Cover of Mary Anning's Commonplace Book

Mary Anning’s Commonplace Book

Posted on: 26th August 2021

© On loan from Dorset County Museum which retains copyright and from where permission to publish must be obtained. This manuscript book was Mary Anning’s own book in which she… READ MORE

An early 19th century impression of the hold of a slave ship

Enslaving People

Posted on: 26th August 2021

All the 18th century ports of Dorset were involved with the slave trade, with ships from Poole, Weymouth and Lyme Regis making the vast journeys across the Atlantic from Africa… READ MORE

Stedcombe House, Axmouth with Richard Hallett and his black servant Ando

The Trade in Enslaving Black People

Posted on: 26th August 2021

From the late 17th century Lyme Regis merchants were involved in the slave trade, taking people they had bought in Africa to the West Indies as labour for the expanding… READ MORE

Lyme men dressed up as pirates for Regatta Week in the 1920s.

Dorset Sailors Enslaved

Posted on: 26th August 2021

In the early 17th century, just as the trade in African slaves was increasing, large numbers of British sailors were being captured in the Mediterranean and sold as slaves to… READ MORE

‘Doely & Arundee 1926’ is the original caption for this photograph probably taken at Wootton Fitzpaine, West Dorset. The names are very exotic, and the woman could be of Indian descent

Lyme Regis and India

Posted on: 26th August 2021

Lyme had a particular connection with India in the 1820s and 1830s: the huge East India ships returning from India would pause off Lyme to allow passenger to take a… READ MORE

Distant view of the Cobb at Lyme Regis, probably 1870s

The Walters – Lyme’s First Photographers

Posted on: 26th August 2021

Most of the photographs of Lyme from the 1860s to the 1880s were taken by the Walter family. Jonas Walter, who stayed in the town for twenty-five years, was Jewish,… READ MORE

Photograph of Broad Street in Lyme Regis by Jonas Walter

Jonas Walter – Photographer

Posted on: 26th August 2021

Jonas Walter must have photographed hundreds of Lyme people in the twenty-five years (1860s – 1880s) he worked in the town as a photographer, and even amongst the small collection… READ MORE

The James family at Puddletown in the 1890s


Posted on: 26th August 2021

The people called gypsies spread into England from the Continent in the 16th century, and were called gypsies because people thought they came from Egypt. The Churchwardens’ Account for Uplyme… READ MORE

Wedgwood cameo produced from 1787, with the emblem of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery

Abolition of Slavery

Posted on: 26th August 2021

Tracing people of African descent in the area in the 19th century is more difficult than the 17th and 18th centuries. Occasional references to christenings or burials are all we… READ MORE

American soldiers from a gun battery relaxing at Poundbury

The Second World War

Posted on: 26th August 2021

Dorset had about 80,000 American soldiers by 1943, and the American Army was segregated into separate black and white units to reflect the segregation common in America at that time…. READ MORE