Author Topic: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties  (Read 469 times)

Offline T pot 2

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Further to my question re the site of Hollandtwine shaft I now need to ratify the length of a meer of ground in the following liberties

Castleton

Bradwell

Peak forest

The length in each AFAIK differs
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 04:33:02 pm by paul, Reason: Updated title to make it more specific. »

Offline Frog2

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Re: Meers
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2020, 01:42:54 pm »
Not sure if of any use but from Sizes.com/units/meer.htm

meer
In the county of Derby, England, a unit of length used by a miner taking possession of a claim to a vein of lead ore. It was in various times and places = 29, 31 or 32 yards. See the sources.

sources
1

When a miner has found a new vein of ore in the King's-field, provided it be not in an orchard, garden, high-road, or church-yard, he may obtain an exclusive title to it, on application to the barmaster. The method of giving possession, is, in the presence of two jurymen, marking out in a pipe, or rake-work, two meers of ground, each containing twenty-nine yards; and in flat work, fourteen yards square.

Stephen Glover, publisher; Thomas Noble, editor.
The History and Gazetteer of the County of Derby….
Derby: Printed by Henry Mozley and Son, 1831.
Vol. 1, page 55.

2

The term meer denotes a customary measure of land containing lead ore, to which a Derbyshire miner is entitled when he finds a metallic vein. Formerly a Derbyshire meer in the Low Peak contained 29 yards in length, and in the High Peak 31 yards in length, the breadth of a meer in both districts being from skirt to skirt, whether the vein consisted of a rake, pipe-work, or flat-work. Add. MS. 6681, p. 926. Now, however, by the recent statute, 14 & 15 Vict. c. 94, art. 18, so far as relates to the High Peak, every meer of ground shall contain 32 yards in length. See Tapping's High Peak Min. Cus. pp; 19, 104.

From the Glossary in
Thomas Tapping.
The Rhymed Chronicle of Edward Manlove...
London: Shaw and Sons, 1851.

Manlove's poem originally appeared as:

Edward Manlove.
The Liberties and Customs of the Lead-Mines within the Wapentake of Wirksworth in the County of Derby.
London: 1653.

Offline mikem

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Re: Meers
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 01:56:25 pm »
Manlove's poem quotes 29 yards in wirksworth!
http://texts.wishful-thinking.org.uk/Evans1912/ChapterXII.html

& this mentions 32 yards in reference to south side of Eldon Hill (but looking at previous post it seems different lengths were used at different times, rather than adjacent locations):
https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1019002
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 02:07:49 pm by mikem »

Offline AR

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Re: Meers
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 04:17:01 pm »
Meer length varies from liberty to liberty, and can be anything from 27 to 32 yards. The 32-yard meer is  standard for all liberties within the Queensfield of the High Peak (i.e. all the liberties within the High Peak Hundred where the Duchy of Lancaster has the mineral rights to lead); both Bradwell and Castleton are in this group. The Low Peak Queensfield (Duchy of Lancaster liberties within the Soke and Wapentake of Wirksworth) uses the 29-yard meer.

Peak Forest liberty is one where the Duchy of Devonshire owns the lead rights and IIRC is on a 29-yard meer, like the other major Chatsworth liberties of Ashford Northside and Ashford Southside. I'll try and check the schedules of the 1852 Act later to confirm that.
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Offline T pot 2

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 05:36:10 pm »
So castleton and Bradwell 32 yards and peak forest
29 yards.

Thanks AR

Now is there an ancient length to a yard?

Offline mikem

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 05:49:49 pm »
Well, it was finally standardised internationally in 1959...

Offline T pot 2

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 05:55:35 pm »
1959 standardisation was way after the lead mining laws were laid down.
So let's say what was a yard in 18th century?

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 06:06:16 pm »
Now is there an ancient length to a yard?

My Back Yard (1855) is 11' 7 3/8" if that helps.

Mark

Offline bograt

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 06:28:45 pm »
Now is there an ancient length to a yard?

Roughly 1/30th of a meer  ?
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Offline T pot 2

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2020, 08:23:10 pm »
Mark 🙄
Boggie that makes some sort of sense.
What I'm trying to ascertain was the yard measured or marked by the stride of a person?

Offline pwhole

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2020, 08:56:00 pm »
From Wikipedia:

Quote
The standard of measure has always been taken either from some part of the human body, such as a foot, the length of the arm, the span of the hand, or from other natural objects, such as a barleycorn, or other kind of grain. But the yard was the original standard adopted by the early English sovereigns, and has been supposed to be founded upon the breadth of the chest of the Saxon race. The yard continued till the reign of Henry VII., when the ell was introduced, that being a yard and a quarter, or 45 inches. The ell was borrowed from the Paris drapers. Subsequently, however, Queen Elizabeth re-introduced the yard as the English standard of measure.[10]

Report from the Select Committee on Weights and Measures; together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, Appendix and Index. London. 4 August 1862.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yard

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Offline AR

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2020, 08:57:22 pm »
If you're looking at Barmaster's entries T, I'd suggest you treat them with a great deal of caution - I found that the freeing entry for Sheldon Dirtlow Rake between two known points (the liberty boundary and a turnpike road) was something like five Ashford meers short of the actual distance, and I've looked at other freeings that I also found highly suspect. I think the deputy barmasters could be "generous" when measuring out ground for their associates or just slapdash.

As for the origin of the yard, I'm sure I once saw mention that it was standardised by Edward 1 as the length of his outstretched arm; he was a big lad so not impossible and for a mining link, the Quo Warranto was done in his reign.
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Offline AR

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2020, 09:53:44 pm »
Turns out Peak Forest doesn't follow Ashford but uses the High Peak meer of 32 yards - article 18 of the schedules for the 1852 act states "Every Meer of Ground shall contain the Quantity herein-after mentioned: that is to say, in the said Soke and Wapentake, Twenty-nine Yards; in the Manor or Liberty of Ashford, Twenty-nine Yards; in the Manors or Liberties of Peak Forest, Hartington, Stoney Middleton and Eyam, Litton and Tideswell, Thirty-two Yards; in the Manor or Liberty of Crich, Twenty-nine Yards; and in the Manor or Liberty of Youlgreave, Twenty-eight Yards; and the Miner shall be entitled to take and have set out for him any Proportion of a Meer, by Payment of an Amount of Ore proportionate to the Amount payable upon freeing a whole Meer." (source - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/Vict/16-17/163)

So,  all 32 yards to the meer  up the top end of the ore field with the exception of Hazlebadge liberty.
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Offline T pot 2

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Re: Lengths of Meers in Castleton, Bradwell and Peak Forest Liberties
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2020, 08:13:39 am »
Thanks to all whom gave information to my questions.
Next is to see if i can marry up with the barmasters books and the other info that I have.
Then to find out if the  results wil be beneficial.
T

 

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