Letter – Henry Richmond to Walter Blackett – 4 Mar 1766

Document Type: Letter
Date: 4 Mar 1766
Correspondent: Henry Richmond
Recipient: Walter Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672/E/1E/3
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To Sir Walter Blackett B[arone]t MP in Half Moon Street

Piccadilly London                                                                         Newcas[tle] 4th March 1766

Hon[ou]rd Sir    Mr Baker and Mr Colpitts understand the Intersts of their Company so well, that what they agree to will most probably be right. Certainly it will be right that, if the Fitters are to be bound, the Masters should be so too. Otherwise they will enter their ships with half a dozen Fitters at a time but only load where they can get the best coals: And as at that rate no Fitter would know what quantities to contract for with the owners of the inferior sorts of coals, nor such owners be able to judge what their vend would be, they would of course be discouraged in their workings. For no man will continue to be so low Labour or Fortune upon perishable comodities, for which he cannot find a ready vend. the procuring that is as much the int[e]rest of the city of London and the public in general as it is of the coal owners or the Fitters or the Masters themselves; but it matters little to the former whether coals are conveyed in Whitby ships or in Shields Ships; or whether the owners of them are Masters or Fitters, or any other sort of men; so the coals be but conveyed: unless indeed it is apprehended that the Fitters may in time engross all the shipping in the Trade and raise the price: but that is a thing the Masters are more likely to do- all the ships belonging to Fitters are I am told not amounting to a tenth part of what are employed in the Trade. If the Fitters do agree to loading in turn they should not be unwilling to let that agreement expressed in clear and precise terms, void of double meanings: tho I cannot think any terms whatever can be put together, or any Law made that will establish this method of loading in turn, when I consider that the Masters cannot possibly at all times bring money.

That the Fitters cannot be made to take any thing alse than money for their coals, unless they chuse it- and that that option must give an opening for preference of one Master to another.

Mr Peareth says he meant in his letter of the 21 ul[timate] to say that “surely Fitters have the same right to be Shipowners as any Masters have”. 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