Letter – Nicholas Walton to John Ibbetson – 10 Nov 1770

Document Type: Letter
Date: 10 Nov 1770
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: John Ibbetson
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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Part of Messrs Walton & Smeatons Letter of 10th November 1770 to

John Ibbetson Esq

      In our Letter of the 20th April 1768 giving an Account by the Boards Order of the Agents necessary to be employed in establishing the Lead Mill, together with their Salaries, we particularly mentd. That the two new ones would be necessary, Viz a Mill Agent for taking Charge of the Works at the Mill, and a Clerk of the Deliverys of the Ore at Alston Moor; To the former we recommended Mr Peter Mulcaster, and respecting his Salary, expressed ourselves as follows ‘The (Lead) Company at present give their Mill Agents £30 PYear an House to Live in, and Coals for Fire: they generally have 2 or 3 Acres of Land at a Moderate price to keep a Cow. Peter Mulcaster is willing to serve the Hospital for the same price and advantages, but as it is expected that the Company will shortly raise their Agents Salaries he will expect to be raised in the same proportions and indeed considering the degree of experience skill and attention that is necessary to form a good Mill Agent we cannot but be surprised at the Smallness of the Salary, and accordingly should have recommended it to the Directors to have given more had it not carryed the appearance of unhinging the Agents of others.

      We have now had between two and three years Tryal of Mr Mulcaster and believe him perfectly honest. He is Sober, Diligent, Careful, Attentive, Sensible and Tractable, quite Master of the Refinery Business, in which he was bred, with as much general knowledge of the other Branches as we could expect in any Person, who had not been an Agent before. In short we look upon the Commissioners and ourselves as happy in the Choice of this Person, having the pleasure to think that the Hospitals Lead Mill notwithstanding its new establishment, is upon as good a footing and the busyness done upon as good Terms, as any in this Country, and are not without hopes we shall still further improve it by the care and attention of our Agent to the Minutest Article.

      We now beg leave to acquaint the Board that having received undoubted intelligence, that the Lead Company have raised the greatest part, if not all of their Agents Salarys in these parts, and particularly those of their Mill Agents Mr Mulcaster being engaged by the Boards order, upon the Terms abovementioned seems naturaly entituled to a rise of his Salary, for which he has applied.

      We apprehend he would be contented for the present by a rise of £10 a Year, but as he has more busyness upon his hands than any single Mill Agent that we know of in this Country; and gives up his whole time and attention to it , we look upon it, that it would be for the Hospitals Service to raise his Salary at once to £50 a year; which would make him quite happy and fixed in his Situation; and prevent the necessity of troubling the Board again upon this head, in a short space of time, and as the Companys Agents have affected a kind of Secrecy respecting this matter, so that we do not directly know what they have done yet have good reason to think that some, who are not Agents at their principal Mills, have £40 a year, they cannot blame the Board of Directors, if it should happen that the Hospitals Salary should a little exceed their own and considering the general rise of the necessarys of Life has been so great in this Country, within the last half dozen years something of this kind seems absolutely necessary to enable the Agent to live a degree better than the Workmen employed under him.

      On this Occasion we also beg leave to mention the Clerk of the Deliveries of Ore in Alston Moor whose Salary on Account his being an Assistant to the Moor Master the Board was pleased to fix at £30 P Year which was indeed the highest Salary we at that time thought it necessary or proper to recommend as being somewhat upon a Par with the like Agents of the Company; but as he has been obliged to keep an Horse on Account of the Distance of the Different Mines which the Companys Agents, on Account of their having their districts Assigned them, and their Work being more in a place, are not under a necessity of doing; as the Companys Agents in Alston Moor have be raised as abovementioned and as Mr Joseph Hilton has proved himself very useful and assisting in every branch of his department and ever ready on all Occasions and in reality is a Young Man of real Merit, we beg leave to acquaint the Board that we look upon it for the Hospitals Interest to fix such a Man in their Service and for the reasons abovementioned beg leave to recommend that £10 P Ann. should be added to his Salary. The only objection we see to this will be a sort of impropriety that he will then be equal to the Moor Master that is, the Moor Master and his Assistant are Father and Son, and upon the best Terms, the above may be obviated by the addition of Salary being granted to the Moor Master whose appointment in future will then be no more then on a respectable footing and on condition that this addition be paid from the present Moor Master to the present Deputy which will preserve the proper balance.

      Part of PS to the above Lre

      We understand that the additional payment of the Company’s Salary was made at Midsummer last

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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