Letter – Nicholas Walton to William Corbett – 22 Apr 1744

Document Type: Letter
Date: 22 Apr 1744
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: William Corbett
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/107
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To Willm Corbett Esq.                             				Ravensworth Castle April 22nd 1744


       In obedience to the Boards Commands we went to Scremerston and viewed the Colliery there the 16th Inst above ground as Mr Peck & Mr Barnes did below, whose report of the 21st Inst we send you here together with a Coppy of our Letter to them, as their Government, by which report we doubt not but the Board will see the Injustice of the Charge, as to any Fraudulent practices or Injuries done to Scremerston Colliery.  We waited upon Mr Jeffery who gave us all the assistance he could which was in Substance contain’d in the papers Mr Horne Sent us.

       The Surveyors we called to our assistance are of the best Skill and reputation in this Country, having very great Concerns under their Care, the former being concern’d for my Lord Carlisle, Mr Ridley.  Mr White and Severall others and the latter for Sir Henry Liddell Bart Mr Wortley Mr Bowes & Mr Ord; And as such we have thought them proper persons.  And tho’ we think their Report answers the Grievances complain’d of yett we begg leave to relate some Facts which we our selves  know.

       That the Tennant of Scremerston Colliery is also Tennant of Berwick hill we admitt to be true & are of opinion it is of very great advantage to the Colliery of Scremerston, as these two concerns being in the hands of one Tennt gives him an opportunity of supplying the adjacent places with Coales at one Half the Expence of Agents and all other certain annual Charges from Working only one Colliery at a Time.  Besides preventing a contesting trade which is all too frequently the case in all Trade where there is Competitors an Instance of which we have very lately Experienced in the Contest between our late Tennt Mr Stokoe while he farmed Scremerston & Mr Armorer who at the same time farmed Berwick hill Colliery.

       With respect to the many holes complain’d of as made from Scremerston to Berwick hill and also with regard to the draining the water from Berwick hill by means of Scremerston winning, we think the Surveyors Mr Peck and Mr Barnes have fully cleared up those pticulars so that we sh’d say no more on that head than that we agree with them in opinion having seen many Instances of it in Parallel cases at very great Distances.  As to Mr Armorer being an Ingressor of Collierys, or prejudicing the Publick We find he is concerned in no Collierys but Scremerston, Berwick hill & Unthank belonging Mr Blackett Memb for Newcastle the two last of which will soon determine as Berwick Lease is out at Ladyday 1748 & Mr Blacketts in 12 months or thereabouts  from this time.  There are besides in the Neighbourhood of Berwick 4 other Collierys in different hands.  The measure as we informed is the same it always has been and the price lower by one Sixth than Stipulated by the Corporation of of Berwick.

       That the vallue of Scremerston Colliery must diminish in proportion to the Improvement made in Berwick Colliery wou’d be a Fact if Berw Colliery was an Improving one but as in a few months it will be near wrought out the Fact will be that whilst Berwick Colliery is diminishing Scremerston will be increasing in vallue.  This Sir we begg leave to lay down as matter of Fact & that it never can be in the power of any man to Improve Berwick Colliery at the Expence of Scremerston.

       We have herewith Inclosed you a Map of Scremerston Lordship with a description of the winning, beginning at the Sea Banks at High water mark thus 1  2  3  4  which winning was compleated at No 4 & which we can with confidence say is done after the best manner, at the nearest distance & therefore at the least Expence.  This Sir we speak from the field of Experience and know it will bear any Examination.  The Workings which have been form[er]ly in Scremerston lye Joining upon the North Boundary between that & the first red line laid down upon the map.  And as those Workings Joyn upon the Boundary of Berwick hill from the No West corner of the Square A the Coale is all wrought and taken away in all Libertys.  What we expected to win the time the winning was begun, lyes between the two red lines described upon the map but very much to our advantage the present appearances will gain a vast quantity of Coale more, as the Dip of the Coale is more East than the expected and the water Levell, what is described by the black line upon the map Extending from the North a little to the East of South.  The winning within Berwick hill is described thus  7  8  9  which was carryed on within 25 yards of being Compleat and would with Intents and purposes have been a Compleat Winning to Berwick hill Colliery.

       In regard to Mr Armorer being discontinued as Tennant of Scremerston Colliery we Submitt it to the Boards determination but humbly begg leave to observe, that as he in a fair manner offered for this Colliery, was the best bidder & Confirm’d Tennant by a General Court he will think himself hardly used if the same is not Carryed into Execution.  He is a man of Substance and will we apprehend be a very good Tennant.  We have taken all the pains we can to clear up this matter to the Board & hope it will meet with their approbation.

       Inclosed we send you the Moor Masters acct to Ladyday last.  Our Contingent Acct to 31st March last & your Cash Acct for last Month on which is a Ballance of £2055.12.1 3/4 in favour of the Hospitall.  This Ballance being so large is owing to a Scarcity of Bills but we hope to make it low verry soon and are Sir

       Your most Obed Servts

       Nichos Walton Hugh Boag 
the map referred to was not copied into this volume. The moormasters account referred to is given in the tab ‘1743 Dec – 1744 Mar’ in the spreadsheet TNA ADM 66 107 Alston Moor dues tables 1741-4

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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