Willingale One Name Study
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The Lopping Saga

The Lopping Saga

Everything to do with Thomas and the Lopping saga

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1
Ongar Hundred - History of Loughton, Lopping and Thomas Willingale
Ongar Hundred - History of Loughton, Lopping and Thomas Willingale
An extract from The Victoria history of the county of Essex, Oxford University Press 1956 
 
2
Scan of Extracts & Notes on Forest Enclosures and Ancient Lopping Rights
Scan of Extracts & Notes on Forest Enclosures and Ancient Lopping Rights
Extracts & Notes on Forest Enclosures and Ancient Lopping Rights by J. W. Hayes Taken from the following works and by personal interviews... 
 
3
The E.M.M.Carrad Document
The E.M.M.Carrad Document
A transcript of a document believed to have been written by E.M.M.Carrad. nee Willingale, Great-Grand-daughter of Tom Willingale. We have subsequently discovered that E.M.M. Carrad is not a direct descendant of the Thomas Willingale of Lopping fame. 
 
4
The Lopping Saga
The Lopping Saga
PDF with notes and photos on the Lopping saga, prepared for the 2008 WFS meeting at Loughton 
 
5
The Walter Bullen Document : The condensed history of Epping Forest & the Willingale Family by Walter Bullen, great-grandson of Thomas Willingale
The Walter Bullen Document : The condensed history of Epping Forest & the Willingale Family by Walter Bullen, great-grandson of Thomas Willingale
Originally the source of this was unknown, however we have now established this to be part of Barbara Pratt's book 'The Loppers of Loughton'

The Loppers of Loughton, Barbara Pratt, 1981, ISBN 0 9507871 0 8, copy at ERO 
 
6
Extract from Essex Events mentioning Thomas Willingale & Epping Forest - PART 1
Extract from Essex Events mentioning Thomas Willingale & Epping Forest - PART 1
Scan of original publication 
 
7
Extract from Essex Events mentioning Thomas Willingale & Epping Forest - PART 2
Extract from Essex Events mentioning Thomas Willingale & Epping Forest - PART 2
Scan of original publication 
 
8
Extract from Essex Life - PART 1
Extract from Essex Life - PART 1
Scan from Essex Life on Epping, our Blue Plaque in memory of Thomas gets a mention 
 
9
Extract from Essex Life - PART 2
Extract from Essex Life - PART 2
Scan from Essex Life on Epping, our Blue Plaque in memory of Thomas gets a mention 
 
10
Extract from Essex Life - PART 3
Extract from Essex Life - PART 3
Scan from Essex Life on Epping, our Blue Plaque in memory of Thomas gets a mention 
 
11
The Willingales of Loughton - To Whom Do We Owe Epping Forest?
The Willingales of Loughton - To Whom Do We Owe Epping Forest?
Scan of article in the Essex Naturalist, from circa 1925 
 
12
Thomas Willingale - The only picture of Thomas Willingale, NOT
Thomas Willingale - The only picture of Thomas Willingale, NOT
Ken Hoy says (email 06/09/2009) The attached photo of Thomas, has been in my collection of photographs relating to Epping Forest since the 1960's. I believe it is one of many that I was given permission to copy in the Passmore Edwards Museum. I'm afraid I did not record its origin when I first copied the original photo (if it was given?),and I have always assumed, as I marked the slide at the time as "Thos Willingale" - that it was THE Thomas (the lopper)


The WFS have had this photo dated, the report is as follows: As you are aware, it is difficult to date this sort of image very precisely but there are certain features here which can help. In general outdoor pictures like this often turn out to date from the 20th century, rather than the Victorian era. Outdoor photography was a very cumbersome process in the early photographic period and although professionals did occasionally work outdoors from the mid-19th century, such scenes often look rather staged and the backgrounds are often indistinct. A casual but realistic photograph like this has much more the appearance of a later ‘snapshot’: amateur photography was becoming more popular by the late 19th century and really took off in a significant way in the early 20th century following the introduction of the user-friendly Box Brownie camera in 1900. Usually dress gives the best clues as to the date of a photograph – often to within 5 or 10 years - but when the subject isn’t wearing regular ‘fashionable’ dress, close dating becomes much more difficult.


This elderly man – presumably a gardener or some sort of agricultural worker – wears practical garments suited to heavy outdoor work in a general style which varied according to personal preference and the job in hand but essentially didn’t change for decades. His trousers or breeches are tucked into his boots or gaiters and he wears what appears to be a cardigan-like garment over another jersey or shirt. Most important, from a dating viewpoint, is his peaked cloth cap. This style of headwear first appeared in the late-19th century, in around the 1880s, when it was worn mainly by sportsmen – cyclists, golfers etc. (though cricketers were already wearing a striped version). During the 1890s plain peaked caps began to enter everyday wear and for the first 40 years or so of the 20th century the cloth cap was synonymous with the working man (although it was also worn by the upper classes for country wear). I would estimate, then, that this photograph was taken towards the end of the 19th century or during the early 1900s.


To return to your main query, because of the style of this photograph and also the evidence of dress – mainly the cap, which was not known during the lifetime of Thomas Willingale (died c.1870) – unfortunately it cannot possibly represent this well-known local man whose efforts helped to preserve Epping Forest. It often emerges that a particular photograph has become associated, through tradition, with a famous personality, partly because, understandably, people like to have a record of what he or she looked like and may latch on to an appropriate-looking image. (Local museums can even fall into this kind of trap and may use inaccurate images to illustrate their records or exhibitions). However, sometimes there is no provenance to support the identification and accurate dating may well prove that it couldn’t possibly be represent the person in question. This is of course disappointing and frustrating, but usually researchers agree that it is more important to establish the true facts. Perhaps this man was, instead, one of Thomas’s sons or nephews whom you mentioned?


Subsequently to the above, we now believe this is a photo of William Willingale (http://www.willingale.org/tng/getperson.php?personID=I0378&tree=01) one of Thomas's sons. 

 
13
Thomas Willingale (son of lopper Thomas) Obituary
Thomas Willingale (son of lopper Thomas) Obituary
source unknown, possibly The Times 
 
14
Law reports : WILLINGALE V MAITLAND
Law reports : WILLINGALE V MAITLAND
Transcript taken from original source by S R Willingale:
Law Reports 1866-67 Volume 3 Page 103
Equity Cases (Held Nov 15,17 & 19)
 
 
15
William Higgins
William Higgins
One of the 'Loppers' 
 
16
Samuel Willingale
Samuel Willingale
One of the 'Loppers' 
 
17
Loughton / Willingale History Trail
Loughton / Willingale History Trail
Updated and abridged trail taken from an early journal and distributed at the 2008 WFS meeting, interesting places to vist in Loughton with a potted history. 
 
18
Whitakers Way, the unmade road leading to Thomas's former Woodyard
Whitakers Way, the unmade road leading to Thomas's former Woodyard
Whitakers Way, the unmade road leading to Thomas's former Woodyard 
 
19
Woodcroft School
Woodcroft School
Photos of Woodcroft School - Thomas Willingales former Woodyard. 
 
20
Woodcroft School, Whitakers Way
Woodcroft School, Whitakers Way
Woodcroft School, Whitakers Way site of Thomas Willingales woodyard 
 
21
Lopping
Lopping
Print of Lopping in the forest 
 
22
Lopping
Lopping
Print of Lopping in the forest 
 
23
Lopping
Lopping
Photo of forest trees after being Lopped 
 
24
Lopping
Lopping
Photo showing lopped trees in the forest 
 
25
History of Thomas' lopping rights fight
History of Thomas' lopping rights fight
2003 article from Epping Forest Guardian 
 
26
The former Thomas Willingale Pub
The former Thomas Willingale Pub
now called The Station House! 
 
27
Queen Victoria visit to Epping Forest
Queen Victoria visit to Epping Forest
Details of visit, potted history of Forest & mention of Thomas Willingale 
 
28
The Times 10t Jan 1924
E N Buxton and the Saving of Epping Forest
The Times 10t Jan 1924 E N Buxton and the Saving of Epping Forest
 
 
29
The Commons Preservation Society
The Commons Preservation Society
The Times 14th Feb 1867, Mention of 'the Willingale case' 
 
30
Loughton And The Preservation Of Epping Forest
Loughton And The Preservation Of Epping Forest
from British History Online 
 
31
The Lopper of Loughton
The Lopper of Loughton
Poem on the confrontation between Maitland & Thomas Willingale 
 
32
Hansard Extract - Knighthood for Thomas Willingale, the Lopper?
Hansard Extract - Knighthood for Thomas Willingale, the Lopper?
 
 
33
Founders of the National Trust
Founders of the National Trust
Transcript of pages mentioning Epping & Thomas Page 1 of 6 
 
34
Founders of the National Trust
Founders of the National Trust
Transcript of pages mentioning Epping & Thomas Page 2 of 6 
 
35
Founders of the National Trust
Founders of the National Trust
Transcript of pages mentioning Epping & Thomas Page 3 of 6 
 
36
Founders of the National Trust
Founders of the National Trust
Transcript of pages mentioning Epping & Thomas Page 4 of 6 
 
37
Founders of the National Trust
Founders of the National Trust
Transcript of pages mentioning Epping & Thomas Page 5 of 6 
 
38
Founders of the National Trust
Founders of the National Trust
Transcript of pages mentioning Epping & Thomas Page 6 of 6 
 
39
Hills Amenity Society Autumn 2005 Newsletter
Hills Amenity Society Autumn 2005 Newsletter
An example of the fact that not everything you find on the internet is correct. A short piece on the saving of Epping Forest purports to show a picture of Thomas Willingale. However this photo seems to have been taken from our website and used to illustrate the article. The page which the photo is taken from states we don't know who the photo is of, although we make two suggestions, neither of which is Thomas the Lopper! 
 
40
English commons and forests; the story of the battle during the last thirty years for public rights over the commons and forests of England and Wales (1894)
English commons and forests; the story of the battle during the last thirty years for public rights over the commons and forests of England and Wales (1894)
Full scan of publication 
 
41
Hansard - Common Land 20th Feb 1959
Hansard - Common Land 20th Feb 1959
Mention of Thomas, also comment about a son who died in prison, when we know this not to be the case. 
 
42
The Victoria history of the county of Essex : Volume IV Ongar Hundred
The Victoria history of the county of Essex : Volume IV Ongar Hundred
Mention of Thomas and the Lopping saga, plus Willingale Village 
 
43
Loughton Historical Society
Loughton Historical Society
Mention of Thomas & William Higgins 
 
44
Epping Forest with maps by Edward North Buxton (This is a BIG file)
Epping Forest with maps by Edward North Buxton (This is a BIG file)
mention of Thomas & the lopping saga 
 
45
Our Commons and Forests
Our Commons and Forests
Article from the Westminster Review, mention of Thomas Willingale 
 
46
Lungs for townsmen
Lungs for townsmen
 
 
47
Forest freedom
Forest freedom
 
 
48
A Story of Epping Forest
A Story of Epping Forest
Not mentioning Thomas directly, this recounts the King Head saga and a general history of the forest 
 
49
Peelers Progress
Peelers Progress
Mention of the Willingale case 
 
50
Alfred Willingale
Alfred Willingale
One of the Loppers 
 
51
The Commons Preservation Society
The Commons Preservation Society
Mention of Thomas Willingale the Lopper 
 
52
Alfred Willingale
Alfred Willingale
Obituary
This appears to have a few factual errors in it, Samuel didn't die shortly after being released from prison, we have living until abt 1911! It would seem William Higgins died around 1870 so this could be where the confusion lies? 
 
53
Parliamentary petition re Alfred Willingale, Samuel Willingale and William Higgins
Parliamentary petition re Alfred Willingale, Samuel Willingale and William Higgins
 
 
54
Alfred Willingale - Death - Loughton Advertiser
Alfred Willingale - Death - Loughton Advertiser
 
 
55
Epping Forest
Epping Forest
Mention of the WIllingale v Maitland case 
 
56
Alfred Willingale - One of the 'Loppers'.
Alfred Willingale - One of the 'Loppers'.
There is some confusion over who is in this picture

Repository: Essex Record Office
Level: Category Illustrations
Level: Fonds MINT PORTRAITS
Level: Item Photograph of Tom Willingale, "The Last of The Loppers"
Level:
Item Reference Code I/Pb 23/28
Graham Richards confirmed on 02/09/2009 the following:
Handwritten on the back, in pencil, is 'Tom Willingale The last of the Loppers'. Then in blue Biro someone else has written 'Jnr'. The only other mark is an 'Essex Record Office Stamp' , apparently an old version indicating that the photo has been in the ERO's possession for some years. The photo is in a large box type album along with other photo's in alphabetical order, each in a plastic wallet. The numbers in the 'Item Reference Code' are 'Alphabet Letter/Photo Number. So our photo is Letter number 23 (W)/28th photo of that letter. The Album I had was for letters S-Z. All these albums are of photo's collected by the Record Office over time and are of 'unknown sources'. So no provenance I'm afraid.

I took with me prints of Alfred (2) and Thomas, with the names blanked out and discussed them with a couple of archivists and both tended to agree that two (Alfred) were of the same person, with the one shown with a branch over his shoulder being earlier than the other, one suggested maybe late 19th/early 20th century. One archivist then spotted that in the photo is a Barbed Wire fence (it's clearer on the ERO copy) so we Googled 'Barbed Wire - History of' and found that it was invented around 1870's in the USA. At this point another archivist joined in and he said that he actually visited the Barbed Wire Museum in the USA last year and remembers that Barbed Wire was invented around the Civil War but the history says that it was patented in 1873/4 which would make it too late to be around when Thomas was alive.


Steven Willingale has a page from an unidentified book with this photo captioned Thomas Willingale Jnr.


EFDC Museum uses this picture next to an article for Thomas Willingale Snr, but from the caption of the photo (Thomas Willingale Aged 77 in 1920) its obvious its Thomas Jnr.


The WFS have had this photo dated, report as follows:

The first paragraph relating to the Thomas photograph also applies here to some extent. This picture again looks to me much like a late 19th or early 20th century photograph, though it appears well-composed and of decent quality, so it may well be a professional portrait, taken outdoors, rather than an amateur ‘snapshot’. This is perhaps also suggested by the greyish, wide-framed mount, which in colour and style is typical of early-20th century card-mounted professional photographs.

This elderly man is also clearly at home in the woodland setting, though I cannot tell whether he is carrying that large branch on his shoulder, or simply resting underneath it. His attire differs to that of ‘Thomas’ above, this outfit being more formal, if a little shabby and shapeless. Essentially he is wearing a dark lounge suit of uncertain date: basic ‘lounging’ jackets similar to this were first worn c.1860 and lounge jackets still form part of the standard male suit today. He also sports a black neck cloth or cravat, an accessory which was fashionable daywear around the mid-19th century, though a dark or coloured knotted scarf or cravat continued to be worn casually by many manual workers until the early 20th century. His hat is less easy to identify and date precisely than the cloth cap in the previous photograph, but various types of hard felt hat similar to this, lower in the crown than a top hat, were developing by the 1860s.

The evidence of the man’s dress, then, offers an unhelpfully broad date – conceivably anywhere from the 1860s to the early-20th century. It is best described as a ‘timeless’ and rather eccentric style, not seen in formal studio photographs and not really suitable for fashionable wear about town, but no doubt completely acceptable for country wear, especially amongst poorer folk and/or an older generation. Nothing seen here absolutely rules out the possibility that this man could be Thomas Willingale himself. However, as mentioned above, this does not have the ‘look’ of a 1860s photograph, and may be considerably later, again perhaps early 1900s, in which case the man could well be, as you suggest, one of Thomas’s sons or nephews.

Because the date here is a little less conclusive, I wonder whether there are any other visual clues in the picture? For example perhaps some kind of fencing specialist could have a stab at roughly identifying/dating the wire fence with its wooden posts?


The WFS note that the fence is made of barbed wire, this was invented in the USA around 1867, although further patents were made in 1874 it was 1876 before mass production took off. Therefore this is very unlikely to be Thomas Snr


Ken Hoy, FOEF has not seen this photo before in his research.


Yet the image we have is called Alfred Willingale - unfortunately how the we came to have this photo is not recorded 
 
57
Preservation of Epping Forest
Preservation of Epping Forest
A Dr. Bowkett of Poplar stated that he had been talking to a man who was sentenced to imprisonment for cutting wood in the forest, and who afterwards was offered money to give up his right to do so. 
 
58
Alfred Willingale obituary
Alfred Willingale obituary
 
 
59
The Great Epping Forest Suit
The Great Epping Forest Suit
Article on the outcome of the Corporation of London suit, mention of Willingale 
 
60
An account of Lopping in the forest
An account of Lopping in the forest
 
 
61
The Epping Forest Decsion
The Epping Forest Decsion
 
 
62
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest!
Part 1 of 4
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest! Part 1 of 4
 
 
63
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest! Part 2 of 4
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest! Part 2 of 4
 
 
64
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest! Part 3 of 4
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest! Part 3 of 4
 
 
65
London Woods
London Woods
Mention of Willingale 
 
66
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest! Part 4 of 4
Article on Epping and how 'John' Willingale saved the forest! Part 4 of 4
 
 
67
Article on Epping Forest (5th Column)
Article on Epping Forest (5th Column)
Mention of Thomas Willingale, also repeats classic mistake that one of the cousins died following imprisonment.  
 
68
Staples Road Conservation Area Final Draft
Staples Road Conservation Area Final Draft
Epping Forest District Council document on the historic Staples Road area of Loughton. Mention of the Willingale family and Willingale Cottage. 
 
69
Article on Thomas Willingale Blue Plaque
Article on Thomas Willingale Blue Plaque
 
 
70
York Hill Conservation Area Final Draft
York Hill Conservation Area Final Draft
Epping Forest District Council document on the historic York Hill area of Loughton. Mention of Thomas Willingale the Lopper, although it is incorrectly stated that Thomas was jailed, and a photo of Thomas Willingale Jnr is incorrectly stated as being Thomas the Lopper. These erros have been pointed out to EFDC. 
 
71
Article re Thomas Willingale blue heritage plaque
Article re Thomas Willingale blue heritage plaque
 
 
72
Baldwins Hill Conservation Area Final Draft
Baldwins Hill Conservation Area Final Draft
Epping Forest District Council document on the historic Baldwins Hill area of Loughton. Mention of Thomas Willingale the Lopper, although it is incorrectly stated that Thomas was jailed. This error has been pointed out to EFDC. 
 
73
Bio of Thomas Willingale
Bio of Thomas Willingale
 
 
74
Thomas Willingale Blue Heritage Plaque
Thomas Willingale Blue Heritage Plaque
 
 
75
Broadsheet September 2009
The Newsletter for Broadland Tree Wardens
Broadsheet September 2009 The Newsletter for Broadland Tree Wardens
Article on Epping Forest including mention of Thomas Willingale 
 
76
Commoners' Rights and City Corporation
Commoners' Rights and City Corporation
 
 
77
Commons and Common Fields
Commons and Common Fields
Being the Yorke Prize Essay of the University of Cambridge for the Year 1886. Mention of Willingale vs Maitland 
 
78
Commons Forests & Footpaths by Lord Eversley (This is a BIG file)
Commons Forests & Footpaths by Lord Eversley (This is a BIG file)
Mention of Thomas 
 
79
Commons Preservation Society
Commons Preservation Society
Mention of Willingale 
 
80
Enclosure of Epping Forest
Enclosure of Epping Forest
From advert after page 76, 1865 edition 
 
81
Epping Forest
Epping Forest
 
 
82
Epping Forest by E N Buxton
Epping Forest by E N Buxton
Review with mention of Thomas 
 
83
Living
At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld. 
 
84
Epping Forest, Its History
Epping Forest, Its History
 
 
85
Excursion of the Epping Forest Preservation Society to Loughton
Excursion of the Epping Forest Preservation Society to Loughton
 
 
86
Extract from English Reports Annotated 1867 regarding Willingale v Maitland
Extract from English Reports Annotated 1867 regarding Willingale v Maitland
 
 
87
Extract from Hansard
Extract from Hansard
on debate in respect of the powers of the Corporation of London. Stan Newens MP mentions Thomas Willingale. 
 
88
History of Thomas' lopping rights fight
History of Thomas' lopping rights fight
Response to Gwendolen Bullen letter to the Epping Forest Guardian 
 
89
Loughton Lopping Compensation
Loughton Lopping Compensation
The Arbitrators Award 
 
90
Mention of Thomas and the fact Eppring Forest has shrunk in size
Mention of Thomas and the fact Eppring Forest has shrunk in size
 
 
91
Plaques proposals
Plaques proposals
 
 
92
The Cornhill magazine, Vol IX, Jan-June 1864
The Cornhill magazine, Vol IX, Jan-June 1864
Article on the enclosure of Epping Forest, including mention of the 'Drunk & Supper'