Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cookham Commons Updated.

Cookham Commons Updated.
I have mentioned the commons of Cookham before in this blog, but now I have some old maps to go with the passage post here below:
The common fields were enclosed in 1852. A fierce controversy waged by the inhabitants in defence of traditional footpaths across these fields was decided in 1847 in their favour. The inhabitants have long enjoyed special benefits in two enclosed commons, Widbrook and Cockmarsh. The Abbot of Cirencester had a right of free pasturage for cattle in Widbrook and for hogs in Cockmarsh, continued after the Dissolution to the possessor of Cannon Court. In the time of Philip and Mary the inhabitants claimed pasturage, and after a long struggle Queen Elizabeth in 1597 granted the commons to trustees for their benefit during the lives of the trustees. Royal grants of the reversion in 1623 and 1675 were strenuously resisted by the inhabitants throughout the reigns of Charles II and James II, and they were finally victorious in 1697. From that time the administration was undertaken by the churchwardens, and has recently, as far as Widbrook is concerned, been transferred to the charity trustees. An attempt by the purchaser of the manor from the Crown to plant these commons and the wastes of the manor and village greens for his own benefit was given up after a suit in 1826. An attempt in 1903 to make a road across Cockmarsh was also defeated and proceedings are now pending for the establishment of conservators under a scheme of the Board of Agriculture.
If you click on the map and look at the top, you will find that a house that I remember as Cliveden View was at that time owned by the Earl of Orkney. In researching I find that he also owned quite a bit of property in Taplow as well.

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