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Cav[endish Square] 1 Feb Sir, In giving my assent to the Weardale Inclosure I flattered myself that it w[oul]d not only benefit the County Palatine & the Parties concerned, but that if w[oul]d essentially promote the cause of Religion & Virtue & the welfare of the poor in that extensive district. The first object has in my opinion been very properly attended to in the proposed inclosure; as the interests of the Parties (as far as my information extends) have been fairly impartially consulted, & with great prospect of advantage to them; & the prosperity of the County will be improved by the inclosing & cultivating so large a proportion of waste land, & by the consequent increase of Population, of the means of subsistence, of the industry, & of the resources of the county. The second object though it has been in part considered by the Proprietors, & is probably still under contemplation, yet has not hitherto been framed into any specific proposition. A very extensive tract of country brought into cultivation, & rendered populous, must necessarily require additional chapels, & additional schools for the education of the young, & for the religious improvement of all: and I much fear that, unless at a moment like the present, some effectual arrangement is made for that purpose, very little expectation can be formed that proper and competent measures will hereafter be adopted in that district for the important concerns of religion, moral, & civilised habits of life. As it is not too late to consider a matter w[hic]h in my view of it is of first importance to the prosperity of Weardale, I write this letter, w[hic]h I desire may be communicated to the Rector of Stanhope, & then to the Proprietors. The object first is to propose a provision for the establishment & support of Chapels & Schools in Weardale in the following manner; by the appropriation (in case the Legislation shall approve it) of --- of my allotment or other benefit out of the new inclosed lands; of –- of the Rector’s, & of --- of the Proprietors allotments or other benefits out of the same, -- to be vested in the Bishop, Rector, & Archdeacon for the time being, in Trust to erect & support a competent number of chapels & schools in the Parish of Stanhope; & in case there shall be any surplus to apply the same in the aid & encouragement of Industry, prudence & good habits among the poor; so as to make them more virtuous, more industrious, & more happy in their cottages; & consequently to diminish the call upon the Poor Rates of the Parish. I conceive also that it will be advisable that a committee consisting of 5 Proprietors be appointed to have the general care of the Trust buildings, to superintend the conduct of the schoolmasters & the behaviour of the scholars, & to make an annual report to the Trustees. In the arrangement of these trusts, it is my anxious desire that they should be so settled, as permanently & effectually to promote the welfare & Christian virtue of my friends in Weardale. In the execution of these trusts & in the nomination of The Trustees, I have no wish but that the care & management of them may be there placed where the character & situation of the Parties are likely to afford the best pledge for due attention being paid to them; & I know no Persons more peculiarly fitted for these trusts by their official character & situation; than The Minister of the Parish, The Archdeacon of Durham, & The Bishop of the Diocese. I am etc PS. The importance of erecting & endowing chapels & schools in Weardale is so deeply imposed upon my mind from every consideration – civil, moral, or religion; that if the Proprietors are not perfectly satisfied with my offer of one third of my allotment to be appropriated to these purposes, & Parliament will permit me to indulge my personal feelings, I will give a half. [on the reverse, horizontally] Draft of a letter [in] relation to Chapels & Schools in Weardale [on the reverse, vertically] Draft of a letter to Mr Scruton Feb 1 1799
The draft letter, referred to in the Bishops letter to Col and Mrs Beaumont of 16 Feb1799.