BLACKETT, Sir William, 2nd Bt. (1690-1728), of Pilgrim Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Wallington Hall, Northumb.
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Family and Education
b. 11 Feb. 1690, 1st s. of Sir William Blackett, 1st Bt.* educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1705. m. 20 Sept. 1725, Lady Barbara (d. 1761), da. of William Villiers*, 2nd Earl of Jersey, s.p.; 1da. illegit. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 29 Dec. 1705.1
Freeman, Newcastle 1710; member, merchant adventurers’ co. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1718, hostmen’s co. 1722; gov., hostmen’s co. 1726–8; mayor, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1718.2
Blackett inherited his father’s considerable estates and extensive mining interests, and his financial well-being was further enhanced in 1708 by the death of Sir John Fenwick’s† widow, saving Blackett the £2,000 annuity which had been the cost of his father’s purchase in 1689 of Fenwick’s Northumberland estates. Despite the expectation that his minority would prevent him standing in 1710, Blackett was returned for Newcastle with the unequivocal support of both the corporation and the borough’s Church interest, a song published after the election declaring that Blackett and William Wrightson* had stood for ‘the Church, the Queen, for peace and the Protestant succession’ against ‘the Whigs and Dissenters’. He was an inactive Member, and no significant activity is recorded on his part in the 1710–11 session. As one of the cartel controlling the supply of north-east coal he was consulted in November 1710 about this group’s response to the proposed bill to prevent combinations in the coal trade, but there is no evidence that he took an active part in opposition to the measure. Despite this lack of recorded activity, the end of the session saw Blackett included upon the list of ‘worthy patriots’ who had detected the mismanagements of the previous ministry. Having been appointed to the Northumberland bench in the summer of 1711, Blackett supported the attempt of the Newcastle corporation to pass a bill to regulate a hospital established in the borough by Newcastle’s keelmen. He was appointed on 18 Jan. 1712 to draft such a bill, and six days later was the first-named Member of the measure’s second-reading committee. Though the measure passed the Commons it was defeated in the upper House. In the following session he voted on 18 June 1713 for the French commerce bill, and later the same year was returned for Newcastle unopposed. Blackett left no trace on the records of the 1713 Parliament, but was included on the Worsley list as a Tory and, having been returned for Newcastle in 1715, was similarly described in two comparisons of the old and new Parliaments. Contrary to common expectation he did not join the Jacobite rebels during the Fifteen and retained his seat until his death on 25 Sept. 1728. His burial, accompanied by a great deal of pomp and ceremony, took place at St. Nicholas’, Newcastle on 7 Oct. His estates were left to his illegitimate daughter Elizabeth Ord upon condition that she marry Blackett’s nephew Walter Calverley, who thereby inherited Blackett’s interest at Newcastle, took the name Blackett in 1733, and sat for Newcastle for over four decades from 1734.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison
- 1. Arch. Ael. ser. 4, xviii. 86.
- 2. Reg. of Freemen (Newcastle Rec. Soc. vi), 3; Newcastle Merchant Adventurers (Surtees Soc. ci), 344; Newcastle Hostmen’s Co. (Surtees Soc. cv), 264, 276; Arch. Ael. 86.
- 3. Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 2 Nov. 1708; HMC Portland, iv. 575; K. Wilson, Sense of the People, 138; E. Hughes, N. Country Life, i. 175; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 211; HMC Lords, ix. 230–1; Barnes Mems. (Surtees Soc. l), 478.