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Private B of T, [Board of Trade?] Decr 3 1832 Dear Sir James I leave no time in giving you, as you desire, my opinion on Mr Grey’s letter, in the first place premising that the candid & business-like manner in which he expresses himself does him much credit and fully justifies the offer which you have made to him – The points upon which he appears most to feel hesitation are, the pledge to have no avocation from the duties of the Receivership, the residence at Hexham, and the amount of salary proposed – Upon the first – I think that we are justified by experience in saying that the Receiver shall owe & give to us his whole time allowing no other pursuit or interest to interfere with our business, and though it would be difficult straits to define the cases to which this condition should or should not apply, I should say generally that its application should be to the management not to property and that it would be absurd & unjust to say that a Receiver should hold no share in a coal mine and have no interest in freehold or leasehold property, though objections might arise in the demand for time & attention which such indirect interests might create and in the degree to which they might exist. From the condition of residence at Hexham and its immediate neighbourhood, which implies the living on the estates and amongst the tenantry and the Receivers seeing with his own eyes, and from the propose amount of salary I am of the opinion that there can be no retreat, certainly none, in fairness without again submitting the Receivership to the election of Mr Brandling – Mr Grey seems not to be aware that we have sold the Keswick Estates and that the only properties more, I believe, than twenty miles from Hexham in the possession of the Hospital are those at Spindleston and Scremerston for which we shall allow a bailiff and which of all our estates require the least frequent inspection – For one, I should be extremely inconsistent if I did not press the residence in the immediate vicinity of the bulk of the property – I did so in 1820 when Mr Brandling was first appointed, and again when I became Commissioner in 1829 – and next to the expense of the establishment at Newcastle I hold the great vice of the present system to be its distance from the estates – I am aware that the office proposed will be irksome & laborious & not overpaid & upon a different footing in responsibility from what it has hitherto been but it is due to the public and to the interests of the Hospital that it should be so and whilst I lament the expense of retiring allowances to which we shall be subject, I hold it rather to be a reproach to the old than an objection to the new system – Upon the question of Salary you will remember that in a discussion on the subject at the Admiralty, a doubt arose whether the amount should be 7 or £800 and the larger sum was only admitted upon the exclusion of all superannuation allowances – I trust that in the next three months our mining affairs will be so simplified that all mineralogical knowledge would be absolutely superfluous, but at all events I hold activity and earnestness and ability in business to be of far more importance than any such requirements – I have written to you in great Haste but without critically measuring my expressions you will be able to collect my opinion from this letter – I enclose a draft of instructions which have been prepared for the consideration of the board & which will probably be adopted in substance though perhaps not to the letter. Very faithfully etc Auckland [annotated on reverse:] Lord Auckland / 3rd Decr 1832 / Mr Grey’s Appt
Eden was the 1st Earl of Auckland and was Commissioner of the Greenwich Hospital. He would succeed Graham as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1834. New Zealand’s Auckland was later named after him.