Cornwall and Devon The Great Couurts of Devon Tinners 1510 and 1710

The Great Couurts of Devon Tinners 1510 and 1710

The Great Couurts of Devon Tinners 1510 and 1710
Weight 0.15 kg


Tom Greaves and Phil Newman, A5, sb, 60pp

This book, written by two well-known specialists on the Devon tin industry, marks two special anniversaries of the Devon tinners. A dinner and talks (on which the book is based), held in Chagford on 24th September 2010,
marked exactly 500 years since a Great Court of Devon tinners was held on Crockerntor near Two Bridges in the heart of Dartmoor in 1510.

Great Courts were infrequent but momentous occasions, at which a large gathering of tinners passed statutes for governing their industry. The Devon Great Courts are first documented in 1474, more than 100 years before the
first known Cornish equivalent.

That held in 1510 enacted 37 statutes, which formed the basis of administration of the Dartmoor tin industry during its most prosperous period. The statutes are reproduced here for the first time since 1725, and in a modern form. One of the statutes led to momentous events in 1512 when
Richard Strode MP was imprisoned by the tinners in Lydford gaol for trying to curb their activities by introducing a Bill into the Westminster Parliament. After his release, and because of his treatment, Strode introduced a new Bill at Westminster which, it is argued, became the foundation of parliamentary privilege.

The exciting discovery of a previously unknown record of a Great Court of Devon tinners held in 1710 was also marked as a 300th anniversary on the same day in 2010. Besides being of considerable intrinsic interest, this unique and important record includes the only known eyewitness account of a meeting on Crockerntor itself. The original record is reproduced in full.

The book also explores the context of these two remarkable events, based on much original research about tinners and tinworking in Devon in the early 16th and 18th centuries. The book has colour and black-and-white illustrations, a full bibliography and a comprehensive index.

The publication of the book also marks the 20th anniversary of the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group
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