Questions to witnesses – Thomas Tempest – 2 Apr 1690

Document Type: Questions to witnesses
Date: 2 Apr 1690
Correspondent: Thomas Tempest
Archive Source: TNA E 134 2W&M Trin15
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Counter Interrogatoryes Exhibited to be administered to the Witnesses, to be p[ro]duced Sworne & Examined on the part & behalfe of Sr William Blackett Barrt & others Informants agt Sr Thomas Tempest Barrt Defendant.  

1.	Did you make use of the way in question, with Carts, Waines or great carriages? to the knowledge of the Deft or of those under whome the Deft claimeth; Or of their Tenants, over the said Bladon Burne, to Bladon low Hill or to the south side of the said Bladon Burne?  

2.	Did you drive or goe along, with such waine Carriage the said way; upon your owne score or account? Or upon the score & Account of some other P[er]sons & of whome by Name (that imployed or hired you, or willed you to goe that way; with waines or great Carriages? And to whome did you deliver your Carriages or Loads <and> who tooke an account of the Same? Declare Your full testimony herein?  

3.	Iff you did not your selfe agree or pay for such waine or great Carriages goeing the s[ai]d way for Bankleave or way leave? Did the Lead Owners & Wood=mongers, or those who imployed you, Or whose Lead, Timber wood or other things, you carried that way? and who by name? Agree and pay, or cause to be paid, & made satisfaction, & recompence for going along, and useing the S[ai]d way with their great Carriages, and for bankleave & way= eave? And what did the Owners or reputed Owners , of those things, that were soe carried the said way, over Bladon Burne? pay or cause to be paid, for bankleave & way leave for the same Carriages? Did they pay, or cause to be paid Fower pence <or what other summe> p[er] tunn for such Bank leave & way leave, And when? And how often, did they pay the same & to whom? Or what other recompence or recompence, & satisfaction was made for the same? As you knowe, have credibly heard? or verily beleive?  

4.	Did the said Informt Sr William Blackett or any of his servants or <Aqu..ts> or any on his behalf att any time & when? & how often, repaire part of the way in question? called the Peth or Bladon Peth for his Carts & Carriages, att his owne p[ro]per Costs & Charges; And did he cut or digg or cause to be cutt & digged upp the Freehold & grounds, of the Defendant? And did Hee soe doe? or cause the same to be done? without the notice or p<riv>ity, of the Defendant, Or of the Parish or Parishioners of Ryton? As you know have credibly heard or verily beleive?  

Ja: Mickleton

Depostions of Witnesses prduces Sworne and examined on the part and behalfe of Sr Thomas Tempest Baront Defendt at the Suite of the Attorney Generall of the Relac[i]on of Sr William Blackett Barrt and others the Inhabitants of and in the County of Durham  Informants taken at Bladon in the said county the Second day of April in the Second year ot the Reigne of our Soveraign Lord and Lady William and Mary by virtue of their said Majties comission out of the Court of Exchequer at Westminster To Frederick  Newton John Pickells John Emmerson and Thomas Gofton Genteleman or any three or two of them Directed.

Cross Interrogatories on behalf of Blackett

These papers are the record of evidence, depositions, collected at Blaydon and Newcastle in April and in October 1690 by commissioners appointed by the Exchequer Court in London. This is the April collection; October’s are located under the document reference TNA E134/ 2Wand M/Mich26. Both sets form part of a case brought by Sir William Blackett against Sir Thomas Tempest. Blackett alleged that Tempest, of Stella Hall, had been imposing illegal tolls on the carriage of lead from Dukesfield and other mills along the Lead Road east of Greenside down to the staithes at Stella and Blaydon, and on the carriage of other goods on the same stretch of road. 

As in all such cases the depositions take the form of 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 witnesses were mostly ordinary people working as carriers with their horses along the Lead Road. These are Tempest's questions -cross interrogatories- put to witnesses called by Blackett.

The lack of simple indexes to the voluminous decrees and orders of the court means that the outcome of the case has not been traced. However, later evidence suggests that Tempest won. The surviving Blackett account books, starting in 1729, record an annual payment of £1-5s-0d to Lord Widdrington for 'wayleave through Stella freehold' chargeable to the lead mills.  The 4th Baron Widdrington had acquired the Stella Hall estate through his marriage to Sir Thomas Tempest's grand-daughter.

The interrogatories, counter-interrogatories and depositions are given here in the order in which they are presented amongst the Exchequer Court papers. The Latin preamble is omitted. A guide to Exchequer Court procedure can be found at:

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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