I’ve been doing some research at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, writing up a remarkable discovery which our Devizes Friend Jean Thomson alerted me to, and which I’ll be reporting on a month or so.
I’ve been looking at the Minutes of the Monthly Meeting of Friends in the North Division of Somersetshire, beginning the 25th of the 3rd Month 1688, and ending the 2nd of the 12th Month 1712. It’s a bound collection of the Minutes from 1688 to 1712, written in beautiful and quite often unreadable handwriting, the ink now going brown with age. On the opening page of the volume is a list of the Meetings in that Division.
Portishead we know about, Keynsham has changed its spelling since the 1680s, and Bathford has long been lost. Froom has since changed its spelling but not its pronunciation, and Hallatrow (a suprisingly important location for Somerset Friends: do read this very interesting article from the local history society) has fiddled around with its vowels. Sidcot has lost a ‘t’, and Clavum must be the then pronunciation of what we now know as Claverham. Chew is referred to in the 17thC Minutes variously as Great Chew and Chew Magna. Belluton is near Chew Magna: how many of these places are rememebred now for their 17th-century Quaker communities?