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Godfrey Miers of Rookhope in the County of Durham Yeoman aged twenty five years or thereabouts Sworne & examined saith as followeth. 8: To the eighth Interrogatory this Depon[en]t Saith That he knows that Some of the Defend[an]ts Lead Mines are distant from the nearest of his Smelting Mills about Sixteen Miles & other nigher; And this Depon[en]t and his Father before & Since February in the year of our Lord One thousand Six hundred Seventy & Six have been imployed as Agents under the Defend[an]t about his Lead Mines in the parish of Stanhope: And from that time hitherto yearly the Defend[an]t by his Agents & Servants bought Severall great quantities of Lead Oar in Westmorland Cumberland Yorkshire, the County of Durham and Northumberland at Severall Mines & of Severall Owners thereof or their Agents, which Mines the Said Compl[ainan]t was noe way interested in. And this Depon[en]t took in from the Miners of the Mines where Such Oar was brought & from the Carriers thereof the Tallies of what quantities of Lead Oar was Soe bought [interlined above at this point : by the Said Def[endan]ts Serv[an]ts or Agents And this Depon[en]t Saith that the Said Lead Oare Soe bought] & brought from the places aforesaid were carried to the Def[endan]ts Smelting Mills at Darwen Stanhope hope & Scotcheale & there this Depon[en]t hath seen the Same mix'd with the said Defend[an]ts own Oar & Smelted therewith to make the Same run better & p[ro]duce & afford more Lead. And this Depon[en]t Saith That for about fourteen years last past this Depon[en]t knows that that hath Been the Com[m]on practice & usage in that time by the Said Defend[an]t & his Servants. And he hath heard that that is the com[m]on practice & use by other Owners of Lead Mines which is looked upon as an advantageous & profitable way to make their own Lead Oar yield & produce the more & greater quantity of Lead. 9: To the Ninth Interrogatory this Depon[en]t Saith That the usuall price of the Defend[an]ts Oar gott in his Said Mines Since February in the Said year One thousand Six hundred Seventy & Six hath been twenty shillings a Bing or thereabouts and each Bing contained four horse Loads & each horse Load fourteen Stone. And this Depon[en]t Saith That much of the Defend[an]ts Oar gott in his Said Mines since that time hitherto hath been bad Oar & afforded but Small & inconsiderable quantities of Lead. And this Depon[en]t hath in that time known the Defend[an]ts Agents buy yearly Severall quantities of good Oar at the places aforesaid for two & twenty or three & twenty shillings a Bing Load & the weight thereof Some of it above Sixteen Stone to each horse Load & the Carriage of what they bought in the County of Durham cost only four pence an horse Load to the Said Mills. 10. To the tenth Interrogatory this Depon[en]t Saith That there hath been during all his remembrance severall heapes of old wrought Oar at the Defend[an]ts Mine & Groves & severall heapes of Oar are now lying there that were old wrought & as he believes in John late Lord Bpp [Bishop] of Durham's time & the Vacancy of the See of Durham after his death. And this Depon[en]t very well knows that Severall great quantities of Oar have been yearly gotten out of the Said Old heapes wrought in the Said late Bpp's [Bishop's] time & in the Said Vacancy & the Same yearly Sent to the Defend[an]ts Smelting Mills within these ten years last past. And this Depon[en]t Saith that about the month of February in the year of our Lord One thousand Six hundred Seventy & Six there were Severall great quantities of Oar Some p[ar]t thereof washed & other p[ar]t thereof unwashed lying at the said defend[an]ts Mines (over & besides the oar in the Said old heapes) And this Depon[en]t saith that he hath been imployed for about fourteen years last past by his father (who was servant to the Defend[an]t) to goe to & amongst the Defend[an]ts Groves & Mines weekly Sometimes monthly to take an Account of what quantities of Oar were digged & gotten there. And this Depon[en]t in all that time neither See nor heard that any Agent was imployed by the Plt [Plaintiff] to take any Account of what quantities of Oar were cast & wrought at any of the Said Mines and Groves. 11. To the Eleventh Interrogatory this Depon[en]t Saith That he hath known it to be the com[m]on practice about the Defend[an]ts Mines & work That the Miners & Oarcarryers keep an Account by Tally of what quantities of Oar are wrought at the Defend[an]ts Mines & what are bought by him at the places aforesaid. And When they are to reckon & State their Accounts thereabout the Miners bring the Stock & the Oarcarryers the Swatch of the Tally & compare them together & if they agree then both Stock & Swatch are broken, the Miners and Oarcarryers being thereupon paid off what wages are due to them respectively, Which this Depon[en]t hath heard by ancient men to have been the Custome of accounting betwixt Miners & Oarcarryers ever Since there were Mines wrought in Weardale in the Said parish of Stanhope, which is their only method, they being generally unlearned & can not write nor read, the alteration whereof in this Depon[en]ts Judgem[en]t would occasion many differences amongst them and misreckonings. 13: To the thirteenth Interrogatory this Depon[en]t Saith That he hath Severall times Seen Mowbray & John Sanders the Plts [Plaintiffs] Agents Stand in the High road where Severall Mens Oars (& other Carriages) gott in other Mines where the Plt [Plaintiff] is not concerned as well as Such as were gott in the Defend[an]ts Mines, & there Sett down Such horses as past that way as the Oarcarriers for the Defend[an]t as this Depon[en]t believes, whereas many times such p[er]sons carried Oar that way for other p[er]sons then the Defend[an]t to Newcastle about Hexham & other places without the Said Agents asking What they carried, Whence they came or where they went as this Depon[en]t believes. Godfrey Myres
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.