Report – Thomas Dodd – 18 Jan 1812

Document Type: Report
Date: 18 Jan 1812
Correspondent: Thomas Dodd
Archive Source: NEIMME LLC 40
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      Nenthead 18th January 1812.

Hon[oure]d Masters,

      After viewing the Comp[an]y’s Mines under my care, on the 6th, 7th &8th Inst I lett the Bargains, a list of which is annexed. Rampgill Mine is much in the same state as last Report. Jno Hall & co are driving a Horse Level for the support of one of the leases & which is the only dead Bargain at said mine. Scaleburnmoss Mine will raise the ore to advantage. Roby Irwin & co are the only dead Bargain and is an intermediate one & will by finished by Lady-day next.

      Smallcleugh Mine raises good productive ore in the Flatts: but is very hard & difficult to work, being altogether got by the use of Gunpowder (called blasting.) Geo Robinson & co are sinking a sump into the deep Level from the bottom of the Engine to accommodate the said Level with fresh air which is the general drain to the Mine, and tho’ at present an intermediate Bargain cannot be permitted to stand unoccupied without evidently injuring both Smallcleugh & Middlecleugh Mines. Middlecleugh Mine is poor, and several parts so much so, that they cannot be wrought at the present prices. Thos Hewitson & co, an intermediate Bargain, are sinking a sump for fresh air & will probably finish by Lady-day. Garrigill Mines are still poor but the most hopeful part is Browngill Sun Vein, which is now raising ore pretty well. Anty Brown & co is an intermediate Bargain and will finish and raise ore before Lady-day. James Dickinson & co are driving a Level to cut a fresh Vein, and is to prevent one of the Leases from forfeiture.

      At Tynebottom Isaac Teasdale & co are driving the horse level in one of the veins, and is an intermediate Bargain which will be finished by the end of the quarter. Josh Wanless & co are driving a new horse level on the west side of the Tyne to cut two veins & several flatts in fresh ground in the Limestone, which trial covers and supports two Leases and must go on, but is the best object in the Tynebottom leases and will, I expect, raise some very good ore, before the end of the year, and altho’ many parts of the Comp[an]y’s Mines raise ore of a very productive quality, yet there is no equal to Tynebottom on the west of the Tyne. Jacob Gray & co are at Browngill & Thortergill which are very poor and are opening & repairing one of the levels and is an intermediate Bargain which will be finished before Lady-day - But it also supports one of the Garrigill Leases. At Broomsberry & Gudhamgillmoss Thos Walton & co are driving the horse level which both supports the Leases and is an intermediate Bargain, but will shortly be finished at a certain point of the vein, where we shall raise ore. Hangingshaw is poor, and Thos Cain & co are driving a level under the Limestone in some strings and Flatts, it is an intermediate Bargain and will soon raise ore. Robt Dickinson & co are driving a horse level at Caplecleugh, which covers the leases of these different veins. This trial embraces some of the best objects which we have in the Moor, but being at some distance, will require time for its accomplishment, and they cannot be held without pursuing it. 

      Lodgesyke Mine goes on prosperously, and the ore of a famous quality, the poorest pickings in this Mine being softer & better to work than any of the Comp[an]y’s other Mines, I therefore made the highest price 33/- per Bing. Jno Pinkney & co are cutting across to the vein in one of the deep stratums to prove its success. And Geo Rain & co are driving the deep horse level. This being all the dead Bargains at present, the Mine of course will work to great advantage. At Wiregill and Manorgill we are barely preventing the lease from forfeiture, the former will shortly begin to raise ore. The deep level at Flakebrigg is now up to the vein and the old man’s work being 3 or 4 fathoms deeper than the level, we are therefore obliged to put in a small Engine under the Level to bring us under the old works; we had the wheel and some other materials on the spot, so that the expence will not be much, and will soon be put to work. 

      Middlehope Mine is doing vastly well in the new Vein westward. The agreement with Mr and Mrs Beaumont was difficult to procure but the reflection of it always produces satisfaction in my mind. John Phillipson & co are driving the upper Level in the new Vein. Richd Pears & co are cutting across to a north string at Boltshaw but it never can succeed. Stanhope Mine is poor, and no reasonable wages can be made by the workmen at the price, but they are unwilling to quit & flatter themselves times will get a turn. Jno Vipond & co are driving the upper Level for the flatts, & Thos Wilkinson & co the deep one. In answer to the Court’s letter of the 9th respecting Ireshopeburn Mine, I have to state as follows. 1st the Bargain has to run till the 30th Sept, 1813. 2nd the number of hands now employed as pickmen are 12, which number they are not to exceed, but has the liberty to reduce them to 4, but in the summer season they employ not less than 10 men & lads to wash the ore, having so much rubbish in it, it requires many hands to make it clean. 3rd my sole and entire reason for letting this Bargain beyond the usual time (and which is the only one in the Comp[an]y’s Works) was the universal poverty of the Mine and the Comp[an]y’s advantage. Previous to my letting this Bargain the Mine stood unwrought a long time on account of its poverty, for there was not ore in it to work it by price of Bing, nor was there any object left for fresh trials. I therefore lett the Bargain to the present workmen untill the period above mentioned for which they pay the Comp[an]y £55 per annum, and sell me the ore at a fair market price, the £55 being always deducted off the ore whatever sum it amounts to, and this mine being a concern of so little moment, I therefore concluded it was not worth troubling the Court with an explanation of it, but represented it under the usual mode of Bargains at the other Mines. Now the method by which these Men make themselves & their hirelings wages on this Bargain is, the great exertion that they use, for they work from Monday morning to Saturday night, and nearly double the work which is wrought in common Bargains, and it is plain as possible the Comp[an]y could not have wrought this Mine in the common way without considerable loss, nor will they ever be able to do it after this bargain expires on account of its poverty. After stating these facts to the Court trust they will exculpate me from the most distant intention to do wrong or injure them, but to do them good, which has always been the ruling motive of all my transactions in the Comp[an]y’s service.

      I am, etc,

      Thos Dodd, Senr 

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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