Journal Entry – William Hooper – 25 Mar 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 25 Mar 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 16
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Monday 25th March 1833

Messrs. Hunter and Soppitt, two of the Newlands and Whittonstall tenants came to me, with proposals for putting the roads in passable condition, they had examined and measured the whole of the roads, and found the quantity to be 1884 roods, and to make the roads at all decent, each rood will require four fodders of stones, and their Estimate is, for 

Winning & breaking the stones 4s/per rood       376.16.0  

Leading the Stones 3/6 per rood                 329.14.0

Opening Gutters, laying Conduits etc. 6d a rood  47. 2.0	

                                 In all        £753.12.0

and the whole Township had agreed to join in an undertaking to complete the work upon this Estimate.

I told them that before I could recommend the measure to the consideration of the Commissioners I must satisfy myself of two facts; first, that the proposal was on fair and moderate terms; and, secondly, that this would effectually secure the passing of the Roads. – Upon the first question they entertained no fears, they were satisfied I could get no proposals to do them cheaper, but as to the second, they entertained doubts if the roads were made of sufficient breadth to enable the Magistrates to pass them, and to widen them would cost a thousand pounds more!!! – If this be true, the conduct of the Commissioners appointed to effect this enclosure must exceed in negligence, or something worse, all that I have yet had to deal with here – but the Tenants said that if they once took the roads into their hands, and commenced working statute labour upon them, the act of doing so, would as effectually relieve the Hospital of all further liability, as if they were passed by the Magistrates; and this they would undertake to do.  The advantage to which they looked from having the work placed in their hands, was the employment of their Horses in the interval of leisure from their farms, and for this purpose they wished an early decision.  I told them, I would lose no time in getting such information as might enable me to bring the matter under the Board’s consideration, but as the Estimate was full two hundred and fifty pounds more than I had anticipated, and as the doubt about the width of the roads, might materially alter my views upon the subject, I felt by no means sure that could recommend the measure.  I considered it prudent to exercise this caution, altho’ I am satisfied that whatever the extent of evil may be, delay will only increase it, and I shall lose no time in making myself fully acquainted with the law of the case, and what may be the most adviseable way of securing the Hospital’s interests.

Mr Stott of Buteland came to me to claim the Hospital’s protection against Mr Spencer who is now threatening him with law proceedings relative to his tillage land, and Away-going crop – the trouble I have had with these parties is more than I can describe, both are in fault, but Mr Spencer’s aim from beginning to end has been to gain advantage of Stott, and throw him upon the Hospital for renumeration; but as yet he has gained nothing of me, and I will try hard that he shall not.  Some Mill-Machinery in Broomhope Mill, which Stott put up, but which is usually held as Lord’s property, I expect to have to pay for, as Mr Spencer will urge that he bought it with the property, and I suppose in equity his right must be admitted, but upon all other points I consider we have no liability, and fortunately the Machinery is not very expensive.

Mr Nicholson the late Tenant of the Crow-Coal Collieries called on me in consequence of my application for the last years rent, and alleged that he did not consider himself liable, as he had made nothing of the Collieries in that year, and had applied the year previous for a reduction of rent.  I told him that I could not admit his plea, but as he had made application for reduction of rent the year previous, without receiving any answer, I would consent on his bringing me five pounds before the 1st of May next, to give him an acquittance for the seven due to the Hospital – I consider this my best chance of getting anything.

Mr Lambert of Elrington Hall Farm made me an offer of £335 for Elrington East Farm for one year, including the Away going crop of the present tenant.  Mr Hunt’s valuation of the latter, after deducting the expense of seeds, labour, tythe, etc. is £102, which is forty or fifty pounds less than expected, but even this reduces his offer from the farm to £233, the present rent being £410. – It is true that the farm is so run out, by the tenant having taken two and three white crops in succession that it will require some years of improvement to bring it back to its value, but this offer is out of all reason, and much as I wish to negotiate with Mr Lambert, in order to secure quiet surrender and possession, I can never yield to these terms.  I told him that if he would give me £300 for the one years’ tenancy of the farm, and £102 for the present year’s crop, I would let it to him, subject to the approbation of the Board, but on no lower terms.

The Duke of Northumberland’s Cashier having applied to me for the Quit-rents etc. due at Michaelmas last, I sent him a cheque and receipt, deducting 10/- for a rent due from the Duke to the Hospital, for a House in the Manor of Wark, at May-day next.

I also arranged to pay the Fee-farm rents due to Mr Beaumont.

Entered into an agreement with Mr Robert Smith of Spring House in Hexhamshire District, to let to him Whitley Mill & Ground for one year at sixty pounds, on the condition of his not ploughing out any land beyond the four acres now in tillage, and to crop and cultivate that according to the usual four course shift; and to give up quiet possession at the end of the year without further notice to do so – the agreement to be subject to the Board’s approbation.

Mr Hunt was engaged in the morning in a revaluation of the crop in Elrington East Farm; and I afterwards sent him to arrange with some of the tenants in the immediate neighbourhood for proceeding with such draining as I had consented to, and which it is necessary to do at this season.

Had long interviews and explanations with parties desirous of taking the Colliery, and I hope to get satisfactory proposals, immediately after I can state the defined restrictive regulations, for which I am waiting Mr Fenwicks report.

Mr Pringle the Tenant of Scremerston Borewell farm called on me to ascertain if I intended to take any steps for the settlement of the matters in dispute between him and the Colliery Lessees, when I told him that he would find my letter on his return, fixing the Friday previous to the rent-day for meeting him and Mr Johnson together, and I briefly told him the course it was my intention to pursue.  He seemed to acquiesce tolerably well, but both parties are of that fiery composition that I almost despair of succeeding in bringing them to reason upon disputes of eight years standing.

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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