1694: 5 & 6 William & Mary c.6: An act to prevent Disputes and Controversies concerning Royal Mines.
WHEREAS by a Clause in one at of Parliament made in the first Year of their Majesties Reign,
intituled An act to repeal the Statute made in the fifth Year of King Henry the Fourth, against the multiplying of Gold and Silver, it is amongst other Things enacted, That no Mine of Tin, Copper, Iron, or Lead, shall hereafter be adjudged, reputed or taken to be a Royal Mine, although Gold or Silver may he extracted out of the same: But notwithstanding the good Provision by the said Statute to prevent the discouraging their Majesties good Subjects, who have Mines of Copper, Tin, Iron, or Lead in their Soils, from digging and opening the same, many Doubts and Questions have arisen upon the said Statute, whereby great Suits and Troubles have arisen to many Owners and Proprietors of such Mines; wherefore for the better Explanation of the said Statute,
[Owners of Mines shall enjoy them.]
II. Be it enacted and declared by the King’s and Queen’s most Excellent Majesties, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That all and every Person or Persons, being Subjects of the Crown of England, Bodies Politic or Corporate, that now are or hereafter shall be the Owner or Owners, Proprietor or Proprietors of any Mine or Mines within the Kingdom of England, Dominion of Wales, or Town of Berwick upon Tweed, wherein any Ore now is, or hereafter shall be discovered, opened, sound or wrought, and in which there is Copper, Tin, Iron or Lead, shall and may hold and enjoy the same Mine or Mines and Ore, and continue in the Possession thereof, and dig and work the said Mine or Mines or Ore, notwithstanding that such Mine or Mines or Ore shall be pretended or claimed to be a Royal Mine or Royal Mines; any Law, Usage or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
[The King may have the Ore on the Rates following.]
III. Provided always, and be it enacted and declared, That their Majesties, their Heirs and successors, and all claiming any Royal Mines under them, shall and may have the Ore of any such Mine or Mines in any Part of the said Kingdom of England, Dominion of Wales, or Town of Berwick upon Tweed (other than Tin Ore in the Counties of Devon and Cornwall) paying to the Proprietors or Owners of the said Mine or Mines wherein such Ore is or shall be found, within thirty Days after the said Ore is or shall be raised and laid upon the Banks of the said Mine or Mines, and before the same be removed from thence, the Rates following (that is to say) For all Ore washt, made clean, and merchantable, wherein is Copper, the Rate of sixteen Pounds per Tonne; and for all Ore washt, made clean, and merchantable, wherein there is Tin, the Rate of forty Shillings per Tonne; and for all Ore washt, made clean, and merchantable, wherein there is Iron, the Rate of forty Shillings per Tonne; and for all Ore washt, made clean, and merchantable, where there is Lead, the Rate of nine Pounds per Tonne. And in Default of Payment of such respective Sums as aforesaid, it shall and may he lawful for the Owners and Proprietors of the said Mine or Mines, wherein such Ore is, are, or shall be found, to sell and dispose of the said Ore to his and their own Uses; any Law, Statute or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
[The Tinners Charters, &c. saved.]
IV. Provided always, That nothing contained in this Act shall alter, determine, or make void the Charters granted to the Tinners of Devon and Cornwall, by any of the Kings and Queens of this Realm, or any of the Liberties, Privileges, or Franchises of the said Tinners, or to alter, determine or make void the Laws, Customs, or Constitutions of the Stannaries of Devon or Cornwall, or any of them.
[See 9 Ann. c. 24. for the Regulation of mine Adventurers.]
Source: Ruffhead, Statutes At Large, vol. 3.
See also: Legislation.gov.uk for the act as it is in force today.
Note: The year of the act is sometimes given as 1693.