Letter – Henry Richmond to Walter Blackett – 9 Dec 1763

Document Type: Letter
Date: 9 Dec 1763
Correspondent: Henry Richmond
Recipient: Walter Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672/E/1E/2
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To Sir Walter Blackett Bart. M.P.                                              Newcastle 9 Decr 1763  

in Half Moon Street Piccadilly


Hon[our]d Sir/ The present high price of coals in London is not owing to any continuance of the coal owners here. Their prices are the same now as in the summer; & the quantity wrought by them & imported into London this year has been as great as usual & wo[ul]d have been greater if the wet summer had not so often made the roads impassible & the flood in Octo[be]r last had not carried away Pontop bridge; by these accidents the leading from distant collieries has been prevented in a great measure & a very great quantity of coals are now at the ports. That coals now bear so great a price at London is owing partly to the great increase in the demand & partly to the practices of the coal Buyers in London. The former has made it impossible for ships to be dispatched as they arrive at Shields, but they have been obliged to wait 5 or 6 weeks, may even for 2 months, for a loading of the better sort of coals & this loss of time must in course inpinge the freight wch is now no less than 12s the London Chald[ro]n, tho[ugh] 6 or even 5s has done formerly in the summer season; between wch & the winter season there is usually a difference of 3s. p[er] Chald[ro]n in the freight & without that ship owners wo[ul]d lay up their ships in the winter months.

The coal Buyers contribute to raise the price by enacting premiums, Gratuities, discounts etc: & as they act in concert they have it in their power to force the masters or Freighters to a compliance Inclos’d in an Acct of the charge of a Chald[ro]n of coals; in wch the charge at newc[astle] is distinguished fm the freight & river charge at London. I have spoke to my Brother about the Thousand pounds & he hopes to give me an ans[we]r soon.

I hope you have got clear of your cold & 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