One of the most fascinating rural industries was the hand-making of buttons which appeared in Shaftesbury towards the end of the 16th century and, almost overnight, expanded throughout the whole of East Dorset. Employing nearly every woman and child in that area on some facet of the craft but which vanished with equal alacrity in the mid 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution, leaving owners and workers alike in a state of extreme poverty. The craft did linger in a few villages here and there but gradually this industry declined and disappeared. The majority of records have also been lost without trace so that we now know little about the craft or the people engaged in it. It is hoped that this book will go some way towards permanently preserving the limited information which has been gathered together about buttony and will help to popularise this craft that has had a revival in Dorset in recent years.