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length, from north to south, thirteen yards; and from east to west, eight yards, abutting upon the waste of the lord, called Sunderland Town Moor on the west, the sea on the east, north, and south, late in the possession of John Lowes and Jane his wife."*
Every trace of this point of land, on which it is supposed a house had been built, from the amount of money advanced by way of mortgage, had probably disappeared before the year 1737, when Messrs. Burleigh and Thompson published at the expense of the Commissioners, their "Plan of the River Wear from Newbridge to Sunderland Barr," for these gentlemen make no reference whatever to it. But they clearly shew a smaller object, the site of the "spaw" well on the Town Moor. At that time the spa well was about 70 yards westward from the Moor edge. It seems to have been of some celebrity during the last century, inasmuch as in the "Grassmen's" accounts for 1718, amongst other items of expenditure there is "for repairing the Spaw-well £2 0s. 6d." To protect the well from cattle and pollution, it was covered over with a brick arch, having an opening to the east, down which went a flight of five or six stone steps. According to printed authorities of the period, a bathing house similar to those at Scarborough, was erected here about the middle of the last century, and a taste for politeness and elegance introduced into the town. The spa was then at the zenith of its popularity, its waters (which issued out of the ground or bank on the west and fell into a stone trough fixed for the purpose) were much used by invalids and others, and attracted a goodly number of viei
* From the Rolls of the Manor of Houghton, Exchequer Office, Durham.
tors from distantplaces, amongst whom the then Countess of Darlington touk up her residence here during the bathing eeason, not only to enjoy the salubrious sea-borne breezes of Sunderland, but also to drink the waters of its healing chalybeat spa. The spa remained until the commencement of the present century, when it was washed away by the sea, and its whereabouts completely lost until in July 1849, its spring—three strong feeders, sensibly impregnated with sulphur and saline substances, was rediscovered at the bottom of the then south-east corner of Sunderland Dock, during the course ot the excavation of that magnificent undertaking. The exact site of it was near that portion of the eastern quay wall subsequently removed in order to make the sea outlet; the distance therefore, between that spot and the Town Moor edge westward, at the passing of the Sunderland Dock Act in 1846, (nearly the whole breadth of the dock at that place) added to the distance between the spa and the Moor edge eastward (which, according to Burleigh and Thompson's Plan, in 1737, was seventy yards), will at once show the quantity of invaluable land allowed to have been washed away by the sea during the preceding 109 years, without any means whatever being taken to prevent it. And on comparing Mr. Fawcett's Plan of the Mouth of the River in 1719, with Mr. Murray's Plan showing its state in 1846, it appears that at Jockey Dike Nook, the most easterly point of the Town Moor, the ground swallowed up by the waters of the mighty deep . during the intervening 127 years, was about 380 feet in breadth, when measured in a due westerly direction.
The locality of the waste ground next mentioned ia well known.
w Lease* made this 6th day of May, 1749, 22 George IL, between the Right Reverend Edward [Chandler] Lord Bishop of Durham, of the one part, and Newark Hudson [one of the Commissioners of the river Wear under the act of 1746-7], of Fatfield Staith, in the county of Durham, gentleman, of the other part.
"The said Lord Bishop, for the consideration therein mentioned, did demise, grant, farm, and let, unto the said Newark Hudson, his executors and administrators, all that piece or parcel of waste ground, as the same is now covered with sand, situate, lying, and being within the parish, precincts, and territories of Sunderland-nearthe-Sea, in the county of Durham, containing by estimation, from east to west, three hundred and thirty-three yards, or thereabouts; and from north to south, six hundred and sixty yards or thereabouts, be the same more or less, bounding upon the sea on the east, Sunderland Town Moor on the west, Sunderland pier on the north, the south battery and Jockey Dike Nook on the south, together with all and singular ways, easements, profits, commodities, advantages, and appurtenances whatsoever to the same belonging, or in anywise appertaining, to hold for the term of twenty-one years, at and under the yearly rent of two shillings.
"Proviso, that if rent not paid in twenty days after due, it shall be lawful for the said Lord Bishop to reenter the said premises, and the same to have again, retain, re-possess, and enjoy, anything herein contained to the contrary hereof, anywise notwithstanding.
"Covenant for the payment of the rent, and for the
* From the Bishop of Durham's Auditor's Office, Exchequer, Durham.
due performance of all such customs, duties, and services, as have been accustomed to be performed."
This waste ground (referred to under the letter "G" on Burleigh and Thompson's Plan of the River Wear in 1737, and described by them as a "sand bank thrown up behind the pier above 14 feet thick"), which gradually diminished from the inroads of the sea upon it, was again leased, 6th June, 1771, by Bishop Trevor, to Nicholas Halhead, Esq., of the city of Durham, steward of the halmote courts, at the yearly rent of two shillings and sixpence, with the same covenants as the preceding lease.
Bishop Egerton, on the 6th February, 1779, and the 30th April, 1781, leased it to Mr. Halhead, at the same yearly rent of two shillings and sixpence and covenants. On the 17th June, 1810, Bishop Barrington leased it to Robert Biss, Esq., one of the Commissioners of the river Wear under the Act 49 George III., 1809, major in the Sunderland volunteer infantry, late of Deptford House, near Bishopwearmouth, then of Castle Eden, in the county of Durham, and afterwards of Warkworth, in the county of Northumberland, for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of two shillings and sixpence, with the same covenants as in the preceding leases.
Various appropriations were made of this waste ground, which at one period went by the name of " No Man's Land."
The house and garden occupied by the engineer to the Commissioners of the river Wear, their offices, workshops, &c, &c., the life-boat house, and the house in which the keeper of the south pier lighthouse resided, Messrs. Dodds and Shotton's, boat-builders' shop, &c, &c, all covered portions of this waste at different periods.
The only parts that remained after the devastations of the sea, were entirely appropriated by the Commissioners of the River Wear, and the Sunderland Dock Company. for the beaching ground and workshops, &c., adjoining, the tidal harbour or entrance from the river Wear, the half-tidal basin, quays, and other parts of their works.
The following ships were built upon it by William Havelock, Esq., of Ford Hall, Bishopwearmouth (father HAVELOCK. of the gallant Colonel William Have
lock, K.H., who so gloriously fell in the service of his country, at the head of his regiment, the 14th Light Dragoons, during a desperate and bloody engagement with the Sikhs, November 22, 1848):—The Themis,
the William, and the Ellen, in 1792. Mr. George Easterby, too, built ships in 1794 ; Mr. Cuthbert Vaux built the Diana in 1795 ; Mr. William Dunning built the Lord Eldon in 1802 ; Mr. Greenwell built ships in 1808; Mr. Thomas Mordey (father of our MORDEY. respected townsman, Mr. Alderman
William Mordey, J.P., the originator and chairman of the model” Sunderland and South Shields Water Company), built the Morning Star
in 1811 ; and the Commissioners 1
of the river Wear built the hull of
their large dredger about thirty years ago. These vessels were all launched into the sea, some of them at low water.
There are no records or evidences to show how the Commissioners of the river Wear became possessed of