Tagged with Old Oak

A Prize Fighter Reformed

Here’s another piece from ‘Old Oak’. I am intrigued by the man’s name, as Bendigo is a former goldmining town in Victoria Australia. I wonder if there is a link. Oxford dictionary makes no mention of him. “I was asked to bury another famous champion – Bendigo. He had been the hero of a hundred … Continue reading

An Innocent Horse Thief

This is another piece from ‘Old Oak’, this time an example of how naive people were caught up in Britain’s Draconian Black Acts: “A boy … was walking along a lonely lane one Sunday afternoon on the way to meet his sweetheart and noticed a horse grazing by the roadside. A brilliant idea came into … Continue reading

A Murder Ballad

Old Oak has some great stories in it, and it is easy to imagine the appeal of ghost stories and murder ballads told round fires in mid winter: “Sir Walter Scott once declared that nothing was more dramatically effective than an old murder ballad. With anyone like all to recite it, I can well believe … Continue reading

Uncle Simon

This is again from ‘Old Oak’. It is rare to find descriptions of old farmhouses as they fell into disuse as farming changed and labourers increasingly lived in their own cottages – or at least those that were not driven out. HIs sister Sall and he lived in a large, lone, thatched cottage that stood … Continue reading

Old Kellly

Here’s another piece from “Old Oak”: “A remarkable man in his day and generation was Old Kelly. He was a champion backswardsman and a great amateur pugilist; he caught foxes alive and grew lovely carnations; he was often the lord of the Whitsun Ale, and he was a man of considerable substance. The old and … Continue reading

Extreme Characters

This is from ‘Old Oak. It  does seem there were more ‘characters’ in our distant past than t=in more recent times, so this does make sense, and it makes me wonder if Shakesepeare and other writers were using with as much imagination, rather than drawing from real life. : There seems to be a tendency … Continue reading

Silson Nutters

This is another piece from the wonderful book “Old Oak”: “While the Forest remained Crown property, theirs was the privilege of nutting. A good season brought hundreds of pounds into the parish. In other woods they were trespassers and, according to notice boards, in danger of man-traps, spring-guns, and all kinds of engines of mutilation … Continue reading

Deer Poaching

This is some more from ‘Old Oak’: “The forest laws were severe. A deer slip found in a cottage down to the time of Waterloo secured for its tenant 6 moths lodging in the country gaol. A forest buck discovered on the “lusty shoulders” of some Silson poacher meant ’12 months and a day’ in … Continue reading

The Old Forest

Some more from ‘Old Oak’: “Old Silverstone – or Silson, as it has always been called by its inhabitants – lay on the edge of Whittlebury Forest in Northamptonshire. This used to be one of he largest Royal Forests in the kingdom, with an area of over 20,000 acres, and, though it had steadily diminished … Continue reading

Funeral Dog

Here’s another snippet from ‘Old Oak’, the life of REv J E Linnel of Bedfordshire: “For many years [REv Linnel] was accompanied everywhere by a huge dog, half Airdale and half deerhound, to which he was deeply attached, and which he called Cribb. Crib would invariably attend him even at funerals, where he would sit … Continue reading