1866 - Lease of Ironstone Mining Rights
by Stephen Emmerson of Foughfield [later Hollybush] Farm
John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle.
The map on page 100 shows who owned the Ironstone Mining Rights and received a payment, a Royalty, for each ton of ironstone extracted at South Skelton, North Skelton and Longacre mines.
The area around Foughfield Farm [later Hollybush Farm] is delineated in yellow and shows the land on the surface owned by the Emmersons, but it is referenced - 'Wharton, late Emmerson'.
A fascinating piece of Skelton History has come to light, showing that on the 20th of March 1866 the owner of Foughfield Farm at that time, Stephen Emmerson, leased the Ironstone Mining Rights to John Thomas Wharton of Skelton
The Emmersons had owned this land for centuries. An Emmerson Will of 1583 refers to 'my farm at Skelton'
The legal document was kindly loaned to the website by Josie Bland of Skelton, a descendant of the Emmersons.
She in turn was loaned it by sisters, Karen Stone of Cumbria and Linda Knott of Guisborough.
All three ladies are the Great, Great, Great Grand-daughters of Alice Emmerson.
Alice's story can be read on the previous page, the 'Marriage that Never Happened - Then Did'.
The document had been handed down by a Nancy Gilderoy, another descendant of the Emmersons.
Longacre and North Skelton Mines did not open until 6 years after this 1866 lease, but the massive viaduct across Skelton Beck had been started in 1865 and must have been planned much earlier, to create a quicker route for
Railways to connect the future East Cleveland Ironstone Mines to the furnaces of Teesside.
So exploratory shafts and other evidence must have indicated the mass of ironstone that lay hundreds of feet underground and eventually gave work for a century.
It would seem to my non-expert reading of the financial terms that the Whartons were paying the Emmersons a guaranteed 4 pence per ton, while they were receiving a potential 6 pence per ton from the Mine Owners and probably
made the Whartons of Skelton Castle confident of getting a decent return on their Rental payments.
The Lease was for 42 years. By the time the Royalty Map, mentioned above, was made and estimated to about 1925, the Emmerson area, close to Longacres Mine was completely worked out.
It is not known when this point was reached or if the Lease was extended.
The document is 21 pages of legalese in immaculate hand writing, which I have summarised as follows:-
"All those the mines, veins, seams, beds and layers of iron stone or iron ore already found and discovered and which shall or may at any time or times here after be opened found and discovered lying and
being under or upon the lands of the said lessor, [Emmerson],situate lying and being in the Township of Skelton aforesaid and commonly called or known as Foughfield otherwise Foufields Farm [later Hollybush Farm]
..........and contain by estimation 62 acres or thereabouts.
..........and make on such parts of the said lands and grounds as shall be approved of such and so many Railways and other roads and to do all such other acts as shall be necessary for transit and carrying
away of the said ironstone
..........from the first day of January 1866 for and during and unto the full end and term of 42 years
..........and paying unto the said lessor, in each and every year of the said term for every acre of surface land which
..........shall be used by the lessee [John T Wharton] such yearly rent or sum as shall be at the rate of double the Agricultural value per statute acre and in no case less than the sum of two pounds per acre
..........payable in two half yearly payments
..........and also paying unto the said lessor each and every year of the said term the rent of 126 pounds sterling for the yearly number of 7,560 tons weight of raw ironstone at the rate of 4 pence for
every ton raised, whether such yearly quantity or number shall be raised or not
..........unless within the term the mines are worked out so they cannot produce such quantity
..........and the lessor at their own expense shall build good and just weighing machines with a Counting House adjoining
..........and the lessor will keep all the tubs of uniform size
..........and at all times keep a good and sufficient plan and record of the workings"