Letter – Nicholas Walton to John Ibbetson – 10 May 1771

Document Type: Letter
Date: 10 May 1771
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: John Ibbetson
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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Extract from Messrs Walton & Smeatons Letter of 10th May 1771 to John Ibbetson Esq.

      In obedience to the Boards order of the 1st Decr. last requiring an Account of the Produce and expenditure at Langley Lead Mill from the commencement of the Work to that time distinguishing the several Articles therein particularly mentioned we beg leave to lay before the Board the Inclosed Account; which we have taken the liberty to make out to the 6th Ult. for the following reasons; that on the 1st of December a great Stock both of Ore and Lead was resting at the Mill, upon the Road, and at Newcastle; and a large Quantity of Slags and other Articles of produce were unworked up, so that a considerable proportion of the whole Value would have necessarily depended upon Computation whereas by carrying on the Account to the 16th April we were enabled in the natural course of Business to bring matters much nearer a clearance; and therefore suppose it would be more satisfactory to the Board.

      In this Account which is extracted from a number of particulars we have included every Article of Charge upon the Undertaking both current and incidental; and as those parts which depend upon Computation are according to present appearances taken so as to be rather in disfavour of the Balance than otherwise; we think it may be depended on as the Net produce.

      It is to be observed that in the Abstract of the Mill Account to the 29th of May 1770 which we sent to the Board in November last the Balance was then £682.7.1 in favor of the Undertaking and the 6th April 1771 it is £1791.10.4 3/4 this difference of the proportion of produce in favor of the last Balance may be accounted for as follows:


1st. The whole loss and disadvantage incidental to a new Work of this kind is equaly included in both Balances but being applied to a much lesser Sum in the former case than in the latter it will diminish the losses more in proportion than the greater.


2nd. To improvements made in the methods of carrying on the Work; and every Person and thing growing better adapted to place, the business has been realy carried on upon better Terms in the last than in the first Year.


3rd. More Value of the Account depended on Computation on the former Balance than the latter and the real produce of the Computed Articles turned out better in point of Quantity than Computation, which would equaly diminish the former and increase the latter Balance.


4th. The price of Lead continued the same Viz. at £14 & £14.5 the greatest part of the Time comprehended in the Account; but as we thought it Safe to compute the Value somewhat under the current price; the Lead therefore Sold for more than Computation. Lead now Sells for £15 & £15.5 and in consequence we have raised the Computed price of a Stock in hand but which tho' still kept under the Selling price equaly contributes to raise the present Balance.


      Mr Thomas Airey Merchant at Newcastle being dead; with whom and his Son Henry Airey then in ptnership with him we entered into Agreement for the Sale of the Hospitals Lead which was approved by the Boards Minute 16th Nov. 1768; Henry Airey Succeeds his Father in Business; and therefore now stands sole in this Contract; but Mr Jonathan Airey also a Merchant of Newcastle being desirous to be joined in Contract for Sale of the Hospitals Lead with his Brother Henry and which being agreable to both Partys; as this will be a means of strengthening the Hospitals Interest as well as security in the Sale of their Lead we recommend this proposal as proper to be accepted.

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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