Unlawful entry into a graphite mine

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Reading a humorous comment in another thread about Borrowdale graphite mine lead me down a rabbit hole of Googling and reading about "plumbago". One thing struck me was the1752 act about graphite, theft is a felony (at least until 1961 when the distinction between felony and misdemeanor was abolished), and unlawful entry into a graphite mine was a specific crime.

Briefly looking at the Law Commission, I didn't see this as a repealed act when searching, although that doesn't mean it isn't.

Is this still a (theoretical..) crime in England and Wales?

And do any of you felons want to admit your trespasses?
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Oh.. the only other thing I found was an amendment that clarifies that graphite (plumbago or black lead) is considered a metallic mineral, in Devon and Cornwall anyway..

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1855/32/pdfs/ukpga_18550032_en.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiB0cO76OXxAhV7hf0HHa0hDrkQFjAOegQIChAC&usg=AOvVaw2wC5ovytR-5_jX5jJGWrKg
 

AR

Well-known member
The Borrowdale graphite was a seriously high-value mineral back in the day - the mine had its own guard house! If you can find a copy, Ian Tyler's book on the subject is well worth reading.
 

RobinGriffiths

Well-known member
There was a Borrowdale Wad Mine presentation a few months ago - either AN or CATMHS, and I seem to remember from the talk that a couple of illicit adits had been driven in to intercept the plumbago mine. I think they had working and non woking periods, so the pirates would go in during the later.
 

ChrisJC

Active member
It is an interesting question.

Reminds be a bit of the Forest of Dean freeminer laws that were not repealed, but contradicted some more modern legislation...?

It would be interesting to know if it were technically illegal to enter a Wad mine for that reason!

Chris.
 
Cantclimbtom said:
Oh.. the only other thing I found was an amendment that clarifies that graphite (plumbago or black lead) is considered a metallic mineral, in Devon and Cornwall anyway..

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1855/32/pdfs/ukpga_18550032_en.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiB0cO76OXxAhV7hf0HHa0hDrkQFjAOegQIChAC&usg=AOvVaw2wC5ovytR-5_jX5jJGWrKg

I believe modern day astrophysicists casually refer to any element other than hydrogen and helium as "metals"
 
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