by Nicholas Michael - and many others
James Harper LAIDMAN1851 - 1920 (69 years)
Name James Harper LAIDMAN Born 8 Feb 1851 Hartley, NBL Gender Male Died 11 Nov 1920 Southampton, HAM Buried 15 Nov 1920 Southampton, HAM
- Southampton Old Cemetery
Person ID I1163 Our Family History Last Modified 4 Aug 2015
Father William LAIDMAN, b. 24 Mar 1810, Newcastle upon Tyne, NBL , d. 23 Jul 1871, Chirton, NBL (Age 61 years) Mother Mary HARPER, b. Abt 1815, Hartley, NBL , d. 7 Jun 1875, Chirton, NBL (Age ~ 60 years) Married 25 Aug 1838 Earsdon, NBL
- Earsdon Parish Church
- 1838. Marriage solemnized at Earsdon in the Parish of Earsdon in the Count_ of Northumberland
When married: August 25 1838
William Laidman, of Age, Batchelor, Draper, Hartley, [father] William Laidman, Mason
Mary Harper, of Age, Spinster, [no profession], Hartley, [father] John Harper, Merchant Sailor
Married in the Parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church by me, Henry Warkman / Minr. of Earsdon
This marriage was solemnized between us,
in the Presence of us,
Photos Earsdon Church April 1998 All Saints, Newcastle, 1998
where Anne was possibly buried in 1819. It was built by David Stephenson in 1786-1796, and succeeded a medieval church of the same name.
Newcastle, High Bridge 1998 Newcastle, Pilgrim Street 1998 North Shields, Rudyerd Street 23 William Street, North Shields
This was the family home at the time of the 1871 census. This is where both William and Mary died. Photo from showmystreet.com, 2012.
Family ID F423 Group Sheet | Family Chart
Family Hannah HEAD, b. 21 Nov 1853, Walker, NBL , d. 21 Nov 1936, Edgeware, MDX (Age 83 years) Married 2 Jun 1873 Longbenton, NBL
- Family bible
- 1873. Marriage solemnized at the parish Church in the parish of Long Benton in the County of Northumberland
When Married: June the Second 1873
James Laidman, 22, Bachelor, Iron Ship Builder, East Terrace, Low Walker, [father] William Laidman, Tailor
Hannah Head, 20, Spinster, [no profession], East Terrace, Low Walker, [father] John Head, Trimmer
Married in the parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church after Banns by me, Oliver Churchyard, Vicar
This Marriage was solemnized between us,
in the Presence of us,
Children 1. Mary Frances (Mamie) LAIDMAN, b. 15 Apr 1876, Walker, NBL , d. 2 Sep 1946, Southampton, HAM (Age 70 years) 2. William Harper LAIDMAN, b. 17 Oct 1878, Walker, NBL , d. 22 May 1901, Kingston, Surrey, Jamaica (Age 22 years) 3. James Harper LAIDMAN, b. 19 Apr 1883, Hull, YKS , d. 11 Dec 1964, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA, USA (Age 81 years) 4. John Edwin LAIDMAN, b. 19 Jun 1885, Hull, YKS , d. 25 Oct 1889, Tynemouth, NBL (Age 4 years) 5. Ethel LAIDMAN, b. 8 Mar 1887, Hull, YKS , d. 18 Jan 1970, Ipswich RD, SFK (Age 82 years) 6. Norah Kathleen LAIDMAN, b. 16 Mar 1889, Belfast, Northern Ireland , d. 16 Jul 1973, Colchester, ESS (Age 84 years) 7. John Head “Jack” LAIDMAN, MC, b. 16 Feb 1891, Tynemouth, NBL , d. 19 Jan 1953, Roehampton, LND (Age 61 years) 8. Frederick LAIDMAN, b. 27 Nov 1892, Heaton, NBL , d. 14 Jan 1893, Heaton, NBL (Age 0 years) 9. Arthur LAIDMAN, b. 27 Nov 1892, Heaton, NBL , d. 16 Jan 1893, Byker, NBL (Age 0 years) 10. Thomas Head LAIDMAN, b. 10 Apr 1894, Southampton, HAM , d. 19 Nov 1969, Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA, USA (Age 75 years) 11. Richard LAIDMAN, b. 30 Nov 1897, Southampton, HAM , d. 25 Jan 1953, Southampton, HAM (Age 55 years) Photos Southampton, Claremont in 2003 (69, The Avenue)
This is the last house that James Harper Laidman purchased in Southampton. Denise Anne Laidman and Ted Laidman remember it quite well. The figure in front is Thomas Hume Laidman.
James Harper and Hannah at their son John Head’s wedding in 1916
John Head Laidman at far left. Lilian Alice Marie Gordon holding bouquet. Lilian’s parents had died by this time, so I think the man in the bowler and the woman on his left are James Harper Laidman senior (1851-1920), and his wife Hannah Head (1853-1936). My mother Denise Anne Michael née Laidman confirms this. The fourth woman from the left, in a large hat is Ethel Laidman. The small photo is inscribed verso: “Jack’s wedding. June 14th”
Last Modified 21 Jun 2016 Family ID F422 Group Sheet | Family Chart
Event Map Born - 8 Feb 1851 - Hartley, NBL Married - 2 Jun 1873 - Longbenton, NBL Died - 11 Nov 1920 - Southampton, HAM Buried - 15 Nov 1920 - Southampton, HAM = Link to Google Earth
Photos Laidman James Harper Sen. 1916
Cropped from the wedding photo of his son John Head Laidman in 1916, and the only known photo of him.
Southampton, Old Cemetery 2003
This is the Anglican chapel in the Old Cemetery, Southampton, on The Avenue. The funeral ceremony described in James Harper Laidman’s obituary probably took place here.
Laidman James Harper, grave
James Harper Laidman’s grave in the Old Cemetery, The Avenue, Southampton, took a long time to find because the inscriptions were barely legible. The figures in the photo are Thomas Hume Laidman (JHL’s grandson) and Nicholas David Michael (JHL’s great grandson). Note the anchor sculpted in the crux, recalling JHL’s maritime career.
23 William Street, North Shields,
This was the family home at the time of the 1871 census (assuming this house was not built after that date). Photo from showmystreet.com, 2012.
- 1851 Census Returns HO107/2412 folio 228 page 14
Town of Hartley, Northumberland
William Laidman, head, married, 41, Master Taylor 2 Apprentices, born Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
Mary Laidman, wife, 37, born Hartley, Northumberland
Thomas Laidman, son, 11, scholar, born Hartley, Northumberland
William Laidman, son, 10, scholar, born Hartley, Northumberland
Jane Laidman, daur. 6, scholar, born Hartley, Northumberland
J. Harper Laidman, son, 4, born Hartley, Northumberland
J. Glensly [sic, for Grahamsley] Laidman, son, 2, born Hartley, Northumberland
James Harper Laidman, son, 2 months, born Hartley, Northumberland
Elizabeth Softly, servant, unmarried, 15, House Servant, born Hartley, Northumberland
1861 census return: RG9/3840 folio 23 page 41
7 Sidney St, Tynemouth
William Laidman, Head, Mard, 51, Tailor, born Northd. Newcastle
Mary Laidman, Wife, Mard, 47, do’s wife, born Northd. Hartley
Jane Laidman, Daur, Unmd, 16, born Northd. Hartley
George Laidman, son, Unmd, 12, Scholar, born Northd. Hartley
James Laidman, Son, Unmd, 10, Scholar, born Northd. Hartley
Ann Isabella Laidman, Daur, 8, Scholar, born Northd. Hartley
Margaret Laidman, Daur, 3, born Northd. Hartley
1871 census return: RG10/5114 folio 50, page 75.
23 William Street, North Shields
William Laidman, head, married, 61, Tailor, born Newcastle upon Tyne
Mary Laidman, wife, married, 57, born Northumberland, Hartley
Jane Laidman, daughter, unmarried, 26, born Hartley
George G. Laidman, son, unmarried, 22, Printer/Compositor, born Hartley
James H. Laidman, son, unmarried, 20, Iron Ship Plater, born Hartley
The marriage certificate to Hannah Head in 1873 shows his profession as "Iron Ship Builder". Witnesses to the marriage were James Sharpe and his sister, Jane Laidman.
The 1881 census shows him living at 21 Denham Terrace, Wallsend, occupation "Iron Ship Plater" with the word "Builder" added on! At the birth of his son John Edwin, however, he was living at 4 Naylors Row, Drypool, Hull. He certainly moved a lot, for the 1891 census return shows him living with his family at 36 Stanley Street, Blyth, Northumberland, occupation "Ship Builder". On Tyneside, he may well have worked for Swan & Hunter (established at Wallsend in 1880) or maybe Vickers Armstrong (at Walker).
1881 census return: RG11/5071 folio 4 page 5
21 Denham Terrace, Wallsend, Northumberland
James H. Laidman, head, married, 27, Iron Ship Plater (Builder), born Hartley, Northumberland
Hannah Laidman, wife, married, 27, born Walker, Northumberland
Mary F. Laidman, daur. 4, born Walker, Northumberland
William Laidman, son, 2, born Wallsend, Northumberland
[Note: Next door at no. 23 Denham Terrace were living Elizabeth Robson, née Head, and her family]
The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania), Thursday 5 January 1888
A new method of constructing stern and
rudder frames, invented by Mr. James
H. Laidman, of Hull, is announced, which
dispenses with the massive and costly forgings
that have hitherto been employed for that
purpose. The inventor forms both the stern
and rudder-frame of girder or channel-bars,
combined with light forgings or castings,
the whole being rivetted or connected together
by screw studs, forming a structure which is
lighter than the older form of solid frame,
while presenting an equal structural strength
for resisting the strains imposed upon a ship
so fitted when in a heavy seaway. The repairs
that may be rendered necessary by reason of
accident are obviously much more readily
performed, a great desideratum to the unfor-
tunate shipowner, who frequently has to
disburse a large sum for such repairs.
By 1891 the family had moved to Blyth, home to the Blyth Shipbuilding Company (established in 1853), one of the largest shipbuilding yards on the north east coast.
1891 census return: RG12/4237 folio 7 page 10
Northumberland, Blyth, 36 Stanley St.
James H. Laidman, Head, M, 40, Shipbuilder, Employed, born Northumberland Hartley
Hannah Laidman, Wife, M, 37, born Northumberland Walker
Mary F. Laidman, Daur, S, 14, Scholar, born Northumberland Walker
William Laidman, Son, S, 12, Scholar, born Yorkshire, Hull
Ethel Laidman, Daur, S, 4, born Yorkshire Hull
Norah K. Laidman, Daur, S, 2, born Ireland Belfast
John H. Laidman, Son, S, 2mo, born Northumberland Blyth
He must have moved to the South of England sometime between 1891 and 1901 (after a stay in Belfast, where his daughter Norah Kathleen was born in 1889), where, according to his obituary, he first worked for Day, Summers & Company, a steam locomotive manufacturer and shipbuilder in Northam. He subsequently worked for John I. Thornycroft in Southampton, although probably not before 1904, as Thornycrofts moved to Southampton only in June of that year.
1901 census return: RG13/1074 folio 53 page 5
The Avenue (St. Johns Villa), Shirley, Southampton
John [sic] Harper Laidman, head, married, 50, Ship builder (Manager), born Northumberland, Hartley
Hannah Laidman, wife, married, 47, born Northumberland, Walker
Mary F. Smith, daur. widow, 24, born Northumberland, Walker
James H. Laidman, son, 17, Ship Draughtsman, worker, born Yorkshire, Hull
Ethel Laidman, daur. 14 born Yorkshire, Hull
Norah Laidman, daur. 12 born Ireland, Belfast
John H. Laidman, son, 10, born Northumberland, Blyth
Thomas Laidman, son, 6, born Hants. Southampton
Richard Laidman, son, 3, born Hants. Southampton
Margaret Holden, serv. single, 16, General Servant Domestic, born Lancs. Liverpool
1911 census return: RG14PN5989 RG78PN274 RD99 SD2 ED1 SN38
Hampshire, Southampton, Claremont, The Avenue
Laidman, James Harper, Head, Married 38 years, M, 60, 1851, Shipbuilder - Manager, born Hartley Northumberland
Laidman, Hannah, Wife, Married, F, 57, 1854, born Walker Northumberland
Laidman, James Harper, Son, Single, M. 28, 1883, Shipbuilder, born Hull Yorkshire
Laidman, John Head, Son, Single, M, 20, 1891, Auctioneer, born Blyth Northumberland
Laidman, Norah Kathleen, Daughter, Single, F, 22, 1889, Governess, born Belfast Ireland
Laidman, Richard, Son, Single, M, 13, 1898, At School, born Southampton Hampshire
The family home in Southampton was "Claremont," The Avenue, the first mention of which we find in Kelly’s Directory of Southampton residents, 1904, although his 1901 census address in Shirley may also have been at this house. He was witness to his son John Head's marriage on 16 June 1916 where his occupation is stated as "Ship Builder". The Avenue would have been a grand place to live at this time. Claremont is today (2004) a cheap pizzeria, downstairs anyway.
From ‘100 Years of Specialized Shipbuilding and Engineering’ K.C. Barnaby. Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London 1964, for the John I. Thornycroft centenary 1964, pp 55-56: Drastic changes had to be made in the management. Hugh Callaway took over the General Managership from J. H. Laidman, who became Repairs Manager in the increasingly important Docks Branch.
The London Gazette, no. 32394, 19 July 1921, p. 5764:
Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership
heretofore subsisting between James Edgar
Wimshurst jointly with James Harper Laidman, de-
ceased, who, during the lifetime of the said James
Harper Laidman, carried on business as Consulting
Engineers and Naval Architects, at 14, Canute-road,
Southampton, under the style or firm of “WIMS-
HURST & LAIDMAN,” has been dissolved and as
from the twenty-fifth day of March, one thousand
nine hundred and twenty-one.—Dated this fourteenth
day of July, 1921.
The following obituary is from an unknown newspaper:
DEATH OF MR. JAMES LAIDMAN.
Well Known Southampton Shipbuilder.
The death took place this morning, at his residence, Claremont, The Avenue, of Mr. James Harper Laidman, in his 70th year. The deceased gentleman, who passed peacefully away in his sleep at dawn, had been suffering for several weeks from an internal complaint. His passing will be regretted by a wide circle of friends, for he was one of the best known figures in local shipping circles. His reputation as a shipbuilder was practically international. A Northumbrian by birth, he came to Southampton in the early nineties, being first associated with the firm of Messrs. Day, Summers & Co., Ltd., Northam Ironworks, and later with Messrs. John I. Thornycroft, Ltd. During the war his expert knowledge was turned to valuable account from a national standpoint by the conversion of many steamers into troopers and hospital ships. Mr. Laidman, who was also well known in Masonic and yachting circles, was a member of the Institute of Naval Architects and the royal Southampton Yacht Club. He possessed a most genial temperament, and was of a very generous disposition. He leaves a widow and seven children to mourn his loss.
His funeral sounds quite a grand affair. It was reported in the SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO, Monday November 15, 1920:
THE LATE MR. J.E. [sic] LAIDMAN
Funeral at Southampton
The funeral of Mr. James Harper Laidman, of “Claremont,” The Avenue, who died on Thursday last, took place at the Southampton Cemetery this morning. The chief mourners were Messrs. Jack, Tom, Dick, and Jim Laidman (sons). Others present were: Tom Bailey, Mr. Gascoigne, Mr. Holden, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Sellers, Dr. Foote, Mr. Allen, Mr. Winishurst, and Mr. Cottier.
The following members of the Boilermakers’ Society, some wearing their regalia, were present [there follows a long list of names...]. The Shipwrights were represented by Messrs. W. Tee, R. Childs, and C.E. Thompson, T.A.; Fitters by Messrs. A. Bennett and A. Baldwin; the Joiners by Messrs. A. Jones and A. Holloway; the Electricians by Messrs. G. Mead and T. Barrett; and the Plumbers by Messrs. W. Angel and S. Fry.
The service was conducted by the Rev. W. Bates, of St. Mark’s, and the remains were enclosed in a polished oak coffin with brass furniture. The plate bore the inscription “James Harper Laidman, died 11th November, 1920, aged 70 years.”
Wreaths were sent by the following:- Mrs. Laidman; Mr. and Mrs. James Laidman, junior; Mr. and Mrs. John Laidman; Mr. and Mrs. R. Laidman; Mr. and Mrs. T. Bailey and family; Mr. and Mrs. P. Tinn, and grand-daughter; Mr. Tom and Miss Norah Laidman; Mr. and Mrs. Head [there follows a long list of other people]... Troupe Curtis Ltd...; the Boilermakers’ Society; Shipwrights’ Dept. (Thorneycroft’s); Joiners (ditto); the Staff of Messrs. Thorneycroft’s Repair Department; the Royal Southampton Yacht Club...
THE HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER COUNTY NEWSPAPER, November 20th, 1920
has a similar report of the funeral, but with details of the wreaths:
...wreaths were sent by the following:- To my dear husband, from his loving wife; in ever loving memory of dear father, from Jack, Lilian, and little Denise; in loving memory of dear father, from Norah and Tommy; to dear father, with love from Ethel, Percy, and granddaughter Peggy; to father, from Mamie, Tom, and his grandsons Arthur and Douglas; in ever-loving memory of father, from Dick and Marjorie; in loving remembrance of dear father, from Jim and Bella; to our dear brother-in-law, from William and Rose; in loving remembrance of dear uncle, from his two nieces, Sally and Emily; in loving memory, from Harry and Lizzie, and his nephew, Canon Robson [...and many many others, including Thorneycroft’s, and:] to Uncle Jim, in fond remembrance, from Dick and Annie...
1851: Hartley, Tynemouth, Northumberland
1873: East Terrace, Low Walker, Northumberland
1881: 21 Denham Terrace, Wallsend, Northumberland
1883: 4 Naylor's Row, Dryport, Kingston upon Hull, Yorks
1891: Blyth, Tynemouth, Northumberland
1895: Not mentioned in Kelly’s Directory of Southampton residents.
1898: Southampton, 4 Britannia Road (Kelly’s Directory of Southampton & Neighbourhood, 1898)
1900: Southampton, 52 Denzil Avenue (Kelly’s Directory of Southampton & Neighbourhood, 1900)
1901: The Avenue (St. Johns Villa), Shirley, Southampton
1901-1903: St. John’s Villa (Kelly’s Directory of Southampton & Neighbourhood, 1901-1903)
1904: Claremont, The Avenue (Kelly’s Directory of Southampton & Neighbourhood, 1904)
1904: St. John’s Villa (Kelly’s Directory of Southampton & Neighbourhood, 1904)
1904-1920: Claremont, The Avenue, Southampton
Will: See doc. no. 431
Distribution account: See doc. 432
LAIDMAN James Harper of Claremont The Avenue Southampton died 11 November 1920 Probate London 25 February to the Public Trustee and Thomas Bailey managing director. Effects £7397 2s. 11d.
In September 2003 a visit to the disused Old Southampton Cemetery revealed James Harper Laidman’s monument after a very long search. It consists of a stone cross with a relief of an anchor in the crux, standing on a three stepped pedestal, bearing the following inscriptions:
In Loving Memory of
James Harper Laidman
Dearly Loved Husband of Hannah Laidman
Entered Rest on the Great Day
Also William Laidman
Oldest Son of the Above
Died Kingston Jamaica
May 22, 1901 Aged 22 Years
Also of Their Sons
John Head Laidman, MC Major RA Died Jan 19,1953
And Richard Laidman
Died Jan 25, 1953
Hannah Laidman Who Died Nov 21, 1936 Aged 84 Years
So When Breaks the Glorious Dawn
Middle Stone Mary Francis Bailey
Beloved Eldest Daughter
Died Sep 2, 1946
James Harper is also mentioned on his father’s monumental inscription in Preston Cemetery, North Shields:
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
OF NORTH SHIELDS,
WHO FELL ASLEEP IN JESUS JULY 23rd 1871
AGED 61 YEARS.
ALSO OF WILLIAM, SON OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED AT HAVANNA JUNE 21st 1861,
AGED 21 YEARS.
ALSO ANN ISABELLA, HIS DAUGHTER
DIED APRIL 18th 1864 AGED 11 YEARS.
ALSO JOHN HARPER, HIS SON
WHO DIED SEPTEMBER 28th 1867,
WHILE ON HIS PASSAGE CRONSTADT
AND IS INTERRED THERE,
AGED 21 YEARS.
ALSO MARGARET, HIS DAUGHTER
DIED AUGUST 29th 1869,
AGED 12 YEARS.
ALSO MARY, HIS WIFE
DIED JUNE 7th 1875, AGED 61 YEARS.
ALSO GEORGE GRAHAMSLEY, FOURTH
SON OF THE ABOVE, DIED AT HEATON MERSEY
MAY 29th 1882, AGED 42 YEARS.
THOMAS, ELDEST SON OF THE ABOVE,
DIED AT SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
MAY 29th 1902, AGED 63 YEARS
JAMES HARPER LAIDMAN, YOUNGEST SON OF THE ABOVE
DIED NOV. 11th 1920, AGED 69 YEARS.
- 1851 Census Returns HO107/2412 folio 228 page 14