Thanks to Gordon Cook, for sending me this information relating to a legal dispute in the 1870’s around the sinking of the Lady Nancy Mine.
The article refers to a farmer, named George Barclay, who had leased the Farm of Greenhall from John Wardrop Moore. The farmlands were fully 66 acres.
Without any consultation or forewarning to the farmer, Mr Moore made an agreement with Colin Dunlop to extract the minerals from the ground. Plans were formed to run a light railway across a field already sown with crops, and excavations begun to sink the shaft, all without the prior knowledge of the farmer. Mr Barclay claimed in Court (beginning of June 1874) that he had soul rights to all the surface of all the land, and none could legally touch so much as a blade of his grass without his consent.
The defence claimed Mr Moore owned the minerals under the land and could work them as long as he
2012 May. Lady Nancy Mine. by G Cook
paid reparation for any damage to the surface. Mr Moore said he was willing to pay for any surface damage and so legally, that was that.
I think the Judge was sympathetic to the farmer, but technically, he had to find for Messrs Moore and Dunlop. The case had attracted the attention of a lot of people it seems, wondering how the Judge would call it.
In 1868, five or six years prior to this, John W. Moore of Greenhall and Colin Dunlop were both Patrons of the Quarter Literary Association, and both nominated onto the committee on the evening of the A.G.M. in August that year. So no doubt they were acquainted and had perhaps done business together before.