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of opinion, that the goodness both of the river and harbour was greatly impaired by many injurious circumstances," inter alia, "the increasing contraction of the river nearly opposite to the Custom House (by the tide continuing to wash the ballast-heaps down into the river) which, if suffered to proceed, would be the utter ruin of of the haven, and also greatly endanger the wharfs and buildings adjoining." To remedy this evil and " to prevent the sands being constantly swept into the river from the ballast hills, opposite to the Custom House, he recommended wharfing in that part of the river and the Ham Sand. To deepen the Stell two feet or three feet, by manual labour. The better to cover the haven and secure the ships from being endangered, by great seas and violent winds, setting right up the harbour, he proposed a north pier, which would greatly contribute to it." Many of these judicious views of Labelye do not seem to have been carried into execution, as forty years were allowed to elapse, before the north pier, upon which the safety and maintenance of the harbour chiefly depended, was carried into execution. At page 15 Mr. Murray observes:—"In the winter of 1785 the entrance was warped up by a large sand-bed, which extended quite across the harbour's mouth, leaving scarcely depth of water for the passage of a light vessel. A large accumulation had also taken place on the Ham Sand, whereby the high-water mark was forced more than 270 yards to the eastward." Well may that eminent engineer exclaim, "It appears surprising, that no efforts had been made to prevent such an occurrence. On the contrary, the lengthening of the south pier into the estuary, was the principal object of each successive engineer." The Stell

remained the navigable channel of the river until the year. 1752, when Mr. Vincent, of Scarborough, was appointed resident engineer to the Commissioners of the river Wear. “Mr. Vincents attention seems to have been immediately turned to open out the old Sledway and to

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make it the navigable channel. To assist in doing which he sunk several old keels, drove piles, and adopted other means to stop up the north channel at the Stell."* Thus

* “An Account of the Progressive Improvement of Sunderland Harbour, and the River Wear," p. 10.

was the ancient channel diverted, and hence the claim by the parish of Sunderland to grounds &c. on the now op. posite shore, which is further corroborated in the cause Haslerigg and others against the Bishop of Durham and his lessee: this will be more fully given hereafter.

In the year 1847, some workmen in the employment of the Commissioners, when working near the sand point on the north side of the river, and within 50 feet of the present low-water mark, came in contact with, and dug up, an old keel, which had from appearances been sunk there for a great number of years. This was probably one of the many keels sunk by Mr. Vincent at the entrance of the Stell, in order to block it up and form the present channel of the river.

The last perambulation was made principally for the purpose of ascertaining the boundary line between the Sunderland and Bishopwearmouth parts of Sunderland Dock, which, by tracing the middle of the small stream before named, upon land shown by ancient plans to have extended much further to the eastward and been washed away by the sea, was indisputably fixed about seventy feet to the southward of its latterly reputed boundary at the present arched terminus of this stream on the western side of the Dock, and thence across the Dock and its barrier beach to the sea on the east. This extension, added to the ancient boundary of the parish established in 1811, but altered by Mr. George Robinson in 1821 diverting the burn past the Octagon Cottage, &c. (see p. 54), and only now restored, makes a gain of about two acres of highly rateable property to Sunderland upon its southern boundary, which was entirely overlooked at the previous perambulation in 1853.

Regarding the extension of the northern boundary of the parish to its ancient limits adjoining Monkwearmouth Shore, no doubt can be entertained on the matter. For, had the river been diverted by the work of nature instead of the art of man, the original land mark, the middle of its ancient channel would still remain inviolable. With these ultimate results, the perambulation of 1856 will prove much more beneficial to the interests of Sunderland than all the others before recorded.

In ancient records Sunderland is frequently found under the name of Weremouth, or Wearmouth, under which name the copyhold properties, created in 1 GO 1, held under the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, as part of their manor of Houghton, within it, are enrolled on the books of the manor, with the copyholds in the adjoining townships of Bishopwearmouth Panns and Bishopwearmouth, which are all held, at nominal yearly out-rents, directly from the lords of the manor, and not from other tenants of the lords, at heavy annual ground rents. At this time, the greeve, or bailiff of Wearmouth, in the manor of Houghton, includes the copyhold and leasehold properties held under the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Sunderland, Bishopwearmouth (except the copyholds of the manor of Wearmouth or the rectory of Bishopwearmouth), and Bishopwearmouth Panns, within his greeveship or bailiwick, and all the ancient records of the manor of Houghton concur in treating the three places as Wearmouth.

In the more modern documents of the manor of Houghton, frequent mention is made of the village of Sunderland.

This will probably account for Camden and Leland overlooking Sunderland in their antiquarian researchesStrange as it may appear, it is nevertheless a curious fact that, although the name of Wearmouth prevailed so much as occasioned Sunderland to escape the learned Camden's observation ; in Kerius's map of the county of Durham, 1599, published in Camden's Britannia, 1604, neither Monkwearmouth nor Bishopwearmouth are mentioned, although both places are alluded to in that work, but at the mouth of the river " Sunderlande" is laid down! so also is"Fulwel," "Farntonhal," and "Riop,"* in their respective localities. In Speed's map of the same county, 1610, Sunderland is named, with "Munkwermouth" on the north side of the river; and " Weremouth" on the south side.

In the preceding chapter we have alluded to the fact that the point or tongue of land forming the modern parish of Sunderland formerly extended considerably farther into the sea than at present, and this is evidenced by the following recordsf :—

"Manor of Houghton, May 8, 1716, 2 George L "SiatjjtmtBl [in his own right Lord Crewe], Lord Bishop of Durham, and lord of the manor of Houghton (in right of the see of Durham), made a grant de novo, and created a new copyhold, according to the custom of the manor, to John Lowes and Jane his wife, of a parcel of ground abutting upon the waste called Sunderland Town Moor on the west, and the sea on the other three sides."

And again:—
"February II, 1720, 6 George L, surrender by way of
mortgage, for thirty-five pounds, from John Lowes to
Nicholas Burdon, of one parcel of land, containing in

* Fulwell, Farrington Hall, near Silksworth, and Ryhope.
t From the Hal mote Court Office, Exchequer, Durham.

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