Letter – Jonathan Hilton to Germaine Lavie – 4 Apr 1774

Document Type: Letter
Date: 4 Apr 1774
Correspondent: Jonathan Hilton
Recipient: Germaine Lavie
Archive Source: AMHS H&H
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A Copy of a Letter sent Mr. Lavie 				Alston 4 April 1774


      Your favour of the 4th Last Month came in course the present date of Stanhope Greengill West End & Howblagill Lead Mines you have as follows the Level at Stanhope was Finished the 12th Ult. & on the 14th I let the following Bargains the East End to raise Ore with 8 Pickmen till Midsummer next at 25s p Bing the West End to raise Ore with the same Number of Men & Time at 35s p Bing we have no opportunity of trying any Thing as yet but Flattes but have Let one Shaft to be sunk East of the present shaft & Another Shaft West of Do. Each shaft to be worked with 4 men at 12s p Fathom till they come to the flatts so soon as these two Shafts are sunk & the Preasent Workings holed into them shall have Convenience to make Tryal of the Vein its common when the flatts carry Ore the Veins do the same & I hope that will be the case at Stanhope I let Greengill West End Bargons at Lady Day Last the West End Workings to raise Ore with 8 Pickmen till Midsummer Next at 12/6 p Bing & the East End Workings to raise Ore with the same Number of Men & Time at 14s p Bing you will judge by the Price given for raising Ore she must be a pretty good Mine & make no doubt that the Men will make good Wagges. I expect to have Six more Men raising Ore in the same Vein in a few Weeks I am now opening an old Mans Shaft with 4 Men and taking a Crosscut out of the present Shaft in order to Air & unwater the Old Mans Shaft which shaft & Crosscut will inable me to get into the Old Mans Works & see if he have left any Ore in his Soles. I expect to have cut a Vein before now which was discovered by the Hush & Lies a Bought 50 Fathoms North of the Old Vein But having conveniance to make for Bouseteames Weshing the Ore &ca Prevented its being cut as yet we are not now more than 6 or 8 Fathoms of Cutting it as to Howblagill I have now drove the Level so far West as I intend & is now cutting to the North to discover the Veins which Discovery the Tryal making to the Old Man at Greengill cutting to the North Vein will all be compleated I expect against the first Week in June & as there are some Things respecting the Leaces which is absolutely Necessary to settle As Greengill West End is granted to Jno. Cleaver Esqr. & Company Howblagill to the Right Honorable The Earle of Carlisle & Company & no Leases signed yet I think the Leassess should be to my Lord & he gives Mr Cleaver an Assignment for his fourth share. Therefore it would be well if you & Mr Cleaver could be hear at the same Time so as to put Things upon a proper Foundation I mention this as the Mines have been attended with a very heavey Expence & as there is now a Probability of its being reimbursed the sooner those Mattres are settled the Better. I wrote Mr Cleaver Last Post upon the same subject & leave to you & him to fix the Time of Meeting The first Week in June will be the most proper Time as Mr Cleaver will have his 4th share of the Ore to dispose of and as the Time of the Year for selling I would advise my Lords buying Mr Cleavers Ore as I am very Ceartain Greengill Ore is about the best Ore in this Manner & making no doubt but Mr Cleaver will be content with such Prices as are Given to Others. This is yourself.

I was at Stanhope Yesterday & expects there will be 40 or 50 Bings of ore made fitt for Smelting on or about the Middle of May at which Time I mean to begin Smelting & by the Time that Ore is smelted the rods will be passable so that Ore will be got out of Alston moor to keep the Mill going.

      As from the present appearance of the Mines we may raise Ore to keep the Mill going pretty constant it will be absolutely necessary to have a Mill Agent to attend constantly at the Mill as well for then Inspecting of the Smelters Refiners Reducers & other Workmen who may be employed there as also for the receiving & taking an Account of the Ore & other Things brought in & the Lead carried away from the Mill this will be impossible for Mr Simpson the Present Agent to do as relley necessary an Agent should as he has a large Farm of his own to manage & has to look to the Other of Ld Carlisles Farms & does not Understand Smelting therefore as you were so obliging as give me leave when Simpson & I were with you at Naward, to chuse a Mill Agent myself I beg leave to commend a Young Man who is now Agent for Messrs Monkhouse & Co The gentleman who now rent Stanhope Mill as a Proper Person for that Agency as I know him to be Sober Diligent & Skillfull having been brought up in that Business & Mr Monkhouse & Co will have no further occasion for him.

      There are several Lead Veins in my Lords freehold at Stanhope which I think promising & maybe Tryed at an Easy Expence But as Lord Carlisle has Expended a large sum I do not think it right to layout any more except what is absolutely necessary for carring on the Works till you are on the Ground to view as its impossible for you to Judge so well from any information by Letter as you may were you once upon the Premises Therefore I most earnestly desire  to see you at Stanhope as well as at Alston as early in the Summer as you can with any Convenience & it would be well if Mr Cleaver could meet you at the Time you came hear I shall be glad of your Answer to the Sundry Matters mentioned on this as soon as you can conveniently as I do not think right to fix a Mill Agent without your consent.

      I am &ca Jona Hilton

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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