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The Speech House c 1880.

image: the Speech House c 1880 (115k)

A similar photo appears in Dr Cyril Hart's book, "The Verderers and Forest Laws", Lightmoor Press, 2005. Dr Hart dates the photo at around 1880 and names some of the people as follows: "The group is likely to comprise: seated: four verderers (Dincombe Pyrke, Edmund Probyn, Edwin Owen Jones and Charles Bathurst), and Sir James Campbell Bt., deputy surveyor; standing behind them: three keepers (including Richard Smith of Mailscot Lodge and W D Christie of Herbert Lodge); and in the doorway, the innkeepers (Mr and Mrs John Coleman)". There is a 4th person behind the verderers - he is hidden in Dr Hart's photo, the man far left is not mentioned.
Presumably the verderers are named left to right with Charles Bathurst seated far right (his son- also named Charles, later became Viscount Bledisloe).
Sir James Campbell Bt. is standing far right holding his hat.The innkeeper, Mr Coleman is behind Charles Bathurst.
At the back, one of the men in a top hat is probably John Jones- for whom the Biblins Lodge was built, when the government bought land there in 1817. (source - newspaper cutting of an article on Tom Brown by Dr Hart - 1994).
The Speech House has been enlarged since this photo was taken. The bay window is still there and faces the Coleford to Cinderford road.

Timothy Coleman added (June 2011): "... John Coleman at the Speech House was my grand-father. Has anyone more information on this family?".

Brian Featherston added (September 2019): "... I think the photo may have been taken before 1880. In the 1861 census, John Coleman the innkeeper was recorded as living at The Speech House. In the 1871 census, he and his family were living in the Bristol Buildings in Coleford, and his occupation recorded as Autioneer and Valuer. He was my second cousin four times removed".

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