Letter – John Erasmus Blackett to Thomas Blackett – 21 Mar 1787

Document Type: Letter
Date: 21 Mar 1787
Correspondent: John Erasmus Blackett
Recipient: Thomas Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1E 5
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Sir Thomas Blackett  Bart.                                              Newcastle    March  21st. 1787

Bretton - Yorkshire

Dr Sir       I am favoured with your letter of the 11th & Mr Noble’s letter of 16th inst. the latter inclosing his receipt for £2000.  My Brother Harry found my Mother better on wch. account I postponed my journey, but his letters since have not been so favourable & I expect that I shall be obliged to go over sometime in the next week but my stay will be short, & it will not be in my power to wait on you at Bretton at that time.  Your Lead Stewards were with me yesterday for Subsistence Money for the Workmen Weardale Mines are much in the same state Coalcleugh improving, Allenheads but indifferent , & by much the poorest, I have fix’d the time for your Lead Pays for the 25th, 26 & 27th of the April the Amount of them with the Subsistence for the Workmen at that time will be £46723.10.9 which is a very large Sum & I am providing accordingly.  Mr Westgarth Forster has expended a considerable Sum this last Year in repairs & Walling £630.4.7 which is double the Rent of the Estate, it is high time that he should hold his hand.  The small Farm near Allenheads was Purchased for you by Mr Bell & Mr Forster, the Farm near Dukesfield Mill is not yet put up to sale, the Consent of all the Parties not being obtain’d.  As I had not had an Answer f[ro]m the Bishop of Durham to that part of my letter respecting the Lot Ore, I wrote to Mr Geo. Brooks, Secretary to the late Bp. & who I was informed acted for the Bp. at present, he acquainted me that he would lay my letter before him & I have by this Post a letter from Mr Brooks informing me that the Bp. waived the Offer of the Old Composition, because he thinks it insufficient, but is ready to receive any Propositions on your part, if you choose to furnish him with a account of the Value of the Lot Ore for a number of Years last past that he may be able to form his judgement upon; I have by this Post wrote to Mr Brooks a Copy of which as well as of his letter I enclose you.  I wrote to Mr Hardinge the Rector of Stanhope as to the Tithe Ore but have not received his Answer, I imagine it will be of the purport of Mr Brooks’s.  These fresh demands must not be complied with, for there is no saying to what extent they may be carried, & should the Mines grow Poor? wch. there is reason to expect, & the Price of Lead decrease? the Compositions will remain the same so that should the Bp. & the Rector continue resolved not to Accept of the Old Composition, it will I believe be more Advisable (tho’ attended with great inconvenience etc) to suffer a temporal loss, than to have a heavy Compn. entail’d on the Mines.  When you go to Town I think that you should wait on the Bp. & when you come into the Country dine with him at Durham or Aukland.  I paid Mr Stephenson £5.5s for his Plans & I thought his Charge very high.  We have not any Lead at Market, except the Refinable at Blaydon & there are 8000 Ps. yet to come down of the quantity I sold the last Year, the present Price is £17.5. & £17.10 P For. Litharge £18. . & will be higher.                                                                           I am etc    John E Blackett

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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