Two names, many shared histories
John (1885-1910) was the eldest son of John Lawson of Whitby (1855-1924) who had become Master of the Union workhouse and who later styled himself ‘Sir John’ and 10th Baronet ‘de
The Lawson gravestone in St Mary’s churchyard is more or less obliterated. This is its transcript.
Sacred to the memory of
PHILIP LAWSON died 11 June 1833, aged 104 years
ELIZABETH -wife of JOHN LAWSON, draper, died 24 th Dec 1833 aged 63 years
Also the above JOHN LAWSON died 2nd February 1855 aged 90 years
Also JANE- daughter of JOHN and ELIZABETH LAWSON, with husband WILLIAM GARBUTT (master -mariner) and infant child, who were lost in brig ‘CANTON’ on Brian Island -October 1837
The ‘Canton’ was owned by John Lawson ( the elder). Its master was registered as ‘William Garbutt’. William was born on 1803 and died in 1837. He married one of the daughters of John, Jane Lawson.
The ‘Canton’ was a square-rigged coppered brig and its net tonnage was 273. John Lawson bought and registered it in 1830, the year of Jane’s marriage to William. Its certificate of registery was number 2 for that year. The ship was built in Whitby but was surveyed on the Clyde. It had a crew of twelve.
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.
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:
ZACHARIAH Garbutt (1752-1805) mariner of Whitby, father of Cpt William Garbutt
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
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’.
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: