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The Blackett family of Matfen Hall are descended from the 17th century Blackett family of Newcastle. We are grateful to Sir Hugh Blackett for granting free access to the contents of these papers, which expedited their transcription. Their manuscripts include a few papers which survive from the early generations of Blacketts (ZBL 2, 193, 273/12), three copy letterbooks of Sir Edward Blackett, 2nd baronet, (1649-1718) kept between 1709 and 1715, with some gaps (ZBL 189-191), and one kept by his son John Blackett (1683-1750) while he was a merchant in Rotterdam from 1708 (ZBL 192). ZBL 195 contains some matching inbound correspondence from other merchants and a variety of other papers in the collection of John Blackett.
Many of the later letters were received by John Erasmus Blackett (1729-1814) or sent by him, and filed either by him or a later resident at Matfen: ZBL 205-26. He was part of the Blackett Matfen family and for many years also chief agent to the Beaumont family, whose papers are in the Allendale Estates collection (NRO 672/2762). This branch of the Blackett family was active in the lead industry in its own right, and a number of accounts relating to mines and smelting at Fallowfield near Acomb (north of Hexham) can be found amongst the ZBL papers held at Woodhorn. The ZBL 231 file also includes a single short letter extracted from ZBL 232, from Sir John Trevelyan to JEB informing him of the death of Sir Walter Blackett. ZBL 260 is a collection of miscellaneous letters, many to JEB. ZBL 84/10 contains miscellaneous items related to the Fallowfield mine, owned by the Blacketts of Matfen.