Letter – Nicholas Walton to John Smeaton – 14 Sep 1770

Document Type: Letter
Date: 14 Sep 1770
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: John Smeaton
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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Part of Mr Walton Junrs. Letter of 14th September 1770 to Mr Smeaton


      I enclose herewith a Letter which I reced by this days Post and also Copys and extracts of Correspondence and Minutes about the Lead Mine and Lead Mill Agency. Tho' I think with you it would have been lucky if we had not had Occasion to mention an increase of Salarys so soon after their being fixed at the present Rates yet as the principal reason why an advance is asked is that the Governor and Company and other Lead Mine adventurers have raised their Agents salaries it seems to me as if the present time might Suit better to communicate our Sentiments to the Board than deferring it to a future Period. My Opinion concerning Mr Mulcaster is that he should have £50 PAnn. His brother it is said has £40 and has only the care of a Smelting Mill without a Refinery but you know the Agents are not willing to give an Acct what Salarys they have since the advance took place, it therefore may be more or less than Forty, however Mr Mulcaster at Langley Mill most undoubtedly must have an advance of whatever appears to be given by the Governor and Company to their Mill Agents and he is clearly entitled to something more than that as having more Duty than any Agent of the Company. As to Jos. Hilton I must confess I am rather at a loss what to say about it, if his Salary should be increased it can scarce be added to without bringing it to £40 P Annum and that would make him equal with the Moor Master there would be great impropriety in this but as all the Agents Salarys in the Moor have been increased, should not the Moor Master be considered and put upon a respectable footing with others? [annotated in margin here: ‘The Cos. & others Agents have from £40 to £60 P Ann for this kind of Employment.’]  I must say that it seems to me reasonable that Joes Salary should be advanced to £40 P Annum and tho' Mr Hilton Senr has never said anything further than that their Salarys, meaning himself & Son, are lower than any other Agents, yet I think he should be advanced to £50 P Annum. I desire dear Brother you will consider this fully and give me your Sentiments particularly and freely as I am desirous to be corrected if I have said or thought improperly upon the Subject two Relations being the objects of attention out of three Agents Salarys to be recommended.

      The Turnpike Barr Man has actually stopped some of the Lead Carriages and <> now lies before Mr Fawcett for his Opinion what we have a right to do and what remedy we have against the Barr keeper in case we are right.

      I inclose you a Sketch of what Wm. Laybourne proposes as to the alteration of the Movement in the Refinery Wheel instead of Barrelling and shall be glad of your Sentiments as soon as you can respecting this alteration. The Kamms are proposed to be at the same distances from each other by the Plan now sent as at present.

      All our Lead is Sold and we could sell several Thousand pieces more if we had it at Markett.

      The last Tryal of Refining took as nearly the same proportion of Fuel and Materials as that which had been made of Mr Wilkinson & Cos. Lead, as possible, our calculation rests as it did.

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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