Witness Deposition – George Swinburn – 30 Aug 1764

Document Type: Witness Deposition
Date: 30 Aug 1764
Correspondent: George Swinburn
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30th Aug 1764 –	Geo[rge] Swinburn of Edesbridge in Newlands near Edmondbyers in the Co[unty] of D[urha]m Farmer Aged 70 Yea[r]s or thereabouts



Saith he was born at Minster Acres, left that place when very young & went to Cooperhaugh in the Co[unty] of Durham & lived ‘till he was 12 ye[ar]s old or thereab[ou]ts from thence went to Black Hedley in the par[ish] of Shotley & lived there 13 ye[ar]s & then went to Edesbridge where he had lived ever since <...> 45 ye[ar]s. All these places are within 5 or 6 Miles of Woodhead (or Swalwell’s) Loaning. Saith he hath known the Highway or Kings Street leading from Blaydon to Edmondbyers [struck out: ‘s[ai]d Loaning during all the time he lived at Black Hedley’] 50 ye[ar]s last past & that for all that time s[ai]d [struck out: ‘Loaning’] Way or Street was  in the neighbourhood generally reputed to be a Highway & was so used by the publik without any person claiming any Toll that he ever heard of for passing thro[ugh] or along the same till ab[ou]t 12 years ago that Sam[ue]l Swalwell Thomas Swallwell & some others <Owners> or Occupiers of Lands adjoining [struck out: ‘said Loaning’] upon part of the s[ai]d way or Street demanded & rece[ive]d a penny or 2d a Wain p[er] year for passing along s[ai]d [struck out: ‘Loaning’] Way or Street W[hi]ch demand this Informant Saith he <believes> an Imposition & has no foundation nor have the p[er]sons claiming the same any Right to exact Tolls for passing thro’ or along s[ai]d [struck out: ‘Loaning’] Way or Street in this Inform[ant]s judgm[en]t & Belief the same having as af[oresai]d] always till within these 12 ye[ar]s been enjoyed by the publik as a Highway. Saith that he hath been 3 times Overseer for the Towns[hi]p of Edesbridge (the first time bet[wee]n 20 & 30 ye[ar]s ago) & that whilst he was so Overseer & at other times for 45 years last past he & the other [struck out: ‘Inhabitants’]  Owners or Farmers of Lands lying bet[ween] Breckonside West to Newlands East (being ab[ou]t 4 Miles in length) constantly [struck out: ‘frequently joined in’] repaired that part of the s[ai]d way or Street lying in the s[ai]d District of Edesbridge af[oresai]d looking upon themselves as under Obl[igatio]n to repair that part of the s[ai]d way or Street lying within <the sd> District  <....> as it & the whole thereof was a <....> or part of the <Kings High Street> 

Saith that whilst he was so Overseer he yearly summoned [struck out: ‘Neighbours’] Farmers in Edesbridge Quarter to repair that part of the s[ai]d Way or Street w[hi]ch lay within that Quarter  that they did accordingly from time sto time repair their <sev[era]l places> thereof & that he this Informant in respect of his Farm at Edenbridge af[oresai]d (w[hi]ch he has held 45 years) did from time to time repair that part of the s[ai]d Way or Street running thro[ugh] his s[ai]d Farm Saith that for 45 ye[ar]s last past he hath carried Lead from Rookhope Mill to Blaydon without being obstructed or having any Demand made as an acknowledgm[en]t for passing along the s[ai]d Way Till within 12 ye[ar]s last past.

      The Mark of George Swinburn

Jno Richmond



[A summary of this deposition in another hand differs materially only in adding at the end:] … within 12 year last past That Swalwell & Snowball demanded a Toll upon part of the s[ai]d Way as above mentioned
Appears to be original record of the deposition, complete with words or phrases later struck out and which do not appear in the slightly less detailed summary. That summary is not included amongst these transcripts

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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