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Monday 11th March 1833 Mr Armstrong on behalf of Mr Tweddell applied to me for two stacks of Oats distrained at Elrington, which had been grown upon Mr Tweddell’s farm, but I at once resisted this claim by stating the fact that we had lost both Cattle and Corn by its being removed to Mr T’s farm, where we could not follow it; but that I would allow the Straw for the Manure of the farm according to the Custom of the Country. Had an application from Mr Beaumont’s Tithe Agent for the tithe of Turnips at Westwood, and a similar application from the Vicar of Warden for the same at Elrington, both of which I promised should be attended to at the Sales. Received the account of the Sale at Whitley Mill, and obtained possession of the same – We shall lose nearly a year’s rent up to May next, but it would have been a much greater loss to delay further, and I am quite glad to have secured possession. The Tenant of Mr Bacon Grey’s Farm at Staward applied to me claiming the right to win Limestone on the Hospital’s property at Deanraw without paying damage for trespass, but civilly offering to compromise if I would allow him to win stones from Langley Quarry instead. He said that Mr Bacon had always told him this right was reserved to Staward – I find that the Hospital purchased Deanraw of Mr Bacon in 1791, and I told the tenant of Staward that I would examine the covenants, and if it were so, he must have his Bond, and in that case I would allow him to go to Langley, but if there were no such covenants I must reserve the stone for the protection of the tenant of the Hospital’s Lime-Kiln at Lough Farm. It is from Lough that the Lime for the Smelting Mills has hitherto been obtained, and this Kiln would be of far less value, if [possible missing page. Next section likely to have been dated Weds 13th March] examine into the matter on the spot. The Colliery had been considered exhausted, and laid off from working for some years past, and when the Colliery farm was let on its present lease, there was no idea of any further working of Coal. About two years ago, Richley, who is a Greenwich Out Pensioner at £18 a year, applied to Mr Wailes to rent the Colliery at twenty pounds a year, and he was at once admitted tenant upon these terms, without any agreement to protect the tenant of the farm. The consequence is that Richley has set about opening all the old pits to glean what Coal he can without much expense of working, regardless of the farm tenant, who is suffering not only serious damage from trespass by the Way leave for Carts going to and fro to these pits, but in several of his fields he is obliged when he puts Cattle in to have a constant day and night watch to prevent the Cattle falling into the pits. The indigent circumstances of Richley, who had been lying several months in gaol previous to the election, and his indifferent character precluded all hope of redress from him, and the tenant of the farm was evidently suffering more damage than the rent was worth. I soon found on investigating the case that Richley made very little more than his rent by the Colliery, and that in a year or two, when he had exhausted the pickings of the old pits he would give up, and then we should inevitably lose the year’s rent; while the tenant of the farm would justly press his claims for compensation and redress: and having ascertained that Mr Robinson, the tenant of the farm would pay the twenty pounds a year to have the Colliery in his own control, I told Richley that I must insist upon his immediately compensating Mr Robinson for past damages before I allowed him to work another Coal, but if he would give up quiet possession of the whole to Mr Robinson, he would forgive him the damages, and I would forgive him the rent due – he demurred a little, and I gave him twenty four hours to consider of it. Mr Messenger the Rector of Whittonstall called on me while I was at Mr Robinson’s relative to the erection of a New School-house, which the Parish stood very much in need of. About two years ago he applied to the Hospital for a part of a site of land, hoping to get some funds from the School society, but as the Admiralty refused to grant the land in perpetuity, it was impossible to obtain a grant of money; and Mr Messenger now urged upon me to intercede with the Commissioners to build a school-house, which he would undertake to do for seventy pounds – the population is about four hundred, and sixty children attend the school. The whole of the two Townships of Newlands and Whittonstall belongs to the Hospital, which gives them a high claim to our consideration but the Hospital subscribes Fifteen pounds a year for the support of the School, and looking at the gloomy prospects of depreciation in this property, and considering the fact that for twenty years past it has been unproductive, for I believe it will be found that the expenses in that period have nearly equalled the income; while there is now one Homestead which must be immediately re-built, and which indeed has been ordered last year, upon an Estimate exceeding seven hundred pounds; while the Roads formed by the enclosure of the Commons, and completed twelve years since, have never yet been passed by the Magistrates, so that the whole liability of their repairs fall upon the Hospital, and they are now in a dangerous indictable state – it becomes therefore the duty and the interest of the Hospital to put them immediately into a state to enable the Magistrates to pass them, and this will cost at least five hundred pounds. Under these circumstances I feel it difficult to recommend the outlay for the school, tho’ the Tenantry are well deserving encouragement, and need all that can be given. I suggested to Mr Messenger whether it might not meet his views if the Hospital consented to advance the Seventy pounds he required, and reduced their annual subscription to ten pounds a year till the amount was paid, but this he seemed to think could do more harm than good, as the education of many of the poor children depended wholly upon this subscription; and we ended by my promise to bring the consideration of it fully and fairly before the Commissioners, altho’ I could offer but little encouragement as to the result. Proceeded to the examination of Fairle’ Farm, and consented to such works as appeared to be necessary – the tenant had applied for the repair of some cottages, and an Estimate had been made of the expense, amounting to £20.14.7. to which I could by no means consent, and after examining the Cottages with Mr Taylor, I agreed to his offer, to pay him ten pounds on the Cottages being put in repair, and he undertaking to keep them free of all expense to the Hospital for ten years. A new Oven was recently put up in the Kitchen, and no use can be made of it – I promised to enquire into this. – Rode on to High Field farm and examined into the wants and wishes of the tenant, heard his many complaints, and promised what seemed necessary: From thence to Newlands’ West Farm, where I entered into another Contract for the building of a Necessary and Poultry House, estimated at £20.2.2. and for which I agreed to pay him ten pounds, on the buildings being satisfactorily completed. My next examination was Sproats’ farm, the tenant of which paid me his arrear of £35; and after fully examining this farm, I felt too exhausted to proceed further, and returned to Shotley for the night.