William’s absences in 1695-1698 he was one of the lord justices of the realm.
He was a generous patron of men of letters. When Dryden was dismissed from the laureateship, he made him an equivalent pension from his own purse. Matthew Prior, in dedicating his Poems on Several Occasions (1709) to Dorset’s son, affirms that his opinion was consulted by Edmund Waller; that the duke of Buckingham deferred the publication of his Rehearsal until he was assured that Dorset would not “rehearse upon him again”; and that Samuel Butler and Wycherley both owed their first recognition to him. Prior’s praise of Dorset is no doubt extravagant, but when his youthful follies were over he appears to have developed sterling qualities, and although the poems he has left are very few, none of them are devoid of merit. Dryden’s “Essay on Satire” and the dedication of the “Essay on Dramatic Poesy” are addressed to him. Walpole (Catalogue of Noble Authors, iv.) says that he had as much wit as his first master, or his contemporaries Buckingham and Rochester, without the royal want of feeling, the duke’s want of principles or the earl’s want of thought; and Congreve reported of him when he was dying that he “slabbered” more wit than other people had in their best health. He was three times married, his first wife being Mary, widow of Charles Berkeley, earl of Falmouth. He died at Bath on the 29th of January 1706.
Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset (1688-1765), the only son of the 6th earl, was born on the 18th of January 1688. He succeeded his father as 7th earl of Dorset in January 1706, and was created duke of Dorset in 1720. He was lord steward of the royal household from 1725 to 1730, and lord-lieutenant of Ireland from 1730 to 1737; he was again lord steward from 1737 to 1745, and was lord president of the council from 1745 to 1751. In 1750 he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland for the second time, and after a stormy viceroyalty he was dismissed from office in 1755. The duke, who was several times one of the lords justices of Great Britain and held many other positions of trust, died on the 10th of October 1765. He left three sons: Charles, the 2nd duke; John Philip (d. 1765); and George, who took the additional name of Germain in 1770, and in 1782 was created Viscount Sackville (q.v.).
Charles Sackville, 2nd Duke of Dorset (1711-1769), an associate of Frederick, prince of Wales, was a member of parliament for many years and a lord of the treasury under Henry Pelham; he died on the 5th of January 1769, when his nephew, John Frederick (1745-1799), became the 3rd duke. This nobleman was ambassador in Paris from 1783 to 1789, and lord steward of the household from 1789 to 1799; he died on the 19th of July 1799, and was succeeded by his only son, George John Frederick (1793-1815). When the 4th duke died unmarried in February 1815, the titles passed to his kinsman, Charles Sackville Germain (1767-1843), son and heir of the 1st Viscount Sackville, who thus became 5th duke of Dorset. When he died on the 29th of July 1843 the titles became extinct.
DORSETSHIRE (Dorset), a south-western county of England, bounded N.E. by Wiltshire, E. by Hampshire, S. by the English Channel, W. by Devonshire and N.W. by Somersetshire. The area is 987.9 sq. m. The surface is for the most part broken. A line of hills or downs, forming part of the system to which the general name of the Western Downs is applied, enters the county in the north-east near Shaftesbury, and strikes across it in a direction generally W. by S., leaving it towards Axminster and Crewkerne in Devonshire. East of Beaminster in the south-west another line, the Purbeck Downs, branches S.E. to the coast, which it follows as far as the district called the Isle of Purbeck in the south-east of the county. Both these ranges occasionally exceed a height of 900 ft. Of the principal rivers and streams, the Stour rises just outside the county in Wiltshire, and flows with a general south-easterly course to join the Hampshire Avon close to its mouth. It receives the Cale, Lidden and other streams in its upper course, and breaches the central hills in its middle course between Sturminster Newton and Blandford. The Lidden and Cale are the chief streams of the well-watered and fertile district known as the Vale of Blackmore. The small river Piddle or Trent and the larger Frome, rising in the central hills, traverse a plain tract of open country between the central and southern ranges, and almost unite their mouths in Poole Harbour. In the north-west the Yeo, collecting many feeders, flows northward to join the Parret and so sends its waters to the Bristol Channel. The Char, the Brit and the Bride, with their feeders, water many picturesque short valleys in the south-west. The coast is always beautiful, and in some parts magnificent. In the east it is broken by the irregular, lake-like inlet of Poole Harbour, pleasantly diversified with low islands, shallow, and at low tide largely drained. South of this a bold foreland, the termination of the southern hills (here called Ballard Down) divides Studland Bay from Swanage Bay, after which the coast line turns abruptly westward round Durlston Head. The peninsula thus formed with Poole Harbour on the north is known as the Isle of Purbeck, an oblong projection measuring 10 m. by 7. St Albans or Aldhelms Head is the next salient feature, after which the fine cliffs are indented with many little bays, of which the most noteworthy is the almost landlocked Lulworth Cove. The coast then turns southward to embrace Weymouth Bay and Portland Roads, where a harbour of refuge with massive breakwaters is protected to the south by the Isle of Portland. The isle is connected with the mainland by Chesil Bank, a remarkable beach of shingle. After this the coast is less broken than before and continues highly picturesque as far as the confines of the county near Lyme Regis. This small town, with Charmouth, Bridport, Weymouth, Lulworth Cove and Swanage, are in considerable favour as watering-places.
Geology.—Occupying as it does the central and most elevated part of the county, the Chalk is the most prominent geological formation in Dorsetshire. It sweeps in a south-westerly direction, as a belt of high ground about 12 m. in width, from Cranborne Chase, through Blandford, Milton Abbas and Frampton to Dorchester; westward it reaches a point just north of Beaminster. From about Dorchester the Chalk outcrop narrows and turns south-eastward by Portisham, Bincombe, to West Lulworth, thence the crop proceeds eastward as the ridge of the Purbeck Hills, and finally runs out to sea as the headland between Studland and Swanage Bays.
Upon the Chalk in the eastern part of the county are the Eocene beds of the Hampshire Basin. These are fringed by the Reading Beds and London Clay, which occur as a narrow belt from Cranborne through Wimborne Minster, near Bere Regis and Piddletown; here the crop swings round south-eastward through West Knighton, Winfrith and Lulworth, and thence along the northern side of the Purbeck Hills to Studland. Most of the remaining Eocene area is occupied by the sands, gravel and clay of the Bagshot series. The Agglestone Rock near Studland is a hard mass of the Bagshot formation; certain clays in the same series in the Wareham district have a world-wide reputation for pottery purposes; since they are exported from Poole Harbour they are often known as “Poole Clay.” From beneath the Chalk the Selbornian or Gault and Upper Greensand crops out as a narrow, irregular band. The Gault clay is only distinguishable in the northern and southern districts. Here and there the Greensand forms prominent hills, as that on which the town of Shaftesbury stands. The Upper Greensand appears again as outliers farther west, forming the high ground above Lyme Regis, Golden Cap, and Pillesden and Lewesden Pens. The Lower Greensand crops out on the south side of the Purbeck Hills and may be seen at Punfield Cove and Worbarrow Bay, but this formation thins out towards the west. By the action of the agencies of denudation upon the faulted anticline of the Isle of Purbeck, the Wealden beds are brought to light in the vale between Lulworth and Swanage; a similar cause has accounted for their appearance at East Chaldon. South of the strip of Weald Clay is an elevated plateau consisting of Purbeck Beds which rest upon Portland Stone and Portland Sand. Cropping out from beneath the Portland beds is the Kimmeridge Clay with so-called “Coal” bands, which forms the lower platform near the village of that name.
The Middle Purbeck building stone and Upper Purbeck Paludina marble have been extensively quarried in the Isle of Purbeck. An interesting feature in the Lower Purbeck is the “Dirt bed,” the remains of a Jurassic forest, which may be seen near Mupe Bay and