If the worke carrie some importance, and require the trauaile of many hands, that hath his name, and they their Ouerseer, whome they terme their Captaine: such are the Pel, Whilancleuth, in English, The worke of the Ditches: Pulstean, that is, The myrie head: Crueg braaz, The great Borough: Saint Margets, and many surnamed Balls, which betoken the Vales where the works are set on foote.

[11] The Captaines office bindeth him to sort ech workman his taske, to see them applie their labour, to make timely prouision, for binding the worke with frames of Timber, if need exact it, to place Pumpes for drawing of water, and to giue such other directions. In most places, their toyle is so extreame, as they cannot endure it aboue foure houres in a day, but are succeeded by spels: the residue of the time, they weare out at Coytes, Kayles, or like idle exercises. Their Kalender also alloweth them more Holy-dayes, then are warranted by the Church, our lawes, or their owne profit.

Their ordinarie tooles, are a Pick-axe of yron, about sixteene inches long, sharpned at the one end to pecke, and flat-headed at the other, to driue certaine little yron Wedges, wherewith they cleaue the Rockes. They haue also a broad Shouell, the vtter part of yron, the middle of Timber, into which the staffe is slopewise fastned.

Their maner of working in the Loadmines, is to follow the Load as it lieth, either sidelong, or downe-right: both waies the deeper they sincke, the greater they find the Load. When they light vpon a smal veine, or chance to leefe the Load which they wrought, by means of certaine firings that may hap to crosse it, they begin at another place neere-hand, and so draw by gesse to the maine Load againe. If the Load lie right downe, they follow it sometimes to the depth of fortie or fiftie fathome. These Loadworkes, Diod.Sic.l.5.cap.8. seemeth to point at, where hee saith, that the Inhabitants of Veleriumm Promontorie, digge vp Tin out of rockie ground. From some of their bottomes you shal at noone dayes discrie the Starres: the workmen are let down and taken vp in a Stirrup, by two men who wind the rope.

If the Load lie slope-wise, the Tynners digge a conuenient depth, and then passe forward vnder ground, so farre as the ayre will yeeld them breathing, which, as it beginneth to faile, they sinke a Shaft downe thither from the top, to admit a renewing vent, which notwithstanding, their worke is most by Candle-light. In these passages, they meete sometimes with verie loose earth, sometimes with exceeding hard Rockes, and sometimes with great streames of water.

The loose Earth is propped by frames of Timber-worke, as they go, and yet now and then falling downe, either presseth the poore workmen to death, or stoppeth them from returning. To part the Rockes, they haue the foremencioned Axes, and Wedges, with which, mostly, they make speedie way, and yet (not seldome) are so tied by the teeth, as a good workman shall hardly be able to hew three foote, in the space of so many weekes. While they thus play the Moldwarps, vnsauorie Damps doe here and there distemper their heads, though not with so much daunger in the consequence, as annoyance for the present.

For conueying away the water, they pray in aide of sundry deuices, as Addits, Pumps &. Wheeles, driuen by a streame, and interchangeably filling, and emptying two Buckets, with many such like: all which notwithstanding, the Springs so incroche vpon these inuentions, as in sundrie places they are driuen to keepe men, and some-where horses also at worke both day & night, without ceasing, and in some all this will not serue the turne. For supplying such hard seruices, they haue alwaies fresh men at hand.

[12] They cal it the bringing of an Addit, or Audit, when they begin to trench without, and carrie the same thorow the ground to the Tynworke, somewhat deeper then the water doth lie, thereby to giue it passage away.

This Addit, they either fetch athwart the whole Load, or right from the braunch where they worke, as the next valley ministreth fittest opportunitie, for soonest cutting into the Hil: and therfore a Gentleman of good knowledges, deduceth this name of Addit, Ab aditu ad aquas.

The Survey of Cornwall Page 18

Richard Carew

16th Century Literature

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Richard Carew
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