Letter – James Cockshutt to Thomas Richard Beaumont – 27 Oct 1792

Document Type: Letter
Date: 27 Oct 1792
Correspondent: James Cockshutt
Recipient: Thomas Richard Beaumont
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								Huthwaite 27th Octr. 1792

Dear Sir,

      I wrote a hurried Letter to you yesterday thinking the Communication I had with Mr. Cooke was of some moment for you to know as soon as possible. I have no doubt of his Veracity & am persuaded that if you do not think the Estate worth your acceptance @ 27000£ it will be sold to Mr. Hebdin for his Client at Leeds – the Coal of which there is more than 120 Acres becomes of an increased Value in consequence of the apparent near approach of a Navigation & it is with a View to that which brings on the application of Mr. Hebdin – I inform you of all I know of this Matter on which you will form your own comment & Determination –

The Navigation Scheme upon which I attended yesterday appears to me to be bro[ugh]t forwards by the Proprietors of the Air & Calder, with a very apparent Prospect of particular advantage to themselves & with the double View of procuring a supply of Coals for York & all the vicinage of the Ouse (where they are now very scantily served) & to increase the Traffic upon the Air & Calder which it will certainly do, both will be effected & those Proprietors will reap an increased Profit without either Risk or Expence for the same Water & Locks of the Air & Calder will navigate double the Number of Boats & Keels & therefore if this new projected Canal take into those Rivers only 1000 additional Tons of Merchandize the Dues upon that will be all new Gain, but this is by no means all that is in favour of the Air & Caldr. Proprietors – It is generally thought to be advantageous to all the Subscribers to the Barnsley & Wakefield projected Canal – of which the Proprietors of the Air & Caldr. take to themselves 20000£ exactly one third of the whole, this gives 200 Votes to one Body of Men who will act as one Individual Person & by that means have a secure Majority of Votes on all general Points & make those Proprietors the real Directors & Governors of the whole Canal & the Business of it – a Matter in my Opinion extremely partial & a Dangerous accession of Power & what deserves the most serious attention of the Landed Gent[leme]n & Mercantile Interest of all the Country & yet appears to have been intirely overlooked – One Proof of the Use they may make of this Power appears in their gratifying W. Stanhope one of their Body in the termination of the Canal upon his Estate & the very Point where he could wish to the exclusion of others whose claim in every other Respect may well be thought preferable – They have certainly the Merit of projecting a Scheme & Line of Navigation which may & ought to [be] made generally useful to all this part of the Country, which we neglect ourselves in unpardonably if we suffer ourselves to be so controlled as to give the Helm totally into the Power of those who have an Interest distinct from the other Subscribers & from the Owners of Land & Mines & Trade generally – They make a Merit & a pointed one of giving the Water from the Calder for the supply of this Canal – the Quantity necessary is not great & they have plenty to spare – it is moreover rather a Loan than a Gift for except Leakage & Evaporation all that is to be <pumped> out of the Calder by the fire Engines is to revert to it again & for this they are to have ?d of the Advantage of the new Canal all the Power by having 200 Votes in one Mind, And all the <Profit> of the additional Tonnage to be brought by means of it out of this Country into the Air & Calder- I write my full <Sentiments> to you in the Confidence you will use ‘em only for your own consideration – If my Judgement be right of the Air & Calder Proprietors either as a Body or Individuals, it is to confine all the increasing Trade of this Circuit to their own River & in great Measure under their own control. This makes me think it necessary to encourage also the communication with the Dunn [possibly ‘Dearne’, and referring to the ‘Dearne and Dove’ Canal promoters also active at the same time] to join the Barnsley & Wakefield Canal at any place they can be brought nearest together on the same Level & then to navigate the same Chanel to Barugh Mill Dam or farther if it can be Done & from that place have the <Dun> navigation extended to Haigh Bridge or any where in that Line that may be found useful. – 

      The Dunn People will find considerable & perhaps insurmountable Difficulty to make a junction without the Aid of the Calder Water – the Proprietors of that will naturally be reluctant to spare any to Rivals if they can avoid it – I think it will be no unreasonable Proposition from the Landed & trading Interest of this Country that the <Propri>etors of the Air & Calder should give the whole Water necessary to either or both Canals in consideration of the increased Trade it will cause in the Air & Caldr., & that the two new Navigations should divide the Expence of raising it by fire Engines in some determined Proportion – To enforce such a Coalition & encourage a navigable Line to the Dunn seems to me the Sine qua non – And in this I wish the Landed & mercantile Interest cordially to unite in order to defeat the great probability of a dangerous monopoly of Power in one Body – Without such a junction two canals or a communication with the Dunn cannot be effected for it cannot be expected the holders of Land or Parliament should permit their Property to be divided & the Land cut into Ribbons by two Canals where they must approach near together – 

      On the whole this is a Matter of great Importance, it has not been sufficiently attended to or the consequences consider’d. I shall attend the Meeting next Monday at Barnsley – if you will give me a Line with your Sentiments directed to the Post Office there no other Use than what you desire shall be made of it – you must not write later than Saturday for me to receive it in Time – with all good wishes to Mrs. Beaumont & yourself believe me your 

      Faithful & oblig’d Humle. Servt.

      J. Cockshutt

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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