Letter – Henry Richmond to Walter Blackett – 15 Apr 1771

Document Type: Letter
Date: 15 Apr 1771
Correspondent: Henry Richmond
Recipient: Walter Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672/E/1E/3
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To Sir Wr Blackett  Bt.  M.P.  in half Moon Street                       Newcas.   15  April 1771

  Piccadilly, London

Honrd. Sir      If the Bishop of Durham should dye, it will most probably be Advantagious for you to be near his Successor, to get the Composition for the Lot Ore or Ninth part of the Ore of Weardale Mines, renewed without loss of time: if it can be done upon the Terms you hold the same of the present Bishop; which is £350 a year. You cannot consistently with prudence, give more for it; notwithstanding It may appear of greater value to those who see only the quantity of Ore raised, without considering that That Quantity could not have been raised if an easy Composition for the Lot and Tithe had not encouraged you to venture your Money.  You have suffered a Loss as Mr pPeareth and Mr Cookson found on Examination of above £300 a year by the Leases you have of the Bishop of the Mines, upon an average of 16 years - without reckoning Interest for your Money. or the Fines for renewals.  -  & therefore as you have a power of discontinuing working when you please you never will, I speak with Submission, raise Ore for others to take away a Ninth & a Tenth, either or both, without their running any part of the Risk, or bearing any part of the Charge of getting it.  The Bishop of Ely’s Experience, if his Lords[hi]p thinks proper to Communicate it to the new Bishop, must have great weight.  In Case of a Death, I sho[ul]d know of it as soon as possible; that a Separation may be made between the Ore got before & after the Day of it.  And then an Agreement upon a Composition, or to have the Lot Ore paid in kind to the new Bishop, must take place as soon as possible: otherwise all will be at a Stand in Weardale very soon, to the great distress of some hundreds of Family’s.  Inclosed is a Copy of the Agreement with the present Bishop, & if a new One is to be entered into, the Clause  “of you shall so long live” should be inserted; as was done in the Composition with the Rector.     Thus far with regard to the Lot Ore; as to the Two Leases of the Mines (that is of the moors & enclosures: wh[ic]h are both for the Same lives) they subject you to pay a Ninth & a Tenth of the Ore clear of all Charges, As I have been saying & you have lost above £300 a year by them upon an Average of 16 years, & therefore they are not desirable things to be tyed to for three Lives; especially as there is not a  _____ prospect of better times than those you have experienced under them.  For Family Considerations I believe, you offered the present Bishop £700 for a Renewal of of a Life on the Death of Mrs Marshall.  but matters are now settled with Sir Thos. Wentworth, the next in remainder; according to the Deed which is in Mr Darwins hands  - The Office of Moor Master, which is granted to You by those Leases, is no more than a power to get Lead Ore in the parishes of Stanhope and Wolsingham.

    Mr Trevelyans Life I hope is a good one; But a Boys of 10 years of Age is, in the Comon Way of estimating such Things, better by about two Years purchase.

     Lead, <from>  the Scarcity of it has advanced of late, and I have sold £1300 ps of Comon at £15 a fother and 200 ps  refined at £15 . 5s . 0d a fo[the]r  and above 100 Casks of Litharge in proportion but there is no more at Market, neither of yours nor any others.   The Weather for a fortnight past has been very dry and we have all been Endeavoring to get Lead down to Market, but that is now over for we had last Night a great fall of Snow and today the Weather continues very coarse and frosty.  I have not heard any Thing from Mr Julien about Lead, if he wants any, I am an improper person to be an Agent for him, being according to my Ability intirely yours.   I hope I shall be able to pay your draft upon me for one hundred pounds.  Mr Bell went to Hexham yesterday, but I shall write to him to morrow about the Hall Orchard.  I have not had time since the post came in to do more than write this Letter; but to morrow I will Enquire about Mr Thomas Gill           & 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