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To the Rt. Honble. the Lords Commissioners of his Majesties Treasury.

May it please your Lordships

The design of sending down two Persons wellskilled in assaying and working of minerals, Mr. Brandshagen and Mr. Hamilton, to Sr. Iohn Ereskins Mines in the Parish of Alva five miles from Sterling East and by North; being as I presume, that they should in the first place survey the Mine with the Mountain about it and Assay the Ore and make a Report upon the whole that it may certainly appear whether the same be a silver mine and of what value before they begin to dig & work the Ore, and it being intended that in doing this they should act under Mr. Haldane, Senr. the Brother in Law of the said Sr. Iohn Ereskine, and Mr. Haldane living near the mine and having expressed himself willing to encourage and supervise the said two men and forward their design: I humbly propose pursuant to your Lordships Directions the following Instructions as proper for this purpose.

1. That in the presence of Substantial Witnesses, the said two Persons cause to be broken off from each of the two Veins of Ore which are in the said Mine, about Six or Eight pounds of Ore, and Seal up the same in two papers with Inscriptions upon them denoting what Vein each parcell is taken from: the Inscriptions to be signed by the Witnesses, and the two Parcells to be packed up together and sent to London to the Lords Commissrs. of his Majestys Treasury to be Assayed in London by their Order. The Witnesses may be Mr. Haldane and one or two of his Sons who are Parliament Men and Mr. Drummond Warden of the Mint at Edinburgh or any other Gentleman of Credit whom my Lord Lauderdale General of the said Mint shall please to send thither for his own Satisfaction, and the Satisfaction of the Government, and any other Person or Persons whom your Lordships shall order to be present.

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|2| That in the presence of the same Witnesses other pieces of Ore be broken \off/ from each of the two Veins and Assayed and the Assays reported by the said two persons and repeated once or twice if need be for the Satisfaction of the Witness and Signed by the said Witnesses in Testimony that the Assays were made before them and sealed up and sent also to the Lords Commissioners of his Majestys Treasury. And that a Description of the said two Veins in Breadth and depth and distance from one another be also sent and which way they run and what sort of Earth or Stone the two Veins are lodged in, and what is the depth of the Mine and the distance of each Vein from the Surface of the Mountain, and whether in that Mine there be any Bedds of Silver or Copper Ore besides the two Veins.

|3| That the Casks (or old Hogsheads and Barrells) which were filled with about 40 Tunns of Ore dugg out of the said Mines by Order of the Lady Ereskine in the time of the late Rebellion and buried on the North west Side of her house just by the Gate thereof be enquired after, and a Report made thereof and of what that Ore holds by the Assay.

|4| That the Burn or Channel made in the south side of the Mountain by floods running down about three or four Furlongs westward from the Said Mine within Sr. Iohn Ereskins part of the Mountain, be well viewed to see what Sparrs and other signs of Minerals or Metalls be found there, to Assay them and Report the Produce.

|5| About some two miles westward from this Silver Mine there is a Copper Mine said to be very rich in Copper and Silver so as in a pound weight of Ore to hold about half a pound of Copper and twelve penny weight of Silver, and to belong to one who went into the Rebellion{sic} If two or three pieces of that Ore can be procured, let it be Assayed to See how much Copper & how much Silver it holds. And if there be any other Mines within three or four miles of the Silver Mine, let them examin what Silver the Ore may contain.

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|6| Let them view all Sr. Iohn Ereskin's part of the Mountain and observe what signs of Minerals may appear any where above ground and report what they find. And let them give the best account they can of any other Mines of Copper or Lead which they can hear of in that Mountain.

I humbly propose also that Mr. Haldane. Senr. be desired by a Letter from your Lordships to see that the two Gentlemen sent down do put these things in Execution, and to give them Directions from time to time to do what he may think further proper for giving his Majesty and his Royal Highness and your Lordships Satisfaction in this Matter. And that the two Gentlemen sent down be ordered to observe the directions of Mr. Haldane in making these and such like Enquiries and Observations. And that the Earl of Lauderdale General of the Mint at Edenburgh, be also desired by a Letter from your Lordships to give the two Gentlemen sent down his Protection and Encouragement, and to send either Mr Drummond Warden of that Mint or some other intelligent and Credible Person to the Mine, who may there see the Silver Ore dug out of the Rock and Assayed and packed up to be sent to London, and may give his Lordship and the Government an acct. thereof.|:| |And that Mr Hamilton do assist Mr Brandshagen.|

If this Mine shall prove a true Silver Mine, the Kings Council learned in the Law may be consulted about the Right which either the King may have to it as a Royll. Mine, or the Commissioners for the forfeited Estates; and about the Right which either of them may have to the 40 Tunn of Silver Ore already dug up; and about the authority requisite to secure them in order to work the Mine and Smelt the Ore, and also about the Kings Right in the Copper Mine two miles westward as a Royll. Mine rich in Silver, tho not belonging to Sr. Iohn Erskine. And when the Fact and the Law is known, the Silver Mine and the Ore may be seized as the Law shall direct, and the Kings Right in the other Mine may be also asserted.

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All which is most humbly submitted to your Lordships great Wisdome

Mint Office 25. Aug. 1716.

© 2019 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

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