Browse texts by category: The Mine at Alva

1.

Copy of an anonymous account of gold mines formerly exploited on Crawford Moor in Scotland, with a brief covering letter in the same clerical hand, signed by Cromartie.

Author: Cromartie

Source: MINT 19/3/227-8, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00775

2.

Report on samples of ore sent to the Mint by Townshend for testing: it is rich in silver, but Newton does not know where it comes from.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/268, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00776

3.

Two clerical copies of a royal warrant authorising payment of Justus Brandshagen [advisor on King George's mines in Hanover] and James Hamilton while in Scotland to inspect the mine at Alva.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/239, 255, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00777

4.

Holograph copy of information given by James Hamilton on the mine at Alva and traces of silver and copper in the neighbourhood.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/233, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00778

5.

Holograph note of the addresses of Patrick Campbell and Mr Haldane of Gleneagles [Erskine's brother-in-law].

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/234, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00779

6.

Detailed technical instructions to be given to Brandshagen and Hamilton for inspecting the mine at Alva: they should be assisted by an Edinburgh Mint officer.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/231-2, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00780

7.

Holograph draft of MINT00780 (Mint 19/3/231-2).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/253, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00781

8.

Two clerical copies of the Privy Council's instructions to Brandshagen and Hamilton [based on Newton's suggestions in MINT00780 (Mint 19/3/231-2)].

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/229-30, 258-9, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00782

9.

Passes on a report he has received about the vein of silver ore in Alva and gives advice on conducting the inspection.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/269, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00783

10.

'Extract of a Memorial from Sr Iohn Areskine [Erskine, the proprietor of the land on which the mine was discovered] to the Lord Vict Townshend'.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/256-7, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00784

11.

Treasury minute to Mint to advance £100 to Brandshagen and his party.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/242, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00785

12.

Suggests various means by which Brandshagen and his party could save time and money in their investigation.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/260, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00786

13.

Further holograph draft of MINT00786 (Mint 19/3/260).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/236, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00787

14.

Report, endorsed by James and Thomas Hamilton, on the investigation of the mine at Alva and the ores identified in it.

Author: Justus Brandshagen

Source: MINT 19/3/221-6, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00788

15.

Two holograph drafts of a report on Brandshagen's and the Hamiltons' expense claims, specifying which of the expenses Newton considers justified.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/261, 263, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00789

16.

Holograph copy of various of Brandshagen and the Hamiltons' expense claims, with Newton's comments and revisions.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/237-8, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00790

17.

Two documents relating to expenses for the Alva investigation.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/264-5, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00791

18.

Incomplete report on his difficulties and expenses while investigating the mine.

Author: Justus Brandshagen

Source: MINT 19/3/266-7, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00792

19.

Holograph draft report on the investigation of the Alva mine, in response to a petition for payment from James Hamilton.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/246, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00793

20.

Petition for £10 borrowed from him in Edinburgh by the late Justus Brandshagen, whose daughter claims that at his death the Government owed her father over £100 for his work at Alva.

Author: John Walker

Source: MINT 19/3/243, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00795

21.

'The Humble demands of Iustus Brandshagen about his Commission in Scotland, concerning sir Iohn Areskins Silver Mine'.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/244, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00796

22.

Holograph copy of a Latin writ served on Newton by James Hamilton for £52.10s.0d. in outstanding fees for work at Alva.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/240-41, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00797

23.

Detailed account of how all Brandshagen's legitimate claims were settled and refutation of the others. If he left any debts, his executors must pay them.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/245, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00798

24.

Further holograph drafts of MINT00798 (Mint 19/3/245).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/235, 262, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00799

[1] Unknown

[2] Lord Charles Townshend Secretary of State for the Northern Department

[3]

Printed in NC, 6: 316-17. See Craig, NATM, 104.

[4] Treasury

[5]

Printed in NC, 6: 367-9.

[6] Justus Brandshagen

[7]

Printed in NC, 6: 378-9.

[8]

An account of activities in the mine at Alva December 1715 to February 1716, principally the discovery of several apparently promising veins of ore, though no two accounts agreed as to what sort of ore. Work proved prohibitively expensive, however, and was suspended in February 1716.

[9] Treasury

[10]

Printed in NC, 6: 373-4.

[11] Treasury

[12]

The variety of the ores is 'of an Extraordinary Nature, such as to my Knowledge few or none Like have ever been seen in Europe', though from a commercial point of view only the silver is of interest.

Followed by a diagrammatic map of the mine (Mint 19/3/223-4), a more technical 'Description of the Mine' (Mint 19/3/225), the tabulated result of six assays and the threesome's expense claims for the investigation (Mint 19/3/226).

[13] Treasury

[14]

Printed (without the receipts) in NC, 6: 395-7.

[15]

On reverse of Mint 19/3/263: six receipts in Newton's hand, two signed by Brandshagen, three by James Hamilton and one by Thomas Hamilton, for expenses paid them between 15 August and 16 October 1717.

[16]

(a) (Mint 19/3/264r) 5 September 1716. Clerical copy. Treasury warrant to Newton to advance £30 to Thomas Hamilton.

(b) (Mint 19/3/264v-265) 24 July 1717. Clerical copy (in the same hand). Treasury warrant for payments to Brandshagen and the Hamiltons as recommended by Newton in MINT00789 (Mint 19/3/261, 263).

[17] Treasury

[18]

[Probably written in protest at the Treasury's refusal to settle his expense claims in full: see MINT00791(b) (Mint 19/3/264-5) and Craig, NATM, 104.]

[19]

He was ordered by the Treasury to prepare himself for the journey on 4 August 1716 and accordingly gave up his medical practice, but was not given orders to sail [from Germany] until 5 September. Further delays were occasioned by a storm during the voyage, by lack of funds (despite a letter to London on the subject, which went unanswered) and by the discovery that the mine had been sealed up, meaning that workmen had to be taken on to open it. Details of his various expenses. Brandshagen was forced to borrow £66 to keep the expedition going. Finally he was 'hindered to deliver my businesse [ie. his report on the mine, MINT00788 (Mint 19/3/221-6)] to Your Lordships till the 29th of Aprill' [he does not say by what].

[20] Treasury

[21]

[For dating, see MINT00794.]

[22]

First part of the report (up to the appointment of Brandshagen) more fully calendared in NC, 6: 317, n. 3.

[23]

The mine was discovered in December 1714 on his grounds by Sir John Erskine but filled in in February 1716. After his smelter James Hamilton brought some samples of ore from the mine to London, Erskine's brother-in-law Haldane informed the Court of the matter. Newton was asked to investigate the mine, but declared himself unqualified, and Justus Brandshagen was appointed instead, with Hamilton as assistant. Details of their remit and terms of payment. Hamilton, 'knowing his own insufficiency', persuaded the Treasury to add his brother Thomas to the team on the same terms as himself. They spent five months on the investigation (September 1716-February 1717), over twice the time necessary, despite express instructions to be quick about it, and then did not submit their report until 29 April. Newton was asked to assess what the team were owed, and on 27 June 1717 delivered a report accordingly [MINT00789 (Mint 19/3/261, 263)] on the basis that their commission had expired on 19 February. They have now received all that was due to them and more, and Newton sees no reason to pay them for wilful delays or for undertaking work they were never appointed to do.

[24] Treasury

[25]

Signed by Walker.

[26]

Scrope's note printed in NC, 7: 280-81.

[27]

Encloses a copy of Brandshagen's claim [MINT00796 (Mint 19/3/244)]. On reverse: note from Treasury Secretary John Scrope (in a clerical hand, signed by Scrope and dated May 11) referring the petition to Newton.

[28]

In the same hand as MINT00795 (Mint 19/3/243), with which this document was enclosed.

[29]

Claim for outstanding expenses totalling £113.8s.0d.

[30]

[See NC, 7: 247, n. 2, and Craig, NATM, 103-4.]

[31] Treasury

[32]

Another draft in T. 1/247.53, MINT01020 (printed in NC, 7: 281-2).

[33]

Mint 19/3/235 has also been used for a series of calculations.

© 2020 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC