NameMark LAIDMAN, 3259, O1085
Birth20 May 1811, Southwark, LND
Baptism12 Jun 1811, Southwark, LND Age: <1
Bapt MemoSt George the Martyr
Death6 Sep 1884, Kingston, Surrey, Jamaica Age: 73
Occupation1839 Planter; Officer of H.M. Customs
1852: St Marys Islington
Arrived in Jamaica in about 1837. According to the letter from his brother John to Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle (quoted below), Mark was appointed to his situation in HM Customs in 1844.
In Jamaican records, he is found in the 1851 Almanac in the Customs department in Montego Bay as ‘Clerk to Sub-collector and Warehouse-keeper: M. Laidman, £250’
In the Roman Catholic Baptism Index for Holy Trinity Church, Kingston, Jamaica, 1852-1865, there is a baptism for: ‘Frederick [surname], Alexander Laidman, 523.’
1861 Almanac. Who’s Who? In which is incorporated the Jamaica Almanac:
‘Office of Customs, Kingston.
Laidman, M. Landing Waiter & Surv., £250’
1865 Jamaica Almanac:
Customs’ Department, Kingston
Laidman, Mark, Landing Surveyor, £300.
‘Gleaner’ Excerpts, Kingston, Jamaica, May-June, 1869:
June 11, 1869.
We have been informed that Mr. G. A. Fowles has been appointed Surveyor in the Customs Department, in the room of Mr. Mark Laidman, who has been superannuated.
In 1870 he is mentioned as ‘Mark Laidman’, a member of the Committee of the Presbyterian Church, Kingston (in connection with the Established Church of Scotland).
Mentioned in the Will of his brother John Laidman dated 12 Dec 1877.
Kingston [Jamaica] City Directory for the year 1878 lists Mark:
Laidman Mark, h[ouse] 33 Duke [Street] where he is living with son Herbert
Letter from John Laidman (N1169)
Photocopy from Bucks Record Office Ref: D-FR 63/4/1 ( 3 x A4 pages)
18 Decr 1861
Mr J Laidman
transfer of his brother
from Colonial Customs
to Customs in England
.... ? .....?
inf. him that I
have no power to
accede w[ith] ? request
...? officer cannot ...... ?
en ? regulations be transferred
to office / under the
Customs in England
ackngd. Receipt –
had no power to
comply with his request
as Colonial Officer cannot under
existing reg[ulations] ? be transferred to
officer under the Customs in England
9 Bedford Circus
Exeter 18th Decr 1861
In the early part of 1844 when our lamented Friend Sir Wm. Follett was Solicitor General, you were kind enough at his request to appoint my Brother Mr Mark Laidman to a Situation in H.M. Customs in January, Since which he has been promoted and is now a Waiter and Searcher at Kingston in that Island. – the Climate however now begins to tell severely upon him after so long a residence (he has now been in Jamaica altogether upwards of 30 years) and he is naturally desirous of returning to England – both on his own account and his wife’s also. – I sincerely trust therefore that you will consider I have some Excuse for troubling you with this Letter, my Object being to get my Brother transferred to England, after so long a Service, to a Similar Situation to that which he now holds or to any other: If therefore you should deem him worthy of your consideration and will be kind enough to direct his removal or inform me how I could best accomplish that object I shall feel myself under a very great obligation, and with every apology for thus troubling you.
I have the Honour to be
Your obedt humble
The Right Honble
Sir T. F. Fremantle Bart
P.S. Perhaps you might think my Brother’s claim somewhat strong by the fact that in the Rebellion in the West Indies he had two Horses Shot under him and Volunteered to Carry Dispatches for Sir Harry Smith.
The person that John Laidman is opportuning on behalf of his brother appears to be the Right Hon. Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle, Bart., 2nd Lord Cottesloe, M.P., of Swanbourne, Winslow (Bucks.), magistrate of Buckinghamshire in 1861.
Beneficiary of the 1877 Will of his brother John Laidman (N1169) q.v., but legacy revoked in a codicil the following year.
As for Mark Laidman’s various mistresses, when I asked Stuart O’Brien (with my tongue slightly in my cheek) in 2002 whether there were any black Laidmans, he told me that Al (Alfred) Laidman when in Jamaica had discovered a black Laidman doctor; but when he looked him up, he refused to see him. There is every chance that this is a descendent of Mark.
Birth27 May 1818
Baptism16 Jun 1818, Holborn, LND Age: <1
Death19 Nov 1842, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica Age: 24
BurialTrelawny Parish, Jamaica
Burial MemoSt Michael
FatherJoseph Tucker MATTHIASON , 10950
Died aged 22
1842: Etingdon, Jamaica
Marriage28 Dec 1839, Hackney, LND
Marr MemoSt John
1839. Marriage solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of Hackney in the County of Middlesex
When married: Decr. 28th
Mark Laidman, full age, Bachelor, Planter, Southampton Str. Pentonville, [father] John Laidman, Custom-House Officer
Mary Ann Eliza Matthiason, full age, Spinster, [no profession], Paradise [illegible], [father] Joseph Tucker Matthiason, Schoolmaster
Married in the Parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church, after Banns by me, John S. Winter, Curate
This marriage was solemnized between us,
Mary Ann Eliza Matthiason
in the presence of us,
Josh. J. Matthiason Leonard Laidman
Caroline [?Earnley] John Josh. Matthiason
ChildrenMark F , 10569 (1850-1852)
ChildrenAgnes , 10572 (ca1838-)
ChildrenMary , 10574 (1845-)
Birth9 Sep 1831
FatherWilliam SEARLE , 12454
1852: Bridge Street, Bridewell, London
Mark Stuart O’Brien writes (January 2003): Ella Ann Searle, I was told, performed on the London stage as a young girl in such productions as ‘HMS Pinafore’, she playing the role of Buttercup. My mother recalled her grandmother as a very dignified lady with brown hair parted in the middle. She last saw her grandmother when she was 12 years of age, just before departing Jamaica for the United States. Ella Ann’s first son, William Percy Laidman, came to the USA in 1880, and became a playwright and an actor on Broadway under the stage name John Russell. William Percy had a second family while still married to his first wife. A son, John, and a daughter, Rose, from the second union, are said to have gone to Hollywood to try their luck. It was rumored that the film star, Rosalind Russell, was William Percy Laidman’s daughter, but she denied this.
Apparently William Percy Laidman’s philandering had precedence in his father’s sexual encounters in Jamaica. There is continuing evidence of this, at least before he married.
Marriage27 Mar 1852, Abingdon, BRK
Marr MemoSt Helens
Banns. Mark noted in marriage certificate as aged 36, probably a mistake. Witnesses: Alfred King Judd, William Henry Parker