The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex

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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

Related document
William Augustus Raper
Jasper Botting

Botting, Jasper. 60 Woolpack Farm, Fletching. Farmer. Born 24 January 1819 at the Woolpack Farm and have lived on it all my life, except 1 year when I worked at the Marlpits Farm, Nutley. My Father Henry Botting (dead) used the Woolpack Farm. He used to tell me he took it at Michaelmas 1817 and he continued to use it till 24 or 25 years ago when he gave it up to me and I have used it ever since. The farm formerly belonged to a Mr. Budd and now to Professor Mivart (71 Seymour Street, Hyde Park). Since my earliest recollection, we have always had litter off Ashdown Forest down to and including last year. I have had none yet this winter. We have always had turf off the Forest, as much as 7 or 8 loads a year, till last year when I was not able to send for any and had plenty of wood handy and this year it has been too wet to cut and dry it. I have heard my Father say that he had had litter and turf from the Forest ever since he came to the farm in 1817.

Stevens Farm adjoins our farm. When I was a child Edward Crowhurst used it. Our two houses were nearly within a stone's throw of each other and I was very often there. Edward Crowhurst gave up the farm to his son Henry Crowhurst and he was succeeded by Mr. William Martin who used it some years and was succeeded by the present tenant Edward Newnham. I know that all of these had litter and turf off the Forest. I have constantly seen them bringing it home and brought some myself on one occasion for Henry Crowhurst. I know one field of Stevens Farm which is called Annis Field.

I know Homesdale Farm (Lord Sheffield). It joins mine and the house and homestead are lower down the road against which my house stands. When I was a boy, Mr. Noakes (dead) was the tenant. After him came William Wheeler (dead), then Lord Sheffield had it in hand a year or two [and] then it was let to Mr. George Horn (dead). He was succeeded by Mr. Ashford (now bailiff to Mr. Wilson of Stroods), then Thomas Lewry, then Charles Page near Blackham, who left it at Ladyday 1879, and Sir S. M. Wilson now farms it. All the tenants had litter from the Forest (except possibly Lord Sheffield), from my earliest recollection down to last year. I know Page and Horn had a great deal. Some of them had turf. Horn burnt a great deal. I do not know whether Lewry or Page used it

Light Row adjoins my farm and was used by Edward Crowhurst and afterwards his son Henry Crowhurst and after him by George Virgo till about 5 years ago, when Professor Mivart who had bought it enlarged the house and laid out grounds and let me part of the farm. I have no buildings there but have carried manure from Woolpack Farm made from the litter on the land. Professor Mivart has used the rest of Light Row and I have carried litter there for him from the Forest.

I knew the Crowhursts had litter and turf. When I used to see them take it there I have carried some litter there myself for Mr. Crowhurst. I know that Mr. Virgo also had litter and turf there. I always heard that Edward Crowhurst took Stevens Farm 2 years before my Father took the Woolpack Farm and took Light Row the same year as my Father came here. The Crowhursts first lived at Stevens Farm House and let Light Rowe and later let Stevens House and lived at Light Rowe.

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