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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

And the payments for the ancient agistments

_s._ _d._ Little Dean 3 4 parish Newnham ,, 3 4 Staunton ,, 2 0 Longhope ,, 3 4 Abbenhall ,, 3 4 Mitcheldean ,, 7 0 Hope Mansel ,, 1 0 Ruerdean ,, 3 4 Bicknor ,, 1 0 Alvington ,, 5 0 will not pay. Newland ,, 10 0 Huntisham 7 8 will not pay. tithing Bledisloe 3 4 Etloe Dutchy 5 0 } Etloe tithing 3 0 } In Awre. Box ,, 3 4 } Hagloe and 5 5 } Purton Blaisdon 6 8 Blakeney 4 0 tithing Awre parish 8 0

It is highly probable that the above claims, and the payments for the ancient agistments, originated when the limits of the Forest comprehended the parishes by which they are made. The earliest authentic trace of them occurs in the agreement made by Charles I. with Sir

John Winter in 1640, according to which about 4,000 acres of Crown land was to be taken in and attached to the bordering parishes in lieu of their rights of commonage; and in conformity with the principle of this agreement, the Commissioners recommended "that these commonable rights should be comprised in some general arrangement for the purpose of a commutation."

The last subject the Commissioners notice is the stone-quarries, which persons born within the hundred of St. Briavel's claimed the right of opening in the waste lands of the Forest, on payment of a fee of three shillings to the gaveller, and an annual rent of three shillings and fourpence, according to the custom of at least the last hundred years, a period too long to justify the withdrawal of any existing gale, unless by compensation. Hence all that the Commissioners found themselves justified in recommending to the Crown, with the view of putting the working of the stone-quarries on a better footing, was to re-issue gales on liberal leases to all parties born within the hundred who applied for the same within a specified time.

In bringing their labours to a close, the Commissioners urge the necessity of passing an Act for definitively settling the several particulars to which their inquiries had been directed, adding that it would be well to incorporate the offices of Constable of St. Briavel's Castle, and Warden of the Forest, with the office of Woods, lest they should be found to interfere with its future administration, at that time under the charge of Lord Duncannon, B. C. Stephenson, Esq., and A. Milne, Esq.; and this was accordingly done in the following year.

We gather from Mr. Machen's memoranda that the nurseries in the Forest at this time (1835) contained:--

Oak. Chesnut. Larch. Scotch. Spruce. Ash. Quick. 310,000 1,300 66,500 74,700 5,300 120,000 124,000 total. 200,000 1,300 40,000 40,000 5,300 10,000 30,000 fit to plant out.

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