Letter – Thomas Bernard to Shute Barrington – 28 Oct 1797

Document Type: Letter
Date: 28 Oct 1797
Correspondent: Thomas Bernard
Recipient: Shute Barrington
Archive Source: DUL CCB B 182 121
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My Lord

      I send you a sketch of a letter to Mr Mowbray, leaving it for your correction when I have not adopted or correctly expressed your Sentiments. I agree with Mr M that your great Interest in the the Inclosure arises upon the Leasehold; & that your Allotments are secondary Objects. Supposing that I have not misunderstood Mr M, & that the Commutation for your Reversionary Interest in the Leasehold were fixed (I speak now incorrectly & from Information that is not correct) at 2s/an Acre (1/5th) it would be £3500, & at 1s/ an Acre £1750 a Year Income to the See; & the Tenants would have an Increase of Ten times the Encouragement to improve. I mention this as Introductory to another Suggestion, as to the questionable Allotment for the limited <Stint>, for your Consideration; wh[ic]h with Justice to yourself & your Successors you might not let that Allotment go for Chapels Schools &c; the Trustees being the Bishop, the Archdeacon & the Rector of Stanhope for the time being; & having power to grant <Scitus> for Cottages & apply the Surplus Rents in anything for the promotion of Religion, Morality & Industry within the Parish. If your Lordship thinks so, the following words might be added to the Letter to Mr M. ‘If I can do it with Strict propriety, & the Parishioners will agree that an Allotment for the Chapels &c shall be made of 1/16th of the limited Stint, I shall be desirous, as far as I properly can, of waiving my Claim in the respect.’ That 16th would be about 2000 Acres.

      If it is convenient for your L[ordshi]p to take your family dinner [word obscured] fryday I would endeavour to <engage> Mr Sullivan & Mr Price to meet you. It would form an adjourned Committee of the Society.

      I am with sincere respect Your Lps obliged & obed Servt

      Tho. Bernard


Foundling, 28 Octr 97

[This is presumably the ‘sketch of a letter to Mr Mowbray’ enclosed with Thomas Bernard’s covering letter to the Bishop:]

      Upon considering at leisure your Letter of the 9th Instant the division of the land in Weardale (so far as your Estim. can at present go in point of Correctness) is as follows


Inclosed Land       10,000

Inclosed Pastures    2,000

Lim[ite]d Stint     33,400

Stinted in Common   25,000


and the division of <tenures> as to the inclosed Land as follows


Freehold               500

Copyhold               600

Customary freehold    5000	

Leasehold             5900


      I am not stating these as precise & correct Numbers, but for the Purpose of enquiring whether I understand your last letter right & of explaining my own Ideas on the subject in the course of this Letter.

      1st .. As to the qu[estion]n of my having any allotment out of the lim[ite]d Stint I conceive the question will depend a good deal on the fact wh[ethe]r this is held in exclusive Severalty? If not, if it is held in Common, the Freehold of the Soil I apprehend still remains in the Lord, & it cannot be inclosed without his Concurrence; & then, upon the Common principles of Inclosures the Lord must have an Allotment; tho not a 16th, at least a 20th or 24th.

      2nd.. As to the general Objects of the Inclosure.

      With me there are 2; the first the general Improvement & benefit of the Country; 2nd  the <….> of a reasonable & just benefit upon the Inclosure to the See of Durham. With a view to this I wish you thoroughly to consider wh[ethe]r the Leasehold Estates held under me are sufficiently permanent to encourage the Improvement of the Allotments; & if not, wh[ethe]r there is anything I can properly do to give a <prominence> of Interest, that may induce to a spirited & active Improvement of the Property.

      <…> a provision for Schools. I wish you would consider with the Propr[ieto]rs where in so large Parish some specific provision should not be made by the Act for <erecting> & supporting at least 2 Chapels, & for a free School: & wh[ethe]r this can be better done than by an Allotment to Trustees for those, & any other Similar Purposes in promotion of Religion Morality & Industry within the Parish of Stanhope. If I can <&tc> 

      Upon the <Mines> & the other Subjects of your letter I have no Observation to make at  present. You have not said what is proposed to be done about Tythes.
Thomas Bernard (1750 -1818) was a noted English social reformer who from 1795 until 1806 held the position of Treasurer of The Foundling Hospital, London. He had earlier been called to the English bar and practised as a conveyancer. In 1796, together with Bishop Barrington and William Wilberforce, he helped to helped to establish the ‘Society for the Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor’. Bernard gave up the Treasurership of the Foundling after succeeding to the baronetcy conferred on his father following the death of his elder brother. In 1801 Barrington appointed Bernard Chancellor of the Diocese of Durham, in which position he assisted the Bishop in his charitable work in the diocese, especially with regard to the establishment of schools and training of teachers.

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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