Updated 4 Aug 2005

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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William Hardy 1762

    Second edition of a fascinating early English guide to mining, which includes an extensive account of the operation of mining and engineering laws and customs, a distinctive sytem which had developed alongside the common law from the middle ages. Hardy begins with a brief discussion of methods employed in finding 'veins' of lead-ore, copper-ore, or silver-ore. Then he gives the laws regulating the mining industry, the articles for the High-Peak Hundred, Eyam and Stony-Middleton, Hassop, Ashford in Devon, the lead mines at Wirksworth, Long-Stone near Ashford - each with a list of the jurors, bills of complaint and cross-bills. A jolly mining song is included, concluding 'But Miner read me, take me for they friend, stand to thy custom thus my poems end' (p. 118). The second half of the work contains a guide to lode-stones and their magnetic properties, magnets and the surveying of mine shafts and mineral deposits, illustrated with numerous tables and some rather crude wood cuts. He also presents a new invention to help for levelling of shafts etc. Some information is given on smelting and assaying processes. The final section deals with the financial side of share holdings and investors.
    First edition published 1748. Enquiries to

    Transcriber's note: spelling or punctuation not understood is marked: [?]. Links have been inserted to ease reading on the Internet.
    Transcribed at Broadstone, Dorset, England August 2005.

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PAGE: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140: PAGE

See an image of: Frontpage, Inside, Fold-out






1  A succint Account of a Vein
   in the Earth, and by what Names
   Veins are distinguished, with a
   short Account of their Progress

11.The Articles and Customs of
   the High Peak and Wapentake 
   Wirksworth, with Forms for
   Bills of Complaint, and Verdicts
   thereon; Cross-Bills, Forms
   of Arrest in Action of Debt, in
   Action of Title, in Case of
   Trespass, Form of Bills to the
   Twenty-four when called to view
   Mines in Dispute, and Forms of

@    Verdict thereon; and most other
@    Forms necessary for all Miners
@    and Maintainers of Mines within
@    the Wapentake of Wirksworth, with 
@    some practical observations
@    on some of the Articles, never 
@    before published.
@ III. An Account of the Load-
@    stone, with the first Invention
@    of the Compass; to which is joined,
@    Houghton's Dialling and Levelling,
@    illustrated with a few Examples.

The whole carefully Revised and Corrected, so that it may be depended on

To all which is added, as a second PART



In which is contained

 The several useful and instructive  @
 easy Tables, and other Things,      @
 set forth in the Title page of the  @
 second Part. Also,                  @

 An Alphabetical Explanation of
 all the Mineral Terms used in
 this Book.



Gaudentum Patrias

Agros Attalliis conditionibus



Printed by T.WARREN, jun. near the Chapel


    ------------------------20------------------------------- Page 20 The MINERS GUIDE into their Length of Ground and getting Ore therein: and the Offenders, on Account of such Expence, on the Part of the Complainant have been frequently encouraged, not only to commit, but to continue Trespasses of that Kind. We do therefore order and say, That if any Time hereafter, the Grand-Jury, or Twenty- four should be called to take a View of a supposed Trespass committed by one Miner upon another, and that a Verdict should be given by them in favour of the Complainant; such Complainant may, at the Great Barmote Court to be held next after the, taking such Inquest, prefer his Bill for the Recovery of such Expences as shall necessarily have attended the said Inquiry; and shall at the said Great Barmote Court have such Relief therein as shall be found reasonable. The said Article was confirmed by Presentment of the Grand-Jury, or Four and Twenty, at the Two next following Great Barmote-Courts, held for the Jurisdiction aforesaid, the 1st Day of May and the 9th Day of October, 1759. Godfrey Heathcote, Steward. ------------------------21--------------------------- Page 21

      Wirksworth Wapentake

    At the Great Court Barmote, for the Lead Mines held at Wirksworth, for the Soak and Wapentake of Wirksworth, in the County of Derby, the 10th of October, in the Year of our Lord, 1665. The Inquisition of the late Great Inquest, taken upon Oaths of Robert Haywood Robert Tipping Robert Sage Matthew Latham Richard Buxton Henry Coats Anthony Cotterill John Briddon Edward Wheatcroft Edward Bradshaw John Swallow Thomas Dakin Anthony Gell Peter Browling John Creswell Francis Worthy John Topliss Edward Roper George Wittecre John Twigg Anthony Low Ralph Hange James Holehouse John Roose ARTICLE 1 We say, upon our Oath, That by the ancient Custom of the Mines, within the Soak and Wapentake of Wirksworth; the Miners and Merchants ------------------------22--------------------------- Page 22 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE at first chose themselves an officer called a Bar-Master, to be an indifferent Person, betwixt the Lord of the Field or Farmer and the Miners, and betwixt the Miners and merchants; which Bar-Master, upon finding any new Rake or Vein, did upon Notice given by the Miner, deliver to the first Finder two Meares of Ground in the same Vein, each Meare in a Rake or Pipe-work containing twenty-nine Yards in Length; and in a Flat-work fourteen Yards square; the which two Meares of Ground the Miner is to have, one for his Diligence in finding the Vein, and the other for Mineral Right; paying the Bar-Master or his Deputy, one Dish of his first Ore therein gotten: And then the Bar-Master or his Deputy, is to deliver to the Lord of the Field or Farmer, one Meare of Ground in a new Vein, at either End of the aforesaid two meares, half a Meare of Ground, and then every one in such rake or Vein, one Mear or more according to their taking. Observation on Article 1 The Bar-Masters were first chosen by the Miners and Merchants, but are since chosen by his Majesty's Farmers of the Mineral Duties; and all other Bar-masters, are chosen by the Lords, or their Farmers of the Mineral Duties, in all Mineral Fields in the County of Derby, where Bar-masters act, and are remobeable at the Direction of those who put them into Office: The Branches of a Bar-master's Office, according to the Oath he acts under, are many. ARTICLE II We say, if any Miner or any other Person, set on any old Work, then the Bar-master or his Deputy, is but to deliver him one Meare of Ground, on either Side of his shaft half a Meare of Ground; for which, of Mineral Right he is to pay one Dish of his first Ore therein gotten, and the Lord of the Field or Farmer is to have no hald Meare in an old Work; but every one is to be served according to his taking. ------------------------23--------------------------- Page 23 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Observation on Article II By this Article, so soon as the Miner has gor Ore to free his Ground with, then, and not till then, the Bar-master must stake out his Founder-Meare in Manner above: And where the Field is open, another may take Takets at him, and a third Person at the second; so they may all be served according in their Taking. See the 6th Article. ARTICLE III We say, that no one ought to set on an old Work or antient Possession, without the Bar-master or his Deputy, and one or more of the Grand Jury or Twenty- four of the Mine. Observation on Article III The words, ancient Possession, and what you may observe in the fourth and fifth Articles, plainly shew, that every Miner ought frequently to take Care that his Stowes or Possessions are kept in good and lawful Repair, and then he may be certain he cannot lose his Tithe, without its being transferred by the Bar-master and for want of Workmanship. ARTICLE IV We say, according to the Custom of the Mines, within the Wapentake of Wirksworth, that Grooves, Shafts, or Meares of Ground, kept in lawfull Possession, are an Estate of Inheritance, and desend to the Heirs and Assigns of the Owners, and Wives to have Dowry in them. Observation on Article IV That Mines have desended in such Manner, and Dowry had, there have been Instances innumerable. ARTICLE V We say, if any Man (to the Knowledge of the Bar-master or his Deputy) be lawfully possessed of a Meare or Meares of Ground, and does willingly desert the same, but his Stowes are gone by sudden Accident ------------------------24--------------------------- Page 24 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE or indirect Means, it shall not be lawful for any other Person to take or possess such Meare or Meares of Ground, until the Bar-master or his Deputy set him thereon: And the Bar-master or his Deputy, before he set any Man on such Meare or Meares of Ground, shall first take with him one or more of the Grand Jury, or Four and Twenty of the Mine, and go to the Place where the Possession or Possessions or Stowes stood, for such Meare or Meares of Ground; and then make open Publication in the Mineral Time of the Day, that the Party or Paties whose Stowes stood for such Meare or Meares of Ground are gone or taken away as aforesaid; that he or they shall within Four Days after such Publication, come and make good his or their Possessions for such meare or Meares of Ground: But if the Party fail to make good his or their Possessions within Four Days after, then the Bar-master or his Deputy, and the Grand Jury-man that was at such Publication, may set on any other Man on such Meares of Ground to work according to Custom Observation on Article V A miner, when he is thoroughly satisfied in the Trial of a Mine, may willingly desert the same for his own Security, and his Neighbours Good; for he may fill up, or by any other Means secure his shafts, and take away his Possessions to set them elsewhere; but he must then be totally excluded from any Claim by such his Desertion. ARTICLE VI We say, that the Bar-master nor his Deputy, ought not to lay forth nor measure any Man's Ground, till Ore be gotten in the same Ground to free it withal; and when the Ground is freed, it ought to be measured and laid forth, and Meare-Stakes set the same Day. ------------------------25--------------------------- Page 25 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Observation on Article VI ------? new this done, or required to be done, but it may ------? happen that the Bar-master may be elsewhere ------? Day of Freeing; but as no Body can be prejudiced ------? the first opportunity, in a few Days after, for staking ------? always been thought sufficient. ARTICLE VII We say, that every one ought to keep his Ground in ------?, with Stowes and Timber in ------? Crosses and Holes without -----? keep Possession but three Days. Observation on Article VII ------? most Part observed but still shews that Ground ------? without Possession, and the necessity of the ------? ARTICLE VIII We say, that all men ought to work their Ground ----? their Stool to the Ground End, and so ------? Meare to Meare according to the Custom; ------? hindered by the water, or for -----? Wind; and in such Cases, dilligence ought to -----? gain Wind, and get out the Water. Observation on Article VIII ----? Miner's business so to do; but I do not see by what ----? can be (or ever was) compelled to do it, any farther ----? at his own discretion; but if he be refractory or ----? his Neighbour may have other Relief by Article ----? ARTICLE IX We say, that the Bar-master or his Deputy, ought to walk to the Mines once a Week at least; and where -----? a Meare of Ground, which to his knowledge is lawfully possessed, to stand unwrought three Weeks together, and might be wrought, not being hindered by ------------------------26--------------------------- Page 26 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Water, or for want of Wind; then he ought if he can conveniently, to give Notice to the Parties that neglect to work according to Custom; then he shall nick the Spindle, each Week a nick for three Weeks together. And if it be not wrought within that Time, nor borrowed of the Bar-master or his Deputy, then within two Days after the last Day of the last said three Weeks; the Bar-master or his Deputy, may lawfully set on another Man on such Meare or Meares of Ground, to work according to Custom. And if the Bar-master neglect to do his Duty herein, he shall forfeit Five Shillings to the Lord of the Field or Farmer. Observation on Article IX This is extremely good, and as it tends so much to the Interest of the King, as also to the Advantage of the Miner, I hope it will be diligently observed. ARTICLE X We say, if two several Parties or more, set Possessions for one and the same thing, claiming for one and the same Meare of Ground; thereupon the Party grieved shall complain to the Bar-master or his Deputy, who shall forthwith bring with him Four or more of the Grand-Jury, or Four and Twenty, to view the Possessions, and inform themselves the best way they can, who hath the most ancient and lawful Possession for that Meare of Ground, and shall settle the same, casting off the other, and cutting out the Spindle of the Stowes; as they do so cast off. And if the Party whose Possessions they so cast off, think he hath wrong thereby, and think he hath a good Title to such Meare or Meares of Ground; he may put a new Spindle into his Stowes, and any Time within Fouteen Days after such casting off, set them on again; thereupon giving the Bar-master or his Deputy Four pence to arrest such Meare or Meares of Ground, and so try his Title. But if he set on his ------------------------27--------------------------- Page 27 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Stowes and do not arrest within fourteen Days after as aforesaid, he shall incur a Fine of Forty Shillings on his stand? for every such Offence, and the Bar-master or his Deputy, ought forthwith to burn his Stowes in the Mineral Time of the Day; and then if he sets not on another Pair of Stowes, and arrest the next Day after, his Title to such Meare or Meares of Ground, shall be deemed unlawful, and have no Plea for the same in Barmote Court. Observation on Article X This is frequently in Practice, and so easy and plain, needs [no --- of Explanation?]. But see more of this at the latter End of this first Part ARTICLE XI We say, that the Lord of the Field or Farmer, shall at all Times hereafter provide, and keep betwixt Merchant, Buyer and Seller, a just and right Measure or Dish, according to the ancient Gauge; and such a Number of them, as shall at all Times of the Year, conveniently measure all such Lead Ore, as is gotten in the Wapentake of Wirksworth; and such Dishes ought to be sized every Quarter of a Year by the brazen Dish, in Preference of Four or more of the Grand Jury or Twenty-four; and for a Pain every Time failing herein, to forfeit Three Shillings and Four-pence. Observation on Article XI I believe the Bar-masters, &c found that Twice a Year was sufficient for their sizing or adjusting the Dishes by the Brazen Dish, and that is punctually observed and kept; but I query whether the Bar-masters do not buy their own Dishes. ARTICLE XII We say, that by the said Dish or Measure, the Lord of the Field or Farmer is to take his Lot, which is the thirteenth Dish or Measure, as is justly and customarily paid. ------------------------28--------------------------- Page 28 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE paid. But we say, that Smytham or Forested Ore, hath not (within the Memory of Man) paid, nor ought to pay any Duties or Part, but Cope only. Observation on Article XII I believe that the Miners have never in the least scrupled paying the thirteenth Dish, as Lot of all their Ores, but no Miner on Earth, would be willing to pay it out of Smytham or Forested Ore: I take Forested Ore to be next worse in Quality to that of Smytham; and the Cope is always chearfully and regularly paid ARTICLE XIII We say, that for the Payment of said Lot, Miners within the Wapentake of Wirksworth, ought to have Liberty to work the Ground within the Wapentake, and to have Timber also in the King's Wastes to work their Ground withal; and Egress and Regress from the Highways to their Groves or Mines. Observation on Article XIII The Miners (I am told) have fetch'd some few Loads of Timber formerly from the Forest of Needwood, and brought it without Interruption, but the Distance made it more expensive than buying at Home. ARTICLE XIV We say, that the Bar-master or his Deputy, ought to lay forth the Miners the next Way to the Highway, for going and coming to and from their Work, and also for carrying to and from their Work, the running Water to wash their Ore withal. Observation on Article XIV Great Part of the Mines in the Wapentake of Wirksworth happen upon Moors and Pasture-Grounds; but in the Inclosures the Bar-masters have sometimes been called to the Execution of their Office on this Article, through some ill-natured Land-owner, or Tenant; who have frequently repented so doing; for was the Miner to exert himself in the utmost of Mineral Privaleges, the Land-pwner or Tenant would oftentimes suffer much more than they commonly do: For I have known the Bar-master called to the Execution of his Office on this Occasion, which is done in Manner following: The Bar-master ------------------------29--------------------------- Page 29 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE takes with him Two of the Twenty-four; and he walking between them with his, and their Arms extended, they walk from the Mine to the most convenient Place, they can soonest come at the King's High Road, pricking down Peggs or Stakes on each side as they go along; and within those Stakes, the Miner may carry to or from the Mines whatever and whenever he pleases; even if it was standing Corn. ARTICLE XV We say, (according to the Custom of the Mine) that all Miners and their Servants, may wash their Ore with Fat and Sieve upon their Works; so that they keep their Fats close covered, and empty their Sludge into some convenient Place within their Length or Quarter- Cord, as the Bar-master or his Deputy shall appoint, so that the Cattle of the Owners or Occupiers of the Land, where such Washing is may have no Harm. Observation on Article XV This Article is pretty much duly observed and kept. ARTICLE XVI We say, (by the Custom of the Mine within the Wapentake of Wirksworth) it is lawful for all the Liege People of this Nation, to dig, delve, subvert, mine and turn up all manner of Grounds, Lands, Meadows, Closes, Pastures, Moors or Marshes, for Lead-Ore within the said Wapentake, of whose Inheritance soever it is; Dwelling-Houses, Highways, Orchards or Gardens excepted: But if any Arable Ground, Lands or Meadows, be gigged, delved, subverted or mined, and not wrought lawfully according to the Custom of the Mine; then it may and shall be lawful for the Inheritors of the Ground so digged, subverted and mined; to fill up the same at their Will and Pleasure. Observation on Article XVI I would advise the Land Owner to give proper Notice to the Miner, and likewise to the Bar-master of the Liberty, before he takes upon him to fill any one's Mine. ------------------------30--------------------------- Page 30 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE ARTICLE XVII We say, that no Person or Persons ought to keep any Counterfeit Dish or Measure, in their Houses, Cots? or any other Place, to measure Ore withal; but every one ought to buy and sell by the Bar-master's lawful Dish, and no other to be used or had; and every Buyer offending herein shall forfeit for every such Offence Forty Shillings to the Lord of the Field or Farmer, and the Sellers thereof to forfeit their Ore, if it be taken at such a Time. Observation on Article XVII I have heard of some few Instances of this kind formerly, but believe there is scarce any such Thing done in the Wapentake of late Years. ARTICLE XVIII We say, that if any poor Miner, or any other poor Person have Ore under a Load to measure, and the Bar- master or his Deputy have Notice thereof, and do not upon Warning and request come to measure the same, then every such Person may lawfully take two of his Neighbours and deliver his Ore to whom he will, so that the customary Duties be paid. Observation on Article XVIII This Article is good, but I never knew any Necessity for the Use of it. ARTICLE XIX We say, that the Bar-master or his Deputy, shall see that Measure be indifferently made between the Buyer and Seller, and the Buyer not to touch the Dish or to put his Hand to make it measure; on Pain to forfeit Ten Shillings. Observation on Article XIX If any Arguments arise between the Miner and the Ore-buyer, or his Servant, about the Measure, the Bar-master or his Deputy determines it: And I think if the Bar-master sees the Buyer ------------------------31--------------------------- Page 31 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE or his Servan make up a Measure to his own liking, hr ought to present such Offender at the next Barmote Court, to prevent him doing the like again. ARTICLE XX We say, that after the Ore is measured, the Merchant, Buyer or Miner, that carries away the Ore, doth pay to the Lord of the Field or Farmer, Cope, being Sixpence for every Load of Ore, nine Dishes to the Load; for the which Cope, the Miners or Merchants have Liberty to carry away the Ore, and sell and dispose of it to whom they please, to their best Advantage, without the Disturbance of any Man. Observation on Article XX I have never of this Article meeting with any kind of Opposition ARTICLE XXI We say, that if any Person or Persons will make any Claim or Title to any Grooves or Meares of Ground, Rake, Vein, or Ore; he ought to arrest the same, according to the Custom of the Mine. And the Defendant ought to be bound in a Boud (with sufficient Surities for him to the Plaintiff) to answer at the next Bar-mote Court to such Actions as shall be brought against him by the Plaintiff, upon the said Arrestment; and after to yield so much Ore or the Value thereof to the Plaintiff, if the Defendant be cast by the Verdict of twelve Men, as shall be gotten at such Grooves or Meares of Ground, from the Time of such Arrest, till such Trial at the Barmote Court. Observation on Article XXI This Article is by the present Practice observed according to the Letter thereof. ARTICLE XXII We say, that after any Arrest made, the Bar-master or his Deputy, upon Request made, ought to appoint a ------------------------32--------------------------- Page 32 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Court Barmote within ten Days, or as soon as he can conveniently; and if the Plaintiff do not pursue his Suit upon the Arrest, he shall then lose Six Shillings and Eight-pence to the Steward, and a Non-suit shall pass against him; And we say, that a Non-suit is to be of the same Effect and Validity with a Verdict, and every Way to signify as much; and if the Defendant fail to make his Defence, a Verdict shall pass against him for his Default. Observation on Article XXII This and the 25th are duly observed; I have not known a Default in this or the 25th by either the Bar-master or the Steward ARTICLE XXIII We say, whoever shall be condemned, and cast by a Verdict of twelve Men, or otherwise, if a Jury be summoned, and upon calling appear; if the Plaintiff will not go and follow his Suit, he shall pay Four Shillings for twelve Men's Dinners, and Pawns shall be put in on both Parts, into the Bar-master or his Deputy's Hands at the Time of the Arrest, or within three Days following. Observation on Article XXIII This is generally observed according to the Letter thereof. ARTICLE XXIV We say, that the defendant ought to have six Days Time at the least, before any Court, to prepare himself for his Defence; and what Arrests are made within six Days next before the Court, the Defendant may, if he please, refuse to answer, and not suffer any Loss thereby; and such Arrest made within six Days to be void unless both Parties be willing to go on Trial. Observation on Article XXIV The former Part of this is always observed, in the latter Part, many Instances have been known, of many Arrests lying at ------------------------33--------------------------- Page 33 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE --? till the Court following, likewise of some going to Trial at that Court by Consent of the Parties. ARTICLE XXV We say, that the Bar-master or his Steward, ought yearly to keep two Great Barmote Courts on the Mine, one about easter, and the other about Michaelmas, within fourteen Days before or after the said Time; and every three Weeks a Court, if Need be, yearly, if either Plaintiff or defendant request a Court, he is to keep one within ten Days after such request, or forfeit ten Shillings. For Observation on the above Article, see the 22d ARTICLE XXVI We say, if any Grooves, Shafts, or Meares of Ground be arrested, all the Ore got or measured at such Groove, Shaft or Meare of Ground, from the Arrest to the Trial, is liable to the Arrest; and if the Verdict be found for the Plaintiff, then the defendant shall pay to him so much Ore or Value thereof, as shall appear by Evidence was gotten or measures at such Grooves, Shafts, or Meares of Ground, from the Time of the Arrest till the Trial, and when the Bar-master or his Deputy makes such Arrest, he ought to take good Security for the Ore that is to be measured there, or carried away to any other Place. Observation on Article XXVI The Bar-master always takes Care to observe the Order of this Article. ARTICLE XXVII We say, that honest and able Men, ought to be summoned for Jurors, out of every Division within the Wapentake, and to be summoned as near the Court- Day as may be; and of every Division some to serve, unless some just Cause be shewed to the contrary. ------------------------34--------------------------- Page 34 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Observation on Article XXVII The Bar-masters generally proceed in this Case according to these Directions. ARTICLE XXVIII We say, that able fit Men, if they be not Miners, if they have Parts and be Maintainers of Mines, and known by the Bar-master or his Deputy, to understand well the Custom of the Mine, they ought to serve for Jurors, especially in difficult and weighty Matters and Causes. Observation on Article XXVIII Likewise in this; and Maintainers must necessarily be highly proper Persons to serve in difficult and weighty Matters, provided the Bar-master knows them to be concerned, and conversant with the Customs of the Mines, &c. ARTICLE XXIX We say, that one Verdict for wages due to Workmen, shall fully conclude and determine, and for the Title that arises by Contract, as by Gift, Sale or Exchange, or the like; and also for Right of Possession, for Shaft or Meares of Ground, two of the first Verdicts for one Party shall conclude the Title. Observation on Article XXIX The present Practice is, to act according to the Letter of this Article. ARTICLE XXX We say, that when a Verdict is gone for either Party, if he which has lost will have another Trial for the Title, he ought to arrest within fourteen Days next after the Court, when the Verdict went against him; or else that Verdict shall determine and fully exclude him from any further Claim; unless that longer Time for Workmanship, be absolutely necessary to discover ------------------------35--------------------------- Page 35 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE the Truth; if so, then the Party grieved, may within fourteen Days, cause Four or more of the Grand Jury, or Twenty-four, to view the Work in Question; and what Time they think fit for Workmanship to discover the Truth, that they may allow giving such their Doings under their Hands in Writing, to the Bar-master or his Deputy or that Division, and if it proves the allowed Time to be too short, then the grieved Party may again procure Four or more of the Grand Jury, or Twenty-four, to view the Work a second Time; and if they then find that Workmanship hath been duly made, and more Time is requisite, they must give longer Time again, in Manner as aforesaid: And then if the Party grieved, arrest not within ten Days after that Time is expired, that Verdict that went against him, shall fully conclude and determine the Title. Observation on Article XXX I cannot say that I have known this Article put in full Execution in all its Branches, in my Opinion, there is not one in the whole, grounded upon better or greater Judgement and Enquiry. ARTICLE XXXI We say, that no Person ought to sue for Mineral Debt, ore[?], Grooves, Trespasses in Grooves, or Grounds in Variance, but only in the Barmote Court; and if any do the contrary, they shall lose their Debt and Ore, for which they are in Controversy, (and shall pay all the Charges in Law, and lose all their Grooves and Meares of Ground, and Parts thereof to the Party grieved, till, upon just Account he have Satisfaction for all his Charges and Expences, in and about such Suits), to the Lord of the Field or Farmer; and also such as sue out of the Barmote Court as aforesaid, ought to have no Benefit nor Plea in Barmote Court. ------------------------36--------------------------- Page 36 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Observation on Article XXXI Though this Article might be well intended on behalf of the Miner, still it is very little, or none at all regarded. ARTICLE XXXII We say, no Officer ought for Trespass or Debt, to execute or serve any Writ, Warrant or Precept, upon any Miner being at his Work in the Mine, nor when the Miners come and go to the Barmote Court, but the Bar-master or his Deputy only. Observation on Article XXXII A Bum-Bailiff would soon tell you, He neither knew, nor cared for your Articles; and those Gentlemen are mostly Men of such kind of Fortune and Character, as not to mind much the Legality of what they do in their Way. ARTICLE XXXIII We say, if two several Parties or more be Groove-Fellows, or Part Owners to one Groove or Meare of Ground, and One or more of the Part Owners will not keep Company, nor pay his or their proportionable Part or Parts of all such Workmanship, and other Charges and Expences, as are necessary and belong to such Groove or Grooves, Meare or Meares of Ground; thereupon the Party grieved, shall complain to the Bar-master or his Deputy, who shall take with him Two or more of the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, and speak to the Party or Parties, who neglect or refuse to pay Charges and keep Company as aforesaid, and give him or them Warning to come in within ten Days, to pay Charges and keep Company with their Part Owners; and if (after Warning given them), the Party or Parties refuse to pay Charges, or come in and keep Company as aforesaid; then the Bar-master or his Deputy, and the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, at their Meeting next ------------------------37--------------------------- Page 37 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE following, unless some just Cause be shewed to the contrary, may order the Party or Parties, that have refused and neglected to pay Charges and keep Company, that he or they shall come and pay Charges and keep Company with his or their Part Owners. And such order of the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, is to be Binding as though it were at Barmote Court. Observation on Article XXXIII I think this Article is laid aside, or very little practised; and probably in Part, on Account of the Expence that might attend this Method of proceeding, and Part on Account of the express Directions laid down in the 59th Article, which perhaps was instituted long after this 33rd Article: However, I have not known one Instance of this being put in Execution. ARTICLE XXXIV We say, that when a Meare or Meares of Ground are wrought under Water, and by reason thereof have stood many Years unwrought, and the Owner or Owners of such Meare or Meares of Ground, do not use some effectual Means to get forth the Water, to recover the same; and that the same might be wrought by Means of a Sough or Engine, and that for the publick Good, but is yet neglected; thereupon any Person or Persons, that are minded to disburse and lay forth Money, to recover such Works from water, may, at a Great Barmote Court held at Wirksworth; declare such their Intentions in Writing, to the Grand-Jury or Twenty-four, and they shall take the same into serious Consideration. And if they know such works to have stood long by Reason of Water, and no effectual Means used to win the same, and that Person or Persons, who desire to undertake to win the same, by Sough or otherwise, to be able Men, and like to pefect such a Work; thereupon the Grand-Jury or Twenty-four, shall appoint a Day (a Month after at least) for themselves and ------------------------38--------------------------- Page 38 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE the Person that undertakes; and all the Owners of such Works to meet at the Place where such Works are, and the Time of Meeting shall be published by the Crier in the Great Barmote Court, that all Men may take Notice thereof at such Meeting; the undertakers shall give the Grand-Jury or Twenty-four, to understand, by what Means they intend to lay dry all such Works, and to get the water for recovering the same. And if the Grand-Jury or Twenty-four, thereupon conceive the way and Means they propose, is like and effectual to recover such Works from Water, so that the Publick may have Advantage thereby; the Grand-Jury or Twenty-four shall acquaint the Owners od such Works, with the Intentions of the Undertakers, concerning the Recovery of such Works from water, and the ways and Means they propose for the doing of it: And any of the Owners of such Works, if they please, may join with the Undertakers, paying their proportional Parts of the Charge of such Soughs or Engines, as shall be made to recover the same, according to their Parts, and enjoy the Benefit thereof; and such of the Owners of such Works, as shall not, by themselves or others, by their Authority, appear at such Meeting, or then neglect or refuse to join, or pay their proportionable Part or Parts of Charges, of such Soughs or Engines as shall be made or used, for the Recovery of such Works from water as aforesaid; thereupon the Grand-Jury or Twenty-four, and the Bar-master or his Deputy, shall have Power to disposses such Owner or Owners, from their Part or Parts, and to assign and deliver Possession of such Part or Parts to the Undertakers thereof as aforesaid, withal ordering that the Undertakers of such Works shall give to the Owners that refuse and neglect as aforesaid such reasonable Satisfaction as the Grand Jury or Twenty-four shall then think fit. And if it happen in the carrying ------------------------39--------------------------- Page 39 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE on ---? Business, for the Recovery of such Water- ----?, that any Difference arise betwixt the Under- ----? and the Owners of such Works or any of them, ----? the Work is obstructed thereby; then the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, being called together, shall have ----? to regulate all such Differences, whereby the Work may be effectually accomplished for the publick Good. Observation on Article XXXIV I look upon this Article to be grounded extremely well; and think if any disinterested Miner will consider it through; seriously and impartially, he cannot advance any rational Objections against it, particularly because the publick Good seems so much to be aimed at; and all the Steps to be taken, are in so publick a Manner, that no kind of Fraud or Opression appears in the least Shape imaginable. ARTICLE XXXV We say, that when any Man is possessed of a Groove or Meare of Ground, and hath found the Vein and Works therein; he ought to suffer his neighbour, who is the next Taker, and shew him the best Light and Direction he can, which Way and upon what Point the Vein goeth. But in Case any Man be so refractory, as to deny his Neighbour such a Courtesy, then he may procure Three or more of the Grand Jury or Twenty- fout, to be summoned, and the Bar-master or his Deputy , may put them into his Groove, who hath the Vein in Work; where they may, by using a Dial, or some other Skill, shew him that is the next Taker, which way and upon what Point the Vein goes; so that he may know thereby, where to sink his Shaft to find the Vein, that the Field may be set forwards for the publick Good: Provided always, that such of the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, as go into the Groove aforsaid, shall not do any other Act or Thing, or make ------------------------40--------------------------- Page 40 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE any other Discovery of such Groove, save only to see which Way and upon what Point the Vein goes. Observation on Article XXXV I have known sundry Instances of this Article being put in Execution; and in my Opinion it is extremely reasonable; for the Party can have no Injustice done him within his own Length, and the Field ought not in any wise to be hindered. ARTICLE XXXVI We say, that when any Man is lawfully possessed of a Meare of Ground, for any Rake or vein, and works the same truly, according to the Custom of the Mine; if any other Man shall set Possessions at or near his Fore-field, pretending for a Cross Vein or some other thing, and by Workmanship, shall be stronglysuspected to work in the same Vein, for which there is another in Possession, and truly works the same; thereupon the Party grieved, may procure the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, to be summoned to appear at the Place in Question, they or so many of them as appear, being above Twelve shall view the whole Work: And if thereupon they find by their best Skill, the Thing in all Probability to be one and the same, and yet for want of Workmanship cannot then plainly appear; then such of the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, as appear and view as aforesaid, shall give suchtheir Opinions, under their Hands in Writing, withal ordering, who they conceive works wrongfully, forthwith to gve the party grieved good Security, for all the Ore got at the Work in Question, till Time and Workmanship make the Truth appear. But if the Party who is to give Security, refuse to give such Security, then such of the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, as appear and view as aforesaid, shall by the Order under their Hands, appoint the Bar-master or his Deputy, to seize and sequester all the Ore got at the Work in Question, till Workmanship ------------------------41--------------------------- Page 41 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE shall make the Truth appear to whom the Vein belongs; and when either Party does conceit, that Workmanship enough is made in it, to make the Truth appear, then either of them may procure the Grand Jury or Twenty-four, to be summoned again, and such of them as appear, being above twelve, shall view the Work in Question; and if then by Workmanship it may appear, to whom the Ore and vein belongs, they may order it the same Party to whom they conceive it due. And if either Party think he hath Wrong thereby, he may arrest and have his Trial for his Right of Title. Observation on Article XXXVI This Article for Sequestration is very well known to most of those who have any tolerable Acquaintance with the Customs of the Mines, and is very fully and clearly expressed; many Miners have been obliged to have Recourse thereto; and if it appeared to be fairly and justly required, I never heard of their being denied Redress. ARTICLE XXXVII We say, That no Person shall come to any Workman, that works his Ground truly, upon any Colour or Pretence to claim his Ground, to hinder his Work or stop the Field; but the first Workman shall only work, and the Claimer arrest and take the Law, and the Bar-master shall do him Law truly. Observation on Article XXXVII If any one should pretend any sort of Claim, he must Arrest and make his Right thereto appear, for the Field ought not to be hindered; but there is a stronger Provision made in Cases of this Nature by the 54th Article. ARTICLE XXXVIII We say, if any Vein or Rake, go cross through another Rake or Vein, hr that comes to the Pee first shall have it and may work therein, so far as he can reach with a Pick or Hack; having a Helve three Quarters ------------------------42--------------------------- Page 42 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE of a yard long, so that he stand wholly within his own Cheeks when he works such a Pee. Observation on Article XXXVIII There are very rarely any Disputes in this Case. ARTICLE XXXIX We say, that when two Veins go together, parted with a Rither that is scarcely discernable, whether it be two Veins or but one; in this Case, so long as the Rither may be taken down, by firing on the one Side, is to be taken and reputed but for one Vein; but in case the Rither be so thick, that it cannot be taken by firing on the one Side, and the Veins go so asunder for half a Meare in length, then they are serviceable to the Miner as two distinct Veins. Observation on Article XXXIX When a Vein is parted by a Rither, it is common for the Miner to blow down the Rither-point as much as he well can; And if the Vein on one Side does not come into the other again in driving half a Mear' he is obliged to free that which breaks from his old Range, and Nature as a Break or new Vein, and his Founder therein to be fixed at the Rither Point. ARTICLE XL We say, that any Miner in an open Rake, may kindle and light his Fire after Four o'Clock in the Afternoon, giving his Neighbour lawful warning thereof. Note, The above Article is almost out of Use since the Art of Blasting the Rocks came up, firing being laid aside. Observation on Article XL Firing is now laid aside, the use of Gunpowder being far more advantageous. ARTICLE XLI We say, that if any Miner or other Person, do underbeat his Neighbours Meare, and work out of his own length into another Man's Ground, the Party so grieved, may procure two or more of the Grand Jury or Twenty- four, to view such a Trespass, and order the Party that hath done the wrong to give the Party grieved ------------------------43--------------------------- Page 43 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE full as much Ore, or the Value thereof, as they conceive is gotten wrongfully, without allowing any Charge for getting the same; and the Party offending herein, shall forfeit for every such Offence, Five Shillings and Four-pence; which Fine the Bar-master or his steward shall have. Observation on Article XLI If a Trespass of this Nature happens where the Identity of the Vein is proved and allowed, the redress is very plain and easy. ARTICLE XLII We say, that if any Miner or other Person, do keep lawful Possessions of any Groove, Shaft or Meare of Ground, according to the Custom of the Mine; if any Person or Persons, (by Day or by Night) cast in or fill up such Shaft, Groove, or Meare of Ground, however they shall be wrought; every such Person so offending therein, shall forfeit for every such Offence Ten Pounds; the one half to the Lord of the Field or Farmer, and the other half to the Bar-master or Steward, and shall pay the Party so much as will make good the Work again. Observation on Article XLII This is a notorious Offence, and has been oftentimes punished according to the Article, but the Farmers have sometimes in Case of poverty given the Offender some Trifle back again. ARTICLE XLIII We say, that if any Person or Persons, shall at any Time go to any Gentleman or other Person, and give, sell or exchange, any Part or Parts of a Groove, or Meare of Ground in Variance, for Maintainance; every Person so offending, shall thereby lose his Groove or Meare of Ground, or Part thereof in Variance, and the ------------------------44--------------------------- Page 44 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE Taker or Buyer shall forfeit Ten pounds to the Lord of the Field or Farmer. Observation on Article XLIII Those who made this Article seemed to have a Dread, that Power might overbalance Justice, and perhaps not without Reason; but if Honour and Honesty will not lay a sufficient Restraint upon Gentlemen in this Case, I am afraid here is not Terror enough in this Article, nor I never knew its being put in Execution; though was it fairly proved, I think it is great Pity that it should not. ARTICLE XLIV We say, that if it happen, that any Miner be killed or slain, or damped upon the Mine, within any Groove; neither Escheator, Coroner, or other Officer, ought to meddle therewith, but the Bar-master or his Deputy. Observation on Article XLIV I have known some, and heard of many killed at the Mines in this Wapentake; on all which Occasions, the Bar-master acted as Coroner, with a Jury by him chosen; but at Mines upon Lease, or in all other private Liberties, the Coroner is always called. ARTICLE XLV We say, that no Person ought to bring any unlawful Weapon to the Mine, and for every Time so doing to forfeit Three Shillings and Four-pence to the Steward or Bar-master. And if any make an Assault or Fray on the Mine, every such Person ought to forfeit for every such Offence Forty Shillings; and for every Bloodshed against the Peace, Five Shillings; the one half to the Lord of the Field or Farmer, and the other half to the Bar-master or his Deputy. Observation on Article XLV If Offences of this kind happen, I think Information thereof ought to be given to the Bar-master of the Liberty where it does happen, and Complaint made the next Barmote Court. ------------------------45--------------------------- Page 45 WIRKSWORTH WAPENTAKE ARTICLE XLVI We say, that every Man that has a Washing-trough, ought to have seven Feet about the same: and if any Person dig, delve or shovel in the said Trough within the said Space, he shall forfeit for every such Offence Twelve-pence to the Steward. Also we say, that no Person ought to dig, delve or shovel near any Man's Bing-place, upon Pain to forfeit Twelve-pence for every such Offence.

Quotation from: "Ecton Copper Mines under the Duke of Devonshire" by Lindsay Porter, published by Landmark Publishing, Ashbourne 2004

Achievements of a Miner's Family

William Hardy, for many years employee at Ecton and a resident of Wetton, wrote "The Miners Guide" in 1748 37. An advert for the book 38 describes Hardy as being of Wetton and 'who has been a Practioner in the Mines for Thirty Years.' He married Mary Allen of Hope Dale, near Wetton. They had three sons, John, born 24 Jan 1752 an engraver, who engraved a portrait of Edmund Burke and 'A Venus de Medici'; William, a marble mason at Matlock Bath who died in 1826; and Thomas, a portrait painter in London, who died 14 Sep 1804. The latter painted viz: Lady Georgiana Cavendish; the Duchess of Cumberland; Philip Gell; and Mrs Gell amongst others.

The painting of Lady Georgiana Cavendish survives in the Chatsworth Collection. It is currently on loan to the National Trust and hangs at Hardwick Hall 39. Thomas (born 1757) exhibited 31 works at the Royal Academy between 1778 and 1798. In 1783 he gave his address as being 'At Chatworth'. He was working there in 1784, repairing the wall paintings in the chapel. It is likely that the Duke paid for his scholarship to the Royal Academy in 1778. He was living at 4 Gt Marlborough Street, London, when he painted five-year old Lady Georgiana Cavendish.

His brother, William, followed him to the Royal Academy, exhibiting in 1785,1801 and 1803. His address in 1785 was 14, Old Burlington Street, a house on the Devonshire Estate. The Duke's trusted auditor John Heaton, lived at No 6. The The painting exhibited in 1785 is entitled 'A boy playing at marbles'. It was painted in 1784, portraying a Chatsworth page boy,John lewis March and was painted by the order of the Duchess. 40

  1. There is a copy in Derby Local Studies Library, Accession No 1452. The information on Hardy and his family is taken from a note in this book,which is endorsed 'William Bateman' of Middleton-by-Youlegreave. Thanks to Roger Flindall for supplying this note.
  2. Derby Mercury, 8 Apr 1748, p4, col 3
  3. Painting Ref: PA 268
  4. Graves, A.,The Royal Academy of Arts, 'Dictionary of Contributors and their work, 1769-1904, 1905, Vol III, pp390-91; Stewart, B., and Cutten, M.,'Dictionary of Portrait Painters in Britain, 1997, p232; Correspondence file re Wm Hardy. Dev. Coll., office.

Written on the fly-leaf of above reference 37

William Hardy (the author of the Miners Guide) was born at Brassington in the County of Derby. He was a miner & died about 1765. He worked many years at the Ecton Copper mine, residing at Wetton. He married Mary Allen of Hope Dale, in Co. of Stafford, and left issue, John born 24 Jan 1752 an engraver - William a marble mason at Matlock Bank ob 1826 - Thomas, a portrait painter in London ob 14 Sep 1804 - and one daughter, Mary, who died young.
Thomas painted:Horne Tooke, Dr Wm Osbourn, Lady Georgiana Cavendish, Philip Gell esq, Mrs Gell, Duchess of Cumberland.
John Hardy engraved a portrait of: Edmund Burke esq, A Venus de Medici.

Transcribed, compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded, and copyright © 2005, John Palmer,
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