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Document 73, p 3

from time to time from the finishing thereof freqtly examd ye state & condon yreof very carefully
(having had Mr Smeaton’s dircens so to do) and had not perceived that any Accident had happened thereto altho
two or three consdble Floods had happened after the finishg yreof & this Depont furr saith that to the best of
his judgmt & belief ye sd Bridge was compleated & finished in an able masterly manner & accordg to ye Arles
of Agreent entered into by ye sd Complt wth ye Justices of ye peace for ye sd Co of Northland & he is rather inclined
x to judge & believe in as much as he this Depont was present on ye 9 Jany 1781 when ye same was carefully
viewed by two of the Defts in this Cause to wit John Tweddle & Bacon William Westell Esqrs andor Justices of
ye peace for ye sd Co who after viewing ye same Certified to ye Justices for ye sd Co Generally by writing under
their names that ye sd Bridge Appeared to them to be compleated Accordg to ye sd Arles
Sixth To the sixth Interry this Depont saith that in case anor bridge shod be built upon ye same plan &
Principles on wch the late Bridge was built he verily bels it wd not be more secure agst the like
attack because this Depont appreehds & bels that it is impossible to exercise more care & Attention
in the Building any such new Bridge than was Appld in constructg the last
Last To the Last Interry saith he hath frequently heard & verily bels it to be true that the Complt ever
since ye sd Bridge was Demolished has been wishing to have ye sd Bridge rebuilt if Mr Smeaton
wd give him the Complt any Assurance that the same cod have been done in a permanent
manner And saith that he hath often heard the sd Complt Mr Smeaton decles & this Depont verily
it to have been the invariable Sentimt of ye sd Mr Smeaton that he did not know of any method within the
expenses & bounds of ye Complts Contract to rebuild or reinstate ye sd Bridge so as to be permanent &
that the Complt under these Circumstances freqtly informed or caused the Justices to be informed of
these his reasons for not taking any steps or measures towards the rebuilding of ye sd Bridge
but at the same time expressed or caused to be expressed to some of ye sd Justices his ye sd Complts desire
to enter into any reasonable compromise in order to be released from an Undertaking that he was Assured
was fruitless but that the same was not regarded or attended to by the sd Justices And saith that ye Complt
havg been informed that a proposal from him to ye Justices of the peace who were to be at the Assizes
held for the Co of Northland for ye yr 1783 wd be listned to & that upon his proposing to pay wt shod
appear upon a fair Estimate to be ye Expces of putting ye Bridge into ye like or as good a state as it was
immedly before it fell that ye Co wd Rels him from his oblign did give Directions to this Depont to employ
proper people to make such estimate & to have it ready before the Assizes And that this Depont
saith that in pursce of such Direcions he employed Wm. Johnson a mason eminently Skilled
in Bridge Buildg very well known to ye Justices of the Co of Northland havg been engaged by
them in Building various Bridges in the Co and as this Depont hath been informed and verily
bels havg Pformed sevl contracts much to their Satisfaction & his own Credit & joined to the sd Wm.
Johnson Robt. Thompson a mason who had been employed during the Buildg ye late Bridge as a foreman
of the masons & who was then ye Surveyer appted by ye sd Justices of ye Bridges in ye Co of Northland & one
Thos. Richley(since died) who was a Carpenter at Corbridge in ye Neighbourhood of Note as a master builder
& undertaker & saith that ye sd Wm. Johnson Robt. Thompson & Thos. Richley after having carefully viewed
& examined the state of ye sd Bridge did on or about the 16th july 1783 make their Report or Estimate
Signed with their respive Hands dated ye sd 16th July 1783 wch is now produced by this Depont
on the back with ye Lre A And saith that the sd Wm. Johnson Robt. Thompson & Thos. Richley did respivly
Sign the sd proded Rept or Estimate in ye presence of this Depont And this Depont furr saith that he by
the like Direcons of ye sd Complt at ye Michs Quar Sessions of ye peace held for ye co of Northland at
Alnwick in ye year 1783 did deliver the sd Rept or Estimate marked A to ye Justices in Sessions
& were asked by the Bench if ye sd Complt intended to give ye sum mentd in such Rept or Estimate to
be released from his Obligon to the Co And that he this Depont Answered that he was warranted by
the Complt to say he wd give that same or used words to the like Effects & this Depont furr saith that
it was thereupon observed by one of ye Justices that the people who had made the sd Rept or Estimate
were incompetant to ye undersg & this Depont saith that Gawen Aynsley Esqr one of ye Defts in this

Note: Donkin's Replies to Interrogatories, p 3

Abbreviations are underlined like this Wm. and the expansion may be seen by moving the cursor over it.

An entry outlined like this has a note which may be seen by hovering over it.

Transcribed by KS and CTW