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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

And with honour to Gloucester he brought him along


The

_seventh_ of the orders still extant reports the Court of the Mine to have been held at Clearwell on the 5th of April, 1687, before William Wolseley, Esq., and commences by stating that more money was wanted for legal purposes, and that every miner must pay two shillings, with two shillings besides for every mine-horse, towards meeting them.

It likewise directed that each coal-pit and dangerous mine-pit, if left unworked for a whole month together, should be fenced with a stone wall or posts and rails, under a penalty of 10s. All previous orders, fixing the prices at which the minerals of the Forest were alone to be sold, were now abolished, not having been found to answer; and all miners were left at liberty to sell or carry and deliver their ore and coal to whom, where, and how they pleased; and whereas previously all colliers were entitled to be first served at the pits, now it was ordained that the inhabitants of the hundred should precede the trade, and that those miners only should keep horses who had land sufficient to feed them. The following provision speaks for itself--"For the restrayning that pernicious and abominable sinne of perjury too much used in these licentious times, every myner convicted by a jury of 48 miners in the said Court shall for ever loose and totally forfeite his freedome as touching the mines, and bee utterly expelled out of the same, and all his

working tooles and habitt be burnt before his face, and he never afterwards to be a witness or to be believed in any matter whatsoever." Of the forty-eight jurymen whose names are appended to the above, sixteen signed.

It was in the month of January following (1688) that a riotous assemblage of the people pulled down Worcester Lodge and York Lodge, besides much defacing and spoiling the Speech House; an outrage connected probably with the unpopularity of James II., after whom the Speech House and York Lodge were called. With reference to the general feeling of the neighbourhood respecting the principles of the Revolution, Mr. Pyrke, of Dean Hall, states that the release of Lord Lovelace, a supporter of the Prince of Orange, out of Gloucester prison, was effected by "a young gentleman of that county," an ancestor of his, "who took up arms for the Prince, and drove out all the Popish crew that were settled in that city," and that the exploit has been handed down in the following rude lines, sung by his haymakers at their harvest supper:--

"A health to Captain Pyrke, who in Little Dean was bred, And of a thousand men he was the head; He fought for the truth and the Protestant faith; We drink his good health, and so do rejoice.

He down in the West King William did meet, And to him he sent both oxen and sheep, Till he had an order which from him did come, And with honour to Gloucester he brought him along.


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