Dorothy Forster (1686-1767)

She became the Northumbrian heroine of the 'Fifteen when, with the help of a blacksmith friend, she cleverly engineered her brother Tom's escape from Newgate.

The story, which has become entrenched in Northumbrian folklore, tells of her courageous journey to London through snow and ice, riding pillion with the blacksmith from Adderstone, near Bamburgh. After Tom's escape, and in order to outwit the authorities, she pretended that her brother had died abroad and organised that a coffin filled with sawdust should be placed in the Forster Vault at Bamburgh.

'The Lord Crewe Arms' in Blanchland is a property traditionally associated with Dorothy and her brother Tom. In Jacobite times this house belonged to their aunt, Lady Dorothy Crewe, the wife of Lord Nathaniel Crewe, Bishop of Durham.