The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Hobbs Cottage  Grisling Common  Piltdown  Fletching  
Historical records

30th Mar 1851CensusHead; occupation: farm labourerHenry Hobbs, farm labourerHobbs Cottage1851 Census
Fletching, Sussex
30th Mar 1851CensusLodger; occupation: farm labourerJames Langridge, farm labourer
30th Mar 1851CensusLodger's wifeElizabeth Langridge [Hobbs]
30th Mar 1851CensusLodger's sonEdward Langridge, farm bailiff
30th Mar 1851CensusLodger's sonHenry Langridge
30th Mar 1851CensusLodger's wife's sonCharles Hobbs, farm labourer
30th Mar 1851CensusBrother; occupation: farm labourerJasper Hobbs, farm labourer
30th Mar 1851CensusBrother; occupation: master carpenterJames Hobbs, master carpenter

1879RecollectionsJohn Bedwell, farm labourerHobbs CottagesAshdown Forest dispute

During The Ashdown Forest Dispute 1876-1882 commoners and land owners were interviewed by the solicitor William Raper. Their comments were recorded in a series of notebooks:

Bedwell, John. 73. Living at Hobbs Cottages, Piltdown, Maresfield. Laborer. My Father was carter to Mr. Verrall at Blackvenn and I was born on the farm. When I was a child we moved to Nutley for 2 years, then we came to Fletching workhouse [for] 3 years. When I was about 12, the parish put me out at service with Mr. Cheale at Portmansford Farm in Fletching (Lord Sheffield's). I was there a year as under carter and during that time I went on to the Forest with the team and brought home 2 or 3 loads of litter. I then came to the Church Farm and worked for a Mr. Moore about 2 years as odd boy. He had no litter. I then went back to Mr. Cheale for another year at Portmansford Farm and that winter I fetched another load or two of litter for him from the Forest. I then came to Down Street Farm, Fletching, under Mr. Dadswell for 3 years at first as under carter and afterwards as carter. During that time I fetched several loads of litter each winter from the Forest. I moved with him to Todheath Farm, Buxted, near where the railway station now is and remained one year there. We had no litter there. I then went away to Hurst 1/2 a year and then came back in the summer to Town House Farm in Horsted Keynes at Freshfield Crossways under a Mr. Verrall 1/2 a year. Then I was married at the age of about 22 and went to Atheralls Farm 1 1/2 years under Mr. Pratt as stockman. He always had litter off the Forest; I went after it at times. I used to use it for littering down the stock. He did not turn out on the Forest. He then left the farm and I continued to work for his successor, Mr. Thomas Beacon for 16 years. He had no litter because he always grew plenty of straw, fed his stock on hay and used the whole of his straw for fodder. He did not turn out. He died there and I continued to work for his successor Mr. John Tidy 20 years. He had litter every year from the Forest, I used sometimes to cut it and sometimes to carry it home. I then left the farm 4 or 5 years before he gave it up or about 8 years ago, since which I have worked about.

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