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"What the Papers Said"

"What the Papers Said"

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Publications & Research "What the Papers Said"

Shropshire, 1853

Shropshire, 1853


Shropshire Journal, 1880s

GENTLEMEN,- having heard of your taking the above grant, I beg as an old miner, and feeling anxious for your welfare, to offer a few remarks on the mine and district; which said mine I commenced myself about 30 years ago, and succeeded in getting up-wards of 100 tons of lead ore of an excellent quality, though only partially worked by me, owing chiefly to my then having a considerable extent of different lead mines on the same estate — namely all the Old Bog Mine, the Bog Rock, and the Ritten Castle, &c., Mines, as well as the present Bat Holes, Wood, and the Shelve-field, &c.; Mines, in Lord Tankerville and Mr. J. A. Lloyds’ proprietors, which most assuredly in a great measure prevented my perseverance at that time in making researches that I fully intended doing in this identical district you have so wisely selected, and I assure you that about the time I was working there intended disposing of the greatest part of my shares in the Old Bog Mines, having the fullest wish possible to be enabled to work the most worthy landlord’s (Rock) South Bog Mine more effectually, as his late father, and now himself is most deserving of any exertion by any company for their benefit in every respect. But I then made a full determination of retaining for myself the entire district you have now taken, having then and still continue having the highest opinion of that portion of the said hill, having the most and best appearances to contain a number of strong veins, and I have no doubt or hesitation in saying they are exceedingly likely to produce large deposits of lead ore, &c., and my intention then was to drive as deep a level as I could get at the western boundary.

Eastward toward the said Rock Mine (South Bog Mine), and also a few shallow ones to cross them between the said mine, as all the lead mines that have been worked in the county of Salop, as well as most others, are chiefly observed and proved to bear, or have their greatest deposits of ore on the north-western side of every hill, let the course or direction of the vein be either east, west, north, or south (or either being nearly to). And a great portion of your land is entirely on the north-western side and end of the long range or chain of the Stiperstone Hill, which extends for about 6 miles in a direction nearly from north-east towards south-west, and all the strong veins about south-eastward to the said range of rock; and traverse over on the other side of the same, still south-eastward, which land is in your grant, and I have not the least doubt but large deposits of mineral will be found there also, and prove by being explored a most valuable property; also in that direction an entire change of measures takes place, more in appearance of copper, and these veins continue strong across that country.

But all lead veins yet found that do abut to and against the said range, for it seems to act as the great whale’s back bone for them, from whence proceed, or their bearings for lead ore strengthen a great number of veins taking their course and direction, some from east to westward, and others south to northward across the country. But hitherto in depth all pipes or grand deposits of lead ore have been found to throw down and bear far best on the north-western side in all our hills, I have always found it so in my own experience, and assisted by the experience and judgment of my forefathers for many ages past, for four or five at least, whatever more; and still there has been, and is now, and will be yet to come, ore for all ages, but not for all men to find, though trying and seeking hard for it as I have done. But, perhaps, few families like mine for centuries to come will remain in the same profession as master miners, as we have done, and contribute so largely to such numerous mine works, in driving so many deep and long levels, in sinking many deep shafts, and raising the immense large quantities of lead ore we have. Still, leaving plenty of space and likely ground for others to follow us, and although our family have done a deal of work in the following different mines, some have proved of great use and benefit to our-selves, and some greatly to other adventurers, most grandly, which I feel great pleasure in living now to see at my old age.

But it has been chiefly proved that the many pits we made few can be said to be done with bad judgment, being then in much darkness, as considered now, as to where the treasure lay. I beg to say still I sincerely hope and trust my humble judgment and opinions may prove to you of some little service, taken with due consideration from the long experience I have had in this country, as my intention by these remarks is not to deceive you, but to endeavour to serve you justly and faithfully in a kindly, sincerely, and well-disposed manner, and with such a capability as my time of life affords me, as it would be to me great pleasure to see your company successful in this undertaking for your own interest and for the good of the country, and even more especially for the welfare and benefit of your most worthy and good landlord, Henry Lyster, Esq., whose family always met and grant their leases of mines on much better and cheaper terms of royalty than any other family in this country.

I must say in conclusion, that taking the district altogether and comparing one with the other, having the great Stiperstone Range, which may be termed the back of the lead measures of this part of the country, all the lead mines that have been opened under and westward of the Stiperstone Range, as yours is, has been found very rich with lead ore, and the whole, I may say, without exception, made large deposits of lead ore at or near the surface, commencing at Snailbeach, from thence to the new venture in the joint leadership and onward to Burgam and the Oven Pipe, Potter’s Gin Pit, Pennerley and Bog, and the Rock South Bog being in the same run and only a little or nothing done there, any more than a small opening on one of the several veins in the district; I should say it is more than probable that large deposits of lead ore will be found at a shallow depth within the South Bog Mine Grant.

I conclude with my best wishes of success to you in this new undertaking, sufficient to make you all rich and happy.

- Gentleman, I am, your obedient, humble servant, most sincerely.

Pontesbury, Salop, January 10. 1853

Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

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