Letter – Martin Morrison to Diana Beaumont – 30 Dec 1816

Document Type: Letter
Date: 30 Dec 1816
Correspondent: Martin Morrison
Recipient: Diana Beaumont
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1E 6
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      N[ew]castle 30 Dec 1816

Mrs Beaumont Bretton

I have this moment rec[eive]d your letter & since  I had the honor of writing to you on the 26th Inst I have been waited upon by two delegates with a petition (which I herewith beg to enclose) from the Weardale Miners. I have told them that every consideration for their situation weighs most feelingly on the minds of their employers & with the intention of benefitting them, employment at a great loss from the low price of Lead has been & is open to them, by which they may support their families, a blessing which in many parts of the Kingdom numbers were deprived of & which happily for themselves they were in the enjoyment of. – On my stating to the delegates that no additional advance to the price given for raising Ore would at this time on any account be made, they said it was the determination of the Miners for them to proceed to Bretton & lay their complaints before Col & Mrs Beaumont & also that they wo[ul]d not take their Ore Bargains at the approaching letting I told them that under the present depressed state of the Lead trade they would not be doing their employers a greater benefit than desisting to raise Ore for three Months to come & the only regret that w[oul]d arise by their so doing wo[ul]d be the distress they themselves would feel & the impoverishment which it would produce to the Country. This observation appeared to surprise & stagger them & they then asked me if I w[oul]d do nothing for them in the way of Corn for that which they were supplied with was both very dear & unsound I expressed my readiness to adopt, with the concurrence of the Mine Agents, every measure to remedy this complaint that was practicable by purchasing Rye in N[ew]castle & supplying them with it at <..> Cost this gave them satisfaction as conferring a benefit & they returned home to impart the result of their Mission to the Miners. – The Lead Co by the introduction of new measures into their concerns have caused all this dis content amongst the Men, they wanted, the delegates said to be put upon the same footing as the Companys Men were but this I told them was impossible not because they were in a worse situation for none of them I was sure wo[ul]d leave Col B[eaumont]s employment to go to that of the Company’s, but because the extension of our Mines rendered the Companys mode of reckoning highly objectionable, nor was it reasonable that the Comp[an]y who possess only one Working Mine in Weardale should regulate Col Beaumonts which were so numerous – On Saturday I met Geo <& Wm>  Crawhall at Hexham & some complaints having been made of the quality & dearness of Corn in Allendale it was determined to supply them with part Money & part Corn for the Monthly Subs[istence] so long as the Men should desire it & from a purchase of Rye which I had secured the offer of will the Agents are of opinion will prove acceptable as being cheaper & of better quality than can be obtained in the Country

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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