William Sidney Gibson

This new interest in the local Jacobites was given a boost by the publication of William Sidney Gibson's book, 'Dilston Hall', in 1850. This book was the first biography of the Earl of Derwentwater and the first attempt to write an outline history of the '15 in Northumberland.

He wrote in a flowery, romantic style which secured the image of Derwentwater as a tragic, almost saintly, hero. 'Dilston', he wrote, 'is surrounded by the poetry of historical tradition; and the character of the scenery which encircles the ruined hall of Radcliffe's fallen line seems to invest with a romantic charm, the shadows of the past that crowd upon the thoughtful visitor at every step in his approach'.

This book brought many visitors to the ruins at Dilston, including the 'Countess Amelia', one of the most extraordinary characters in the whole history of the Jacobites.