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Armorer Donkin, a friend of William Armstrong (1778-1857), was a solicitor and also had an amateur interest in science. He had a house in Jesmond, Newcastle, and a country retreat at Rothbury, Northumberland,
Armstrong persuaded Donkin to take his son William for articles
Became a town councillor in Newcastle
Donkin, a bachelor, treated the younger Armstrong as an adoptive son. He was to have considerable influence on Armstrong and his future career.