the town and parish of Beaminster contained 2806 inhabitants, and the parish of Netherbury 1954." [Pigot's 1830 Directory of Dorset.] (Map of Beaminster area)
Broadwindsor is a small village, two miles from Beaminster, surrounded by the beautiful Dorset countryside. It is a sleepy little place with a school and a shop and few encroachments from the modern world. There were signs of settlements in this area prior to the arrival of the Romans in AD 43 and the village is recorded in the Domesday book as the manor of Windesore held by Hunger, the son of Odin.
The Caundle villages, rich in pasture land, lie in the heart of William Barnes country in the north of Dorset, and his poem, Bishops Caundle was written after the victory at Waterloo.
Today it is a dour village with church and churchyard dominating the main street. It feels old especially when you remember that men who saw the hail of arrows at Agincourt probably talked about it in this same street, because the village name goes back to the legend of Arthur, and the Dark Ages. Caundle is a Celtic word, a name given to the chain of hills which look from Dorset toward Somerset. In Domesday Book it is recorded as Candel. In the 13th century it became Caundel Episcopi. The Episcopal owner of the land at the time was the Bishop of Sarum.
The church of St. Peter and St. Paul has a 15th century tower and a nave of the same date which was partially rebuilt in 1864. The chancel is a good example of high Victorian taste - carved stone reredos and elaborate candle-holder are probably the best bits.
Purse Caundle is a village which always seems at peace with itself. At its center is a 15th century church and a beautiful Manor House. In 1241 the village was called Purscaundel, Purse being the old English word for priest.
One of Purse Candle’s most illustrious sons was one born Peter Mews, whose story would be excellent material for a swashbuckling film. Very briefly, this romantic figure of the Civil Wars was an undergraduate and a soldier of Charles. Always in the thick of battle, he received about 30 wounds. He was taken prisoner, became a fugitive and a royalist agent in Holland. He was a master of disguises and was nearly hanged.
Ordained, he became Bishop of Winchester in 1684, at the age of 66 years. When the Duke of Monmouth started his revolt, he went back to war and, in victory, pleaded for clemency for the misguided rebel. The old Bishop Cavalier died at the great age of 91 years, but does not rest at Purse Caundle - it would probably be too quiet for him.
Hithe Paradise is the name of a field in Stourton Caundle - and very aptly named because this delightful village has a clear stream running past its thatched cottages. This Caundle takes its name from the Stourtons who lived here long ago in a castle long since gone. Only the chapel survived and that does duty as a farm building.
An inscription on the Hoskyns monument at Purse Caundle,Dorset states that the family migrated from Herefordshire: