Letter – Walter Blackett to John Erasmus Blackett – 6 Dec 1776

Document Type: Letter
Date: 6 Dec 1776
Correspondent: Walter Blackett
Recipient: John Erasmus Blackett
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      London Fri.6 Decr. 1776

Dear Sir 

      The Duchess of Northumberland died last night, I have not heard any particulars about it.

      I was in hopes to have been tolerably well by this time, but last Tuesday evening the gout seized in my left ankle so violently that I was obliged to be wheeled to bed & tho’ this day it is something better yet I cannot walk upon it or put on a cloth shoe as I had done for some few days before last Tuesday.: my fingers too are very sore & still swelled and inflamed, the little finger of my left hand is full as thick again as that of my right, & this relapse realy makes me afraid of going anywhere out of town, I must be much better before I dare go. Mr George Headlam who was clerk to Mr. Shaftoe of Hexham has bought an Ensigns Commission in the 59th Regt. I promised to give him one hundred pound towards the purchase, which sum you will please to pay him or his order & place it to my account, I have given some more presents to Relations & others who I thought had claim upon me, which has reduced my cash so, that unless I get a good prize in the lottery I must soon desire a further remittance from you, & shall give you a draught upon The Flatt. I observe what you say about the Allgoods, Father & Son, at Allanheads, I do think in Justice to myself & no injustice to the Father that he ought to be removed & he & his wife to have an annuity of thirty pounds a year for their joint lives, & twenty pounds a year to the survivor; & the son either to have six months notice  & then leave my service, or to have half a years salary given to him & be discharged discreetly, but before this is done two proper persons should be found to be put into their places; but Westgarth Forster’s Brother ought not to be one of them, in the first place he certainly is by no means fit to be an Agent or under steward, his character is by no means good as to knowledge or ability or manner of life, indeed if you was to see him you would think him the very Emblem of meat, Drink, sloth, & Dullness, but this to yourself, besides it would be construed that the Allgoods were removed at the instance of Westgarth Forster to make room for his Brother; to be sure upon Richard Allgood’s removal the advantage (but why should there be an advantage?) of the Gin: Horses as usual I suppose, must be given to Wentgarth Forster, this plan requires discretion to execute & need not be hurried till the whole is settled & proper persons found by some of my stewards or agents to fill up the vacancies immediately, I know & think there should soon be a general view of Allanheads by all the agents, as there seems to be somewhat extraordinary in the prospects. I think the late Lord Darlington had an extraordinary Flatt or Float at The Grass about thirty years since, but this about a general view I only throws out, do not insist upon it. I did hear that the Bute family were not pleased with Lady Windsor’s Will. I think a <Gramonar> will be too nice an undertaking for Philip’s Brother, however I am pleased with the account you give of his preaching, & the reception he met with & the cash he carried off fairly! I own I am sorry they don’t catch R. Forster & put him into Jail, it is only justice to the Public that he should suffer as farr as the law will allow, or no robbery or treaching or villany ought to be punished, I allways think there’s a want of inclination in some to punish such sort of rogues as are very mildly said to be only guilty of a breach of trust. As to the Organist, I hope you will chuse the best, for no consideration, in my opinion, should carry it for the second best, if the best could be clearly distinguished. Mr. Nich: Ridley made me a visit this morning & I was apprehensive from his conversation that Mr. Ridley & Sr. Matthew might set out for London before the Christmas = Common Council. 

      Now I think it’s time to have done & I will burn all your letters which at present are before me. My compliments to all Friends.

      Yours sincerely

      Wr. Blackett

The numbers are




I’m sorry I could not get no. 4 for the sake of the four of hearts!

Certainly nothing from America. I think it probable the ship of advice from General Hove may be taken by some Provincial Privateers.

P:S: Upon a review, too long.

[annotated at foot in JEB’s hand;} Hospital Place/ <Logg is itdon>


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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