Journal entry – John Grey – 24 Jun 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 24 Jun 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Tuesday 24th June 1834

Rode to Throckley, where I found for the first time the Lessee of the extensive Quarry there, to whom I had written without effect, demanding payment of the Rent, & also an account of the number of Blocking Men employed by him, that I might know whether or not it agreed with the account which Mr Stephenson, our tenant at Throckley, was so good as to keep for me.  He owned that this year he had employed a greater number than formerly, but complained, that he had lost a great deal of money in working the Quarry, on account of a bad seam of Stone intervening, which he was obliged to remove, although he could not make use of it.  There is some truth in this, as is apparent, but still, I told him he must fulfill his Agreement & that promptly, or I should take steps to stop his proceedings.   Mr Stephenson of Throckley, one of our best Agriculturists & most respectable Tenants asked me to make the following proposition to the Commissioners.  The Threshing Machine upon this Farm is of a weight & construction far beyond the ordinary Scale of Machines worked by Horses, added to which his Farm frequently produces heavy Crops of Wheat with very long Straw, a circumstance I regret to say, very unusual on the Hospitals Farms in this part of the County, which makes the Threshing a murderous job for the Horses.  There is a Spring close by, affording sufficient Water for Steam Power, & Coals are only at a Miles distance.  So situated, I had often expressed surprise that Steam had not been employed, & Mr Stephenson also said he would gladly adopt it, if the Hospital would be at the expense.  This I entirely scouted, upon the Ground, that as soon as possible, the Hospital ought to get rid of the Machinery upon their Farms altogether.  He is new however, so satisfied of the injury done to the Horses that he is willing to erect an Engine and appurtenances at his own cost, the Hospital building the Chimney & stand for the Boiler, to cost about £20, which would be repaid entirely, or in great part, by the Sale of the present Horse Wheel, which is strong & good; the Hospital undertaking to pay for such Engine by valuation, at the time of Mr Stephenson leaving his farm, all of which seems very reasonable.  Or Mr Stephenson would allow eight Per Cent per Annum on the outlay, if the Commissioners would undertake to purchase the Boiler & Engine.  Probably the best plan would be to allow Mr Stephenson a Sum say £20 to complete in a satisfactory manner all the necessary building & agree to take the steam Engine etc by valuation, when he quits the Farm. [marginal pencil note: ‘I see no objection to this Plan.’] Or to give him the Horse Wheel, which in bargaining with his Millwright, he might perhaps be allowed £18 or £20 for, in consideration of his making the Chimney etc.  a Stipulation ought also to be made, that he should insure the Premises against Fire, of which however in a Building rightly constructed, there is little danger.  Mr Stephenson is deserving of encouragement, & one of the few Tenants who manages his Farm as if he wished to hold it to the end of his Lease.  There is a great want of two efficient flood Gates at the low end of this farm to prevent the backflow in times of Flood in the Tyne.  The Duke has 15 Acres in the same Situation & dependent upon these Sluices for protection, while we have 50.  And as His Grace’s Agent is willing to allow the half, I could not refuse to undertake for the other.  The whole should not cost more than £10. [marginal pencil note: ‘This should be done.’] The young Trees on the old Pit heaps that were planted in the Spring, look shy on the tops & bare parts, while those around the base are thriving.  I visited the repairs at the public House, saw the Miller about some repairs at his Dam, & proceeded in the evening to Newcastle.  

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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