Letter – Nicholas Walton to John Ibbetson – 29 Apr 1768

Document Type: Letter
Date: 29 Apr 1768
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: John Ibbetson
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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To John Ibbetson Esqr. 					Farnacres 29th April 1768



      As we were obliged to leave Short our Account of the Sale Agent for Lead at Newcastle in our General Account concerning the management of the Smelting Business, we now beg leave to supply that deficiency.

      The Agent for Sale of the Lead at Newcastle takes Accot. of the Lead received from the Mill by the Carriers & disposes of the same to Merchants and others, in the best manner he can, according to the price of the Markett, accounting with the principal Agents for the Money from time to time received in the Accounts above mentioned. It is necessary that this kind of Agent should not only be resident at Newcastle, but in such Way of Life as regularly to attend the Exchange to be in the Way of Orders; and at the same time a person of the best Credit to be responsible for the Sums of Money necessarily coming into his hands. The Lead Company & M Errington and Company, employ Agents of this kind; some of the lesser Miners sell their Produce directly to the Merchants, and thereby in the first instance save the Commission to the Agents, but this in large Concerns we cannot recommend; for if a Merchant buys a large Quantity of Lead, for which he may have no immediate demand he must employ a Capital in this Trade from which he will expect a Profit at least equal to the Agents Commission; we therefore think that it will not only be adviseable but by far the clearest way, to employ an Agent for the Sale of the Lead; and who, acting on a certain Commission sells the Lead for the best price he can get according to the Markett, and is responsible for the Lead remaining in his hand and the Money for the Lead Sold.

      It also seems requisite as the Affair stands, related to Greenwich Hospital, that the Sale Agent should not only be accountable for the Lead in hand, and the Money received for Lead Sold; but should likewise stand the risque of bad debts; in short, that the Value be insured to the Hospital after brought to Markett.

      With this view, we have applied to Mr. Thos. Airey Mercht. of Newcastle, a person in every respect Qualified to perform this Service: he acquaints us that ‘he is willing to undertake ‘to sell the Lead belonging to the Hospital, and run the risque the ‘Commissioners allowing him two pCent; or one pCent without risque, and ‘will engage on no other Terms.’

      We can only say further that on Enquiry we believe that one pCent is paid by the Governor and Company for such Lead as the Agent sells, but we dont find that he or any one stands in the risque of bad debts: He has only 1/2pCent for such Lead as he does not Sell, but only Ships on board to the Company's Order at London.

      It is to be noted that a great deal of the Lead here Sold, goes immediately into foreign Countrys and that Mr. Aired has frequently Orders from abroad; this is a good circumstance for promoting the Sale, but is an additional argument, why he should insure the Payment.

 	We are Sir your most Obed. Servts.

      Nich. Walton Jun

      J. Smeaton

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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