Letter – Henry Richmond to Walter Blackett – 1 Mar 1773

Document Type: Letter
Date: 1 Mar 1773
Correspondent: Henry Richmond
Recipient: Walter Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672/E/1E/3
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Sir Wr Blackett Bt MP  Half Moon Street                                               Newcas 1 March 1773

              Piccadilly - London

Honrd Sir

	It will give me the greatest Satisfaction to know that you are better of your Sore throat & feverish disorder.

The Assay Office here was established by the 1 Ann c.9 and agreeable to that Act the Goldsmiths Compy here chuse their wardens and their Assayer who is sworn before the Mayor to Execute his office faithfully according to the form prescribed in the Act 13 & 14 Wm 3d. c . 4 which obliges him not to touch any Gold or Silver but what is Standard, this word touch in the Oath is not Expressive of the thing meant, which is that he shall not give his Mark or Sanction of Office but to Standard Gold or Silver; which is to be known two ways, by the Touch stone and Assay, but more certainly by the latter, that is, by putting a few Grains of the Gold or Silver upon a Test in the Fire & refining it as is done in your works at large - whether this inaccuracy in the <Oath> has opened the Way I cannot say, but a practice has crept into the Office of marking plate occasionally when Carriers or others are waiting for it tho not upon the two public weekly Assay Days - Tuesday & Fridays and also without Assaying it only taking off it enough to make the Assay & a promise to have the plate forth coming if deficient & then upon the next Assay day to make the Assay of it - This to be sure is adjudging before Tryal but nevertheless it is asserted that all the plate made here is Standard & will bear the Test  & the Assay Master Mr Pryor who says this is not done above 4 or 5 times a year one year with another - says also he will venture his Character upon it that every piece of plate made here since his appointment by the Compy in 1759 will bear the Test - The Mayor has a Letter from Mr Ridley on this Subject & is to have the Goldsmiths Cos Sentiments & transmit them to him this post - The Mayor & Mr Peareth will write you if any new occurs to them about the Corn trade - what has been said that Scotland formerly furnished Northumberland with Oats and that now They take great quantities from us is without good Grounds as I am told - between 40 & 50 Years ago Oats used to be sent annually in Considerable quantities from hence but there is no such thing now - Your Miners use little or no Oat bread only a little Oat meal perhaps for hasty puddings - their bread is mostly Rye - I do not hear there has been any failure lately of any of the piles of the temporary Bridge.

	Young Mr Landell who you bid me Enquire about has been addicted much to drinking of late                                                         I am etc        HR

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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