Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 11 Jan 1769

Document Type: Letter
Date: 11 Jan 1769
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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To Mr Peter Mulcaster. 					Farnacres 11th January 1769

Mr Mulcaster

      This day I received your Letter of the 9th Instant with the Operation from the outset to the 24th December 1768 which now so far as I can see is right except that in adding up the Stock of Slags at the Mill you make ? 

             Fod Cwt Sto lbs.

Refineable.   22  1   7   8

Unrefineable. 26 15   4

equal to      48 16   3   8

shd. Be       48 17   3   8

this you will alter as it is only a miscasting and after this is done I believe we shall be quite right. As soon as I can I will return you all the Operations sent by you but before you receive them I must have the whole made out separately by you and Signed, agreable to those sent herewith that is you are to Copy them in case you find them right which I don't doubt you will do, and for the future all Papers which come from you should be Signed - Langley Mill - Witness my Hand - Peter Mulcaster, you must expect we shall always look for your being as exact as possible but tho I say that, we cannot suppose you can be so much so at present as you will be after a little Practice and considering the great hurry there has been attending a new Undertaking and your being unacquainted with Accounts before this I have no doubt you will do all things in the most Exact and Methodical manner in a little Time. I am sure I shall always be ready to Shew you any thing in my power and so I am certain will my Partner as we are satisfied of you doing every thing to the best of your care and judgement and upon those we rely.

      As the Washing of the Ore appears to be attended with advantage it may be followed ‘til Rampgill Ore is all Smelted and I should like that Middle Cleugh Ore was Smelted as soon as it can be consistant with what you find convenient. In all things where you see advantage to the Hospital don't hesitate to put in practice what you think is most proper; but where any thing new is to be introduced we must Expect to be Consulted; There does appear the least objection to Smelting Greengill Ore whenever you please.

      When you have made a full Tryal of Middle Cleugh Ore & that of Rampgill mixed pray let me know; youll consider that the Produce of those Ores should be considered separately. I mean each, for in case we lose in Rampgill as much as we gain by Mixing, we may as well or perhaps better Smelt them by themselves. I mention this as a thing which appears to me proper but suppose you have already done it; and that you will be satisfied before this reaches you of what is right to be done.

      After the Tryal of the Weighed Slags I desire to hear from you and I also desire that we may have Tryal made of the Produce from all our Slags of different kinds as opportunity serves; with regard to the Slags which have been dirtied no Tryal can be made of them.

      I am surprized when you ask me whether Rampgill Slag Lead should be Refined or not as I some time ago wrote to you that it must be Refined but as to Middle Cleugh 1st & Sun Veins Slag I have no Assay and therefore cannot judge of that. When I wrote to you that Rampgill Slag Lead was to be Refined I sent to you a Copy of the Weights of the Several Assays sent by you 13 December but least you may have never received that Letter I now send you them inclosed. Indeed I cannot say but I should like to have another Assay of Rampgill Slag Lead as the two Assays made differed so much from the first being 5oz 16 Dwt 9 G[rain]s to the Fodder and the last made the 13th December -- 7.11.24 6/10. I would not have the Slag Lead mixed with Lead immediately from the Ore, in Refining, as it is intended that the Refined Slag Lead should be kept quite Separate & therefore til we get as much Slag Lead as it will be worth while to Refine altogether I think it must lye til we have as much as will make a Cake of Silver of some tolerable size.

      As the Refiners are only just set to Work I shall not expect a piece of Silver til the latter end of February or beginning of March.

      I have tryed the Assays which you sent me and find them as follows


1st Weighed       1 68/80

2nd. Do           1 68/80

Weighed together  3 45/80

According to the Weighing Separate 

                                            Oz dwt gns

I find the Produce pFodder to be             8 15  4 <5>/10

and weighed together                         8 14 13 5/10

the former should produce for 64 Fodders   560 11  4 8/10

the latter should produce for 64 Fodders   558 12

the real produce was only                  516

difference from former                      44 11  4 8/10

difference from latter                      42 12


how this very great loss has arose I realy am at a loss how to account for, and desire this thing may be well considered, and let me hear from you. 43 Ounces at 5s 11 1/2d  £12 16 2 1/2.

      There were three Assays made of Rampgill Lead before & after the first Cake of Silver was taken off and taking the Medium of those Assays the Cake from 68 Fodders should have been all 548 1/2 Ozs but it exceeded Seven Ounces, it's Weight being 555 1/2 Supposing the last Cake of Silver to be produced from the like Lead as the first it should be 516. 2. 16.

      I desire for the future youll go no lower in your reckoning the Quantity of Slags than Cwts. as the Stones and Pounds may as well be left out, it not being necessary to be so nice in a matter of mere guess Work. I am wishing you many happy years.

             Your real Well wisher

             		Nichol. Walton Jun

P.S. I send you herewith a precedent for keeping the Acct. of Lead Smelted and by whom and desire you’ll enter the Quantitys made since the time it ends in this Book now sent and in the same manner and never for the time to come set down any Person & P'tner but always mention every Mans Name.

         As I am rather hurried this day I desire youll excuse my sending the forms of Operation and precedent for keeping the Account of Lead made til a more convenient opportunity.

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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