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Document 54, p 3

capable of withstanding such Floods
another Bridge must be built it must be upon a Plan very different
from that to which Mr Errington was by the Articles confined to adhere
whereon and made
Mr Errington purchased Ground to make the Road from the North End of the
Bridge to the Alemouth Road pursuant to the Articles, which Road is now used
as a Common Highway from the said Alemouth Road to a Ferryboat for Carriages
and Horses stationed close by the Site of the Bridge. And he paid for the purchase
of the Ground and making the Road the Sum of £388. 18. 11 ½. besides the use of
his own Horses and Carts which if hired woud have cost £19. 4.s-
Mr Errington convinced of the Impracticability of rebuilding a permanent Bridge
and being willing to pay what shoud
if the Articles and Plan were adhered to proposed to the Justices to pay to them
appear upon a fair Estimate wou’d be the Expence of putting the Bridge into the like
or as good a state as if it was immediately before the Accident, employed Robert
Thompson the then and present County Surveyor of Bridges, Wm Johnson a Mason
eminently skilled in Bridge Building and well known to the Justices having
been employed by them in building various Bridges in the County, and Thomas
Rickley (since deceased) a Carpenter and master Builder of the first Reputation
in the Neighbourhood to make such Estimate, who after having carefully viewed
and examined the State of the Bridge did on the 16th July 1783 make their Report
in Writing of which the following is a Copy
or estimate signed with their respective Hands in the [???] Words following
"Having carefully viewed and examined the present State of Hexham Bridge"
"and made the most exact calculations we are capable of we are of"
"Opinion the fallen and damaged parts may be reinstated and fully"
"repaired according to Mr Smeaton’s plan and original Design for a Sum"
"not exceeding two thousand five hundred and Eight pounds Witness our
Hands this 16th day of July 1783
William Johnson Mason
Witness Robert Thompson Mason & Bridge Surveyor
Jno Donkin Thos Rickley Carpenter
Mr Err Mr Donkin Agent to Mr Errington delivered the above Estimate to the Justices at
their Michaelmas Quarter Sessions 1783. and being asked by them if Mr Errington
was willing to give the Sum mentioned in the Estimate they were answered in the
Affirmative- he was then ordered to withdraw upon which one of the Justices observed
that the persons who had made the Estimate were incompetent to the Undertaking
and then the plf Gawen Aynsley who was the Chairman enquired if Mr Smeaton
had viewed the Ruins of the Bridge, and being told he had not, Mr Donkin was
ordered to withdraw and being called in again Mr Aynsley said it was the
wish of himself and his Brethren of the Bench that Mr Errington wou’d get an
Estimate made by Mr Smeaton of the Value of the then Standing parts of the Bridge
and also of the fallen Materials and that such Estimate shou’d be delivered within
Six weeks to some one of the Justices or to the Clerk of the peace and that Mr
Errington shou’d also in writing under his hand specify what Sum he wou’d give
to be released from his Contract-Mr Donkin immediately communicated by Letter what
passed at the Sessions to Mr Errington who was then in Hampshire and who wrote
to Mr Smeaton to desire he wou’d go to Northumberland and make the Estimate
required, Mr Smeaton was then in an ill State of Health and promised that he
wou’d as soon as he coud with Safety do so – apprehending that the time mentioned
by Mr Aynsley might elapse before Mr Smeatons health wou’d permit him to take
a Journey into Northumberland Mr Donkin wrote to the Clerk of the peace informing
him of Mr Smeatons Indisposition but and that he wou’d make the Estimate as soon
as he was able – on the 3 or 4th of December 1783 Mr Smeaton came and after
a most accurate and attentive Survey made as Estimate of which the following is a

Note: Draft Case to the Court of Chancery, p 3

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Transcribed by CTW and TB