Letter – Henry Richmond to Walter Blackett – 8 Feb 1771

Document Type: Letter
Date: 8 Feb 1771
Correspondent: Henry Richmond
Recipient: Walter Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672/E/1E/3
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To Sir Wr Blackett Bart.  M.P.  in half Moon Street,                     Newcas.   8th   Febry 1771

            Piccadilly, London

Honrd. Sir      I wrote on the 5th instant my Thoughts as to the Treaty with the new Rector. & since have received your Letter of the same day from York, on that Subject; & still think you should not be tied up if you can help it, to pay him £315 a year, while Rector of Stanhope: because if a War should happen, or Thos. Hepple die, or the Bishop of Durham, the Works must be discontinued at almost every Grove in Weardale; without mentioning what my wishes for your Health will scarce let me do, the Chance of his outliving the Leases intirely - perhaps you may obtain of him a power of putting an End to the Agreement on giving Twelve Months notice, which would answer nearly the purposes of the other Conditions, mentioned in my Letter.  No doubt, while none of the above Chances happen, & as much Ore shall be raised as has been of late, the Tithe may be worth £1000 a year to him: but so much Ore cannot be raised if the Tithe is paid in kind; because you lose by the Leases every year, and have no Inducement to work the Mines but the Compositions - half of which being taken from you, you must proceed with Circumspection in your future Expenses.  In short rather than be tied up for the Rectors whole time in the Benefice I should, considering the Circumstances of the Case, think it advisable to offer him £350 or even £400 a year provided he will allow you such a power of determining the Agreement: but this advance should be the dernier resort.   As to giving up the Bishop of Durham’s Composition; I think, if a War can be postponed, It may As It is the only inducement you have left to do any Thing in Weardale - to be sure the giving it up will keep you clear of the Law suit that will probably attend your delivering the Tithe Ore in kind; as the Bishop & Rector would then be the Disputants, which should be first served; & besides you would be clear of some perplexity in carrying on the Workings by having one of the Dues and not the other.   But if a War is unavoidable, I wish both the Bp & Rector had their dues in kind; for I am sure from Experience you cannot get ore in Weardale under £40 a Bing, even with the Bishops Composition - & it is highly probable the Ore would not be much above That value after the 2 or 3 first years of the War.  It was sold at £42 a Bing in the two last Wars.

    I shall get the Recorders opinion in a post or two whether you should press the Hospital to proceed to a Suit at law for their Tithe of Corn and Hay in Wallington Lordship.  

    PS.  I wrote the Bishop of Ely, as you bade me, that you would wait upon him when you got to London.      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