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Mrs. Beaumont, under Cover to Newcastle 12th. March 1803. Colonel Beaumont Portman Square – London Dear Madam The Lead Agents met me at Hexham on Monday morning; I send you enclosed an Account of the present State of the several Mines and Lead Mills &c. – I have been favoured with your Letter of the 8th. inst. & observe what you say respecting the Conversation which you had with Mr. Burdon; that Bank have formed Expectations which surprizes me; they have 5 p[er] Cent on the Amount of the Sums which you may at any time exceed the Balance in their Hands; you are allowed 3 p[er] Cent on the Balance after the Bill with the three Days of Grace have become due altho’ the Bills are negociable as Cash at a Month’s date, which must be a very great Benefit to them; they have told T. Crawhall jr. that they were promised that a Balance of £15,000 should always remain in their Hands, in Consideration of the Trouble of doing the Business; I am quite a Stranger to any such Agreement being entered into, & I think that with the Benefit which they already enjoy, that it would be very unreasonable to expect it particularly as they are not at any Expence & Risque in bringing down Cash for the Lead Pay, which was the Case with the Old Bank; of late it has been with Difficulty that we could procure £1,000 in Cash for the principal Lead Pay.- Mr. Burdon may as well tell you that altho’ you will have at least £25,000 in their Hands, that with the very numerous and extensive Engagement which they have entered into they cannot with any Convenience allow you to draw out of their Hands £10,000 at this Time: you will be pleased not to mention this Matter to them as my Sentiments, as they would never forgive me. Since the above I have your Letter of the 9th. inst. enclosing Mr. Thomas’s Letter; he has the Character of being an honest, diligent, understanding Man in Land & Collieries; I expect to see him some time this Day.- Mr. Thomas has been with me; he resides at Denton, about three Miles west from hence; he cannot remove to Hexham or Dukesfield, nor totally give up his present Engagements with Mr. Montague; but in Case that can be dispensed with, I am of Opinion that he will answer your Purpose very well; he is willing to undertake the Stewardship of your several Estates as well as those of Mr. Bosville for £150 - - p[er] Ann. and he hopes to give you both Satisfaction: If you expect to have an experienced Man of Character, I don’t think that you can have one for less: the sooner you come to a Resolution in this Matter, the better; and should you determine on engaging of Mr. Thomas, it will be proper that the Valuations and Surveys should be sent to Mr. Thomas to take them into Consideration before Mr. Bowns comes down, but on reletting the Farms, the time is so near run, that in Case any of the Tenants should not agree to the Advance proposed, he must continue the Farm on the old Rent, or so much more as he will give for one year, & be served with a fresh Notice; there will be no alternative, either this Measure, or a Farm untenanted. – The Head Court at Hexham is fixed for the 24th. April, so it becomes highly necessary that Mr. Heron & Mr. Bell should be wrote to by you & Coln. Beaumont on the Change and no time should be lost in doing it. – It would be well if Mr. Bowns could be at Hexham at that time, & in Case of your making choice of Mr. Thomas, he could meet Mr. Bowns there.- I am concerned to hear that there is a great Probability of this Country being engaged in another War, but I hope that it may be avoided: should you hold your Resolution of purchasing into the Funds, the present I think will be a good time. Mr. Stead intends disposing of his Estate at Ryal adjoining to that of Mr. Bosville’s, & purchasing in the South; it will be soon advertised; it is about £500 p[er] Ann. and in three years will bear a considerable Advance.- I had a Meeting with Mr. Losh the Council and Mr. Heron the other day about the Bishop’s Bill; I have not heard if the Answer is put in, or what is doing in the Business. – Since my last I have sold 1000 p[iece]s. ref[ine]d. Lead for the Works at £34 – I may have it in my Power to sell & deliver about 600 p[iece]s. chiefly common by the 1st. May. – I am sorry to observe that Nothing further is done respecting the Leases of Kilhope & Welhope, & the Agreement for the inserting a new Life in the Room of the late Geo: Robson. – I am &c.J.E.B.