Diary – John Grey – 21 May 1835

Document Type: Diary
Date: 21 May 1835
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80/20
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Thurs 21st May 1835

Set out at six o’clock and rode over several farms in the west part of Langley where there are some matters requiring my attention. It is unfortunate that any thing bringing in such revenue as the lead should be so injurious to the vicinity of its manufacture. The Smoke from the Mills alighting on the Fields has a most pernicious effect both upon the herbage and the health of the Cattle, which are frequently destroyed by it, and one drink of the water, on days when the Ore is being washed will cause the immediate death of the strongest animal. Now that the smelting there is increased by a part of the Mills being occupied by Mr Beaumont it is more than ever desirable that some means should be taken to obviate this evil, and I have been desirous of coming to some agreement with the Lessees for the purpose, by proposing that if they would construct a long horizontal duct to carry the smoke up the hill before allowing it to escape, its deleterious qualities would in a great measure be deposited in its course, which deposit would probably repay them the cost of erecting it, and the Board or their future Lessee would repay them the value of the Bricks, should they leave the Mills at the end of the present Lease. I have not yet however been able to effect any such arrangement. As to the water the only thing to be done is to use all vigilance in keeping it fenced from Cattle.

	It happened a few days ago that some Oxen belonging to Mr. Peacock tenant of Esphill got into the Plantation by a gap in the Wall which had been taken down for the purpose of carrying out some trees that were cut and sold there. The gap had not been made up or secured, by which means the cattle get access to the Burn and one of them worth ten or eleven pounds died stark mad in a few hours. Most fortunately the others had not drunk so much, and recovered.

	To pay for all losses sustained or alledged to be caused by the smoke or water, would lead to abuse and imposition but in this case as no doubt can exist of the cause and consequence, & as it occurred by the neglect of the Woodman, Mr. Peacock seems to have a reasonable claim for compensation. 

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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