Letter – John Erasmus Blackett to Thomas Blackett – 4 May 1782

Document Type: Letter
Date: 4 May 1782
Correspondent: John Erasmus Blackett
Recipient: Thomas Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1E 5
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Sir Thomas Blackett Barot                                                       Newcastle    4th May 1782

   G Bosvilles Esqr   Great Russell Street

          Bloomsbury  London

Dear Sir

	I wrote you the 22d Ulto to which refer you.  I was sorry that I was under a Necessity of writing on a Subject of so disagreeable a Nature.  I am now much more so in hearing that you have been much indisposed being sensible that these Things will give you uneasiness.  I hope this may find you perfectly recovered which shall be glad to hear.  By sinking to the Coal on the Winlaton Estate the Water which supplied your Refinery at Blaydon is taken off & you are now at the Expense of 38s a Week for blowing the Bellows.  I have been at Blaydon several Times lately to Examine the Springs etc near the Reservoir and to measure the distance from thence to the Place where the Water from the Fire Engine comes to the Day.  The Springs are trifling & in Summer almost dry.  There is not Coal to bring the Engine water to the Reservoir but it may be brought to the Top of the Wheel at the Refinery the Distance being 1020 Yards & the Expense of the Pipes or Boxes I am informed will be upwards of £200 besides the Damage to be paid Mr Ayre for bringing it across his Ground & the frequent Repairs of the Boxes & after all when the Fire Engine stops working the Refinery will be stop’d.  Mr Rastrick of Morpeth a Mill Wright & a very ingenious Mechanic (who has erected several Machines for raising Water etc in this Neighbourhood) was recommended to me & as it was necessary that no Time should be lost in this Business I took him with me to Blaydon Yesterday to ask his Opinion.  he recommends a small Wind Mill to be built at the West Corner of the Refinery Yard for raising Water from the River for the Supply of the Wheel and likewise of the Reservoir by the present Pipes but as the Mill may be at Times laid off for Want of Water Wind he likewise recommends a small Engine to go with one House.  The Bellows may be wraught by the Engine without the Assistance of Water but the blast would not be so equal which would be of great disadvantage to the Refinery etc.

	Should you approve of a Scheme of this kind I imagine you would have it postponed till you come into this Country as you understand these Things very well & you’ll probably bring Mr Beatson with you.  I have some other Schemes which I think may answer very well.  The first is to build a Slag Hearth & the same Engine to work the Bellows, at present we are under a Necessity of selling the Slag & as they take it away as it suits there Convenience the Slags or a great part of them are carried away by the Floods (which was the Case in the late Floods) & the Field adjoining was hurt by the Quantity of small Slag.  The next is to have a Contrivance for sifting Litharge which in the present method of doing it is so very detrimental to the Health of the Workmen.  The other is to have the same Engine to grind Bones; the finest part of which may be used in the two Refinerys the other part for manuring of Land.  I only offer this for your Consideration & if you should approve of something of the kind I hope we shall see you next Month.  If this takes place the £10 a Year which you pay Sir Thomas Clavering for liberty of bringing Water to the Reservoir will Cease.

	Your Lead Carriage starts to morrow but the Roads are still very bad & the Season exceeding backward.                    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