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The LIBERTIES and CUSTOMS of the LEAD MINES within the Wapentake of Wirksworth in the county of Derby, part thereof appearing by extracts from the bundles of the Exchequer, and inquisitions taken in the 16th year of the reign of king Edward the first, and in other king's reigns, and continued ever since.-Composed in meter by Edward Manlove, esq. heretofore steward of the Barghmoot Court, for the lead mines within the Wapentake. London, Printed, Anno Dom. 1653.
3 and 4, Philip and Mary, By custom old, in Wirksworth wapentake,
3, E. 6. Art. 14.
Phil. and Mary, Art. 11.
Phil. and Mary, Art. 11, and 25.
3, Edw. 6. c. 2.
If any of this nation find a rake,
Or sign, or leading to the same, may set,
In any ground, and there lead oar may get:
They may make crosses, holes, and set their stowes,
Sink shafts, build lodges, cottages, or coes.
But churches, houses, gardens, all are free
From this strange custom of the minery.
A cross and hole a good possession is
But for three days, and then the custom's this,
To set down stowes, timbered in all men's sight,
Then such possession stands for three weeks right
If that the stowes bossinned and well wrought,
With yokings, sole-trees, else they stand for nought;
Or if a spindle wanting be to nick,
"Tis not possession, no not for a week;
But may be lost, and by another taken,
As any grove that's left, quit or forsaken:
For the Barghmaster (by the custom) ought
To walk the field, to see that works be wrought,
And on the spindle ought to let a nick,
If that the grove unworked be three week,
And every three weeks, until nine weeks end,
To nick the miners' spindles that offend;
And when the spindle nicked is three times,
According to the custom of the mines,
Then the Barghmaster may the stowes remove,
And he that set them loseth the same grove;
Unless the work by water hindered be,
Or else by wind, the miner then is free
From losing any meer of ground or grove,
For then such stowes none ought for to remove;
And the Barghmaster ought to make arrest,
Upon complaint, if mines be in contest,
Receiving four pound for his lawfull fee,
That the next court the wrong redressed may be.
The vulgar term is, setting for a mine,
For th' grace of God, and what I there can find,
16, Edw. 1. c. 1. Art. 1.
And then at him some other miners take,
And gain possession in the selfsame rake;
Another miner for a cross-vein sets,
Some take at him, and then possession gets.
Some take for one thing, some for other free,
As new thing, old thing, cross-vein, tee, or pee.
But yet a difference may be taken clear,
Betwixt a founder, and a taker meer;
Because the finder that doth find a rake,
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary, May have two meers met, and set out by stake,
16, Edw. 1. c. 2.
3, Edw. 6. Art. 15.
Which is in length twice eighty-seven feet,
And so is to be measur'd and laid out.
But first the finder his two meers must free
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary, With oar there found for the Barghmaster's fee,
Which is one dish for one meer of the ground,
The other's free; because the miner found;
But by incroachment they do two demand,
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary, And wrong the miner, which they might withstand;
3, Edw. 6. Art. 1. Art. 6.
3, Edw. 6. Art. 3.
Then one half meer at either end is due,
And to the lord or farmers doth accrew;
And if two founders in one rake be set,
Perchance the farmers may a prime-gapp get.
Then must the miners chase the stole to th' stake,
From meer to meer, and one at other take:
Each taker gains a meer, no more he can
Have that finds oar in working an old man.
And he (by custom) that his mine doth free,
A good estate thereby doth gain in fee,
And if he die, and leave behind a wife,
The custom doth endow her for her life;
But if the grove be lost for want of stowes,
Or forfeited, her dower she doth lose.
By word of mouth eke any miner may
Such fee and freehold freely give away.
Egress and regress to the king's highway
The miners have, and lot and cope they pay.
The thirteenth dish of oar within their mine,
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary. To th' lord for lot they pay at measuring time,
Sixpence a load for cope the lord demands,
And that is paid to the Barghmaster's hands;
Against good times the lord ought to provide
A lawful measure equal for both sides,
Both for the buyers and the sellers' use,
And forfeits forty-pence if he refuse;
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary, And he that sells by any other dish,
His oar so sold, thereby forfeited is ;
Small parcells yet poor men may sell for need,
If they cannot procure the dish with speed;
Provided always that to church and lord
They pay all duties custom doth afford,
For which the vicar daily ought to pray
For all the miners that such duties pay,
And reason good, they venture lives full dear
In dangers great, the vicar's tythe comes clear;
If miners lose their lives, or limbs, or strength,
He loseth not, but looketh for a tenth;
An admonition to the ministers that receive tythe of lead oar.
But yet methinks if he a tenth part claim,
It ought to be but a tenth of clear gain,
For miners spend much money, pains, and time,
In sinking shafts before lead oar they find,
And one in ten scarce finds, and then to pay
One out of ten, poor miners would dismay.
But use them well, they are laborious men,
And work for you, you ought to pray for them.
And suit for oar must be in Barghmoot court,
For justice thither miners must resort;
If they such suits in other courts commence,
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary, They lose their due oar debt for such offence,
And must pay costs, because they did proceed
Against the custom; miners all take heed.
No man may sell his grove that's in contest,
Till suit be ended, after the arrest;
The seller's grove is lost by such offence,
The buyer fined, for such maintenance.
And two great courts, of Barghmoot ought to be,
In every year, upon the minery;
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary, To punish miners, that transgress the law,
To curb offenders, and to keep in awe
Such as be cavers, or do rob men's coes,
Such as be pilferers, or do steal men's stowes;
To order grovers, make them pay their part,
Join with their fellows, or their grove desert;
To fine such miners as men's groves abuse,
And such as orders to observe refuse;
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary, Or work their meers, beyond their length and stake,
Or otherwise abuse the mine and rake,
Or set their stowes upon their neighbour's ground
3 and 4, Philip and Mary, Against the custom, or exceed their bound;
Or purchasers, that miners from their way
To their wash-troughs do either stop or stay;
Or dig or delve in any man's bing-place,
Or do his stoes throw off, break or deface;
To fine offenders that do break the peace,
Or shed men's blood, or any tumults raise,
Or weapons bear upon the mine or rake,
3 and 4, Phil. and Mary. Or that possessions forcibly do take,
Or that disturb the court, the court may fine
For their contempt, (by the custom of the mine)
And likewise such as dispossessed be,
And yet set stowes against authority ;
Or open leave their shafts, or groves, or holes,
By which men lose their cattle, sheep, or foals
And to lay pains, that grievance be redress'd,
To ease the burdens of poor men oppress'd;
To swear Barghmasters, that they faithfully
Perform their duties on the minery;
And make arrest, and eke, impartially,
Impannell jurors, causes for to try;
And see that right be done from time to time,
Both to the lord, and farmers, on the mine;
To swear a jury for a half year's time,
(By custom called) the body of the mine,