At a Drift in Harborough Walk in Whittlewood Forest Monday July 4th. 1810
J. W. Samuell Esq Verderer, Present
It appeared that the Commons are very much trespassed upon by foreigners / for as they are called in Forest Laws / turning their cattle thereon, not having a right so to do, to the great detriment of the herbage, as likewise to the injury of those persons, who have a right of Common as Occupiers of Land within the Forest. And as no person can prescribe to have Common there if he dwelleth in a New House, that is a House Newly built, because all such houses are [purprestures] by the Law of the Forest. And therefore those who dwell in them cannot have a right of Common by inhabitants only.
In order therefore to put a stop to such proceedings it is necessary for a better regulation of the Commons in future to Give Notice that the following directions must be strictly attended to.
1st. No person to have Commons in the Forest for the Beasts of Foreigners and Strangers.
2nd. Sheep, Goats, Asses, Swine and Geese are not Commonable.
3rd. The time for turning Cattle belonging to the In Towns into the Commons is on the 5th. April. And Out Towns on May 4th. in each year. To be taken out again, the In Towns on the 11th. of November or Old Hollandtide . The Out Towns on the 25th. Sept. or Holyrood, in default thereof The Officers of the Forest are [ordered] to seize them for the King's Use as Estrays.
4th. If the cattle of any Foreigners, dwelling out of the Limits of the Forest are found Commoning the owners are to be punished according to the Laws of the Forest.
5th. The Constable of each Forest Town will provide a Parish Brand and on the Day of Commoning mark every Horse, Cow or other Beast, before they are turned into the Common, at the same time taking an account of the Commoner's Name, the number of cattle each had, what beasts they were His place of residence and the Land for which he claims Common right.
By this Order being strictly complied with, it would then be known who had a right of Common, and the number of Beasts turned in, and who were foreigners, it would also prevent fictitious Brands and Commoners turning in cattle not their own property, also exceeding the number they usually winter, without paying proper attention to the time of winter Haining.
6th. A Book must be kept in each Forest Town in which these Regulations should be inserted and produced at every Drift for the Inspection of the Verderers for the time being.
7th. Upon Notice being given, the Ponds in each Walk to be properly cleaned out by the several Parishes who have right of Common.
Whittlewood Forest Towns & their Brands
Whitfield - Bugle
Silverstone - Stags Head
Whittlebury - Arrow Head
Potterspury - Muck Fork
Yardley Gobion - Horseshoe
Deanshanger & Passenham - Crown
Syresham & Crowfield - Buckle
Paulerspury & Heathencote - Round O
Alderton - Cross
Grafton - Fleur-de-lis
Wicken - Crowfoot
Lillingston Lovel - Fire Brand
Lillingston Dayrel - Spectacles
Wappenham - Stirrup
Slapton - Coltsfoot
Notes: Old Hollandtide short for All -hollantide , All-hallowtide 1560
Holyrood Day Sept