Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/267

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


MAMMALS wood, and in 1664 he had all the red deer and 200 fallow deer removed from Richmond to put in ' such places as shall be ordered.' 1 In the same year, 1664, the inhabitants of the old Surrey bailiwick complained that their crops were overrun by deer. Their petition is printed in Manning and Bray, vol. iii. appendix Ixxx., and is said there to be pre- served at Windlesham, Surrey, in the church chest. Mr. Evelyn in his diary (1685) re- cords that Bagshot Park was full of red deer. 8 In the reign of Queen Anne red deer were still common in the south of England, as on her way from London to Portsmouth she saw a herd of 500 from a bank east of Liphook, very near the meeting place of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. Mr. Joseph Whitaker in his descriptive list of the deer parks of England, 1 892, states that fifteen red deer were kept in Mr. Godman's park at Park Hatch near Godalming, but no herd is now preserved there. Red deer are still kept in Richmond Park, and Mr. H. Sawyer, the junior ranger, says that at the present time (1901) there are sixty head, but they usually number fifty (in lit.). 36. Fallow Deer. Cervus dama, Linn. Whether the fallow deer is indigenous to England or not is a question that has not yet been finally settled, but the general opinion seems to be that it is not. In 1868 Mr. Boyd Dawkins described a new species of deer in Mr. Brown's collection, 3 which he named Cervus browni. This deer is almost identical with the existing fallow deer of our parks, but it is somewhat larger, and it pos- sesses a third tyne above the bez, which, accord- ing to the late Sir Victor Brooke, occasionally occurs in the fallow deer. Bewick tells us that James I. introduced a dark variety from Norway, on account of its hardiness, and turned them down in Scotland, and from thence transported them into his royal chases of Enfield and Epping. 4 In a letter from Sir Roger Ashton to Salisbury, dated Greenwich, May 1 1, 1 6 1 1, he writes : 'the king will not despatch the ships which brought the deer before he knows what Salisbury gave for the last that came,' etc., 6 but Mr. J. E. Harting has shown us that this dark variety existed at Windsor in the reign of Edward IV., about the year 1465. Mr. Shirley in his book, p. 21, quotes an 1 Cal. S. Papers, Domestic, p. 13, 1664. 8 Evelyn's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 570. 3 The Quarterly Journal of the Geokgical Society, 1868, vol. xxiv. p. 511. 4 Bewick, History of Quadrupeds, p. 143. 6 Cal. S. Papers, Domestic, p. 3 1 . interesting letter written by the command of Queen Margaret of Anjou : By the Queene ! To my Lords, squier and ours J. D. Keeper of Shene Parke (now Richmond, Surrey) or his depute there : Trusty and well beloved, For as moche as we suppose that in short tyme we shall come righte negh unto my Lord's menoir of Shene, we desire and praye you heartly that ye will keepe against our resortinge thedor, for oure disporte and recreation, Two or iii of the grettest bukkes in my Lord's pare there, saving alwayes my Lord's owne command- ment there in presence as we trust, etc. 8 Fallow deer were so plentiful in the middle ages that they were looked upon as a recog- nized article of food. Moryson, writing in i6i7, 7 says (in a discourse on the English- man's love of pleasure) : ' Lastly (without offence be it spoken), I will boldly say that England (yea, perhaps one county thereof) hath more fallow deare than all Europe that I have seen.' Queen Elizabeth used to hunt the fallow deer in the royal park of Nonsuch, Cheam. Camden mentions this park as being full of deer, and as late as 1650 there were 100 fallow deer in it. In the royal park of Guild- ford (of which no trace now remains) there were, according to Mr. Nordon, in 1607, 600 fallow deer. Mr. Evelyn, writing from Albury near Shere on July 2, 1 662, says : ' We hunted and killed a buck in the park. Mr. Howard invited most of the gentlemen of the county near here.' 8 Mr. Shirley gives an historical account of no less than thirty-nine parks in Surrey, thirty of which at the present day have ceased to exist. Fallow deer are still preserved in the few remaining, which, according to Mr. Joseph Whitaker's list, written in 1892, were : Richmond . . . . 1,100 Clandon .... 100 Park Hatch . . . 2OO Peper Harrow. . . 22O Farnham .... 300 Wonersh .... 200 Carshalton .... 42 Ashstead .... 120 Wimbledon ... 35 37. Roe Deer. Capreolus capreolus. Linn. Bell Capreolus caprea. The roe deer is indigenous to Britain, and was very abundant in prehistoric times. Mr. John Millais has examined perfect skulls from 6 Letters of Queen Margaret of Anjou, printed by the Camden Society, 1863, pp. 100-37. 7 Moryson's Itinerary, pt. iii. p. 148. 8 Evelyn's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 286. 225