Topics > People in History > Armorer Donkin (1779-1851)

Armorer Donkin (1779-1851)


Armorer Donkin (1779 - 1851) was a wealthy landowner, solicitor and businessman - he was one of Newcastle's leading solicitors. He was a member of the Donkin family of Great Tosson and Rothbury. Donkin owned land in Jesmond and Heaton and had a house in Jesmond and a country house in Rothbury. He went onto become an Alderman of Newcastle. As well as his legal company, Donkin had other business interests. For example, in 1819 he became a partner in Joseph Sewell' s successful pottery business - the large St Anthony’s Pottery factory, located near the River Tyne.[1]

Donkin was a member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne (the 'Lit & Phil'). He had a wide circle of friends at the Lit & Phil, whom he entertained at regular Saturday lunches, affectionately known as 'Donkin's ordinary'. It was at the Lit & Phil where he developed a friendship with William Armstrong Snr (father of the William George Armstrong, who went on to be a famous industrialist). As the friendship grew, Donkin, who had no children of his own, is said to have become like a second father to the Armstrong children, Ann and William George. The children frequently visited him, and spent holidays at his country house at Rothbury.[2] Donkin became an increasingly important influence on the young William Armstrong, who worked at his legal firm for 4 years. Then after studying in London, the 23 year old William Armstrong returned to Newcastle in 1833; then in 1835 he became a partner in the legal company firm which became known as 'Donkin, Stable and Armstrong'.[3] As Armstrong's interests became focussed on innovation and engineering, Donkin became an important business partner. Also, the contacts made through Donkin and his father at the Lit & Phil, contributed to Armstrong's success.

Donkin became one of Armstrong's partners in the Whittle Dean Water Company, established in 1845, and also the Newcastle Cranage Company formed in 1846. In 1847, Armorer Donkin, along with George Cruddas and William Armstrong were founding partners of 'W. G. Armstrong and Co', founded to manufacture innovative hydraulic devices, cranes and bridges, at what was to become the famous 'Elswick Works'.

Armorer Donkin died in 1779 and was buried in Jesmond Old Cemetery. Donkin left much of his estate to William Armstrong, including his share in the Elswick Works, and land in Jesmond Dean, Heaton and Rothbury.

People in History Jesmond Dene W. G. Armstrong and Co Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne Armstrong Park
from https://commons.wikimedia.o...
Armorer Donkin (1779-1851)
- Oil painting on canvas, Armorer Donkin (1779-1851), 19th-century. Owned by the National Trust, Cragside.

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Simon Cotterill
W. G. Armstrong and Co
  Co-Curate Page
W. G. Armstrong and Co
- William Armstrong, George Cruddas and Armorer Donkin established W. G. Armstrong and Co at Elswick Works in 1847. The company was formed to manufacture innovative hydraulic devices, cranes and bridges. ...
Armstrong Park
  Co-Curate Page
Armstrong Park
- Overview Map Street View Armstrong Park in Newcastle, connects with Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park to form a large green space, a short distance north-east of the city centre. Armstrong ...
Jesmond Dene
  Co-Curate Page
Jesmond Dene
- Overview About Jesmond Dene Map Street View Jesmond Dene is a public park in the valley of the Ouseburn river in Jesmond, Newcastle. The park was originally laid out in ...
from https://heatonhistorygroup....
TAG: ARMORER DONKIN
- Blog posts tagged with 'Armorer Donkin'

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Simon Cotterill
from http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/6556/
The contribution of William, Lord Armstrong to science and education
- PhD thesis: Short, Alice Isabella (1989) The contribution of William, Lord Armstrong to science and education. Doctoral thesis, Durham University. Abstract "William George Armstrong (1310-1900) is best remembered as the ...

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Simon Cotterill
from https://www.gracesguide.co....
Newcastle Cranage Co
- "Newcastle Cranage Company at High Bridge Works 1846 Founded by William Armstrong, with his friends Cruddas, Lambert, Donkin, and Potter...."

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Simon Cotterill

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