Studio 2: 800 Years and Counting

The 1217 Charter of the Forests in the Forest of Dean and its Enduring Legacy

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire - royal larder or people's larder? The Charter of the Forests, a lesser-known but wider-ranging companion to the Magna Carta, confirmed any "freemen" or commoners could help themselves to many of the resources of forests across England. Within 500 years, those subsisting in the woods were declared illegal squatters as aristocrats and the Crown tried to fence them out and grab all the iron ore, coal, timber and land. Successive waves of tenacious, described […]

A Picnic In The Forest

The Forest Of Dean - Meet at Hopewell Colliery, Speech House Rd., Coleford. Come with us on a Bank Holiday day trip to the historic Forest of Dean. Ian Wright, who was brought up the forest, will talk about the life and times of the Warren James. In the early 19th century James became a spokesman for the foresters in their struggle to protect their traditional way of life from the imposition of enclosures and industrial capitalism. The forest riots of 1831 led to Warren's arrest and […]

The Life And Times Of Warren James

Free Miner Of The Forest Of Dean

The Life And Times Of Warren James Front Cover
Warren James was a man who was caught up in the social unrest that swept through the Forest of Dean in 1831, and who emerged as spokesman for the Foresters in their struggle to protect their ancient rights and way of life. The Forest Riots of 1831 were about insecurity, fear, poverty and starvation as a result of enclosures, enforced wage labour or unemployment. The Foresters fought to resist the twin onslaught from the Crown, who owned the Forest, and from businessmen who sought industrial […]

New Pamphlets

This Autumn sees three new pamphlets added to the Bristol Radical Pamphleteer series as well as two 2nd editions. They are: #1 Cry Freedom, Cry Seven Stars: Thomas Clarkson In Bristol, 1787 - 2nd Edition by Mark Steeds. This is a major re-working of the pamphlet that was published to help raise money for the Seven Stars Plaque. Now re-published it celebrates the unveiling of the plaque and launches a new challenge - to make the Seven Stars the first ever pub with UNESCO World Heritage status. #6 […]

Coelford Festival Of Words

Was Warren James Right To Protest? Friday 13th August, 7pm, Coleford Baptist Church. £3 In 1831 Warren James led 3000 Foresters to tear down the enclosures that prevented their livelihood.... In 2010 300 people gathered at Hopewell Colliery at an event to remember Warren James and this history... A talk by Simon Sandall historian, lecturer and author. The free-miners of Dean and the defence of Forest custom during the seventeenth century ‘I want to say a few words about the history of protest in […]

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