Grey Friars/Anderson Place and Blackett Street, Newcastle

Submitted by alkirtley on Fri, 11/22/2019 - 14:42
Grey Friars, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Grey Friars, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Anderson Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, situated within the city walls near the ruins of a Franciscan Friary, was built in the 16th century by Robert Anderson, and was also subsequently known as Newe House and then Grey Friars. Standing in extensive grounds, with a tree lined avenue leading to the house, the gardens of beautiful walkways and greens extended down to the main entrance of Pilgrim Street. King Charles I stayed at Newe House during his captivity in Newcastle (1646-1647) under General Leven, who later broke with parliament to support Charles II before being defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s army at Dunbar in 1650.  

It was purchased in 1675 by Sir William Blackett (1621-1680), whose son extended the house. It passed down to Sir Walter Calverley Blackett (1707-1777) who married Sir William’s granddaughter, and then to Sir Thomas Wentworth Blackett (1725-1792). In 1782 it was sold to George Anderson (no known connection to the original Anderson who had bought it in the 16th century), whose son, Major George Anderson, subsequently came to live there  and renamed the property Anderson Place in 1801. It was sold again to Richard Grainger in 1834. Grainger demolished it, and began his creation of what is now known as Grainger Town. 

Blackett Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Blackett Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Situated near Old Eldon Square, and on the site of the old town walls formerly adjoining the north boundary of Grey Friars, Blackett Street was constructed in 1824 by Richard Grainger, possibly in recognition of John Erasmus Blackett (1729-1814), son of John Blackett and Patience Wise. John Erasmus Blackett married Sarah Roddam and was the father-in-law of Admiral Lord Collingwood (see Naval Blacketts). John Erasmus held the honourable position of Lord Mayor of Newcastle four times, in 1765, 1772, 1780 and 1790, and was one of the original partners of the Newcastle upon Tyne Fire Office, established in 1783, which now forms part of the Aviva group. According to his brother-in-law, the noted autobiographer Rev. Dr. Alexander Carlyle, “John Blackett was called Erasmus after Erasmus Lewis, who was secretary to Lord Oxford in Queen Anne’s time, and an intimate friend of his father’s, John Blackett of Yorkshire.”

John Erasmus Blackett
John Erasmus Blackett

Earl Grey’s monument, erected in 1836 to commemorate the passing of the Reform Act, stands at the head of Grey Street, Blackett Street, and Grainger Street.