Letter – Nicholas Walton to John Ibbetson – 2 Jul 1773

Document Type: Letter
Date: 2 Jul 1773
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: John Ibbetson
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66 96
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To Mr John Ibbetson Esq.                    Farnacres 2nd July 1773


       We inclose the Langley Lead Mill Account from 25th April 1772 to 1st May 1773 upon which there appears to be a Balance of £320.5.1/2 in favour of the Undertaking.  You will observe that the profit of this year falls considerably short of the profit of the last year which may in great measure be ascribed to the following causes Viz 

       1st that the Ore of Middle Cleugh which the last year makes between a third and a fourth part of the whole Quantity has been not only more in quantity but turned out more refractory in the Smelting than in former Years in consequence the allowing for this Ore, as in purchase, more than in reality it was worth in proportion to its produce this difference will directly apply itself to reduce the profit.  Nor have we been singular in this matter as according to our information the Govs & Co have not made a better if so good a produce and have been obliged to increase the Smelters Wages upon that Ore by one third and we expect that we shall be obliged in future to do something equivalent.

       2dly  The fall that has this year happened in the price of Lead and Bullion must equaly affect the profits of this as an Undertaking as if the Duty Ore had been bought and Smelted by any private Undertaker.  The Duty Ore bring valued at 50sPBing according to the price of Lead and prospect of the Trade at the beginning of the Account whereas had the Duty been valued according to the price of Lead at the end of it, it could not gave been more than 46 or 47 P Bing and though this fluctuation will always in proportion affect the profits of the Lead Mill as an Undertaking yet it will no ways affect the real produce of the Hospitals Dues for the more that is allowed for the unsmelted Dues the less will be the profits of the Lead Mill and vice versa.

       It appears that the Lead lost by Refining is less in our Work the last year than the preceding and indeed less than we have any others give out; the common calculation of loss being 1/14th past.

               We are Sir Your most obed Servts

       N W Junr   J S 

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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