An illustrated history of Watchet and Williton, 1600-1670 (Paperback)
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This illustrated history focuses on interactions between people, business, authority, landscape and buildings in an attempt to convey a sense of what life was really like for many people living in Watchet or Williton. So many records have been lost for so many parishes that writing a history such as this is usually impossible, but for St Decumans the situation is reversed. The results of an analysis of these records, which has taken over five years, has revealed a complicated web of relationships on all levels of society, as well as in matters of business and governance in their widest sense. At times there were incidents, families, events and individuals that dominated this story of parish life.
A few examples of those myriad of interactions include god-parents with god-children, masters with their servants and apprentices, merchants with business contacts, mariners with their crew, customs officials and port overseers, farmers with markets, estate stewards with tenants, clergy with their congregation and diocesan officials, overseers with poor-rate payers, the infirm and ill, constables with militia authorities, manor bailiffs with tenants, individuals relationship with God, landowners with their staff, tenants and voters, church and chapelwardens with the church fabric, alesellers, streetkeepers and those who were involved in affrays. In addition, this investigation peels back the interlocking layers of organisation within this 17th-century parish to give a rounded understanding of just how almost every aspect of life was managed or governed in some way or another.
We hope you enjoy this account of a unique part of the county of Somerset. It has been a true labour of love. The local celebrities who lived in the parish some four centuries ago have not been forgotten. Their exploits, trials and tribulations were written down and kept by generations of record keepers. They are brought to light and where possible illustrated in this brief account.