Letter – John Erasmus Blackett to Thomas Blackett – 6 Jun 1783

Document Type: Letter
Date: 6 Jun 1783
Correspondent: John Erasmus Blackett
Recipient: Thomas Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1E 5
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Sir Thomas Blackett Bt  Bretton                                          Newcastle       6th June 1783

      near Wakefield  Yorkshire

Dr Sir

	As nothing material had occurred in the Lead Trade etc I did not trouble you with a Letter.  We have little or no Demand for lead the high Price of that Article prevents any considerable Purchases being made for the foreign Marketts & the great Dealers stand off in Expectation of the Price falling.  it has already had a drop of 10s p Fother at that Markett and I do apprehend we shall be under a Necessity of reducing the Price before we can make any Considerable Sale.  I am sorry to give you so bad an Account of the Health of the people employ’d in the Leadmines at Allanheads & the Neighbourhood for these two months a very ugly disorder has prevailed in those parts which has carried off a great Number of people; it began at Alston & has Spread much of late.  I was in hopes the Change of Weather might have Stop’d its progress but am informed it is more violent & attended with worse Symptoms, amongst the Common People it is of the putrid kind the better sort are attacked with violent <Pleuritick> Complaints & are carried off in two or three Days.  Forster writes me that one of your Workmen was seized with it on Tuesday Morning about 11 o’Clock & was Dead before Night.  Mr Stokoe the Clergyman was taken ill on Sunday, Dr Hall was with him early on Tuesday morning & he died that Afternoon.  It has now become a very serious Affair & as I am satisfied you would have every thing done that is proper on the occasion not only for the Relief and Assistance of the Workmen in your Service but for the sake of the Public I have had some Meetings with Mr Walton the Agent for Greenwich Hospital Estate & it being our Opinion that the poor People had not proper Advice & in many cases had been improperly treated we thought no Time should be lost and have desired Dr Hall & Dr Brown to inform themselves fully of the nature of the Disorder & that they would give such Advice & Directions to the Apothecaries in the Neighbourhood  & Likewise to the Agents of the Mines as to the Treatment of the poor People as they thought would be most conducive to their Recovery as well as stopping the Progress of the Complaint.  This I hope will meet your Approbation.

	You will have a Number of Applications from Persons to succeed Mr Stokoe but as he had a Curate who will do the Duty I think you had best not dispose of it till you come into the Country & have fully considered on the Matter & of the Merits of the several Persons that may apply.  It is the Opinion of the Faculty that bad Provisions have been the Cause of the Disorder; all kinds of Grain in those parts have been very bad & the Potatoes quite Rotten.

                                                               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