News – 1939


Mr. and Mrs. Charles William MILLER

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Miller, of Worbarrow Bay, Dorset, have received a message of congratulations from the King and Queen on their diamond wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have lived in the same cottage for 58 years.

The Times, Saturday 4 February 1939


Probate – M

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M

Eleanor Elizabeth MILLER died 18 January 1956 – see Eleanor Elizabeth HOULISTON

Harriet Deborah MILLER (neé WHITE) died 29 August 1947

MILLER Harriet Deborah of Rose Cottage Stoborough near Wareham Dorsetshire widow died 29 August 1947. Administration Winchester 16 September (1947) to Charlotte Deborah Head (wife of Albert Head). Effects £648 12s 8d.

 

Hill Cottage

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Hill Cottage, which stood alongside the Coastguard Station, was home to generations of the ‘fishing Millers’. ‘Old Henry Miller’, his bachelor son Tom, and many of their ancestors had been deeply involved in smuggling whilst living next door to the officers charged with stamping out the trade.

On 29 September 1939, the following were living at Hill Cottage:

MILLERThomas WM811858SingleHill Cottage
MILLERMinnieF511888SingleHill Cottage
WATKINSONKezia EF711868WidowHill Cottage
WATKINSONVictor PM121927SingleHill Cottage

Only the outline of Hill Cottage remains today.

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Miller

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Members of the Miller family that lived at Worbarrow/Tyneham:

This page is currently being reconstructed

  • Basil William Miller (1893-1984) + Edith Annie Miller nee Pittman (1897-1950)
  • Charles (1787-1831)
  • Charles (1818-1882)
  • Charles William ‘Charlie’ Miller (1851-1943) + Harriet Deborah Miller nee White (1854-1957)
  • David Miller (1798-1868) m. Harriet Miller nee Hibbs (c.1799-1844)
  • Henry Miller (c.1680-1747) m. Esther Miller nee Nelson (c.1780-1713?)
  • Henry Miller (1740-1803) m. Mary Miller nee Rowe (1742-1827)
  • Henry Miller (1784-1868) m. Jane Miller nee Langrish (1792-1870)
  • James Miller (1754-1840) m. Martha Miller nee Coastfield (1754-1840)
  • John Miller (1713-1780) m. Mary Miller nee Rumsey (1721-1780)
  • John Miller (1743-1808) m. Priscilla Miller nee Coastfield (1745-1820)
  • John Alfred ‘Jack’ Miller (1866-1947) m. Alice Rose White ‘Miggie’ Miller nee Rose (1865-1959)
  • Joseph Miller (1824-1909) m. Ann Miller nee Charles (c.1826-1886)
  • Joseph Henry ‘Joe’ Miller (1857-1953) m. Harriet Louisa Miller nee Murray (1858-1899)
  • Martha Miller (1789-1855) m. Thomas Miller (1782-?)
  • Robert Miller (1760-1820) m. Susannah Miller nee Willcox (1760–1830)
  • Samuel Miller (1763-1848) m. Elizabeth Miller nee Bradford (1763-1846)
  • Thomas Henry ‘Henry’ Miller (1835-1926) m. Louisa Jane Miller (nee Langrish (1832-1912)
  • Thomas William ‘Tom’ Miller (1858-1952)
  • William Henry Miller (1821-1883) m. Sarah Jane Miller nee Miller (1825-1914)

Millers descended from the above:

News – 1939

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William MILLER Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Miller, of Worbarrow Bay, Dorset, have received a message of congratulations from the King and Queen on their diamond wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have lived in the same cottage for 58 years. The Times, Saturday 4 February 1939 Continue reading

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Probate – M

Home|Probate|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z M Eleanor Elizabeth MILLER died 18 January 1956 – see Eleanor Elizabeth HOULISTON Harriet Deborah MILLER (neé WHITE) died 29 August 1947 MILLER Harriet Deborah of Rose Cottage Stoborough near Wareham Dorsetshire widow died 29 August 1947. Administration Winchester 16 September (1947) to Charlotte Deborah Head (wife of Albert… Continue reading

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Gravestone Images & Inscriptions – M

Miller Continue reading

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Hill Cottage

Home|Worbarrow|Coastguard Station|Fern Hollow|Gate Cottages|Hill Cottage|Mintern’s Cottage|Rose Cottage|Sea Cottage|Sheepleaze|The Bungalow Hill Cottage, which stood alongside the Coastguard Station, was home to generations of the ‘fishing Millers’. ‘Old Henry Miller’, his bachelor son Tom, and many of their ancestors had been deeply involved in smuggling whilst living next door to the officers… Continue reading

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Miller

Home|Families|Miller|A-E|F-J|K-O|P-T|U-Z Members of the Miller family that lived at Worbarrow/Tyneham: This page is currently being reconstructed Basil William Miller (1893-1984) + Edith Annie Miller nee Pittman (1897-1950) Charles (1787-1831) Charles (1818-1882) Charles William ‘Charlie’ Miller (1851-1943) + Harriet Deborah Miller nee White (1854-1957) David Miller (1798-1868) m. Harriet Miller nee… Continue reading

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Balson’s Gap and Malhala’s Fortune by Roy Martin

In her book, Tyneham, A Lost Heritage, Lillian Bond wrote: “The first of the Tyneham woodmen that I remember was a Balson … Old Balson was a little, wiry man as gnarled and woody looking as a tree root. His clothes, well weathered by long use, were the traditional corded… Continue reading

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1947: Aged Evacuee from Training Area Mrs. C. Miller dies at Stoborough

An evacuee from the much discussed battle training area of the Isle of Purbeck, whose exclusion from her lifelong home at Warbarrow Bay has aroused the sympathy of all interested in the “battle” of Purbeck. Mrs. Harriet Deborah Miller, has died at her home at Stoborough. The fate of the… Continue reading

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1939: Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Miller

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Miller, of Worbarrow Bay, Dorset, have received a message of congratulations from the King and Queen on their diamond wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have lived in the same cottage for 58 years. Published by The Times, Saturday 4 February 1939 Continue reading

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1865: West Lulworth – The Melancholy Casualty at Sea

On Saturday afternoon just before 2 pm, a south south west wind blowing and a heavy sea running the Warborough galley was seen by the watchman at Lulworth returning from Weymouth where she had gone previous evening for Government Stores. She past the cove in safety but about a quarter… Continue reading

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Balson’s Gap and Malhala’s Fortune by Roy Martin

In her book, Tyneham, A Lost Heritage, Lillian Bond wrote: “The first of the Tyneham woodmen that I remember was a Balson … Old Balson was a little, wiry man as gnarled and woody looking as a tree root. His clothes, well weathered by long use, were the traditional corded leggings and a thick leather coat, topped by a round and ear-flapped headdress of brown fur.”

She goes on to describe him at some length, then says: “His home was in the heath at Povington and he walked to his work, taking as near as possible a bee line over the hill. The track worn by his daily journeys in the course of the years out lasted him for many more, and the place in the hedge where he climbed from the North Hill into Madmore continued, long after his death, to be known as Balson’s Gap.”

To learn about his cottage, which was in the hamlet of Whiteway, we need to go back to earlier William Balsons. The first recorded William Balson (1759–1835) was the son of a John Balson; he married Elizabeth Miller in January 1789. The Millers were, and still are, a fishing family. Their first child Thirza was born in the same year, and their second Mahala arrived in 1791. Their sons Henry and John were born in 1802 and 1804 respectively; there may have also been a William who died young. The next son, Robert, went on to farm at Creekmoor near Poole, where he was described as a Yeoman.

William II, William and Elizabeth’s last recorded son, was born in 1811. He seems to have remained in Purbeck. This William married Elizabeth Snelling (various spellings) on 23 May 1830. They were both nineteen and their first child, a daughter Kizah, was born four months later.

The first entry in Henry Roll’s Journal is: “Wm Balson began billding his house at Whiteway this spring of 1833, over the lake south of the road going to Povington. They went into it in the spring of 1834.” As William I was an old man by now, he died at Tyneham in 1835, the builder seems to have been William II. By this time William II and Elizabeth had a son, John.

William chose well; though the site was on the edge of the heath the chalk steam known as Luckford Lake flowed past. This not only gave a constant supply of clean water, it also neutralized the acid heathland soil. If needed more chalk could be wheeled down from the nearby pit.

How did William get to know of the site? It could be that he had a night job, guiding the smugglers and the landers through the lonely open country, to get their goods across the River Frome to Bere Regis and even on to the Capital? Early in the journey they would have had to cross Whiteway or Povington Hill. Could it have been this Balson, and his convoy, who first made Balson’s Gap? His Miller in-laws would probably been involved!

William’s sister Mahala was twenty years older than him, she had never married. An unnamed child of William and Elizabeth Balson was christened at Corfe Castle on 30 December 1791: as their other early children were also christened at Corfe, it is probable that this was Mahala.

In the 1841 Tyneham census Mahala and her mother Elizabeth are described as paupers; but ten years later she was recorded as an annuitant. By the time she made her will in February 1855 Mahala was living in Wareham. She bequeathed almost five hundred pounds to various members of the family. Her first, and worst, choice was her nephew James, the son of the yeoman Robert. She left this young man £300. Robert was obviously upset that James should have been chosen and only left him five shillings in his own will. James was, or became, a ne’er-do-well; he seems never to have owned a house or land and spent two spells in Dorchester prison. One of Mahala’s other bequests was fifty pounds to William III, who later took over the house at Whiteway; he is the Balson that Lillian Bond wrote about. He was my great grandfather.

How did an elderly spinster end up with a fortune deposited in the Dorchester Bank? Some have said that she was generous, though not free, with her favours. It is difficult to imagine that she amassed the equivalent of fifty years wages in that way! Others say that the money came from smuggling, but why then did she have it and not the others? It is difficult to imagine that she, or the men, would have taken £500 in cash to Dorchester or even to a Wareham branch; without the Magistrates, and the whole County, becoming aware.

The name Mahala is unusual, but not unknown in Dorset. It also occurs in many other languages, including Zulu, where, as Malhala, it means ‘free of charge’ or a gift.

Thank you to Anne Lyons for sending me copies of the wills of Mahala and Robert and my brother Eric Martin for pointing out the possible South African connection. Luckford Lake marks the western extremity of the Isle of Purbeck.

Roy Martin,
December 2014

We are very grateful to Roy Martin for writing this feature for us. If you would like to write a feature about your ancestors from Tyneham parish, please get in touch at info@tynehamopc.org.uk

1947: Aged Evacuee from Training Area Mrs. C. Miller dies at Stoborough

An evacuee from the much discussed battle training area of the Isle of Purbeck, whose exclusion from her lifelong home at Warbarrow Bay has aroused the sympathy of all interested in the “battle” of Purbeck. Mrs. Harriet Deborah Miller, has died at her home at Stoborough. The fate of the only home she knew in her sixty odd years of married life has still to be decided by the Government.

Mrs. Miller, who was 93, was evacuated in December 1943, and within a week her 93 years old husband, Mr. Charlie Miller, died. By permission of the military authorities, he was buried in his home parish of Tyneham, and ever since his widow has grieved that she has been debarred from visiting his last resting place.

In view of all the circumstances Mrs. Miller decided that her last resting place should be at the cemetery adjoining Wareham Parish Church, where her relatives could visit and tend her grave.

So it was that Mrs. Miller was buried at Wareham, separated from her husband, with whom she lived in the little cottage at Warbarrow for the 63 years of her married life. A native of Kingston, she was for some time before her marriage a teacher at Tyneham School.

The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. John Frith, and chief mourners were Mrs. J. Hodge, Mrs. A. Head, Mrs. G. Mudford, Mrs. E. Woadden, Miss E. Houliston (nieces), Mr. G. White, Mr. A. Head, Mr. F. Hodge (nephews), Mrs. Houliston (sister-in-law), Miss Minnie Miller (cousin), Miss B. Minterne and Miss. W. Minterne (friends and former neighbours at Warbarrow). Others present included Mr. and Mrs. W. R. G. Bond, Mrs. Pryce (representing Wareham and Purbeck Rural Council) and Mr. C. F. J. Durant-Lewis, clerk to the Council), Mrs. H. C. Money, Mr. and Mrs. P. Brachi, Mr. and Mrs. G. Hart and Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Reeks.

Western Gazette – Friday 5 September 1947

1865: West Lulworth – The Melancholy Casualty at Sea

On Saturday afternoon just before 2 pm, a south south west wind blowing and a heavy sea running the Warborough galley was seen by the watchman at Lulworth returning from Weymouth where she had gone previous evening for Government Stores. She past the cove in safety but about a quarter of a mile further on was struck by a heavy sea on her quarter and instantly disappeared. The Lulworth galley was at once launched and with 5 minutes of the boats disappearance was pulling for the spot, fully manned and with mens lifebelts on board.  There efforts were, however, useless for no trace of any of the crew (which consisted of Mr Chope, Chief Officer in Charge, Mr Baker, Chief Boatman, and Dunn Hickey and Purnell, boatmen) could be discovered. It is thought that they must have all gone down together, as the oars and material floating on the surface would have been sufficient to support 3 of 4 men at least. Great praise is due to the Lulworth coast guard who launched and made their boat with wonderful rapidity and though a dangerous sea was running outside vied with each other in their eagerness to go to the rescue of their comrades; also to Thomas Williams and Joseph Miller, Lulworth fishermen, who put off in the formers sailing boat in the hope of being able to give assistance. In reference to the crew of the ill fated boat the writer of the above adds: – a finer set of men would have been difficult to meet; Mr Chope and Mr Bale being especially skilful in the mangement of a boat. She was, however, heavily laden with government stores, which partly, no doubt, caused the accident; and it was noble desire to get these goods home so that they might begin at once to get their stations into order, which was eventually the cause of their sad death. The promptitude of the Lulworth men, both of the coastguard and the two fishermen, in going to the rescue, was beyond all praise and excited the admiration of all who witnessed it. The Rev. W. Gildear [Gildea] was on the beach 2 or 3 minutes after the boat went down; and when no hope remained, went to break the sad intelligence to the poor widows and children. The boat was washed up last Monday on Duddlestone Ledge, but none of the bodies have yet been found.

Published by the Dorset County Chronicle, Thursday 9 March 1865