Letter – Joseph Hilton to John Gilbert – 13 Mar 1776

Document Type: Letter
Date: 13 Mar 1776
Correspondent: Joseph Hilton
Recipient: John Gilbert
Archive Source: AMHS H&H
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A Copy of a Letter sent to Mr Gilbert				Alston 13 March 1776


      Your favour of the 14th Decr should have been answered sooner but I wished much to give you an Account of the time Mr Wilkinson & myself would be with you, which I have never been able to do as yet; I saw Mr Wilkinson yesterday and he cannot think of coming into your Neighbourhood this Spring and indeed it would have been very inconvenient to me to have done so had it been convenient to him therefore we must decline the pleasure we intended ourselves till further consideration.

      My Father recd some remarks from Mr Gregg in Decr which he Answered the 24th Jany and as Mr Gregg said in his Letter the Answers he sent would be laid before you, I have no doubt but that you have seen them as such shall say nothing about these matters but will give you a short detail of what is principally going forward in the Mines because as soon as Ladyday is turned Mr Gregg will have a Copy of the Bargains sent and also a particular Account how the prospect is which undoubtedly will sent for your inspection.

      After you were here we found it absolutely necessary to bore the foremost Shaft at Greengill on Account if the Water we met with in Sinking and a part of the Boreing being in the Vein it made it made it very difficult & a long time in performing, however we holed on the 23 Feby and are now Sinking with 4 Men and rising with 4 Men so as to meet which we hope will be done in the course of this Month we are also Sinking with six men in the same Shaft foot in order to meet 8 more men who are cutting cross from the Low Level in order to rise and make a Sump between the upper & Lower Works when these things are finished we shall have good air so as to enable us to try the Vein 20 or 30 fathoms further West than where she has been ever tryed in the Sill & we hope to meet with success; we have a piece of pretty good Ore in the Iron Stone near where the foremost rise was when you were here but it is not now so good, and some part of the old Roofs has raised tolerably well. In attempting to sink into the Little Limestone we have met with a great deal of Water which makes that tryal very expensive indeed more so than expected, however I hope that there is no doubt but that we shall manage the Water and get a tryal of the Vein, of which I assure you we are in good hope of success. 

      We have made no discovery at How Blagill as yet.

      At Bentyfield, which is the same as the West End of Greengill West End Lease, we have been hindred in the Sump you saw by meeting with more Water than we could sink under but however we have overcome that and are now next Week intended to try to sink to the random of where we expect to meet with Ore. the other Mines in Garrigill are much in the same situation as when you were here as we are not yet got to where we had any expectations of Success.

      At Stanhope we were disappointed in attempting to Sink under the Level as such the undertaking is laid aside, my Father was there the 6th Inst and upon the whole he thinks the appearance rather better than when you were here.

      When you were here we told you that with Borrowing £2000 we would be enabled to make the Pays at which Time we did suppose that all the Lead then delivered would be sold and turned into Cash before this Time, and it was then agreed that Mr Cleaver should be wrote to desiring he would rest his Money upon Interest till we could sell Lead to repay him. On writing Mr Cleaver he answered that he had previously engaged his Cash against Candlemas otherwise would have been glad to oblige us, as such we were necessitated to emit his Money & instead of all the Lead then Delivered Sold as we expected we have 1538 Pieces at Newcastle unsold which leaves us that Sum short & consequently we are not able to make the Pays.

      Mr Gregg wrote us to borrow of Messrs Atkinsons Templesowerby £2000 but on our application they could not supply us we then applyed to Charles Atkinson Esqr the present Mayor of Newcastle who has ever since we was concerned sold Lord Carlisles Lead who would have procured us the Cash but as the Sum wanted was a good deal more than Mr Gregg desired us to Borrow he thought it right to have another Letter from Mr Gregg to Borrow £3000 which will compleat the Pays as such we wrote Mr Gregg the 5 Feby & my Father wrote him the 25th same Month but we have recd no Answer we shall therefore take it as a particular favour if you can be the means of getting us an Answer as soon as you can with proper power to make the Pays as otherwise the Credit of the Mines most certainly will suffer.

      The Alston moor Pays were made at Christmas. we should not have troubled you with this but as we recd no answer to Mr Greggs remarks we were apprehensive Mr Gregg might be out of London and the Letters not have reached him.

      I am for Father & Self

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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