Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 22 Mar 1772

Document Type: Letter
Date: 22 Mar 1772
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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Mr Mulcaster							Farnacres 22nd  March 1772

      I reced your Letter of the 18th yesterday and am, sorry to hear you have been so poorly.  I heartily wish you soon well again.

      As we want under 200 pieces of Lead I hope we shall certainly get all to Newcastle by Friday first at farthest but I have some thoughts we shall get all by Tuesday.  I shall write to Willy Labourne to make enquiry in the neighbourhood of Hexham and get him to see all is brought away and I shall desire him to come down here on Wednesday & observe whether there is any then left between Hexham and Newburn and at Newburn and I will myself make enquiry as to what happens to be between Hexham and Newburn & Newcastle I shall certainly, God willing, be at Hexham on the 31st in the Afternoon or Evening but I shall not dine there.

      I am in no hurry about the Tryal as to the Fume & think with you it is the best way to do as you propose.  I am

             Your hble Servt

             		N W Junr

PS.    Pray how far forward have you got with your Walling matters; we have had such weather there is no such thing as Standing at the Door here

      The Tryal of the Fume puts me in mind of making a Tryal of the Slime Ore in the Redwing Furnace.  when therefore you have done Refining and Reducing the Lead that is made from all the other sorts of Ore I desire a Tryal at be made by laying a quantity of Slime Ore into the Reducing Furnace and giving it such a heat as to make it so far run as to keep together in a Lump then draw it out into pieces in proper sizes for Smelting when cool & run it in the Ore Hearth.  This Mr Smeaton and I think would prevent the Blast blowing away the small particles in such quantity as cannot be prevented in the present method.  By doing this you will be prevented Refiniing the Lead produced from the Slime Ore til after the Pay but I desire you will not consider that as an objection and I wish to have this tryal made before you try the Fume. It will be necessary to Smelt some in the common way as without that the comparison will not hold good as quantities formerly Smelted might not be of the same quality of that now to be Smelted.

      The Litharge Lead saved from all the Silver Casks should be Refined and the Silver taken from it in a Cake by itself and this I desire may be done before you begin your Tryal of running the Slime Ore in the Reducing Furnace and then the Litharge produced from that Lead may be reduced before the 25th of April.

      The Slime Ore should be weighed before being put into the Reducing Furnace and after it is taken from thence & cool  If the Tryal should prove it will certainly be worthwhile to erect an Air Furnace for the particular purpose of preparing Slime Ore for the Ore Hearth.

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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