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The Bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor

Trans. Devon. Assoc.vol. XXIV, (1892) pp. 418-430, maps.

by

Arthur B. Prowse, M.D., F.R.C.S.

Prepared by Michael Steer

The paper was presented at the Association’s July 1892 Plymouth meeting. A royal forest was an area reserved by the king for hunting. William the Conqueror introduced the concept of forest law in England in the 11th century. Until 1204 the whole of Devon was a royal forest, but in that year King John agreed (subject to the payment by the county's commonality of a "fine" of 5,000 marks) to disafforest all of Devon "up to the metes of the ancient regardes of Dertemore and Exmore, as these regardes were in the time of King Henry the First". In other words, all of Devon except for Dartmoor and Exmoor was freed from forest law. This disafforestation was confirmed by King Henry III in 1217, and in 1239 he granted the Forest of Dartmoor (and the Manor of Lydford) to his brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall. From that date it technically became a chase, not a forest, though the name did not change. The next year, in a writ dated 13 June 1240, the king directed the Sheriff of Devon and twelve knights of the county to perambulate the Forest to record its exact bounds. Today, the forest still belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

 

  Page
Bate, C Spence, FRS 419-20, 423, 426-8
Birkett, Mr 418
Budd, Mr F N (Batworthy) 422
Burt, Mr W 419, 430
Carrington 419
Dymond, R, FSA 419
Fortibus, Isabella de 419, 426-7
Henry II 418
Henry III 418
Hoker 425, 428
John, King 418
Lightfoot, Farmer 424
Manwood 418
Mason, Rev J H (Widecombe) 428
Moll 423
Richard, Earl of Cornwall 418
Risdon 428
Rowe 419
Shillibeer, Mr 430
Siward (Silward) 427-8
Torr, Anthony 422, 428
Westcott 422