Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 5 Dec 1774

Document Type: Letter
Date: 5 Dec 1774
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66 96
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Mr Mulcaster.                                     Farnacres 5th Decemr 1774.   


      I acknowledged the Recet of yours wth the Operation and Assays, on Friday last, and on Saturday the Bullion was sent off for London it weighs 694 3/4 Ozs but is short of the Computation by the Assays almost 30 Ounces indeed it is so by computation from the Assay of the least weight.  I do realy think Mr Mulcaster we do not get so much Silver in proportion to the Assays as we used to do and therefore I would have you try Assays of the Refined Lead in the two next Operation by taking chips of Lead of the Refined Pigs here and there til you get a Pound or better so as to be sure to have a Pound Assayed for each Operation and this will show us whether there is any defect in the work or not.

      Having now examined all your Operations to the 26th November inclusive I find all is right and have great satisfaction in acquainting you with this and I am sure you will gave pleasure to hear they are all exact.

      I cannot help thinking the Litharge Slags wch come from the Litharge saved from the Silver Tests will be very rich in Silver and tho' at a considerable distance of time before we shall have any I now mention it as I would wish to have an Assay made from them by washing a few of them so as to get a Pound of Lead from them and make an Assay of the Pound.  What you proposed as to taking care of the Test Bottoms of the Silver Tests and keeping them by themselves was certainly right and I would stil carry it farther and take care of the Black Slags which shall be produced from the Litharge Slags and Test Bottoms of the Silver Tests.  I think this is as farr as we can go and dare say this last object will be found very small.

      There is great complaint of the L.S. Pigs of Slag Lead being liable to break in two which is I am sure owing to its being put out of the Pan too soon, that is, before it is cool enough.  I therefore beg some more Pans may be got for the Slag Hearth so as fully to answer the end of not being put to a necessity of moving the Lead from the Pan til it is sufficiently Cooled.  I am for Mr Smeaton & Self

      Your hble Servt

      N W Junr

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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