Journal Entry – William Hooper – 6 Mar 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 6 Mar 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 15
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Wednesday 6th March 1833

Mr Peacock made a proposal of £500 a year for Allerwash Town Farm, but this is too low to recommend to the Board, and if we are driven to accede to a low rent it must be for one or two years only.

The Hudgill Mill Company met me by appointment, and after much discussion, consented to the following alterations in their proposal.

The premises to be demised to consist of only those Buildings immediately connected with the Mills, and the Cottage and ground occupied by Isaac Walton, the Agents’ House, and Workmens cottages to be wholly reserved to the Hospital.

The Lessees to covenant to keep the whole of the Premises, Water wheels, and Water courses in good tenantable repair, and so to deliver them up: the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital consenting to bear the expense of a new Water-wheel when required by the Lessees, provided such expense does not exceed One hundred and fifty pounds.

The Lessees to pay 3d. per Fodder in addition to the price proposed for the reducing coal, and as the Commissioners guarantee the supply of Coal and Coke upon these terms from the Colliery, the Lessees engage to obtain whatever may be required for the Mills from Subblick Colliery at these prices.  The Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital are only to be required to deposit the Ores in the Receiving House nearest to the Mine from whence the Ore is received, they engage that there shall be no undue delay in bringing the Ores from the Mines to the Receiving House, and the Lessees undertake to remove the Ores of each Quarter within one month after the expiration of such quarter.

I was much surprized and disappointed to find that Messrs. Wilson were not aware of the Water-rent of £20 a year to Messrs. Ruddock, which I had before considered as fully known to them and provided for in their offer.  They strongly objected to it on the ground that it was quite unnecessary, as with proper attention there is abundance of Water without it!! – On referring to the terms of agreement I found that it was only necessary to give one full years notice before the 22nd of Novr. To surrender it, and I therefore conceded this point upon the understanding that the Water will be discontinued.  The great bone of contention was the reduction of price for smelting the Lessees’ Ores, which Mr Wilson began by saying he would never consent to, but to which I attach more importance than all the others, as offering the strongest and most unanswerable justification of the Commissioners against the outcry which I feel assured will be raised against the Hospital for putting the whole of the Mills into the hands of one Company.: nor can the interests of the Alston Lessees be too carefully guarded, for they need all our support, and upon this conviction I stood firm in putting it to issue and was at length relieved and gratified by the concession of reducing the proposed prices five per cent whenever the quantity of Ore exceeds One hundred Bings.  In discussing the mode of regulating the price when the average is at intermediate parts of a pound, the Hudgill Company wished that the Ores should be paid for at the price fixed for £13 a Fodder, until Lead reached £14 or fell to £12; but on its again falling below £14 to revert to the price of £13 – I strongly objected to this as injurious to the Hospital, upon the grounds that £13 may be considered as very nearly a minimum price, and consequently to take no notice of the intermediate parts of a pound in the average price of Lead, but to take the even pound which is nearest to the standard, would on any price above £13 be a loss to the Hospital, and only advantageous on its falling below £13.  My proposal was that £13 should be the standard price, until Lead reached £14 or £12; but on its reaching £14, the ores should be paid for at that rate, until the price again fell to £13 or reached £15, and so on; assuming a new standard as the average price of Lead reached any other even pound; but this the Hudgill Company objected to, and we finally agreed to regulate the price at every 10s/ rise or fall, by which neither party can either gain or lose much by any arrangement, as the average will very easily be found between 10s/ and the even pound. – I promised to draw up the heads of an Agreement or Lease so as to form Instructions for the Solicitor to prepare a legal instrument, and as it will require my personal explanation and inspection to secure the many important points of the Hospital’s interests, it will be necessary to have it prepared by Mr Fenwick.  After some discussion I was obliged to consent to bear one half the expense to secure the Instrument in our own possession.  Any new machinery erected by the Lessees on the Premises, is to be left as the property of the Hospital.  The determined average price of Lead in each quarter, to regulate the price of the Ores deposited in the Receiving Houses within the quarter.

There is a Lime Kiln at Langley built by the Hospital, the tenantry leading materials, for the accommodation of the tenants, and Messrs. Wilson desired the privilege of burning Lime for their use at the Mills: it was not that it would be any pecuniary advantage to them, but the Lime is of better quality – I told them that if the Commissioners could grant the indulgence they asked, without prejudice to the tenantry, or to any tenant of a Limekiln, I had no doubt of their doing so, but not otherwise.  Wrote to Mr Lownds and to Mr Jobling to inform them of the Board’s decision.

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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