After such time as the Iewes by their extreame dealing had worne themselues, first out of the loue of the English inhabitants, and afterwards out of the land it selfe, and so left the mines vnwrought, it hapned, that certaine Gentlemen, being Lords of seuen tithings in Blackmoore, whose grounds were best stored with this Minerall, grewe desirous to renew this benefit: and so vpon suit made to Edmond, Earle of Cornwal, sonne to Richard, king of the Romans, they obtayned from him a Charter, with sundrie Priuileges: amongst which, it was graunted them to keepe a Court, and hold plea of all actions, life, lymme, and land excepted: in consideration whereof, the sayd Lords accorded to pay the Earle a halfpeny for euery pound of Tynne which should be wrought; and that for better answering this taxe, the sayd Tynne should bee brought to certayne places purposely appointed, and there peized, coyned, and kept, vntill the Earles due were satisfied. Againe, the Lords of these Tithings, were, for their parts, authorised to manage all Stannerie causes, and, for that intent, to hold parliaments at their discretion, and in regard of their labour, there was allotted vnto them the toll-Tynne within those Tithings, which their successours doe yet enioy. This Charter was to be kept in one of the Church steeples, within those Tithings, and, the Seale had a Pick-axe and Shouell in saultier grauen therein. This I receiued by report of the late master William Carnsew, a Gentleman of good qualitie, discretion, and learning, and well experienced in these mynerall causes, who auouched himselfe an eye-witnesse of that Charter, though now it bee not extant. Howbeit, I have learned, that in former time, the Tynners obtained a Charter from king Iohn, and afterwards another from king Edward the first, which were againe expounded, confirmed and inlarged by Parliament, in the fiftieth yeere of Edward the third, and lastly strengthened by Henrie the seuenth.

King Edward the firsts Charter, granteth them liberty of selling their Tynne, to their best behoofe. Nisi (saith he) nos ipsi emere voluerimus. Vpon which ground certaine persons in the Reignes of K. Edward 6. & Queene Marie, sought to make vse of this preemption, (as I have beene enformed) but either crossed in the prosecution, or defeated in their expectation, gaue it ouer againe; which vaine successe could not yet discourage some others of later times from the like attempt, alleadging many reasons how it might proue beneficiall both to her Highnesse and the Countrie, and preiudiciall to none saue onely the Marchants, who practised a farre [18] worse kind of preemption, as hath beene before expressed. This for a while was hotely onsetted and a reasonable price offered, but (upon what ground I know not) soone cooled againe. Yet afterwards it receiued a second life, and at Michaelmas terme 1599. the Cornishmen, then in London, were called before some of the principal Lords of her Maiesties Council, and the matter there debated, by the Lord Warden, in behalfe of the Countrie, and certaine others deputed for the Marchants, who had set this suite on foote. In the end it grew to a conclusion, and Articles were drawne and signed, but they also proued of void effect.

Last of all, the said Lord Warden, in the beginning of Nouember 1600. called an assembly of Tynners at Lostwithiel, the place accustomed, impanelled a Iurie of twentie foure Tynners, signified her Maiesties pleasure both for a new imposition of six pound on euerie thousand, that should bee transported (ouer and aboue the former fortie shillings, and sixteene shillings alreadie payable) as also that her Highnesse would disburse foure thousand pound in lone to the Tynners, for a yeres space, and bee repayed in Tynne at a certaine rate.

By the foreremembred ancient Charters, there is assigned a warden of the Stanneries, who supplieth the place, both of a Iudge for Law, and of a Chancellour for conscience, and so taketh hearing of causes, either in Forma iuris, or de iure & aequo.

The Survey of Cornwall Page 23

Richard Carew

16th Century Literature

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