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
James Baker (continued)

I knew Upper Pest House Farm. When I was a boy before I went to service [I] went there frequently for milk. Benjamin Combridge then had the farm. He died and John Fry had it for a time. Then Morphy had it and was succeeded by his son John who still lives there. I have already said Combridge turned out his cattle and horses, and [?] Morphy turned out cattle, horses and sheep regularly, down to the present time, and I have seen their stock out. All of them have had litter from the Forest. I have seen all of them carrying it off the Forest and have seen it in their yards. I have often been there to look for any animal I had missed off the Forest or that had broken out of New Lodge.

I know Whitehouse Farm, now belonging to Mr. Hale and adjoining Clay pits. When I was a boy it was owned and farmed by Mr. Thompson and my Father used to manage it for him and I used to go down there with him. Mr. Thompson and his family farmed it till about 30 years ago then a Mr. Beach [had] it for a time, then a Mr. James Langridge, then the Thompsons used it again for a while. Mr. Hale bought it a few years ago and has used it ever since. I used to see forest litter in the yard when I was a boy. Later on I used to go with Lippetts who occupied the cottage to fetch litter in for the farm. The subsequent tenants have taken forest litter regularly to last year. When I was a boy and before I went to service, Mr. Thompson put an outside skin of stone to the house and I went with Lippetts to fetch some of it from Blackstones quarry by Tompsetts Bank. Mr. Thompson always turned out cattle and sheep. I remember my Father telling me when a boy that one day while Mr. Thompson happened to be there the sheep were driven off the Forest (I do not know by whom). My Father went in and told Mr. Thompson and proposed to go after them but Mr. Thompson told him the parties would be glad enough to bring them back and they were returned the next day without any payment. My Father died many years ago.

I know Scotchford Farm. The first tenant I recollect was Everest. My elder brother Edward had his first place there and remained about 2 years, not more, and I used to carry his clean clothes to him nearly every week. Obediah Waters came after, then Luke Godly (from Upper Parrock) [and] Squire Jackson then used it a year or two, then Henry Young, then William Card for 1 or 2 years, then Scrace and Waldron and now Scrace alone. I have known all the occupiers and have often been over to see them all. I know Everest turned out at the time. My brother was there because he used to bring us word to let him know if we saw any of his bullocks straying to far on the Forest and my brother has pointed out his beasts on the Forest to me. Waters also turned out; I used to see them. Godly also turned out. We were some connection by marriage and he used to get me to look after his stock on the Forest at times. Mr. Jackson always turned out for all his property. Young also turned out; I knew his stock. We were intimate friends.

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