Journal entry – John Grey – 1 Jul 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 1 Jul 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Tuesday 1st July

       Received a Memorial from Westgarth Forster, Author of a Treatise on Mining which I have heard is a useful Work, but proved an unprofitable one to him.  I was introduced to the author at Alston, whose appearance indicates poverty.  I forward the Petition to the Board.  

[marginal pencil note:] I think the Hosp.l subscribed for several copies, which were doubtless charged in the Receiver’s account so can give no pension and I doubt whether we can give any subscriptions to his need. We certainly can not assist Mr, Forster. G. T.

       All my attempts to bring the Miller of Dilston to a settlement on reasonable terms having failed, I sent Mr Hunt on Saturday evening to try if he could make anything of him, being very desirous to get such a compound of stupidity & knavery, off the Premises if possible.  He first demanded £100 for what he calls compensation for his loss.  That is, for having undertaken a concern to which he was quite inadequate.  Considering the time he has held over May day & the disadvantage of letting the Mill now, he should have no consideration whatever for his growing Crop, but estimating it at about £70.   I authorized Mr Hunt to offer him £40 in hand, if he would quit possession peaceably and at once.  Even this would involve a sacrifice to the Hospital, but probably a less one that may in the end ensue from his continuance & this I took upon me to propose.  To offer him more would be to bribe him to quit a concern which he should be thankful to be released from, & to give a premium for rascally conduct for which he deserves punishment.  Rochester having declined my offer, I wrote to Mr Fenwick today requesting him to take such measures as he saw fit to bring the matter to issue, which may probably be effected by presenting him with a Lease to execute.  I sent Mr Fenwick also a copy of an agreement for a Lease, to get printed, to be used on letting a Farm & before the Lease can be prepared, containing among other conditions one, that upon the party declining to execute & pay for a Lease, conformable to the terms of that Agreement, the Commissioners should be at liberty immediately to enter upon & take possession of the Premises.  Had Rochesters agreement contained such a clause, there would have been no need for a legal process of ejectment, upon his refusal to execute a Lease.  

       I then rode over the Hills to Stublick Colliery & Langley Mills, where I was glad to find that Mr Beaumont’s Agent had concluded a bargain for the Low Mill during the term of the present Lease.  This will bring some employment to the place, which is at present in a most stagnant state, & will also be a benefit to the Colliery, which in consequence of the falling off of the Smelting has only been worked three days in the week for some time past.   Called at Deanraw School to see if it had been put into decent & habitable Condition, for both dwelling & School House had been left by the old master in such a state of ruin that the new Teacher could hardly think of stopping in it.  Everything that could be taken down was carried off, & even the Locks from the Doors, on pretence that he had placed them there, which was likely the case in such a long incumbency, but then it would be in lieu of others that had been worn out.  I held back £3 from him, being the balance between his rent & the Subscription to the School, wch I shall retain in part of the Repairs.  The School which has last year dwindled away to four children, consists now of nearly 50 & continues to increase.  I then went to Harsondale, where I found it necessary to rebuild some of the most needful of the many ruinous Stone Walls by which the fields are divided.  To do them all in one year, would strike deep into the rent.  I must therefore proceed gradually, & have them made of less height & more substantially than before.  I then made my way through the deep woods which clothe the precipitous banks of the Allen, to where it issues to the romantic spot on which stands Plankey Mill.  The Millwrights were just finishing their job, having put in a new Axle to the Water Wheel & an inner or spur Wheel, entirely new, which as far as I can judge, looks to be well & firmly made.  The parts of the old one that I saw are so entirely decayed that I wonder how they stood so long together.  I then clambered up the banks on the top of which is the Vauce, to see the draining of a bog & decide upon some trifling repair of the buildings, before turning them over to the Tenant to maintain in future.  Next descended to Lees where the main Farm House is ready for the Roof, & looks well, & proceeded eastward by the course of the Tyne, reached Haydon Bridge at 10 o’clock.  Sent for the Woodman to the Inn, to make inquiry respecting the Plantations & the Wood cut for the several Buildings. 

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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