Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 10 Dec 1774

Document Type: Letter
Date: 10 Dec 1774
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66 96
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To John Ibbetson.                             			Farnacres 10th Decemr 1774


       You will receive under cover herewith the Langley Lead Mill Account from the 1st May 1773 exclusive, to the 30th April 1774 inclusive, upon which there us a balance of £804.5.41/4 in favor of the Undertaking after allowing £130 by way of Rent for one year; being somewhat more than 5 P Cent upon the whole Expenditure for Buildings, Machinery etc and Fencing the little Farms near the Mill for the Agent & Workmen.

       At the foot of the above Account you will observe there is a Note showing the Gain by the Undertaking from its commencement to the 30th April 1774 from which it appears that the Net Profit amounts to £3827.3.11 3/4 or £667.17.3 3/10 Communitus Annis.

       In our Letter accompanying the last Years Account, we had occasion to acquaint the Board, that from an increase of the proportional quantity of Middle Cleugh Ore which was not of so good a quality as the other Ores the produce had been hereby diminished that the Governor and Company for Smelting this Ore had been obliged to increase the Smelters Wages by one third, and that we expected we should be obliged in future to do something equivalent.

       Since the time of that Letter as well as before, our Smelters have complained of the great length of time they were obliged to stand to Work, in order to produce their Weekly quantity of Lead chiefly owing to the proportion of Middle Cleugh Ore and Ore from others of the Mines which by being worked deeper than formerly is become more Stubborn and more difficult to Work.

       The latter end of September last we had a formal application from the Smelters in a body for an increase in Wages and on maturely considering considering what they alledged, we thought it reasonable, so far to comply with their request, as to allow them 8d P Fodder of 21 Cwt in addition to their former price of 6s up in the whole quantity; and which we thought more adviseable, than to make an addition upon particular Ores, as that might be productive of confusion and discontent.  Indeed we an increase necessary in order that we might keep our best Workmen who tho' they discreetly made no declaration of their intentions to leave as yet we could readily perceive a refusal would be productive of that effect; and as this addition will at an average amount but to about £30 P Ann upon the whole quantity this seemed a consideration no way equal to the risk of putting the Hospital's Lead Mill Affairs out of order.

       We inclose you an Account showing the Quantity of Duty and Hush Ore raised in the Manor of Alston Moor between Mich 1767 and Mich 1773 for Smelting at Langley Mill & distinguishing what part thereof has been delivered at the said Mill each year and what remained at the Mines in Alston Moor after the ending of each years Carriage.

       We are etc

                     N W Junr J S

An Account showing the Quantities of Duty & other Ore raised in the Manor of Alston Moor for Smelting at Langley Mill as also the Stock of Ore remaining at the Mines after the delivery of each Year to Langley Mill as follows

[There follows a table not reproduced here but available in the corresponding copy of the letter contained in the PDF file of this collection.]

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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