Allendale Estates documents

During the course of the Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers project, access has been provided to recently discovered original documents belonging to the Allendale Estate. We are very grateful to the 4th Viscount Allendale and Hon. Wentworth Beaumont for making these documents available to us for transcription. The documents are yet to be catalogued, and so are simply arranged here in groups and download files based on correspondents or topics. It is possible that the original documents will be added to those presently in the care of Northumberland Archives in due course, but until then they are not available for public consultation.

Wentworth letters. These letters were written by Sir Thomas Wentworth, mostly in the years before he changed his name to Blackett in 1777. The recipient of most of them is un-named but can by context be identified as Sir John Wentworth, 1737-1820, last colonial governor of New Hampshire before the American Revolution. The transcripts included here are themselves taken from an earlier manuscript, transcribed from the originals by W.B.Beaumont in 1868, who described their provenance then as “once the property of Mrs Gore, [and] lent to me by General the Hon James Macdonald.” The Bretton Woods resort in New Hampshire, famous as the venue for the 1944 international conference which laid the foundations of the post Second World War international financial institutions, was apparently so-named by Wentworth for its connections to the Wentworths Bretton estate in Yorkshire. Some background on this is available here as an article by Leonard Bartle.

Lead road dispute. This is largely a collection of witness statements taken in the 1760s by John Richmond, brother of the then chief steward Henry Richmond, concerning a short stretch of the lead way used by carriers from Rookhope Mill to Blaydon. There are a few contemporary references to the dispute amongst the agent letters given elsewhere in ‘Dukesfield Documents’.

Lead and land accounts. A collection of papers probably obtained by Col & Mrs Beaumont from Chief Newcastle steward John Erasmus Blackett in 1793 and give a variety of insights into the profitability of the lead business through the 1780s and its state in 1793. It is presented in spreadsheet and not included in the searchable text database. The data offer a different perspective to the accounts tabulated from the ledgers for which J E Blackett was responsible and which can be downloaded from the Allendale estate papers page within the Northumberland Archives section of ‘Dukesfield Documents’. Two 1804 balance sheets of the bankrupt Newcastle Exchange Bank – also known as Surtees, Burdon and Brandling – are also included as tabs within the spreadsheet.

Letters from Beaumont to Skelton. A set of correspondence mostly from Col Thos Richard Beaumont to his agent Mark Skelton, with occasional letters from Diana and one or two notices, covering the period 1785-96, after which Skelton left Beaumont’s employment.

Beaumont Letters, 1792-1808. Loose letters, mostly to Col and Diana Beaumont and a few of their out-letters to John Erasmus Blackett. These last letters appear to be strays from the Blackett of Matfen collection, in an envelope showing they had been passed by one of the Matfen Blacketts to Lord Allendale in the 1930s or 1940s.

Hexhamshire and Allendale Common Enclosure 1791-94. This is a series of letters between parties involved in planning enclosure of a large part of the area of open common land which divides Hexhamshire and Allendale, and which had a boundary with Greenwich Hospital land at the northern end. As such several of the letters are between agents for the Beaumonts (principally John Bell, and the lawyer Ralph Heron) and the Greenwich Hospital ( Nicholas Walton). It includes some detail on the then smaller common rights holders in Allendale. A few additional letters from John Bell on the subject were found separately and available here as a file of additional correspondence. For an account of the enclosure of these commons See L.Sobell, ‘Beating about the bush about the boundaries: the struggle to enclose Hexhamshire and Allendale commons’, Hexham Historian, 24, (2014)

T.W.Beaumont Letters, 1815-25. A series of letters from Thomas Wentworth Beaumont to his mother Diana, mostly dating from the second half of 1819 when Bywell Hall was being purchased by TWB. There are a number of gaps, largely on account of TWB’s ‘difficult’ handwriting.

Miscellaneous letters 1693-1849. This gathers together mostly isolated letters on a very broad range of subjects, including some from Northumberland and from Yorkshire – the latter including a few from William Wentworth to his daughter Diana. The reasons for their survival are now lost. They are included for they might in some cases shed light on other correspondence, and give occasional glimpses into the character of prominent figures such as Sir Thomas Wentworth/Blackett and Sir Walter  Blackett.

Hexham Manor Boundary Ridings. Reports of two perambulations of the claimed boundaries of Hexham Manor in 1690 (covering the south-western part of the manor only) and in 1787 (covering the entire boundary on both sides of the Tyne). The boundary as ridden in 1787 matched that of the ancient regality of Hexhamshire. Both are written in the hand of John Bell, steward of the manor in the 1780s. The 1690 account was probably copied from an earlier account in preparation for the 1787 riding. Both are useful for the listing of names and homes &/or occupations of those taking part as well as for mentions of landmarks some of which are now lost. They are bundled with papers relating to the enclosure of the Hexhamshire and Allendale Common, in preparation for which the boundaries were ridden again in August 1793.

Diana Beaumont (junior) diaries. Diana Beaumont (1796-1872), the daughter of Diana and the Colonel, kept a journal in a series of booklets between 1813 and 1871, many of which survive. They consist mostly of terse entries regarding who was visiting, and journeys taken by her with family members, but some entries are of wider interest concerning important family events, and they are given here.

AE Lead road dispute 1760s
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AE Wentworth Letters 1767-92
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AE various Beaumont Lead and Land Accounts 1792-1804
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AE Letters Beaumont to Skelton 1785-96
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AE Hexham Boundary Ridings 1690-1787
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AE Beaumont Letters 1792-1808
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AE Letters TWBeaumont to Diana Beaumont 1815-25
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AE Hexham and Allendale Enclosure Correspondence 1791-4
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AE Hexham and Allendale enclosure additional correspondence 1764-94
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AE Miscellaneous letters 1693-1849
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AE Misc Diary of Diana Beaumont jnr 1813-71 Selected Extracts
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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467