Letter – Arthur Mowbray to Shute Barrington – 25 Sep 1797

Document Type: Letter
Date: 25 Sep 1797
Correspondent: Arthur Mowbray
Recipient: Shute Barrington
Archive Source: DUL CCB B 182 121
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      County of Durham

Observations as to the division of Lands, within the Park and Forest of Weardale, whereof the Bishop of durham is Lord of the Manor, with Copies of two Letters, asking <........ing> for the purpose, by some of the Principal Land Owners.

The Moors or open Tracts of Grounds, within the Park and Forest of Weardale, has been <stated> by me by Estimation to contain 70,400 Acres. A part is enclosed and subdivided. Other parts are also enclosed by Ring Fences, and stinted in certain stipulated proportions by the Owners of the <farmes> etc. Other parts are open and said to be stinted in the like Manner; and, there are other parts I believe that are Common and have no Limitations of Stinting. _

The Tenures, I presume, <are> Freehold, Customary Freehold, Copyhold, and Leasehol[d]s, of the Freehold I suppose, there is a very small proportion. The Owners of the Customary Freehols claim, and I believe, have enjoyed the same Interest in the Soil as The Freeholds, save the Payment of an Annual Rent to the Lord, the Mines, and Wayleave. The Copyholders, and Leaseholders, have I presume, the same Right as the Owners of similar Tenures, within the County of durham. _

Having received two Letters, the following are Copies,

Copy of the Letters

								Westgate. Sep 14th. 1797


We the proprietors of Lands, in <the Park> and Forest of Weardale, are desirous of having a division of the several Tracts of open stinted Grounds, and inclosed stinted pastures; the Bishop of durham having in various parts, in Right of his Church & See, several Stints in different Pastures, are desirous on Behalf of ourselves, as well as on the Behalf of several others, to meet you, to converse on the Subject of Inclosure, to know, how far it may be agreeable to his Lordships directions to subdivide, at Watsons, Wolsingham; being the Center, as soon as may be, before the Bishop leave the County. We are, 

      Your mot. Obdt. Servts.

John Wallis.

Jno. Brumwell.

Lanct. Allgood.

								Bishop <auk> 19th Sep 1797.

Dear Sir,

I received a Letter the other day from the Gentlemen at West Gate requesting that I would forward the enclosed as soon as convenient and also saying that you had been in their neighbourhood, and had been so obliging as to promise to give them a Meeting; to consult about the propriety of dividing the Commons, and the Pastures in that Neighbourhood, or such parts thereof, as may be thought advantageous to the Proprietors. <If> I would make one of the Number, which I will do, with the greatest Pleasure at any Time that you may think proper; as I shall always rejoice at every Improvement made in the Parish of Stanhope.

      I am with great Regard, Your very obt. hble. Servt,

      Robt. Curry

Mr. A. Mowbray

These caused me to make a few Observations, as to the Line to be drawn between the Lord and his Tenants. The General Good, I stated on a former Occasion. _

1st. _ That the Lord have all the Mines, reserved in as full and ample a Manner, as they are or have been enjoyed, with all the Rights of Wayleave etc etc thereto belonging –

2d.  The Parts that are inclosed by Ring Fences, and where the Stinting is <ascertained>, I am of opinion the Lord has no reasonable pretence to an Allotment, as Lord; or any Annual Payment, charged upon each Acre, in Lieu thereof; nor do I think the Lord has any better Right to a Share or Charge, on Lands that are open, and not inclosed; where the Stinting is, and has been for a certain Number of Years, limited and precisely known; but I believe there are other Lands not inclosed, where the Stints are not limited, these, I presumes, ought to be considered as Common Lands, and the Lord entitled to one sixteenth part as Lord, or to one sixteenth of the Annual Value in Money – 

General Benefit 

Should a division take place, the Advantage resulting to the different Owners of Lands etc must be great, and the Expence moderate, compared with Similar Divisions. (see the Outline) I have observed, that the Bishop of durham, as Lord, is <convinced> and desirous to give a <task>, so laudable, Encouragement and Support; and I further observe, that I do decline acting as a Commissioner but, that I will give assistance and advice without <Fear or Favour.>

The outline

That the Surveyor do perform vizt. Admeasuring, attending the Valuation, allotting, planning, and giving Instructions for the Award, by the Acre; Vizt. that the Commissioners do receive Claims, value, and attend the Surveyor, when allotting by the Acre, and that the obtaining the Act, drawing the Awards be confined to a certain Term.  The whole of these will be done for about 2s. pr Acre, and, I presume, that Land had better be sold to pay for the Making of the Roads, however, considering the Extent; they will comparatively be <trifling>. Similar arrangements will I doubt not be consented to, as at Chester-le-Street for planting –

Committee to be named.

It will, I dare say, be found better to fix by the Act a Committee to order, direct and take Charge, of the different Matters relating the Execution of the division and that all Disputes as to Claim Title etc I believe had better be tried at the durham Assizes, and that no Arbitrators be named in the Act. _

These observations are hastily drawn up, By

      Arthur Mowbray

Sherburn, 25th. Sepr. 1797

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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