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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

As Chief Commissioner of Woods


Isaiah Teague took the same view, and further supported the recommendation that greater facilities should be given, not only to the mineowners to build cottages for their men, but also that the operatives themselves should be enabled to buy small plots of land for the purpose, they being now frequently obliged to live far distant from their places of work, there being few, if any, houses situated near them. These witnesses, as well as several others, agreed in stating that it was inexpedient to have deer in the Forest, as unsettling the habits of the people, and encouraging poaching. They yet admitted, however, that the deer were highly ornamental.

It was also stated in evidence that the Forest was now fully planted; and whereas some of the witnesses recommended that the larger portion of the wood should be cut, and the remainder converted into arable or pasture land, it was shown by others that to do so would be like cutting a crop of wheat whilst green, and be defeating the original intention of the Government, which was to raise timber for the use of the navy, which the private woods of the kingdom could not supply. Much, too, of the soil was said to be unsuited for farming purposes, being so precipitous in some parts, and stony in others, as to be unfit for ploughing. Much of the timber was reported to be of the finest character, and the young trees, for the most part, doing very well. No improvements in the management of the estate

were suggested, and at the close of the inquiry the committee reported that the plantations were growing luxuriantly, having been well thinned, and did credit to all concerned in their management.

The succeeding year of 1850 is chiefly noticeable for a general meeting on behalf of the fund for defraying the expenses of the contemplated Industrial Exhibition of all Nations, to take place the next year. It was held upon Wednesday the 12th of June, on the green in front of the Speech-house, under the presidency of Mr. Machen, supported by the magistrates and master-miners of the district. The day was fine, and at least 5,000 people attended--three bands of music accompanying them from the different sides of the Forest. A large waggon constituted the platform on which the speakers stood. The sight was a striking one, amidst the fine foliage of the surrounding Forest, and all passed off in a manner worthy of the occasion.

The Commissioners of Woods' Report, dated the 27th of June this year, informs us that gales of coal had been granted, under the names of the Beaufort Engine, Oaken Hill, New Bridge, East Slade (lapsed), and the Injunction Iron Mine--paying a total rental of 54 pounds. In November following this Forest contributed its quota of navy-timber, amounting to 388 loads 22 feet, towards the total of 1,000 loads levied upon the Royal Forests; which quantity was delivered at the Pembroke Dockyard at the cost of 992 pounds 8s. for carriage. It may also be mentioned that at the Gloucester Summer Assizes of this year the action of Lord Seymour, as Chief Commissioner of Woods, _versus_ Morrell, for arrears of dead rent which accumulated to the amount of 1,291 pounds 1s. 2d., was tried before Lord Chief Justice Campbell and a special jury, when a verdict was found for the Crown, subject to the opinion of the Court of Queen's Bench upon a special case, which proved, however, confirmatory of the original decision.

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