"That is what I want to find out. What
is the family home of the Dorkminsters?"
"Oh, they were a great Hampshire family," said he. "For five hundred
years they lived on their estates in Hampshire. The first of the name
was Sir William Dorkminster, who came over with the Conqueror, and most
likely was given those estates for his services. Then we go on until we
come to the Duke of Dorkminster, who built a castle, and whose brother
Henry was made bishop and founded an abbey, which I am sorry to say
doesn't now exist, being totally destroyed by Oliver Cromwell."
You cannot imagine how my blood leaped and surged within me as I
listened to those words. William the Conqueror! An ancestral abbey! A
duke! "Is the family castle still standing?" said I.
"It fell into ruins," said he, "during the reign of Charles I., and
even its site is now uncertain, the park having been devoted to
agricultural purposes. The fourth Duke of Dorkminster was to have
commanded one of the ships which destroyed the Spanish Armada, but was
prevented by a mortal fever which cut him off in his prime; he died
without issue, and the estates passed to the Culverhams of Wilts."
"Did that cut off the line?" said I, very quick.
"Oh, no," said the family-tree man, "the line went on.