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Metcalf, John [called Blind Jack of Knaresborough] (1717–1810), road builder and surveyor, was born on 15 August 1717 at Knaresborough, of parents of modest means. He was sent to school at the age of four but two years later became blind after an attack of smallpox. Despite his blindness he became an accomplished rider, swimmer, and card player. He enjoyed a wager and was involved in cockfighting, horse-racing, and philandering. ...