Letter – Henry Richmond to Walter Blackett – 7 Feb 1764

Document Type: Letter
Date: 7 Feb 1764
Correspondent: Henry Richmond
Recipient: Walter Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672/E/1E/3
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To Sir W[alte]r Blackett Baro[ne]t MP                                      Newcastle  7th Febry 1764

Half Moon Street Piccadilly London

Hon[our]ed Sir   The proprietors of the bottle houses here will make no opposition by what I can learn to the Importation of 500 or even a thousand doz[e]n of champagne in French bottles, provided the Importation is confined to the port of London ; otherwise a great opening will be given for Fraud & smuggling, to the prejudice of the manufactory as well as the Revenue.

Mr Silvertop had a lease of your twelfth of Stella Coll[er]y at £40 a year wch he quitted at Crmas 1760, before the lease expired. If he will take her again upon the same terms, & execute such another lease, I do not see any objection to it; but believe it is as much as you will get for your share in that Colleiry.

As to the division of Bolbec Common, I do not suppose Mr Baker can do anything in it this Sessions; tho[ugh] he had got the petition signed by above 30 of the freeholders. Mr Robson, who viewed the Comon as well as the In Grounds, thinks it your Intrest & the interest of the majority in value of the proprietor to divide It all as one Comon : but Mr Silvertop wants a division by parishes; & then he will set up the award made by Sir Lanc[elo]t Allgood, wch

Will bring him in for a better share than he apprehends he will get by the general division proposed. Against this the freeholders say Sir Lancelots’ Award upon Mr Bakers’ & Mr Silvertops reference to him, will not conclude them: and, so far as I understand It, it will not.

Yet whether this Comon is as Mr Baker asserts All one intire Comon or it is three Commons, appropriated to the three several parishes of Slaley Shotley & Bywell St Peter will be difficult   to determine & therefore it would be imprudent in Mr Baker to push the Bill forward till this difficulty is removed.

I have communicated the printed papers you sent about the Coal trade to the principal Coal Burners & fitters here; & find by them that the Author is very little acquainted with the trade he treats of, further than what may relate to the practices of the Crimps, Lightermen & Undertakers in London. His calculation of the project made by a ship of 24 keels in one voyage is about three times more than the people who know the trade best can reckon it to. He begins with telling the public that Coals are sold at Newcastle by the keel of 10 Chald[ron]s whereas a keel is no more than 8 Chald[ron]s. He then proceeds to his acct of the charge on a loading of coals, but has omitted many articles, Namely 3d a London Chald[ro]n for the Church duty. 6d for the Orphans Duty, the Scorage wch after the metage is deducted, will be above 1s the Crimpage, wch will be about 2d all on the London Chald[ro]n.  & he has forgot the Duke of Richmond’s 12d p Newcastle Chald[ron]s & the Towns dues 5d & the several Lighthouses 7 ¾ both on a Newcastle Chald[ro]n wch 3 last Articles will come nearly to 1.1 ½ on a London Chald[ro]n. There are several other omissions, but these amount to 5s.9d p[er] London Chald[ro]n. Besides he charges the Capt[ai]ns Mates & Seamens wages lower than they will sail for.& allows them too little provision for their voyage. But as to  the fixing the Seamen’s wages, or the freights or profits of Masters or Owners of Ships, it would be a remedy worse than the disease by discouraging their Navigation & sending the Ships into other trades, where they are left at liberty to make what profit they can. Extreams in trade soon bring their own remedy ; it will therefore soon be seen that, if the profits by carrying Coal to London are excessive those profits will bring more ships into the trade; & that they will, if all exclusive priviledges & combinations of the dealers in London were put an End to, under work one another, till their profits are reduced as low as if nature of the Navigation will allow.

Inclosed I return Dr Sharp’s letters; I have wrote to him, & and as soon as I get his answer I will wait upon Mr Dodds abo[u]t the Article. 

I have wrote to the Grove Stewards to be ready to come down ag[ain]st your Arrival. As soon as you can fix the Day, I will send Word to them of it.  I am he                                        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