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Document 73 p 8

for paymt. of the Amot. of that Estimate by Installmts in like Manner as he reced the money
from the Co And this Dept. immedtly sent a Copy of such estimate & proposal to the sd. Mr. Mylne & that no
delay might happen to the Co. wch. this Dept. cod. avoid he on the 10th Jany 1784 wrote a Card to ye sd.
Mr Herron in the Words or to the Effct followg. that is to say "Mr Davidsons Compts. to Mr Herron begs to know
if he is vested with full power from Mr Errington to treat and agree on his behalf with the Magistrates
at the next Quar Sessions touching the matter of Hexham Bridge if he is not then Mr Davidson has to
request that he or Mr Donkin will Attend at the Sessions fully authorized for the above purpose" Saith
that at the Xmas Sessions held at Morpeth in & for the sd. Co. on the 14th Jany. 1784 ye sd. Mr Herron* attended
& after an interview with Trustees ordered to withdraw & then was told by this Dept. that he wd the next day
the sd
x inform Mr Herron in writing of the resolutions of the Justices And Saith that at that Session not only
Mr Smeaton’s Estimate & Mr Errington’s proposal but also an Estm. made by the sd. Mr Mylne were Sevlly
taken into Conson & aft. a long Consultn. at wch. (ye sd. Gawen Aynsley & Bacon Wm. Westell two of ye sd [Dfts?]
as well as Divers sd. Justices of ye sd. Co. were present) this Dept. was directed to inform the [???]
that the Magists. as Trustees for ye public were of opinion that they could only be justified [???]
calling upon and if necessary compelling ye Complt to pform his Contract And this Dept [??]
obednce to such directions (aftr by Lre informg. ye sd. Mr Herron of ye Magists Determination)
wrote a Lre addressed to ye Complt at Stable Yard St. James’s London on & dated ye 16 Jany. 1784 in ye
Words or to ye Efft. followg. that is to say "Sir yr proposal Grounded on Mr Smeatons Estm. of the suppd
repair of Hexham Bridge with that Estimate & Mr Smeatons Lre of Rept. to you were delivd. to me ye
latter end of last Mo. by Mr Herron & were by me laid before ye Magists. Assembled at Xmas
Sessions held ye 14 Inst. at Morpeth havg. previously communicated the same by Lre &
such of them as I presumed wd. attend those Sessions & the same were yesterday morning
taken into Conson when after a very full long candid & free discussion of the Subject
in every point of view the Bench wch was uncommonly full were unanimously of opinion
x that they cod. not accept of yr. proposal & also that they (as Trustees for ye public) cod.
only be justified in callg. upon & if necessary compellg you to rebuild & maintain Hxam
Bridge accordg. to ye terms of yr. Contract wth. ye Co of Northd. Havg. now Sir informd
you of ye result of the deliberation of the Magistrates on yr. proposal I must as their
Officer & by their directions require you to begin as soon as possible to rebuild Hexham Bridge
Compleat ye same with all prudent Expedition agreeable to yr. Contract in fulfilling of wch. shod. there
any studied delay the magistrates must then be under the disagreeable necessity of making use
of those powers for the benefit of the Co. wch.the Law & yr. Contract & Bond furnished them with I mention
this in Compliance with my duty as Clk of the peace & not under the most distant Idea of the
Necessity of the exertion of those powers & must beg leave to assure you that the Magistrates
most sincerely felt for you individually in this unfortunate affair & hope on mature Conson
you will find their Conduct justified in yr. Judgmt. & that they as Magistrates cod. not possibly
Act otherwise" And this Dept. furr. saith that in consequence of a Lre by him reced on or
abot the 11th Feby. 1784 from ye sd. Mr Donkin dated 10th Feby. whereby the sd. Mr Donkin informed
this Dept. that in a Lre he the sd. Mr Donkin had reced from Mr Errington he the sd. Mr Donkin
was ordered to request that this Dept. wd. return to ye sd. Mr Errington or the sd. Mr Donkin ye
Complt proposal respectg Hexham Bridge wth. Mr Smeatons Estm. & Lre to ye Complt he this
Dept. did on the 12th Feby. inclose ye sd. proposal Estm. & Lre from Mr Smeaton to the Complts (being
the papers this Dept. so reced from ye sd. Mr. Herron) in a Lre to ye Complt Addressed to
him at Stable Yd. St. James’s London & sent ye same Ppost John Davidson
Christopher Blackett of ye Town & Co. of Newcastle upon Tyne Gent. Aged 30 yrs.
and upwds. Sworn & examd. Deposeth as follows
First To the first Interry Saith he knows the Complt & Defts in the Title of ye Interries named
and hath known them for sevl yrs.
Eight To the Eight Interry Saith he hath for the space of between 9 & 10 yrs. last past done
and transacted the business of his Bror. John Blackett Esqr. as Treasurer of ye Co. of North.
Saith that in ye yrs. 1777, 1778 & 1779, 1780 & 1781 He this Dept. advd. & pd. to Mr John Donkin
of Sandhoe the Complts Agt or Steward on acct of rebuildg the Bridge at Hexham
of the [???]
divers Sums of money of ye Co. of Northd. amotg in the whole to the sum of £4700. And
further saith that it apps. to this Dept. from the Book kept for entering up Accts of ye
Treasures of ye Co. of Northd. That Richd. Brown who was employed to do the Business
of Treasr. at times when this Dept. was not able to attend did at difft. times in ye yr. 1777
advance and pay to ye sd. John Donkin on the like Accot. divers furr Sums of money
amotg. to the sum of £1400. And Saith it also appears to this Dept. that ye Accots. of the Treasr
of the sd. Co. includg all the above mentd. paymts. have been Annually signed
& allowed by three of his Majesty’s Justices of the peace for the sd County
Chrispr. Blackett

Note: Replies to Interrogatories: Davidson; Blackett

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Transcribed by RMS and CTW