chapter  2
7 Pages

Harvest earnings

Three Ipsden men brutally attacked a harvester from Wood­ stock in August 1897.47 In August 1876 John Clements of Saintsbury ‘used violence’ towards John Sanders (‘a reaper and a stranger’), threatening and intimidating him with a view to coerce him and prevent him reaping at Weston Subedge until ‘he was bound to give up his reaping and seek protection’.48 A labourer, dismissed from a Hardmead farm during the harvest of 1889, assaulted his replacement (‘being a Chicheley man’)49 and was able to secure the aid of four other labourers in the attack. Harvest earnings were ‘preserves’ not to be lightly invaded by the stranger, and the outsider who trespassed on a villager’s territory was liable to receive short shrift.