Powys County Archives Office

Breconshire Quarter Sessions - Miscellaneous Records

Reference code(s): GB 0223 B/QS/XX

Held at:

Title: Breconshire Quarter Sessions - Miscellaneous Records

Short title: Breconshire Quarter Sessions - Miscellaneous

Dates of creation: 1749-1829

Level of description: Sub-fonds

Extent and medium: 0.3 cubic metres (6 large boxes, 3 rolls)

Name of creator(s): The Commissioners for the Enclosure of the Great Forest of Brecknock; the Clerk of the Peace for Brecknock.


Administrative and biographical history: The Great Forest of Brecknock, was a large tract of upland, interspersed with wooded valleys, which was set aside for game hunting by Bernard of Newmarch, when he assumed the Lordship of Brecon in around 1093. By the 15th century, the Lordship of Brecon had passed, through marriages and inheritance, to Henry, Duke of Buckingham. On his attainder in 1483, Richard III confiscated his estates, including the Lordship of Brecon. Richard granted a charter to the commoners of the Great Forest on 19 Feb 1484. The attainder was reversed by Henry VII, and Edward Duke of Buckingham (son of Henry) regained the Lordship. He was subsequently executed by Henry VIII, and the estates reverted to the Crown again in 1521. An Inspeximus of Richard III‼sup>TMs charter was issued by Henry VIII, in 1538, granting the inhabitants of the Lordship of Brecon a right of common in the Great Forest. The Lordship and the Great Forest were leased out (usually separately) by the Crown. By the 17th century both were held by branches of the Morgan Family of Tredegar. The Great Forest was often ‼sup>~farmed‼sup>TM or sub let. In 1808, the Crown, to raise money for the war with France, introduced an Act to sell off the Forest. The commoners asserted their rights of common, which lead to the prosecution of two of their number for trespass. This case was withdrawn, in 1814, because the commoners' plea of long usage was felt to be strong enough for the court to find in their favour. In 1815, an Act was introduced to enclose the Great Forest, alloting a moiety each to the Crown and the commoners. The Commissioners appointed to oversee the enclosure were Henry de Bruyn and John Cheese. The process of dividing the Forest was a long one, as it entailed the consideration of many claims and counter claims; some of the land had to be sold to deffray expenses. In 1818, an amendment Act was introduced, giving the Commoners' allotment to them in severality, rather than alloting them individual portions. The award was finally made in 1819. The Crown allotment was sold soon after.


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Archival history: The records were deposited with the Clerk of the Peace for Brecknock. They were transferred to the National Library of Wales in the early 20th century.

Immediate source of acquisition: Transferred by The National Library of Wales in 1990.





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