Letter – John Bell to John E Blackett – 10 Mar 1793

Document Type: Letter
Date: 10 Mar 1793
Correspondent: John Bell
Recipient: John E Blackett
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Sir                                                                                 Hexham Abbey 10th March 1793

	I had a Letter from Mr Beaumont the 23rd of last Month saying he would be in Newcastle this Month when the Stewards came down for their Money and desiring me to give him a Meeting there but for what Purpose he was silent

	By the Copy of his Letter to you inclosed one by Mr Straker he seems to want the Opinion of his Agents how far his Interest will be affected by the proposed Inclosure of a Part of Hexhamshire and Allendale Commons

	It appears to me impossible to say whether the Carriage of the Ore from the Lead mines to the Smelt Milns will be hurt by this partial Inclosure or not

	About Three years ago there was an Attempt made to bring about a Division of the whole Common - that was most certainly very improper and which the late Sir Thomas Blackett very prudently refused to come into and to which the Commrs of Greenwich Hospital as to Hexhamshire gave a most decided negative

	In the Year after (the last that Sir Thomas was in the Country) the Division was agitated again and Proposals were made to Sir Thomas to divide a part and stint the Residue of the Commons and the Commrs of Greenwich Hospital agreed to this after Mr Walton made the necessary Enquiries (both in Weardale and Teasdale where the Commons are stinted) whether the Ore from those Dales was carried any given Distance at a greater Price by the Bing than the Ore in Allendale Alston Moor and Hexhamshire where the Commons are not stinted but eat up by those who can put most Stock upon them and found there was no Difference - This Information being given Sir Thomas acceded to the Proposals of the Proprietors and a Bill was accordingly framed and passed into a Law the last Session of Parliament under the several Regulations contained in it

	As far as the partial Inclosure extends the Roads are to be made by the Proprietors and when the Carriers get upon that Part of the Common which is to be stinted they will then have the open wide Moor to pick their Way upon in the best manner they can as they do now

	Whether this partial Inclosure will injure the Lead Ore Carriage must now rest on experience all else, after the best Information had, being only matter of Opinion and Conjecture

	The Mines are to be wrought as at present without the Lord’s paying Damages which are to be paid by the land Owners or Proprietors

	The Lord is to have 1/16th Part of the Land to be inclosed for his Consent thereto paying 1/16th part of the Expence - he is also to have 1/16th Share of the Stints which several of the Proprietors grumble at paying, and truly, that they are losing 1/16th of the Herbage to which till the whole was inclosed the Lord had no Right for that so long as the Common was undivided he had a Right only to Herbage in respect of his Estates with others but now he is getting Stints which he can let or dispose of otherwise as he shall think fit that could not be done before

	The Lord may if he thinks proper extinguish his Tithes by accepting Land in Lieu of them but is not obliged to do so

	No Alienations are to be made either of Allotments or Stints but the Lord will have a Benefit tho a small one

	The Lord cannot require anything more to be done now for the Accomodation of his Works and Estates than what is provided for by the Act which Provisions he must abide by and upon the whole this Act is the most beneficial for the Lord of any that I have known passed for a Division either in this or the adjoining County of Durham

	The Bounder of the Commons intended to be divided and stinted is required by the Act to be rode or perambulated and the Lord has been wrote to by several of the Proprietors on that subject - I was told by one of them that if the Boundary was not ridden soon it was resolved to apply to the Court of King’s Bench for a Mandamus to compel the Lord to ride it either by himself or Agents because it is not absolutely necessary that he should be present as may be seen by having Recourse to the Act

	I think a time for Riding the Boundary of which Fourteen days previous Notice is to be given cannot be appointed before the beginning of May

	With respect to the Cast Iron or railed Ways my Opinion is no way altered but continues the same as when I wrote you in November - a bad Sike or Piece of bad Road upon the Moors may be mended by being made like a Turnpike with proper Conduits - The other Gentlemen are better able to give an Answer to this Matter than I can be supposed to give

                                                                        I am  Sir  Your most obedt hble Servt

See 14, 15, 40, 41, 44 and 45 Pages                                             Jno Bell

of the Act for the Division

John E Blackett Esqr

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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