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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

To bring Lord Lovelace safe home


When he came to Gloucester he had but forty men, The city of Gloucester all barred unto him; The city was guarded with soldiers about, But he brought Lord Lovelace from his prison quite out.

With sword in his hand he before them did go; He was not ashamed his face for to show: 'They who have anything to say to Lord Lovelace,' said he, 'O then, if they have, let them speak it to me.'

Then up to the Mayor away he did get, And his wooden god to pieces did beat; And the big golden chair where King James sate He threw in the fire, which made a brave heat.

Then up into Oxfordshire away he did ride, To bring Lord Lovelace safe home; He plundered the Papists along as he goes, He could not endure to see us abused."

Two years later than the date of the above outrages, wood-fellings to the extent of 6,186 short cords were made, pursuant to their Majesties' letters of Privy Seal. They were sold, it is said, for six shillings a cord, which was considered a good price for the county of Gloucester.

A period of about five years from the time that the last was held brings us to the date of the _eighth_ record of the Mine Law Court, viz. the 17th of January, 1692. It was held at Clearwell, before the three deputies of the Constable of St. Briavel's Castle, _i.e._

Tracy Catchmay, John Higford, and George Bond, Esqrs.

The Court levied a further contribution of 12d. upon every miner, with an additional 1s. on every mine horse, with which to clear off certain charges incurred in a recent suit in the Court of Exchequer at Westminster. It extended the protective distance of 100 yards, within which every pit was guarded from being encroached upon by any other work, to 300 yards. It also provided that no iron ore intended for Ireland should be shipped on the Severn or Wye for a less sum than 6s. 6d. for every dozen bushels. This order was signed by sixteen out of the forty-eight miners with their own hands, the rest making their marks only.

To this period is assigned Dr. Parsons's quaint remarks on the Forest. "It abounds," he says, "with springs for the most part of a brownish or umber colour, occasioned by their passage through the veynes of oker, of which there is a great plenty, or else through the rushy tincture of the mineralls of the ore. The ground of the Forest is more inclined to wood and cole than corn, yet they have enough of it too. The inhabitants are, some of them, a sort of robustic wild people, that must be civilized by good discipline and government. The ore and cinder wherewith they make their iron (which is the great imployment of the poorer sort of inhabitants) 'tis dug


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