Historic background

N. McCord, North East England, The Region’s Development 1760-1960, (Batsford, 1979)

Chapter One contains a good general introduction

G.Finch, The Blacketts, a Northern Dynasty’s Rise, Crisis and Redemption, (Tyne Bridge, 2021)

In addition to biographies of the first four generations of the Newcastle Blacketts, this gives a general overview of the economy and society of 17th-early 18th century Newcastle and  its region

E.T.Hughes, North Country Life in the Eighteenth Century, (Oxford, 1952)

An excellent account of the economic and social life of the Northeast merchants and gentry who influenced much of the development of the region in this period

A. Green & B.Crosbie (eds), Economy and Culture in North-East England 1500-1800, (2018)

A collection of essays summarising recent research on the region following an introduction which provides a good overview

Lead Industry – North-east

I. Forbes, B. Young, D. Crossley, & L. Hehir, Lead Mining Landscapes of the North Pennines, (Durham County Council, 2004)

High quality, well-illustrated and readable survey of the impact of the lead industry – mining, carrying, smelting – on the North Pennines landscape.

A. Raistrick & B. Jennings, A History of Lead Mining in the Pennines, (Longman, 1965)

Classic history of the industry throughout the North of England

C.J. Hunt, The Lead miners of the Northern Pennines in the 18th and 19th centuries (Manchester Univ Press, 1970

Good academic study of the industry in our region, using records of both the London Lead Company and the Blackett & Beaumont business. Deals mainly with mining, but also some coverage of smelting and carrying

M.Hughes, Lead, Land, and Coal as sources of Landlord Income in Northumberland between 1700 and 1850, Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Durham, (1963)

Includes a detailed account of the lead business of the Blacketts and the Greenwich Hospital and much statistical detail from the Blackett papers.It is available to download from

D.J.Rowe, Lead Manufacturing in Britain – a History, (Croom Helm, 1983)

Focused mainly on the development of lead processing from the 19th century, but with detail on lead manufacturing in 18th century Tyneside, dealing particularly with the Fishwick, Walker works at Elswick to which much lead was supplied by the Blacketts and Beaumonts.

R.A.Fairbairn, Allendale Tynedale and Derwent Lead Mines, (British Mining, Vol 65, 2000)

A recent survey of mines in our part of the North Pennines lead mining zone, with a focus on mining but some information on smelting mills

Stafford Linsley The Life and Times of Thomas Dixon 1805-1871, (Wagtail Press, 2006)

Edited diary of one of the last lead smelters at Dukesfield, well illustrated, with much explanatory commentary on the family, social life and smelting process

B.P.Wilkinson, ‘Leadmining Families – The Westgarths and the Forsters, in Chambers (ed) Out of the Pennines, (Friends of Killhope Museum, 1997)

A detailed study of these families of renowned North Pennine lead mining and mill agents of the 18th and 19th centuries, which includes a number of references to Dukesfield

A.Blackburn, ‘Life on the Lead Ways’, in Chambers, B. (Ed.) Men, Mines and Minerals of the North Pennines (Friends of Killhope, 1992)

A detailed study of ore and lead carriage within the Blackett business, and therefore touching directly upon the trafiic in and out of Dukesfield.

R.Fairbairn, ‘Some Allendale Roads’, Tyne & Tweed, No. 50, (1996)

A survey of lost carrier’s tracks in the Nent, East and West Allen valleys

G. Finch, “The Carrshield lead mill dispute of 1694”, Archaeologia Aeliana, (5th ser., 43, 2014)

A short account of the attempt to introduce peat as fuel for lead smelting in the West Allen

I. Forbes and Y. Purdy, ‘The Mulcaster Family: a lead mining dynasty’, Hexham Historian Vol 25, (2015)

A summary of the various members of a family that were influential in the industry through several generations

I. Forbes, ‘Westgarth Forster’s Strata – a reappraisal of a geological pioneer’, Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, Vol 60, (2015)

Forster was an agent for the Beaumonts; this article explores his background, achievements and plagiarism in some depth

J. Waters, ‘The Death of George Pantoune, gentleman of High Shields, Hexham’, Journal of the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society, Vol 40.2 (2015)

Pantoune had a share in the Blackhall Smelting Mill not far from Dukesfield

G.Finch, ‘William Blackett, Dukesfield and the Seventeenth century lead industry’, Hexham Historian Vol 25, (2015)

The origins of the Dukesfield Mill in its contemporary context

P.Lee, ‘Lead Shipments from North-East Ports to Overseas Destinations in 1676’, Friends of Killhope Newsletter, 87, (March 2016), pp.5-13

A study of the 17th century lead industry in the north-east from a new angle – that of the destination of exports

Sila Tripati, G. Parthiban, K. H. Vora, Sundaresh, S. N. Bandodker, ‘Lead ingots from a shipwreck off Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu, East Coast of India: evidence for overseas trade and their significance’, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (2003), pp. 225-237

An account of Blackett lead pieces dated from the 1790s found in a wreck off the south-east coast of India, probably part of a shipment intended for the East India Company at Chennai or Kolkata, for the Beaumonts sold lead to them at this time

Lead Industry – General

D Williams et al An Archaeological Assessment of Lead, Zinc and Silver Mining and Smelting in England

Created recently by the National Association of Mining History Organisations & contains a detailed bibliography

See also specific references given in biographies of correspondents.

The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467