Journal entry – John Grey – 14 Jan 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 14 Jan 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Tuesday 14th January 

Being Hexham Market day, had interviews with several of the Tenants on various matters & applications from others who are candidates for the farms now to let, anxious to know the result of their tenders.  I was employed the greater part of the day on walking over the Farms on the Dilston Estate directing & instructing the Workmen as to the improvement of the Hedges, in which, I think I see a greater willingness in the tenants to cooperate, as I have constantly declared that I will promote no man’s interest in obtaining a new Lease of his Farm, nor, as far as I am concerned, treat with anyone, who destroys the Hospital’s property by the neglect or mismanagement of his fences, or depreciates it by the bad cultivation of his land.  In treating with Tenants for new leases this year, I did not act with much vigour in this respect, because the vice originated as much from the system as the men - but hereafter, fair warning being given, it is a principle which I think should be acted upon honestly & consistently, as a means first of improving & then maintaining the condition of the Estates, free from that great outlay which now accompanies the commencement of every new Lease.  But I would not stop even here - for if it is a legitimate exercise of influence, with every one who has the power of using it, to endeavour to improve & elevate the moral character of the people, it cannot, I conceive be less so, with a public Body, connected with the Government of the country.   Degrading habits of drunkenness I regret to say, characterise the Town of Hexham, its Market & neighbourhood- and I should wish it to be understood, that to obtain any preference as a tenant of the Hospital a man should not only be exempt from the imputation of bad management as a farmer, but from every thing disorderly in conduct & disreputable in character. It rarely happens indeed, that good management & attention to business are found distinct from habits of sobriety & industry. 

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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