Blackner, John (DNB00)

BLACKNER, JOHN (1770–1816), author of a history of Nottingham, was born at Ilkeston, Derbyshire, about 1770. After serving an apppenticeship to a stocking-maker in his native place, he migrated to Nottingham. He did not receive even the rudiments of education, but being possessed of strong natural abilities, a facility for making rhymes, and a readiness of speech, he became a great favourite with his associates. His ardent radical sympathies afterwards brought him into prominence as a leader of a section of local politicians, and he acquired such literary ability and reputation as to obtain in 1812 the editorship of the radical daily paper ‘The Statesman,’ published in London. Through failure of health he held this post only a short time. Soon afterwards he took the editorship of the ‘Nottingham Review.' He published several pamphlets, including one in 1805 on the ‘Utility of Commerce,' and in 1815 he issued his ‘History of Nottingham’ (4to, pp. 459), a work which displays much industry and research, though later writers complain of its bombast and party spleen. He was the landlord for some years of the Rancliffe Arms, Sussex Street, Nottingham, and died there on 22 Dec. 1816, in his forty-seventh year.

[Bailey's Annals of Nottinghamshire. 1853-5, iv. 285; Wy1ie’s Old and New Nottingham, 1353, p. 232; Orange's Hist. and Antiq. of Nottingham, 1848, ii. 939.]

C. W. S.