Warren James ( 1792–1841 ) was a rebel leader in the Forest of Dean, England. As the Industrial Revolution began to take hold in the Forest of Dean, the Crown resolved to dilute the Foresters’ freemining rights and introduce free-market forces to the area. then, in 1808, Parliament directed that big areas of the Forest be enclosed, in order to satisfy an increase requirement for naval timbre.
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unable to compete with the outside industrialists, and denied their ancient rights to collect timber or graze animals in the insert areas, many Foresters descended into abject poverty. Unrest grew and Warren James emerged as a democrat leader. In 1831 he led a group of up to 3000 Foresters in assailable disgust against the Crown, tearing down about 60 miles of fencing in an attempt to retake possession of the enclosures. Warren James was tried and sentenced to death, though this was commuted to transportation to Tasmania. He was pardoned five years former, but unable to return home, he died in Hobart in 1841. His actions have inspired many other campaigns over the years and he remains one of the most significant figures in Forest of Dean history .
early life [edit ]
James ‘ don, besides Warren James ( 1751–1809 ), married Ann Kear ( 1755–1836 ) in 1777. At first they lived in a lease bungalow in Bream, but in 1782 they moved to an impingement bungalow, which they had built on state between Parkend and Whitecroft. [ 2 ] A map date 1787 [ 3 ] shows the syndicate house as being on the southern boundary of Parkend, and describes it as a ‘Turf ‘ bungalow, built on encroach land, and valued by the Crown at 15 shillings per year. Warren James ( the new ) was born in July 1792, and was baptised at Bream Chapel on 29 July 1792. He was the one-fourth son, and sixth bear, of nine children. The younger James appears to have had no courtly education, although by and by documents show that he could read and write as an adult. Along with his six brothers, he followed his church father to become a miner at an early age. [ 4 ] little is known of his family life, though the syndicate were undoubtedly impoverished. invasion cottages were illegally built single floor, build up of easy stones and covered with turf. They had no windows, only a low door, a crude fireplace with lamp chimney, and a floor paved with stones. [ 5 ] The constant terror was that the authorities could destroy their home and remove them from the land. James ‘ house was destroyed and the family removed from the state in 1813, the country being forested after the removal. Aged 20 or 21, James moved with his beget to Bream. He never married .
background to the Dean Forest Riots [edit ]
The Forest of Dean is home to a range of natural resources, chiefly timber, coal and cast-iron ore. These had been exploited on a minor scale since before Roman times, but the possibilities of large scale extraction had not escaped the attention of the Crown. Free-mining rights had been granted to foresters at least as far back as 1244, but there had been a retentive custom of disputes between the Crown and foresters over these rights. In 1612 the Earl of Pembroke attempted to enclose extensive areas of forest. In an campaign to preserve their rights, the foresters took him to the Exchequer Court and won. There had besides been previous riots, such as those which took place in 1631 when Sir Giles Mompesson built three new coal mines. [ 6 ] As the Industrial Revolution began to take prevail, the Crown became more determined than always to introduce the rid market into the forest, and with it the correct of outside industrialists to own farming and mineral rights. They began by outlawing the Mine Law Court in 1777, and physically destroying the Mine Law documents which constituted the laws by which the forest miners governed themselves. soon industrialists from outside the area began opening large iron and coal mines. The free Miners found it difficult to compete with these and much ended up working as wag labourers for the new owners. In 1808, Parliament passed the Dean Forest ( Timber ) Act in response to a austere dearth of naval forest. The act included the provision to enclose 11,000 acres ( 4,452 hour angle ) of the forest. province for the execution of this depart of the Act fell to a unseasoned, newly appointed deputy surveyor named Edward Machen. He established his office at Whitemead Park, in Parkend, and in 1814 he enclosed and replanted Nagshead, the chief forest of Parkend. By 1816 all 11,000 acres ( 45 km2 ) had been enclosed. ordinary foresters were already poverty laid low, but now their pledge had grown bad. They were denied access to the enclosed areas and sol were unable to hunt in them or remove forest. In particular, they lost their ancient graze and mine rights. Unrest was growing, but at first base there was no unionize immunity as the foresters had been told that the fences would be removed after 20 years, once the oaks were mature adequate to withstand graze. In 1828 and 1829, the Foresters petitioned to have the fences removed, but were turned down. In 1830 the ‘Committee of dislodge Miners ‘ choose Warren James to petition the Chief Commissioner and others in London. A petition from James, opposing the commission ‘s parliamentary bill, was presented to the House of Commons on 11 June 1830, but foundered. [ 4 ]
After further efforts to have the fences removed fail, James finally called the free Miners to action. A notification, dated 3 June 1831, was distributed and instructed exempt Miners to meet on the following Wednesday “ for the purpose of opening the Forest ”. James and Machen knew each other well, as both were regular churchgoers at Parkend. On Sunday 4 June they held a public meeting outside the church gates in Parkend. It was a final undertake to resolve the matter peaceably, but they could agree on nothing. The date given on the notice is “ Meet on Wednesday next the 7th blink of an eye for the function of Opening the Forest …. ” Wednesday was in fact the 8th, but the give voice may only be confusing in the context of contemporary rendition. In any subject, it was on the 8th that they met. [ 7 ]
The riots [edit ]
Machen confronted James at Park Hill enclosure, between Parkend and Bream, but James, who was leading a group of over 100 foresters, proceeded to demolish the fences there. Machen, and about 50 disarm Crown Officers, were powerless to intervene. He returned to Parkend and sent for troops. On the Friday, a party of 50 soldiers arrived from Monmouth, but by immediately the count of Foresters had grown to over 2,000 and the soldiers returned to their barracks. By Saturday night, there was hardly a sea mile of unbroken fence in the forest, but the future day a squadron of heavily armed soldiers arrived from Doncaster and the day after, another 180 infantrymen arrived from Plymouth. The Foresters ‘ immunity soon crumbled. Most melt away into the forest and returned home. Warren James was arrested, and committed to trial at Gloucester Assizes on Monday, 13 August 1831. [ 8 ]
trial of Warren James [edit ]
Forest of Dean Local History Society brass on the wall of The Angel Hotel, Coleford
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Machen was the foremost, and headman witness at the test. He spoke about the poster James had issued, and how he had, in change by reversal issued his own notice cautioning that such legal action was illegal. He referred to his meet with James, on the Sunday, and said that James had claimed possession of a document which proved the enclosures were unlawful. Machen went on to say that, on Wednesday dawn ( the day of the belly laugh ) he had gone to James ‘ house in the morning, asking him to produce the document. James replied that it was in his house and said he would fetch it “ and in a moment or two returned, with a pick ax on his shoulder. ” Machen then described how he and another magistrate had followed James to the enclosure at Park Hill, how he had warned him again, how James had made the beginning ‘blow ‘, and how he ( Machen ) had finally read the carouse act. After listening to several more witnesses, the jury found James guilty of felony under the Riot Act, but made a supplication for clemency on the grounds of his previous good character. The pronounce, Mr Justice Patteson, sentenced James to end, but within two weeks this was commuted to transportation system for life. [ 9 ] James was sent to Van Diemen ’ second Land, modern day Tasmania. Of the others who were arrested, one other was besides sentenced to end, but this besides was later commuted to transportation system. nine-spot people were sentenced to imprisonment, for periods of up to two years, and respective others received smaller sentences or fines. Around a hundred others elected to voluntarily rebuild the enclosures, rather than be charged with rioting .
Time in Australia [edit ]
The conditions on transportation ships were notoriously bad and convicts frequently died en route. James arrived in Tasmania on 14 February 1832, and was assigned to a working party attached to the Public Works Department in Hobart. It seems that he kept his head down for four years, but on 19 January 1836, he was sentenced to a week ‘s imprisonment for ‘neglect of duty and insolence to a magistrate ‘. then on 24 February 1836, he was sentenced to thirty six lashes and sent to work in a coal mine near Port Arthur, for ‘gross contempt towards the commanding officer when addressing the prisoners ‘. [ 10 ] interim, back in the Forest of Dean, the foresters, supported by Machen, had been petitioning for his amnesty. [ 11 ] [ 12 ] This was granted on 16 February 1836, but did n’t reach ( or was n’t granted to ) James until 13 September, and was given without free passage base. [ 13 ] [ 14 ] James decided to stay in Van Diemen ‘s Land, though his reasons are stranger. surely he would have been unable to pay for the passage without aid, and by now he was besides in poor health. It besides seems that he had cut himself off from his syndicate and friends, as he apparently had no contact with them since leaving England. James died in rented rooms in Argyll Street, Hobart, on 26 October 1841. A moving report of his survive few days was given by his landlord, William Overell, at the inquest. In it he describes James ‘ frightful condition and how he had refused medical attention. [ 15 ] The coroner recorded the death as being due to “ Atrophy of the belly ” and “ identical acute excitement of the liver ”. [ 15 ]
physical appearance [edit ]
No photograph of James exist, but the following description of him, aged around 40, is given on a prison document :
conventionalized mural of Warren James at The Fountain Inn, Parkend. Height – 5feet 3 inches
Complexion – dark
Head – round
Hair/Whiskers – black to grey
Visage – ellipse
Forehead – long, sloping back
Eyebrows – embrown
Eyes – hazel
Nose – sharp
Mouth – large
Chin – medium
Remarks – stalwart
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Although conjecture, he may besides have looked youthful for his senesce, as the same document describes him as being 30 on arrival in Tasmania, when he was in fact 40. [ 16 ]
References [edit ]
far learn [edit ]
- Ralph Anstis, Warren James and the Dean Forest Riots, ISBN 978-0-9511371-0-9 (Albion House, 1986), ISBN 978-0-9564827-7-8 (Breviary Stuff Publications, 2011).
- Ralph Anstis, The Story of Parkend
- Ian Wright, The Life and Times of Warren James