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
James Baker

Baker, James. Living at New Lodge, Hartfield. Formerly farmed it, now his son in law farms (acreage 125). Was born in the Lower Pest house in Hartfield. Does not know his age but he was baptised on the 27th November 1804 at Hartfield Church. When I was very young, not more than 10 years old, I went for about a year to work at Fincham Farm, Hartfield, belonging to and used by Thomas Young at 6d. a day and all my grub. Flour was then 3s. 4d. a gallon. Thomas Young died soon after and was succeeded by Henry Young after a dispute with his cousin William Young who claimed the property. I then went to carry for Colonel Young's at Holly Hill for about 1,/2 years Then for Mr. Bradford at Pippingford about a year. Then at the age of about 14 in April 1818 I came to work for Captain Hall at New Lodge and for Captain Kidd after him. Captain Kidd died about 1831. I continued with Captain Hall who managed it for his sister Miss Kidd till 1833 when I took the farm on my own account and have lived here ever since. New Lodge is on the hill in sight of Holly Hill and Hartfield Grove. I have served the offices of Surveyor of Highways and Overseer of the poor of this parish of Hartfield.

I do not recollect Thomas Young turning out stock in the Forest when I was working at Fincham, but it is quite possible he did so without my knowing it. I know that Henry Young who succeeded him, and his son William Young who still uses the farm, have regularly turned out stock on the Forest ever since I was a young man. I was always a great friend of Henry Young and of his son William, the present tenant. I have been a constant visitor there and I knew that they had litter off the Forest for their farm ever since I can remember. I saw William Young and talked to him several times last year when he was on the Forest with his team taking it home. Henry always used to have peat for fuel. I knew several persons who cut it for him and I believe William has had it but cannot say for certain. Henry used to have mould off the Forest for mixens and I have known him fetch it all the way from Chuckhatch up Harts Lane.

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