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A Copy of a Letter sent Mr. Forth at Castle-haward 2 July 1770 Sir, Your Favour of the 26th Ult. I received there has been Nothing done at Peatstackhill for 5 years past except picking out about 15 Bings of Ore in every Year, and that at a high price their was no Loss by hir & the Proffit very inconsiderable, neither is there any Prospect for future Tryals. I acquainted Mr. Cleaver the first of July 1769 that all the Ore had been got at Greengill that could be raised with Proffit to the Masters & as I believed their was no encouragement for making any more Tryals, had taken care of the untentils &c & have done Nothing more at the Mine since more than raising a small Quantity of Ore by wishing the Wastiges. As to the Hush I expect it will raise about the same Quantity of Ore this Year as Last which was 40 Bings. The Hush was not begun with an intent of proffit but for the Discovery of Veins, and has been a Loosing Bargain so far but as all Veins are now Discovered that can possibly be by the Hush theirs no doubt of the Hush paying again what hath been expended. The Names of the New Veins granted to Jno. Cleaver Esq. & Companey are a vein South of Law Greengill Old Vein Granted Nov. 26th 1761 A vein North of Old Greengill vein granted 13th of April 1765. A vein called Greengill West End Granted 12 Feby 1766 A Vein called Howblagill Granted 12 Feby 1766. The above Veins is granted by the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital to John Cleaver Esqr & Companey & if I had not thought them promising should not advised Mr. Cleaver to proposed for them. I wrote Mr. Cleaver since Candlmas Last, told him that the Receivers for the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital now insisted of having the New Vein worked or given up and that he should Detirmine what should be done about the above Tryals and recommended what I thought most advisable to be done but has rec’d no Answer. As neither his Lordship or you know much of the Affair it is needless to say anything more about it until I see my Lord in the Country when will give him the best advice I can. It is a very strick clame in the Leices of Lead Mines that any Mine that is not worked for three Months in any Year the same must be forfeited to the Commissioners, but at Mr Cleavers request saying that no new Works could be carried on till his Lordship was at Age. I have hither too prevailed on the Receivers to continue them in Mr. Cleaver & Companies Names till this Time as Answering Mr. [sic] Lord & Mr Cleaver has been considerable Loosers by the Mine in this Country would be sory to make them forfeited till his Lordship had Time sufficient to determine how he intended to proceed in Future. If Mr Cleaver should decline & his Lordship think the Whole of the Veins two great an Undertaking he may have a Sufficient Partner that will take any Share his Lordship Pleases to part with. I was at Stanhope last week there has been no Loss at that Mine since I have been concerned that is since Michas 1768 their was a Clear Pay made till Michas 1769 & all the Ore Smelted that was raised before that Time I expect their will be upwards of 100 Bings of Ore raised this Year most part of it from a New Discovery. The way that the Old mine has been carried on has as I am informed been expence to my Lord and according to my Judgement no satisfactory Tryal made in the Mine but as you say I will have an Opportunity of seeing his Lordship shall at that Time shew a Plan of the Mine & a Computation of the Expence that will attend seting the mine on a better footing then she is at Present. There has been a Considerable Loss by Smelting of late Occasioned by the Mill being so much out of repair particularly the Smelting Bellows Water Troughs & Wheel so have smelted no Ore Raised since Michas Last as it could not be done without Loss till new Bellows & Water Troughs are got & Wheel repard I imagion it may not be a Miss by getting a Workman & taking an estimate of the above expence but of that you may have time to inform me before his Lordship coming as also any Thing you think Necessary to his Lordship should be informed of. I am &c Jona. Hilton P. I intend writing Mr Cleaver desiring his Ansr whether my Lordship & he or either of them intends working the Mines they have under Grant in Alston moor or no as they cannot be Longer kept without so soon being set forward.
William Forth was an agent to the Earl of Carlisle at Castle Howard, as was his son the Rev John after him, but John was only 6 years old in 1770 so this was evidently his father.