Hee substituteth some Gentleman in the Shire of good calling and discretion, to be his Vice-Warden, from whom either partie, complainant or defendant, may appeale to him, as from him (a case of rare experience) to the Lords of the Councill, and from their Honours to her Maiesties person: other appeale or remoouing to the common law they gaynsay.

The Gayle for Stannery causes is kept at Lostwithiel, and that office is annexed to the Comptrolership.

The Tynners of the whole shire are diuided into foure quarters, two called Moores, of the places where the Tynne is wrought, viz. Foy moore, and Blacke moore: the other, Tiwarnaill and Penwith. To each of these is assigned by the L. Warden, a Steward, who keepeth his Court once in euery three weekes. They are termed Stannery Courts of the Latine word Stannum, in English Tynne, and hold plea of whatsoeuer action of debt or trespasse, whereto any one dealing with blacke or white Tynne, either as plaintife or defendant, is a party. Their maner of triall consisteth in the verdict giuen by a Iurie of sixe Tynners, according to which the Steward pronounceth iudgement. He that will spare credit to the common report, shall conceiue an ill opinion touching the slippings of both witnesses and iurours sometimes in these Courts: For it is sayd, that the witnesses haue not sticked now and then to fatten their euidence, rather for seruing a turne, then for manifesting a truth, and that the Iurours verdict hath fauoured more of affection then of reason, especially, in controuersies growne betweene strangers and some of the same parts. And such fault-finders vouch diuers causes of this partialitie: One, that when they are sworne, they vse to adde this word, my conscience, as the Romans did their Ex animi mei sententia, which is suspected to imply a conceyted enlargement of their othe: Another, that the varietie of customes, which in euery place (welneere) differ one from another, yeeldeth them in a maner an vnlimited [19] scope, to auerre what they list, and so to close the best Lawyers mouth with this one speech, Our custome Is contrary. And lastly, that they presume upon a kind of impunity, because these sixe mens iuries fall not within compasse of the Star-chambers censure, and yet the L. Wardens haue now & then made the pillory punishment of some, a spectacle, example, and warning to the residue. For mine owne part, I can in these Tynne cases, plead but a hearesay experience, and therefore will onely inferre, that as there is no smoke without a fire, so commonly the smoke is far greater then the fire. Strange it were, and not to be expected, that all poore Tynne Iurours and witnesies, should in such a remote corner alwayes conforme themselues to the precise rule of vprightnesse, when we see in the open light of our public assises, so many more iudicious and substantiall persons now and then to swarue from the same.

In matters of important consequence, appertayning to the whole Stannery, the L. Warden, or his Vnderwarden, vseth to impannell a Iury of foure and twenty principall Tynners, which consist of sixe out of euery quarter, returnable by the Maiors of the foure Stannery townes, and whose acts doe bind the residue.

Next to the liuelesse things, follow those which pertake a growing life, and then a feeling.

The women and children in the West part of Cornwall, doe vse to make Mats of a small and fine kinde of bents there growing, which for their warme and well wearing, are carried by sea to London and other parts of the Realme, and serue to couer floores and wals. These bents grow in sandy fields, and are knit from ouer the head in narrow bredths after a strange fashion,

Of herbes and rootes for the pot and medicine, Cornishmen enioy a like portion in proportion with other Shires, which somewhere also receiueth an increase by the sowing and planting of such as are brought thither from beyond the seas. The like may bee sayd of rootes, and sallets for the table, saue that (I suppose) Cornewall naturally bringeth forth greater store of Seaholm and Sampire, then is found in any other County of this Realme.

The Survey of Cornwall Page 24

Richard Carew

16th Century Literature

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Richard Carew
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