The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex

The Ashdown Forest Dispute 1876-1882
by Professor Brian Short
published by Sussex Record Society in 1997
Excerpts from this work have been reproduced on this site with the kind permission of Professor Brian Short

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William Augustus Raper
William Baldwin

Baldwin, William. Old man, rather feeble - seems reluctant. Living adjoining the Furnace Farm near New Bridge on his own property. Was born 13 January 1806 at Lamberhurst and when I was able to go to service at the age of about 12 (when people had to go back to their parishes to work) I went to service with Mr. Godly at Upper Parrock Farm (Miss Gervis' property) for 21/2 years and went with the ox team. Then I went to Mr. Waters at Hodore Farm (then Lord Whitworth's) for 2 years, then I went to a place at Withyham for 9 weeks and returned to Hodore for a short time.

I was then out of work for a time less than a year as work was scarce. My next place was with Mr. Histed at Chartness for about 2 years, then I went to Lower Tyes Farm to Mr. Philcox who also used Lower Parrock Farm for 2 years. I then married his daughter at Hartfield Church by Mr. Slade (query 1827-8). I continued at Lower Tyes till 1844 and then went to work for Mr. Richard Ratcliff at Hodore till 1862. Then I worked for Mr. Stephen Langridge about 6 years. I came to my present house about 1841.

Whilst I worked for Mr. Godly at Upper Parrock I went on the Forest with the ox team several times and carried litter and peat but I cannot speak positively to having carried it to Upper Parrock. We sometimes carried for other people. I was mate with Mr. Waters team and used to go on the Forest to fetch litter and turf but cannot say I ever took any on to the farm. When I lived under Philcox I once had some peat off the forest which was cut in the hollow under New Lodge.

I knew Mr. Langton who lived at Hartfield Grove. He used to have a great deal of litter off the forest. He used to send a cart out to fetch it in. I cut 3 load and `sold' it to him. Don't think he turned out. Colonel Morris and the late Mr. Melville his successors used also to have a good deal of litter. I have seen his carts taking it off the Forest. They always stacked it by the side of the lane adjoining the farmyard. I went that way daily to work for Mr. Ratcliffe. I have seen Mr. Hale's teams bringing in litter every year.

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