It appears on the Hovenden Map of Wycombe in 1596 when it was owned by All Souls College Oxford on about 2.7 acres
George Lanes parents were possibly Israel Lane and Elizabeth Harding who married at Hughendon though I havnt yet found a link .
Its not known when George started papermaking at Ash Mill but Israel did take a lease on a paper mill in High Wycombe
By the will of George Lane of 1761 and proved in 1776 Ash mill was to operated by his father in law John Hayley (Healey) and his son John Hayley for the benefit of Georges’ children. Elizabeth his wife was to remain living at the mill until her death and be paid £20 a year from his estate in two equal instalments at Christmas and mid summer
John and George when they came of age (21) were to be given the option buying the mill and the money split equally between the 7 children at the time the will was written The valuation of which to carried out by 3 independent persons At Georges’death John Healey the younger became sole executor
John (married Ruth Wooster ) his son operated as a papermaker there possibly with George his brother It was this George or his son George who died a bankrupt
By this time it had become known as Lanes Mill In the 1820s Zachary Allnutt had interests in Ash , Bassetsbury, and Marsh Green Mill where he installed a Foudrinier machine in 1826.The Allnutt family crop up over several centuries taking various leases and buying land in the Wycombe area
Johns’ sons John and Joseph were then papermaking in 1833 when they were victims of the Swing riots which swept the country from Dorset affecting many businesses which operated new labour saving machines such as steam engines on farms used for grain thrashing
On November 27 1830 a meeting at Rye 3 miles from Wycombe of the papermakers (unemployed) took place to try persuade the mill owners to remove their machinery .
On Monday 29 November 1830 some magistrates the town mayor Rev Dr Scobee and Lord Carrington assembled in the town hall. Dr Scobell took the chair trying to reason and preserve the machinery .A large multitude had assembled.
Carrington tried to address the mob but had shouts of ‘pay your electoral bills’ The chairman was thrown from his chair and the furniture in the building was destroyed then the rabble moved out of the hall vowing to cause damage that night The mob met at Flaxwell Heath 4 miles from Wycombe to the sound of a horn at about 5am and soon moved in the direction of Ash Mill arriving at about 9am
The armed group of machine breakers, destroyed the machine at Ash Mill, It took the rioters 30 minutes to break into Ash Mill A shot was fired at the rioters from within , an elderly man William Bryant a paper maker( presumably unemployed) from Flackwell Heath , receiving the shot in his shoulder and several gallons of Sulphuric Acid was thrown at the rioters severely burning many of them
Moving onto Allnuts mill they destroyed Allnuts machine and then they went to the farm of Mr Lansdale whose thrashing machine was destroyed and similarly threatened to do the same to machine of Mr Collins but they adjourned to the Red Lion public House They then moved onto Mr Paistows mill at Loudwater and destroyed his machine after he had pleaded with them saying he would dismantle it
The High Sherriff Colonel Vyse arrived by this time with a number of ‘gentlemen’ to oppose the rioter but had stones thrown at them severely cutting Vyes’ face
Mr Spicers Hedge Mill came next but His Majestys stag hounds arrived several shots were fired at least 2 men were hit in the chest were carried away lifeless 6 Grenadier guards arrived and took six prisoners away
The rioters then moved on to destroy the machines at Wycombe Marsh and Kings Mills before a number of them were eventually rounded up and taken to Aylesbury Gaol to await trial. In all they had caused £12,000 worth of damage.45 rioters were captured (and 9) taken in Lord Carringtons break and a stage coach to Aylesbury gaol but were turned away as the gaol was overflowing due to the riots and so returned to Wycombe W Bowrey,S Atkins ,R Carey,M.Holt,J Sims,R Dofter,J Bryant S Waldeck and the 2 Moody brothers
At least 48 were tried by Jan 12 1831 but the number were being added to daily The court was convened and adjorned until Tuesday when John Lane was examined by Sergeant Storkes.He said the machinery destroyed had cost £300 .On Jan 20th 23 prisoners were sentenced to death for the destruction of machinery at Aylesbury court but no names available in the Worcester Journal .The judge said he would show leneancy for some
January 21 1831 Thomas Blizzard 30, and John Sarney believed to be the ring leaders in the Wycombe riots were sentenced to death without mercy 19 more sentenced to death by Justice Parks
Some were transported to Australia. The two ringleaders were sentenced to death but their sentences were subsequently commuted and they too were transported.
At Winchester a ring leader of riots was discharged after it was proved that ‘God save the King’ was omitted from the reading of the Riot Act
In the Wycombe area there were at least 300 unemployed papermakers at this time and Lord Carrington and all the Paper mill owners received threats in writing if they didn’t stop using their thrashing and papermaking machines.
Although the Council levied a special rate to compensate the paper makers, this came too late for Zachary Allnutt who was declared bankrupt on 20 June 1837. appearing in the London Gazette February 1837
The riots were reported in newspapers across the country where local riots were aimed a farmers as well .In Cambridgeshire rioters destroyed several large stacks of corn at Coton in Cambs. Along with the thrashing machine
In October 1837 Alfred Lane (recorded in the 1841 census as a papermaker) and Joseph Edmonds leased the mill but it is uncertain whether papermaking ever resumed there. In the mid–1840s, it was occupied by Thomas Quarterman who converted it back to a corn mill.
In 1844 Joseph is described as a retired tradesman
The Lanes ceased papermaking and the machinery auctioned on Thursday November 25th 1847 by a Mr Vernon Lots included 80 ‘valuable lots of paper’ 3 steam cylinders,4 presses ,cast iron rollers 2 engines ,a large rag boiler ,steam boiler .60 lots in total
The mill was then run as a corn mill
They then marched through the town to, Marsh Green Mill. Zachary Allnutt begged them to spare the machine, promising not to use it, but the rioters took no notice of him They proceeded to Mr Hayes’mill where the machine suffered the same fate
Rev. Vincent Price JP who came to read the Riot Act, calling on all people unlawfully assembled to disperse peaceably to their homes
In 1858 Edmonds’ widow sold Marsh Green to George Darvill for £1,625, and in May 1866, George’s son Benjamin sold the “water corn mill, dwelling house, hereditaments and premises situate at Upper Marsh” for £2,500 to Lord Carrington but on the same day signed a tenancy agreement for the whole property now including watercress beds. In 1899 Ben Darvill & Son were still running Marsh Green, by then water and steam.
In 1851John is retired and was living at 25 Lane Mill Row ; James Edmunds and wife Eleanor are living at the mill, milling corn and selling animal feed (mealman)
In the 1870s , Reuben Pierce who married Anne Marie Lane ,Johns daughter and was corn milling He died from drink by 1876 by which time the Pierces had gone to Temple Mill
Ash Mill at the auction date c.1930
At some point it was taken over by James Cox and used as a furniture store His grandson George who fell down the stairs and died in 1938 married Anne Marie , Reuben Pierces daughter so Ash mill remained with a branch of the Lanes until then.
Cox Employed 150 in 1870. Exhibited at a Furniture Exhibition at London Agricultural Hall, 1881. ‘No firm of higher reputation or greater importance’ in 1890s. Est 1850 as Cox & Hussey, dissolved 1865 and carried on by Jas Cox until 1880 when it becomes Cox & Son. Showrooms at 24 Finsbury Pavement. Exports to Australia & New Zealand. ‘Art Chair Makers & upholsterers’. Old saw mills in Bridge Street converted to a separate company and used for cabinet work. Reported in 1891 BFP as est. as Cox, Hussey & Barrett about 1850 in Three Tuns Yard, then to West End as Cox & Hussey, the 1862 Hussey moved to Hughenden Road. Cox bn Amersham, Died 1891 at 77
High Wycombe had become a well known furniture manufacturing town in 1800s with several of the Lanes being involved for example later J C Lane Ltd (James Christopher) 1907-1958 and Lane and Head
IN 1939 Ash mill was demolished
The site today (2010) is a car park at a point where the River Wye is culverted under the modern town of High Wycombe.It is hard to believe so many mills existed on this stretch of water as the flow is so poor presumably because of abstraction for drinking water (?) and hence the introduction of steam engines in the 1830s to Ash Mill
From records though there were many mill ponds which allowed a head of water to build .Some mills were operated 24 hrs in 1800s ,making paper in the daytime and corn milling at night and the water flow carefully managed
Ash Mill was on the corner of Westbourne Street
Only 1 working mill survives on the Wye at Wycombe . Pann mill is open to the public on certain days and it was the site of a mill in the Doomesday Book