Letter – Nicholas Walton to John Ibbetson – 5 Nov 1779

Document Type: Letter
Date: 5 Nov 1779
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: John Ibbetson
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66 97
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To Mr John Ibbetson Esq.                      			Farnacres 5 Novemr 1779


       Messrs Walton & Smeaton in their Letter of 3D Febry 1776, to which we beg leave to refer, reported upon the Petition of Thomas Fall on Acct of Damages claimed by him to have been sustained by the Smoke of Langley Lead Mill and intimated to the Board that it seemed proper to defer coming to a Determination respecting those Damages 'til after the End of the Term Mr Fall had in Langley Castle Farm.  This was done not only by way of discouraging Applications, but lest any thing should be drawn into a Precedent during the then subsisting Leases of Lands in the Neighbourhood of the Mill, and at the new Letting there has been care taken to put an End to every Application in future.

       Ever since the time of Messrs Walton & Smeatons writing to the Board, the Lead Mill Agent, Mr Mulcaster by direction from the Receivers, has been constantly on the Watch, not only to prevent Damages, but as far as it was in his power to find out every Circumstance relative to Damages, realy sustained, both before, and since, Mr Falls Application, and from his Observations,and the Information he has from time to time reced, it is beyond a Doubt considerable Losses have happened by the poisonous Quality of the Smoke of Langley Lead Mill.

       We have had several Applications upon the above Subject since the 12th of May, the amount of which is £176.12 - besides Losses by Sheep etc which Mr Fall the Tenant cannot ascertain, and we inclose you an Acct showing the particulars together with a Report being the Substance of the Information which we have reced from Mr Mulcaster, and tho' it appears from the Report that considerable part of the Losses claimed for are not absolutely substantiated, and it is admitted that some part might arise from a want of proper Attention on the part of the Owners of the Cattle, yet we doubt not in the least the persons who apply have had Losses equal to what is considered in the Account inclosed, so far as the particular Cattle and the Value thereof are specified, but we do not see it possible to take it into our Consideration what the Tenant Mr Fall is himself unable to form an Estimate of.  Upon the whole we beg leave to recommend the <Sufferen> to the Board for Relief, and we must say that Mr Mulcasters Attention and Modesty in the whole of this transaction have done him great Credit.     We are Sir

       Your etc

       N W Junr   J.C.T

Particulars of the several Applications made to Messrs Walton & Turner on Acct of Losses sustained by the poisonous Quality of the Smoke of Langley Mill together with a Report thereon being the Substance of the Information which Messrs Walton & Turner have reced from Mr Mulcaster.

Thomas Fall of Langley Castle viz

8 Ore Carriage Galloways at  £32

1 Six Years Old Gelding       10 10 

1 Eight Years Old Mare         8

1Three Years Old Do            7

1 Two Years Old. Do            6

1 Year Old. Do                 2  2

3 Cows                at £6   18                   £83 12

Likewise three horses he has at present wch he fears will die, as they are much hurt, besides wch a considerable loss in his Sheep yearly, which he cannot ascertain, but one year in particular 40 of his Ewes lambed dead Lambs, wch he hopes will be taken into consideration.

Ann Brown of Langley Castle Viz

10 Horses             at £5   £50

1 Cow                           5                   £55

Gabriel Wren of East Deanraw Viz

1 Cow 1 Steer [added via an asterix: ‘a young Ox’]

   and 2 Heifers                                     17

Nicholas Temperley of Sillywray Viz

   1 Heifer                                           3

John Mulcaster Refiner at Langley Mill. 1 Cow         6

Mr Peter Mulcaster Agent at Do.         2 Cows.      12

                                                   £176 12

See Report on the other side....

Report on the Applications on the other side are taken from Mr Mulcaster.

      As to Thomas Fall

Mr Mulcaster has no reason to think Mr Fall exaggerates his Loss and is certain the two years old Mare and Six Years Old Gelding died of the Disorder occasioned by the Lead Mill Smoke, he having been an Eye Witness.

      As to Ann Brown 

From what Mr Mulcaster knows and has heard, he thinks Mrs Browns Loss is at least as much as she has set it down.


      As to Gabriel Wren

Mr Mulcaster remembers very well being sent for by Gabriel Wren who had three horned Cattle which Mr Mulcaster found ill with every Symptom of having received Injury by the Lead Mill Smoke, and as from Information, he knows Gabl Wren did lose some of his Cattle, both before, and after his being sent for, he believes he had the Loss he mentions.

      As to Nicholas Temperley 

When Nicholas Temperley's Heifer was ill, Mr Mulcaster was sent for, but before his Arrival at the place, it was dead, and on Enquiry of Nicho Temperley, and some Neighbours, who attended when the Heifer was ill, the Symptoms of her Disorder we found to be the same, as are most common with Horned Cattle affected by Lead Mill Smoke and he has no reason to believe he was misinformed.

      As to John Mulcaster 

Mr Peter Mulcaster having been an Eye Witness of John Mulcasters Cows Disorder, from the first Discovery of her Illness to her Death, is certain, her Death was occasioned by the Lead Mill Smoke.

      As to Mr Peter Mulcaster

Mr Mulcaster undoubtedly lost two Cows, but tho' all his Neighbours are clearly of Opinion they died by being injured by the Lead Mill Smoke, yet he will not say he is certain that was the occasion of their Death, tho' in this doubt, he, of all the persons who saw them in their illness is Singular; at the same time he declares he had an Inducement for being so, for as in his Opinion the matter did admit of some doubt, he would have gladly persuaded himself it proceeded from some other Disorder, and as Agent at Langley Mill, he thought it his duty to be backward in giving his Opinion that it was a disorder occasioned by the Lead Mill Smoke, on purpose that other Persons who had the same hazard to run as himself, might not be dispirited, or be put upon making application for Losses on every occasion and Mr Walton very well remembers, Mr Mulcaster gave his Sentiments much to the same Effect, to Mr Smeaton and himself at the time when the Cows died, and upon the whole it appeared evident, that Mr Mulcasters Cows actually died, by the Injury they received from the Lead Mill Smoke.

Farnacres 5 Novemr 1779

N W Junr  J C T

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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