The North-East of England is a highly distinctive region of the United Kingdom, markedly different in history, tradition and culture from its bordering regions of Yorkshire, Cumbria and Scotland. It was a centre of spiritual and cultural excellence and leadership during the Dark Ages, and more recently it has been one of the world's most dynamic and innovative industrial complexes. It was equally distinctive in being an international and subsequently national frontier region, which profoundly affected its life during and after the long Anglo-Scottish war. Since the eighteenth century, much has been written about the North-East, but this encyclopaedia is the first attempt at a comprehensive compendium covering all aspects, and over an extended period. It covers an eclectic range of people, from saints to comedians and families who had an important influence on the region; places, from major cities to villages; the industries that made the region famous; products invented or developed in the region; events of national or international significance; and, institutions that were founded in the region. This book will be a valuable and widely consulted work of reference for all those interested in North-East England.