Two names, many shared histories

Garbutt and Lawson family connections

On December 11th 1803, in the Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby, a son was born to a local man, possibly of Sandsend Whitby, who was surnamed Garbutt. There were many Garbutts in the town, and the Christian name of this man is uncertain, but it is likely that it was one Zachariah Garbutt and that possibly he was a sailor or had some other relationship with the sea, as had many others in that small port and fishing town. However, the name of his wife, William’s mother, is known. It appeared in later years on her son’s apprenticeship papers: she was Eleanor, but her origins and maiden name remain unknown.

In 1816, at the age of 13 William was apprenticed to Edward Chapman, a merchant of Whitby. By this time his father was dead, and Eleanor signed herself ‘widow’ in the indenture papers that confirmed the contract between the apprentice and master, and were stamped with the seal of George III, though this was the period of the Regency of the future George IV.

At some point in his younger adult life, William met Jane Lawson. She was the daughter of John Lawson ( b around 1765 at Egton near Whitby) and Elizabeth Readman ( b 1771 at Shorefoot near Whitby). John and Elizabeth had married on 11th July 1792 at Egton. One, or both of them were Catholics and there was a meeting house in this small community. John’s father, Philip Lawson, had been born in 1729 in the reign of George II. He was said to be a well- known figure in the community who lived into the next century, dying in 1833 at the grand old age of 104.

From 1795 John and Elizabeth had 7 children, all of whom were baptised at St Hilda’s Catholic church in Whitby, then a meeting room. Jane Lawson was baptised in 1808, her elder sister Frances in 1806. Another sister, Mary,was born and baptised in 1799. This Mary appears on the 1851 census as ‘daughter’ to John Lawson but her surname in 1851 is also Garbutt. She married another Zachariah Garbutt, lived in Flowergate Whitby, and had a daughter also called Mary. It is likely that her husband was related to, or even the brother of William, Jane’s husband.

Captain William Garbutt married Jane Lawson in 1830, either in January or in November of that year. She was around 21 years old, William was 27. A miniature portrait of William exists, possibly painted around that time. It shows a sandy haired young man with blue eyes, dressed in smart cravat and suit. A silhouette miniature of Jane also exists, but it is unknown as to whether these were companion pieces of the same date.

It is possible that the miniature was painted at the time of William’s marriage to Jane, but it is also quite likely that it was painted to mark another special occasion: that of becoming master mariner and of acquiring the captaincy of his own 12 manned brig, named ‘ The Canton’. The owner of the brig was William’s father-in-law, John Lawson (the Elder).

William and Jane had three children: Zachariah (James?) born 1831 ; Lucy born 1834; and William born 1836.

In June 1837 Lucy died in Whitby, aged 3 years old.

Shortly after ( presumably), William and Jane Garbutt set sail on The Canton,with baby William, aged about 1 year. They left their eldest child, Zachariah, in the care of the Lawson family, presumably under the guardianship his grandfather, John Lawson.

The Canton was bound for the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada. On its return journey ( between October and December 1837) it was shipwrecked and William, Jane and baby William were lost to the sea.

The Lawsons continued to live in Whitby and to bring up the surviving Garbutt son, Zachariah, who seems to have called himself “Jim” ( ‘James’ in a later census). The latter was apprenticed to a ship’s chandler, but seems to have been regarded as somewhat wayward, ‘the black sheep’ of the family, in his youth. He was apprenticed by his grandfather to a ship’s chandler, and moved up the coast to Hartlepool. From there he moved to Sunderland and married Dorothy Atkinson. They had 5 children, the third of whom was named John Lawson Garbutt ( b 18.9.1863).

John Lawson, draper, died in February 1855, aged 90 years. Elizabeth, his wife had died in 1833 at the age of 63.

In 1875 Zachariah ( James) Garbutt received a letter from his Lawson aunt, Jane’s sister Frances. She had married and her surname was now Jackson. In the letter she begged Zachariah to consider returning to the Catholic faith but this didn’t happen, as far as can be established.

Zachariah had various employment, one of which was as a porter on the railways. He died in 1913 in Sunderland, aged 83/84.

His son William Garbutt (born Hartlepool 1862) also worked on the railways, as a cleaner and an engine driver. He died in Sunderland in 1944 aged 82.

His son William (Will) was born in 1888 in Hendon, Sunderland. He was a clerk at the North Eastern Marine shipyards, and he died in 1975, aged 87.

His son, William (Bill) was born in 1922. A daughter, Margaret, had been born in 1914.

His only child, a daughter, Barbara was born in 1950 and ends this branch of the Garbutt line.< PHOTOS BELOW: Cpt William Garbutt 1803-1837 Jane Garbutt ( nee Lawson) wife of the above William Garbutt 1888- 1975 20140106-204036.jpg



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JOHN LAWSON, 1st BARONET of Brough Hall, died 1698. Inherited from his brother Henry. He was a Captain of horse in the Royalist Army. His Estates were confiscated by the Parliamentarians after they had won the Civil War and he went into exile with his family. Upon the restoration of the monarchy his estates were restored and he was made a baronet in 1665 by Charles II.
Married Catherine Howard, (1637-1668), sister of Charles Ist Earl of Carlisle.
They had many children but only two surviving sons who married and had issue:

1.Henry 2nd BARONET (1653-1726). His will entails his estates “to his maleheirs forever”.

2. WILLIAM (the only other surviving married son) described as “a gentleman ( esquire) of York”. In 1698 his father, the first Baronet, bequeathed him an annuity of £30 in his will. His brother Henry, the 2nd Baronet, bequeathed him £10 in his will in 1726.
His son:

GEORGE “of Egton in County of York.”
His son:
PHILIP ( 1729-1833)
Later known as ‘old Philip’, presumably because of his longevity (he was 104 when he died!).
He was the great-grandson of 1st baronet, John, and grandson of William Lawson.
He married Barbara Elders of Egton and had a number of children by her.
When she died he married Jane Hoggart and had one daughter by her.

JOHN Lawson ‘the Elder’ (1756-1855) Draper of Bridgestreet in Whitby, son of Philip, gt,get grandson of 1st baronet, John. Father-in-law of Cpt William Garbutt who married his daughter, Jane. Later named as 7th baronet “de jure” ( ie by right, but not in law)

JOHN (The younger) (1795-1874) also draper of Bridgestreet, Whitby. Married Ann White. His eldest surviving son was:

JOHN NICHOLAS (1823-1898) married Eliza Ann Rook.
His eldest sons were twins, John and William. John was the elder twin:

JOHN (1855-1924). In 1907 he claimed the title of “Sir John” and claimed to be the 10th baronet. He married Rebecca Storm. He was the Master of the Union Workhouse at Whitby, she was the Mistress. His portrait hangs in the Pannet Gallery in Whitby. He was an amateur painter/artist. He had 4 sons: John, Philip, William (portrait by his father in Pannet Gallery) and Henry (Harry). The eldest was:

JOHN (1885-1910) He was a sailor and drowned off the coast of India. He is commemorated on the Lawson gravestone at St Mary’s Whitby ( now eroded).
PHILIP : the heir. (1891-1962)known as the 11th Bart. Served with his brothers in the Great War. His brother,Harry (1895-1916) died in that War. His brother William is referred to below*
Married Doris Boulby. His son:

JOHN PHILIP (1926-) known as the 12th Bart. Married Joan Alice Robinson.
His son:
DAVID PHILIP (b 1957) married Pamela Giblin

WILLIAM (1893-1946) brother of the above PHILIP. Of Whitby then St Albans. He was co-founder of Faith Craft works and designed and made ecclesiastical features and church fittings, including stained glass windows.
He married Winifred Maude Corble. His son was:

JOHN Nicholas (1932-2009). An artist and master craftsman, also. He had many prestigious ecclesiastical commissions, including the window in the west wall of Henry VII chapel, Westminster Abbey, and a window in Ripon Cathedral. Also commissions in the Middle East.
Spouse: Frances Baker. Children:
, Rebecca (b1969), Helena (b 1970) Dominic (b 1972)

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ZACHARIAH Garbutt (1752-1805) mariner of Whitby, father of Cpt William Garbutt

Married to………
ELEANOR Garbutt (1764-1819) wife of above and mother of Cpt Wm Garbutt

Surviving Children of the above couple with spouses:

1.Zachariah Garbutt (1791-1833) eldest surviving son of above, brother of Cpt Wm Garbutt

Married to……

Mary Lawson (1799- 1883) wife of above, sister in law of Cpt Wm Garbutt.
Children of this couple: several, including John Lawson Garbutt, seaman, born 1829, died in 1859, lost at sea on ship ‘Rosshire’.

2.WILLIAM Garbutt (1803-1837) captain, of ‘Canton’ died In wreck, Canada.

Married to……

JANE Lawson (1808-1837) died in wreck of ‘Canton’ with husband and infant son.

Children of the above couple….

3. ZACHARIAH (‘James’) Garbutt (1831-1913) eldest son of Cpt Wm Garbutt

married Dorothy Atkinson (1834-1914)
LUCY Garbutt (1834-37) Sister of above, died in infancy

WILLIAM Garbutt (1836-37) infant brother of above, died with parents in wreck of ‘Canton’.

4.WILLIAM Garbutt ( 1862-1944) son of Zachariah & Dorothy Atkinson grandson of Cpt William.
married Margaret Metcalf (1864-1951)
Ethel Garbutt and……..

5.WILLIAM Garbutt ( 1888-1975) ‘Will’ : great grandson of Cpt William
married Blanche Snowdon (1888-1961)
Margaret Garbutt, later Carr (1914-2009)
William Garbutt (b1922) ‘Bill’: gt gt grandson of Cpt William.
married (Doris) Marjorie Walker (b1923)
Children: Barbara Jean (b 1950)

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The Lawson family history is complicated and has been subject of disputes over the centuries ( see post ‘Discord over Inheritance’). This first list indicates the line of the Lawsons who inherited estates and property and who were given the status of baronets which had been recognised ‘officially’.

EDMUND Lawson , Died 1551 Esquire of Byker & West Matsen manors in Northumberland & Durham
Married Margaret Swynhowe
Son and heir:

RALPH 1547-1623 Heir to above estates.
Married Elizabeth, heir to Manor of Burgh ( Brough) near Catterick, Yorkshire. Knighted by James I in 1603
Son & heir:

ROGER who died in his father’s lifetime c 1613/14. Married Dorothy Constable of Burton Constable Family, Yorkshire.
Son and heir to his grandfather Ralph’s estates:

HENRY 1602-1635 Married Ann
Various children including
JAMES Inherited Burgh( Brough) but only briefly, as he died young.
HENRY. Inherited from his brother James. He was a Colonel in the Royalist Army during the Civil War and died at the battle of Melton Mowbray in 1644. He had one daughter only.
His Heir:

JOHN LAWSON, 1st BARONET of Brough Hall, died 1698. Inherited from his brother Henry. He was a Captain of horse in the Royalist Army. His Estates were confiscated by the Parliamentarians after they had won the Civil War and he went into exile with his family. Upon the restoration of the monarchy his estates were restored and he was made a baronet in 1665 by Charles II.
Married Catherine Howard, (1637-1668), sister of Charles Ist Earl of Carlisle.
They had many children but only two surviving sons who married and had issue:

1.HENRY 2nd BARONET (1653-1726). 2. WiLLIAM. Esq of City of York
Married Elizabeth. D 1728
Son: Son:
JOHN. 3rd BARONET (1689-1739). George
This line continues in Lawson: part2

His son& heir:

HENRY 4th BART(1712-1769) married Anastasia Maire, heiress.

His son & heir
JOHN 5th BART (1744-1811).
No male heirs so title and estates pass to 5th Bart’s younger brother who was:

HENRY (“Maire” Lawson) 6th BART (1750-1834)
On his death, he had no male heirs to succeed. The estate passed to his great nephew through the female line, William Wright, who assumed the name Lawson. The first baronetcy lapsed but in 1841 William was created a baronet in the second creation:

WILLIAM (“Wright”) Lawson (1796-1865) 1st BART in second creation
His heir:

JOHN (1829-1910) 2nd BART in ditto

His heir:
HENRY Joseph (1877-1947). 3rd BART in ditto. Married Ursula Mary Howard, of Corby Castle Cumbria.

His heir:
RALPH Henry (1905-1975). 4th BART in ditto. He had no male heirs so Brough Castle was left to his two daughters, jointly.

His younger brother inherited the title of baronet and the seat moved to Corby Castle:
WILLIAM HOWARD-LAWSON (1907-1990) 5th BART in ditto.
His son and heir:
JOHN PHILIP Howard-Lawson (b 1934) 6th BART in ditto. He assumed the use of the Howard name and arms in 1962 by Royal License. He then resumed the use of the Lawson name in 1992.
He sold Corby Castle in 1994.

His son is:

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