Lancelot Allgood of ‘the Riding’ at Riding Mill, near contemporary and ‘trusty and well beloved friend’ of Sir William Blackett III, was one of the four trustees appointed by Blackett in his will of 1728 to administer his estates, the others being Charles Clarke, Abraham Dixon and his elder brother Major Allgood (1685-1749). The trustees were also directed by Blackett’s will to continue Lancelot Allgood in his employment in managing Blackett’s estates, assisted by his book-keeper and cashier, Joseph Richmond. The Allgood family of Hexham had been involved with the Blacketts since at least the 1690s when Thomas Allgood was William Blackett II’s Hexham manor bailiff and general local fixer, remaining in this position under the young William Blackett III until Allgood’s death in 1713. Lancelot and Major Allgood were Thomas’s nephews. Lancelot was an attorney in Hexham and bailiff of the town between 1725 and 1735, a position he owed to his friend Sir William alongside his employment in managing the Blackett estates more generally. He married twice, secondly in early 1729 to Esther, daughter of a Newcastle attorney, and he had two daughters, one of whom was later to marry the son of Isaac Hunter, the Dukesfield mill agent.
Allgood was a distant cousin of George Allgood (1659-1727) a London based lawyer who with his brother Robert built up the later family estate in the Chipchase and Nunwick area. George Allgood was heavily involved in arranging the critical loans and mortgages taken out in the 1710s and 1720s upon which Blackett depended, and the burden of which, particularly the colossal £70,000 loan from Sir Thomas Guy and Guy’s Hospital, weighed heavily upon the Blackett business in the 1730s. Much of that burden appears to have been carried and managed by Joseph Richmond on behalf of Sir Walter Blackett following his inheritance in 1728. Although we have only the evidence of Richmond’s letters between 1728 and 1734, the impression they leave is of growing resentment that Allgood’s privileged position (and salary: £350/year to Richmond’s £100) was not matched by diligent execution of his management responsibility. The shrewd Walter Blackett moved Richmond into Allgood’s role after the latter’s death in 1735.
Nick Kingsley, Landed Families of Britain and Ireland, Allgood of Nunwick Hall and the Hermitage, (2014)
Greg Finch (ed), A Pack of Idle Sparks, Letters from Hexham on the Church, the people, Corruption and Scandal, (2013)
Allgood MSS, Northumberland Archives, ZAL
Northumberland County History, Volumes 9, 15