Letter – Nicholas Walton to Peter Mulcaster – 28 Jan 1769

Document Type: Letter
Date: 28 Jan 1769
Correspondent: Nicholas Walton
Recipient: Peter Mulcaster
Archive Source: TNA ADM 66/96
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To Mr Peter Mulcaster. 					Farnacres. 28th January 1769

Mr Mulcaster

      I have tryed the Assays and find them good Weight


                                                     Oz Dwt Gs


1st & 2d Sun Veins Slag Lead 1 1/2Gr[ain]s sh produce 7  7   pFo[the]r

Rampgill Slag Lead           1 9/20                   7  3  2 4/10 

Thortergill                  1 4/5                    8 16 11 6/10

Greengill and Hush           2 2/5                   11 15  4 8/10


      As you find the Washing attended with advantage I beg it may be continued and it will be necessary to be particularly careful of Greengill Ore that we get the best produce possible, as the Lead is Valuable; you will therefore wash it and any other sort where you see an advantage in short I would have you pursue this Method ( I mean washing) throughout in case we can make a better produce after considering the Extra Charge of Washing. In case you can get any of the Refined Lead from which the last Cake of Silver was Extracted I desire youll make two Assays of one pound each as I think I have heard you say that the Silver sometimes runs off with the Litharge and that it is as nice a part of a Refiners business to judge when the Test runs Silver or Lead (I dont remember which) with the Litharge as any one thing, and as I recollect you told me some Workmen could never learn this part of a Refiners business, but tho I dont suppose our People of that kind, it Is possible the difference might arise by some inattention, or in the way you mention. I am glad the Reducer gets better forward than hitherto & hope the Produce will stil be better, the difference already, in favor of the Undertaking (by a Change of the Coals I suppose) is considerable. With regard to the Slags I defye any Man to form a Judgement but from any Experiments and after all the richness or poorness of the Slag will be better known by attending to the Produce of Lead from the Ore than I believe by any other Method, notwithstanding it will stil be necessary to make experiments or there will be nothing to ground your judgemt, upon. Dont pay any regard to discharges but Order the Men to behave Civily to every body; there is I believe no doubt of the Elrington Road being a High Road for Carriages and the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital will certainly justifye their Carriage Men in passing along that Road which you, will give and in such manner as that it shall appear you have Order for doing so.

      Instead of Cwt Sto & Lb youll make use of Cwt Qr & Lbs as the latter will be better; the reason for my making the mistake was by my attending too much to your Account of the Numbered Lead. Some more pieces have come marked only G H but no disadvantage can arise yet as all the Lead which comes unnumbered must be Refined.

      Pray tell all the Carriagemen who have had Common Lead delivered to them that unless they immediately bring all the Common Lead which remains in their Custody to Newcastle, we shall not employ them any more in the Carriage of Lead. It will be the same thing to them whether they carry Common or Refined Lead and therefore no hardship to insist upon their doing this.

      If there is anything so difficult as to embarrass you in following the precedents I have sent you, follow your own method rather than that pointed out by me til after the next Pay; but where you find what I have proposed to you agreable to your own Idea of the matter so as to clearly understand the thing and not create you a difficulty you will in such case follow the precedent as I should be equally glad to have things carried on in the way you have been used to as in my way provided the things are but Clear, for that is all I mean, and I have all the reason in the World to think you mean the same thing. I am

             	Yours &c N Walton Junr.

P.S. I cant tell you what to say about leaving off Working Slaggs but in case you see we are losing by employing the present Man in that Way I would rather chuse he was employed in Smelting as he is a good hand in that Business, you say; And you will be looking out for a Man who understands Slagg Working.

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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