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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

264 This large Oak is called Jack of the Yat


{118} The map at page 15 exhibits the direction taken on this occasion.

{122} To such a scheme the chief objection, in the words of the Hon. Thomas Frankland Lewis, appeared to be, that, "unless guarded against by some special provisions, the land will become subject to all the abuses which are so much complained of as to charity lands in general. It is altogether unlike a fund to be raised when and as it is wanted; there it is, and it must and will create objects on which to bestow itself, if it does not find them." The proposition was consequently not carried into effect.

{126} These three gentlemen opened their commission on Wednesday the 5th of September following, at Coleford, and after successive meetings it was there finally closed on Monday, the 20th of July, 1841.

{149a} The same stick was usually employed, being considered by long usage as consecrated to the purpose.

{149b} A pleasing emblem of such improvement seems manifested in the following lines of Richard Morse (a young native Forester), on a "Primrose found in a natural arbour among the large oaks in the Forest."

"Pretty little lonely flower, How I love thy modest blow! Ever grace this little bower, Here in safety ever grow.

"And, if tempted by ambition E'er to leave my humble cot, May I learn from thee submission To be happy with my lot.

"For while storms spread desolation 'Mong the lofty trees around, In thy lowly situation Peace and safety may be found.

"So, when states and empires shaking Bid the rich and great beware, I, comparatively speaking, Am secure from strife and care.

"Though the wintry blast should wither Thy pale blow--thy leaves decay, Gales, the first that spring sends hither, Thy perfume shall bear away.

"And like thee, I too shall perish, When my life's brief summer 's o'er; But there is a hope I cherish, To be blest for evermore.

"Winter past, so drear and hoary, Thou again wilt spring and bloom: So I hope to rise in glory From the darkness of the tomb."

{151} The preservation of the existing crop depends mainly upon the practical inculcation of this principle.

{152} "River Jordan" occurs in the neighbouring parish registers many times during the last 150 years; also "Providence Potter;" one of whose representatives, a sad drunken fellow, once went to his humane squire in great distress. The worthy gentleman, after suggesting various expedients, but to no purpose, at last said--"Well! he could see nothing for it but to trust in Providence." "Lord bless ye, Sir, why, Providence has been dead these ten years."

{163} The Author has had the satisfaction of promoting the erection of a tablet in Holy Trinity Church, to the memory of a man who had been so useful in his generation.

{172} This liberal gift may be regarded as a fitting memorial of Mr. Machen's fifty years' services in connexion with the Forest.

{189} Our best thanks are due to Sir Martin Crawley Boevey, the present Baronet, by whom many of the incidents in this chapter have been communicated.

{191} It is built of the two Forest stones--the red grit with grey stone facings, the stonework throughout being executed in the most perfect manner. The edifice consists of a chancel, nave, and N. aisle, with open oak roofs, covered with Broseley tile, with crease tiles, and the gables are mounted with rich floriated crosses. At the N.W. angle of the building rises in beautiful proportion the tower, capped with a shingle broach spire. The chancel is furnished with a sedile, credence-niche, stalls, reading desk, and lectern. The 3-light E. window by Gerente contains, in twelve compartments, a Personal History of Our Saviour, suggested by the verses in the Litany:--"By the mystery of Thy holy incarnation . . . and by the coming of the Holy Ghost." The other windows, all different in their tracery, are of Powell's quarry glass. The alabaster reredos by Philip exhibits in its three medallions the Feeding of the Multitude, the Institution of the Holy Communion, and the Agony in the Garden; and on the E. wall are illuminated, by Castell, of London, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Creed. The pulpit and font are of Painswick stone, with serpentine marble shafts; and the chancel rails, stalls, open seats, together with an exquisitely worked south porch, are of massive oak.

{197} The new road over the Plump Hill in its formation exposed an ancient mine-hole, in which was found a heap of half-consumed embers, and the skull of what appeared from its tusks to be a wild boar, the fragments perhaps of a feast partaken of by our Forest ancestors.

{198} One, or perhaps two roads, traversing the Forest from north to south, are yet wanting for public accommodation.

{216} Amongst the Patent Rolls of Henry III., dated 1238, occurs one entitled "de forgeis levandis in Foresta de Dean."

{235} At all times obligingly permitted to the Author by Mr. John Atkinson, the Queen's Gaveller.

{264} This large Oak is called "Jack of the Yat." Yat means gate here. It is probably 500 years old. It was struck by lightning a few years since.

{265a} In Sallow Vallets, a quarter of a mile below the Lodge; 90 yards round the outside of the branches.

{265b} This tree about eight feet from the ground separates into two large branches, or rather distinct trees; the rent or chasm in the trunk grows wider, and we have now (_i.e._ in 1847) fastened the limbs together with iron to prevent its breaking into two parts.

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