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New Forest, , England         OS Map Grid Ref: SU302027
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The following is taken from William Camden's Britannia published in 1586;-

Along the east banke of this river [Avon] in this Shire [Hampshire], King William of Normandie pulled downe all the townes, villages, houses, and Churches far and neere, cast out the poore inhabitants, and when he had so done brought all within thirty miles compasse or thereabout into a forrest and harbour for wild beasts, which the English men in those daies termed Ytene, and we now call New forrest.

Of which Act of his, Gwalter Maps who lived immediately after, wrote thus. 'The Conqueror tooke away land both from God and men, to dedicate the same unto wild beasts and Dogs-game: in which space he threw downe six and thirty Mother-churches, and drave all the people thereto belonging quite away.' And this did he, either that the Normans might have safer and more secure arrivall into England, (For it lieth over against Normandie) in case after that all his wars thought ended any new dangerous tempest should arise in this Iland against him: or for the pleasure which he tooke in hunting: or else to scrape and rape money to himselfe by what meanes soever he could: For, being better affected and more favorable to beasts than to men, he imposed very heavy fines and penalties, yea and other more grievous punishments, upon those that should medle with his game. but Gods just judgement not long after followed this so unreasonable and cruell act of the King. For, Richard his second sonne, and William Rufus King of England, another sonne of his, perished both in this Forrest: William by chance shot through with an arrow by Walter Tirell; the other blasted with a pestilent aire. Henrie likewise his grand child by Robert his eldest sonne, whiles hee hotely persued his game in this Chase was hanged amongst the bowghes and so died: that we may learne thereby. How even childrens children beare the punishment of their Fathers sinnes. There goe commonly abroad certaine verses, that John White Bishop of Winchester made of this forrest: Which although they falsely make William Rufus to have ordained the same, yet because they are well liked of many, I am likewise well content heere to set them downe.

Templa adimit Divis, fora civibus, arva colonis Rufus, & instituit Beaulensi in rure forestam: Rex cervum in sequitur, Regem vindicta, Tirellus Non bene provisum tranfixit acumine ferri.
From God and Saint King Rus did Churches take, From Citizens town-court, and mercate place, From Farmer lands: New Forrest for to make, In Beaulew tract, where whiles the King in chase Pursues the hart, just vengeance comes apace, And King pursues. Tirrell him seing not, Unwares him flew with dint of arrow shot.
He calleth it Beauley tract, for that King John built hard by, a prety Monasteri, for the pleasant situation called Beaulieu, which continued even unto our Fathers memorie, of great fame as being an unviolated sanctuarie & a safe refuge for all that fled to it: in so much that in times past, our people heere thought it unlawfull and an hainous offence by force to take from thence any persons whatsoever, were they thought never so wicked murderers or traitours: so that our Ancestors when they erected such Sanctuaries, or Temples (as they terme them) of Mercie, everywhere throughout England, seemed rather to have proposed unto themselves Romulus to imitate than Moses: who commaunded that wilfull murderers should be plucked from the altar and put to death: and for them onely appointed Sanctuarie, who by meere chance had killed any man.

But least the sea coast, for so long a tract as that forrest is heere, should lie without defence all open and exposed to the enimie, King Henrie the Eighth began to strengthen it with forts, for, in that foreland or promontorie shooting far into the sea: From whence we have the shortest cut into the Isle of Wight, hee built Hurst Castle, which commandeth sea ward every way. And more towards the East he set up also another fortresse or blockhouse, they name it Calshot Castle for Caldshore, to defend the entrie of Southampton Haven, as more inwardly on the other [shore] are the two Castles of S. Andrew, and Netly. For, heere the shores retiring as it were themselves a great way backe into the land, and the Isle of Wight also; butting full upon it doe make a very good harbour, which Ptolomee calleth The mouth of the river Trisanton, (as I take it) for Traith Anton: that is, Anton Bay. For, Ninnius and old writer giveth it almost the same name when he termeth it Trahannon mouth. As for the river running into it, at this day is called Test, it was in the foregoing age (as wee read in the Saints lives) named Terstan, and in old time Ant, or Anton: as the townes standing upon it, namely Antport, Andover and Hanton in some sort doe testifie.

Canute So far am I of (pardon me) from thinking that it tooke the name of one Hamon a Romane, (a name not used among Romanes) who should be there slaine. And yet Geffrey of Monmouth telleth such a tale, and a Poet likewise his follower who pretily maketh these verses of Hamon.

... Ruit huc, illucqueruentem Occupat Arviragus, eiusque in margine ripae Amputat ense caput nomen tenet inde perempti Hammonis Portus, longumque tenebit in auum.
... Whiles Hamon rusheth heere and there within the thickest ranke, Arviragus encountreth him, and on the rivers banke, With sword in hand strikes of his head: the place of him thus slaine, Thence forth is named Hamons-Haven, and long shall so remaine.


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