“Link with the past. The enclosed photograph depicts a native of Paslow Wood Common, where he was born in 1825. He kept the White Horse ale-house, which stood behind the Black Horse, also on the common and still existent. It was a house of call for men engaging in transportation of hay by road to London for the teeming horse population there. Hay carters, notoriously turbulent, heavy of whip and fist, bought in the results of poaching forays to pay for beer and victuals along the road to the metropolis.
“This native enjoyed the common right to pasture graze a cow and a donkey, and, with the right to collect turf for fuel, would be nearly self-supporting. He was also an expert pig slayer, could thatch anything, and shear an ‘owd sheep’ with the rest. Needless to say, he was an expert and consummate poacher who knew full well where the ‘owd hare sits.’ He escaped conviction for this ‘offence’, but his son was shot in the legs while engaging in this pastime on Kelvedon Common and was laid up for six weeks. He was later convicted at Ongar also, but his brother became, naturally, game-keeper at Forest Hall, Ongar.
“He survived down to 1907, when in the time of primroses he was photographed with me at Norton Mandeville – for he was my great-grandfather and his name was John Maryon.
“JOHN MARYON. … Hornchurch.”