Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/373

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s. XL MAY s, i9i5.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


363


Of pictorial representations of pack-horse drivers I doubt if there are many. As the querist appears to require these most, I will refer to as many as I know of. There as a picture by Louis Huard (a French artist, who died in London in 1842) of a pack-horse convoy. In this picture the horses are pro- ceeding in single file, but this is probably because the country through which the artist has painted them passing is mountainous, and the path, therefore, narrow. A good woodblock reproduction of the picture may be found in Srniles's * Life of Telford,' 1867, p. 30. The frontispiece, to this same book has, what is possibly of greater service to your correspondent, the picture of a pack- horse loaded, and a pack-man by his side, passing over an ancient causeway near Whitby. The only seventeenth - century illustration of pack-horses with which I am acquainted is in David Loggan's * Oxonia Illustrata,' issued in 1675. Loggan must have been as familiar with the appearance of pack-horses and pack-men as this generation is with motor-cars, so his drawing is of special value.

In the collection of tokens in the Guildhall, London, there are two, at least, with repre- sentations of pack-horses on them. Nume- rous pictures of pack-horse bridges which still exist in the country are found in T. W. Wilkinson's charming book, 'The Highways and Byways of England,' London, n.d. (circa 1910). These bridges have very low parapets to allow the packs and the panniers to swing clear, and V-shaped re- cesses for the drivers to stand in, the bridges being narrow. Mr. Wilkinson states that an old pack-horse way,

  • ' extending as it does from Blakeleys to Koch-

dale, has been kept open by the Marsden Urban District Council, which has cut away the turf which had encroached on it, and placed along it stone pillars." (I do not know where "Blakeleys " is.)

To return to the pack-horse bridges, these include the one at Moulton, Newmarket, and one at Charwelton (Northants). There is one at Sutton (Beds) which is still main- tained by a charity founded in the seven- teenth century by "John Burgoyne and his wife. (See * Charity Reports,' vol. viii. p. 32.) There is another at Aldin Grange, near Durham.

Pack-horses held their ground in remote parts of Devonshire till about 1850, and for about twenty years later many ladies in rural parts rode pillion to church or market. Mr. Wilkinson states (p. 72) that the good wives of Southorpe, Lincolnshire, did not


cease before about 1850 to journey in this manner to Kirton-in-Lindsey for the pur-

?ose of replenishing their larders. Tip to 875, too, the spectacle of a man and his wife going along on one steed was not uncommon, particularly in Wales.

On p. 204 of Baring-Gould's ' Old Country Life ' there is a picture of * A Pack-man's Way.' The road represented is extremely rough. Mr. Baring-Gould reasonably asks :

"How was it that anything ever reached country houses intact? I applied to my coachman. He replied, ' Well, sir, you see, nothing was carried in waggons then, but on pack-horses that is to say, no perishable goods. My grandfather was a pack-man. Those were rare times.' And he shewed me the old pack-men's traces, across the woods where now trees grow of fifty years' standing. In- deed, alongside of many modernized roads the old pack-men's courses may still be traced. There was great skill required in packing. The pack-horse had crooks on its back, and the goods were hung to these crooks. The crooks were formed of two poles, about ten feet long, bent when green into the required curve, and when dried in that shape were connected by horizontal bars. A pair of crooks thus oompletad was slung over the pack- saddle, one swinging on each side, to make the balance true. The short crooks, called crubs, were slung in a similar manner. These were of stouter fabric, and formed an angle. These were used for carrying heavy materials."

This describes the conditions in Devon- shire, and it is in the far West of England, as well as in the North arid in Wales, that one finds the chief evidences of pack-horse travelling. When Smiles was writing ' The Life of Telford,' an old Dartmoor farmer said to him :

" I well remember the train of pack-horses, and the effect of their jingling bells on the silence of Dartmoor. My grandfather, a farmer in the North of Devon, was the first to use a 'butt' (a square box without wheels, dragged by a horse) to carry manure."

With the introduction of the first cart in the Dartmoor district, the bridges had to be widened to accommodate wheeled vehicles. In the early eighteenth century Eberiezcr Brookes did a large pack-horse business in the West. He announced :

" These are to give notice to all gentlemen or others that have occasion to send goods, or travel from London to Exeter or Plymouth, or from Exeter and Plymouth, or any parts of Cornwall or Devon- shire, to London ; that they may be accommodated for expedition by Pack-horse carriage, who set out from the Cross Keys Inn in Wood Street. London, every Saturday, and from the Mermaid Inn in Exon every Monday. Perform'd, if God permit, by Ebenezer Brookes."

Heavy goods from Bristol, such as iron, lead, and wire, were ta-ken in barges via Bridgwater to Taimton, and from there