Letter – John Erasmus Blackett to Thomas Blackett – 22 Apr 1782

Document Type: Letter
Date: 22 Apr 1782
Correspondent: John Erasmus Blackett
Recipient: Thomas Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1E 5
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Sir Thomas Blackett Barot                                                       Newcas   22d April 1782

   Great Russel Street   Bloomsbury


Dear Sir

	I wrote you the 8th instant to which refer you.  I understand Mr C Blackett has wrote to you Complaining against me for not selling him a Quantity of Lead I must therefore take up a little of your Time to Explain that Matter.

	Mr C Blackett had sometime since enquired of me if I had any Lead to dispose of for the London Markett without naming any Quantity or offering a Price.  I told him I had not for the Quantity that I had sold him & Dr Hall was not at that Time at Blaydon, he then desired to be informed when I had a Quantity to sell.  I told him I should on his making Enquiry let him know when I should sell for Mr Richmond & myself have always thought it was more for the Interest of the Seller (when the Trade would admit of it) to be applied to & a price offered than to offer the Lead to Markett to all the Buyers.  On the 10th instant I was applied to by Dr Hall for 20000 ps Lead, he offered 16 3/4  for Common & £17 p Fother for refined Lead.  I declined selling that Quantity but entered into an Agreement with him for 10000 ps, equal Quantities.  My Object was to sell such a Quantity as would in a great measure fix the Price for the Year, at least prevent its dropping.  This was following the Line which the late Mr Richmond always pursued & which I am satisfied is for your Interest.  The Lead Carriage was every day expected to start, other Lead Owners might have closed with Mr Hall & on the whole I thought it an adviseable measure for your Interest & what I would submit to any Man of Knowledge in Trade.  When Mr Blackett heard of the Sale he applied to me for a Quantity at the same Price which I could not at this Time sell him till the former purchase or a great part of it was delivered or a sufficient Quantity come down to Justify me in making a Sale.  I should have had no Objection to have sold him a Quantity the latter End of next Month when we may expect a good Quantity down.  Mr C Blackett called on me at your Office this Morning by his appointment & to my Surprise brought his Brother Mr John Blackett.  I was alone & am sorry to say that I never met with such Treatment as I did from Mr C Blackett since I have been in Business & hope never shall again.  I think the more Buyers there are at Markett the better & have always avoided giving an undue Preference at the same Time I thought it adviseable to keep myself disengaged that when I thought it was for your Interest to sell a Quantity even to one Person by which means the Price would be fixed & supposed to be at Liberty to do it Your Interest being my first Object.  Was I never to sell a Parcel of Lead to one Person without making an offer of a Quantity to the other the Buyers would soon Combine & fix a Price which we must be under a Necessity of accepting, while there is a Jealousy amongst them that will not be the Case.  Mr C Blackett has thought proper to say that it has been my Endeavour to drive him from the Markett that I have treated him & his Friends very Ill and even told Mr Peart that both himself & Friends were satisfied that there was a private understanding between Dr Hall & myself & that we went Shares in the Commission.  A worse Thing could not have been said of me.  I detest the Action & flatter myself you will do me the Justice to believe what I say.  This disagreeable Business gives me much uneasiness & I hope when we meet to satisfy you that I have not merited such Treatment from Mr C Blackett for I again declare to you that it has never been my desire or wish to give anyone of the Buyers a Preference.

	I must do Mr C Blackett the Justice to say that he has fulfilled his Engagements with me for the Payment of the Lead as has Doctor Hall.  I have fixed the Lead Pays for the End of next Month.  The Amount will be £29790.                  I am etc         JEB

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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