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Michael Robinson of Blaydon Staithes in the County of Durham Gent aged Thirty Six yeares or thereaboutes Sworne & Examined Deposeth as followeth. 2 3 & 5 To the Second Third and Fifth Interry's this Depont sath that about these Fowerteene yeares last past untill within these Three yeares or thereaboutes to the knowledge of this Depont there hath beene a Com[m]on high way had used and Enjoyed both by the Inhabitants of the County of Northumberland and Durham, for leading and Carrying of wood Timber flaggs Slates and other Comodities with waines Carts and Carriages from Hedley and all other neighbouring parts bothe in Northumberland and Durham in along and through the Lands & Grounds of Stella called <the> Bogg or Blackmire, and from thence to the Peth head Downe the Peth to the Two Leadhills att Blaydon & Stella called Blaydon & Stella Leadhills, and alsoe in along and through the Com[m]on high way aforesaid, from the foot of the Peth over Blaydon Burne and soe Eastwards to Blaydon Towne and Swallwell; and this Depont saith that in all the time aforesaid there was never Stopp made or any thing paid or Satisfaction Demanded for any person useing the Com[m]on high way with Carts & Carriages as aforesaid that this Depont knowes or ever heard of untill about two or three yeares since that the Informt Sr William Blackett haveing great occasion for his Lead which all along Dureing the time aforesaid, and some considerable time before as he as he hath heard, hath been brought and carryed in & along the Peth & Com[m]on high way aforesaid, this Depont saith that about the time last mentioned the said informant haveing sudden occasion for his Lead aforesaid, and this Dep[onen]t by the said Sr William's order acquainting George Dunn the Defts Steward with his Ma[er] [Master] Sr Williams occasion for his Lead, and that the Deft would be pleased to take care for the repaireing of the Peth in order for the bringing in of the Lead, but this Depont saith that the Deft either neglecting or refusing to amend and repaire the said Peth and Com[m]on high way; he this Depont by the said Sr William's order sett on workemen to repaire the same, for which this Depont and workemen were Indicted, but some weekes afterwards the said Deft or some by his order as the Depont beleives repaired the same, <But this Depont> saith that some yeares before that, the Peth was often impassable, and for about three yeares together the Deft permitted the Carriage to pass through his grounds called the East Feild without paying any thing that this Depont heard of, untill by Degrees the Deft by one meanes or other caused or gott the Carriage first to pay Six Pence p[er] waine and then by Degrees raised them up to Three shillings or thereaboutes P[er] waine Some more & Some Lesse, the way through the East Feild being easy and the Peth being impassable, and the Deft refusing to repaire the same, and indicting others who Sett upon to repaire the same, but though the said Deft Sr Thomas Did insist and cause the Countrey to pay such as aforesaid; yett did the said Sr Thomas Tempest by George Dunn his servant profer to lett the Informant Sr William Blackett have & Enjoy all he Lead and other Carriages in and along the said East Feild or other his Grounds Gratis without paying any thing for the Same, So as the informant Sr William would rest Satisfied therewith, and leave the Deft to take Satisfacc[i]on and payment of the other inhabitants of the Country who used that way, as both this Deponts Ma[er] Sr William Blackett and the said George Dunn the Def[endan]ts Steward, and one Cuthbert Procter reputed Farmer with the said George Dunn of Stella or the west Lead hills Informed this Depont to that or the like effect; the said Cuthbert Procter further informeing this Depont that in their lease of the way leave Downe the said East Feild which he said thay had lately taken, the Carriages of the <.....> Blackett was Excepted from the Paymt for caomeing Downe the said East Feild or to that effect; and this Depont saith that the said Peth is soe much out of repaire now, that Corpse or Dead Bodies though the Com[m]on high way from Blaydon to their parish church cannott without great trouble be <carried> in and along the said Peth but must be forced to goe through the other Grounds of the Deft or which the people accompanying the same must either have leave of the Deft or Trespasse; <and> this Depont further saith that for such Goods as came & were landed by water from Newcastle, or by Carriages out of the Countrey in & upon either of the said Leadhills the Sume of Two pence a Foother and Fower pence a Tunn was paid for liberty to lay & land goods in & upon the said Leadhill, & was called Bankemoney or groundage, but never for way leave that this Depont knowes or ever heard of; and this Depont further saith that he this Depont for & on behalfe of the said Informant Sr William hath for some yeares received the said Banckleave or groundage money from such as came and laid Lead and other goods in and upon the said Bladon or East Hill and knowes not nor never heard of any paymt or Satisfaction made by any useing the said Com[m]on high way and soe laying & paying for their Goods lying in & upon the said East hill to this Depont as aforesaid, nor Doth he know or Did he ever heare of any paymt made or Satisfaction Demanded from such who used the said Common high way Downe to Bladon Towne Swallwell or whickham who Did not touch & Land their Goods att the said Lead hills though they used the same as aforesaid; and this Depont further saith that about Nine or Tenn yeares since the said Peth being impassable by the fall of the Trees or roots of Trees into the same, the persons who came with Carriages came to this Depont and Desired this Depont to goe along with them to the Deft to obtain leave of him for comeing through his other Grounds, who accordingly on the behalfe of his Ma[er] went along with them, upon which the said Deft hung or opened a gate att the east Feild, and gave them leave to goe with their Carriages through the same untill such time as the peth was repaired & made passable by the Deft; and this Depont can the better depose to all the particulars aforesaid for that he this Depont for about these Fowerteene yeares last past been Steward and Servant to the informant Sr William Blackett for his Lands Colemines & Estate within the Mannor of Winlaton and Blaydon aforesaid, and Dureing all the time aforesaid hath lived att Bladon Staithes within Twelve Score or lesse of Stella Leadhill.
Witness on behalf of William Blackett in answer to Blackett's interrogatories. See 2nd April 1690 'Questions to witnesses' William Blackett, interrogatories, and notes given there for background to the case.