Journal entry – John Grey – 6 Jan 1834

Document Type: Journal entry
Date: 6 Jan 1834
Correspondent: John Grey
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 19
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Monday 6th January1834

Had an early visit from Andrew Thorburn threatening the destruction of Gairshield by ploughing out as much Grassland as he is intitled to by his lease, well aware of the injury it would occasion to the letting of the place, and complaining of the restriction I had put upon him as to his Crop at Mirehouse.  I told him that I had applied to the Board for instructions, as to whether he should required to pay more rent for this year than his farms should be let for the next, according to Mr Hoopers recommendation, & that I wished to make him some consideration for not ploughing Gairshield, though it would not be a benefit to him to do so, equal to the injury it would do to the farm, & that in all respects I wished to deal by him fairly & to part on good terms, but that I had a watch upon his movements, & that his putting a Plough in Gairshield would be instantly followed by a seizure of all his effects. He professed great moderation & willingness to do what is right!!  

Received from Mr Mitchell the balance of rent due at May day last for High Green Colliery, included in the purchase by the Duke.   Had more parties enquiring about the farms that are advertised & especially one from Tweedside, wishing to know the particulars respecting the covenants intended for the management of Chesterhill & the division of a large Grass Field, a part of which, being interspersed with rock, cannot well be cultivated but the remainder of which, being in an unproductive state I propose to fence off and take into tillage.  This arrangement Mr Smith much approved of, & said that he would add something to his offer in consequence. I should be much gratified to have Mr Smith for a tenant of so good a farm. I have known him long as one of the very best farmers in the north of England, who held the farm of Grindon for 21 years at a rent of £2200 which I thought it impossible for any man to do. The rent was reduced lately to £1500 but only from year to year.  Determined not to hold it longer without a lease he offered 1300 which being refused, he would have nothing more to do with it & it has been since let by public tender to a very inferior tenant at £1200!!  This may seem to be matter irrelevant to my journal, but I mention it for the purpose of showing that the Hospital property does not decline in a greater proportion, or indeed so great a proportion as some others.  This indeed is the greatest decline I have known on this side the Tweed, but it is peculiarly a Corn farm, unsound for Sheep & managed at great expense. Mr Smith thinks there is a want of Cottages for labourers at Chesterhill, which I have not heard complained of by any other, altho’ Mr Thomson stated that all had not been built that were intended.

Mr Murray the Millwright whom I had desired to examine & report upon the state of Newlands Mill, which was easy to see was not working true, as the saying is, came to me today showing that in changing the power, the motions have not been correctly calculated & that in consequence several cog wheels were shorn away & the whole Machinery in great danger.  To remedy & repair it will cost £23 which having arisen from the imperfect finishing of the Machinery & not from the regular wear, or the negligence of the tenant, I could not call upon him to replace.  I have therefore thought it necessary to order it to be done forthwith to prevent greater damage - but an estimate of £25 for new blue Stones of the Wheat Mill I declined to undertake, conceiving that that may belong to the Miller to do.  I paid Murray £75.5.- for the repair of Alston Mill.  He states that he had put in larger Stones than he had reckoned upon, which cost £2 more than the estimated price, and that he was out of pocket. I however paid him by the estimate.  

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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