Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameSir William BLACKETT
SpouseElizabeth KIRKLEY
Children
Notes for Sir William BLACKETT
Sir William Blackett, 1st Baronet (May 1621 – 16 May 1680) was a businessman who founded a mercantile and industrial base in Newcastle and was a member of the British House of Commons representing Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Blackett was the third son of William Blackett and his wife Isabella Crook and was born in Gateshead. His father, was a successful businessman at Jarrow and Gateshead and retired to Hoppyland, County Durham. Blackett was also a businessman and the following story about him was printed in the Newcastle Daily Journal of 18 April 1893.

"Sir William, soon after he commenced business risked his little all in a speculation in flax, and having freighted a large vessel with that article received the unpleasant intelligence that the flax fleet had been dispersed in a storm, and most of the vessels either lost or captured by the enemy. He took his accustomed walk next morning, ruminating on his loss, and was aroused by the noise of a ship in the river. He jumped upon an adjoining hedge, hailed the vessel and found it to be his own, which had without difficulty weathered the storm. He instantly returned and hiring a horse rode in a very short time to London and hastened to the exchange, found the merchants in great alarm about the loss of the flax fleet and speaking of the consequent high price of flax. On informing them that he dealt in that article and had a large quantity to dispose of, speculators soon flocked around him and he sold his whole cargo at a most extravagant price, and the produce of that adventure laid the foundation for one of the largest fortunes acquired in Newcastle. Sir William (and also his children) is said to have regarded with a kind of veneration the hedge from which he first perceived the vessel and made it the extent of his future morning walks. "

He is believed to have extended his fortune by buying land in the 1660s and 1670s, and was also involved in coal and lead mining. He also had a successful career in public life, being firstly High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1660. He was Governor of the Hostmen Company of Newcastle 1662–1663 and 1667–1668. He was an Alderman of the City of Newcastle and became Mayor of the City in 1666. In 1673 he was both knighted and then created a Baronet on 12 December. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Newcastle in 1673 and retained his seat until 1680.

Blackett married Elizabeth Kirkley in 1645 and was succeeded as baronet by their son Edward to whom he left a substantial fortune. He also left a fortune to his second son William who acquired the Wallington estate. Following the death of his first wife he married Margaret Rogers, widow of Captain John Rogers and daughter of Ralph Cock.
Last Modified 1 May 2011Created 28 Jan 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh