Journal Entry – William Hooper – 8 Jun 1833

Document Type: Journal Entry
Date: 8 Jun 1833
Correspondent: William Hooper
Archive Source: TNA ADM 80 17
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Saturday June 8th 1833

Having met Mr Johnson at Corbridge this morning, and heard all that the three Tenants, who were present, had to say; it was finally settled to carry Mr Leadbitter’s claim three months further back, which entitled him to £12.17.6 more than I had allowed; that the whole of them were to be paid at the next half years rent-day at the same rate as I allowed them, but as the fences were now completed, the land was to be remeasured, and the future payments to be according to the quantities at the rate per annum settled for – the measurement to be made by the Tenants, the other by the Railway, to this all parties agreed, and every thing relating to this question was settled, with the exception of Pearson’s claim for the value of the Ground taken from his Nursery, which he contended was much more than had been allowed him. It was therefore at length settled that his Ground should be revalued by two persons, to be named by himself and the Railway Company, and whatever amount of compensation should be awarded by them, Pearson agreed to accept of.

The Railway Company will furnish Mr Grey with plans of so much of the line of the Railway, as will exhibit on a large scale the several farms and fields belonging to the Hospital through which it has to pass, that if any of the farms come into our hands before the road is made, there may be a reserve-covenant on re-letting, fixing the price per acre for which the land is to be given up; and in all other cases to secure a regular valuation and agreement with the Tenant before his farm is entered upon. Mr Johnson engaged to obtain from the Railway Company the amount now due to the Hospital in compensating these claims, that the amount may be immediately settled.

Mr Grey and I again investigated a claim set up by Mr Pearson for an allowance of £8.15.0 as the value of the straw taken off the premises previous to his entering the Nursery Ground, and which ought to have been left for Manure – It was quite clear to me , when I first enquired into this case two or three months ago, that Pearson ought to have had the Manure, and that he was injured to the full value of the straw removed, but I also thought that the person who cropped the land, and removed the straw, which was Mr Benson of the Demesne Farms, was the party who ought to compensate him. On a full investigation of the matter it appeared that Mr Benson bought manure for the first preparation of the land, and at this distance of time the difficulty of meeting him on all the facts of the case, forced the necessity of conceding the point, and we accordingly allowed Pearson credit for it in his account to settle the matter. From the irregular, and I must say unjust, manner in which Mr Sample had valued the amount of Damages occasioned by the flood in October last, to the farms of Leadbitter and Benson, by which the Lime on the former was valued at 2/6 per fodder, and that on the latter at 4/- both being in every respect under precisely the same circumstances, I was constrained to admit Leadbitter’s claim to the higher price, and he was accordingly allowed £4.10.0 for the sixty fodders lost on that occasion – and on this settlement of the several claims of these tenants, they us better satisfied.

Mr Benson of Dilston New Town South farm also came to me at my request, that I might ascertain why his father had not paid the second sum due upon his Bill, which became payable on the 13th of May, he said his father wished for more time, and begged I would give him until next rent-day; but I declined giving any, and told him that if his father would bring £104 in the course of a few days, Mr Grey would take a Bill payable in November for the other £100, but if he did not, the present Bill would be paid to the Bankers to take its course. The old man is substantial enough, and ought to accede to this arrangement, or he must take the consequence.

On my return to Haydon Bridge I witnessed the execution of the Bond for the due payment of Rents and fulfilment of covenants in the Lease of Stublick Colliery; and on its being executed it was delivered to me. I had an application from Mr John Walton, a relation of the Wilson’s of Hudgill Burn, to rent the Lowbyer Inn and Farm – I told him that I could not possibly let it for three years at less than eighty pounds a year, but that I was willing to make some reduction upon the first year’s rent – He said he would consider further, and see me at Alston on my way to Penrith on Monday to try if we could agree – it would be a very satisfactory conclusion of my labours here to obtain a good tenant for this House, and the character I have of this Man is favorable to him, and such as would make me glad to have him for a tenant.

Mr Todd of the Tofts applied to me about the repairs of his Dwelling House, which I promised to have done, and also for a Cart-shed which he had requested of me when I inspected the farm; I told him the trifling repairs of his House should be done immediately; but I could hold out no expectation of building a Cart-shed. His treatment of the Hospital respecting Allerwash Town Farm was such as to give him no claim for indulgence in the way of improvements at the Tofts. Having arranged to leave Northumberland on Monday morning, my official labours in the duties I was sent to perform may be said to finish here; but I cannot close my Journal without expressing a grateful sense of the kind, cordial, and cooperative manner in which Mr Grey has entered into all my views and arrangements for conducting and managing this property; and I sincerely believe that the interests of the Hospital could not be confided to anyone more desirous, or more capable, of preserving and promoting them.

In my Journal of the 29th of May I stated in reference to the ten pounds allowed Mr Snowball for winning Stones at Wharmeley that should have occasion to revert to the subject in a few days, when I would state my opinions upon it:- My reason for this was that Mr Howden, whom I consider the only person [underlined: ‘now’] liable, had proposed to me to leave the question to the decision of the two persons, one to be named by each of us; but this I considered derogatory to the Hospital. I felt bound to see Mr Snowball paid, and I told Mr Howden that at the Rent-day I should certainly pay him, if his claim was not previously settled; but it was so clear to me that the charge upon the Hospital was in itself, to use the mildest term, so flagrant a disregard of its interests, that the person who permitted it was undeserving of further employment. – Mr Howden then asked if I had any objection to his obtaining the opinion of Mr Colbeck, one of the Agents of the Duke of Northumberland, by whose decision he would abide; I told him I could not possibly object to his asking anybody, for if any honest uninterested man in the County would say it was a just charge upon the Hospital, I would willingly pay it – indeed I should do so at all events, rather than leave the matter unsettled beyond the rent-day; but my opinions were so strong, and in my own mind so convincing, that I could not be swerved from them by the decision of anybody. Expecting to have Mr Colbeck’s opinion, I deferred these remarks, and on the 31st of May he called upon me, and read Mr Howden’s statement, which I admitted to be correct as to facts, and gave him my views and opinions upon it. He entirely concurred with me, that the charge was a gross imposition on the Hospital, and one that he would never submit to on the part of the Duke of Northumberland; but notwithstanding this opinion he believed in the present instance I should be obliged to pay it; because it had been the frequent practice for the Hospital to defray the expense of similar damages, and the contractor having had no notice of its discontinuance acted upon the expectation of the Hospital paying it.

I could not help observing that I thought a Highwayman might as well say I had no right to prosecute him for robbing me, because I had before submitted to be robbed with impunity, and had not given notice of a contrary intention: I added that I felt the necessity of paying the money, and that I had indeed already paid it; but the point I contended for was, that if Mr Howden persevered in allowing this charge to fall upon the Hospital, it would be my duty to guard against the risk of being involved in similar unjust claims on his account. I deferred these remarks, expecting Mr Colbeck’s more deliberate and written opinion, but to the present hour I have not received it.

[on a small piece of paper found inserted after this last entry and in a different hand:] 

<Mr?Mrs?> Hooper / with <Sir Richd Morley> / kind regards / and thanks

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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