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We the undersigned Freeholders of the Town of Hexham in Conson of our own feelings and those of the town at large have taken the liberty of petitioning you with every feeling of respect begging your kind remonstrance with the Trustees of the Hexham Turnpike in deviating from the line of Road pointed out by their Act of Parliament and projecting on across Seal bisecting the public walks at two points. We and our Ancestors having enjoyed these walks unimpeded by any obstruction form time immemorial do declare that should the line projected by the Trustees be adopted it will almost universally be objectionable to the Inhabitants. We should not have presumed to address you had we not been informed that some one or more of the Trustees had declared themselves determined at all events to carry it through the Seal and that whatever objection the Town may feel to this line it must be settled between them and yourself. Now we trust you will consider it too much in us to suggest that as your consent is requisite in conjunction with Mr. Wentworth Beaumont you will be induced from this to give the matter your most serious Consideration and when called upon should you appreciate our unobstructed priveleges as highly as we ourselves value them give your decided negative to so unpopular a measure. The objection to a public Road passing through pleasure grounds, public and private walks is a feeling not only peculiar to the Rich but it is the feeling of nature why then are not we and the poorer classes of this Town to experience it and exert all our Interest and the power we may possess to prevent it. When we consider the distance saved by the Seal line but poor fifty seven yards at an expense of £150 we cannot suppose the public Traveller would reflect against the Trustees nor yet their own conscience disturb them for not taking the shortest line when the same scruple did not exist In allowing the commissioners and Governors of Greenwich Hospital Receivers extending the line of Road above sixty yards with an addtl expense of £100 by deviating from the Act of Parliament line about two miles distant from this town at the suggestion of one or two of the Trustees. Is it too much to ask the public and those commissioners to travel the wearisome distance of fifty seven yards and not interfere with our walks and change the character of the Seal so much admired and visited by strangers who appreciate our unobstructed privileges as highly as we ourselves value them. Though an unfortunate and ever to be lamented event has prevented you from residing amongst us still we do not doubt that upon all occasions you are alive to our Interest and wishes with confidence in the Relief and with every respect we subscribe ourselves Your devoted Constituents Michael Bell [and 62 others, whose names are given in the similar letter of the same assumed date to Thos Wentworth Beaumont]
undated but Diana’s reply was dated 21st July 1823. Letters to newspapers protesting against the route were dated around 2nd-5th July.