1. Royal Connection - Sir John Davies was born at Lower Chicksgrove Tisbury in 1569. An accomplished lawyer, popular poet, and Attorney General for Ireland 1603-1616, Davies was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth 1. In 1603 he was part of the deputation sent to bring King James V1 of Scotland to London as monarch.
2. Hatch House, an ancient manor situated in West Tisbury, was the seat of the Hyde family in the 16th and 17th centuries. A tablet in the house bears the following inscription: "In this house was born, lived and died Laurence Hyde, whose third son, Edward, was created Earl of Clarendon and Lord Chancellor of England in 1660 and whose daughter married James, Duke of York, afterwards King James 11, and became the mother of Queens Mary and Anne. These two queens of England lived some while here. Also Prince George of Denmark, Consort of Queen Anne, was quartered here the 3rd December 1688 on his way to Sarum to join the King."
3. American Connection - Thomas Mayhew was born in Tisbury in 1593. After completing an apprenticeship to a mercer in Southampton, he set up his own business in the port. In 1631 Thomas accepted a post as agent in Massachusetts for a wealthy London merchant and set sail with his wife and family for America. He became so successful that he eventually secured part of his employer's business and purchased the offshore islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Thomas and his sons helped to establish the towns of Tisbury and Chilmark in New England and famously ministered to the spiritual needs of the Indian population and the early settlers.
Long before the advent of government and employer health insurance and other financial services, friendly societies played an important part in many people's lives. Two of the most prolific were the Ancient Order of Foresters (established in 1834), so called because members assisted their fellow men who fell into need "as they walked through the forests of life" and Oddfellows (established in 1810) which evolved from the medieval Trade Guilds and were so called because they were fellow tradesmen from an odd assortment of trades.
Members of friendly societies paid a regular fee and attended ceremonial meetings. If they became sick, emotional and other support would be given along with an allowance to help them meet their financial obligations. The society might have a doctor who could be freely consulted and when a member died, funeral expenses were paid and the lodge or court would attend the funeral in ceremonial dress; often there would be some money left over for the widow. Fetes, dances and sports were held regularly to supplement branch funds - these were much anticipated events - parishioners turned out in large numbers to watch members parade the village with their banners and other regalia, usually accompanied by a local band. All Friendly Society information has been placed here regardless of where the lodge or court was based within the parish. Newspaper reports of the friendly societies' activities often contain members names.