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Mr Mulcaster Farnacres 1st July 1771 Your Letters of the 27th & 29th Ultimo are now before me and I have no doubt but you will at all times take as much care as possible in extracting the Silver in the best manner & to be sure we must expect accidents similar to those which have been taken notice of; but as it is to be observed that all the loss we have already sustained on Acct of a want of perfect fineness ? only amounts to £. 10.6 ( exclusive of the Piece of 189 Ozs 11 Dwt which happened to be dirtied by an accident and lost in melting over again 14 Pennyweights) it does not seem that the Gentleman we deal with has made any objections but what there is the best reason to believe are proper and I think Friendly to us all. Your Observations on cutting the Bullion in Pieces, and cutting off such dirtied parts as may hereafter happen, are just; however I would have you go on in cutting each piece into four til you receive Orders to the contrary as I look upon the risque to be very little and scarce to be attended to; and with regard to cutting off the dirtied part, it will be considered when Mr Smeaton and I are together whether you should do it or not for to be sure the Cake coming to us without the Edges being cut off is an absolute discharge to you whereas if they are cut off and melted over again we must give you credit for the second operation and report of Quantity: we shd have no doubt in doing that in our own case, but as we are asking for others, it may perhaps be as well to go on as we have done, and endeavour to keep as clear of accidents as we can. I observed the Assays for the last Cake when I weighed them to look very suspicious and from their appearance I realy think it probable they are not perfectly fine. I am glad to hear you have got some of the right sort of Coals again it is plain we must stick by them. Our loss by Blackshield Bogg Coals is something less than One Tenth; by Low Stublick near about one Eleventh; and by the Weak part of the Yard seem near about One Thirteenth. I think it would not be amiss if you was to try running Middle Cleugh Ore with some of the kinds that run easily such as Mr Wilkinson's Ore: a Tryal may be made at a small loss, if it should not answer; and I realy would make it as soon as you find it convenient. As you cannot possibly furnish the Hexham Carriers with any Lead at the Mill,in the way you are now going on, I desire your set day may be only once in fourteen days, instead of Weekly; and that youll give them and all the Carriers immediate Notice of this: And I look upon it as ridiculous that they should have it in their power to disturb your rest, when they please I would surely have it understood that the delivery is not to begin til a certain time in the morning as you see most proper. If John Corbett continues to behave as he has done he shall not carry any thing for us and we must expect his making submission for what he has already Shewn he wants to be at (that is) to direct the whole Carriage. We will give any price to others rather than be under the direction of ungrateful or foolish Men. Thomas Ions has found Three pieces of Lead at Newburn since the last years Quantity was carried in, which makes the Quantity in his hand, and what was delivered at the Warehouse before the last Lead Carriers Pay (taking in the whole of the Lead delivered from the beginning to deliver to the end of delivery from the Mill at Christmas last) to exceed the Quantity delivered Three pieces. You will consider how this will affect the mistakes which happened in your sometimes being over and sometimes short in your Stock at the Mill. Upon the whole it looks as if we were somewhat over. It is not at all necessary to take Notice of this to any body. I am for Mr Smeaton and Self Your Hble Servt NW Junr PS. I am glad to hear Brownleyhill Vein is likely to turn out well. It is surely advantageous to take off a large Quantity of Silver together as our large Cakes of 995 Ounces & 1089 Ounces answered the Assays better than the smaller ones but I know we cannot always with convenience take off such Pieces as those and indeed I can scarce see how the size of the piece shd make any alteration in the produce; will you give this a thought and let me have your Opinion I hope to hear you have got in your whole Quantity of Peats as the Weather has continued very dry ever since you wrote me on the 24th of June and still continues so.