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Document 35, p 5

continued till the latter end of the year 1776 in which Interval several
Adventurers had in succession offered, but all of them on a closer view
before the Completion of a Contract, started off. Several Expensive prepara-
-tions having been made at the Expence of the County, and the materials
laying upon their Hands, this work being therefore as will appear from
what is proceeding, generally considered as a derelict Scheme, or at least a
forlorn hope, some time in the latter end of 1766 Mr Donkin Agent
of Mr Errington came to Mr Smeaton in Mr Errington’s name, to know if
he would undertake the direction of Building a Bridge over the Tyne some
where between the Low ford and the East boat at Hexham for Mr Errington
Provided (he Mr Smeaton) could find a place for the founding thereof
that he thought so sufficient that he would risque his Credit upon it
as an Artist, in which case if it could be done upon a moderate estimate
he (Mr Errington) would make a proposal for Building it to the County
urging that as the County had been so long baffled in the Attempt, that as
it would be an Advantage to his Estate if it could be done there, it was
probable that if it could be done at a moderate expence, the County might
accept of a Bridge there, rather than none, and if he Mr Errington was
£200 or £300 out of Pocket on the above Account he would think it worth his
Mr Smeaton being somewhat surprized at the uncommoness
and newness of the proposal, desired time to consider of it as previously
to that time he had studiously avoided to have anything to do with
it, tho’ he had been frequently in that Neighbourhood for a Course of years
comprehending and even preceding the first undertaking thereof by Sir
Walter Blackett; but considering it on this occasion as a great advantage
to the Publick if that could be done, that they then seemed unlikely to get
done, he began to consider the Causes of failure in these that had preceded
and thinking seriously of the Subject, there occurred to him a mode of
construction, that could not only be executed for a very moderate expence
5 considering

Note: Mr Smeaton's Memorial concerning Hexham Bridge, p 5

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Transcribed by CTW and TB