Dorset is bounded North by Wiltshire and Somersetshire, East by Hampshire, South by the English Channel, and West by Devonshire; being about 50 miles long, and 27 broad. It has five great divisions, Blandford, Bridport, Dorchester, Shaston, and Sherborne, which are divided into numerous liberties and hundreds. Rivers, — the Stowr, the Frome, and the Ivel. It has 17 market towns. It is in the Province of Canterbury, in the Diocese of Bristol, and in the Western circuit. — Area, 1005 square miles, or 643,200 acres. Population, 175,043.
Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.