Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 21 May 1769

Document Type: Letter
Date: 21 May 1769
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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Mr Mulcaster. 							Farnacres. 21st May 1769

      I yesterday reced. your Letter of 17th instant and since that time have seen Mr. Labourne who I have desired will consult with you, what is most proper to be done with regard to the conveying of the Water you mention, for the purpose of Washing Guddamgillings Ore; and I have also desired him to consider with you any other matters which comes within his Province and I shall agree to any other thing that is thought right by you both. I will take care to send you a Supply of Lead Carriage Ticketts, as soon as I hear from you again, for til that Time, and til I receive a Leaf out of your Book I cannot get any Printed not having kept a precedent.

             As Barnet the Refiner will now be out of Work at the Refinery, he must be employed in such way as is convenient, either in Smelting or Washing Ore, particularly the latter, as I remember you told me he was a good Washer,but I leave the whole entirely to you, and have no doubt of you doing the best.

      I wish much to receive the Silver as soon as possible, and desire you'll send it down in Friday, at the same time you'll send me as Assay of the Lead from which it was taken, and the Quantitys of each sort of Slag Lead.

      I have sent to London for 150 Casks of Bone Ashes and expect to receive 50 very soon.

      I would like to have a Trial made of Smelting the Litharge Slag in the Slag Hearth , as desire it may be done as soon as you find it convenient, and it will be well to have the Test Bottoms Smelted too.

      You say the Mill must not be kept at Work while the Dam is Lining, I think rather differently about the Matter, & Mr Labourne will tell you what are my thoughts about it.

      Great care should taken in smelting the Smitham Ore not to give it too great a Blast, or otherwise there will be great Loss; Indeed I often thought that the Smelters should be better regulated in the management of the Bellows, for upon that a great deal depends, not only in the produce of Ore, but the Bellows themselves by being sometimes put to too great a Strain, must inevitably receive damage, and I think it is particularly necessary, that the Smelters should be obliged to give notice to one another, before they begin to draw their Hearths, in order that the Quantity of Water maybe lessened upon throwing off any Bellows. I remember being at the Mill myself when a pair of Bellows was thrown off without Notice so that instead of driving 3pair of Bellows the same Water had only 2 pair to drive, and on going into the Bellows House, I observed the Force so great, that it almost surprized me the Bellows did not Burst. The above is so Material a thing, and so farr requires attention, both as to the Saving of Water and Bellows and Produce of Lead, that I beg you'll make a Point of it with the Workmen, that is, you must insist upon their Observing your directions, and in case of their non compliance it is not fit they should be there.

      I am Your Hble Servt.

      N Walton Junr.


PS in the Account of Ore reced. last year I would have you reckon Carrs Quantity 11Bings less than you received and add the 11 Bings to this years Quantity. You may deliver such sort of Lead as is most convenient only let me know when you begin delivering GH.OS and GH.R.

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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