History of Shipham Parish
Somerset, England

Excerpts from
"The Heart of Mendip"
by
Francis A. Knight
J. M. Dent & Sons, London, 1915

Below is a history of the parish of Shipham in Somerset, England, from the book, "The Heart of Mendip," by Francis A. Knight. In the fifty pages devoted to Shipham, we learn about the social and cultural history of the parish and its people, with much of the text devoted to a discussion of the mining industry, and the charitable work of woman named Hannah More, who for years was active in assisting the poor of the parish. As is typical of this type of volume, Mr. Knight and others quoted here describe the inhabitants of the parish is less than flattering terms. He notes that the miners, in particular were, "rude and turbulent and defiant of authority," and were "notorious for their rough manners and their lawless lives." Although there is little doubt that some of these characteristics were true, to assign such characteristics to an entire class of workers is clearly an exercise in class prejudice on the part of the author. The role that the parish church of St. Leonard's played in the community is also discussed, with mention of the church's registers and extractions of several entries from the registers. Here we find many of the names that have long been associated with the parish, including Day, Phippin, Pitman, Roe, Hares, Ford, and others.

For this presentation I have scanned all the pages of the book for the chapter on Shipham and linked them in order below. I have also included the index page that mentions entries for the parish.


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