Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 20 Dec 1774

Document Type: Letter
Date: 20 Dec 1774
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66 96
  • Transcription
  • Comments (0)
  • Change font
    If columns/tables do not appear straight, change font
Mr Mulcaster.                                 		Farnacres 20th December 1774

       From a Letter reced since we wrote about the Charcoal we find you will not receive it til about March next.

       In the Experiments with the Charcoal, when it does arrive, we would have you observe the following directions.


       The quantity of Litharge to be reduced for each Experiment to be from Four Fodders of Lead, being the quantity produced from one Working Test; and the Charcoal for every experiment must be broken with a Wooden Mallet or Paving rammer so as to be reduced as nearly as possible to the same smallness as the Coals which are now used. 

       Experiment 1st - Let the Litharge be mixed with Charcoal in the same manner as now with Coal; then charge the Furnace and during the Operation throw in Charcoal in the same manner as Coals are now thrown in 'til the charging is worked out.

        Experiment 2nd - Let the Litharge be mixed with Charcoal and Coal in equal Quantities in the same manner as now and charge and throw in Charcoal and Coal in equal Quantities during the Operation as above mentioned in Experiment 1st til the charging is worked out.

       Experiment 3d - Let the Litharge be mixed as in Exp2d then charge and throw in Charcoal only, during the Operation, til the charging is worked out.

       Experiment 4th - Let the Litharge be mixed with Coal as now and charge and throw in Charcoal only during the Operation til the charging is worked out.


       The above quantity of Litharge is fixed upon as being supposed a full charging, if it is not sufficient for that, we would have you in each Experiment to use as much Litharge as is usual for a charge in the present way, & each quantity must be from the same Number of Pieces of Refineable Lead; we would also have you to make an Experiment No 5 in which Let the Litharge be mixed with Coal and worked in the same manner as now practised.

       We are obliged by the Opinion you give us as to the Casting of the Bellows.

       Mr Smeaton says you are right in saying that before the alteration was made in shortening the Chains the Bellows were going at the rate if 19 or 20 Strokes in a Minute and 14 after the alteration.   Mr Smeaton is clearly of opinion that an alteration must have been made by letting the Chains down again at one end or the other or otherwise the Bellows would not go either 19 or 20 Strokes; and when you grow scarce of Water it will certainly be proper to take up a Link again; and in case it should be found, that it does not answer so well at 14 Strokes as 19 or 20 - 5 Camms must be put in when the Axis is Barrelled instead of four.

       We are sorry to find the Middle Cleugh Ore proves so refractory but hope you will get better away with it after a little further tryal as we do also that Scaleburn Moss will prove better than you expect and we must wash where necessary and are sure you will do the best for the Undertaking.

       There is not much objection to the Slag Lead being some of it a little above and some under weight and as we hope the advantage arising by having the Lead set up when not too hot will be something considerable as to the character of it we think that will counter Balance every objection to the uncertainty of weight and desire you will proceed in such manner as to have the Lead set up as cool as possible.

       We shall be glad to see you here whenever it is convenient but if you would be here on Monday the 26th inst you will then meet with us both together and we shd like that if it occasions no inconvenience to you. We are

       Your hble Servts

       N W Junr J S

Leave a comment

We welcome further information or corrections on topics and incidents mentioned in individual letters. It might take a while before your comments are checked for adding to public view within the website. We cannot undertake further research in response to questions.

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


General Discussion
Suggested correction or addition


  Return to search results or refine/create new search
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