Two names, many shared histories

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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 Gorden Walker
34 Esk Terrace



THE LAWSON BARONETCY:- A correspondent writes to the “York Evening Press” as follows:- “With reference to your remarks concerning the recent death of Lady de Burgh Lawson in your paper of the 22nd July, I should like to correct your statement that the eldest son of the late Sir Henry de Burgh resides in North America and claims to be the ninth Baronet. This is not the case, as according to Debrett, he died last year, and the present representative resides near Bridlington. Having seen the pedigree compiled by the late Plantaganet Harrison, of the late claimant, whose father came from the Whitby district, the connection you refer to with the younger son of the first Baronet, appears to be entirely erroneous, as the family were settled in Whitby previous to the creation of the Baronetcy; in fact, the pedigree is full of discrepancies. I believe there is another family of Lawsons, who formerly resided at Egton, near Whitby, who are more likely to have originated from the Brough family, as they were Catholics, and came to that district nearly 200 years ago.”The foregoing opens up a very interesting piece of genealogy. The Whitby branch of the family, the descendants of the late Mr. Philip Lawson, who lived to be 104, always considered themselves to be the true heirs to the Baronetcy. They came originally from Egton, as stated above.

From the “Whitby Gazette” dated December 23rd, 1904.
As our readers will be aware, a wide publicity has recently been given in the press to a workhouse master’s claim to a Baronetcy. This gentleman is Mr. or rather Sir John Lawson, workhouse master at Whitby, for he has now successfully established his claim, having assumed the Baronetcy by deed poll. dated 24th June last. To Cestrians, the fact has a special interest, in as much as the new baronet has a twin brother Mr. William Lawson who resides at Newton. The baronetcy which has been thus revived belongs to a Yorkshire family, whose ancestry extends back in an unbroken line for a thousand years. It was conferred upon John Lawson of Burgh Hill, near Catterycke, by King Charles II for his loyalty and service, and his sufferings during the commonwealth.

From the “Middlesex Chronicle” July 13th, 1907.

A Townsman’s Long Ancestry

Our worthy townsman, Mr. Arthur Lawson, the well-known optician, of No.83 Highstreet, who has carried on business here for nearly 15 years, recently received the surprising and pleasing news that his family had successfully established their right to one of the most ancient baronetcies in the United Kingdom. Mr. Arthur Lawson is the third son of an old Whitby family, and it appears that there had long been a tradition amongst them that they were entitled to a baronetcy. Mr. Lawson’s father was often urged to put forward his claim to the honour. He was legally advised that he had every chance of success, but for various reasons he declined to make the venture. Mr. Lawson has two brothers older than himself, John and William, who are twins. Mr. John Lawson has for many years been master of the Whitby Union Workhouse, but it was not until recently that he could be induced to put in a claim for the lost title. That he did so, seems to have been stimulated by the son of his twin brother, who instituted inquiries that left no doubt on the matter. After the claim had been investigated by the proper tribunal, it was declared valid and the Master of the Whitby Union Workhouse has now become Sir John Lawson Baronet. The history of this baronetcy is highly romantic and interesting, and we are indebted to the “Whitby Gazette” and the following particulars concerning it: (Here follows an extract from the “Whitby Gazette”)

The Lawson Baronetcy – To the Editor of the Middlesex Chronicle

Dear Sir,
With reference to correspondence “Lawson Baronetcy” in your paper, I should like to state that the pedigree in the “Whitby Gazette” is quite correct in giving Sir John Lawson seven sons, and therefore your correspondent “A.P. Gwilym” is quite right in supporting it. M.A., F.S.A. complains of not a shred of authoritative support, and says that Sir John only had three sons. To be accurate, he had seven sons and five daughters, namely John, Henry, Charles, William, Ralph, Phillip, Thomas, Catherine, Mary, Anne, Elizabeth and Frances. See the visitation of Yorkshire recently enlarged and amplified in the Genealogist and Wottens English Baronetage 1727. The pedigree enrolled in chancery quoted by M.A., F.S.A. must be incorrect:-

6th August, 1907. Yours truly,

From the “Cheshire Observer” July 13th, 1907.
Know all whom this may concern that whereas His Majesty King Charles II by his letters patent bearing date the 6th day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and sixty-five conferred the rank, style and title of a Baronet upon John Lawson of Burgh Hall near Catterycke in the County of York Esquire and the heirs male lawfully begotten of his body and whereas the said Sir John Lawson Baronet had issue by Catherine Howard his lawful wife four sons namely, John Lawson, Henry Lawson, Charles Lawson and William Lawson. That the said John Lawson, eldest son of the said Sir John Lawson died in the lifetime of his father without heirs lawfully begotten of his body. That the said Henry Lawson second son aforesaid succeeded his father in the Baronetcy that the said Charles Lawson third son aforesaid died without heirs, lawfully begotten of his body. And whereas upon the death of the late Sir Henry Lawson of Burgh Hall aforesaid Baronet in 1834 who died without heirs lawfully begotten of his body all the heirs make lawfully begotten of the said Henry Lawson, second son of the said Sir John Lawson who was created a Baronet as aforesaid became entirely extinct and ended. That John Lawson the Elder of Whitby in Co. of York Gentleman being the great-grandson of the said William Lawson, fourth son of the said Sir John Lawson and heir male to the said Sir Henry Lawson aforesaid thereupon became the right and lawful heir to the said Baronetcy. And whereas I John Lawson of Whitby aforesaid and the son and heir of John Nicholas Lawson, son and heir of the said John Lawson the Elder of Whitby aforesaid Gentleman and now and stand the heir male lawfully begotten of the body of the said Sir John Lawson and am accordingly by right of blood and inheritance lawfully entitled to the said Baronetcy under the special limitations of the said letters patent whereby the Baronetcy was so created as is fully set forth within my pedigree and whereas I consider it a sacred duty which I owe to the memory of my ancestors and for the future benefit and welfare of my family to assume and take unto myself and the heirs male lawfully begotten of the said Sir John Lawson Baronet the said title of a Baronet. Now be it known that I the said John Lawson have assumed the said Baronetcy and will hereafter be known by the name, rank, style and title of Sir John Lawson of Whitby in the Co. of York Baronet.

Given under my hand and seal at Whitby aforesaid this twenty-fourth day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven.
(Signed) John Lawson.

Witness: David Gordon Walker
34 Esk Terrace


(Copy of the Deed Poll whereby Sir John Lawson, the 10th Baronet assumed the title June 24th, 1907)

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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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