Journal entry – John Grey – 28 May 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 28 May 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Wednesday 28th May 1834

When engaged in attending to Cash transactions and other matters in the Office at Dilston, was waited upon, not by the Miller of Dilston, who had not appeared at the Rent day, but by his Wife, manifesting great distress & saying that they had no money for me.  That they had no trade & could make nothing by the Mill, and the price they had given for the growing Corn on coming to the place last spring was double of what it had produced.  All this, I was obliged to confess was unfortunate, but then the Mill was good, & had been erected at great expense.  The Corn grown in the neighbourhood was sold & the situation was good for business.  How came it that they had no trade? The poor woman could only shed tears and regret that they could make nothing of it & must be quit.  As to being quit, I told her they had lost the chance of that for the present, having allowed the May Day to pass, when all people had got themselves fixed in situations & there was little chance of finding a suitable tenant.   That I pitied her, for whatever business was done, was of her doing, but that she could not be expected to manage such a concern to advantage.  As for her husband he was good for little but drinking and smoking, & never should have engaged in such an undertaking.   If they persist in refusing to pay rent, there is no alternative but to seize their property & then unless some friends should come forward to extricate them, it is likely that loss may be incurred.  Of all the Hospitals property, that of Corn Mills is the most unproductive & unsatisfactory.  

       Having arranged matters in the Office, I took the Coach, passing by to Alston.  In the evening had a long interview with the Moor Master & Clerk of Deliveries, looking into the Mining produce etc.  The Moormasters informed me that examining one of the Mines which had formerly been wrought to considerable extent, but has been lately very unproductive, he discovered that the party to save themselves the expense of drawing their refuse to bank, had stowed it away in an old drift, filling up the passage between one Shaft & another, and that on his insisting most properly upon its being opened out again they had abandoned the Mine.   I have therefore desired Mr Bainbridge to write to the Parties, giving them notice of prosecution in case of their delaying to remove the obstruction, and have cautioned Mr Dickinson against ever again recommending any of them for trials under the Hospital, as to prosecuting them, I fear from all accounts they are not worth powder & Shot, being all poor Workmen, but such conduct must not be passed entirely over.  I imagined from a Boards communication some time ago, that arrangements might ere now have been made with Mr Bainbridge, which would have allowed me to apply to him in such matters, without hesitation, but find that as yet he has had no communication on the subject of a Salary. 

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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