1) Used frequently in early manorial records where it referred to an illegal enclosure of land.
1316 ‘Thomas of Wolfker for enclosing 8 fall of new land encroached this year is amerced 6d’, Hipperholme
1532 dicunt qd Oliver Coplay inclusit et inchrochiavit quondam parcell. terr. de mora de Rowlay, Lepton. It occurred also in coal-mining records when miners who were working underground accidently, or under instruction, carried their workings beyond the area for which permission had been granted. In 1591, two Northowram colliers were said by one landowner to have digged so far under the ground that they have gotten and encroached above 400 yards of the mine. Coal extracted in this way was ‘stolen’ and that probably explains a complaint made in 1703 by a gentleman called Thomas Darby at the Quarter Sessions. He accused several men from Emley and Thornhill of having ‘stolen’ coal from him to the value of 100s, and he measured that amount in horse loads and wagon loads.