Joseph Lamb (1732-1800) came from Cumberland to Newcastle in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Here his several business interests flourished and, through his first marriage, the family became established at Ryton Hall, co. Durham. His businesses were divided between his three sons on his death in 1800 (recorded in his will NRO.2659/2), and, of the three, Joseph (1781-1859), later of West Denton and Lemmington, is represented most strongly in this collection. His business interests included colleries, the Tyne Bank and the Northumberland Glass Works at Lemmington. A ledger for the latter and a cash book for the Tyne Bank have survived.
Some papers of business associates and friends are also in the collection. Of these, the account book of Robert Ormston, senior, of Healey Hall, is most notable. It records his personal and public interests through references to his estates, charitable gifts to institutions and individuals, subscriptions to the Anti-Slavery Society and donations to local disasters (such as to "the widows and children of 50 pitmen burned at Wallsend, 1821").
A pedigree of the Lamb family and an account of the family is to be found in Some Annals of the Lambs: A Border Family, privately printed in 1926 (NRO.599/2 and 3).
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