I was pleased to have managed to get through bundle 40.22 yesterday. As well as the documents previously mentioned, it contained the following:
- Report on feasibility and costs for ‘making a passage from the Island of Anglesey into Caernarvonshire’ by way of a lock and drawbridge and bank at the swellies.
- Description of the slate veins at Derwen Deg, Llanberis and Paris Mountain 1787.
- Letter from George Wyatt commenting on Thomas Hoppers plans for Penrhyn Castle.
- Correspondence between G.H.D. Pennant and Samuel Worthington.
- Letter from James Wyatt suggesting himself as manager of the quarry should James Greenfield choose to leave.
- Hundred of Uchaf and Caernarvon official document 1784.
The first document (report on the feasibility of a crossing over the straits) was interesting. Although I am unsure due to the handwriting, but I think the report mentioned that there would be casualties in the construction, for which financial allowances should be made. Again, I have to stress that I wasn’t able to spend enough time over the word ‘casualties’ to be sure that that is what it said, but if it did, what a sad way to view a human life, as a commodity to be budgeted for.
I then moved on to some articles regarding the Nantgwynant Road (40.23), and I am now on another large bundle (soon to be 40.24). This contains a lot of the same as 40.22, the correspondence with Samuel Worthington continues and there was a very interesting ‘memorandum respecting the different Slate Quarries in Caernarvonshire and Meirionethshire’ from 21 August 1828. This contains quite a bit of info for any researcher looking into the quarries of the region: the number of people working there, how much slate was sold from each, how it was transported, they lay of the rock and how much it cost each quarry per ton to extract the slate.
There was more correspondence from Mr Wright (John Pennants agent?) about the management of the estate, and it is interesting to read about the timber, ‘hop yards’ and ‘kelp burning’ that went on on. This follows on from the first letter I wrote about, and its a shame we can’t catalogue them together to tell their story in a linear fashion.
Also, I was tickled pink by letters from the Minister of St Anne’s Chapel, Bethesda complaining about Mr Valentine, the church organist, whom, he claims “…….is not in the slightest degree, qualified to preside as Organist. Secondly, that he has been absent from his duties repeatedly and repeatedly again. Thirdly that the consequence has been no less, than a most painful annoyance to my feelings”. So far, I have come accross two letters from of this ilk from Morris Hughes (Minister) as well as Mr Valentines contract of appointment. You can’t help thinking of Mr Valentine in Dickens-esq terms, his name alone puts me in mind of a charming, rogueish ladies man, perfectly placed to annoy a Mr Collins (pride and predjudice). I may well be doing both of them a grave mis-service here, but its nice to imagine!