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Page history last edited by R H Johnston 12 years, 7 months ago

Notes & Queries 


This page is for posing of Questions, and short Notes for discussion


Notes and Queries about potters and potteries on the Hampshire/Surrey borders

All material relating to the Borderware Potters has been moved to the designated Borderware section, to bring it all together.

Please ask and answer Borderware queries there please. Thanks (Richard Johnston wikimaster).


Q7. Parson Darby, mythical highwayman?

I read with interest the material about the Parson Darby myth. At the risk of telling you something you already know, I think this story has been conflated with that of Robert Darby who robbed the Western Mail on Blackwater Heath (Blackbushe?) on 29 July 1751. He was caught at Gravesend, imprisoned in Southwark, carried back to Blackwater Heath on 24 April 1752 where he was executed and his body hung in chains.  His wife had £600 taken from the Mail quilted into her stays.  He must have come from a wealthy family because his brother, William Darby, put up £6,000 bail for his own court appearance for "aiding, comforting and receiving his brother after he robbed the Western Mail". The sources for this are the newspapers in the Burney Collection.

Bob Clarke: Basingstoke VCH Project 

A1: Googling Robert Darby

A2: Five Years Earlier



Q6. Iron Age Smelting at Lightwater.

See Iron Age section/topic. Can anyone help?



Q5. The Welsh Drive 

Does anyone know where the Welsh Drive originated (in Wales?), and its actual route across country to Blackwater Fair? We can trace its route westward across Blackbushe Airport, through the gravel diggings and past the north of Bramshill House. Perhaps somebody who reads this in Gloucestershire has a Welsh Drive running through their village and wonders where it leads to in the east. The answer to their question is Blackwater Fair.


Q4. Lost Cobbett Diary. 

In article in the Camberley News & Bagshot Observer for 18.07.78 by Donald Cobbett who at that time lived at Fleet (phone 6939)referred to a diary of a William Cobbett who visited his father in 1801 at the Manor House, Frimley, after carving his name at the top of the Obelisk en route from London. I would like to contact Donald Cobbett or next of kin or anyone with information about the whereabouts of this diary for help with local history research. Phil Stevens.



Q3. New Barn Farm, Frimley, Surrey 

There is preserved a letter written by the grand-daughter of Mr. Finch, a builder, to Miss Rendle, first curator of Camberley Museum, from West Meon in Hampshire which records that "New Barn Cottages were on site now occupied by Johnson Wax Factory, and were taken down brick by brick and taken to USA and rebuilt as entrance Lodge at one of the estates there. All the oak half timbers were put together on the site and photographed so that there was no mistake on refixing; so it could be said that there is a bit of old Frimley in the New World." A sketch by Sydney Loader, dated 25.09.26, has the note: "Demolished Spring 1928 Rebuilt elsewhere in America". We have no idea where - can anyone help? Phil Stevens.



Q2. Blackwater Fair 

Blackwater Fair is alleged to have medieval origins. There is documentary evidence for it in the 19th century, especially in the references of the Royal Military College cadets and authorities. In looking for earlier ones I tried the first numbers of the Reading Mercury from 1723 onwards. Although miscellaneous Fairs did get a mention, it wasn't until the 23rd October 1752 issue that I found a reference and that because the changes of the new style calendar moved its date from 28th October to 8th November. It looked as if all fairs notified their change of date that year. Obviously the Fair already eisted then but can anyone provide any documentation for it before 1752? Phil Stevens.  

A1. Blackwater Fair

A2. Blackwater Fair

A3. Blackwater Fair



Q1. The Haven Yateley 


The Haven Yateley was Baptist Union unmarried mother and baby home which operated from 1945 to 1970. Many of the babies were adopted to "respectable" homes in the surrounbding area. We are interested in knowing more about such families. If anyone has any information please contact Richard Johnston, Hon Sec The Yateley Society if material is personally sensitive, oterwise respond here.


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