1868: Annual Ball

The annual ball at Encombe House was given on New Year’s Day. A goodly company sat down to a most sumptuous supper. The Mayor of Corfe Castle presided. Various toasts were proposed and appropriately responded to. The Kingston Band was in attendance. Mr. Gillman sang several comic songs, which gave much pleasure. Votes of thanks were accorded to Mr. Rich and Mrs. Burt. The enjoyment was continued till a late hour.

Western Gazette, 10 January 1868

1862: Kingston Reading Room

A MEETING of the members of the Kingston Reading Room took place in the school house, on Friday evening, for the purpose of hearing some practical Readings from various authors by O. W. Farrer, Esq., of Encombe House. Mr. Farrer’s reading was very impressive and afforded unmixed pleasure and gratification to his audience. We trust this is only the beginning of many such intellectual treats. They undoubtedly have a most harmonizing effect, and will bear to be repeated.

Dorset County Chronicle, 13 February 1862

1838: Funeral of the Earl of Eldon

Yesterday morning at 11 o’clock, the mortal remains of Sir John Scott, Earl of Eldon, were removed from his mansion in Hamilton-place, Piccadilly, for internment in the catacomb attached to the church of the parish of Kingston, in Dorsetshire.

At 10 o’clock the domestics of his Lordship’s household, the servants of the family of the noble Earl, and others engaged in the funeral, were all in attendance at the mansion, around which in Hamilton-place and Piccadilly, a very large concourse of persons was assembled, including many ladies and gentlemen of rank and fashion, to witness the departure of the procession, and among the crowd we observed a vast number of indigent persons, who, we were informed, had been recipients of his Lordship’s bounty, and who now attended to pay a last tribute of respect to the remains of their beloved and lamented benefactor. The whole body of his Lordship’s tradesmen, 24 in number, were also in attendance, and their respect for the memory of the noble Earl had induced them to solicit permission to escort his remains out of the metropolis. Shortly after the Royal carriages arrived, followed by those of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls, the Masters in Chancery, the Judges, and an immense number of the equipages of the nobility and gentry. At about half past 11 o’clock, and after the conclusion of the numerous preliminaries, the cavalcade proceeded from Hamilton-place in the following order:-

Policemen to clear the way,
The Undertaker on horseback,
Two Conductors on horseback,
Four Horsemen in long Black Cloaks,
His Lordship’s Tradesmen walking two and two
Two Porters on horseback
{The Coronet of the Noble Earl, on a Crimson Velvet Cushion with Gold Tassels, and tringed with Gold Lace, carried by a Gentleman on Horseback}
Four Pages

Four Pages
Drawn by Six Black Horses, richly caparisoned, with Black Velvet Hangings, on which were emblazoned in Escoe? The Armorial Bearings of the Noble Earl’s Family
{Five Mourning Coaches, each drawn by Six Black Horses, containing the relations and friends of the Noble Earl}
Here followed the family carriages, including those of
The late Noble Earl,
Viscount Encombe,
Lady Elizabeth Repton,
Lady Frances Bankes,
Mrs. Farrer,
Viscountess Sidmouth,
Rev. John Surtees,
Mrs. Surtees,
E. Vanstuart Neale, esq.,
Francis Cross, Esq.,
? Pennington Esq.,
Burdon Sanders, Esq.,

His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge,
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Glocester

The Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Lord High Chancellor.
The Lord Chief Justice of the Queen’s Bench.
The Master of the Rolls.
The Vice-Chancellor.
The Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
The Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

Sir J. Littledale.
Sir J. Patteson.
Sir J. Williams.
Sir J. T. Coleridge.

Sir J. A. Park.
Sir J. B. Bosanquet.
Sir. J. Vaughan.
Sir. T. Coltman.

Baron J. Parke.
Baron W. Pollard.

Baron E. H. Alderson.
Baron J. Garney.
The Accountant-General (W. Adam Esq.) and the Masters of Her Majesty’s High Court of Chancery.
J.E. Dowdeswell, Esq.
Frances Cross,Esq.
William Wingfield, Esq.
J. W. Farrer, Esq.
Sir G? Wilson,
Lord Henley.
H. Martin, Esq.,
W. Brougham, Esq.,
N. Senior, Esq.

Duchess Countess of Sutherland.
Dowager Duchess of Richmond.

The Marquis of Salisbury.

Dowager Countess of Charleville.

Charles Churchill.
The Right Hon. Sir John Nicholl.
The Right Hon. Sir Robert H. Inglis.
The Right Hon. Sir Charles Wetherell.
The Right Hon. Sir G? Wilson
The Right Hon. Sir W. Alexander
The Right Hon. Sir J. Gaselee.
Lady Chambers.

Sir Moses Montefiore, Sheriff at the City of London.
The noble Earl, being a freeman of the Merchant Tailors’ Company, the Master and four Wardens attended.
The Master, J. Allister, Esq.
First Warden, R. Jennings, Esq.
Second warden, J. Burbridge, Esq.,
Third Warden, R. Pugh, Esq.
Fourth Warden, J. Smart Esq.
Here followed the Equipages of
F. P. Stafford, Esq.
P. Danby, Esq.
? Coe, Esq.
Colonel D?
George Farrer, Esq.
Mrs. Maubert.
Dr. Fisher.
Mr. Makepeace.

The carriages left the procession on its arrival off the stones of Kensington. The cavalcade was to rest last night at Bagshot; this evening at Winchester; tomorrow at Wimborne in Dorsetshire; but, from the state of the roads, it is anticipated that it will not arrive at Encombe-house before the afternoon (about half-past 4) of Thursday. The body will then lay in state, and on Friday at noon the funeral will take place in the presence of some portion of his Lordship’s family, friends, domestics , the tenantry on his Lordship’s estate, and the neighbouring nobility and gentry.

The Times, 23 January 1838

1836: Obituary: William Morton Pitt Esq.

Feb. 28. At Fordington, Dorsetshire, in his 82d year, William Morton Pitt, esq. of Kingston house, in the isle of Purbeck, formerly, during thirty-six years, one of the Knights in Parliament for the county of Dorset.

We have had to notice, in recent years, the failure in the male line of two branches of the family of Pitt: of that represented by Lord Rivers in 1828; and that of the Earls of Chatham in 1835. In the memoir of the late Earl of Chatham (in our number for Nov. last, p. 546) we noticed the extinction of the four several titled branches, of Rivers, Camelford, Chatham, and Londonderry; and we remarked that the sole male survivor of another branch, and, as we believed, of the whole race, was the gentleman whose decease we have now to record. We now understand, however, that he has left, by his second marriage, an inheritor, and we trust perpetuator, of a name highly honoured among Englishmen.

Mr. W. Morton Pitt was the eldest and only surviving son of John Pitt, esq. of Encombe, a Commissioner of Trade and Plantations, Surveyor of Woods and Forests, and M. P. for Wareham and Dorchester, (who was an uncle of half-blood to the first Lord Rivers,) by Marcia, daughter of Marcus Morgan, esq. of Ireland. His name of Morton was derived from a remote ancestor: his great-great-grandmother, the wife of Edward Pitt, esq. of Stratfieldsaye, (married in 1620) having been Rachel, daughter of Sir George Morton, of Milbourne, St. Andrew, co. Dorset, Bart.

Mr. Morton Pitt was a member of Queen’s college, Oxford, and matriculated March 14, 1772: but quitted the university without taking a degree.

He first entered the House of Commons at the General Election of 1780 as a burgess for Poole, in asociation with Joseph Gulston, esq. having defeated Joshua Manger, esq. one of the former members, and John Adams, esq. who petitioned against the return, but without success. In 1784 he was rechosen, together with the late Mr. Michael Angelo Taylor; and in 1790 he was elected one of the County Members, in the room of his cousin the Hon. George Pitt, the late Lord Rivers. On the 17th of April 1791, he vacated his seat, on what account we are unaware, by accepting the Chiltern Hundreds; but was re-elected, as he was again to the seven following Parliaments, and finally retired at the general election of 1826. We believe he generally supported his kinsman Mr. Pitt and his Tory successors. He was one of the members chosen on the part of the House of Commons, Feb. 24,1803, to form the Court of East India Judicature.

In 1779, Mr. Morton Pitt was appointed Lieut-Col. of the Dorsetshire Militia.

The mansion-house at Encombe in the Isle of Purbeck, which Mr. Pitt inherited from his father (and of which there is a folio plate in Hutchins’s Dorsetshire), he sold some years ago to Lord Eldon, who subsequently took from it the title of his Viscounty.

The estate of Kingston had belonged to his uncle William Pitt, esq. who died in 1773, having been derived from his mother Lora, daughter and heiress of Audley Grey, esq.

Essentially a public man, throughout a long and laborious life, Mr. Pitt bad the rare success of obtaining the good will of, and giving satisfaction to, all classes and parties; and whether as an active county magistrate, the duties of which office he fulfilled with zeal, ability and discretion, for upwards of half a century; or in the Senate, where he sat for six years, his time and exertions unremittingly devoted to the public good. Nor was his private life less worthy. Beloved by his family, esteemed by his friends, and honoured by all, he passed through life distinguished by the possession of the purest virtues, and by the exercise of a diffusive philanthropy, and extensive practical benevolence.

To encourage industry, and detach the population from smuggling, Mr. Pitt established a manufactory for cordage and sail-cloth, near his domain in the Isle of Purbeck, and he also erected, at his own expense, a manufactory for hats in the gaol at Dorchester. He was likewise one of the first promoters of Sunday schools; and addressed in 1789 a public letter to the London Society established for their encouragement, containing a plan for the formation of District Committees and County Societies, in furtherance of their objects: this will be found printed in Hutchins’s History of Dorsetshire, vol. i. p. 306—311. He was also at the expense of printing some statistical tables on the state of the poor, which are given in that work.

He published, in 1798, an address to the Landed Interest on the deficiency of Habitations and Fuel for the use of the Poor: and he was the author of several communications to the Bath Agricultural Papers, and Young’s Annals of Agriculture.

Mr. Pitt was twice married. His first wife was Margaret, daughter of John Gambier, esq. Governor of the Bahama Islands, by whom he had an only daughter Sophia, who was married in 1806 to Charles, second and present Earl of Romney, and died in 1812, leaving, issue Charles Viscount Marsham and four daughters.

Mr. Pitt married secondly, in 1815, Grace-Amelia, daughter of Henry Seymer, of Hanford in Dorsetshire, esq.: this lady’s mother was Griselda, or Grace, daughter of James Kerr, of Kerrsfield, N.B. by Lucy sister to the first Rivers; and she was thus Mr. Pitt’s cousin, twice removed. We believe she survives him, having had issue a son and heir, and other children.

The Gentlemen’s Magazine, Volume 5, January to June 1836

1829: Encombe House, Dorsetshire – The seat of the Earl of Eldon

Encombe is seated in a very deep vale, that opens to the British Channel on the south, and is about a mile and a half south-west from Kingston. It seems to take its name from its situation on the extremity of the island of Purbeck, i.e. End-Comb; or, according to Hutchins, from its situation in a Comb or Vale, In-Comb. This estate is one of the best in the island, consisting of arable and pasture, and has, from its fertility, been distinguished by the name of the Golden Bowl. It yields a greater plenty of grass, and more beautiful verdure, than is usually seen in this island.

It is conjectured that this Manor and Hamlet belonged, in ancient times, to Shaston Abbey. In the 32d year of Henry VIII., it was granted to John Lord Zouch, who at the same time had license to alienate it to Sir Thomas Arundel, Knt., and his heirs. After the attainder of Sir Thomas in the 6th year of Edward VI., this Manor and that of Remmescomb were granted to John Bourchier, Lord Fitzwarren, to be held in chief by service of the fortieth part of a fee; and in the same year he had license to alienate Encombe to Robert Culliford and his heirs. In 7th Edward VI., it was granted to Margaret, wife of Sir Thomas Arundel, in confirmation of her dower for life. But this does not seem to have taken place, for it was ever after the property and seat of the Cullifords, a family that came out of Devonshire.

William Culliford, Esq., Commissioner of the Customs in Scotland, died without issue in 1723, and was succeeded in the possession of Encombe by his brother Robert, who died in 1728. In the 7th year of George II., an act was passed for the sale of this Manor and Farm; soon after which it was purchased by Mrs. Lora Pitt, who gave to her second son, John Pitt, Esq.: from him Encombe came into the possession of his son, William Morton Pitt, Esq., who, a few years back, disposed of it to its present noble owner.

The ancient seat of the Cullifords being much decayed, was entirely pulled down about 1734 by Mr. Pitt; who on the same spot erected a most elegant Mansion of Purbeck stone, laid out the grounds with great taste, and made extensive plantations. It has a fine view of the British Channel, and is esteemed one of the most beautiful and romantic situations in this part of the kingdom. The facade of the building, as seen in the annexed Plate, presents a centre with two wings. Each wing consists of two sections; the roof of one having gables with globular ornaments; the other bordered with an embrasured parapet. The wings are joined to the centre by a short corridor, having in front four columns of the Doric order.


John Scott, Earl of Eldon, Viscount Encombe, of Encombe in the county of Dorset, and Baron Eldon, of Eldon in the county of Durham, was born on the 4th of June, 1751, at Newcastle-uponTyne, in which place his father carried on the business of a merchant. Applying himself to the study of the law, his Lordship was admitted a member of the Society of the Middle Temple in 1772, and rose through the different gradations of office to its highest honours. Lord Eldon was called to the bar in 1776; elected Member of Parliament for Weobly in 1783; appointed Solicitor-General and knighted in 1788; Attorney-General in 1793; Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in July, 1799, and at the same time raised to the Peerage by the title of Baron Eldon. His Lordship was, in 1801, appointed Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain: this high office he resigned in February, 1806, but was re-appointed in April, 1807. Upon the demise of the late King, George III., his Lordship delivered up the great seal into the hands of His present Majesty, who was graciously pleased to entrust it again to his Lordship’s custody; and on the 6th July, 1821, as a further mark of royal approbation, His Majesty was pleased to advance him to the dignity of Viscount Encombe, in the county of Dorset, and Earl of Eldon. On the 1st of May, 1827, Lord Eldon once more resigned his office of Lord High Chancellor, after having held that distinguished post nearly twenty-five years, a far longer period than any of his predecessors.

As long as sterling ability, strict integrity, and impartial decision, are considered as the distinguishing characteristics of a sound Lawyer and conscientious Judge, so long will the name of Eldon conspicuously shine forth. As a principal member of the administration of public affairs, during one of the most eventful and glorious periods of English history, his Lordship has a peculiar claim upon the gratitude of his country, which all good men, and sincere friends to our present constitution in church and state, will readily acknowledge.

Encombe is a favourite residence of its noble possessor; and here at intervals, removed from the busy scene of official life, his Lordship was accustomed to relax his mind and to recruit his health.

Lord Eldon married Elizabeth, daughter of Aubone Surtees, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Esq., by whom he has issue. His grandson, John, commonly called Viscount Encombe, is his Lordship’s successor.

Motto:—Sit line labe decus.

Jones’ Views of the Seats, Mansions, Castles, etc. of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland, 1829


1788: Afflington Farm to be ‘lett’

afflington to be let

The advertisement reads:


TO be LETT, and entered on at Lady-day next, subject to a small modus, in lieu of all tythes,

AFFLINGTON or ADLINGTON FARM, situated in the parish of Corfe Castle, in the Isle of Purbeck, and county of Dorset, consisting of a farm-house, dairy-house, barns, stables and necessary out-houses, and 352 acres, three roods, and five perches of arable, meadow, pasture and coppice. For a sight of the premises, and further particulars, apply to Mr. Filliter, attorney at law, Wareham, Dorset.

Various sums of Money ready to be advanced on Freehold Land security. Enquire of Mr. Filliter.

Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 7 January 1788