Letters – John Bell to John Erasmus Blackett – 5 Oct 1797

Document Type: Letters
Date: 5 Oct 1797
Correspondent: John Bell
Recipient: John Erasmus Blackett
Archive Source: NRO ZBL 225
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Sir                                             Hexham Abbey   5th October 1797

      I am much concerned to hear the Acct. you give of young Newton tho at the same time I have reason not only to hope but to believe the Money he got of one Case could be all or most of it paid away because the very last time he was at Hexham he got no Money of me - On the 8th of Augt  he was paid £150 but nothing since

      Mr. Hunter did not say any thing to me respecting the Collector's Letter which was sent to Dawson an Officer of Excise here respecting the Smelt Mills but I heard of it and that he very prudently had taken a Copy of it to send you and I also heard Mr Peter Mulcaster had done the like to send to Mr. Walton

      If you did not see Mr Walton yesterday you will not beable to see him for some time because he came through Hexham yesterday in the Evening I am told to proceed on his Receipt in the West Country at Keswick and Alston and I know he is to be at Low Byer the Manor House for Alston on Tuesday next the 10th. Instant

      I should be very much hurt to hear for Certainly that the Smelt Mills and Lead Trade were to be put under the Excise Laws a Measure that ought to be resisted and as no Law is yet enacted for that Purpose I for my own part would give the Officer no Acct. either of the Situation of the Mills or of the Quantity of Lead smelted nor ought he to be suffered in my opinion to come near the Mills lest he should take an Acct. of the Lead on Hand and perhaps get some Information from the Workmen  --  It is time enough to give the Excise Officers Accounts when by Law they have a right to demand them

      According to my Ideas Ministry dash too much the very thing that I suppose they wish to avoid, by their Conduct they are accelerating - a Revolution.   Some of their late Taxes are not only ungracious but oppressive and Tempers are much soured  -  They will drive the People to Desparation - A Republic in England I wish and hope never to see.

      A Meeting of the Lead - Owners should be had and most certainly putting the Lead Trade under the Excise Laws should be opposed with all their might    It will be necessary to review your Memorial of the 30th. of Novem. 1785 - respecting the Duty on Lead 

      The Acct. you give of the behaviour of those Soldiers of the Dumfries Light Dragoons is shocking indeed    I trust they will be found out and brought to consign? Punishment    I am

                                 Sir       Your most obed. hble Servt.

                                                        John Bell

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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