Occasional Magazine Vol.4 No.5 (May 1930)
A Dispute between Mr. Benjamin Pepper of Milford Mill and Mrs. Whitby in 1833-35 by A. C. G. Heygate. Mrs. Whitby, owner of Newlands from 1819 to 1850, is said to have added parts of common land to her estate during that time. Benjamin Pepper owned and worked the Mill at Milford in 1833 and the legal dispute was about his alleged trespass on Westover Common. Before a jury at Winchester Assizes in March 1835 the lands in Pepper’s possession were confirmed but he “had no right to Westover Common”. A separate dispute in April 1834 was over watercourses on Mrs. Whitby’s property damaging the workings of the Mill. The many expenses incurred in these actions show modest amounts for bed and board at Winchester but, interestingly, huge amounts spent on liquor.
This article is seriously flawed. The miller at this time was James Noake (who Heygate says was Pepper’s solicitor) and the newspaper report of the trial makes no mention at all of Pepper, see MHR.007446. The action was taken by Mrs Whitby (in the name of George King, her tenant at Westover Farm) against Noake for turning his cattle out on Westover Common. Benjamin Pepper was a solicitor with presences in Southampton, Eling (Totton) and Lymington.