History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonANCIENT MINING LAWS


The mineral customs of Derbyshire are of great antiquity, and are admirably explained in the 'Derbyshire Mining Customs and Mineral Courts Act of 1852', by Thomas Tapping.

The lesser liberties within the Act are the manor or liberty of Stoney Middleton and Eyam. A small Barmote Court is held for the united Liberty of Stoney Middleton and Eyam. This court is held alternately at both villages within one month after the 25th of March each year,

The Grand Jury consists of 48, of which the miners, owners, and maintainers of mines may summon 24. The names of the Jury are affixed to the door of an outbuilding.

RIGHTS OF ALL SUBJECTS TO PROSPECT FOR LEAD. “It is lawful for all subjects of this realm to search for, sink and dig mines or veins of lead ore, upon, in, or under all manner of land of whose inheritance soever they may be (churches, churchyards, places for public worship, burial grounds, dwelling houses, orchards, gardens, pleasure grounds and highways excepted), but if no vein or ore be found, and it is abandoned for 14 days the land must he levelled and made good by those making the search”.

ROYALTIES were to be paid to the King and his successors. They were called the duties of 'Lot and Cope'. The former was one-thirteenth part of all the ore raised, and the Cope was 4d. for every load of ore measured.

LORDS OF THE FIELD. “At the time of the passing of the Act of 1852 the Duke of Devonshire, the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, or the Marquis of Chandos, the only son and heir apparent of the last-named Duke and in his right Sir Richard Tufton, as tenant for life in possession, were entitled as tenants in common to the mineral duties, in the said manor or liberty of Stoney Middleton and Eyam”.


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the Barmaster of any ground in manner therein after provided.

FOUNDER: the point at which a vein of ore shall be first found.

FOUNDER MEERS is the name given to the two first meers to be set out to the finder the provision of the Act. Every meer or ground sball contain 32 yards.


OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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