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  The Ashdown Forest Dispute - notebook 1 by William Augustus Raper
published in 1878
Excerpts from this work have been reproduced on this site with the kind permission of Professor Brian Short
Related documents
William Augustus Raper
The Ashdown Forest Dispute 1876-1882
Notebook 1
Notebook 2
Notebook 3
Notebook 4
Notebook 5
Two-up display
Back 1



25 Sept 1878

Heaver, Edward. First rate witness. Pretty robust. Aged 76. [Born] on 30 January, 1802 at the house in the Hindleap Warren. Baptised in East Grinstead.

When I was about 8 or 10 years old my father William Heaver was tenant at Plaw Hatch Farm, about 100 acres at that time. The owner was then Major Marsacks. He sold to Blunt, he to Allison, he to Harrison and he to Arbuthnot. I worked with slight intervals till 26 or 27 [years old]. Then I lodged a short time at Plaw Hatch at Quabrook and did odd work for about 10 years. Then worked at Hammerwood for Mr. Meggins for about 10 years, living during the greater part of the time at Forest Row before I left to work with a little farm of 16 acres near the turnpike at Forest Row belonging to Dr. Collins of East Grinstead which I farmed about 7 or 8 years and I then took Leggs Heath Farm which I have held for about 26 years. The first occupier of Leggs Heath I remember was old Payne who owned it. After him I think his son William had it for a year or two. He was succeeded by a Mr. Holford, then a Mr. Flint, then Gardner, then I.

All the time I lived at Plaw Hatch we turned out young stock on the Forest every summer and occasionally our pigs. We always took what brakes and litter we required from the Forest each autumn without missing a year. By litter I mean anything that comes to the scythe including brakes. We used it for littering the yards. The brakes we cut separately for littering under cover. Every summer we cut turf for fuel and brought it home and stacked it for winter use, as much as 4 or 5 wagon loads in a stack. We took plenty of wood off the Forest as far as I can recollect because we had plenty for all purposes growing on the Farm and sufficient [?] to sell at times. We from time to time took long heath from the Forest for thatching buildings. There was a great deal more long heath on the Forest in those days than there is now. We took stone at times to mend the farm roads and gravel to bottom the yards from that part of the Forest just in front of the 'Goat' (house tenanted by Mrs Susannah Rice).

We occasionally took a few loads of marl for manure from a pit in the Forest close to the Priory. We also took loam from the Forest close to Leggs Heath more than once, probably 2 or 4 times, perhaps a load at a time for rough mortar and plastering when we were putting up any rough buildings. We got sand for the same purpose off the Forest close to Leggs Heath. After my Father left Plaw Hatch I lived a short time with him at Quabrook and then lived at Forest Row till I took Leggs Heath. In that, with the exception of the time I was at Quabrook, I have always been all my life close to Plaw Hatch and once since I have had Leggs Heath I rented Plaw Hatch for 1 1/2 years. From time to time' since I left Plaw Hatch I have seen the successive occupiers carrying litter off the Forest including Blunt, Allison, Harrison and Arbuthnot's teams. Mr. Arbuthnot has cut a large quantity for lawns during the last 6 years. Mr. Harrison built new sheds and stables and other buildings about 9 years ago and he took stone and sand some near the 'Goat' and some near the hospital for this purpose.

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