Letter – Nicholas Walton to Thomas Corbett – 10 Feb 1736

Document Type: Letter
Date: 10 Feb 1736
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Thomas Corbett
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66 105
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To Thomas Corbett Esqr

      Ravensworth Castle  Febry 10th 1735/6


	We have been at Dilston & other Estates thereabouts since our last, which enables us to give you some Accot thereof.

	The House at Dilston you reuired an Accot of as to its repaire which we examined as far as we had an opportunity, but there is some part thereof which we did not see for want of the keys,  There is a very good Kitchen, Servants hall, and extraordinary good Cellars on the Low Floor, & above is one Wainscotted Parlour & a Room Called the Nursery, habitable, and a large common hall, & two other Rooms on the same floor unfinished, with Closetts & other conveniences.  The Stair case remaining unfinished & what is done in a very weak manner & not fitt to be made use of without repairing; & there is in the upper Story 3 Rooms in a floor( & in the old building) that would be very good Lodging Roomes, & on the same floor in the new building 2 very good Lodging Roomes near finished, & on the same floor is a large Roome intended to be divided into 3 Roomes quite naked & nothing done at ‘em but the bare Walls etc, & below is the same, Above is garrets for Servants in the old building very convenient but unfinished & indead in the whole of it Scarce any thing Compleat.  It might at about £200 Expence be made a Comfortable House for a Gentleman of a middling Fortune, but the finishing the whole will cost at least £2000.  This Sr is the best Accot we can give of it, as there is some part Lock’d up which we did not see, & we hope the Directors will order us the keys, Mr Henry Watson, Brother of the late Receiver, we are in formed undoubtedly has them & has refus’d delivering them.

	In this House is Severall Household goods, which are, as we are in form’d part of the Goods found in it, by Mr Elstob after the late Lords Attainder & which were sold by him in the whole for £65 as appears by a Schedule sent herewith.  Mr Busby says the Clock was taken down & removed before the late Lords Attainder & was afterwards by the Countess brought back & Sett up at Dilston, & is now at Newbegin with the two large Coppers.  There is in the House viz in the parlour a fine Cabinett, & one also in the Nursery, with a very good large Leather Screen & some Pictures etc which Mr Busby tells us are part of goods sent down from London by the Countess, after she recovered the Estate & when she intended coming to live there, & that these goods are the property of the Execurs Sr John Webb & Councellor Piggot but the Directors will judge of it & give us such directions therein as they think proper.

	The Estate of Dilston we apprehend will not much advance but it may a little, it is now Surveyed but we have not yett gott the Content.  We have ordered the Park gate to be walled up & from a View of the Park Walls we shall be able by the Survey to give you an exact Accot what the Expence of repairing it will be, it is now a very bad Fence.

	The Estates in Hexhamshire, Corbridge, Thornbgrough, Newton hall, Whittles, and Throckley, will all advance a little but we cannot so well Judge of it now as we can after the Survey, & therefore defer giving you further Accot thereof, till that is done.  The Estates in Langley Baroney not on Lease will also advance.

	We have been obliged to take into our hands Whitechappell Farm the Tenant thereon having produced a Note under Mr Henry Watson’s hand that he gave it up, & we have advertized to be lett at next Mayday.  The Farm seems to be dear, but we hope to gett it lett, tho’ we do not know but there may be a necessity for an abatement.  We have also advertized the Letting of the Lead Mines in Langley Barroney, after having had them Viewed by the Moore Master of Aldston Moor, & we will lett the same to Thomas Pigg if more substantuall men do not offer, but we think it the Interest of the Hospitall to lett to those that are most likely to make Sufficient Tryalls.

	We have had one Brown with us who is Tennant at Langley Castle, and who would undertake to burn Lime at Langley for the convenience of Tennants in Hexhamshire, and he proposes giving £5 per Ann Rent for the kills (the Hospitall laying out £6 for building two kills) & to furnish the Tennants at 2s per Fother with Lime whereas they now pay 2/3d & at 2 Miles more distance.  The Tennants in Hexhamshire are well pleased with it & offer to oblige themselves to quantitys for their Farms which will greatly tend towards their Improvement.

	We sent for Hall & Jopling to Dilston, but had an opportunity of Seeing Hall before at Corbridge, who on asking him if he wanted any Money, or had any demands upon Jopling, declared he had none, we told him we desired to See him with Jopling at Dilston & the next day he appeared with an Accot wherein he makes a demand of £  besides Law charges, having been with Mr Ainesley who we desired might be present when we talk’d the Affair; but he was not well, & did not come.  We have also Joblings Charge which he makes £  with Law charges but we do not think either of them reasonable, therefore wou’d advise a Refference to two Persons indifferently chosen, who may equitably adjust it and then they may release.

	We have made some enquiry into the Suite about the Ovingham Estate, in which Mr Ainesley says the Hospitall cannot prevail without his Assistance & you have it as follows.

	The Father of the late Earl of Derwentwater Settled upon one Thomas Fenwick his Servant an Estate at Ovingham during his Life, & afterwards to his Son Edward Fenwick, & his Heirs Male if any happen to be, but in case of the Male Heirs failing then the Estate was to return back to the Derwentwater family.  These Fenwicks both dye & Edward having no Male Issue Devises the Estate by Will to John Fenwick Esqr of Bywell late Candidate at the Election for the County of Northumberland, & he now enjoys it, & this is the case which if we are right in, we do not apprehend any difficulty.  The Settlement of the Estate is now in John Fenwick Esqrs hand, & it is said a Bill was filed by Mr Ainesley for producing it & a Copy of which Bill may be seen upon Record in the Exchequer.  this Estate worth about £60 per Ann.

	As to Lieutt Ramsays Memoriall & as to his coming into the House at Dilston we can have no objection if the Directors think it proper, he has the Charactor of an orderly Man, but quite a Stranger to us.  Mr Busby is very desirous to Stay & Seems willing to inform us of any thing we require of him, & tho’ a Roman Catholick seems an inoffensive man.  The Gentleman who proposed taking it is now furnish’d with an another House, but wou’d it not be proper to advertize it.  If it is lett, we shoud desire one Roome reserved for the Convenience of receiving the Rents & doing other busyness.

	We have received yours about Mrs Clavering’s hardships with which she acquainted us, when at Scremerston, but promised Sending us an Accot of the Loss she had Sustain’d according to Mr Robertson’s View, but he has not yet sent it, and not having it was the reason we did not mention it before; the loss to her cannot be great, but we will endeavour to have justice done her.  The End she seems to have in her great Complaint seems no more than drawing Compassion from the Directors, and Screening her advantages by a good Farme but we hope the Directors will consider their own Interest & not allow their most valuable Farmes to be lett at a disadvantage by such Practices.

	You will observe Srs in ours of the 24th January last, that we were inform’d Isaac Todd had paid Mr Watson late Receiver £10 in part of a greater Sum, & we have since had a Letter from Todd acquainting us therewith, by which it appears he agreed to pay Thirty Pounds to the said Mr Watson for his trouble & expence about a bargain of Wood.  You have a Coppy of the sd Todds Letter inclosed.

          				                                      The 11th February 1735/6

	We have reced yours of the 7th Inst with the Minutes taken by the Board of Directors, to which we have a due regard & will immediately putt their orders in execution.

	The Tyths of Hartburn Rectory etc will be as well lett for Twenty one years, as the hazard is equall to the Hospitall, as the Tennant.  & as now Corn Sells well it is a proper time to lett?  but can the Hospitall lett for 21 Years, without advertising Six Months, if they can, it may be advisable to lett immediately, but if not, then only for one year now & afterwards on Lease (when the Lands are relett) for 21 years.  It might raise a greater Rent to lett or compound with each Tennant for his own Tyth, but there may be some hazard in loosing a part, as some of these Tennants may be in bad Circumstances & the alteration of Tennants will not admit of a Lease in that way  We rather advise letting Whelpington, Hartburn, Midford & Lorbottle each to one Person, & in that way they will we think undoubtedly advance per Ann £110.

	Inclosed is a Coppy of the Forme of an Advertizement, with Blanks for the place, by whom & at what time to be lett which youly pleased to fillup and alter as shall be thought proper.  we think their being lett at any prefixd time or times to the best Substantiall bidder is the proper method for their advance

	We have now in hand about £500 in Cash, which we cannot gett Bills for of such Sort as are agreeable but we hope to doe it so as to make a remittance for that Sum next post or the post afterwards.  The Tennants at Newlands, Wittenstall, Throckley Hexham Shire & part of Meldon are Slow, & tho we have Severly threatend them are afraid their Mayday Rents will not come in Sooner than Ladyday & we are afraid some of them later, however we will take all possible means of getting them sooner.

      We are Srs Yours most Obedt Servts

                              Walton & Boag

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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