Journal Entry – William Hooper – 11 Feb 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 11 Feb 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 15
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Monday 11th February 1833

Met Mr Sample at Hexham by appointment at nine o’clock, and rode with him to Dilston to examine the state of the Mill and Grounds which have been re-let to Mr Rochester, who also met us there.  Examined the whole of the Machinery, and promised him that I would recommend such repairs as seemed necessary, on the condition that he covenanted to keep the Machinery in repair during his lease, and so leave it, at the end – This is the general practice adopted in letting Water Corn Mils, and altho’ the Hospital has hitherto borne all the expense, I would recommend the future adoption of the general system. – There has been a mistake in the quantity of land advertised for this farm, the whole quantity taken off for the Railway not having been deducted, and Mr Rochester claims an annual compensation for the difference – I have ordered it to be measured, and soon as I am satisfied on the matter will propose some arrangement for the perfect settlement of this before Mr Rochester takes possession; and the Hospital will have a claim on the Railway for the annual compensation to have been made Mrs Armstrong for the unexpired portion of the Lease. This is the Woman to whom I have alluded in my Journal of the 26th Ult., and I found to-day that with the active assistance of Mr Benson of Demesne Haugh Farm she has thrashed out all her Corn, and removed it, and that there remained literally nothing on the property but three Cows, and two Horses; with about a fodder of Lead on its way to Newcastle belonging to the London Lead Compy.

I consider the Hospital to have been treated badly in this attempt to over-reach the Commissioners, and the impulse of my own mind was immediately to take possession and secure what I could, which would have been about thirty pounds, but Mr Sample so strongly urged me to desist, on the plea that I should by such an act inevitably throw the woman and her family upon the Parish, that the smallness of the sum would be such as to make me afterwards regret it, and in short said so much, that I have desisted, and as I honestly believe with prejudice to the Hospital – but I am anxious to proceed cautiously in effecting a better system, and prefer losing even £30 to gain experience, than by any violent act to excite apprehension amongst the tenantry.

Walked around the banks of the Tyne and Devils-water on the Dilston Estate, and through the Widehaugh and Devils-water plantations to examine into the embankments which have been already made, and what is still required, to protect this property from floods. In this examination I was quite satisfied of the necessity of immediately proceeding with heightening that part of the embankment proposed in the Estimate submitted to the Board in November last; a portion of the Bank of the Tyne requires sloping, and the S.W. point of the Devils-water should be rounded off and sloped. A very trifling expense will effect these objects now, but if neglected the banks will be so broken away as to endanger the embankment. It also appears to me adviseable to take down several trees growing close to the embankment, which they loosen the earth of, in every gale of wind, rendering of course so much more liable to breaches from the violence of heavy floods.

On my return to Hexham, I called on Mr Ruddock Clerk to the Hexham Road Trustees, to press the hospital’s claim for the monies expended in fences, and in compensating the Tenantry. Mr R. shewed me the minutes of the last Trust meeting which was most evasive and unsatisfactory, and evidently intended merely to avoid a settlement. I therefore told Mr Ruddock that while the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital were most anxious to meet the Trustees in a spirit of fairness and liberality, they could no longer submit to be imposed upon, and that unless the Trustees consented to some satisfactory measures for repayment I was instructed to take such steps as the interests of the Hospital might require. He then stated that the sums paid for the fences were much larger than those paid by the Trustees, who had limited the charge for fencing to 6/- per rood, whereas it had cost many others of the proprietors of lands 8/- & 9/- a rood, in order to have better fences than those provided by the Trustees.

Upon this point I said I felt quite sure the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital were open to consideration, that I would ascertain the quantity of fence made, and its character, and if it should appear that to secure better fences a little additional expense had been incurred, they would be ready to look liberally at it; but the principle I contended for was, that a certain sum, as it now appeared to me £1423, but perhaps subject to some abatement, had been paid by the Hospital, which ought to have been paid by the Trustees, as current expenditure; - and that a further sum of £277.19.0 already paid, and £43.1.0 to be paid, together £321 for compensation to Tenants for loss of land, ought in common justice to have been long since paid by the Trustees; - and that it was now equally the duty of the Trustees to propose, as it was the Duty of the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital to require, the repayment of these sums by such monthly instalments as the former could propose without embarrassment to the Trust, and as the latter might be justified in acceding to. I added that the Commissioners were determined to have a settlement, but that it would be much more gratifying to receive from the Trustees a proposal which they might be justified in acceding to, than to adopt any other mode of doing justice to the Hospital; and I finally arranged with Mr Ruddock that I would again see him before their next meeting, the 12th of March, having previously obtained further information about the fences, and state what I might consider would be satisfactory to the Hospital, when he thought the Trustees would make a proposal on the subject.

Saw the Tenants of East Deanraw, Allerwash west, and Rattenraw West Farms on my return, and they severally signed agreements for their covenants.

Wrote to Mr Hodgson of Melmerby proposing to meet him on any convenient day in next week at Alston to settle with him respecting the House at Lowbyer.

Wrote to the Clerks of the Alston Trust, acceding to the proposal of £60 a month to be paid to the Receiver at Hexham.

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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