‘The poor increase like fleas and lice, and these vermin will eat us up unless we enclose.’
– John Moore, 1653
In the late sixteenth century Bletchingdon was the province of the Power family, centred on a moated medieval manor (subsequently replaced by a Palladian country house in 1782). By 1596–7 some 40 per cent or 780 acres of the village open fields had been enclosed. It was said of Richard Bradshaw, one of the men condemned to death at the treason trial after the Rising, that ‘when they came to Mr Power’s hedges of his new enclosed ground ... Bradshaw wished that the hedges were throwne within the diches, & he under them that made them’ (Walter 1985: 110).
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