Question to Witnesses – Humphrey Wharton – 22 Apr 1667

Document Type: Question to Witnesses
Date: 22 Apr 1667
Correspondent: Humphrey Wharton
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Interrogatoryes Exhibited to be Administered to Such Witnesses as Shall be produced sworne and Examined on the part and behalfe of Humphrey Wharton Esq Thomas Allsopp William Deacon John Horton John Boulton William Fetherston John Rutter John Pilkington John Fetherston Cuthbert Emerson George Watson Cuthbert Watson George Whitfeild Henry Dagg Arthur Myres George Myres Godfrey Disbury John Evan Thomas Ritson Edward Stoute Thomas Burges John Nattris John Harrison Def[endan]ts Against Isaac Basire Doct[or] in Divinity and William Blackett Comp[lainan]t



Imprimis Doe you know the partyes Compl[ainan]ts and Defend[an]ts or any of them and how long have you soe knowne them or any of them



2. Doe you know the Lead Mynes within the parrish of Stanhopp called by theire perticular names of Hoesike Hawgrove Greenewelheads Greenewelfoote Claygrove Barber grove Gravel Lodge Perls=Clough Earnewelhead Windsike Deepeclough head Waggon grove Westgraine Fawhead Bradesike Lanegrove Westside of Earnewell Ireshopburnefoote Grovehead Allerclough Elmeford Storyeheads Clough head Langtay head Berry well Greenegrove Stony Sike Scratch heads StonySikefoote Cocklake Springwelle East and West of Langtay Flaske Castenholes Blacklaws Hesleygill Sallergrayne by and West of Cocklaws Broadmaysike Earneclough Blackaxeltree Bullion grove Bond grove Seinesike Dowkeside Newmeadowheads Groverake Postwell Pawperhills Eshclough Blaberryclough Westgraine Wolfe:clough Nicholsonsgrove East and West of Blackstands West of Blaberryclough Brandmay foote Berryclough Ramshawell West of Berryclough Spargrove Broadmaygrove Greenefeild Toadstone Burnegrove Blackgrove Bailehill Greenehille Lodgefeild nooke Brackensike Whiterakes Midgepitts Sedlinggrove Readgrove Westrake of Greenefeild Adderclough both sides Wolfescloughhead Highgrove Gorbutt May Greenesclough Dixons grove Lawsleape Fowlewood Barkeshaw meadow Wolfecloughfoote Langwell Arnehill Groverake Rosbymyres Thornegrove Picklaw carr Southgraine Booteswell Allersikes Heathanes Bollihoppgrove Mirkegill West Side of Harnishaw Shaftwell Craggrove Blackburne Eastgraine Undercragg Bollihopp: Shelnooke Drigill Birkehill Welheads Bog grove Hesleyhill Clay:grove East and West of Puddingthorne Heddiclough both Sides Hetgrove in the forest Hillgrove Snodbury:clough Beedhills Dowford Mosgrove Birkes Burneygrove Ewetree Crawley Crawbanck Brinsike Newgrove Hilhagarth Cowhorse Middlegrove Burnthille Parkside Lodge Feildnooke the Rake Eastfeild grove Cows the Grove Wardsons grove Mellerbury grove quarryhill grove Allergill East & West of Newlandgrove Coweswellfoote or any of them or any otherLead Mynes and which by name within what place or Fell doe they or any of them ly and are the same severall distinct Lead Mynes as well as they have severall distinct names and what can you declare concerneing the same



3. Doe you know that the said Lead Mynes in the precedent Interrogatory or any of them and which by name paid any Tyth in kind or any Composition in lieu of the same unto the Parson of Stanhopp Parrish his Agent officer or Lessee in right of the Parson Who paid the same for what Lead Myne paid and to whome paid And how often in the yeare paid and at what place Was the the same paid with Deductions of Charges and what charges were allowed by the Said Parson his Agent or Lessee to the respective owner and occupyer that paid the Said Tyth made And was Such Deductions First taken out and Tyth paid of that which remained Declare yo[ur] knowledge herein 



4. Doe you know that the Tything oare or Cuttings got out of the Waistgrounds wholegrounds and old heapes paid any Tyth to the Said Parson of Stanhopp



5. Doe you know of any Lead Myne within the said Parrish of Stanhopp  that paid noe Tyth oare or Composition in Lieu thereof



6.. Doe you know the Charges and Expences from the First of August last unto the Seaventh of March includeing for the getting of Lead oare in the forefeild and broken grounds in the severall Lead mynes of Hoesikes Elmeford Allerclough Roseby Myre Lodgefeild rake also Lodgefeild Slitt Toadstone Greene clough Weste of Southgraine and Eastside of Southgraine the Rakes or any of these or of any other Lead Myne or Mynes whatsoever within the parrish of Stanhopp



7. Doe you know that if any lead Myne within the Said Parrish of Stanhopp that paid Tyth afterwards is left unwrought by reason that the Charges in workeing the Same is greater then the profits that proceed out of the Said Lead Mynes if the Said Lead Mynes be afterwards Digged and wrought doth not pay Tyth whilst the broken ground continues working and what Lead Myne doe you know Soe left unwrought for the aforesaid reason and now is wrought in the broken ground



8. Are you a Wittness and Subscibed your name or Marke according to the Severall Tackes or Grants now Shown unto you made by the Said Humphrey Wharton to the Severall persons therein named



9. In whose Custody or possession have you seene these Severall paper books now Shewen unto you and how long is itt Since you first Saw the Same



10. What other matter or thing Doe you know which any way tend to prove that the Tythes of Lead oare got within the <sd forest> [2-3 words smudged out]> the Said parrish of Stanhopp were or are not to [1-2 words smudged out] to prove which of the Said Mynes pay Tythes all manner of Deductions and Charges being first allowed unto the owner or occupyers thereof and the truth herein you are to declare





Depositions of Sundry Witnesses produced sworne and Examined on the part and behalf of Humphrey Wharton Esqr William Fetherston Thomas Alsopp John Horton al[ias] Orton John Boulton William Deacon John Rutter John Harrison John Pilkengton John Johnson Cuthbert Emerson John Nattress al[ias] Nattrice George Watson Cuthbert Watson George Whitfeild Henry Ragg Arthur Myres George Myres Godfrey Disbbrough al[ias] Didsbury John Evans Thomas Ritson Edward Stoute and Thomas Burges Def[endan]t whose bill of Compl[ain]t of Issaac Basire and William Blackett Compl[ainan]t Made at Stanhop in the County of Durham the Two and Twentyeth day of Aprill in the nineteenth yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles the Second over England Scotland France and Ireland King Defend[er] of the faith Before John Shaw Clerke Ralph Davison Esqr John Westgarth Gent by virtue of A Examination out of his Majesties Excheq[uer] Chamber at Westm[inster] awarded And to the Said John Shaw Clerke Ralph Davison Esqr John Westgarth Gent was one Anthony Byerley Esqr Deceased and to any three or Two of them directed.
These papers are the record of evidence, depositions, collected at Stanhope in April 1667 by commissioners appointed by the Exchequer Court in London. They form part of a case brought by the Rector of Stanhope, Isaac Basire and William Blackett against Humphrey Wharton, of Gilling West in Swaledale.


Wharton (1626-94) was the ‘Moormaster’ of Weardale, which gave him the right to issue lead mining ‘tacks’ (exploratory ventures by small partnerships of miners) and leases (which usually followed tacks) within the extensive unenclosed lands in the large parishes of Wolsingham and Stanhope, which encompassed the lead mining district of Upper Weardale. The Rector of Stanhope claimed that a tenth of the produce of the lead mines was owed to him as his church tithe. Blackett was involved in the case for he had bought the right to collect the tithe for the rector for a fixed annual fee, and therefore had an interest in proving that Wharton and the miners who had leases from him owed more tithe than they claimed.



As in all such cases the depositions take the form of answers to a series of questions put by both sides in the dispute – interrogatories and counter-interrogatories – to witnesses, or deponents, called to give statements to the commissioners. The interrogatories and counter-interrogatories administered to Wharton’s witnesses, and their depositions, are given here in the order in which they are presented amongst the Exchequer Court papers. There are some missing and obscured sections which are indicated in the transcript, but enough has survived to provide a general sense of the nature of questions asked and evidence given. 



A guide to Exchequer Court procedure can be found at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/equity-court-of-exchequer.htm. A detailed example with a clear, full and useful explanation and commentary is the subject of Tim Gates’ The Great Trial’: A Swaledale Lead Mining Dispute in the Court of Exchequer, 1705-1708, (2012).

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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