Welsh Journals

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the scale I did out of the like curiosity show unto and direct the said weighers the better how to manage the said scales'. He also remembered that having seen some of the horses of these carriers of Sir Carbury in their passage leading some of the ore he 'did admonish some of the said carryers to prevent any damage to be don to or upon the said ore'. Sir Carbury Pryse admitted in evidence that all mines and ores of gold and silver being Royal Mines, were rightly vested in the Crown. He was not disputing this long established prerogative. What he did challenge, however, was the validity of the claim put forward on behalf of the Crown that it was also entitled 'to have and enjoy all metals and oares containing any gold or silver'. There were within the realm, he asserted, several mines to be found within the subjects' own lands containing some quantity of silver and gold 'that always have belonged and still ought of right to belong and to be held and enjoy'd of right by the subjects of this Kingdom of England and dominions as their own rights and inheritance and are usually called poor base or common ore, lead ore, and sometimes potters ore'. Sir Carbury went on to argue that he did not think there was any mine or lead ore out of which some small quantity of gold or silver could not be extracted, and which was never claimed to be a royal mine. After the discovery of minerals at Esgair Hir, and Dame Dorothy's refusal to enter into an agreement with the miners, they applied to Sir Thomas Williams and Anthony Shepheard or their agents. And while Sir Carbury was attending Parliament as the member for the county of Cardigan, these two men 'did pretend and give out in speeches that the same Mine was a Royall Mine, and that the ore there found was rich ore and be- longed to such Patentees or such as claimed them.' Williams and Shepheard, it appears, had for some time previous held a royal or silver mine several miles distant from Esgair Hir and now claimed that the new mine fell within the area accredited to them. Sir Carbury caused several assays to be made of the Esgair Hir ore, and each time it was proved to be a common lead ore, producing no more silver than is commonly found and may be extracted out of the common lead used in plumbers' shops, or upon the tops of houses or churches. Defendant admitted employing all those jointly charged with him in and about the mine, and agreed that he had removed to the Lodge about one hundred and thirty tons of ore. He understood that this suit was set on foot and prosecuted by Sir Thomas Williams and the patentees, but insisted that neither Williams nor Shepheard were responsible for the original discovery. He had already expended £ 200 in raising and carrying ore. The manor of Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn, he reiterated, had been granted to his family by the Crown about four hundred years previously without any exceptions of any mines of ore. Sir Carbury further stated that he had heard that a ton of ore raised at Esgair Hir contained the value of thirty-five shillings in silver but no more. According to his information it contained so little silver that it was far from being thought or reputed to be a royal rich or prerogative mine.1 1 P.R.O., Ei 12/768/3.