Letter – Martin Morrison to Diana Beaumont – 25 Sep 1818

Document Type: Letter
Date: 25 Sep 1818
Correspondent: Martin Morrison
Recipient: Diana Beaumont
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1E 6
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							Newcastle 25th Sept 1818

Mrs Beaumont Bretton Yorks



      The calamitous occurence of the destruction of greatest part of the Abbey by Fire yesterday, has produced the most distressing sensations Mr Crawhall being NCastle when the intelligence arrived immediately set off for Hexham, and when he reached the place a little before 12 o’clo[ck] at night, the flames had ceased raging, but with the destruction of the front and West side of the house, except the Walls which are standing. – I understand Mr Dobson has communicated the particulars to Mr Beaumont of this sad event, by this morning’s Post of which you will no doubt be informed.

      By what cause this great misfortune has been produced is not yet sufficiently accounted for; but it is supposed that the flues in a heated state, by some means not discovered (altho’ Mr Dobson asserts this was guarded against) had ignited the old Timber in the Building, become highly inflammable by its extreme dryness. 

      In addition to this clamity, I regret to state that the Miners in Weardale are demanding an Increase of Wages, and also of Subsistence Money, for the ensuing quarter, and have expressed their determination not to work, unless their demand is complied with. – In consequence of no improvement in the price of Lead, the Ore Bargains for this last [struck out: quarter] year have been advanced 16£ pCent on the former years earnings; but not content with this, which redeems your promise to give more wages when lead became higher, they now require 10/- pBing additional for raising Ore and 40/- pMonth Subsist: Money: A demand so unreasonable cannot be complied with, and I have decidedly objected to making any advance this Quarter, and whilst the Men continue in the determination not to go to Work – On writing thus far, I have been waited upon by three Men from Weardale  with the enclosed petition, I repeated to them in substance what I have above stated – they then desired me to forward the petition to you, which I engaged to do, but assured them that the present poverty of the Mines would not allow you to afford the relief they sought for; or, indeed any modification of it, even if the Mines were in a more prosperous state, whilst the Men acted upon this determination of not going to Work. – I promised to inform them the result of your determination and advised them to return peaceably to their Work, that if any advance Could be given them next quarter I would endeavour to do it, but on the express condition of their returning peaceably to work. I am greatly distressed, in this moment of heavy affliction to you, to be under the necessity of making this unpleasant communication and have the Honor to remain etc etc


To Martin Morrison Esqr

The humble petition of the Miners in Weardale – Sheweth that your petitioners are suffering and have long suffered the greatest distress owing to the pressure of the times, and the low price given for raising Ore.—this they have endured with great patience and fortitude in expectation of better times. – We have continued working a long time confiding in Lady Beaumont’s promise that our Wages shall be advanced, as soon as the price of Lead advanced. Lead has considerably advanced since that period, but we have only received five shillings more pBing - and that only for the poorest parts of the Mine, great numbers of us are not making our Subsistence Money, & have been under the necessity of seeking relief, upwards of 400 of us (including their Families) are on the Parish. Mr Crawhall says he has not power to give more at present, our Strength and Spirits are gone, numbers of us nearly without food and raiment suffering extreme poverty. – We feel ourselves obliged from these distressing circumstances to humbly request that you will have the goodness to advance the price for raising Ore not less that 10/- pBing and other work in proportion; in order to enable them to make 15/- or 16/- pWeek and to advance our

Subsistence Money to 40/- pMonth – from your <wonted> goodness & generosity We humbly hope you will grant our reasonable request & Your Petitioners will ever pray etc

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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