Two names, many shared histories


Heritage

Here you will find posts that highlight the heritage and fortunes of the Garbutts and Lawsons.

  • Who’s Who in the Garbutt family?
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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)
    Children:
    Ethel Garbutt and……..

    5.WILLIAM Garbutt ( 1888-1975) ‘Will’ : great grandson of Cpt William
    married Blanche Snowdon (1888-1961)
    Children:
    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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  • Who’s who in the Lawson family? : part 1 “Lords of the Manor”

    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:
    PHILIP WILLIAM HOWARD

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  • The wreck of the Canton
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    In October 1837 ‘The Gleaner’, a local Canadian newspaper, published an account of the events surrounding the shipwreck of the Canton, that month.
    the information had been forwarded to their offices from “our correspondent at Harbour Maison, Magdalen Islands, 28th October”. This correspondent writes the account as a first hand witness; he had also interviewed survivors of the shipwreck.
    The following is the account:

    “the brig Canton, of Whitby, Garbutt, master left Gaspe, Oct 19, with a cargo of deals*,homeward bound, and struck on the west end of Brian Island. The Captain,accompanied by the boatswain, carpenter, and two seamen, left the wreck in the gig to land his wife and child on Brian Isand, since which they have not been heard of.
    About an hour after the gig left the brig, the mate, three seamen and 2 boys, left with the jolley boat, but could not effect a landing at Brian Island – but did here in safety.
    On the following morning the brig was driven over the east side of this island, laying among the breakers, where I left her on Wednesday last.
    On returning from the wreck I observed a boat on the shore, which induced me to land, and it proved to be the gig with Canton on her bows; it had been picked up by the inhabitants, with four oars and a trunk of wearing apparel,etc.
    As the mate informs me that nothing was taken in the gig when she first left the brig, I am led to suppose that they first effected a landing and returned, when in endeavouring to reach the shore a second time, the boat must have upset, and all hands perished.
    I have dispatched a vessel to Brian Island to bring off any person that may be there.
    29th – Since yesterday the bodies of two seamen have been picked up on the beach, and I am now using every means to obtain the remainder- Keefler’s Reading room”

    (*’deal’ is wood which was the return cargo on board the Canton. It is not known whether she was carrying cargo on her outward journey to the St Lawrence and Gaspe peninsula.)

    This account raises several questions:

    1)If the gig effected a landing on Brian island why did Cpt Garbutt not leave his wife and child there, before ( supposedly) returning to the Canton for the trunk?
    2) Was the mate correct in his understanding that the gig had NOT had the trunk on board when it left the brig for the first time?
    3) Why was the trunk of such importance that they decided to go back in dangerous conditions to the brig to retrieve it?
    4) Was there a return journey back to brig, in fact, or were all or some of the occupants of the gig drowned shortly after they left the brig?
    5) what are the conditions of the seas and coast like around Brian/ Brion island,in October.
    6) What happened to the wreck of the Canton? Was anything salvaged.
    7) Are there any other contemporary local accounts of this shipwreck or any official records, held locally?

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  • Garbutts of Whitby pre19th century
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    Captain William Garbutt was born in 1803. His mother’s name is on his indenture ( see previous post) where she is describes as ‘widow of York’.

    At the time of this post, her maiden name is unknown, but she appears to have died 3 years after William was indentured, in 1819, at the age of 55. This means that she was born in 1764. Eleanor’s husband is recorded in parish register as Zachariah, a name which was to recur several times within the Garbutt family. Zachariah Garbutt was a mariner ( a seaman or fisherman) of Whitby, born in 1752. He died in 1805, when this youngest son, William, was only 2 years old.

    From the parish records it appears that Zachariah and Eleanor had 6 children in total, of whom only possibly 3 survived. To complicate matters they appear to have given their first two children who died young, the same name as their sixth and final child: William. Looking at parish registers of this time and later, this seems to have been a common practice, but one which makes it difficult for those who are tracing family members!

    The couple’s first child ( William I) was born in 1785 and lived for a year, dying in 1786. It is likely that the next child ( William 2) was born in 1788 and that he too died, though to date his burial registration has not yet been uncovered. The third child was also a son, named Zachariah, born in 1791. He survived into adulthood and died at sea in 1833. Another child, Samuel, followed in 1795 but he too died after a year, in 1796. Then the couple had a daughter, Dorethy/ Dorothy, born in 1797, (date of death unknown as yet) Finally, in 1803, William Garbutt (later Captain) was born.

    This last William became a master mariner and married Jane Lawson, dying with her and their infant child in 1837 in the shipwreck of the Canton. William and Jane were related by both marriage and blood to Zachariah and Mary. Zachariah was William’s brother, born in 1791 and therefore 12 years older than William. He had married Jane Lawson’s sister, Mary, who had been born in 1799 and was therefore 9 years senior to Jane. Given that Zachariah Garbutt the father died in 1805 it is likely that Zachariah Garbutt, the elder brother who was also a mariner, took charge of supporting his widowed mother and her youngest child. It is also likely that Jane and William came to know each other through their married older siblings.

    Zachariah and Mary had several children, one of whom ( John Lawson Garbutt) also died at sea, like his father, and his uncle and aunt and baby cousin. The frequent occurrence of death at sea in the history of both the Garbutt and Lawson families through the 19th and even into the 20th century, shows how precarious this means of livelihood was. It would not be be surprising if other similar deaths were to be revealed in the record going back from Zachariah and Eleanor.

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  • Brough Hall
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    The following description is taken from the year 1890

    Situated near Catterick and Richmond in North Yorkshire, in an area known as Swaledale.

    In 1890 the township of Catterick embraced 1,694 acres of land on the south bank of the river Swale, belonging chiefly to Sir John Lawson, Bart.,Brough Hall. He is also lord of the manor.

    After the Norman conquest the manor and lands in this area were given to Alan the Red, first earl of Richmond, and were subsequently held by the De Burghs of Brough Hall. In the 17th century they passed, by marriage, to Ralph Lawson,Esq,. This gentleman was knighted by King James I. He was the son of Edmund Lawson of the Cramlington Hall Lawsons in Northumberland

    The first baronet of Brough Hall was Sir John Lawson (1635-1698) who was awarded the title by Charles II in 1665 after the Restoration of the monarchy and to acknowledge the privations John Lawson had suffered during, and after, the Civil War.

    The De Burghs and the Lawsons are buried in the chapel ( originally a chantry) of St James within the Church of St Anne. Here there are three ancient inscribed brasses to members of the former family, and several handsome tablets to those of the latter.

    Brough is a township of woods and meadows lying on the banks of the Swale. It comprises an area of 1,082 acres, the property of Sir John Lawson, Bart

    The Hall is a handsome stone mansion erected in the reign of Charles I and subsequently enlarged by the addition of two side wings by Sir John Lawson in the 18th century.

    A short distance from the Hall is the Catholic church, erected in 1834-7 at the expense of the baronet.

    (From Bulmer’s ‘History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890))

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  • Discord over inheritance? Claims to the baronetcy of Brough Hall.

    Discord over inheritance?

    The Lawson baronetcy of Brough had two creations. The first was in 1660 and the second was after 1834 when the sixth baronet of the first creation died, leaving no direct heirs.

    Later, in 1907, John Lawson of Whitby (1885-1924) a descendant of the 1st Baronet announced in the local Whitby paper that he was resuming the title of ‘Sir John’ by right of his descent. The full text of the notice he had published is below.

    COPY OF NOTICE PUBLISHED IN THE PRESS

    ​Notice is hereby given that I, John Lawson of Whitby Co. Yorks, have by deed poll dated the 24th of June, 1907 assumed as my lawful right the rank style and title of Sir John Lawson of Whitby in the County of York, Baronet which rank style and title was conferred upon my ancestor Sir John Lawson of Burgh Hall Co. York aforesaid by King Charles II by Letters Patent dated 6 July, 1665, the said Baronetcy having descended regularly to the late Sir Henry Lawson of Burgh Hall who died sine prole in 1834 (when the title became vested in the issue of William Lawson Esquire, the second surviving son Of Sir John Lawson 1st Baronet) leaving John Lawson the Elder of Whitby aforesaid Gentleman great-grandson and heir of the said William Lawson, his heir at law. I the said John Lawson of Whitby aforesaid being the great-grandson, and heir at law of the said John Lawson the Elder, Gentleman.

    The aforesaid deed poll was executed in lieu of recording my pedigree in the College of Arms as required by the order of his late Majesty King George III dated sixth December, 1782, such order having been subsequently revoked by his said Majesty so far related to Baronetcy’s created prior to 1783. Dated 24th June 1907,

    (Signed) John Lawson.

    Witness: David Gordon Walker
    34 Esk Terrace
    Whitby
    Accountant.

    The notice refers to ‘John Lawson the Elder of Whitby’ as the great grandfather of the 1907 John Lawson. In the Garbutt/ Lawson family tree, he is also the great grandfather of William Garbutt (1862-1944). William and John Lawson (1907) were therefore second cousins.

    Who was the rightful heir to the Baronetcy?

    Dating from the 1830s or even before that, there had been long-running resentment and dispute over who was the legitimate heir to the baronetcy of Brough. The lines of inheritance had been clear, from the 1st baronet up to the 5th baronet, Sir John (1712-1781).
    The 6th baronet (Henry Maire Lawson 1750-1834) was the younger brother of the 5th baronet. The 5th baronet had married twice but his only living heirs were both female. The 6th baronet succeeded to the title in 1811 but had left no issue when he died in 1834. However, he had made a will naming his successor as his great nephew, William Wright (1796-1865). William was the grandson of the 5th baronet through one of the latter’s two daughters, Elizabeth. He adopted the name Lawson when he inherited the Brough estates in 1834 and became the 1st baronet in the second creation in 1841. He strengthened his claim to the estates by marrying his second cousin,Clarinda Catherine Lawson, granddaughter and heiress to John Lawson of Bath, the younger brother of the 4th Baronet. Thus, both William and Clarinda were the great grandchildren of the 3rd baronet, but neither were direct male descendants.

    This being the case, there was likely to have been discontent amongst direct male descendants of the 1st baronet when the estates and titles were bestowed upon William Wright. The 1st baronet, John, had had several sons and daughters but his fourth son, William, was actually his second surviving son. This William, “Esquire of the city of York”, inherited an annuity of £30 from his father in 1698 and then £10 from his brother Henry (2nd baronet) in 1726. In 1719 William enrolled his estates by deed and his will was dated 1728.

    William’s great-grandson, was the first John Lawson of Whitby (‘The Elder’ 1756-1855). He must have felt that he was entitled to the title as he styled himself ‘Sir John’, even though he was a tradesperson ( a draper). However, it was his great grandson who published his intention to be called ‘Sir John’ in the press in 1907 ( see above). The father of John Lawson the Elder had been Philip who was the great grandson of the 1st baronet via William (Esquire of York) and Philip had lived to the remarkable age of 104. ‘Old’ Philip ( as he was known) was born in 1729, a year after William Lawson, his grandfather, had died, and only 31 years after the death of the 1st baronet. So Old Philip and his family would be very aware of their close kinship with the 1st Baronet. Indeed, because of his longevity, Philip would have been alive at the time that the estates and title passed to the 5th and 6th baronets, and he would surely have known that neither had a direct male heir to inherit. Philip died a year before the 6th baronet, but his son and family must have been very aware of their own entitlement and also the will ( dated 1726) of the 2nd baronet who had entailed “his estates to his male heirs forever”

    In 1907 Philip Hugh Lawson (b 1887) published the family tree that he had been researching on behalf of the claim of his uncle, John Lawson of Whitby, to the baronetcy (see quoted text above). In 1904 and 1907 press reports and letters to newspapers appear to show a heightened interest in this research and this branch of the family assumed by deed poll the ‘name, rank and title of ……baronet. This was “de jure” ( i.e. as a right of law, rather than a fact of law). Brough Hall and its estates actually belonged to the descendants of William Wright Lawson (1st baronet of second creation). Nevertheless, John Lawson of Whitby styled himself 10th baronet. His son Philip (b 1891) was styled the 11th baronet, and his grandson John Philip of Hull (b 1926) was the 12th baronet.

    An ironic footnote?

    The rather ironic footnote to these disputes and claims is that, in recent times, there has been discord within baronetcy of the second creation, that is amongst the descendants of William Wright Lawson (1796-1865). This branch married again into the Howard family and were known later as Howard-Lawson. Their seat was at Corby Castle in Cumbria and the 6th baronet of the second creation is Sir John Philip Howard Lawson (b1934). He was in a long running legal dispute with his son Philip (b1961) over the sale of Corby Castle which, Philip claimed, had been illegally sold by his father. However, Philip lost the costly case in March 2012.

    What happened to Brough Hall?

    Brough Hall was inherited by the two daughters of the 4th baronet of the second creation (1905-1975). At the present time its ownership has not been established by the current writer but there is promotional video that shows some of its current interior, available on utube.

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    Picture of ‘Sir’ John Lawson (1855-1924), master of Union Workhouse, Whitby.

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  • Possible origins of surname of Lawson
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    The surname Lawson is taken from ‘Law’ and denotes someone who is the ‘son of law’. The most likely source of the name is either from the name Lawrence believed to have originated from a person who lived near a laurel tree or from the Old English word hlaw meaning a hill and therefore a person ‘the son of who lived on or near the hill’.

    Records indicate that the earliest use of the Lawson name was documented in the 14th century in Upper Littondale, Yorkshire, an area close to the present day villages of Litton and Arncliffe on the River Skirfare, a tributary of the River Wharfe. Surnames or ‘add-on’ names can generally only be traced back to this time in history when they were adopted in order to distinguish individuals of the same forename. From that time the surname was handed down from father to son and occasionally from mother to son.

    It is believed that the Lawson name spread from this area to the remainder of Yorkshire and throughout several adjoining Counties in Northern England. Records also indicate that the Lawson name existed in Scotland from 14th century where it was most commonly found in Lowland Eastern Counties. In Scotland Lawson families have links with the McLaren Clan.

    It is probable that more than one original source of the name exists. The Lawson name today is found commonly in all English speaking countries. There is evidence that the Lawson name was adopted from the European (mostly Scandinavian) name Larsen and similar surnames when emigration to the British Isles took place.

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  • Catholicism
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    Until about 1778 Roman Catholicism was a religion that faced official mistrust and prohibition, even though it had remained strong in the north and in Yorkshire since the Reformation two centuries before. No Catholic could sit in Parliament until the1829 Roman Catholic Relief Act. However, from 1778 onwards a Catholic could own property, inherit land and join the army, all forbidden previously.

    The Lawson family of Brough Hall were one of the oldest Roman Catholic families in Yorkshire. The first Baronet had been forced abroad in 1653 during the Commonwealth, but he rewarded for his loyalty to the Crown with the baronetcy at the Restoration of Charles II. However, several of his sons served abroad and his youngest son, Thomas became a Catholic priest.

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    The first baronet’s great grandson was ‘Old Philip’ (b 1729) of Egton near Whitby, so- called because Philip lived to 104. He attended the mass room at Egton, a place where recusants could worship, but not a recognised church as such. In fact, from the mid 18th century marriages that were celebrated in a Catholic or other non-conformist rite ( excepting Quaker and Jewish) had to be formalised again in the established Anglican Church, or they were illegal. The earliest mass rooms in Egton Bridge ( 17 th and 18th centuries) were in the roof space of a tiny cottage and also the house of local Catholic gentry, the Smiths, at Bridgeholme Green. In 1797 Thomas Smith donated land for a partially constructed Catholic chapel, one of the first in England to be built following the Catholic Relief Act of 1791. In 1800 the size of the Egton Catholic congregant was about 300, a number that was to remain largely unchanged for the first 30 years of the 19th century.

    In Whitby also, St Hilda’s was a meeting place (‘mass room’) rather than a church building. This was the time of the French Revolution and in the 1790s a Catholic ‘mission’ had been established in Whitby by Jesuits and others, many of whom were fleeing Revolutionary France. Between 1794 and 1805 the Catholic congregation was using a room above a stonemason’s warehouse in Baxtergate as the mass room. But in 1805 a chapel was built in Walker Street, Bagdale. This building remained in use after the present church of St Hilda’s RC was built in 1866/7, and it was only demolished in 1958.

    The priest in charge of the Whitby chapel,from 1816 to 1830, was Father George Leo Haydock. He had previously served at Ugthorpe, and would have known the Catholic families of Egton, Ugthorpe and Whitby. His name appears in connection with property owned in Flowergate and rented by Mary Garbutt. Could he have perhaps married Jane and William in 1830?

    John Lawson (‘the Elder of Whitby’ b 1765), took advantage of the increasing emancipation offered in 1829 and established himself as a draper in Bridge Street Whitby. By 1836 he is appearing on the list of householders allowed to vote under the 1832 Great Reform Act. John Lawson married Elizabeth Readman at Egton, but their children were baptised in the newly dedicated ‘chapel’of St Hilda’s.The couple had seven children in all, including Jane Lawson( b1808) who married William Garbutt.

    The son of Jane and William, Zachariah ( ‘James’) Garbutt, did not continue in the Catholic faith. However, his aunt Frances Jackson, Jane’s sister, wrote to him in 1875 and asked him to consider returning to the faith: something he did not do.

     

     

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  • Garbutt and Lawson family connections
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    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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  • Legacy of misfortune: a summary of historical family research
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    A brief gravestone message, some rather battered Regency indentures and a watercolour miniature: all these have led to an historical exploration that has taken me back to both Whitby, Yorkshire, and Canada in the early nineteenth century, and may yet lead me back to the time of Captain Cook.

    High up on the windswept cliff which is St Mary’s churchyard in Whitby there is a now totally eroded gravestone that stands as an 193 year old record of a local family, the Lawsons. One later descendant of this family,  a workhouse master who styled himself ‘Sir’ John Lawson,  lost his son to the sea in 1910, as the gravestone starkly commemorates. His great-great grandfather, Philip Lawson, born in 1729, who died at the remarkable age of 104, is also buried on this spot. It was the Lawsons buried or named here, that led me to a journey of discovery about my own great-great-great grandfather, Captain William Garbutt, master mariner of Whitby.

    The Lawsons were drapers in Whitby at the beginning of the 19th century. John Lawson had a shop in Bridge Street which he ran with his son, another John. A bill of 1830 on headed notepaper describes him as a:

    Linen and Woollen Draper
    Silk Mercer, Hosier and Haberdasher
    Tailor, Habit & Pelisse maker
    Ladies Habits & Pelisses Elegantly embroidered.
    Mourning and Servants Liveries made at a few hours notice
    in the LONDON STYLE & Fashion
    Funerals completely Furnish’d

    This bill dated November 1830, was probably to his daughter Jane ( ‘Mrs Wm Garbutt) for pantaloons and callico muslin purchased in July and September and coincides with the period of her marriage.

    John and Elizabeth Lawson ( nee Readman) had seven children in all, and Jane, the youngest daughter, was born in August 1808. The family were Roman Catholic at a time when Whitby’s Catholic population had been significantly increased by the proselytising of a French priest who had escaped the French Revolution in the 1790s. However, the Lawsons had been Catholic for several generations, and John and Elizabeth had been married in 1792 at Egton, near Whitby, where John’s father, ‘old Philip’ as he was locally known, attended one of the few Catholic ‘mass rooms’ in the area.

    John and Elizabeth brought up their children as Catholics and they were all baptised in the newly dedicated mass room ( much later, church) of St Hilda’s in Whitby.The Catholic community, still not totally emancipated at the start of the 19th century, was probably close-knit. Interestingly John Lawson appears on the 1834 Poll register of those men who own property and who are therefore entitled to vote, following the Great Reform Act of 1832 and final Catholic emancipation awarded in the Catholic Relief Act of 1829. His property at Bridgestreet is cited as giving him voting entitlement, though he was also living at Bagdale, Whitby at this time.

    Unsurprisingly then, when in 1830 Jane married William Garbutt, master mariner, the marriage took place at St Hilda’s and the children that followed were all baptised there. This fact was to be of note in the later history of the Garbutt family. Mary Lawson, Jane’s sister, appears to have married a Garbutt as well, and as she was about 9 years older than Jane, it is highly probable that she was already married at the time of Jane’s marriage to William. This Mary appears in the 1851 census with her father, John, and daughter, another Mary (Elizabeth Mary). She seems to have lived all her life in Flowergate,Whitby and her husband was Zachariah Garbutt. He too was a mariner who died in 1858 near India, presumably on a voyage. It is possible that Mary and Jane had married brothers, or family relatives, though of course there were many Garbutts in Whitby at this time. Nevertheless, the link with the sea, and the fact that this Zachariah appears to have been captain of several ships, would suggest that he and William were closely related.

    However, unlike Jane, we know little of the family of her husband William Garbutt. A miniature water colour portrait does exist of him, a sandy haired man, probably in his late twenties, with a slightly receding hairline and very blue eyes. He is dressed soberly and smartly and one wonders of the portrait was painted perhaps at the time of his wedding to Jane; or perhaps when he took command of his own ship. He was born in Whitby in 1803 and his mother’s name which appears on his indenture in 1816, is Eleanor ‘a widow of Whitby’. It is possible that his father was another Zachariah Garbutt as this name repeats itself in following generations.

    William’s indenture papers of 1816 ( “in the fifty sixth reign of our sovereign Lord King George the third”) record that he was apprenticed at the age of 12 1/2 to Edward Chapman. The apprenticeship was contracted for 6 years, for a total payment of £40 rising by an annual £5 in the first two years of his apprenticeship to £9 in the final year. The apprenticeship undertook to provide William with board, laundry, lodging and instruction “in the art or business of a seaman or mariner” during the months when ships went to sea. During the winter “when the ship to which he shall belong shall lay by unrigged”, he was to be paid a retainer of 4 shillings a week but would have to “maintain himself or be maintained by his friends”. Eleanor, whilst present at the signing of the indenture, does not sign herself, nor make her mark. William signs it in a well-shaped, clear copperplate hand that shows elegance and neatness and contrasts significantly with that of his future master, suggesting that William was schooled to a certain level.

    In June 1819 his apprenticeship was transferred to George Willis captain of the ‘Economy’ who undertook the 3 remaining apprenticeship years. William would complete his training in 1822 when he would be about 19 years old. He was possibly a master mariner on several ships in Whitby before his father-in-law John Lawson purchased the ‘Canton’ registered in 1830, the year of William’s marriage to Jane at the age of 27.

    If, as seems likely, the Lawsons knew the Garbutts and perhaps were already related by marriage to them, John Lawson would appear to have embraced and promoted William, or to have regarded him sufficiently worthy of investment. It is therefore rather fitting that William’s only memorial in death is the Lawson gravestone, mentioned amongst all the other Lawson generations. Both Jane and William and their infant child ( another William) are merely recorded on the stone as having been:
    “Lost in brig ‘Canton’ on Brian Island- October 1837″

    Yet what story lay behind this tragedy? Why were Jane and a one year old child on board the square rigged brig at this time of year, a likely time of storms and dangers? Where was the Canton going? Where was Brian Island? Who else was on board ship and how did they lose their lives?

    A search of insurance and marine records, and international, national and local archives led to an unfolding of answers to these questions and, as each piece of the puzzle was completed, new learning was acquired. The ‘Canton’ had been registered in Whitby but surveyed on the Clyde. So it was likely to have sailed from a western rather than an eastern coast. It was registered as ‘lost’ in December 1837 by Lloyd’s insurance, not in October as the gravestone had recorded. When had it set sail, however, and to where? Was Brian Island in British coastal waters? No one seemed to have heard of it. What was the purpose of the ‘Canton’ journey and would this give a clue as to its destination?

    The knowledge that the brig had sailed out of a western port led to the realisation that the voyage was probably west, to Canada, at this time a popular destination for British trading ships. The early 19th century had seen a growth of emigration to Canada at the time when the Government was encouraging this for domestic political and economic reasons. Between 1828 and 1834 ( the very years when the Canton would be making voyages) several Whitby ships sailed to the St Lawrence carrying emigrants from the district. Moreover, trade in timber and other goods out of the St Lawrence made it a two-way traffic. There were losses too. In 1835 the ‘Majestic’ sailed from Whitby for Quebec carrying mules, and the ship was lost on passage up the St Lawrence at Brandy Pots, Hare Island. The hunch that the ‘Canton’ had been following a similar route was confirmed by the Guildhall Library which reported an entry in Lloyd’s loss book 1837-39 dated Tuesday 12th December 1837. It stated that the ‘Canton’, Garbutt, was on a voyage from Gaspe to Britain and was lost. No exact position or date was given in this report. However, Gaspe lies on the eastern coast of Quebec.

    A study of the atlas for Brian Island produced nothing of that name in the above area; until, that is, the discovery of a tiny island in the French speaking Magdalen islands : Brion Island. Again, the gravestone has misled, recording a mistranslation of the name, suggesting that the information on it had been carried by word of mouth to Whitby: not surprising at a time when the town had no local newspaper. Perhaps it would be possible now to unravel the mystery of the final hours of the ‘Canton’ on that fateful journey.

    The search now shifted to Newfoundland where a Maritime History Archive had been established at the University with a mandate to collect and preserve original documents and copies of documents relating to the history of sea-based activities in the North Atlantic region. Many of the records formerly held in Britain had been moved to this archive. This source led to another, at the Musee de la Mer in the Iles de la Madeleine, revealing the last part of the ‘Canton’ story.

    The ‘Canton’, a coppered brig, tonnage 273, had a crew of twelve on that fateful journey, including William Garbutt, its master.On board also were Jane and the infant William. On 14th November 1837, on its homeward journey from Gaspe to Britain, the ship ran into difficulties on the north west of Brion Island. William, Jane and the baby left the floundering ship ” in the gig” with four of the crew: they were never seen again. The mate and five of the crew reached Magdalen island in the ‘jolly’ boat. It was presumably through these survivors that word reached Halifax, Nova Scotia, and then Lloyd’s Insurers in London in December 1837. News of the loss must have reached Whitby around this time though the date of the shipwreck was never accurately recorded there.

    William and Jane had two children who had not accompanied them on the fateful voyage.Their middle child was Lucy who had been baptised in St Hilda’s on 30 th March 1834. Their eldest child was Zachariah Garbutt, baptised on 5th January 1831.This Zachariah, my great- great- grandfather, was six when his parents and youngest sibling died. He appears to have been left in the care of the Lawsons, and perhaps his grandfather, John Lawson, was his guardian. Lucy died in June 1837, at the age of three. “Flowergate” in Whitby is given as her place of residence at the time of her death, and this is where Mary Garbutt (nee Lawson) also lived. Perhaps the sisters and their husbands were neighbours, or they might have shared a house. Interestingly, Lucy’s death occurred only a month or so before her parents and baby brother set sail on the ‘Canton’ and it might be reasonable to conjecture that her death played a part in Jane’s decision to go with her husband on that voyage.

    Zachariah was apprenticed at the age of fifteen and a half to John H Robinson, a Whitby grocer ( and possibly a ship’s chandler) and it was his grandfather, John Lawson,who signed the indenture papers. However, there seems to have been a parting of the ways between grandson and grandfather and, probably in the 1850s or even earlier, Zachariah moved to Hartlepool, and eventually to Sunderland where he married and settled. My aunt Margaret (b 1914 and the great granddaughter of Zachariah) recorded that:
    “According to gran, Zachariah was indeed a “black sheep”. She seemed to think that he had inherited money at a young age and spent it on drink. In fact, she said, he was well known for tumbling down the famous steps ( in Whitby) and once threw his gold watch into the water…….the way Gran put it was that, having had money to be his own boss, he finished labouring for other people.”

    When Zachariah moved to Hartlepool he may have indeed had money difficulties. There is an itemised bill which records money owed by him to the business of his grandfather and uncle. Possibly all had to be settled at the time of John Lawson’s death in 1855 at the age of 90. Already living at Hartlepool was his aunt Frances Jackson (nee Lawson), Jane’s elder sister, born in 1806. Later, in 1875, she wrote to Zachariah, now living in Sunderland and using the name Jim or James, appearing as such on the 1911 census. Frances had recently re-met Zachariah and his wife, Dorothy ( Atkinson) and their children and she remarks that she is:
    ” truly glad to see you getting on again”. The main thrust of her letter is to urge him back to the Catholic faith. She ends: ” excuse me presuming to say this much to you- but I feel it is what your poor mother would wish me to say to you in her name could she speak to me – she was called suddenly away and had not the opportunity of training you to God….”

    Despite this exhortation, Zachariah and his family did not re-embrace Catholicism, nor did they return to the Whitby area but remained in Sunderland until the present generation. Their son, another William became an engine driver in the north east, and his son, (William again) was a clerk in the Sunderland ship yards. My father, yet another William became a head teacher in the town. All, apart from the Master mariner whose life was so tragically curtailed, have shown longevity!
    I, however, have lived in North Yorkshire for 40 years and my family was born here. Since I am the direct descendant of William and Jane, and the last of one male line, there is a sense of the completion of an almost 200 year cycle which might have been broken irretrievably in 1837 had not Zachariah been left in the care of his Lawson relatives.

    The photographs below are a miniature ( c 1830) of Captain William Garbutt , and a silhouette of his wife Jane Garbutt ( nee Lawson)
    .

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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)
Children:
Ethel Garbutt and……..

5.WILLIAM Garbutt ( 1888-1975) ‘Will’ : great grandson of Cpt William
married Blanche Snowdon (1888-1961)
Children:
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:
PHILIP WILLIAM HOWARD

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