Blakiston, John (DNB00)

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BLAKISTON, JOHN (1608–1649), regicide, was the son of Marmaduke Blakiston, prebendary of Durham. He was baptised on 21 Aug. 1603, and married in November 1626 Susan Chamber. He became a mercer in Newcastle, and prospered so well in his business that he was able to subscribe 900l. for the reconquest of Ireland (1642). Although his father was a strong high churchman, the friend and father-in-law of Cosin, and a noted pluralist (see Cosin's Correspondance, i. l85), John Blakiston became a puritan, and was, in 1636, cited before the High Commission Court for nonconformity, and for defaming the vicar of Newcastle (Records of High Commission Court in the Diocese of Durham (Surtees Society), p. 155). He was fined 100l. and excommunicated till he submitted. On 30 Jan. 1641 he was voted member for Newcastle in place of Sir J. Melton, whose election was annulled. When the Scots captured Newcastle he was also appointed mayor, in place of Sir John Marlay (Brand, p. 469). He suffered losses during the war, and was accordingly, on 3 June 1645, voted an allowance of 4l. a week, which was continued till 20 Aug. 1646. According to Noble he was also granted the sum of 14,000l. and given the post of coal meter at Newcastle, worth 200l. a year. Holles in his ' Memoirs ' describes Blakiston as one of the 'little northern beagles' set on to stir up public feeling against the Scots by exaggerating the contributions they had levied on the country. He was appointed one of the king's judges, was present at every sitting during the trial, and signed the death-warrant. In April 1649 the corporation of Newcastle found it necessary to write to the speaker to vindicate their representative from the charges brought against nim in the 'humble remonstrance' of George Lilbum. They praise Blakiston as 'unapt to cram himself with the riches of his ruined country, or seek after great things' (Tanner MSS. lvi. 22). He died shortly afterwards, for his will is dated 1 June 1649, and he is spoken of as deceased in the Commons Journals of 6 June. On 16 Aug. 1649 the house voted 3,000l. to provide for his widow and children.

[Brand's History of Newcastle; Surtees' History of Durham, iii. 165-402; Noble's account in his Lives of the Regicides is full of errors.]

C. H. F.