Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 29 May 1773

Document Type: Letter
Date: 29 May 1773
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66 96
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Mr Mulcaster.                              			Farnacres 29th May 1773

       We are glad that you are likely to find with a Quarry to your mind and hope it will answer to expectation.

       Respecting the Smelters Wages we now inform you that we shall always think it right to give you every reasonable encouragement, if they in reality have any hardship to complain of we should be glad to have things fixed upon a fair and equitable footing; but in so doing we must consider other people as well as ourselves; if either People give better Prices than we, there is no doubt but we must increase ours if we mean to keep our best Hands; but if our prices for the best Smelting Ores are the same as other Peoples if we have a greater quantity of refractory Ore than others, the most fair and equitable way is to make them an allowance upon the refractory Ores, keeping the prices of the more feasible Ore the same as other people pay.  We suppose Middle Cleugh, Rampgill and Capel Cleugh North Vein to be of the refectory kind; those of Carrs, the rest of Adam Wilkinsons and some others that you can specify better than we, are of the most feasible kind: we would therefore have you talk with them upon this Lead without acquainting them that you have wrote to us, and endeavour to draw from them such a proposition as (you can let them know) you can venture to recommend  to us.

       In general we believe it may be said that the Smelting Wages are the same now as twenty years ago, yet so much improvement has been made in the Smelting Art and Machinery for that purpose that the despatch of business will in some measure countervail the increased price of Provisions.

       The larger Cake of Bullion weighed 326 1/2 Ounces and the smaller one including the two pieces and one fined in Assay Test 56 together 382 1/2 Ounces.  We have not yet had time to try the weight of the Assays we reced when at the Mill and therefore cannot say any thing about the produce of them P Fodder.

       The trial made of Vauce Coals show us clearly we ought to go no more there.

       As soon as you can with convenience should be glad to know how the prices of the Hedging will be likely to turn out by the Rood and you shall then have full directions what to do.  It cannot be done properly by days works.

       If the Ore which comes from Middle Cleugh after this time or indeed any other Ore should be found to work ill we must try washing because without that we shall not be able to find out whether the difficulty arises from the nature of the Ore of from mismanagement in the Washing and we think there should never be above 100 Bings brought from any Mine til Trial is made of the Ore and when at any time a clear mismanagement is discovered a stop to the delivery must be put from such Mine til the quantity then remaining at the Mine shall have been rewashed and made fit for Smelting and this you are to observe as a general rule in all future times, and you will acquaint Mr Hilton with this immediately.

       We are sorry the Boring has upon the whole been attended with no better fortune but we ought not to be uneasy as we have done our best in hopes of discovery and in which we have not been totally disappointed.      We are

               Your most hble Servts

               	N W Junr    JS

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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