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Farnacres 14 March 1782 Messrs. Mulcaster We have examined all the Operations to the 23d February which are all right except some Articles in the Quantity of Ore smelted which do not agree with the Ore brought in, as particularly noted in the Accounts inclosed where Memorandums are made with <Pen>cil which you are desired to examine carefully, and fill up the Blanks in the inclosed Account with proper Quantities and then sign and return them both, and this we shd. be glad you would do the first convenient Opportunity. We return you the Operation first sent ending the 23d February which, on comparing with that last sent, we find would not have answered. We had almost forgot to mention one Error in the Operation ending the 26th January. There were 8 pieces of Lead reported to be made from Black Slags for Sale, and in the same Operation there were 8 pieces of that same kind of Lead reported as being in Stock. For the Operation ending the 23d. February, it appears there were 6 pieces of Black Slag Lead sent for Newcastle, and consequently there ought to have been 2 reckoned as Stock, but there are none in the Account of Stock. We yesterday reced. yours of the 11th. and are glad to hear you have reced ours with the Tables and approbation of your Conduct as to the building of the Refining House Wall which work we have no doubt will fully answer the load, and we are very happy to find that the Expence including Labour and Materials amounts to no more than £1:19:11. The Circumstance you mention as to the Fraud respecting the taking of the Eight Stone Lead from the Refiners &c. is a very disagreable one, and we verily believe it happens in the way you suspect. We assure you we are very much concerned on acct. of it, but cannot at present think of any particular Method of detecting the Villany, but desire that your Attention may be unremitting, that, if possible, a discovery may be made, and you may depend upon it the most severe punishment shall be inflicted. A Discharge will not content us. We shall certainly follow the Villain or Villains let them be who they will ‘til a more severe punishment is inflicted, if that be possible. When we come to the Mill, we shall consider with you and determine upon something by way of preventing a like Attack for the future. From the circumstance of this Le<ad> being taken, we are apt to suspect that the Produce from the Reducing Furnace has been affected, and you shd. take an Opportunity of talking both to the Refiners and Reducers and acquainting them with your Apprehension of that being the cause of the former of sometimes falling short in their Produce of Lead, and that therefore they ought to be active for their own Justification, in detecting so rascaly a proceeding not only to the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital but to them. We are much obliged to you for your Information and Attention relative to the Floods which is the only one that has come from any of the Greenwich Hospital Agents, but we are very much concerned that in addition thereto we have heard from other Hands of great part of Hexham Bridge being fallen, and we doubt we shall soon receive further information of other considerable damages both to Greenwich Hospital and other persons. We have reced Tho. Temperleys Accounts and also the Assays the Result of the weighing of the latter of which you have as follows. Weight No of Assays Grs 80th Oz Pws Grs Tenths Cowslitts, Hanging Shaw 2 64 equals 18.104.22.168 p Fodr. Refineable Caple Cleugh Cutting Do. Cutting Slag 2 44 5. 7.19.2 p Fodr. Refineable Scaleburn Moss Cutting 2 1.10 11. - 12 - p Fodr. Refineable Do. Cutting Slag 2 68 8. 6.14.4 p Fodr. Refineable Middle Cleugh Cutting 2 1.28 13. 4.14.4 p Fodr. Refineable Blagill Slag 2 40 4.18 p Fodr. Leaves only 3/4 p[er] Fodder Profit by Refining As the last leaves so little profit we scarce think it worth refining, but if it is in 8 Stone Pigs it will perhaps be better to melt it down by refining it, than to keep it in that size for Sale. You have certainly done very properly with regard to Scaleburn <Moss> Cutting Ore and we are very sorry to see so very bad a Produce from it. We have wrote to Mr. Harvey and ordered Wood for 2 Ladders, one of which to be 14 feet long and the other 36 feet long, and desire when the Ladders are made, that they may have Heart of Oak for Rungs. Do you think it will be possible to have everything ready so as to make the Pay at the Lead Mill on the 15th. 16th. or 17th. of April or even the 18th. It would be a great convenience to us, if that could be done, and therefore we desire you will exert yourselves to get that done, if you see there is a Probability of effecting it, and we shd, be glad to hear from you upon this Subject as soon as convenient. We are Your Hble Servts. Walton & Turner
Hexham bridge collapsed in March 1782, as reported here. Designed by Smeaton, it had not long been open to traffic and had replaced the bridge washed away in a flood in 1771.