Bessie Surtees House is two merchants' houses on Newcastle's Quayside that were built in the 16th and 17th centuries. The buildings are a fine and rare example of Jacobean domestic architecture. An exhibition detailing the history of the buildings can be found on the first floor. The site is also home to the North East regional branch of English Heritage.
Bessie Surtee was the eldest daughter of Aubone Surtees, a wealthy Newcastle banker. At 17 she fell in love but her family disapproved of her suitor and so she decided to elope. On 18th November 1772 she climbed out of the window with the aid of a ladder into his arms and the pair ran away to Scotland and were married. But it was considered a major scandal at the time and people would come and stare at the house. In the end the family were reconciled to the marriage and Bessie proved to have chosen well; the young man, John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon, was to become Lord Chancellor.
Description harvested from a couple of different articles at Wikipedia.