Letter – Nicholas Walton to John Holmes – 29 May 1772

Document Type: Letter
Date: 29 May 1772
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: John Holmes
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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Mr Holmes								Farnacres 1st June 

Dear Sir

      As you are particularly acquainted with Mr Buckley the Painter we beg leave to let you know that in the course of our Refinery Business we produce a quantity of what is here called Fume; which appears to be a species of White Lead and having been fully tried is found to answer all purposes thereof except colour; and to make a more durable Paint for outside Works than even the best White Lead itself.   It is an Ash colour but is not very uniform in its hue it has sometimes a blueish and sometimes a yellowish cast, but neither of them bright.  It seems therefore to be capable only of supplying the place of White Lead where it is used for the first coats or where it is used as a body for a Darker colour, Putty etc and what makes it is the less saleable in this Country is, that it is difficult to grind so as to give it the necessary degree of smoothness in laying on.  We make a certain value of it by reducing it into Pigs of Lead; but if we could make a little better of it by selling it for Paint Putty etc for which it is fit without further operations, we should be induced so to do by a very moderate diference.   And that Mr Buckley may be able to better judge of its value we propose to send him a Cask thereof which will contain one or two Hundred Weight.  If it should so turn out that Mr Buckley finds it useful but too troublesome to make fine by grinding in their common way, yet saleable to the Trade at a certain price if so ground; it might be worthwhile to Mess Smeaton & Holmes, not only to take what is produced at the Hospitals Lead Mill, but to collect what is produced at other Works in the Country, and erect a proper Machine for grinding it by Water at Deptford, at times when there is plenty of Water, and when their Lessee there has no right of working.  In the mean time it would be a satisfaction to us to know at what Price White Lead is sold by the Hundred by the White Lead maker.

      We are etc

      NW Junr

      J S

                                            					Farnacres 29th May 1772 

Sir  Ten days after Pay Mssrs Bell Cookson Carr Widdrington & Saint or their Order One Hundred and Seventy four Pounds Seven Shillings and Six Pence - Value received as advised by 

Sir your most hble Servts

      Walton & Smeaton 

To Mr John Holmes Strand London

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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