Witness Deposition – George Fairbridge – 30 Aug 1764

Document Type: Witness Deposition
Date: 30 Aug 1764
Correspondent: George Fairbridge
Archive Source: AE Lead Road
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30 Aug[us]t 1764.	

George Fairbridge of the Bridge End in the Towns[hi]p of Newlands & Co[unty] of No[thumber]land Yeom[an] Aged 85 years

Saith he hath lives 70 Years at Newlands & at Woodhead w[hi]ch] is within 1 Miles thereof that during all that time (save the last 14 or 15 ye[ar]s) he & is Father rented & lived upon a Farm there p[ar]t of the Darwent Water Est[ate]. Saith that during all the time he & his Father so farmed he was frequently employed in carrying Lead from Rookhope Mill to Blaydon & Wood from Linnells to Ravensworth Caste along the present Lead Way without being obstructed or ever paying any acknowledgment Saith s[ai]d Way was always deemed to be a publik Highway & used as such. Saith that the Farmers etc in the Township on Newlands were from time to time summoned by the Overseer for the time being to repair that p[ar]t of s[ai]d Highway w[hi]ch runs thro’ the Township & in Obedience to such Summons he this Informant & the other Farmers did from time to time send Dra[ugh]ts & Men to work at repairing s[ai]d part of s[ai]d Way w[hi]ch they considered as a publik Highway or Kings Street. Saith that he remembers in particular that one year when Geo[orge] Rennison was Overseer of Newlands he summoned the Tenants or Occupiers of Lands there to repair s[ai]d part of s[ai]d Way & that he & the <other> Ten[ant]s &c accordingly went or sent Dra[ught]s & Men to work in repairing s[ai]d Way. Saith that during all his Knowledge of s[ai]d Way bet[ween] Rookhope Mill & Blaydon he hath been informed & believed the whole way was repaired as a Highway according to the General Rules or Laws respecting & directing the Repairing of Highways [struck out: ‘in General Saith that four or five years Saith that for 4 o4 5 years of the 70 he’] Saith that about 24 year ago he lived with Mr [gap left] Marley at Woodhead & that during 4 or 5 years that he lived there with his said Master that part of the s[ai]d Highway called Woodhead Loaning was an open publik Highway like the Rest of the s[ai]d Highway bet[ween] Rookhop Mill & Blaydon & no demand of Toll or an Acknowledgm[en]t for passing along the same was then claimed or Demanded & no Barr or Gate was putt up to collect any Toll at.

      The Mark of George Fairbridge 


Jno Richmond

[Footnote at foot of page:] Swalwell is <Trustee> for a young Fellow of 22 y[ea]rs, his name Hugh Newton of the Highfield Near Whittonstal Serv[an]t to John Summerbea, but will not acco[un]t
Appears to be original record of the deposition, complete with words or phrases later struck out and which do not appear in the slightly less detailed summary. That summary is not included amongst these transcripts

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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