Witness Deposition – William Emerson – 8 Oct 1686

Document Type: Witness Deposition
Date: 8 Oct 1686
Correspondent: William Emerson
Archive Source: TNA E134 2Jas2 Mich 42
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William Emerson of Wolsingham in the County of Durham Oar=Carryer aged thirty five years or thereabouts Sworne & examined Saith as followeth

8: To the eighth Interrogatory this Depon[en]t Saith That he hath been an Oar=Carryer for about twelve years, and a Smelter att Scotcheal Mill for four years for the Defend[an]t ending in February last And about four years Since this Depon[en]t brought as an Oarcarryer for the Said Defend[an]t Severall quantities of Lead Oar to the Same Mill Which Oar the Defend[an]t bought in Cumberland out of the Plts [Plaintiffs] liberties, & at the Same Mill, the Same was mixt wrought & Smelted by this Depon[en]t & others to make the Defend[an]ts own Oar runn the better. And this Depon[en]t Saith it is usuall with Owners of Lead Mines to buy Oar at forreign Mines & mix & Smelt the Same with their own Oar, which is found advantageous & makes their own Oar produce more lead, And this Depon[en]t Saith whilst he was a Smelter  they found by experience When a quantity of their Lead Oar was mixt it produced five Piggs Whereas the Same quantity unmixt would not produce above two Piggs of Lead. 

13:20 To the thirteenth & twentieth Interrogatories this Depon[en]t Saith That he was imployed as an Oar Carryer for Sir William Blackett for the Sum[m]er gone six years, & in that time oftentimes Sir William's & the Defend[an]t's Oar=Carriers mett & drove their horses together , and the Agent that Stood to take an Account for the Plt [Plaintiff] of what Oar the Defend[an]t carryed to Darwen Mill this Depon[en]t believes did number Sir William's horses for the Defend[an]ts for that Such Agent Stood on a hill a litle distant from the com[m]on road & could not distinguish which was which, & oftentimes there were above a hundred horses in one of these Drifts, And this Depon[en]t Saith that he hath lived at Wolsingham for three years last past & now doth in the Same house with Thomas Mowbray (the Plts [Plaintiffs] Agent to take an account of what Lead Oar of the Defend[an]ts went that way to Scotcheal Mill and he knows that in Mowbray's absence which was very often his son about four years of age Stood at the door & when horses came by called to his mother that the Oar=horses were gone by & this Depon[en]t hath often been present at Such times & lookt after the Said horses & Saith there were many times more Coal=horses than Oar=horses in Such Drifts Which this Depon[en]t believes were all sett down as the Defend[an]ts Oar horses from his Mines And he Saith that since February in the year One thousand Six hundred Seventy & Six this Depon[en]t hath been imployed at Severall times in Severall years in that time as an Oar=Carrier under Sir William Blackett & at other times for the Defend[an]t, and Severall times carried bought Oar for the Defend[an]t to his Mills & Severall times his own Oar. And the Plts [Plaintiffs] Agents aforesaid did not enquire of this Depon[en]t or his company who they belonged to whence they came or where they went nor took any other Account as this Depon[en]t believes Save the numbering of the Said Drifts of horses

                        			William Emerson                                                                                                                     
Witness on behalf of Humphrey Wharton in answer to Wharton'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