Deposition – Robert Wilkinson – 28 Nov 1757

Document Type: Deposition
Date: 28 Nov 1757
Correspondent: Robert Wilkinson
Archive Source: NRO 324/W1/28
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Robert Wilkinson, 67, of Dufton in Westmorland, said his father was hired as a herd by Thomas Errington of Corbygate and Ralph Whitfield of Newshield who had taken the Millstones farm as a grazing farm. It had a very large stock he believes to the amount of 1100, and the neighbours complained that Errington and Whitfield kept too large a stock of sheep upon the said Commons for their farm. In the summer they counted their stock of sheep and did this between Hareshaws, Sandiford and the Long Cross. 

He used to hound the sheep of William Johnson of Grisley Row and Johnson thought he hounded them too roughly, offering Wilkinson’s father a pound of tobacco to make his son treat his sheep more gently, but he (Johnson) never complained about his animals being moved off. He got sixpence for every waif and stray he took to the Bailiff of the manor at Whitfield Hall.

Lead ore carriers frequently used to unload their horses at a place called the Carrier Hall and turn them loose to graze between Millstones Bottom and Knights Cleugh. His father was under instructions to impound any horses belonging to carriers who did not live in Whitfield, but he never knew of any.
Whitfield boundary dispute witness on behalf of William Ord, owner of the Manor of Whitfield. See PDF of entire series of depositions for background to the case, and letters from Joseph Richmond to Sir Walter Blackett, 22 Nov and 2 Dec 1757 for context to the taking of the depositions.

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467