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among his chiefs; and this agrees with what Bede and other old writers state was the case when the Saxons (including cognate tribes) took possession of Britain. The so-called Saxon armies may be described as a large body of armed emigrants led by an elected chief, formed of many smaller groups, each having a leader, who was, however, subordinate to the King-lord or principal chief, and when sharing among themselves a foreign possession each district was divided into Hides (a somewhat indefinite term as at present understood), the head chief taking as a matter of course a large share, and dividing the remainder between his lieutenants, and as each of these had a number of followers, they in like manner after supplying themselves allotted to each of their followers a share; by this plan the land would quickly become parcelled out and occupied, and as each individual took possession of his plot or share, it is very probable that both for the sake of protection and identity, he would set about enclosing it with some sort of fence or hedge.
It would occupy too much time were I to enter upon the different kinds of tenure by which land was held in these early times, or of the political rights which attached to them: it will be sufficient for my subject, if I state briefly my opinion that the first parcelling out of the acquired lands by the Saxon tribes would be followed by enclosing them with some description of fence, which in many instances would doubtless be a living hedge, and that there is strong evidence to connect many of the existing enclosures round our oldest villages with these early Saxon times.
In the first instance of enclosing land some kind of clearing would frequently be necessary, and as this might reach further in some directions than others an irregular boundary would follow, which we find very frequently occurs in old fields—or the first enclosures of the Saxons might follow some previous division of land made by the Britons-be this as it may-the small size of the enclosed fields round our oldest villages would seem to indicate that a considerable number of allottees were included in these early appropriations.
That the earliest hedges would be made with such plants as grew
near the proposed fence, seems feasible. And so it is that we find the oldest hedges are made up of the kinds of trees which grow indigenously in the locality. The oldest hedges I have examined in Wilts are composed (on dry soils) of hazel, wych-elm, maple, oak, dog-wood, spindle-wood, and buckthorn, about in the order placed: and in stronger soils, the ash, blackthorn, buckthorn, wild crab, and wild plum, predominate. The beech and hornbeam are rarely met with as hedge plants, and the same may be stated of the birch, but on wet soils, several species of sallow and willow are frequently found as hedge plants, as well as the alder. The dogrose, bramble and elder I consider owe their introduction into our hedge rows to chance, as does also the holly in old hedges. The nearly constant absence of the whitethorn from very old hedges may be accounted for on the ground that in the wild state in which it would be met with at the time it would be a difficult tree to transplant, and, in all probability, if used at all, soon died away.
The increase of hedges would follow the enclosures that took place from time to time on the common or unappropriated lands for the purposes of cultivation, or to establish the right of ownership. With regard to the kind of plants used in making these later hedges I find nothing to shew that any change was made; in fact, it would appear that until the establishment of nurseries for rearing young trees, plants for the purpose of forming hedges could only be procured from the neighbouring copses or unenclosed lands.
Henry VIII., fond of good living, was as we may imagine, an epicure in fruits, and his table was furnished by regular importations from the Continent during the fruit season, and as he was in this respect followed by his courtiers, the fruits of the continent became in demand, and led to the forming of nurseries in England for rearing young trees of the kinds of fruits then grown in France and the Netherlands, and it would follow that trees for the embellishment of the country seats which soon after this time sprang into existence throughout England, as well as for forming hedges, would be reared in these nursery gardens, and the yew hedges, and topiary work in evergreens found surrounding old English mansions date from about this period, but although we learn from an Italian
author, Crescentius (lib. v.) that hawthorn hedges were used in Italy in 1400, I have met with no record that the common hawthorn was employed solely for forming hedges in England before the very end of the reign of Henry VIII. In 1611 however, one Standish in a book which he called the "Commons Complaint,” lays down a new method of pruning the whitethorn (hawthorn) in fences, shewing that it was then beginning to be appreciated as a hedge plant, and in an old black letter copy of a work on planting published in 1612, the author when giving directions for planting a quick-set hedge, says :-"take whitethorne, crab tree and hollin mixed together-or else any one of them, and by no means, if you can chuse, set any blackthorne among them, for that it will grow into the fields ward and spoyle pasture and tear the wool off the sheepe's back."
In "Tusser's" five hundred points of good husbandry, he writes:
"Go plough or delve up advised with skill;
The breadth of a ridge, and in length as you will;
Where speedy quick-set for a fence will draw,
Hedges however formed exclusively with the hawthorn were not commonly planted until a still later period, for Evelyn in 1664 tells of a friend of his who made a considerable addition to his income by rearing young quick-sets and selling them to his friends; and in fact the use of the hawthorn alone as a hedge plant did not become general until the latter part of the reign of William and Mary.
Having thus brought down the history of hedges to a period when the mode of planting them became much the same as that practised at the present time, and the adoption of the hawthorn as a hedge plant became almost general, it only remains for me, very briefly, to notice the effect of hedge rows ou English scenery in general.
The great Wiltshire vale, which, commencing at the foot of the downs, stretches across the county westward to the Cotswoldsbroken only by intervening ridges of the middle oolite-affords as good a representation of English hedge rows as we meet with in
most counties, having regard to their antiquity and variety. A spectator taking his stand on one of the many elevated points on the western escarpment of the chalk downs overlooking this valley, will be struck with its richly wooded character, and if it is examined in detail it will be found that a considerable part of the trees which furnish this landscape are hedge-row trees. Our forefathers did not care to cut their hedges so frequently as modern agreements now consider necessary, and in the interval of time which elapsed between one cutting and the next, the hedges had given protection to a host of saplings of the oak, ash, beech, and elm, the seeds of which had been taken there by birds, or deposited by the smaller animals for future wants, or, as would be the case with the elm, had sprung direct from the root of some neighbouring tree. These seedlings had flourished so well under the fostering care of the hedge, that when the time came round for cutting it the young trees were, in many instances, too valuable for cutting down, and were reserved for future timber, and thus in a great measure, through the conservative agency of the hedge, our landscape has been enriched with timber beyond comparison with any other pastoral country.
Who, with the feelings of a naturalist, has not sauntered by the side of one of these old mixed hedge rows, which are by no means unfrequent in Wiltshire, without a keen appreciation of the interest they unfold? let the time be; say when the "May" is in bloom, and the flowers of the dog-rose are displaying every shade of the most exquisite pink, and the air perfumed with the rival scents of the hawthorn and wild honeysuckle: or later in the season when they are decked with the "haws" of the hawthorn and wild rose, and the deep purple sloe; while the wild crab, maple, and dogwood are vieing with each other in the rich colouring of their dying leaves. Or again, viewing them with the eye of the archæologist, who will not find a pleasure in tracing back their history; in some instances, it may be, to the very infancy of our own civilization, and as marking that era in our political life when the possession of land had attached to it a right, the privileges of which have never yet been disputed? Or who contemplating the quiet history of these
VOL. XII.-NO. XXXVI.
reclaimers of the waste, which have survived so many phases in our national history, and are associated with all our old boundaries parochial and manorial, but will express the conviction that among the various features which give life, character and interest to our native scenery, our hedge rows occupy a prominent place?
The Flora of Wiltshire.
Flowering Plants and Ferns indigenous to the County.
By THOMAS BRUGES FLOWER, M.R.C.S., F.L.S., &c., &c.
ORDER. LENTIBULARIACEÆ. (RICH.)
Linn. Cl. ii., Ord. i.
Name. From pinguis (Lat.) fat; in allusion to the viscid leaves; hence too the English name Butterwort.
1. P. lusitanica, (Linn.) pale Butterwort. Engl. Bot. t. 145. Locality. Marshy places and wet moors. P. Fl. June, September. Area, 1.
1. South-east District, "Marshes on Alderbury Common," Dr. Maton. Bot. Guide.
This locality has been recently verified by Major Smith and Mr. James Hussey, but the plant has now become very scarce. Flowers small, pale yellowish.
UTRICULARIA, (LINN.) BLADDERWORT.
Name. From utriculus, (Lat.) a little bottle; in allusion to the circumstance of the stem or leaves bearing little compressed bladders, which, during the season of flowering, contain air, at other times water; so that the flower-spikes when in bloom, are