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The Crimes of Walter Virgo and the “Blakeney Gang”

In the Forest of Dean towards the end of the nineteenth century the ‘Blakeney Outrages’ of the 1890s led to Walter Virgo and the “Blakeney Gang” being accused of acts of poisoning, maiming, stealing, poaching, midnight raids, dynamiting, arson and murder. However, their story cannot be understood without placing their actions in the... More →

Walter Virgo and the Blakeney Gang

Walter Virgo and the Blakeney These are some of the headlines which started appearing in the Gloucester Citizen and Western Daily Press in the 1890s. This pamphlet will try and get behind the headlines and reveal what was really going on in the Blakeney area of the Forest of Dean at the time. THE BLAKENEY OUTRAGES “WORSE THAN IRELAND” - THE... More →

ACTION NOW! The Forest of Dean

ACTION NOW!The Forest of Dean is being Enclosed and Sold off! Join us for a 'walk' on Sunday the 3rd of February! Take Notice, Foresters All, that Free Peoples of the Forest, intend to Meet at 12o'clock near the Free Miner Monument in Cinderford Triangle on Sunday next, the 3rd of February instant for the purpose of Opening the Forest, which hath... More →

HOOF Say’s: Let’s Have A Party

HANDS Off Our Forest is organising a celebratory party at Speech House, and everyone is invited to let their hair down and cheer the campaign’s victory. Musicians and entertainers, who rallied to the cause of keeping our Forest in public ownership, will be singing songs – many inspired by the great HOOF battle - with a little poetry and comedy... More →

Hands off our forest – saving the Forest of Dean

We have just seen a massive U turn by this government as a result of huge ground swell of public opinion against the proposed sell off of the Forestry Commission Estate. In the autumn of 2010, the campaign kicked off in the Forest of Dean with a huge public meeting in Cinderford which was attended by over 500 people and a rally in Speech House... More →

In Contempt of All Authority: Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586-1660

Two of the most common types of popular disorders in late Tudor and early Stuart England were the food riots and the anti-enclosure riots in royal forests. Of particular interest are the forest riots known collectively as the Western Rising of 1626-1632, and the lesser known disorders in the Western forests which took place during the English... More →

The Life And Times Of Warren James – Free Miner Of The Forest Of Dean

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... More →