Journal Entry – William Hooper – 25 Apr 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 25 Apr 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 17
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Thursday 25th April 1833

I had this morning a very unexpected and very unwelcome visit from a deputation of the Hospital Tenantry, consisting of Matthew Lee of West-Land Ends William Lambert Rattenraw East Farm John Harle West Mill Hills Robert Coulson Coastley & Heckford and Ralph Milburn Longhope & Highside. Their object was to state to me that they had been deputed by the whole of the Tenantry of the adjoining Districts to wait upon and request my co-operation in submitting to the Commissioners of Greenwich hospital a petition which they were about to draw up stating the very serious losses they had all sustained upon their Corn lands, owing to the partial failure of their crops, and the general depression in the price of corn. – I told them that it was impossible for me after a three months residence amongst them not to admit they were labouring under peculiar difficulties, and suffering severely from the pressure of the evils they complained of, and I could assure them that as far as the feelings and wishes of the Commissioners could be brought into operation, the Tenantry might rely upon obtaining every consideration. But while I conceded and admitted this much, I must remind them of the peculiar situation in which the Commissioners stood, by which they were wholly precluded from exercising that discretion which the individual owner of a property might be free to do; and I very much doubted whether, as Trustees of a Charity, the present circumstances afforded any plea for granting relief by reduction of rent. I admitted this was a disadvantage to a tenancy, but it was due to the Hospital to remind them that on the. Other hand they enjoyed advantages to set against it.  It was agreed by the deputation that temporary relief [underlined: ‘had been afforded by the Hospital’] in 1823, and that the circumstances of the times offered nothing like the pleas which there now was for it: but to this I could only reply that in 1823 the government of the Hospital was vested in a corporate body, whereas the present Commissioners had their powers limited and controlled by Act of Parliament.

I told them that any petition they might think right to draw up, and entrust me with, should be duly submitted to the Board, but at the same time I could not but suggest that as my Journal would record the whole substance of our interview, the Commissioners would be as well acquainted with the facts, and as readily disposed to give consideration to them without the petition as with it. That it would be mockery in me to hold out encouragement and leave the odium of disappointment to be attributed to the Commissioners – I could pledge myself that the Commissioners would be ready to afford all the relief in their power, which I verily believed could amount to nothing. 

Upon this, they said they would leave it to me to represent their case, and again urged that I would state the ruin that awaited them, but to this I remarked that I could not but hope and believe that the present suffering arose from temporary causes, and that better times awaited them. I can add little to these remarks beyond the observations in my journal of the 14th of March which further experience has only tended to confirm.

Mr Michael Walton the Agent employed by Mr Beaumont for purchasing Wood for his Mines, came to me to treat for some of the Larch and Fir on Dipton plantation; and I at length agreed to sell him the Lot No. 3 for £210, and an allowance of five per cent, on payment within a month.

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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