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To Walter Blackett Esq. Newcastle 28th May 1731 Honrd Sr, I have deferred sending Mr Coulson your grant of Wining Slates at Kenton, till you make your own judgement of the reasonableness of his Request. Slates are a very scarce Commodity about this Town, & are worth five shillings a fother, at the Quarry undrest, You have at Kenton two Slate Quarries, one in Todds farm, the other in the lane between Todds house & Selbys, the seam in the former is not above 16 inches thick, & to win the Quantity Mr Coulson will want, in so thin a seam will do damage to the Field, & break the Horseway to the Stables: If he have Liberty to Work his Quant[ity] in the Lane quarry, wch is reckon'd the best slate in this Country, I doubt it will not only spoil the Lane, but be followed by frequent Applications of the like nature from others, For these reasons & to preserve the Slate for the Familys own Occations, those Quarries have not been wrought for about 20 Years, tho' they might have been let for £10 or £12 a Year, but if you are pleas'd to Oblige Mr Coulson, I shall see that as little Damage be done as possible – I have seen Mr Watson of <No> Seaton who says he did not receive your Lre, he returns his Acknowledgements of your Favours, & will by this or the next post, transmitt you a State of his Case. As you do not Order me to send any Money by the Carriers I hope you have met wth an Opertunity of Drawing, for no bills are yet to be got here that's good under two months date. The large draughts mentioned in my Lre of the 8th where to clear off the large Arrears of Intrest due to the Hospitall & to make up Mr Bruces <£6000> & intrest etc Allenheads & Coalcleugh raise plenty of Oar, the latter is at present very rich, but the uncertain state of Affairs continues to damp the Lead Trade, wch is in very little demand, tho' great quantities are offered by severall at £13.15s.0d pr Fother, The Coal trade is at present in no better condition, for the Steaths are all full, occasion'd by the agrement amongst the master & the fears of a press. The Horses for Newcastle Plate are to be entred the 9th June, the Town is in great Expectation that as Thirkeld is kept in Galloping Order, you will run him for the Galloway Plate, & its of general Opinion, that if he stands sound, he would beat anything yet known to be intended for that plate, if he do not, he's not worth the Expence attending him, Your hunters are all in good Order, & Winship has fetch home the Dogs you lent Mr Maj[o]r Allgood, I am etc J.R.