Previous Talk

Baron Armstrong of Cragside

The entry below is a synopsis of our speakers talk on 18th January 2017.

Dr. Jared Johnson who was a Teacher for 20 years gave us a presentation entitled “Baron Armstrong of Cragside” at this week’s meeting of the Cullercoats Men’s Club.

Jared starting at 1810 when he was born until 1800 when he died, His father, also called William, was a corn merchant on the Newcastle quayside, who rose through the ranks of Newcastle society to become mayor of the town in 1850. Williams father wanted him to be a Lawyer and he did so for 15years but his love of engineering finally won out and he started his carrier in engineering by designing and presenting an hydraulic crane.

With the calibration of Donkin and 3 other local businessmen purchased 5.5 acres and opened his factory to produce cranes. Jared went on to tell about Williams development of a rifled breech loading gun after hearing about the troubles the army was having in the Crimea war, how he gave the patents for these guns to the country and why he moved into developing navel guns.

His house at Cragside was also described from a small dwelling to what it is today, his problems with the factory workers was covered at length and his philanthropic gestures to the local community both at Rothbury and Newcastle. Visitors to the house included the Prince of Wales and many other international dignitaries. In 1846 his work as an amateur scientist was recognized when he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1887 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Armstrong, of Cragside.

A very good morning for all our members who thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

Questions followed on several points to conclude a delightful morning.

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