Letter – John Erasmus Blackett to Richard Wilson – 18 Aug 1802

Document Type: Letter
Date: 18 Aug 1802
Correspondent: John Erasmus Blackett
Recipient: Richard Wilson
Archive Source: TWA DF HUG 149
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Richd. Wilson Esqr.						Newcastle 18th. Augt. 1802

Lincoln’s Inn Fields London					

Dear Sir

      Your Letter of the 14th. inst. to Mr. Beaumont with a Copy of the Bill in Chancery filed against him & Mrs. Beaumont by the Bishop of Durham, have been shewn me & I have carefully perused the same, that part of it which sets forth that upon my being asked by the Bishop whether the Sum of £900 which I offered him, was the full Value of his one ninth part of the Lead Ore, that my Answer was, that it was the full Value of the said one ninth part, I deny having said; that on my being asked by the Bishop whether it was not worth so much as £950 a year, I positively having made such Declaration that I assured him upon my word and Honor, that it was not worth so much as £950 a year, I positively deny having made such Declaration to the Bishop; I said that under the Circumstances which the late Sir Thos. Blackett worked those Mines that in my Opinion £925 was a fair Compensation for the Bishop’s Lot Ore, those Mines being burthened with a very heavy charge, infinitely more than the neighbouring Mines on Alston Moor being held by Lease for three Lives & subject to a very heavy fine on the renewal of a Life, as well as to the Moor Master’s Rent, so that working them on a large & extensive Scale, depended entirely on the Agreement made for the Lot & Tythe Ore, as you may observe on the Perusal of the enclosed Papers.-

      I was not asked for an Account of the Ore wrought during the preceeding years; in case that I had such Account should have been produced; but had the Bishop have insisted on a Composition equal to the quantity of Ore raised &c. two third parts of the Mines must in Consequence have been laid in, the Workmen discharged, & only a small part of them could have been wrought to any Advantage.- The Mines at present are far from being in a Productive State, and there is not a Prospect at present of above one half of the Quantity of Ore being raised this year which has been raised in a former year  altho’ they are worked at a considerable Expence; The present high Price of Lead should not be taken into Consideration in this Matter, it being a mere Contingency, subject to Fluctuation; the Average price of Lead in the year 1791 when the Agreement was made with the Bishop was £17 – 15 - - p[er] Fothr.-

The first time that I was informed that the Bishop was dissatisfied with the Agreement for the Composition paid him for his Lot Ore, was on the 14th. May last, when the Bishops Agents Mr. Mowbray & Mr. Cassells called on me and acquainted me with the same and demanded an Account of the Ore wrought during the time that the Bishop had been in Possession of the See of Durham. – knowing that there was a subsisting Agreement between the Bishop & the Representatives of the late Sir Thos. Blackett for the Bishop’s Lot Ore, I declined giving such Account.

      The last Receipt expressed to be for the Composition of the Bishops lot Ore is dated the 16th. March 1797 a Copy of which I send you enclosed; after which time being desired to remit the Amount of the Bishop’s Composition to his Bankers Messrs. Drummond, has been regularly done half yearly, for which I have recd. the Banker’s Acknowledgement in the Manner and Form that I send you enclosed.-

      You will be pleased to observe that Mr. Hardinge the Rector of Stanhope would not enter into an Agreement with the late Sir Thos. Blackett for his Tithe Ore for a longer term than seven years, at the Expiration of which term he insisted on drawing his Tithe, unless he had £1,500 – a year during his Possession of the living of Stanhope & as the Mines were at that time more productive & the Prospect promising, his Demand was acquiesced with.-

      You will, I have no Doubt do what is necessary as to retaining the proper Council in the Court of Chancery you will be pleased to inform me how far you may think it necessary & advisable to retain Serjt. Cockle Mr. Wood & Mr. Topham, in Case of the Cause coming before the Lower Court.   I am &c. J.E.B. 

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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