Epping Forest Arbitration Proceedings 03/11/1880
Samuel Willingale, Sworn
Examined by Mr Cave
165 Do you live at Baldwins Hill, Loughton
166 How old are you?
167 Have you lived at Loughton all your life
168 Have you lopped trees in the forest?
169 When did you begin to do that
In November, the 11th, night
170 I mean how old were you when you first did it?
I used to go along with my father there when I was seven or eight years old, to draw it together and fetch it home after he has got it, in my young time.
171 Have you cut it since that time pretty regularly?
172 Where did your father live?
At Golder’s Hall, Baldwin’s Hill
173 How much wood do you suppose was burnt in your house at first; I mean that your father burnt? In my fathers time?
174 Yes in your fathers time
I would say between 30 and 40 heaps
175 What do you mean by a heap?
176 At that time did you burn anything else except this wood?
No, father used to ask the keeper there for a dead tree, and then he would give him a dead tree to go and fetch out of the Forest – what was dead at that time
177 Except the dead trees, you only burnt this wood which you lopped?
178 Of late years have you burnt coal as well?
Yes we have burnt coal of late years
179 When did you begin to burn coal?
I should say pretty well 20 years ago
180 Have you also gone lopping to the present time?
Yes up to last year. I took about 30 heaps last year because I heard there would be no more lopping, so I cut a little extra.
181 How much of those 30 heaps have you burnt during the year?
I would say I have about 300 faggots left out of it
182 Then you have burnt half of it?
Yes about half
183 What have you generally burnt, do you suppose the last few years?
About 300, because we always bake once a week, and that takes two faggots a week for baking
184 That is 100. What else do you use it for?
We use it for lighting fires. In summer time if we want to boil the kettle we do not use any coal but only a piece of wood
185 You do not keep a fire burning all day in summer time
186 You make it up of the wood only?
Yes just so
187 How did you get the wood out – did you cut it yourself?
Yes I cut it myself, and carried it home on my back
188 When did you do this – what time of day?
I work on a building and sometimes when I am frozen out then I fetch it, and sometimes of a night when it is moonlight when I have been at work
189 When you are thrown out of work, or at night time?
Yes any leisure time
190 Were you able to get all you wanted without sacrificing a days work?
Well, sometimes if it was not a winter with any frost we used to get a day; we used to have a day to go and cut it.
191 What do you mean by having a day?
Instead of working that day we go lopping in the forest
192 How many days would you have to give up for that to get the fuel you wanted for the year?
We have never done it, not a day. We have done it at night when the moon shone, and at leisure times.
193 You have done it at odd times, have you?
194 Do you remember the enclosures taking place
195 Were there more trees before that time than there are now, or fewer, or what?
Yes a great deal more than double.
196 How did you cut it in the old times
We used to cut some off one tree, pick the best bits out, and leave the other there for another year
197 You took the best boughs?
198 Of late years has that been altered at all?
No, only what has been done illegal
199 Did any one look after you in old times to see how it was cut?
Yes, Hatherill, the keeper
200 Has anyone looked after it of late?
201 Nobody at all?
202 People have cut as much as they liked?
Yes, they have done as they liked
203 And did the inhabitants of Loughton generally get their fuel in the same way as you did?
204 Go and cut it themselves and bring it home on their backs?
No, not all, some of them paid 9d a heap for cutting
Mr Webster: You put a general question – the inhabitants of Loughton generally
205 Mr Cave: I do not mean that. Taking people who work for their own living, how would they get their wood?
If they were in work they would pay some one else to go and cut a slid of wood.
206 And if they were out of work?
If they were out of work they would cut it themselves
207 When they paid other people to go and cut it what would they pay?
They pay 9d a heap for cutting and 9d to bring it home.
208 9d a slid?
Yes, that is what they charge in the village to one another, but it is worth more than that. It is worth more than 1s 6d
209 That is what they charge one another?
210 Do the people who cut it sometimes make it up into faggots and sell the faggots?
Not until the last few years, since the enclosure
211 During the last few years they have?
212 What have they sold the faggots at when they have made them up into faggots?
213 14s a hundred?
Yes 14s a hundred
214 In the old days it was always sold by the slid was it?
Yes 1s 6d a slid
Cross examined by Mr Webster
215 It was what used to be paid for cutting and bringing it home – 1s 6d
216 I understand you say, if a man was at work and did not want to go and do it himself that is what he used to pay?
217 You said that it was worth more than that. What do you consider it is worth a slid, cutting and bringing it home?
If you get 5 heaps of wood it would make 100 faggots or 14s
218 If you get 5 slids and make 100 faggots, that is to say it would be 14s, then of course it would be 3s. Who was this man who was keeper; whose keeper was he. He was the lords keeper was he not, Mr Maitland’s?
219 He was the man – I do not mean that particular man – but the man who had the same post as the man your father asked leave of to take a dead tree out of the forest
220 You say that you used to burn about 300 faggots in the year
Yes with baking and lighting fires
221 Can you tell me during the last ten years any number of slids that have produced any number of faggots that you have counted?
Any number of the faggots
222 I do not want your opinion for the moment, but can you tell me any particular year during the last ten how many faggots a given number of slids would produce – one slid, or two or ten?
One slid would make 20 faggots
223 Now at the present time?
Yes You must put more branches in according to the wood
224 You say it is a question of the number of branches. If the branches are small?
If the branches are small you want a great many more for a heap than what you do when they are larger
225 Is a slid a uniform height or not?
No, not any particular height
226 About what does it run?
The height of a slid of wood do you mean?
About 6 feet.
228 Of course the limit is really is what a man can carry or bring home. If you have thick branches, about how many would go to a slid, do you know?
Do you mean now?
229 Either now or formerly. If you have larger branches, how many would go to a slid; and of small, how many?
When they were larger they would take about 120. Now, about 160 I should think
230 I think I rather gather it from what you said, but I will put it distinctly to you 1s 6d being what was paid, if a man was in good work it would scarcely be worth his while to go and cut it himself, he would send somebody else?
Yes, he would send somebody else.
A faggot, in the meaning of ““bundle”, is an archaic English unit applied to bundles of certain items. Alternate spellings in Early Modern English include fagate, faget, fagett, faggott, fagot, fagatt, fagott, ffagott, and faggat