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Mr Mulcaster. Farnacres 9th Decemr. 1770 I received your Letters of the 25th and 28th Ult as also the Operation for November and approve of what you propose about the Refining; I think if it had been otherwise settled than you have done it, it would have been wrong. From your Account of the Alteration of the Refinery Wheel every thing turns out exactly right and as Mr Smeaton proposed and must remain so til we see it necessary to alter it which I do not expect. The Stamp Mill will surely do half as much Work when she Works with the Refinery as when she works by herself and that was all we intended and you will not perhaps suppose that if there were only Six Kamms in the Refinery Wheel it would take a full third more Water to Work the Refinery and Stampers together than it does now. I am glad to hear John Robson is getting so finely and very much approve of your getting an Assistant in his room til he is so well as to be able to Stand the Work. If there is any particular inconvenience in the Stamp Mill going slow pray inform us. I have often heard that it was reckoned good for the Grey Slags to lie some time before Smelting that they might mellow by the Action of the Air upon them, how this matter realy is I cannot pretend to say but it may be that by their lying in the open Air they may burst and by that means get clear of the Lime which I have understood to be prejudicial to the Slag Hearth, that is, that the Lime is reckoned to do harm. One suppose you take a parcel of Grey Slags and Weigh them afterwards Stamp and Wash and then Smelt them in the Slag Hearth. Then take an Equal Weight and Smelt them as usual and compare the difference of Produce. This Experiment I would most certainly have you to try at any time when you find you can do it with convenience as I cant say but I have hopes of it proving advantagious to the Undertaking. I think there is not the least Objection to the Smelters going on with the Ore as expeditiously as if there was Sufficient to last til May day for tho' they will have nothing to do after the Ore now at the Mill is finished til new Ore comes in, yet their being allowed new and at all times to make good Wages will induce them to keep themselves disengaged til new Ore does come in, and in my Opinion our Acting at all times in this way will be the likeliest to Secure a good set of Workmen You dont mention whether you have got a place made for putting the Rich Litharge in but I notwithstanding suppose you have. I am for Mr Smeaton and Self. Your most Hble Servt Nich Walton Junr PS. We should not Pay so much for Carriage of each Box of Silver from Hexham to Newcastle One Shilling or Eighteen Pence seems Sufficient; try whether you and Mr Bell cant get the price lowered the first time you accidentaly fall together at Hexham.