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Dale

Most of the records for the Dale family related to Chewton Mendip are found in the churchwardens accounts and the poor books from around 1730.
James Dale married Sarah Millard, both of Chewton, on 15/12/1728 in Chewton Mendip. There are other records of births deaths and marriages but most of the records are related to poor relief in the 18th century. Several records refer to illegitimate births and the following examples taken from the poor book about 1754 give a detailed account of  some of the issues concerned.
 Martha Dale's child's burialThe relationship between Martha and James and Sarah Dale is not known but the accounts refer to the year 1757-1758 . Many children died within days of being born as did quite a few of the mothers. The use of the word ‘bastard’ was not a derogatory, it was the correct legal term.
 Jane Dale arrestThis extract is taken from the same year and is a rare example of a mother abandoning her children. Jane Dale was arrested and detained in the local inn before being taken to Wells assize courts for abandoning her illegitimate children.  There are several examples of the parish tracking down errant fathers and of people being accommodated in the Unicorn Inn for various reasons. The relationship between Jane, Martha
 A Jane Dale was apprenticed  to Samuel Clark or James Lasbury in 1762 paid for by Chewton Mendip. She may have been one of the children abandoned by Jane Dale in 1754 and the same person given poor relief later. She may have been related to the Sarah who produced an illegitimate child in 1770.
 James, the ‘base son of…’ Sarah Dale and Francis Bendale was born on 11/7/1770 and baptised on 5/8/1770. The father’s name is significant and is a possible example of sexual exploitation. There were several Francis Bendles or variations of the name who were prosperous farmers and Sarah may have been his servant.
 Jane, the daughter of James and Sarah Dale was baptised on 13/11/172 in Chewton Mendip. This is the last record of the Dale family in Chewton Mendip discoverd so far.
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