Joyces of Dorset and “White Mill”

Jan 1st, 1525 | By | Category: Of Ancient Times

The County historian for Dorset – Hutchins (Vol. IV) states that “The Joyces though possessed of no considerable estate were one of the most ancient families in the County. They were foresters of the forest of Gillingham as early as the reign of Henry III and seem afterwards to have been seated at Marnhull.  They occur there at about the time of the Dissolution”.

However the Joyce family followed in this booklet has not been shown to be related to those mentioned by Hutchins.

From “The survey of West Country Manors 1525” – The land of CecilyMarchioness of Dorset, Lady Harington and Bonville in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.                Sturmyster Marschall – Tenants at Will –  John Joyce holds there the moiety of one tenement to which belong 7½ acres of arable land of which 3½ lie in the northfylde and 4½ lie in the southfylde and are worth yearly each 10d and also one half acre of meadow lying in the Home Meade near Whyte Mylle Brygge worth 16d yearly and common for 2 cows, 2 horses and 50 sheep and he pays yearly fora all 5/1d. – This is the earliest mention found of a Joyce in the White Mill area, and may not be connected to the later families.

Hutchins History of Dorset, Vol III (page 164 Shapwick) gives: 20 Hen. VII John Husee at his death held six messuages, 320 a. of land and White Mill in Shapwick, of the Manor of Shapwick.(Aug 1504 – Aug 1505)

Hearth Tax records for Dorset showed evidence of the Joyce family in the years 1662, 1664 and 1674 which were examined.  A Hearth Tax of two shillings was levied upon all housed in England and posessing hearths, with certain exemptions, and was first levied in 1662 and because of its unpopularity was repealed in 1689.  Hearth Tax 1662-1664 Shapwicke Tithing – occupiers of Whitemill – 4 hearths, 2 stop’d (occupiers name not given but were these the same as mentioned earlier in this paragraph?)

White Mill and White Mill Farm, in the Parish of Shapwick formed part of the Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle Estates owned by Henry Bankes.  According to a leaflet issued by the National Trust “The mill was substantially rebuilt in 1776 by Henry Bankes.  An Estate survey in 1773 revealed that no rent was being paid for the mill, since it was unusable. Henry Bankes’ records in his memorandum books show, by spending £300 on rebuilding the mill the teneant John Joyce agreed to pay £20 in rent each year.  From its reconstruction in 1776 the mill was occupied by the Joyce family until 1906 when the last miller T D Joyce died.”

More about the history of White Mill is at

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