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The Wood That Built London: Cooper’s Wood

Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, landowners had been making periodic attempts to fence off commons on which local people without
land of their own were allowed to graze livestock and gather firewood. In 1754, locals tore down fences and asserted their right to gather fuel in Cooper’s Wood, and in 1792 one Michael Bradley, a father of four, was shot in the leg by a landowner, Samuel Atkinson, for exercising common rights in Coleson’s Coppice. Infection set in, and Bradley subsequently died. By the time the coroner’s court had returned a verdict of manslaughter, Atkinson had absconded, and seems to have escaped punishment.

From The Wood That Built London by C.J. Schüler

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C.J. Schüler

C.J. Schüler