In 1841, controversial and militant clergyman Sydney Godolphin Osborne was appointed as Rector of Durweston. He supported the cause of the Dorset agricultural labourer, the hospital work of Florence Nightingale during the Crimea War and took a close interest in the Great Irish Famine.
Mr C Hill from Pimperne was drinking cider from a cup with a bee in it. He swallowed the insect which stung him when he coughed. Sadly, he later died as a result of the inflammation caused by the sting.
In 1844, the last Blandford Race meeting took place on Blandford Down which is now Blandford Camp.
A night time attack on a horse drawn mail coach travelling from Bere Regis to Blandford provided two highwaymen with a haul of just £1.35p.
In 1848, award winning photographer, George Conway Nesbitt was born in Blandford. He had three brothers, Tom, Albert and Charles who all became highly respected photographers.
In 1849, it was a time of extreme hardship in North Dorset. Organised by the Blandford Branch of the Colonisation Society, and with the support of Sydney Godolphin Osborne, 136 locals, aged between 2 and 41, embarked for Australia.
In 1850, fifty pounds was offered as a reward for the perpetrators of the many fires in the neighbourhood.
In 1851, twenty one year old, John Cole was sentenced to one month’s hard labour for stealing a pair of leather gloves. Upon serving this sentence he was also condemned to be transported for ten years for stealing a mackintosh coat.
Bostock & Wombell’s menagerie visited the town.
Caroline Watts was a blind inmate in the town’s workhouse. She would later publish a book, ‘Poems by a blind girl’ (1864).
(Illustration: Durweston’s Reverend Sydney Godolphin Osborne)