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Oak Felling for Ship Timber. A View in the New Forest Hants

Oak Felling for Ship Timber. A View in the New Forest Hants

Artist: Hassel, I.

Medium: Aquatint, coloured

Date: 1798

Shelfmark: Ktop XIV

Item number: 84-a

Genre: Topographical Print

The New Forest was created by William the Conqueror as a home for royal deer. By the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the forest was important mainly as a source of timber for the building of the Royal Navy. Daniel Defoe mentions in his Tour of Hampshire that it is one of the ''best wooded counties in Britain''. In Southampton he describes ''we saw a prodigious quantity of timber, lying on the shoar of the river, which they told us was brought thither from the forest, and left there to be fetch'd by the builders at Portsmouth-Dock''. He also comments ''the very great consumption of timber in King William's reign by [his] building or rebuilding almost the Royal Navy''.

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