Shepherds & sheep dippers
John Aubrey, a 17th century antiquarian, thought that the shepherds of Wiltshire "do give us resemblance of the golden age". He was undoubtedly aware that "Arcadia", a tale of nymphs and shepherds, by Sir Philip Sidney, was written at Wilton House, Wiltshire.
Alfred Brind interviewed about Life on the Wiltshire Downs 26/12/1961 on the BBC, presumably the Home Programme.
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John
1655-1703?
Thomas (Theordy)
1659(60)-1739
George H
1706-???
Thomas
1706-???
Robert
1792-?
Thomas
1793?-???
John
1805?-1882
Aaron
1816/7-1882
Robert
1827-1901?
John
1828-1901
John East
1831-1901
Charles Robert East
1842-?
Caleb
1853-1917
William
1853-?
Alfred John
1889-1972
See Aldbourne sheep
shearers of 1904





This picture is the crookmaker of Pyecombe from H V Morton's I Saw Two Englands (1939). Morton said this was an England that had almost passed - a relic of life before the First World War. "The head of the crook is of iron or steel, and nothing makes a better crook than an old gun barrel. The haft of the crook must be formed of unpeeled hazel for the shepherds will not have ash. They polish the hazel until it looks like mahogany.

"As the purpose of a crook is to catch a sheep by the leg, and as the various breeds of sheep in England vary in size, there are many patterns. A Sussex crook would be of no use to a Kent shepherd, and a man herding Dorset Horns would require still a different pattern. . .

"Pyecombe crooks last more than a lifetime, but as there are fewer shepherds than ever on the Downs, there is not much genuine demand for them today. Instead the Mitchell brothers are generally busy making crooks for bishops and hikers." (pages 111-112)

Pyecombe is probably in Sussex.
In 1636 a shepherd, snaring a partridge, was accosted by 'a great Fatte gentleman' hawking on Upham Down. The shepherd threw his prong at him 'and mist him verie narrowle', but killed his gun-dog. The fat gentleman was none other than Thomas Goddard whose effigy kneels devoutly (with his family) in Aldbourne Church. Before he galloped away he shouted to the shepherd that he knew him well and that it should be 'a dear partridge for him', as there can be little doubt it was. For Thomas Goddard, late High Sheriff for Wiltshire, was not likely to allow his assailant, whose 'evil demeanour had affronted him', to get off lightly.

From The Heart of a Village (an intimate history of Aldbourne) by Ida Gandy