Letter – Isaac Basire to Francis Goodrick – 29 Oct 1664

Document Type: Letter
Date: 29 Oct 1664
Correspondent: Isaac Basire
Recipient: Francis Goodrick
Archive Source: DCRO D Bo F 117
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R[er] in Cau[..] Dunel[..]

29 Oct 1664

     To the Right Worshipfull Sr. Fra[ncis] Goodrick Knight Chancellor of the County Palatine of Durham and Sadberge

Humbly complaining sheweth to your good Worship your Orator Isaac Basier Dr in Divinity & Rector of the Parish Church of Stanhope in Weardale in this County That whereas heretofore by all the time whereof the memory of man runs not to the contrary there hath been and yet is a Custom within the sd. parish & Lordship of Stanhope in Weardale within this County that all the Rectors and Parsons of the parish Church of Stanhope aforesd. their & predecessors Parsons there have by like time of ancient & accustomed usage used to have & enjoy the Tyths or Tenth part of all the Lead Ore, 

[in another hand in the margin here: ‘The Rector by custom entitled to the 10th pt of all the Lead oar’] 

whatsoever wrought gotten or digged out of any of the Mines or Groves within the said parish or Mannor of Stanhope of Stanhope (Viz) the Tenth horse load or Tenth bing load or Tenth Fother of Lead Ore [in another hand in the margin here: ‘ viz 10 horse or Bing’] & amongst others of a Mine or Grove within the said parish or Mannor commonly called or known by the name of Langhte head at Lanktyehead in Burnop & that your Orator Isack Basier, was heretofore many years since lawfully admitted instituted & inducted into the sd. Rectory or parsonage of Stanhope aforesd. as parson there & hath & did heretofore faithfully execute & discharge the C[u]re of the same, untill these late troublesome times of distraction in this Nation, wherein your Orator for his Loyalty & Faithfulness to his late Majesty of glorious memory, was forced to disert the sd. C[u]re & to fly for his Security beyond the Seas, the other party then prevailing, since wch time it having pleased God to restore his Sacred Majesty that now is to the exercise of his royall Office, his Crown & Dignity over these Nations your Orator also after some Sixteen or Seventeen year<s> peregrination abroad returned again to this Nation  & according to his ancient right amongst other things was restored to & revested in the sd. Rectory of Stanhope as aforsd. from wch he was a long time unjustly withheld as aforesd. where he now continues parson & Rector at this day & doth & hath ever since his said institution officiated & discharged the sd. C[u]re & resided upon the same & read the Articles according to the Statute in that case provided & done & performed all other things whatsoever wch the Law required he should & ought to perform on his behalf as parson there 

As also your sd. Orator does further inform this honble Court that always heretofore he hath duly & truly received th<e> Tyths due to the sd. Rectory or parsonage without any guile fraud or subtraction of <the> same continually from time to time & by all the time until he was so forcibly ousted & unjustly withheld & detained from the same in these late troublesome times as aforesd. 

But now so it is may it please your good Worship that one Barnard Harrison of the parish of Stanhope Yeoman & Robt. Bramwell of Wearshead in the parish of Stanhope aforesd. Yeoman together wth one Robt Bestings & Ralph Robinson of the same, by Combination & Confederacy among between themselves & others ill willed parishioners of the said parish whose names as yet your Orator cannot tell, but prays that when they shall be discovered their names may be inserted into this present Bill wth apt Charges for them to answer unto have by secret contrivance & [unanimous] confederacy one wth another ever since yr said Orator came over Seas to the Enjoyment & Exercise of his sd. Function in the sd. Parsonage or Living of Stanhope aforesd., wch was on or about the time of the happy Restoration of his sacred Majesty that now is, tht is to say for above these Four years last past [in another hand in the margin here: ‘ 4 yrs tith subtracted’], they the sd. Barnard Harrison & Robert Bramwell & other the Confederates unknown by subtilous, crafty & underhand dealings & other private & clandestine practices have secretly [consorted] & so endeavoured to subtract lessen & diminish the sd. customary Tyths of the sd. Lead Ore belonging to the sd. Rectory or parsonage of Stanhope aforesd. & do begin to grow so peremptory in the same that they deny all manner of Tyth to your sd. Orator for or by reason of the Lead mines groves or Ore coming & being wrought & digged out of the same & give out in Speaches that there is no such Customs as is afore set forth (annotated in the margin in a different hand: deny the Custom) whereby the parsons & Rectors of the sd. parish Church of Stanhope have had or anciently used or now ought to have the Tyths due for the same Although tht your Orator doubts not but to make sufficient proof of the sd. Customs anciently used within the sd Manor & parish of Stanhope aforesd., by all the time whereof the memory of man runs not to the contrary, yet notwithstanding they the sd. Barnard Harrison & Robert Bramwell have for these Four years last past withheld lessened & diminished the sd. Tyths due for the sd. Lead Ore wch hath been wrought & digged by them their Agents or Servants Grovemen, by all the sd. space of Years aforesd., & also have abetted & encouraged severall others of the parishioners to do the same.   

And more particularly they have subtracted & denyed the Tyth Ore due for the Lead wrought within the Years aforesd. in a Mine or Grove within the parish of Stanhope aforesd. called or known by the name of Langhtehead a[l]<so> Lanktyhead for the Orator gives this Honble Court to understand & so can prove to the same, tht upon Tuesday the Eighth day of September in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty & Three (annotated in margin in a different hand: Subtract the tith in 1663) your Orator did order & depute one Thomas White & Richard Thompson his Servants, to view & survey the sd. Lead Mines within the sd. parish of Stanhope to the intent that they might inform him what Lead Ore was wrought out of the same, tht accordingly he might know what Tyth to demand for & of the same, [in another hand in the margin here: ‘Rector Survey the mines’] in pursuance whereof as they were coming (amongst the rest of the other Mines by them surveyed) to the sd. Mine or Grove called or known by the name of Langhtehead als Langtyhead within a quarter of a mile or thereabouts before they came to the sd. Mine or Grove they did espye Ten or Twelve horses with their Loads upon their backs coming down from the aforesd. Grove but not in the right or common Way wch leadeth from the aforesd. Grove, & after when your sd. Orator’s Servants were come unto of the sd. Grove of Langhtehead & finding there the sd. Robert Beastings & his partner the aforesd. Ralph Robinson who were both above bank of the sd. Grove yr said Orator’s Servants asked & enquired of the sd. Robert Beastings & Ralph Robinson whose horses those were wch they see go afar of, & whether they were laden wth Ore or no, & whither they were going but they the sd. Robert Beastings & Ralph Robinson instantly denyed that there was either Man, or horse were loaded there tht day or any time for Fourteen days before whereupon your Orator’s Servants thinking that probably they might be deceived being at some distance when they saw the sd. horses so loaden, believing their confident assertion returned back again & went away from the sd. Grove & afterwards returned again & came to the sd. Grove & then they found the place there where the sd. horses were laden & found likewise scattered Ore, & also fresh Dung of the sd. horses, & [tht] they went the way towards Allendall & the places where the horses were laden, were some Twenty or Forty Yards from the sd. Grove [as] also they tract the sd. horses to the very top of the hill where they first discovered them, upon wch misdoings they charged the sd. Beastings wth the same who said tht he was but a Servant & therefore would discover nothing but if he were called upon his Oath, he would then discover the truth, as also he hath declared the same to your Orator, that if he were put to his Oath he would declare the truth, wch misdoings & [undirect] dealings of the sd. Robert Beastings & Ralph Robinson were abetted advised & comanded to be done by the sd. Bernard Harrison or Robert Bramwell or one of them who are the Masters to the sd. Robt. Beastings & Ralph Robinson & who set them on work in the sd. Groves & [condition] wth them for the concealing of what Ore is sold to the intent to defraud yr Orator & consequently in time his Successors of their just & due Tyths for the same 

And further yr Orator can prove tht one of your sd. Orator’s Servants did afterwards report the sd. passage, before the sd. Robt Bramwell who having been privy abetting & encouraging to the sd. private conveying away of the said Horse loads of Ore as aforesd. & that thereupon the sd. Robert departed without giving any Answer thereunto he very well knowing himself to be guilty of the same. 

All wch the doings of the sd. Bernard Harrison & Robert Bramwell Robert Beastings & Ralph Robinson  & others the Confederates about the [premises] are not only contrary to just honest & upright dealings, but even tend to the subtracting lessening & withdrawing of the accustomed Tyth of Lead Ore from yr Orator being Parson & Rector of Stanhope & his Successors & consequently  will affect the wicked depauperation of the sd. Church, contrary to all good Conscience & Religion & wherewith the sd. Church hath been so long sustained maintained & supported in tender Consideration whereof & forasmuch as yr Orator is quite destitute of relief about the [premises] by the strict Rules of the Common Laws of this Realm, but is only relievable in this Court before yr Worship, where such practices & injust Combinations especially to defraud the Church, [in another hand in the margin here: ‘exchequer Court to prserve the Revenues of See of Durham’] whose Revenues to preserve the godly & sage Judges both of Law & Equity have in all ages been diligent & curious to pros[ecute] as also in regard tht after a manner & in some sort this case  concerns the Revenues of the Sea of the County palatine of Durham, for that by the aforesd. Custom the Ninth part of all the sd. Lead Ore called by the name of Lott does belong to the Lord Bishop of Durham for the time being, as well as the Tenth part belongs to the parson or Rector of  Stanhope & for that the preservation of the same Custom will preserve the sd. Ninth part to the sd. Lord Bishop <of> Durham, as well as the Tenth part to the Parson’s of Stanhope, both depending upon one & the same Customs (annotated in margin in a different hand: 1/9 pt or Lot oar belongs to the Bp <1/10 to the> Rector Both depend on the Same Custom) & insomuch as all the Revenues of the sd. County Palatine, have been time out of memory of man & still are most properly within the survey regulation & ordering of this Honble Court, being his Lordship the Lord Bishop of Durham his Court of Exchequer 

To the intent therefore tht your Orator may be relieved in all & singular the [premises] aforesd. forasmuch as he confidently hopes that the sd. Bernerd Harrison Robt. Bramwell & Robert Beastings & Ralph Robinson & other the Confederates when known who well know the truth of all & singular the [premises] aforesd., will if called before yr Worship into this Honble & there put to their Corporall Oaths declare & discover such matter thereupon wherein yr Orator may find relief for his Grievances aforesd., To the end therefore tht they may upon their corporall Oaths true Answers make to all & singular the [premises] 

And first that they may set forth, what they know concerning the Customs aforesd. & whether they have not heard credibly, or of their own knowledge know not that there is such Customs, as also that the sd. Bernard Harrison & Robt. Bramwell may upon their Oaths setforth, whether or no, within these Four years last past, they have not vended severall barrells of the sd. Lead Ore in horse loads or otherwise without paying any Tyth for the same & to what value the same so sold do amount, 

And that the said Robt. Beastings & Ralph Robinson may upon their Oaths setforth whether or no upon or about Tuesday the Eighth day of September One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty Three, there were not such horse loads of Lead Ore as is aforesd. privately conveyed away on horse back towards Allendall or any other place out of this County Palatine without any Tyths paid for the same, & whether or no, the sd. Robert Bramwell did not comand the sd. Robert Beastings & Ralph Robinson to do the same & whether it was not on purpose & with intent to defraud yr Orator of his sd. Tyth due for the same quantities of Ore, and whether the sd. Robert Bramwell, being afterwards told of the same, by one of your Orator’s Servants, for being privy & abetting in the sd. contrivance & fraud, did not then depart without answering any thing thereunto 

tht so the truth of all the [premises] may fully appear May it therefore please your good Worship the [premises] being considered, not only to grant unto your Orator, one or more of his [Majesties] gracious or Writts of Subpena, under the Seal of this Honourable Court, to the sd. Bernard Harrison Robert Bramwell Robert Beastings & Ralph Robinson & others their Confederates when known to them & every of them directed strictly charging & comanding them & every of them, under a certain pain therein set down & at a certain day therein limited before your Worship in this honourable Court personally to be & appear & then & there to stand to such Order determination & Decree, as your Worship shall think fit to make therein, but also to grant to yr Orator out of the said Court a Writt of [Ded….s] potestat[ion] to be issued out of the same Court & directed to some such sufficient persons of this County, as shall be thought fit to be named Commissioners therein, to examine Witnesses in perpetuam […] memoriam for the Evidence & preservaton of the sd. Custom of Tyth Lead Ore as is aforesd. wch said Comission to be executed at some convenient place within this County near the Dwellings of the sd. Witnesses as shall be agreed upon & therein set down in regard that the Witnesses, wch can best prove the said Custom, are many of them extreamly old & decreped, & cannot travell without danger of Life & that their Testimony so taken, may by the said Comissioners be returned into this Court, there to remain upon Record for to testify the same as occasion shall require And your Orator as is duty bound shall ever pray

						John Jeffrayson
DCRO D/Bo/F/117. Isaac Basire was the Rector of Stanhope who was restored to the living in 1662 after the Interregnum.   Sir Francis Goodrick was temporal chancellor of Durham.    John Jeffrayson, who signed the petition, will have been Basire’s legal counsel.   Basire took no further action in this court after presenting this petition.   Subsequently an Act of Parliament in 1667 confirmed the Rector’s right to one tenth of the lead ore, washed and ready for smelting.   The transcript available in the PDF download contains underlinings in another hand – perhaps that of Bishop Chandler, but these cannot be rendered in this database version. The text has been divided into paragraphs for legibility.

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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