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Author Topic: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.  (Read 11088 times)

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Offline jj

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 15:37:02 »
Tried to post this before: don't know where it went!
Just wished to let everyone know that we have been successful in getting Ordnance Survey to agree to place a cross sword symbol on their future mapping. This has taken quite a long time as they required Historic England to research and approve before they would commit. Pleased to say that H.E. has produced a monument report that can be viewed on pastscape: Unique identifier is 1614947
There are a couple of issues with the report, that I have fed back to H.E., but it's a start.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 22:26:14 »
"Sir William Courtenay and his brave battle with the establishment have not been forgotten nor have his followers of the time. Indeed we at http://john-thom.com feel that this extraordinary man has earned the right to have his spirited endeavors more fully known and celebrated by the medium of the www."

John Nichols Thom, alias Sir William Percy Honeywood Courtenay. Madman or Revolutionary? Alex Hackett.
The Convenient Preoccupation with Courtenay's Mental Health. Derek Bright. +more articles.
Video interviews, memoribilia, photos, history, songs.

Disappointingly the above website has gone awol, pity, it was rather good. Thanks to the member who alerted me.

Nine of the videos made by john-thom.com are available on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/user/transition59/videos?sort=dd&view=00shelf_index=2

Paul Hadlow talks to john-thom. Paul Hadlow is a direct descendent of Lidia Hadlow and William Wills, fervent disciples of Sir William Courtenay.

Mount Ephrain, a look at the Sir William memorabilia.

Sir William bloodline discovered.

The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Sir William Courtenay by "Canterburyensis", 1838, is available @ https://archive.org/details/lifeextraordinar00cantrich free to view online or download.
The most detailed study, it includes a lot of hear-say, but also the official trial and coroner's reports.
I Wish It Would Rain The Temptations

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2012, 04:59:34 »
There was a hotel called the William Courtenay at the top of the very steep Boughton Hill (Dunkirk) on the old A2.  It was owned at one time by my ex business partner's late Father Charlie Stilwell.  I believe he also owned Bakers Hotel in Canterbury.  I can't find any reference to this hotel now but it is about quarter mile from the Red Lion pub mentioned earlier in this thread.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 23:46:24 »
"Sir William Courtenay and his brave battle with the establishment have not been forgotten nor have his followers of the time. Indeed we at http://john-thom.com feel that this extraordinary man has earned the right to have his spirited endeavors more fully known and celebrated by the medium of the www."

John Nichols Thom, alias Sir William Percy Honeywood Courtenay. Madman or Revolutionary? Alex Hackett.

The Convenient Preoccupation with Courtenay's Mental Health. Derek Bright.

+more articles.

Video interviews, memoribilia, photos, history, songs.
I Wish It Would Rain The Temptations

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 19:43:46 »
How confusing....   The Red Lion is still there and does have items on the walls claiming to be the pub where the arrested were taken.  Here is the only image I can find . .  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Red_Lion_Inn,_Dunkirk,_UK.jpg  The road is the old A2,

The listed buildings guide states that they were taken to what is now the Gate Inn and now a Little Chef but this may be incorrect if the items on the wall in the Red Lion are bona fide etc.

The Red Lion was on the left hand side of the A2 and the Gate Inn was a couple of hundred metres further on, on the right heading for Canterbury.  The new A2 dual carriageway cuts at angle between the two buildings now.

The Red Lion cannot be seen from the current A2, you have to take the old A2 which becomes a slip road onto the new A2 Canterbury bound.

Offline unfairytale

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 19:54:13 »
The Little Chef is the Red Lion and was once the Gate Inn.
http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-176697-little-chef-dunkirk
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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Offline JohnWalker

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 19:25:51 »
The Red Lion at Boughton isn't the Little Chef although it's very close to it.  The Red Lion is a pub and has some info ref: Battle of Bossenden Wood, on the walls.  I haven't been there for some time but I believe it is still trading - had a good reputation for food.

The Red Lion is on the slip road that rejoins the A2 at the Gate Services, Canterbury bound.  This slip road used to be the main A2 out of Boughton.

Offline unfairytale

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 17:54:09 »
The Plaque in Hernehill Churchyard.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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Offline ellenkate

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Re: The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2011, 11:03:33 »



Thanks for this information, Unfairytale.

Reports are in Dover Telegraphs for  August 1838:

PRICE William aged 30, sentenced to transportation for 10 yrs, at Kent Assizes for murder of Nicholas MEARS at Ville of Dunkirk (Bossenden Wood) 2 col report.
(Was sentenced to death but recommended to mercy)

MEARS, Thomas  (otherwise TYLER)  aged 29.  At Kent Assizes charged, with others, of wilful murder of Henry Boswell BENNETT at ville of Dunkirk. Pleaded guilty.
Sentence deferred.  [long report]    + charged with murder of Nicholas MEARS.  Guilty, death sentence, recommendation for mercy.           

WILLS William aged 46, sentenced to transportation for the murder of Henry Boswell BENNETT at Ville of Dunkirk; Kent Assizes.

Ellenkate

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I'm Lincolnshire born and bred

Offline unfairytale

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The Battle Of Bossenden Wood.
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 23:05:07 »
In 1832 a Cornish man, John Nickols Thom, after recieving a large sum of money following the accidental burning of his buisness, turned up in Canterbury and declared himself a candidate, hoping to represent the city as an M.P. He did this under the false name of Sir William Courtenay. He failed in his bid. Beaten by an R. Watson.

 Thom then left Canterbury and travelled throughout Kent campaigning against the Poor Laws, until he was arrested in 1833 for smuggling. He pleaded insanity and was imprisoned at Barming Heath asylum for four years. On his release he moved to Boughton near Canterbury where he carried on his tirade against the Poor Laws, this brought him a large group of admirers, many of them believing that he was The Messiah. A claim he didn't deny.

 On the 28th of may 1838 he set out with 15 men to gather more followers, around Goodnestone, Faversham, Dargate and Sittingbourne. One farmer who's workers deserted him to follow Thom, went to the magistrate who issued a warrant to apprehend these men. The constable presented himself to Thom and his men, when Thom drew a pistol and shot the constable dead. Thom gathered his men and headed for Bossenden Wood.

 A detachment of one hundred men of the 45th Foot, under the command of Major Armstrong was sent to Boughton and marched into Bossenden Wood and Thom's group of about forty were soon surrounded. A Lieutenant Bennett charged at Thom, his sword in his hand but Thom was too fast with his gun and shot the officer dead.

  Major Armstrong who was close behind ordered his men to fire a volley and this instantly killed Thom and eight of his men. The others ran into the woods after a short fight, and dispersed. 27 men were eventually rounded up and taken to a local inn, The Red lion, where they were held for a short time.

 The Red Lion at Boughton/Dunkirk (Now the Little Chef) was the place at which the coroner conducted the investigation, and where two of the wounded men died. At the conclusion of the proceedings before the coroner and the magistrates, the following prisoners were sent for trial,  Thomas Mears alias Tyler, Alexander Foad, William Nutting, William Price, James Goodwin, William Wills, William Spratt, John Spratt, John Silk, Edward Curling, Samnuel Edwards, Sarah Culver, Thomas Myers alias Edward Wraight, Charles Hills, Thomas Ovenden, William Couchworth, Thomas Griggs, William Foad and Richard Foreman.

  By June 5th most of the dead from the battle were buried at Hernehill cemetary, including Thom. Eight of the prisoners were found guilty of the murder of Lieutenant Bennett. The others being freed.
 
  On Friday, the 17th of August, Mears and Wills were ordered to be transported for life; Price was ordered to be transported for ten years; and Wraight, the two Foads, Curling, Griggs, Foreman and Hills were given one year, hard labour.

  There is a wooden plaque in Hernehill Churchyard with the names of the eight men killed in the battle, said to be the last battle fought on English soil. Their individual graves are unmarked.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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