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Mongewell Dec: 22nd 1798 Mowbray, You have relieved my mind from some degree of uncertainty with respect to the impression made on the minds of the Weardale proprietors by Castle’s conduct, which as far as I can see, has been unjustifiable. Till he can clear his character from the imputations to which it seems exposed, it will suffer very materially in the opinion of others besides that of those whom he has endeavoured to mislead. He seems to me to have been betrayed into this complicated scheme of something worse than folly, (if he had succeeded in defeating a measure in it’s consequences of the utmost benefit to that extensive tract of Country) by heat of temper and inveterate enmity of Scruton. It is justice due from me to the latter to declare that in the various interviews I had with him on the subject of the Weardale division, not a word of the language attributed to, was spoken by him. I feel a peculiar satisfaction that the opportunity presented itself, and that you so well availed yourself of it, to explain to the Meeting in what sense I used the terms which had been so grossly misinterpreted. You who know my motives from the beginning know that they were founded in the most disinterested wish to promote the spiritual and temporal good of the Inhabitants. These motives they will themselves discover when they have settled the bill as far as they are concerned; and should the Rector consent to an Allotment when he and I come to consider what proportion we both should agree to give for the endowment of the Chapel and of the Schools. I am at a loss to guess who can have acquired such an influence over his mind, as to make him think unfavourably of Mr. Hopper Williamson, to whom he assured me that he meant to intrust all his concerns; and to persuade him that a Compensation in Land, under the existing circumstances, will not to him be preferable to receiving the tythes. If however he is determined on the reservation, and the Proprietors do not object, I shall certainly give way. But I wish you previously to have some further conversation with him in which you may try to convince him of the superior advantages arising from his coming immediately into the receipt of a larger income in one mode than he can expect to derive during a long life from the other. Talk the matter over also with Mr. H. Williamson who may possibly from a wish to serve this poor man, attempt to recover his former weight. Should anything be started at the Reading of the Bill respecting the endowment of the Chapel, and the Schools, you will signify to the Meeting that they will be considerations in which the Rector and I shall be principally concerned, and which therefore cannot be entered upon till they have agreed upon those parts of the bill which affect them.
The final part of this letter is missing. In his reply of 26th Dec Mowbray refers to a question asked by the Bishop regarding ‘lead monies’, which is not included in the part of the letter which survives. There is also no signature.