Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Brockenhurst Blacksmith

In the evening of the 20th March 1692 Nicholas Masters was dying. He lived in a thatched cottage on the other side of the Lymington Road to his blacksmith's shop. The  blacksmith's was situated on the island where the cycle shop now stands in Brockenhurst.

At his bedside were two friends and he verbally disposed of his property. That morning he died, leaving a wife who was to outlive him by almost fifty years.

Johnathan Masters had already informed the family that he was un-willing to accept the inheritance as he had a good job as a taylor in Southampton. It was therefore Nicholas, named after his father, who was to inherit.

The blacksmith's shop had: an anvil and trough, a pair of billows, a fire-maker, a grinding stone and many other small tools. As well as his household goods Nicholas had a horse, a great crimson coat  and an old sword to dispose of.

The family moved elsewhere in the village and their cottage was compulsorily purchased by the Southampton and Dorchester Railway Company in 1846. When the land was not needed by the railway company the family declined to buy it back.

The blacksmith's shop was demolished in 1915 having been in the family since at least the Civil War, two hundred and seventy years.

Many thanks to Neil Hotson for this truly interesting piece of Brockenhurst Hampshire history.

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