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To the Honourable the Commissioners Governors and directors of the Royal Hospitall for Seamen at Greenwich The Humble petition of Thomas Fall of Langlee Castle in the County of Northumberland Husbandman Sheweth That Mr. George Thompson some Years ago took a Farm of your Honours at Langlee Castle aforesaid for the Term of Seventy One Years of which there is Fours Years to go from the Twelfth day of May 1775 which said Farm he the said George Thompson did Lett to your petitioner To hold from the Twelfth day of May 1769 for the remainder of the said Term Sheweth that shortly before your petitioner took and entered upon the said Farm Your Honours had Built and erected a Mill for the Smelting of Lead Ore adjoining to your petitioners Farm, and near to a Field Containing about Fifty Acres of Land which from the Nature thereof your petitioner is under the Necessity of Continuing and useing the same as a pasture for his Cattle – And that by the Poisonous and Distructive Quality of the Reek or Smoak of the said Miln your Petitioner has suffered great loss by the death of his Cattle haveing lost thereby Eight Galloways Two Cowes and one Foal worth at least Forty Nine pounds besides great Loss and Damage done to his Sheep by his Ewes picking and loosing their Lambs – before their Natural Lambing time, which Loss he is not able to Ascertain. And that during the Winter Season your petitioner is wholy debarred of the Benefit of the Eatage of the Said Pasture he not daring to put any Cattle into the same to Graze by reason of the Reek or Smoak being of a more poisonous and Deadly Nature almost occasioning instant Death to such of them as are Seized with it during that season of the Year. Sheweth that this last Summer (1774) when [blank] Ibbetson Esqr. Your Honours Secretary and [blank] Stewart and [blank] Hicks Esqr. Two Commissioners were in the Country your petitioner made his Complaint and Loss Known to them. They shewed Concern for his loss and were Sensible of the Injury his Farm must suffer by the Reek or Smoak of the said Milln, but said they Could not of themselves give your petitioner any redress but recommended it to him to petition your Honours in General for Relief in the premises And were pleased at the same time to Assure your petitioner, If his being Employed with his Wains and Carts to Lead the Coals Lime &C made use of at the said Smelt Mill would be of any advantage to him (which no doubt it would) Your petitioner declined having anything to do with it saying that as his Neighbours then had the Carriage thereof he would not take the Employment out of their Hands. But your petitioner is now given to understand that your Honours are now going to Employ other persons in such said Carriage as abovementioned Your petitioner therefore Humbly prays that your Honours would be pleased to take his Case into Consideration and give him such Redress for the Loss he has suffered as above Complained of as to your Honours shall seem just and reasonable and also Employ him in the Carriage above mentioned And your petitioner as in duty Bound shall ever pray &C Thos Fall
The petition is undated but from its position in the letter book is given the date of 1st February 1776, and is referred to in the subsequent letter from Walton to Ibbetson of 3rd Feb.