Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 18 Nov 1769

Document Type: Letter
Date: 18 Nov 1769
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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To Mr Peter Mulcaster. 					Farnacres 18th November 1769

Mr Mulcaster

      We duly received your Letter of the 12th and 13th Instant and as in our last we gave you directions that you were at liberty to dispose of Barnatt to your liking, we need not repeat it now. We don't believe he is capable of being amended, so that when you cannot get on with the business on account of his deficiences, you will be obliged to dismiss him in your own defence.

      The Affair that you tell us is certainly a very odd one. That Elliot should mention on Barnatts return that he had put two pieces of Lead in the Dish among the Assays and that neither of them shd immediately after be found, is the thing very Surprizing; and yet that Elliot could have any Ill intention in such an information which he knew must turn out otherwise is as difficult to conceive. As to the little Bitts of Silver they seem to be nothing but such as are thrown out by the Vulcano's in taking off a Piece, which undoubtedly fly about in all directions and by some chance might possibly get into the Dish of Assays: there were a thousand such upon the Surface of the last piece of Silver some of which we Picked off with our Nails. We dont see what end it could Answer to put in those small Pieces into the Dish as they would fall to the bottom of the Dish and even Supposing them put into a Ladle along with the Chips of Lead as the same Heat would not melt them as the Lead, they would swim on the Surface and be taken off with the Scum consequently never come into the Assay Test at all. However to prevent any abuse that may arise from any thing of the like kind we are of Opinion that a Strong Chest ought to be provided to hold the pieces of Lead drawn off at the conclusion of each Test, that they ought to be drawn off in your presence, cast into a proper form if necessary and immediately Weighed and deposited in the Chest; and the Weight noted down and a duplicate left with the Refiners; the Chest to have Two Locks with different Keys one to be kept by you, the other by the Refiners, and when the pieces are taken out in order to have the Silver taken off, to be weighed back again and you see the Silver taken off as usual.

      This we think should be agreable to the a Refiners as it relieves them from all anxiety let the Assays turn out how they will. If you approve of this dont delay getting it put in execution if not let us know your reasons.

      We have tryed the Assays of the Test Bottom Lead which turn out alike and by our Scales 7 oz 9 D 10 8/10 Gs PFodder. 

      We are Your Hble Servts

      N. W Junr


PS. We suppose a little piece of Lead is taken off each Pig by way of trying what might to be the produce of Silver but if that is not done we think it will certainly be proper to have it so for the time to come and it seems to us necessary to Stir the Lead about very well in the Ladle after the pieces are melted.

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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