Letter – Arthur Mowbray to Shute Barrington – 18 Dec 1798

Document Type: Letter
Date: 18 Dec 1798
Correspondent: Arthur Mowbray
Recipient: Shute Barrington
Archive Source: DUL CCB B 182 121
  • Transcription
  • Comments (0)
  • Change font
    If columns/tables do not appear straight, change font
      Sherburn, 18 decr. 1798.

My Lord,

      I have the pleasure to inform your Lordship that the Weardale Meeting yesterday was fully attended. It fell to my Lott to be called to the Chair. The Business was opened by Mr Scruton, charging the Wolsingham Attorneys with having acted unhandsomely towards him, in endeavouring to bias the Minds of the Land Owners, and without as he supposed a Cause, to prevail on them to discontinence him as Solicitor without assigning a reason and of endeavouring to influence them against your Lordship, by informing Numbers that your Lordship said that the people in Weardale were in want of being humanized and christianized and other Expressions with an Intent to work up the people against the Measure. To this, I desired Messrs. Dixon and Rymer to answer and I admitted the Words humanize and christianize were used by your Lordship for the best of purposes and with the best of Meanings. It was that your Lordship wished to have a Chapel in the remote part of the Dale and to have dispersed two or three Schools that the Labouring poor might have their Children educated gratis if the Fund would allow, and have an opportunity of taking them to Church at an easy distance. To provide for the Comforts of the Poor was humane and to give an Opportunity of their Children being in their tender years educated was I thought a high Proof of Christianity.

      This had the desired Effect & put the Meeting into perfect good humour. Dixon admitted that they had used the Words, and that he had also said that Scruton had told your Lordship the people of Weardale were a Lott of ignorant people that no one could manage them but himself, and that he had them all at his Call and could make them do what he pleased. I observed that I was present I believe at all the Meetings that Scruton had with your Lordship and that I never heard him use such an Expression, and I believed he never did. In Course I thought it certainly right to call on Dixon for his Author, which he declared to be Mr Castle. I have told Castle today that if he did not clear the Matter up, I tho’t. his Character would be injured in Weardale. He says he will seek to Dixon and cause him to produce the Letters he wrote him on the Subject which were three. The Business of the day then begun which was to go generally into the Heads of the Bill and to devise the most likely Mode to conduct the Business. Dixon produced I think from four different Fells or Hopes Names to the amount of about seven each as objectors to a Division but those appeared to be chiefly from people that he had prevailed on, and which by a little Explanation seemed to think themselves wrong and some withdrew their Names. The whole were neither numerous nor Men of much Weight. I requested if any had their doubts as to the Advantage of dividing, they would have the Goodness to name them and I would endeavour to explain. This had the desired Effect. what doubt arose I did explain away, and I think left a very fair Impression on their Minds, so as to have little doubt but every Thing will go on pleasantly and end well.

      Previous to the day that is to be fixed for Reading the Bill Scruton attends two days with the draught at two of the most convenient places in Weardale where any of the Proprietors may meet and obtain a competent Knowledge before the Meeting for a public Reading. And it was also agreed that at those Meetings Scruton Collect on Oath Matter from the Land Owners and from your Lordships Lessees Agents or who they may produce as to the damage in working the Lead Mines, on which to found a Case for Mr Williamsons Opinion (which was agreed to by Coln. Beaumont Agents and all present) so as to fix by whom and in what Manner the damage is hereafter to be paid.

      These are the chief Heads of what passed and the day closed with the Greatest Harmony and good Humour.

      The Rector of Stanhope was with us, and I had a good deal of Conversation with him as to a Compensation for Tithe, he seems obstinate and declines deferring to Mr Williamson. However, I think the Conversation had some Effect. whether I may be able to bring him too, or not, I cannot tell. The Proprietors I think seem to have no Objection for him to take the Tithe on Kind. The Rectory I learn is worth near 1500£ p. Ann.

      I have received Information that the produce of the Lead Mines your Lordship lets to Coln. Beaumont runs thus. Their has been raised on an Average of Years past 20,000 Bins, which at four Guineas p. Bin (the Median price) is £84,000 from which deduct 20,000 Guineas, the average price for Working (vizt. one Guinea a Bin) leaves £63,000 net profit p.Ann.

      Mrs. Mowbray is particularly obliged to Mrs. Barrington for the Kind offer to my Child. I think it not probable that I may reach Town before the Middle of January.  Should it be sooner it will give me great pleasure to have the Honor of calling upon your Lordship at Mongewell.

      I am, My Lord Your Lordships very much obd. & most obdt. hble Servt.

      Arthur Mowbray

The Honble. & Right Revd. The Lord Bishop of Durham

Leave a comment

We welcome further information or corrections on topics and incidents mentioned in individual letters. It might take a while before your comments are checked for adding to public view within the website. We cannot undertake further research in response to questions.

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


General Discussion
Suggested correction or addition


  Return to search results or refine/create new search
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