Local History Notebook

Byrkeknott

The following is a translation into English of the first eight entries from G.T. Lapsley's transcription of the original Latin records as published in The English Historical Review Volume 14 1899 pages 509-29

Account Roll of an Iron Master 1408

English Historical Documents: Edited by A. R. Myers: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1969 pp1005-1008

The account of John Dalton, guardian and manager of a certain new forge of iron at Byrkeknott near Bedbourne [Bedburn] from 12th June, 9 Henry IV, and the second year of the consecration of Thomas Bishop of Durham, until the same day then next following and from that day until the feast of St Martin then next following, in the 11th year of the same king ... for one whole year and 102 days.

Arrears. None because this is the first year.

Receipts. He answers for 32 received from William Chancellor, Constable of Durham, by indenture. And for . . . [sic] 15s 10d received from the same constable by the hands of Ralph Enure, knight, in cash, for his farm of the coal mine of Rayley .. . by indenture.

Sum total of receipts, 88 15s 11d. Audited.

From which he reckons payments to John Gyll, smithman, for clearing the site for a new forge to be built for the burning of iron ore there, according to the agreement made with the accountant, altogether, 13s 4d. And for the costs and expenses of the same riding with Thomas Chyld to Blakamore to see another forge, so that the craftsmen who were making this forge could the better inform themselves about the building of it, for going, staying there, and coming back, for three and a half days at 6d a day, 20d.

Total, 15s 8d.

And paid to Roger Colly, mason, Robert Hoppynland, John Symmesone, John Kyllyngham and John Dyksone workmen for working and making a watercourse extending from Heribourne to the said forge, making a stone gutter and placing it in the watercourse, because the earth bottom of the same was too weak and insufficient to bring water to the said forge. Payment for thirty days, each one taking per day 4d along with 4d paid to the wife of Robert Hoppynland who helped them in the aforesaid work, as appears from a certain book of paper containing the names and the sums, shown and examined with this account, 50s 4d.

Total, 50s 4d.

And for the wage of Thomas Gylle, carpenter, for 6 weeks before the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary in the ninth year of the said king, at 3s working and making anew a water wheel for the forge, the gates and the spouts of wood leading the water from the watercourse to the hanging wheel, also the bellows and other instruments of wood necessary for the forge made anew according to an agreement made with him, 18s. And in the wages of William Preston and John Crowe for the work of felling the timber and to Thomas helping in the work, for this time, both taking for a week 2s 6d, less 6d for a day when John was away, 29s 6d. And for the wage of Roger Colly, carpenter, making and building anew four houses there, for four days at 5d, 20d. And for the wage of John Dykson to the same servant for the same time at 4d, 16d. And for the sawing of timber for the spouts, doors, and other necessaries, according to the agreement made with two sawyers, altogether 4s 1d. And for the wage of John Colersowe with his cart carrying 14 cart loads of timber from the park of Bedbourne and Blakbank for making the forge with the same, at 8d a cart load, and 10d paid for the carriage of an axle tree carried by him from the park of Blakbank to the forge for the water wheel there, 10s 2d. And for the wage of John Gyll making the bloom hearths [smelting furnaces] and chimney of the forge, according to the agreement made with him, altogether 3s 4d. And for the wage of the same man for covering the said forge with the turves to order, 5s.

Total, 63s 1d.

And for two pairs of lysours [tongs?], two axes, three iron shovels,1 rake, 1 coal rake, along with other iron instruments. And for two pairs of bellows bought at [blank] near Ripon by John Falderly senior, 4s 4d. And for two measures for measuring ore stone, each containing two bushels, 3s 6d. And paid to John Smyth of Aukland for iron bought by him for making various iron instruments for getting iron ore in the quarry, as well as repairing and sharpening them for the period of this account 2s 3d. And paid to Robert Hedley for two hoops and two gudgeons of iron weighing [blank] lb bought by him for the end of the axle tree of the water wheel there, 21s. And to the same for 100 spikes 10d, 360 short nails, 100 at 8d, 2s 3d. 100 small nails bought from him for the aforesaid work, 3s 5d. And for the wage of John Smyth of Westaukeland for the making of 22 iron stones received from the issues of the new forge, as is stated outside on the dorse 1 ; for three towirons [tools for handling masses of hot iron], three pokers otherwise andirons,1 pair of balances for weighing iron, three hammers, 1 axe, and various iron instruments there bought by agreement made with him, altogether 7s 8d. And for one sieve bought for purifying the ore, 12d.

Total, 77s 9d.

And for 53 dozen horseloads of iron ore stone from Ralph de Eure knight, for making iron, at 2s a dozen, bought by agreement made with the accountant, 106s. And for the carriage of the said 53 dozen horseloads of stone from the pits to the forge, at 2s a dozen, 106s. And for the wage of Ralph Sclater with his load, for 12 days at 8d, carrying cinders from the field of Hopyland to the forge for tempering new iron there with the same, by agreement made with the same 8s. And for getting the said 53 dozen horseloads of iron ore stone, each dozen containing three fothers, that is from the pits of Rayley 20 dozens 1 fother, from those of Hertkeld 18 dozens, from Morepytt 14 dozens two fothers, at 5s a dozen, by agreement with the said workmen there made by the same accountant, 13 5s 0d.

Total 13 5s 0d.

On Saturday the 17th November, in the tenth year of the said king, for the preceding week. And paid to John Mody, collier, felling brushwood in the park of the lord of Bedbourne and making of it 4 dozen horseloads of charcoal for smelting the iron ore aforesaid, at 2s a dozen, by agreement made by the accountant with him, 8s. And for the wage of Thomas Whenfell burning 1 dozen horseloads of charcoal 2s. And for the carriage of the four dozen horse loads from the park to the forge, at 6d a dozen, 2s. And for the wage of John Gylle, smythman or bloomer, beginning and attempting the making of iron, whence no profit came this week, according to the oath of the accountant, 2s. And to William Aycle for the costs and expenses of riding to Wakefield and Rotherham for looking for workmen, that is to say bloomers and colliers, for the forge, 2s.

Total, 16s.

[There follow the expenses of fifty weeks, of a similar kind.]

Sum total of expenses 83 0s 1d. And he owes 4 15s 10d with which he is charged in the following account. And the account is balanced.

1     i.e. on the dorse or back of the document.

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