Journal Entry – William Hooper – 6 May 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 6 May 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 17
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Monday May 6th 1833

The Lessees of the Colliery having nominated Mr Robert Wilson Ingineer to value the Machinery on their behalf, and the Lessees of the Smelting Mills having named Mr David Burn Millwright to value on their behalf, I wrote to Mr Storey, desiring him to confer with these two persons and fix a day for the inspection and valuation, so that they both may be done at the same time, and unnecessary expense avoided.

In the afternoon I proceeded to Alston, having arranged to receive the rents and twenty penny fines on Tuesday and Wednesday to settle the Lead Ore accounts on Thursday, and on Friday to inspect such of the property as may require my attention, and arrange whatever business there may be to settle there, so as to return on Saturday.

I have already brought under the notice of the Board the wretched state of the Inn at Haydon Bridge from the want of management in the people who keep it: the filthy uncomfortable state of the House has been notorious for several years, added to which the Man became insolvent about two years ago, and obliged to sell some of the best of his furniture, so that there really is no accommodation in the House, and the majority of travellers prefer journeying on to Hexham or Haltwhistle to stopping at Haydon Bridge. It follows that tho’ at a very inadequate rent, the Man made a livelihood with difficulty, and only paid his rent by the circumstance of the Hospitals’ rent dinners being held at his House. It was therefore obvious to me that quit when he may we should be sure of losing half a year’s rent, if not more, for as there is always a years rent due on the term day, nothing that we could take possession of would pay half of it. Under these circumstances, and feeling the advantages to the Hospital and the neighbourhood which a change might produce, I propose to Johnson that if he would give up possession immediately the Hospital would forego its claim to the rent day, but if not I should give him notice to quit at May 1834. He last week announced to me that he would accede to my wishes and leave at May day. – I am so strongly impressed with the capabilities of this House if properly managed, that I believe it ought to pay double the rent and be productive of a good income to the Tenant, but of course it will be up-hill work at first, and all will depend on the management of whoever takes it.

My attention has for some time been directed to the present tenant of Lowbyer Inn, where excellent management of that House is spoken of throughout the County. I mentioned in my journal of the 23rd of February last, that I had spoken to him respecting Haydon Bridge Inn, and that he seemed anxious to take it, but the difficulty on my mind was what to do with Lowbyer Inn, tho’ I feared Heatherington would not remain in it under any circumstances. On my arrival at Alston today I sent for him, and in the first place told him that if he would make up his mind to remain at Lowbyer, I would recommend to the Commissioners to abate his rent twenty pounds a year, but this he declined, saying that he had an offer of the Bull Inn at Hexham, and would prefer it to remaining here – I then agreed with him to put the House at Haydon Bridge in repair, and let him have it for three years at ninety pounds a year (twenty one more than present rent); that if at the end of the three years the business of the House was not so improved as to admit of higher rent, it should then be submitted to public competition; but if by his exertions he made the House worth fifty pounds a year more, I would recommend the Hospital to re-let it to him twenty pounds a year cheaper than to anybody else, and if he made it worth a hundred a year more, I would recommend his having it for an advance of fifty.

I feel all the responsibility of this arrangement, and much anxiety for the fate of Lowbyer House, but I am so satisfied of having done the best for the Hospital’s interests, that I could not but at once decide in the manner I have done, relying on the Board’s approval.

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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