Witness Deposition – John Westgarth – 8 Oct 1686

Document Type: Witness Deposition
Date: 8 Oct 1686
Correspondent: John Westgarth
Archive Source: TNA E134 2Jas2 Mich 42
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John Westgarth of Westgate in the County of Durham gent aged sixty one yeares or thereabouts sworne & Examined saith as followeth

To the first Interrogatory this depon[en]t saith that he knows the Compl[ainan]t & Def[endan]te in this suite & knew John late Lord Bpp [Bishop] of Durham in this Interrogatory menc[i]oned

2    To the second Interrogatory this depon[en]t saith that he knows sev[er]all of the Lead Mines & Groves belonging to the Def[endan]te within the p[ar]ishes of Stanhopp and Wolsingham (to witt) Greencleugh, Longwell, Groverake, Scarrsike, Wellophead, in sev[er]all places, South Mossegrove, Middlegrove, <Carcleugh>, Scrafehead, <Longthude> [possibly meant to be Langtyhead, with the variation explained by the clerk’s rendering of the deponent’s accent], Lodgeslitt, wrought at sev[er]all Groves <Rikt .enwell [Greenhill?]>, Elmsford, Allerscleugh, Sedlingrove, <The Todd stane, Houlsike>, Barbura Grove & most of the other Groves belonging to the said def[endan]te within the parishes afores[ai]d. And saith that the same (as this depon[en]t verily beleives was granted by John late Lord Bpp [Bishop] of Durham to the said Def[endan]te by Lease for Lives (to witt) for the lives of the Def[endan]t Humphrey Wharton Esqr & two of his Sons, And saith that as he this Depon[en]t now remembers (he haveing seen the said lease) that the said John late Lord Bpp [Bishop] of Durham reserved to himselfe  the Lott or Ninth part of All Lead Oar to be dugge or gotten in the said Mynes in the p[ar]ishes afores[ai]d and w[ith] such reservac[i]ons as in this Interrogatory is menc[i]oned (as this Depon[en]t verily beleives) but for his more Certainety referrs himselfe to the Lease. But how many are in the Def[endan]tes owne hands or how much in p[art]nershipp this Depon[en]t knows not but saith that he this Depon[en]t the sixth or seventh days of October which was in the yeare of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred and seventy & nine he this Depon[en]t was P[re]sent with Thomas Rookby Esqr when he did demand for & on behalfe of the said Compl[ainan]t at the Groves hereafter menc[i]oned (<vizt>) Greencleugh, Groverake, Longwells, Scarrsikes,  Wellophead, at two places there, South Mosse Grove, Middle grove, <Carcleugh>, & at Eight Nine or ten sev[er]all places at Lodgefield Slitt, Elmsford at three or four places , The Rakes at two places, the Ninth part or Lott of oare then arreare and due reserved payable by vertue of the s[ai]d Def[endan]tes Lease of the sev[er]all takes, Groves & mines of the s[ai]d Lead Oares. And saith that George Whitfeild, John Whitfeild and Ralph Whitfeild, Cuthbert Watson and Thomas Watson then takers farmers and workmen of the s[ai]d Groves sev[er]ally denyed to pay any alleadging they had a take from the s[ai]d Def[endan]te & were bound to him to pay for all the Lead Oare to him the s[ai]d Def[endan]te & to noe other. And other of the farmers takers and workmen of the said Lead Oar or mines answered and said they neither would nor Could pay any of the Ninth Lott or part to any save to the Def[endan]te himselfe & to noe other they being Ord[ere]d by the s[ai]d Def[endan]te to the Contrary, And others answered & said they wrought <onely> at a day take worke for theire dayes wages & had not Ord[er]s or direcc[i]ons from the Def[endan]te to pay any; And this Depon[en]t further saith that he this Depon[en]t on the fifteenth day of the s[ai]d month of October went with his man to the s[ai]d Groves, & there Demanded againe of se[ver]all p[er]sons on the behalfe of the said Compl[ainan]t the s[ai]d Ninth part or Lott of the s[ai]d Lead Oare & had there sev[er]all Answers to the intent & purpose afores[ai]d. And this Depon[en]t made in the yeares of our Lord 1680 & 1681 Sev[er]all other Demands of the s[ai]d Ninth Lott at Sev[er]all of the s[ai]d Groves & <since those> yeares of the sev[er]all takers or  miners & had the like Answ[er]s.

9  To the Ninth Interrogatory this Depon[en]t saith that he this Depon[en]t hath heard & been credibly informed that the Def[endan]te  or his Agents or Servants used to mix the new wrought oare got within the p[ar]ishes afores[ai]d with old heaps of Oare lying there formerly wrought though there were roome  Enough to have laid the Same lead Oare Sep[ar]ate  if the Def[endan]te or his Agents pleased   And saith that he this Depon[en]t verily beleived the reason why the said Def[endan]te his Agents & Servants mixt the said New lead Oare with the Old was because that the true quantity of the New lead Oare wrought or gott within the s[ai]d Mines might not be knowne or distinguished from the old Lead Oare                                                                                                                                                                     John Westgarth
Witness on behalf of Bishop Crewe in answer to Crewe's interrogatories. See 8 Oct 1686 'Questions to witnesses' Nathaniel Crewe, interrogatories, and notes given there for background to the case.

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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