Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/190

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[178]

property we are speaking of is regulated, being somewhat complicated, as well as singular, I must give you an account of it in the intelligible words of Dr. Aikin.

" There are numerous and various regulations respecting the rights of miners, and the dues payable for the ores in different parts of the mining country. The principal tract, containing lead is called the kings-field. Under this denomination nearly the whole wapentake of Wirksworth is comprised, as well as part of the high Peak. The mineral duties of the king's-field have been from time immemorial lett on lease; the present farmer of those on the high Peak is the Duke of Devonshire, and of those in the wapentake of Wirksworth is Mr. Rolles. They have each a steward and bar-masters in the districts they hold of the crown. The steward presides as judge in the bar-mote courts, and, with twenty-four jurymen, de- termines all disputes respecting the working of mines. The courts are held twice a year; those of the high Peak at Money- Ash, and those of the wapentake at Wirksworth. Hie principal office of the bar-masters is putting miners in possession of the veins they have discovered, and collecting the proportion of ore due to the lessee. When a miner has found a new vein of ore in the king's-