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Interrogatorys exhibited to bee Administered to such witnesses as shall be produced Sworne & Examined <on the> behalfe of Isaac Basire Doctor of Divinity rector of the Parish Church of Stanhop in Weardale in the County of Durham & William Blacket Complain[an]ts ag[ain]st Humphrey Wharton Esq Thomas Alsop, John Jesop John Bolton Willm Deacon <[one name obscured]> Defend[an]ts Imprimis Doe you know the s[ai]d Parties Complain[an]ts & Def[endan[ts in this suit or any & w[hi]ch of them & how long have you soe known them or any of them and w[hi]ch of them Doe you know the Rectory and Parish of Stanhop in Weardale in the bill of Complaint mencioned, & the external precincts & tithable places thereof <or any and w[hi]ch of> them how long have you known the same Declare the Truth. 2.Item Doe you know of any Lead Mines within the s[ai]d Rectory or Parish, or any of the p[re]cincts or tithable places thereof wherefrom <[1-2 words obscured]> lead ure is or at any time hath been digged wrought or gotten? & for how long time hath any lead ure been digged wrought or gotten in or out of the said lead mines or any & w[hi]ch of them as you know or believe & w[ha]t induceth you so to believe 3.Item doe you know of any Custome used within the s[ai]d Rectory or parish or any of the precincts or titheable places of the same where <about [poss 1 word obscured]> Save for or touching the paym[en]t in kind of any & what part of any lead Ure digged wrought or gotten within the s[ai]d Rectory or parsonage <of Stanhope or any of the> precincts or titheable places thereof unto the Rector or Parson of the s[ai]d Rectory Church or Parsonage of Stanhop in Weardale <per <[1-2 words obscured]> to pay a tithe of the s[aid] Ure & for how long time hath the s[ai]d Custome or paym[en]t been so used or made there doe you know <or believe> induceth you so to believe? Declare the whole truth herein. 4.Item How & in w[ha]t manner & w[he]n & at w[ha]t mines hath the s[ai]d paym[en]t of the s[ai]d tithes of Lead Ure been made or used to be made <[one word]> hath such tithe Ure been used to be paid in Rude & unwashed Ure, or in clean well washed or dressed Ure & for how long hath tithe Ure, & in such manner or in any, & w[ha]t other manner been paid & to whom & how know you that same? 5.Item Doe you know of any deduction Substraction or Abatetm[en]t of from or out of the s[ai]d tithes of the sa[i]d Lead Ure been <[1-2 words obscured]> of them at any mine or mines & or to whom made by any Rector or Parson of the S[ai]d Rectory Church or Parsonage <for [1-2 words obscured]> Digging getting or working of the same or otherwise? & what Deduction abatement or Substraction was so made <by from [1-2 words obscured]> & by whom as you know or Believe & what Induceth you so to believe Declare the truth & y[ou]r knowledge 6.Item whether is the Complainant Isaac Basire Rector or Parson of the S[ai]d Rectory Church or Parsonage or Reputed <[1-2 words obscured]> or doth <.ff…..n> Rectors or Parsons of the s[ai]d Church & enjoy the s[ai]d Rectory or Parsonage or any & w[hic]h part thereof or <[1-2 words obscured]> living & for how long time hath the s[ai]d Complainant Isaac Basire been or Reputed to be Rector or Parson afores[ai]d or hath <[1-2 words obscured] Antient> Parson of the s[ai]d Church, or enjoyed the s[ai]d Rectory or Parsonage or any & w[ha]t part thereof or <.......> You are obliged to Depose herein. 7.Item Whether did the s[ai]d Complainant Isaac Basire at any time or times & when & for how long time by him selfe or his <servants> Agents or farmers or any & w[hi]ch of them, & by whom Receive or take the s[ai]d tithe <place of Chapel at the p……….. of …. ……..> Agent when & how know you the same? 8 Item Doe you know of any Lease of any tithes of any lead ure within the s[ai]d Rectory or any the p[re]cincts or tithable places thereof made by the s[ai]d Complainant Isaac Basire unto the Complainant Willm Blacket & whether in the Writing now to <your knowledge at> the time of the Examination the s[ai]d Lease & by whom was the Same Sealed & Delivered & how know you the same were you present at or a witness of the sealing & delivery thereof or at the names subscribed or indented as a witness thereunto 9 Item Whether are or is the Defend[an]ts or any & w[hi]ch of them Owners Farmers or Occupyers Owner Farmer or Occupyer of any & w[hi]ch Lead mine or mines within the s[ai]d Rectory or Parish or any of the precincts or titheable places thereof & how long have or hath they occupyed them <.......> & whether have or hath the s[ai]d Defend[an]ts or any & w[hi]ch of them <since the first> day of August in the.yeare of Our Lord One thousand sixe hundred sixty & sixe digged wrought or gotten any & w[ha]t quantitys of lead ure within the s[ai]d Rectory or Parish or <any the> precincts or titheable places thereof & w[he]n & where was the place so digged wrought or gotten & of w[ha]t respective Values were the said Lead Oare & the tithe or tenth part or other part thereof due by Custome in clean well washed & dressed Ure Declare <and state your> knowledge herein 10 Item Whether did the s[ai]d Defend[an]t Humphrey Wharton at any time or times, & how long since & when & for w[ha]t time or terme <Farme> any tithes of lead ure within the s[ai]d Rectory or Parish or any the precincts or tithable places thereof of or from the Complainant Isaac Basire & whether did the said Defend[an]t Humphrey Wharton agree to pay or pay unto the s[ai]d Complainant Isaac Basire any or w[ha]t yearly or other <Rent or> summe of money for the same? Whether is the writing now to some deede or Counterpart of the s[ai]d Lease & by whom was the same sealed & delivered were you present or a witness at the sealing & delivery thereof or at the names subscribed or indented as a witness thereunto <& how are> you enabled to Depose herein & whether did the said Defend[an]t Humphrey Wharton by farme or lett of the s[ai]d Lease or otherwise <......> upon any other p[re]tence & in w[ha]t otherwise or upon w[ha]t other p[re]tence Receive any tithe or tenth or other part, & w[ha]t tithes tenth or other part of any lead ure within the s[ai]d Rectory or Parsonage or any the precincts or tithable places thereof, in cleane well washed & dressed ure & without Subtraction abatem[en]t or Deduction or otherwise or in any & w[ha]t other manner by <whom> & for how long since & from when <& how> know you the same declare the whole truth touching y[ou]r knowledge of this Interrogatory 11 Item What Demises Grants Leases or Tacks of any Mines or Groves of Lead Mines hath the said Def[endan]t Humphrey Wharton made or lett <unto any> person or persons & who by name since the first day of August 1665 & therein reserved made payable to him as Moormaster & to <…..> Moormasters his Successors or bound the <trustees> thereof to pay to him & to them the tithe Ure in clean well washed & dressed Oar from time to time upon paine of forfeiture of these said Tacks? Have you <seen> any of the s[ai]d tacks so made by him, & where & when & w[ha]t is the <o….> or effect of such tack or tacks so made by the s[ai]d Humphrey Wharton as you know or believe speak the truth & how are you <able> to depose herein? & w[ha]t tack or tacks of any Grove or Lead Mines as afores[ai]d hath the Defend[an]t Humphrey Wharton made to <any> person or persons since the <first> day of August 1666 or whether since the s[ai]d time hath any tith Ure as afores[ai]d been paid to the s[ai]d Humphrey Wharton or his <...> 12 Item Whether doe you know of any Mine or Mines of lead newly opened or wrought or Groves newly made within the s[ai]d Rectory or Parish or any the precincts or tithable places thereof during the time of your Remembrance & w[he]n where & by whom & w[ha]t quantitys of lead Ure have been wrought digged or gotten therein & whether hath any tith or tenth or other part for or in the <name of the> tiths thereof been paid unto the Rector or Parson of the s[ai]d Rectory or Parsonage or to any in his Right as <......... .... H.p.....> hath such tith or part of the s[ai]d <lead ure> been paid in clean well washed ure or otherwise with or without deduction or abatem[en]t & w[ha]t deduction or abatement hath used to be so made & how know you the same 13 Item Doe you know of any <proceedings for or> touching the taking or passing the Acc[omp]ts concerning the lead Ure digged wrought or gotten within the s[ai]d Rectory or <Parsonage> precincts or tithable places thereof at any time or times heretoforetime & w[ha]t method or <practice> hath or have been com[m]only used at such meetings in that behalf? & in what place or places were such meetings had & <...........> often & w[ha]t p[er]sons were present or parties at or to such meetings or <acc[oun]ts>? & how & in w[ha]t manner & order & by & according to w[ha]t <Rules precedents> was it proceeded therein & whose Consents or Agreem[en]ts were Requisite or necessary for the passing Setling or <p[er]fecting ..........> Acc[oun]ts. Declare the s[ai]d Usage & Manner & w[ha]t you can further materally Depose touching the matters in <variance between ….> Lastly doe you know Ralph Fetherston Senr of Middleblackdean, Ralph Fetherston Junr of Burnhop, Willm Harrison of Black clough Ralph Harrison of the Hill, John <Westwood> of Duadry Sheel, Robt Rutter of Hunshall Foord, James Vickars of the Chappell John Lownsdale of the White stones Cuthbert Peart of at Drygill House or any and w[hi]ch of them & how long have you so known them or any of them ? & whether have or hath or any and w[hi]ch of them did or doe or doth they any & w[hi]ch of them Claime to have any Estate Right title or Interest as owners or partners or otherwise of on or to any the s[ai]d Lead Mines & premises or to any lead ure digged or gotten or to be digged or gotten in or forth of the same or any Profit or any Benefit thereof or out of the same & w[ha]t Profit or Benefit. Declare the truth & y[ou]r knowledge & how you are Enabled to Depose herein. Depositions of Sundry witnesses produced Sworn and examined upon certain Interrogatories unto them administered on the behalf of Isaac Basire Doctor of Divinity & Will[ia]m Blacket Compl[ainan]ts ag[ains]t Humphrey Wharton Esq[uir]e William Fetherstone Thomas Alsoppe John Boulton William Deacon John Rutter John Davison John Pilkington John Fetherston Cuthbert Emerson John Nattrise als[o] Nattress Geo[rge] Wattson Cuthbert Wattson George Whitfield Henry Ragge Arthur Myres George Myres Godfrey Disbrough <als[o] Didsbury> John Ritson Edward Stout and Thomas Burges defend[an]ts taken the two and twentieth day of Aprill in the nineteenth year of his Maj[est]ies <Reign> now is Anno Dei 1667 att Stanhop in Weredale in the County of Durham before John Shaw Clerke Ralph Davison Esq[uir]e John <Westgarth> gentl[eman] by vertue of a Commission issued out of his Said Ma[jes]ties Court of Exchequer att Westm[inster] to them & Anthony Byerley Esq[uir]e or any <two or three> of them directed and awarded for the Examina[ti]on of Wittnesses as well on the p[ar]t of the said Compl[ainan]ts as on the p[ar]t of the Said Defend[an]ts
These papers are the record of evidence, depositions, collected at Stanhope in April 1667 by commissioners appointed by the Exchequer Court in London. They form part of a case brought by the Rector of Stanhope, Isaac Basire and William Blackett against Humphrey Wharton, of Gilling West in Swaledale. Wharton (1626-94) was the ‘Moormaster’ of Weardale, which gave him the right to issue lead mining ‘tacks’ (exploratory ventures by small partnerships of miners) and leases (which usually followed tacks) within the extensive unenclosed lands in the large parishes of Wolsingham and Stanhope, which encompassed the lead mining district of Upper Weardale. The Rector of Stanhope claimed that a tenth of the produce of the lead mines was owed to him as his church tithe. Blackett was involved in the case for he had bought the right to collect the tithe for the rector for a fixed annual fee, and therefore had an interest in proving that Wharton and the miners who had leases from him owed more tithe than they claimed. As in all such cases the depositions take the form of answers to a series of questions put by both sides in the dispute – interrogatories and counter-interrogatories – to witnesses, or deponents, called to give statements to the commissioners. The interrogatories and counter-interrogatories administered to Basire’s witnesses, and their depositions, are given here in the order in which they are presented amongst the Exchequer Court papers. There are some missing and obscured sections which are indicated in the transcript, but enough has survived to provide a general sense of the nature of questions asked and evidence given. A guide to Exchequer Court procedure can be found at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/equity-court-of-exchequer.htm. A detailed example with a clear, full and useful explanation and commentary is the subject of Tim Gates’ The Great Trial’: A Swaledale Lead Mining Dispute in the Court of Exchequer, 1705-1708, (2012).