NameMitford LAIDMAN , 2567, L1011
Birth12 Jun 1711, Woodhorn, NBL
Baptism18 Oct 1711, Mitford, NBL Age: <1
Bapt MemoMr John Laidman. Clerk. Mitford
Baptism6 Oct 1711, Woodhorn, NBL Age: <1
Bapt MemoMitford may have been baptised twice at two different churches. However, with the mistakes there are on the I.G.I. there is the possibility that one of the churches may have been incorrect, and therefore the entry was inserted again, this time correctly. The Mormons do not delete the incorrect entry when it is discovered; they simply insert what they believe to be the correct entry, and this can happen several times.
Death1746, Morpeth, NBL
Burial28 Aug 1746, Morpeth, NBL
Burial Memo‘Charity’
OccupationMerchant
FatherRev. John LAIDMAN , 2545, K1007 (1680-1745)
MotherChristian MITFORD , 2688 (ca1680-1743)
Misc. Notes
Masters & Apprentices register for Northumberland1741-1745:
Page 149
1742/3
Jany: 4
[No.] 22
Midford Laidman of Morpeth Merch: Saml: Son of Saml: Arthur

In late 1742 Mitford sued one Thomas Davison of Morpeth for libel, viz:

Decr. 10
Laidman
I.Wm. Examn.

Laidman v Davison

In the Name of God Amen! Before you the Worshipfull
Richard Chandler Master of Arts Vicar General of the
Right Reverend Father in God Edward by Divine
Providence Lord Bishop of Durham and official Principal
of his Consistorial and Episcopal Court Lawfully appointed
your Surrogate or some other Competent Judge in this behalf
The Proctor of Midford Laidman of the Parish
of Morpeth & Diocese of Durham against Thomas
Davison of the Parish & Diocese aforesd.
and against any other person or persons whatsoever lawfully
Intervening or Appearing in Judgment for [blank space] by way of
Complaint and hereby Complaining unto you in this behalf
doth Say Alledge and in Law Propound Articulately as
follows (that is to Say.)
1. That Every Person and Persons who utter Publish Assert and Report or
shall have Uttered Published Asserted or Reported Reproachfull Scandalous
or Defamatory Words to the Reproach Hurt and Diminution of the Good
Name and Reputation of another person Contrary to Good Manners and
the Bond of Charity are and ought to be Monished Constrained and
Compelled to the Reclaiming and Retracting such Reproachfull Scandalous
or Defamatory Words and to the Restoring of the Good Name Fame
and Reputation of the Person thereby Injured And that for the future
they Refrain from uttering publishing or declaring any such Reproachfull
Scandalous or Defamatory Words and are to be Canonically Corrected
and punished And this was and is true publick and Notorious.
2. That notwithstanding the Premises the said Thomas Davison
did in the Months of October, or November in the year of
our Lord 1742 now Current
or some and
[deleted: "or more"] of those months within the Sd. Parish of
Morpeth
or some other Parishes or publick places in the Neighbourhood thereof
or near thereunto in an angry reproachfull and Invidious manner several
times at least ones before Sundry Credible Witnesses defamed the said
Midford Laidman who was and is a person of Good
Reputation and Character and Speaking to or of and naming and

Intending the said Midford Laidman the Party Agent
in this Cause Said Affirmed and Published Several times at least
ones that the sd. Midford Laidman was a
[illegible word: ?Henscorn]
Rogue
and the Party Proponent doth Propound everything in this Article
Contained Jointly and Severally.
3. That the said Thomas Davison hath often at least
ones since the Affirming and Speaking the Defamatory Words
mentioned in the next foregoing Article owned and Confessed that
he spoke the said Defamatory Words as in the next preceeding
Article is Sett forth And the Party Proponent doth Alledge as before.
4. That by reason of Speaking the said Defamatory Words the Good
Name Fame and Reputation of the said Midford Laidman
is very much Hurt and Injured amongst his neighbours acquaintance
and others And this was and is true publick and Notorious And the
Party Proponent doth Alledge as before.
5. That the said Thomas Davison was and is
of the Parish of Morpeth aforesd.
and Diocese of Durham and therefore Subject to the Jurisdiction of this
Court And the Party Proponent doth Alledge as before.
6. That the said Midford Laidman the Party Agent
in this Cause hath rightly and duely Complained of the Premises
to you the Vicar General and Official Principal aforesaid and to
this Court And the Party Proponent doth Alledge as before.
7. That all and Singular the Premises were and are true publick and
Notorious and thereof there was and is a publick Voice Fame and
Report and of which Legall Proof being made the Party Proponent
prays Right and Justice to be effectively Administred to him and
his Party in the Premises and that the said Thomas Davison
for his [?Express] in the Premises be duely Forced and
Compelled to reclaim and retract the Defamatory Words as aforesaid

And that he may be Condemned in the Costs made or to be made
in this Cause on the part and behalf of the said Midford
Laidman and Compelled to the due payment thereof by you
and your Definitive Sentence or Finall Decree to be given in this
Cause on the part and behalf of the said Midford Laidman
and Compelled to the due payment thereof by you and your Definitive
Sentence or Final Decree to be given in this Cause And further
to [?Doo] and Decree in the Premises what shall be Lawfull in this behalf
not Obliging himself to prove all and singular the Premises or to the
Burden of a Superfluous Proof against which the Party Proponent protests
and prays that so far as he shall prove in the Premises he may obtain
the benefit of the Law being always humbly Imploring the Aid of your
Office in this behalf.

[Separate document]

The Examination of Witnesses Upon the Libel
Exhibited & admitted on the Part & Behalf of Midford
Laidman of the Parish of Morpeth & Diocese of Durham
against
Thomas Davison of the Parish & Diocese afforesaid in
a Certain Cause of Diffamation
Arthur Brown of Morpeth in the Diocese of Durham
Taylor Aged 45 years & upwards, a Witness Produced
Admitted Sworn & Examind saith as follows (to wit)
Upon ye 2d. arte
[article] of the aforesaid Libel this Depont. saith
that sometime in the Month of October Last Past, this
Deponent Being Desir'd by the Plaintiff Mr. Laidman to
Carry up Some Money to Mr. Thomas Davison at his own
House in Morpeth aforesaid, for the Discharge of some
Bill for Candles as this Depont. apprehended, He the said
Thomas Davison in an angry & Reproachfull manner
said, the He might as well Have Done that Before he went
to alnwick to Men Swear Himself, meaning that He had
Been Men Sworn there, upon some former Course, the
Servant Maid of the said Thomas Davison Being then
Present
[deleted: "But her Name"] One Sarah [?Gutterson], & farther
He Doth not say
Durham Decr. 10. 1742
Then Repeated Before me.
[signed] A B Arthur Brown his Mark
Wm. Pye
Surrogate



In his father John Laidman's will dated September 1745, it states that his "Executors shall weekly pay to my son Midford Laidman now in Morpeth jail the sum of two shillings and sixpence during the time of his Confinement". Midford must have been in some kind of trouble: probably not as a debtor, as his father would presumably have paid it off; nor indeed for a serious crime, for which the penalty would have been death or transportation. Mitford Laidman remains a fascinating and enigmatic character. He was certainly well-born, with very important family connections: his mother was a Mitford, of the Seghill Mitfords, closely related to the important Mitford family of Mitford (he was close enough to have been born or christened at Mitford Hall). His grandmother was a Blackett of a noble Northumberland family, many of whom were magistrates.

He should by all accounts have had strings enough to get him out of a jail sentence for whatever he did. One can only speculate as to what that was: intensive research in Morpeth of the quarter sessions and assizes revealed nothing at all. In 1745 the great Jacobite rebellion occurred. It is just possible that Mitford was involved in this. He would not necessarily have had Catholic leanings - some of the leaders of the previous Jacobite uprising in 1715 were Protestants. From 1740 onwards, the Catholics and Jacobite sympathisers were being taxed at double the rate of ordinary people; they were also imprisoned or fined, many to such an extent they became penniless. Although he was not in prison at the time of his death, Morpeth burial records do show Mitford Laidman as having been buried by charity, i.e: he was a pauper.

If this were the case, Mitford would have been a great embarrassment to his family. It is therefore possible that no effort was made to orchestrate his release and, by their great influence, all records of his ‘misdoings’ were suppressed.
Spouses
ChildrenWilliam , 2370, M1935 (ca1744-1801)
Last Modified 8 Apr 2011Created 3 Jun 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh