Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/191

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[179]

field, provided it be not in an orchard, garden, or high-road, he may obtain an exclusive right to it on application to the bar-master. The method of giving possession is in the presence of two jurymen, marking out, in a pipe or rake work, two meares of ground, each containing twenty-nine yards; and in a flat work, fourteen yards square. But if a. miner neglect to avail himself of his discovery within a limited time, he may be deprived of the vein of which he has received possession, and the. bar-master may dispose of it to another adventurer. As to the other part of the bar-master's office, that of superintending the measurement of the ore and taking the dues of the lessee or lord of the manor, it is attended with some difficulty, from the variety of the claims, which differ greatly in different places. In general a thirteenth of the ore is due in king's-field, but a twenty-fifth only is taken; besides this there is a due for tithe. In mines that are private property, such tolls are paid as the parties agree on.

" The miner having satisfied the several claims proceeds to dispose of his ore to the merchant or smelter. There are four denominations of ore; the largest and best sort is called bing; the next in size, and almost equal inequality, is called pesey; the third is smitham, which passes through the

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