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May it please your Ladyshipe. Capheaton May the 13th: 1723. I haue Receiued yours of the 4th: of this Instant, in which your Ladyshipe tells me, that you had a letter from Sr John webb, aboute Some affaires, that your Ladyshipe had writt to him aboute, and amongst Which you had writt and accquainted him, that you coud not gett the Rents Raised, by Reason of the badness of the times and that Sr Johns answere was, he was much Surprised at it, for tho the Tennants are now hard Enough put to it att the time this was proposed it was otherwise, this your Ladyships obserues is truth, but those Tennants that was Raised by the hight of the South Sea Cannot be able to hold them at those Rents they were aduanced to, for Trade being Soe much Sunke and decayed in two yeares last past, by the fall of South Sea, and want of money and want of Trade, that put the Case that the Tennants that were aduanced had Signd there Leases and then could not afterward be able to pay there Rents, I thinke it was all one whether they were Ruined with Leases or without Leases, and as to what is Laid to my Charge aboute iot getting the Leases Signd in time, I am cleare of that fault and Imputation, for after the agreements was made with the Tennants by me, I Imediately gaue the agreements to mr. John Aynsley attorney at Law who drew the Leases and I pressd him from time to time to gett them done with all hast, and when he had done them and Sent them to me, I Imediately Sent them to. mr. Rodbourne to be sent to your Ladyshipe to be signd, and as Soon as I Receiued them againe from mr. Rodbourne, I carried them to mr. Aynsley and pressed him very hard to Send for the Tennants to Execute theire Leases, and most or all of them that were high aduanced Refused to Signe, Saying they coud neuer pay Such a large aduance Rent, for they woud all be beggers in a yeare or two, and giueing for Reason the want of Trade and want of money, and as to what Sr John obserues of a saying of an accquaintance of his, that had been the last yeare in the north, that the Estate was vnder a very ill management which he said had noe Influence vpon him and that he made answere he thought this coud not well be, Since the Estate was Raised Considerably, but that finding it otherwise after Repeated assureances from my agents of its being Effected he coud not but waver in his oppinion , and feare there is too much ground for the Report, now as to this part of your Ladyships letter I make answere, that the Estate as yett is very litle abated of what it was aduanced to, and I appeale to any body of Reason and that is not partiall, that the times Gouerns euery thing, and if times are good and a good trade and plenty of money, then Estates will hold vp, but when times are bad as they are now, and noe Trade and noe money, Surely Estates must be Effected, and your Ladyshipe has a true notion of the affaire, that what Signifyes it to Raise Rents when the Tennants Cannot pay them, then by doeing of that, you breake your Tennants and Spoyles your farms, I know the man that has made those Remarks and false malitious Informations, and I name him to your Ladyshipe, and it is mr. George Errington and noe other person, who Runs aboute the Kingdome and to Insenuate him Selfe into euery bodyes Bussines and theire fauours if he can, but Realy he is now Soe well Knowne in these parts that noe body will beleaue him or Imploy him, all I haue to say to your Ladyshipe is, that I begg you will order any honest Judicall man to come downe into the north and Inspect the affaires that is Complained of, and that Such a person as is Sent downe to Inspect, may be a man of Sense and noe malice to others and be Impartiall, and lett him make a Report of what he Shall find amiss in mismanagement, then I shall be very well pleased to be Censerd, I know all this Informers malace proceeds from the affaire in Aldston moore aboute the Lead mynes there, that I opposed him there from bringing in one Loraine his Seruant to be concernd, there as moore master, and opposeing him in the getting into the House att wood hall were Cuthbert Browns widdow Liues and there he woud haue keept an Alehouse, he has giuen it out in Seuerall Speeches that his master mr. Geo: Errington was Soe much in fauour with Sr John webb, that he did not doubt but to gett me turnd out, I can assure your Ladyshipe this mr. Errington neuer did good to any body he was concernd for nor to him selfe, and I can make it appeare he has been 20000£ loss to my Lords familly, and I am Sure I have accquainted your Ladyshipe with this Some time Since, I am Sure theire is very few or none of the Tennants but if times doe mend but what will Execute theire Leases, I am Sure it is a most Sadd thing to liue by the oppression of Tennants or any others in their power to Ruine, your Ladyshipe need to be in no paine for the prsent Tennants Rents that are not Raised, and I know of noe Lands that are Rauadged or not well husbanded but Dilston is the worst, and that occassioned by the great floods which has taken away the Lime and manure nay Euen apart of the Soile it Selfe, mr. ffenwicks and waters haue Returnd mr. Rodbourne all the money I haue paid them and theire account agrees to a farthing I must owne the Dilston Tennants will be able to pay what they owe your Ladyshipe, but Cannot Continue theire farmes any longer then mayday next vnless they haue an abatement of the Rents they now pay, as to mr. Thorntons Tennants I know not much of theire farms, but I am Satisfyed they will be vnder the Same misfortune as others in Generall are in this County, for I know that Sr wm. midleton Doctor Ogle and Some others am forced to make an abatement of theire Rents that were aduanced by the South Sea, I can assure your Ladyshipe it is a very great trouble to me that your Ladyshipe shoud be soe troubled and mortifyed with Such Complaints of my mismanagement of your affaires, and wheneuer your Ladyshipe shall thinke fitt to discharge me I shall obey it, vpon affaire and Setled account, I haue on the other side sent you a Copy of a letter I had from Mr. Thomas Waters partner with mesers ffenwicks aboute the Returne of your Ladysps money to mr. Rodbourne which are as followes, Newcastle may 11: 1723 as to my Lady Darwentwaters money wee are willing to take it as vseuall and Returne it to mr. Rodbourne to whome wee allwayes Send Such bills as can confide in and tho it may happen bills are at Some time Scarcer then other yett your money is Generall Returnd in three Months time and Some times in Sumer when bills may be more Easye gott then wee Returne great part of it Imediately and if your occasions be pressing wee can Returne you 2000£ in part of what you by you in a months time or less wee are allwayes Ready to accomadate you in any thing Soe wee thinke theres the less Reason to press any thing that may be prejudicall to vs for Shoud wee Chance to be two forward in takeing any bills but what wee can confide in and any misfortune shoud hapen by our Endorsement wee become lyable to the loss which would be a vexation to vs as wee haue litle Consideration for trouble, if you designe to bring in any money pray lett vs know that wee may be prouideing for you, I am &c. Sr your humble Serut T: Waters, I hope my Deare good Lord will be Exempt from the Tax vpon papists for I see it in the votes that all papists or Reputed Soe to bee will not be Taxed in that Tax till they are 18 yeares of age, I wish it may be Soe, all I haue to add is to tell your Ladyshipe as I haue often done, that I hartily wish your Ladyshipe my Lord and young Lady all health and happyness, I pray God for giue my Enimyes, and that I may Intirely Submitt in euery thing in this world to Gods holly will and pleasure, all this familly are well and giues theire humble Seruice to your Ladyshipe and familly, and I am may it please your Ladyshipe, Yor Ladyshipes most obedient faithfull true and Seniore Seruant, Tho: Errington. I have writt to mr. Rodbourne to whome I haue desired he would write me and giue me his direction to carry in the 2000£ to messers ffenwicks and waters, I haue more then that Sume in my hand, but shall Carry in that Sume vpon his notice to me. The hedge wee builded between Thornbrough and newton Stands Still and I hope that affaire is now Easye. A madame Madame La Countese de Darwentwater Dans La Rue Haute Proche de La Chapell a Bruxells pr ostend to a Londra pst. pd. 4d: to London.
PSAN 3rd ser, Vol 7, (1915-6), pp.70-2