John Blackett (1783-1854) was born in Longwitton and baptised in Hartburn, not a great distance from the Blackett seat of Wallington, Northumberland. His parents were Michael Blackett and Mary Maslingham. His baptismal entry refers to him as “John illegitimate son of Michael Blackett and Mary Maslingham of Long Witton.” A Michael Blackett is also shown as the father of “William Blackett or Spearman”, who was born in Hartburn four years previously and whose mother was Isabel Spearman.
John Blackett’s seven children and at least three of his grandchildren were born in Longwitton or neighbouring Hartburn.
We have discovered nothing further about this Michael Blackett. Given the proximity of Longwitton and Hartburn to the Blackett seat of Wallington it is possible that Michael was an illegitimate son of Sir Walter Blackett, who was reputed to “spread his favours” liberally around the area, particularly amongst women of lower rank. No proof of this has been discovered, however, although John Blackett named a younger son, baptised in 1822, “Walter”. To see a descendancy chart of Michael Blackett please click here.