The Blacketts have cast long shadows over the English North-east’s history as Newcastle merchants, miners, the builders of Wallington Hall and political figures in the 1600s and 1700s. Yet historians over the years have previously found it hard to get out from those shadows and to see more than the silhouettes of myth. Greg Finch’s flowing account of the first three Sir William Blacketts, based on extensive new research, now dispels those myths. He reveals a vivid story of a dramatic rise from modest origins, the opening up of the regional lead industry, the creation and operation of a huge business and the crises that followed during a turbulent century of conflict and progress. As well as portraying varied and colourful personalities, this new account offers fresh insights into England’s development in the years before the industrial revolution.
Winner of the Business Archives Council’s Wadsworth Prize for outstanding contribution to British business history.
‘The depth and breadth of Greg Finch's scholarship is extraordinary: he finds, interprets and explains exactly what was going on in a dynasty of extraordinary entrepreneurs in North-east England on the brink of the industrial revolution. But this is no dry, scholarly tome: he tells the tale with the pen of a poet.’ Matt Ridley, author of How Innovation Works
‘the style is fluent and the characters well evoked … impeccably researched’ Northern History
'a very readable and highly informative analysis of key figures in the economic development of the North East.' Archaeologia Aeliana
‘an incisive insight … challenging others to match the meticulous and thoughtful way that he has written a family business history.’ Business History
Product Code: BKTHBL
Author: Greg Finch