POLITICAL HISTORY 1301, in the Parliament at Lincoln, which made the famous repudiation of papal claims to interfere in the temporal relations of the British Isles, perambulations with the purpose of doing away with new afforestations were definitely ordered. The king had struggled to keep his position by the words Safois jure coronce nostrce rationibus nostris et calumpniis, but had been obliged at last to make a full concession. Yet no per- ambulation of Windsor Forest was made, despite of complaints under Edward II., till in 1327, when Edward III. was king and reforms of various kinds were in the air, Parliament petitioned that forest per- ambulations made should be observed, and that where not made, pursuant to the promises of 1301, they should be undertaken. Letters patent were accordingly issued, and commissioners ordered to call a court at Chertsey, where a jury was impanelled and an inquiry held. Over- ruling the objection that Surrey was ancient forest according to the inquisition of 1280, and falsely, as we have said, attributing that to Despencer, who in 1327 had just been hanged and was unpopular, the court found that no part of Surrey was in the forest of Windsor. They admitted however that the inquisition of 1280 had been held, but said that no perambulation had been made under it. In accordance with this verdict the king's writ directed a perambulation to be made, which was done along the county boundary from the mouth of the Wey to where Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey join. A report of the proceedings, was sent to the Court of Chancery. In the Court of Chancery the county summoned the constable of Windsor to show cause why the perambulation should not be confirmed, and after some delay a charter was granted in the sense desired by the county, excluding all Surrey from the forest jurisdiction. Yet north-west Surrey, from beyond the Wey and the Hog's Back, remained a purlieu of Windsor Forest. The king's ranger had special duties there of driving back beasts of chase which escaped from the forest, and the king had rights over deer so straying. In the Loseley correspondence constant complaints and dis- putes about strayed deer are found as late as the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. In Queen Anne's reign, when Woolmer Forest as well as Windsor was full of deer, the most lordly beast of chase must have been fairly common in the once forest lands of Surrey. Certainly well within 200 years ago the poaching of wild deer and black game was possible within thirty miles of London. The blackcock may linger there still. There must, even in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, have been a strong contrast between the outlying forests and the suburban parts of Surrey. In the Chertsey Ledger (fol. 173^) it appears that prisoners being removed from the abbot's prison at Chertsey for trial at Guildford were liable to be rescued by their friends when passing through the wild lands of the forest. In the north of the county Southwark, Lambeth and Bermondsey shared in the life of London, and were made more prosperous by the great suburban houses of several ecclesiastical dignitaries, the archbishop, 359
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/429
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