In 1827, Edward Berkeley Portman of Bryanston married Emma Lascelles who became a Lady in Waiting and close confidante of Queen Victoria.
In 1830, the ‘Tally Ho’ horse drawn coach called at the Greyhound Inn on alternate weekdays on its way from Weymouth to London and similarly on the way back.
Edward Portman ‘regaled’ the returning Blandford horsemen with strong beer after they had ridden north to put down riots in villages around Sixpenny Handley. This refreshment was ‘received with good cheer.’
In 1831, Dragoon Guards were sent to Blandford from Weymouth to put down rioting. The soldiers fired upon and cut with sabres many of the rioters. Richard Bleathman and George Long were sentenced to death for taking part in the riots. Many of the windows in the Greyhound Inn were broken in the riot.
Button making was a major Blandford business. A workhouse inmate was capable of producing up to 200 handmade buttons in a day. Many women were attracted to button making because it paid better than agricultural labouring and young mothers could better look after children working at home.
Beer was the Godwin family’s business. Silas Godwin was the publican at the Three Choughs public house, Henry and John Godwin brewed beer at their Durweston brewery and Philip Godwin produced malt in Pimperne.
In 1833, Blandford’s first public library opened in the Assembly Rooms.
In 1834, the title of Mayor of Blandford was first used instead of Bailiff.
In 1835, there was a ‘most dreadful hailstorm’ which shattered 20,000 squares of glass. Smuggled brandy was still on sale in the town.
In 1836, until this year, the Bishop of Bristol’s Registry for the Archdeaconry of Dorset was kept in Blandford.
Consisting of part-timers, the town’s first police force was appointed. The superintendent was paid twenty ponds per annum and the constables one shilling and six pence (7p) for four hours by day or night.
(Illustration: Blandford Market Place)