Letters – John Erasmus Blackett to Henry Hardinge – 5 Jul 1799

Document Type: Letters
Date: 5 Jul 1799
Correspondent: John Erasmus Blackett
Recipient: Henry Hardinge
Archive Source: NRO 672/E/1E/5
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The Revd. Mr. Hardinge                                                             Newcastle   5th July  1799

Stanhope Durham


      I am favoured with your Letter of the 2nd inst by which I observe that the Agreement between you & Col. Beaumont (for seven Years) for the Tythe Ore of Weardale Lead Mines will expire on the 11th inst.  I have accordingly directed the Agents of those Mines that the Ore that may be wrought from the 11th be separated from that which was raised prior to that Time. 

      You certainly are at Liberty to fix what Sum you may think proper for the Composition for your Tythe Ore, but when the great Charge & Expence attending those Mines is fully considered, I realy am surprized to find that you expect so very considerable an Advance for your Tythe Ore, you greatly overrate it, for so far from these Mines being more productive, the Quantity of Ore raised has decreased for the two last Years (which I can make appear to you) from the Report of the Agents the present Year will be less productive, & although Brockonsike Vein is rather more promising than it has been (owing to the considerable Sum expended on that Mine) yet the Weardale Mines on the whole are not near so productive as they have been, the Price of every Article for the carrying on the Mines, as well as that of Labour is very considerably advanced, which should be taken into Consideration by you; The Price of Lead you must be sensible is fluctuating, it is at present tolerably good but it was so low the last Year that Col. Beaumont would be a very considerable looser by a large Quantity that I sold; Was the Composition for the Bishop of Durham’s Lot Ore to be advanced in the like proportion to what you expect for your Tythe Ore? I do declare that I should not hesitate in recommending it to Col. Beaumont that the Lot & Tythe Ore should be drawn, & that a great part of the Mines which are at present very Poor be laid in, working only a small part that might yield some little Profit, and to push forward his other Mines in Allendale which have lately a very promising Appearance.  This Matter Sir must rest for the present, until I have some Conversation with Col. Beaumont on the Business, who I expect to see in a few Days, when you shall hear further from me, & until this Matter is determined, the Ore that may be raised from the 11th inst shall be separated.

                                                I am etc J. E. B.

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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