Journal Entry – William Hooper – 15 Apr 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 15 Apr 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 16
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Monday 15th April 1833

I proceeded on this day to the examination of the Spindleston Property, and my first visit was to Glororum Farm, occupied by the Widow of the late Mr Alexander Thomson who was killed by a fall from his Horse a few years since.  This poor woman put into my hands a Memorial which had been drawn up by one of her Trustees, who is a Solicitor at Wooler; and certainly there is some hardship and difficulty in her case.  More than three thousand pounds had been invested by her husband on the farms and finding after his death, and indeed he had previously petitioned for reduction, that she could not manage the farm without loss, she applied to the Hospital to sublet it, which was granted, and in return for her £3000, she asked £300 for the Lease, but no one could be found to take the farm even at the rent she pays, and she now prays for some reduction during the remaining four years of her term. – I told her, that while I could confidently speak of the desire which the Commissioners would entertain to give consideration to her case, I doubted the possibility of affording her any other relief than to allow of her surrendering the farm – the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital as Trustees could not act as the individual owner of a Property might do, and all I could say therefore was that on my return to London, I would lay her petition with all the facts of the case before the Board, when it would have due consideration though I much questioned the result.  Mrs Thomson regretted that she could not pay me her rent by One hundred pounds, but would endeavour to raise the deficiency as soon as possible.

After visiting Outchester and Spindleston Farms, and arranging with Mr Davison of the latter to meet me early on the following morning to inspect the damages done to him by working stones from Spindleston-rocks, I proceeded to Waren Mills where I had arranged to sleep on the kind invitation of Mr Nairne.

The large and extensive scale on which Business is carried on at Spindleston and Waren-Mills gives a character to them, very different from any other of the Mills I have seen belonging to us, but on comparing the rental and expenditure, I am brought to the same mortifying conclusion that our Mill-property is dead weight.  Mr Nairne had applied last year for a new granary to be built at an expense of £228, and it was ordered to be done, for which he was to pay 8 per cent during the remainder of his Lease, but as this is only 4 years, the return would have been small.  Fortunately the Estimates were delayed, and in the interim Mr Nairne discovered that the floor of an adjoining granary was on the same level with the top floor of his Mill, and that b breaking out a door and running a platform across, he could obtain much of the accommodation he looked for from a new granary.  He proposed to me therefore that the New Building should be dispensed with for the present, the Hospital bearing the expense of the platform.  I quite concurred in his views of abandoning all idea of building in this lease, but as the platform was for his sole advantage, I could not accede to paying for it: but I allowed him the expense, about £6, of building a small enclosing wall, which improved the property. –

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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