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Saturday 29th June 1833 Received the Boards Minutes of the 15th Instant ordering ‘that the Receiver transmit a list of the Subscribers (to the purchase of a residence for the Minister in the Parish of Slaley) with the rental of their respective properties in the Parish’, and wrote to the Incumbant of Slaley, begging him to favor me with the desired information. Received also Mr Jay’s Letter of the 27th Instant acquainting me that the Board accept of Mr John Walton’s offer for the Inn & Ground at Lowbyer & accede to the application of the Lessee of Throckley Colliery to commence working the seam of Coal in the Duke of Northumberlands property, under certain regulations; I wrote to Mr Walton, informing him of the same & authorizing him to take immediate possession of the premises – Wrote also to Messrs Bones, acquainting them with the Boards answer to their application & requesting an interview on the subject. Mr Dixon the actual tenant of Aydonshields, altho’ that of Joshua Smith appears in the Rent Roll, came to me, as I hoped, to talk about the badness of his House & to have my opinion about building another, but to my disappointment I found him declining to undertake any thing in the way of improvement, & urging only the necessity of obtaining a considerable abatement or of giving up the remainder of his Lease – I did all I could to persuade him to try another year in hopes of amended times, but he was quite immoveable from his purpose, I said I thought I could undertake to double the produce of that district, by giving it ten loads an Acre of Lime – He replied that I was quite right in that opinion, but that would cost £6 per Acre & what tenant could afford it. The distance was so great & the roads so heavy – He complained that his and some other Farms in that part were so ill off for pasture that they were obliged to send their young Cattle to other places during the summer – I asked if he did not think the rough pasturage of Gairshield would be better employed as an appurtenance to these farms, than in its present state – Yes he said, many hundreds might have been saved in the Buildings there & the land applied to better purpose than at present, in that way – It often did not grow Corn worth 20s/- per Acre, confirming what I have previously stated as my opinion of it – He is a shrewd man, & I should regret losing him for a tenant – I don’t know what effect the paying for a quantity of Lime at the kiln, upon condition of their leading it, might have in inducing the tenants in that quarter to hold on – It would benefit them immediately, & the land, for many years to come – The cost of a Cart load of lime is 4s/- and the leading 8s/- so the tenants would have 2/3d of the expence. After getting released from the business that awaited me in the Office, I rode to Newtonhall – I found it to contain some very good land with a portion of a much inferior description, to the northern extremity, & like most of the Farms lately entered to, in very poor condition – It has however a good proportion of Grass land, & except that it is inconveniently intermixed with some fields of Mr Joblings, that the two extreme points are at great distance from each other, it is rather a good farm – The House is good, & as the Tenant says, larger than is useful – The Offices with the exception of a Barn & Stable, in a most ruinous state – A beginning to build had been made & a new Cart Shed put up, but here it has stopped, & the tenant has not a hovel to shelter his Cattle in for the winter – neither has he any Granary, both of which are indispensable. The Public House, called Shaw house & farm all in tolerably good order, but the Tenant complains of the want of custom, from the diminished quantity of Lead carried along that road – He is in some Arrear of Rent.