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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Free Miners & Free Boroughs
D.Send

Joined: 12/04/2016

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Free Miners & Free Boroughs
Posted: 29/08/2019 08:41:38
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Hi,
Free Borough Laws are based on the 'Laws of Breteuil', an iron-mining region in Normandy, (These 11th Century laws were applied by William FitzOsberne).
I am researching any surviving source documents in relation to these laws and customs.
William controlled both Breteuil and the Forest of Dean, and I am seeking out any documents that may shed light on medieval gloucestershire iron industry.
It may be that free miner's customs inspired the rights of boroughs to defend free trade...
Regards, D.Send.
IP: 81.48.132.35
D.Send

Joined: 12/04/2016

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Free Miners & Free Boroughs
Posted: 01/09/2019 22:57:10
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Hi,
Can anyone find any records to Gloucestershire mining going back earlier than this please ? :-
D.Send.
_________

Medieval Gloucester: Trade and Industry 1066-1327

****The strength of the metal-working industry is reflected in the surviving deeds from the late 12th century**** to the early 14th, which mention numerous smiths and farriers and, less often, representatives of specialized crafts, including locksmiths, (fn. 65) cutlers, (fn. 66) lorimers, (fn. 67) a buckler, (fn. 68) a knifesmith, (fn. 69) and three combmakers (pectifabri), (fn. 70) presumably making combs for use in the town's woollen industry. One of the most famous Gloucester trades is recorded from the later 13th century with mentions of Thomas the bellfounder in 1274 (fn. 71) and Hugh the bellfounder at about the same date. (fn. 72)

Glouc. Corp. Rec. pp. 135, 158; P.R.O., C 115/K 1/6681, f. 100.
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D.Send

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Free Miners & Free Boroughs
Posted: 15/09/2019 07:07:34
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Hi,

William FitzOsberne, became Earl of Wessex at the time of the conquest, and as such governed
the Forest of Dean, and the ‘Pays d’Ouche’ iron mining district around Breteuil, Normandy.

He imposed ‘Forest Law’ concerning amonst other things, the exploitation of charcoal, iron ore and limestone and people’s common rights, administered from his judicial centre at St Briavels, by his, and later, the King’s bailiffs.


This implies that the entire iron industry was under his control too, until his son lost the king’s favour. We know that a forest charter was applied in the Pays d’Ouche too at a somewhat later date, based on the ‘customs of Breteuil’. There was also a charter written to define the rights of the ‘Jurande des ferons’, the miner’s rights….


Study of the norman and french ‘free borough’ archives show that they were set up to protect craftsmen and merchants along the franco-norman border from the incessant wars to control the minerals there. This is paralleled along the Welsh Marches…

But references to the Forest of Dean Laws are recent, and I would be interested to know if you have any source documents which might shed further light on the matter ?

Free Boroughs and free Mining - Are they connected ?
Kind Regards,
D.Send.
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