1) To view had the meaning of to inspect or survey, and the viewer was a person qualified to view or take a view in that sense. The word was in widespread use in all the craft guilds and in subsequent industrial and trade practices.

1596 to survey, vewe and searche all the tanners, Beverley. In 1598, the decay of several bridges in Bradford was under discussion at the Quarter Sessions and finally the court ordered two Justices of Peace to take a Viewe thereof and certifie … what Some of money might be necessary for their repair. In 1605, Yarm Bridge had suffered damage and it was ordered that representatives of the Quarter Sessions court with thadvise of some skillfull workmen viewe the same what sommes wilbe sufficient to repaire it. It is a term linked with coal-mining from 1447, in the north-east, but the Yorkshire evidence is much later: 1659 it shall be lawfull … for John Thornhill … or any other person or persons nominated by [him] from tyme to tyme to veiwe the Coale myne and manner of working thereof, North Bierley. This makes it clear that the landlord had the right to view but could pass the responsibility on to a skilled person: in 1666, the work carried out in a South Crosland pit was att the discrecion of two men to bee chosen to take a vew thereof to give satisfaccion to the occupyers of the said land and in 1760, Mr Eltoft was paid for Severall Journeys to view Collery and give directions about his work, Tong. In 1695, Richard Ascough was appointed as the Common Viewer in Colsterdale and in 1750 John Scott and Joseph Knight viewers were paid for inspecting a coal-pit in Shibden

spellings viewer
dates 1596 1598 1605 1659 1666 1695 1750 1760

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