This is a study of a family estate’s relationship with a high value mineral product. It aims to fill a knowledge gap in the extractive industry’s history in the Northeast by examining the lead production process on Bowes’ lands. The behaviour of the landowner as mineral lord and the extent of any individual’s role is the over-arching theme. It involves the study of the gentry as entrepreneur, and the key role of the estate steward. The economic relationship between the region and the nation is also illuminated through the Bowes family’s activities in both the North-East and London. The main focus is on the Bowes estate between 1720 and 1760 as this was the period when George Bowes was actively involved in developing the lead mining industry on his estates in North-East England. \ud \ud The chapters that follow examine the Bowes family’s relationship with lead between 1550 and 1771. Chapter 2 attempts to establish the roots of this relationship in the sixteenth century; Chapter 3 focuses on the swing to inactivity in the lead business during the first half of the seventeenth century, followed by less passive involvement from the late 1670s into the early eighteenth century. The period of George Bowes patriarchy then becomes the focus of the thesis: Chapter 4 discusses the organisation and management of lead production on the Bowes estate in the mid-eighteenth century; Chapter 5 the development of lead mining; Chapter 6 smelting and related activities; Chapter 7 the lead market and carriage; chapter 8 the role of George Bowes; and Chapter 9 the transitional period between 1760 and 1771 prior to the arrival of the London Lead Company. \u
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