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
Jesse Dival


Dival, Jesse. Quabrook Common, Hartfield. Born 6 March 1811 at Chuckhatch. My Father used to make bricks in the yard there in summer and in the winter he worked at litter cutting and the like. When I was a little boy I used to go out and help rake it together for him and I recollect one of the people he used to cut for was Mr. Cook of Blackham Farm, Withyham, (Price owner). Why I recollect this so well was that the men who came to carry it used to bring a good meat pie for lunch, I suppose as an encouragement for them to bring a good load. I always used to scheme to be there at lunch time. I should then have been from 9 to 10 years old. It was sometime before I went to service. The Ladytide after I was 14 1 went to service to Mr. Quaife butcher at Hartfield Street for 4 years. I then went to service with my uncle Thomas Divall at Chuck Hatch and worked at tile making in the summer and at wood cutting and litter cutting in the winter. At the end of 1 1/2 years I came to live with my Father at Quarock. When I was about 24 I went to live with Mr. Thomas Foster at Little Parrock Farm and worked for him for 5 years. During that time after we had finished wheat sowing I used to go out on the Forest and cut litter for him and helped bring it home. I did so every winter while I was in his service. I also cut a little turf for him, about 2 loads every summer in a part of the Forest we called Lodge Mires between Quarock and Broadstone. I also cut a few brakes for him. He used to turn out young stock on the Forest I used to drive them out. When I left home I got married at Hartfield Church the Christmas after I was 29.

While I lived with Mr. Foster I used to see Robert Edwards teams' carrying litter home from the forest. Robert Edwards then had Andrews Bank and Lines Farm. I also saw the teams of old Mr. Stephen Langridge (dead) of Upper Parrock carrying in litter. At that time Mr. Francis Jenner was farming Ashdown House Farm for Mrs Fuller. He had litter from the Forest. I used to see his ox and horse teams carrying it. I remember Mr. Augustus Elliott Fuller used to hunt the Forest. I used to go after the hounds. There was also a small pack kept at Hartfield. Quaife used to hunt them.

When I was a little nipper before I went to service I remember being up on the Forest when both packs were hunting and both got on the same hare and the dogs of both packs got hold of it and there was a dispute between Mr. Fuller and Quaife as to who the hare belonged.

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