Letter – Henry Richmond to Walter Blackett – 23 Jan 1762

Document Type: Letter
Date: 23 Jan 1762
Correspondent: Henry Richmond
Recipient: Walter Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1E 1
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To Sir Wr. Blackett Bt. MP at the Cocoa tree on Pall Mall, London     Newca 23rd January 1762

Hon[ou]rd Sir        

     Inclosed is a copy of a Lre I rec[eiv]ed f[ro]m Mr. Halhead & of what I wrote him in return. I waited on him at Durham on Wednesday last to see the Indubitable authority wch he mentioned & found it was no more than the Enrolment of the Lease of the inclosures to Wm. Hall in 1661, exactly in the same words as the pres[en]t Lease of the inclosures to you, & that his reasoning upon this Enrolm[en]t was, That Halls Lease being expected out of the Moor Ma[ste]rs Lease, his L[or]ds[hi]ps producing the said enroled Lease was a suff[icien]t proof of what belonged to It, namely; “All the mines within the parks of Stanhope & Wolsingh[a]m & within the Lands Closes & inclosed Grounds of all & singular the copyholders Leasors ten[an]ts for y[ea]rs & customary tenants of the B[isho]p of Durham in Weardale”.

    In answer to this I told him, that his L[or]ds[hi]ps producing this enroled Lease to Hall co[ul]d at most only show that it was such inclosures as were actually made before or on the year 1661 that were Then granted to Hall. But that this enrolled Lease no way contributed towards ascertaining what inclosures are so antient as 1661. I added that this was the point in question & wch I supposed wo[ul]d occasion continual disputes in case of a separation of the two Leases. He replyed that, if such a case sho[ul]d happen, the disputes between the two Lessees wo[ul]d no way concern his L[or]ds[hi]p & they might adjust them as well as they could. After talking with him near two hours his final determination was, That all the inclosed Grounds in Weardale, wch his L[or]ds[hi]p had the Royalty of, belonged to the Lease for y[ea]rs Except such as you could prove were made since 1661. I told him you co[ul]d not prove this for no Living Evidence co[ul]d go far enough back to do justice in this point, and besides this was requiring you to take a difficulty upon you, wch I was satisfied wo[ul]d, whenever such proof was requisite, lye upon another. He said, However, till this point is settled it will be to no purpose adjusting any other matters relative to the Fine. For his L[or]ds[hi]p must know the premes before he can tell the value of Them. During our Conversation he mentioned one piece of information, wch he said he had rec[eiv]ed, that made great impression upon me; which was, that too much was granted to you, & that more ore wo[ul]d be raised in Weardale if the mines There were in more hands than one. He said he had this from persons who co[ul]d have no interest to serve in telling him so; & that he only mentioned it to let me see what some people thought of this affair. I have acquainted Mr Widdrington of Mr Halheads demand; & his opinion is, that the Exception in the Moor Masters Lease extends no further  than to what was actually granted to Hall, which could at most be only the Inclosures Then made. But Hall himself did not claim so much, For in his deposition in 1684 he says that what he held by vertue of the said Lease way such inclosures as were made before the Time of memory. And further owns that a verdict was obtained against him in 1666 by Mr Wharton for working in an inclosure; but alledges that the said verdict went against him only because such inclosure had been made within the time of memory. Mr Widdrington therefore thinks that it is not possible for you or anybody, at this say to say what are the particular inclosures that belong to the Lease for years, & that the only reasonable Explanation that can be obtained of the Exception in the Moor Masters Lease is this Testimony of Mr Halls and consequently that there is no way to avoid disputes but to keep the two Leases united     I am etc         H Richmond   

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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