February 3, 2013

11th August 1817. Minutes of evidence taken on view of the Boating Dike by the Jury at Thorne

By Angus Townley

Transcript by Angus Townley 23/05/10 HCC 6217/5 – One of a number of documents relating to the Boating Dike.

11th August 1817. Minutes of evidence taken on view of the Boating Dike by the Jury.

Wm. Pilkington of Thorne, Land Surveyor, one of the commissioners for the Thorne Inclosure on behalf of the Township of Thorne saith that where allotments have been set out to proprietors laying on each side of the Boating Dike they are set out subject to the Drain or Canal and subject to any Rights which the Participants or others may have in the Drain or Canal that where allotments have been set out on one side of the Boating Dike only, the land is only [aduesized?] to the side of the drain. [Signature] Wm. Pilkington.

Evidence on the part of the participants. Mr Joseph Bloom, Collector and Expeditor to the Participants saith

Q. What prejudice will it be to the Town of Thorne if permission be granted to take away the materials &c.
A. The barely taking the materials of the Locks & Sluices away will not be of any prejudice to the Town of Thorne or any other person. If the Town of Thorne has a right to the privilege of receiving a fresh supply of water up Boating Dike then taking away the materials &c would be an injury unless something was adopted to answer the same purpose.

Q. Whether the inhabitants of the Town of Thorne have any rights such supply of such water?
A. I am not capable to say whether they have or not? – According to what I read in the Decree there is nothing of it how far custom may authorise it. I don’t know.

The inhabitants have never had that Privilege without the [consent of ????] as Participants [Level].
The inhabitants being at the expense of paying the water way – i.e. paying the man for [?] it..

Q. What do you mean by never? A. About 10 years come Martinmas, which is since I have been employed

That the Boating Dike is no longer a navigation from the River Don to at or near Wike Well being obstructed by various causes.

The Staunch at Wike Well has been put down and maintained by the participants by the space of 57 or 58 years, before that time there was no such thing in the Dike.

Two years before that there was a great [possibly peat] fire in Thorne and there was no water in the Dike and the Staunch was put down to assure a supply of water in case a similar accident should occur.

Q. Who of right ought to uphold &c the lock & sluices?
A. The participants always upheld and supported them as a navigation so long as that continued.

Q. In what Parish or Township?
A. All in Township & Parish of Thorne

[Signed] Joseph Bloom
William Cawkwell of Thorne Sluice, the Sluice Keeper at the Lock upon the Boating Dike.

Q. Have the inhabitants of the Town of Thorne at any time paid you for letting in water through the lock into the boating dike?
A. Yes. Mr John Benson the younger paid me once.

Q. When?
A. I can’t tell – I think about a year ago.

Q. How long have you been employed at the Sluice?
A. Between 30 & 40 years. I & my father.

Q Who besides Mr Benson? A. Jacky Staniland, Joseph Chapple.

Q. Is it common practice when you let water in to be paid for it?
A. I have always been paid since Mr Bloom came into office.

Q. Who do you pay the money to?
A. He took it for his days wages that day. The participants paid him no wages!

Q. Since you were at the lock have the Tides been let in without the consent of the Participants?
A. I can’t say I ever let the Tide in without leave from the Participants.

Q. When you ever let in water to accommodate the Town in general & not for any individual in particular [did they?] pay for it?
A. I can’t say I ever did for when Boats used to go they used to get plenty of fresh water at that time.

Q. How long since the Boats ceased to go? A. I think it was about 20 years meaning the Turbary boats but odd Boats of a different description have gone since then.

Q. How long have Boats of any description ceased to go?
A. It’s into Teens I think – about 12 or 13 years. The boats began going about old Michaelmas day to Lady-Day.

Q. What happened between Lady day and Michaelmas?

Q. By whose authority?
A. Mr Wise when he was in office and sometimes Mr [Weberly?], the [former Manager], never of my own Head.

Q. Have you ever let water in within the last 1/2 years for the account of the Town of Thorne without being paid for it by the inhabitants?
A. I have let water in within that period for the accommodation of the inhabitants without being paid for it but never without leave of the Participants – But the Town as such never paid anything.

[Signed Wm Cawkwell]

Examination on the behalf of the Town of Thorne.

Mr Mordecai Casson Senior of Thorne

Q. What is the present state and condition of the Boating Dike & locks and sluices thereon?
A. With regard to the Locks and Sluices they are in fully good repair but as to the Boating Dike itself it is in a bad repair and the staunch which was placed by the Direction of the Participants & at their expense & afterwards removed lower down the Dike to its present situation is now in very bad Repair from want of a regular supply of water.

Q. What particular injury will it be to the Town of Thorne if materials removed?
A. A very serious consequence because it would lay waste the use of the navigation on the Boating Dike from the River Don to the Town, if wanted, and also the Privilege of fresh supplies of water occasionally [therefrom] which has never to my knowledge been refused to the Inhabitants of Thorne generally for public (not private) service – I never knew an instance of it being paid for.

Although obstructions to the navigation at present exist they have been done without any authority and are liable to be removed – And the Staunch being out of repair and unsupported is an Injury by not being fit to keep up the water for the Town’s use.

And by taking away & banking up the outlet or Sluice into the River Dunn would be a serious injury to the drainage of that part of the county, from the Stainforth Ings & from various inclosures called the Low Ealand Closes and others on both sides of that part of the Boating Dike.

Q. [Whether] the inhabitants of Thorne have a Right to receive a fresh supply of water from the River Dun through the Lock and Sluice into the Boating Dike?
A. I never apprehended any other but the Inhabitants of the Town had when they asked for it without paying anything for it. It was necessary to ask the Lock Keeper who had the key.
Always considered it was a drain both to the Lands and to the Town of Thorne.

Q. (By a juryman) Whether the Boating Dike was cut first as a Drain or a navigation
A. I can’t answer that. In the writings I find it called the River Dun how it might be originally formed but always considered as a General Drain for the Town.

Q. Who has a right to improve the Works and cleansing and scour the Boating Dike?

Witness has known the Town of Thorne & the situation in question for 65 years – [??] the admission of the Tides the sludge and filth in the Boating Dike along the Town Side would be cleaned & removed.

[Signed] Mordecai Casson

In the period between Lady Day and Michaelmas when the Boats did not pass – the tide waters had been let into the boating Dike to the knowledge of this witness for a number of years whenever it had been requested.

[Signed in margin] M. Casson Junior

A. When [scarcity] of water for Cattle I used to draw the

A. The participants.

The foreman of the jury asks “what will be the situation of Things if the participants were allowed to take materials, as to the flux and reflux of the River Dunn?

A. Ans by Mr Bloom, given my opinion as before
A. By M. Casson Junior. The supply of fresh water from the River Dunn would be cut and the back waters of Drainage of all the land on the west of the sluice destroyed. As to the Boating Dike as a drain, the water will rise as much as a
foot in 12 hours.

Observations of M. Casson Junior

Thomas Walker of Thorne, Turf Boater lives near the Sluice – 66 years of age lived at Thorne most of his life.

Q. When did you first begin to make use of the Boating Dike to boat turves from the Moors.
A. I might be about 7 or 8 years of age when I first went to work with my father.

Q. Did you bring Turves up the boating dike from the moors?
A. Yes. Got them in Summer and brought them on in winter. The gates were opened at Michaelmas time and remained open till Lady Day.

Q. How was the Boating Dike supplied with water to enable you to get Boats up?
A. Supplied by the River Dun from Michaelmas to Lady Day.

Q. Do you know if water was required at any other time than in the winter season – i.e. from Lady Day to Michaelmas
A. Any body that made application for [water they] had it allowed.

Q. Who did you make the application to? A. Wm. Cawkswell the Father, [Wm. Machin] before him, Mr [Willomet]
and then William Skirlew, all these were lock keepers.

Q. If ever knew the Inhabitants in general paying anything for the water when they wanted it in the summer half year.
A. No. I can’t say, he does not know.

Q. Have you ever assisted and how often in cleaning out this drain?
A. Yes, & some score of times during 40 or 50 years (while navigation was [a pate / in spate]) sometimes once in two years and sometimes three & was paid for by the participants.

Q. When was the last time it was cleaned out?
A. About eleven years since but I did not do it. Then done at participants expense & gates & all.

[Signed] Thomas Walker

Witnesses offered by Mr Thorpe
Mr M Casson Junior, [corroborating]
Mr Henry Godfrey of Thorne
Mr Wyatt of Thorne
Mr Thomas Wise

John Raper 60 confirms Walker

David Bagley 72
John Hall 72
Thomas Chesham? 74
Robert [??] 81
John Pike 72
Thomas Chamber 80

[A couple of notes that I can’t decipher at present.]

Not thought necessary [examine] these persons all speaking to the same facts as three [before?]

Nothing been done to the Boating Dike the [first] order of the Commissioners.
New Drain made of deeper Dimensions required more filling up of course.

} [Bracket around all above with note Confirm Mr Casson Senior]

} [Bracket around the above with note Years of age – all Turf Boatmen.]

Transcript of HCC 6217/? Document that appears to be extracts from HCC minute books relating to the Boating Dike.

Vol 15 pa 262 – 28 June 1817 or pa 260 Jury ordered to view Boating Dike from Dun to Double Bridges

pa 277 Jury’s Presentment in full – Participants presented as being liable to repair the whole Boating Dike from Dun to Wike Gate – the locks to (sic) –

pa 280 11 Oct 1817 Presentment to stand over

359 – 11 Ap 1818 Order on Participants (on complaint of Edmund Godfrey) to dress part of Boating Dike leading from the Great Sluice to the Dun at the Catlocks Sluice – to carry off waters from Stainforth Ings & ancient Inclosures

389 – 25 July 1818 The last order discharged on proof of performance.

Vol 16 pa 77 – 1 July 1820
The Court is of the opinion that Participants shall be at liberty to take away the stones &c of one of the Sluices namely “The Thorne Sluice” on condition that they do give up to the Inhabitants of Thorne the lock adjoining to the River Dun & do lay a Howl of sufficient dimensions in lieu of the present sluice for the purpose of supplying the Town of Thorne with fresh water from the River Dun, it being understood that the inhabitants of Thorne shall take upon themselves the future expense of the keeping the same in repair – and the Court is of the opinion that the participants shall not be obliged to keep up & maintain the drain between the Howl & the River Dun. The agent (Mr Thorpe) to have this communicated to him.

Vol 16 Pa 359 – 29 June 1822
On complaint of Edmund Godfrey Order on Participants to dress Boating Dike from the Great Sluice to & into the River Dun at the Sluice called Catlock Sluice to drain Stainforth Ings and ancient Inclosures adjoining said drain, of a depth equal with the Threshold of Catlock Sluice.

Pa 388 – 12 Oct 1822
Mr Bright appeared to shew cause against the Order – Mr Benson on behalf of Land owners in Stainforth & Mr Holland for Hon. I. Simpson appeared in support of the Order.- After hearing both sides – Order for 6 commissioners to view (the original order respited to April next).

432 – 14 Dec 1822
Previous to the commissioners view an arrangement has been come to between Participants & Owners at Stainforth before & with consent of Commissioners for Inclosure at Thorne whereby it was agreed that said Commissioners should take the whole of Drain called Boating Dike into their award as one of the drains belonging to Thorne, as was stated to the Court – respite of Order continued to ascertain the truth of the above statement.

Vol 16 pa 445 – 12 Ap 1823 – The last agreement not yet carried into effect. N.B. It does not appear by the records that the Agreement was ever carried into effect – Let this be ascertained from the award itself.