Journal Entry – William Hooper – 4 Mar 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 4 Mar 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 15
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Monday 4th March 1833

Having received certain information that Mr Lambert of Elrington East Farm was removing his stock etc. from the farm on Saturday, an event which I was so apprehensive of, that I wrote my suspicions to Mr Fenwick twice in last week; but having instructed Mr F. to proceed against this Tenant, I have hesitated to take it out of his hands lest I should do anything to prejudice his proceeding.  In this dilemma I wrote again by the morning’s post to acquaint Mr Fenwich of the necessity of immediate action, and sent one of the Woodmen to reconnoitre the Farm, and watch and trace the removal of any Stock.  I have seen from the first that this Man’s sole aim has been to go on as long as possible without paying anything, and then to cheat the Hospital all he can, and in this plan, Mr Lambert, his nephew, who has performed the duties of Bailiff, has been rendering him assistance; and I have now very strong reason to believe that some of his Cattle is removed to Elrington Hall Farm, where Lambert the Bailiff lives!!

Rode to Dilston Mill, and met there the Mill-wright to consult as to the best means of putting the Machinery in repair, which has been sadly injured.  Also examined the trough and race by which the Water is conveyed to the Mill, the whole of which is in a most defective state, and losing more than half the Water on its passage from Mill-dam, to the Mill.  I directed the Mill-wright to make me two distinct Estimates; one of those things which I considered necessary immediately and which will put the internal Machinery in tenantable condition, and another for the Trough and Water-course which will require more consideration.  Returned immediately to Haydon Bridge, in expectation of meeting the Hudgill Mill Company, but they had not arrived.  Saw Mr Roddam and other partners in the Blagill Company’s Mines, relative to the Mining-Leases, and upon which they urged exemption of payment from the parties in whose names they are made out being unable to execute; but I told them, as the Leases had been made out on the express undertaking of their being paid for by the Lessees, I could grant no terms beyond what I proposed at Alston, and if these were not acceded to, we should let the Mines to other parties.  They at length offered me £40, but I would not concede further; and they left me, requesting a fortnight to consider, which I allowed them.

The tenant of Thornbrough High barns farms came to me respecting his arrears, which accumulated on Newton-hall farm.  He has regularly paid his rent on his present farm, but he stands £340 in arrear, his payments having been carried to liquidate the debt at Newtonhall, which is now reduced to £160. – I believe him to be an honest Man, desirous of paying, and the only chance of his doing so, is to give him time, but that incurs risk, without security.  I told him, therefore, that unless he could bring me satisfactory security for payment by instalments, I should be obliged to proceed, for he can only undertake to pay the £500, at the rate of £50 a year.

Mr Rewcastle returned having taken possession at all three places where I had given him authority to distrain, and the Tenant of Whitley Mill came to me shortly after, but it was quite evident that the poor man is wholly without the means of carrying on the Mill, and altho’ the whole of his effects will not pay half his arrear, yet if he continues, there is no prospect of the Hospital ever getting anything; and I told him that unless he could bring me security, I must proceed to sell, but that if he would at once give up quiet possession, I would allow him to remove his Lodging-room furniture – It is better to let for half the present rent, and obtain it, then nominally to let for the higher rent, and get nothing.  The Tenants of Gairshield and Bagraw Farms came to me to entreat an arrangement – The father and three sons are tenants of the two, and also of Mirehouse Farm, on which there is no arrear; and they have stock enough to pay the whole sum due; but to sell it would ruin them, and the Hospital would have all three farms upon its hands at May, with the certain loss of the half years rent, and the injury which exasperated Tenants might do the farms.  Even, this, however, would be better than accumulating the arrear, and having heard all their means, and prospects of raising money, I told them that if they would bring me authority to receive the amount due to them from Mr Beaumont for Lead Carriage, £36, which will be paid in April, and if the Father, sons, and Grandson would join in a promissory note to pay on or before the 1st of May £150, I would release their stock, but on no other terms – and they left me to get the promise to pay me from Mr Beaumont’s agents.  It is heart aching work all this, but it is absolutely necessary to the Hospital, and more kind to the Tenants than allowing the accumulation of arrear, which is the first step to ruin.

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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