Journal Entry – William Hooper – 21 Feb 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 21 Feb 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 15
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Thursday 21st Feby. 1833

Received from Mr Bainbridge Sixty Pounds, as the first monthly Instalment from the Alston Road Trustees, and Mr Bainbridge also paid me £3.5.6 on account of the Governor &Co. for the Counsels opinion on the Game Case, submitted at that Company’s request.  Mr B. also gave me a Deputation for a Game-keeper on behalf of the London Lead Company, which I promised him to get signed by the Commissioners and returned to him.  Inspected the House and field proposed for by Mr Hodgson, preparatory to meeting him on Friday, and found that the House stands in need of painting, and some repairs, particularly a new floor to one of the rooms; but that if I could detach the ground it would let for £13 a year.  Went through the list of the several farms etc. with Mr Dickenson to ascertain what Improvements or Repairs were required, and afterwards rode with him to Coopers Dyke Heads and Fewsteads to examine the repairs necessary – Rode to the Blagill Mines to see the difficulty and indeed impossibility of complying with the Mining Regulation which prohibits the Waste or Dead Heaps being placed near a stream of Water – such a regulation must put an end to working several veins in this Burn, and I promised to suggest a modification of it.

Examined the Crow Coal Collieries formerly let at £7 a year, but now unlet, the poverty and distress at Alston rendering it impossible for the poor people who use this coal to pay anything for raising it.  These Collieries are scattered over the manor, being merely a very narrow seam of inferior Coal containing much Sulphur, and only made useful for domestic purposes, by mixing with Clay into Fire-balls in the manner practised in South Wales.  The parties who formerly rented them found it answer their purpose to do so, by letting the poor Miner work Coal for his own use, paying a small sum for the privilege of doing so – but latterly they have been unable to do so, and the Collieries are unlet, and consequently worked by anybody that has a mind to do so.  I consider this objectionable and liable to abue, tho’ I believe it absolutely necessary to allow the really poor Miners to have the benefit of these Coals as the only means of their procuring firing at all, and on my return I consulted Mr Bainbridge on the practicability of getting the Select Vestry of the Manor to take them at a nominal rent, to employ paupers in working them, and to sell or give the Coals according to the circumstances of the parties: any profit or benefit resulting from them to be applied to the benefit of the poor of the Manor, and an account rendered to the Hospital once a year, shewing the actual amound of such profit; Mr Bainbridge considered the plan would be a very desirable one, calculated to do good to the Manor without any loss to the Hospital, and I desired him to propose it to the Select  Vestry, and if they could undertake it, I would recommend the measure to the Board, adding that the more profit the Vestry could show upon the annual account, the greater inducement there would be for the Commissioners to continue the plan.

On going over the list of arrears with Mr Dickenson, I find three of the parties have gone to America, and a fourth has been dead some years: in all these cases there is not a single representative or relative to call upon, and amount, £71, is hopeless; - the sooner it is removed from the Books the better.

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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