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Ravensworth Castle 17th June 1764 Sir, We have rec[ieve]d yours inclosing an advertisement for the sale of the Lead Ore Dues and ordering the same to be incerted in the Newcastle News Papers, which has been done accordingly. The present price of Lead at Newcastle is £14.10s p[er] Fodder [Fother], so that the duty ore of this year shou[l]d sell at the following rates, viz. 57s p[er] Bing for the Bouse and 52s p[er] Bing for the Cutting Ore. If any alteration in the price of Lead happens before the time of sale you shall be informed thereof. One Mr Varzie and some other Gent[leme]n at and near Hexham having by virtue of a Lease or Tack note from Lord Northumberland or his Agents begun to make a tryal, within a part of Dilston Park called Birkside, for the discovery of a Lead Vein or Lead Veins, Mr Bell the Hospitals Bailiff, in consequence of orders from us, discharged them, upon which they have desisted. There is a Fee Farm Rent of six shillings paid annually out of Birkside to Lord Northumberland, but we apprehend this can no way Affect the Hospitals Interest in the Mines. A very valueable Lead Mine having been discovered within some Lands adjoining upon Hexhamshire we gave the Moor Master of the Manor of Alstonmoor directions to endeavour to find out whether the same run thro’ any of the Hospitals Estates there, who with Mr Tweedale one of the Governour and Companys Agents, made a view and they are of opinion that it runs thro’ Peacock House and Heckley House two Freehold Farms which both belong to the Hospital. Soon after this Mr Henry Richmond Agent to Sir Walter Blackett acquainted us that all Lead and other Mines under the Freehold and other Lands within the Regality of Hexham belonged to Sir Walter and as such he claimed them, as Lord of that Regality, by Grant from the Crown. This is a new and seems to be a very Extraordinary claim, as we have never heard it doubted that the Royaltys under the Freehold Lands within the Regality of Hexham belonged to the several proprietors thereof. The Petition of Messrs Emerson Dickinson and Renwick is now before us, and we are clearly of opinion that it will be for the good of all Parties to have the boundery mentioned therein ascertained and in order that it may be so, we recommend that it be referred to three persons to be mutualy agreed upon, which if the Directors approve, we will endeavour to get fixed in the best manner we are able, and shall afterwards acquaint you with what we have done, which shall be subject to the Boards further pleasure. Inclosed you have our cash accounts for the months of April and May last upon the latter of which there remains a Balance of £642.15s.11¾ d in favour of Greenwich Hospital; and also Mr Henry Coulthards proposal for two Lead Mines which you will be so good as lay before the Board. We are Sir Your most Obed[ient] Servants Nich[ola]s Walton jun[io]r Geo[rge] Boag Jno. Ibbetson Esq.
Walton and Boag were the Northern receivers for the Greenwich Hospital, the estates of which included Aydon Shields and adjacent farms in Hexhamshire. John Ibbetson was Secretary to the Hospital’s Commissioners.