An Alice M M BRASS, age 29, unmarried dairy maid, was recorded as residing at Melbourne House, Penrith. [1871 census return: RG10/5202 folio 16 page 26 (Schedule 136)] This may be Thomas' second wife (who was born in 1840).
Twelfth December 1874 Water Houses Brandon Alice Laidman Female 31 years Wife of Thomas Laidman Labourer Coke ---? (Cause of death) Phthysis Certified (Informant) Thomas Laidman Present at the death Water Houses Brandon
The publication Westmorland Church Notes (Edward Bellassis, Lancaster Herald, Lincoln's Inn, p. 223) includes the following transcription from a church brass in Ormside:
BRASS, TIFFIN, CLARK, LAIDMAN
In m[emory] of John Brass who died August 15, 1852 Aged 61 y[ears]. Jane his da[ughter] Who d[ied] March 16, 1860 aged 26 y[ears]. Thomas his son who d[ied] January 27, 1861 aged 18 y[ears]. Mary his da[ughter] Who d[ied] July 20, 1861 aged 21 y[ears]. Margaret Tiffin his d[aughter] Who d[ied] August 23, 1861 aged 31 y[ears]. John his son who d[ied] January 3, 1862 aged 24 y[ears]. Elizabeth Clark his da[ughter] Who d[ied] Oct. 11, 1871 aged 40 y[ears]. Alice Laidman his da[ughter] Who d[ied] December 12, 1874 aged 34 y[ears]. Elizabeth Brass his relict who d[ied] March 11, 1879 aged 78 y[ears].
Birthca 1828, Hesket in the Forest, CUL
Baptism20 Jul 1828, Ivegill, CUL
Bapt MemoChapelry of Highhead: July 20th Thomas Illegitimate Son of Margaret Ladyman (sic) (abode) High House in the parish of Hesket Single woman Hugh Elliot Afst Curate
Death29 Jan 1895, Esh, DUR
Death MemoGRO M1895 10a 201 (Entry 436)
Occupation1851: General Servant; 1860 Agricultural labourer; Husbandman; 1871: Gamekeeper: 1881 Coke Yard Labourer; 1891: Coke Drawer; 1899: General labourer
Baptism: Thomas LADYMAN [sic]. Highhead is part of Ivegill, which seems to include Hutton-in-the-Forest:  July 20th Thomas Illegitimate Son of Margaret Ladyman [sic] (abode) High House in the parish of Hesket Single woman Hugh Elliot Asst Curate
While the evidence is circumstantial, there seems little doubt that O1476 Thomas LAIDMAN was the illegitimate son of O1417 Margaret LAIDMAN, eldest daughter of N1506 William LAIDMAN and Jane Brown. Margaret was born about 1803, having been baptised 16 October of that year in St James church, Temple Sowerby. Baptismal records show that Margaret had four siblings: an elder brother, William; two younger sisters, Elizabeth and Jane; and a younger brother, John. Below are the key pieces of evidence indicating that Margaret was Thomas' mother:
(i) Margaret's father, N1506 William Laidman, from his Will administration and the parish record of his burial, was residing at High House farm, parish of Hesket, at the time of his death, 22 February 1826.
(ii) Records for the Chapelry of High Head (some five kilometres or three miles to the west of High House) in the parish of Ivegill contain the baptismal entry, dated 20 July 1828, for Thomas, illegitimate son of Margaret Ladyman (sic). Margaret's 'abode' is stated as High House. Interestingly, about three weeks earlier, Margaret's sister, Elizabeth, presented for baptism an illegitimate daughter, Ann, at the same Chapelry. Elizabeth's 'abode', too, was High House (the stigma of illegitimacy could explain the choice of the small High Head chapel, rather than their own Hesket parish church, St Mary the Virgin).
(iii) Although her father had died in 1826, Margaret's mother continued in residence at High House farm until at least 1829. This is evidenced by the listing of Laidman Mrs High House in Parson and White's History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland (1829).
(iv) In various census returns, O1476 Thomas Laidman gave his place of birth as 'Esket' (surely Hesket, 1851), 'Hesket' (1861), 'Wecot' (likely a misspelling of Hesket, 1881) and 'High House' (1891), all County of Cumberland.
John Graham was almost certainly O1476 Thomas LAIDMAN's natural father. However, in 1827, there was quite a number of John Granham’s in Hesket and surrounding parishes, and of likely age, to be considered as potential candidates. Again, the evidence is circumstantial, but points to his mother Margaret's brother-in-law.
(i) The certificate for Thomas' first marriage (in 1852) records his father as 'John Graham Husbandman'. However, in that for his second (1873) marriage, 'John Laidman Labourer' is given as Thomas' father. It is possible that, on the latter occasion, Thomas provided 'John' as the name of his father and that the officiating minister assumed the surname to be 'Laidman'. No information relating to his father is given in the certificate for Thomas' third (1878) marriage, reinforcing the notion of his illegitimate birth.
(ii) Parson and White's History, Directory and Gazetteer of Cumberland and Westmorland (1829) lists John Graham as a farmer at Hill Houses, near Itonfield, at the southern extremity of the parish of Hesket. This is almost certainly the John Graham who married Ann Storrow at Hesket in 1795 and, in the record of the baptism of their daughter Deborah (in 1801), and their son, John (in 1806), Hill Houses was stated as his 'abode'. Hill Houses is a farm about five kilometres (three miles) south of High House farm.
(iii) Margaret's brother, William, married John and Ann Graham's daughter Deborah, in Hesket parish in 1825, and the baptismal records for their first two children (Jane, in 1825, and John, in 1827) give Hill Houses as William and Deborah's 'abode'. It is likely that William was working on John Graham's farm at this time. However, by 1829 (evidenced by the baptismal record of their third child, Ann, as well as William's listing in Parson and White), William and Deborah were on their own farm near the township of Thomas Close, in the parish of Hutton, but only about two kilometres (a little over a mile) southeast of Hill Houses.
(iv) It is likely that Margaret, being the eldest daughter, obtained employment away from her family at High House. Because of her brother William's connection with the Graham family, this could well have been at Hill Houses. Certainly, Margaret would have been acquainted with the Graham’s.
(v) In 1827, when Margaret conceived Thomas, she would have been about 24. John Graham of Hill Houses, from his stated age of 21 at marriage, would have been about 43. His son, John Graham (junior), was baptised in 1806 and so would have been aged about 21. The most likely candidate to be Thomas' father would be John Graham (junior), his mother's brother-in-law.
1851 Census Returns: HO107/2442 folio 492 page 1
Sampool “J”, Levens, Westmorland
Marget Walker, Head, Wid., 69, Farmer of 56 acres 2 Lab. born Sampool, Westmorland
Eleanor Wilson, Daur. Wid., 28, born Sampool, Westmorland
Mary Wilson, Grand Daur, 10, Scholar, born Sampool, Westmorland
Wm. Walker Wilson, Grand Son, 8, Scholar, born Hingcaster, Westmorland
Thos. Walker Grand Son, 7, Scholar, born [?Sizergh] Fell Side, Westmorland
Thos. Laidman, serv. U, 24, General Servant, born Esket, Cumberland
Wm. Eccles, Serv, U, 23, General Serv, born Levens Westmorland
1861 Census Returns: RG9/3972 folio 82 page 3
Beathwaite Green, Levens, near Milnthorpe, Westmorland
Thomas Lademan, head, married, 32, Lab. born Hesket
Eleanor Lademan, wife, married, 38, born Heversham, Westmorland
Thomas Lademan, son, 5, born Heversham, Westmorland
Elizabeth E. Lademan, daur. 3, born Heversham, Westmorland
1871 Census return: RG10/ 5283 folio 87 page 6 (Schedule 10)
Mue(?) Side, Killington, Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland, England
(as Ladyman) age 44, widower, labourer, a lodger in the household of Atkinson ROBINSON and family.
Atkinson Robinson Head Mar(ried) 25 Labourer (born) Westmorland Beathwaite Green
Ellen Robinson Wife Mar(ried) 22 (born) Westmorland
John Robinson Son 9 M(onths) (born) Westmorland Killington
Thos Ladyman (sic) Lodger Wid(owe)r 44 Labourer (born) Cumberland Carlisle
William Charnly Lodger Unm(arried) 31 Gamekeeper (born) Westmorland Killington
(i) Thomas' first wife Eleanor WILSON (née WALKER) died in 1869 and he married his second wife, Alice BRASS, in 1873 in the parish of Kirkby Lonsdale, which is about 10 km (6 mi) S of Killington.
(ii) An Alice M M BRASS, age 29, unmarried dairy maid, was recorded as residing at Melbourne House, Penrith. [RG10/5202 folio 16 page 26 (Schedule 136)] This may be Thomas' second wife (who was born in 1840).
(iii) In 1871, Thomas would have had five surviving children: Thomas (about 16), Elizabeth Eleanor (about 13), John (about 11), Wilson (about 6) and Margaret Jane (about 4). A search of the 1871 Census Returns failed to find any of these except an Elizabeth LAIDMAN, age 13, born Heversham, a servant in a household comprising farmer John DICKINSON and his wife Elizabeth at Turner Hill, Meathop and Ulpha. [RG10/5291 folio 18 page 8 (Schedule 27)]
1881 Census Returns: RG11/4951 folio 91 page 27
9 Russell Street, Brandon & Byshottles, Durham
Thomas Laidman, head, married, 52, Coke Yard Lab. born Wecot [sic, for Hesket], Cumberland
Jane Laidman, wife, married, 35, born West Rainton, Durham
Wilson Laidman, son, unm. 15, Lab. born Laverson [Levens?],Westmorland
Margth. Laidman, daur. unm. 13, scholar, born Laverson [Levens?], Westmorland
Mary J. Laidman, daur. unm. 5, scholar, born Belmont, Durham
Agnes Laidman, daur. 1, born Waterhouses, Durham
Edward Laidman, son, 4 months, born Waterhouses, Durham
1891 Census Returns: RG12/4093 folio 90 page 80 (Schedule 441)
Newhouse Cottages, village of Esh Winning, civil parish of Esh, Lanchester, Durham, England
Age 62, married, coke drawer, with (third) wife Jane (43), step-daughter Mary Spoors (16) and children Agnes (11), Wilson (sic James Wilson, 8), Sarah (7) and Alice (2)
Thomas Laidman Head M(arried) 62 Coke drawer (employed) (born) Cumberland High House
Jane Laidman Wife M(arried) 43 (born) Durham West Rainton
Mary J Spoors Step Dau(ghte)r 16 (born) Durham Broomside
Agnes Laidman Dau(ghte)r 11 Scholar (born) Durham Esh
Wilson Laidman (sic, James Wilson) Son 8 Scholar (born) Durham Esh
Sarah Laidman Dau(ghte)r 7 Scholar (born) Durham Esh
Alice Laidman Dau(ghte)r 2 (born) Durham Esh
Note: (1) Wilson should be James Wilson (see 1901 census under third wife Jane JONES/SPOORS).
(2) There were 32 schedules for Newhouse Cottages, which would have been accommodation for workers at the nearby Esh Winning Colliery or Consay Colliery. Schedule 441 (for Thomas and family) recorded that the residence comprised three rooms.
Summary: 20 Jul 1828 baptism at Chapelry of High Head, parish of Ivegill, Cumberland, England (Abode of mother, Margaret, recorded as High House, parish of Hesket.)
30 Mar 1851 General servant on farm at Sampool Levens, Westmorland [Census]
21 Feb 1852 Husbandman, Levens, Heversham, Westmorland [marriage to Eleanor WILSON (née WALKER)]
4 Jun 1853 Labourer, Beathwaite Green, Levens, Westmorland [birth of daughter Jane Ann]
9 Oct 1853 Beathwaite Green, Levens, Westmorland [death of daughter Jane Ann]
16 Jun 1855 Agricultural labourer, Beathwaite Green, Levens, Westmorland [baptism of son Thomas]
14 Mar 1858 Beathwaite Green, Levens, Westmorland [birth of daughter Elizabeth Eleanor]
19 May 1860 Beathwaite Green, Levens, Westmorland [birth of son John]
1 Apr 1861 Beathwaite Green, Levens, Westmorland [Census]
1 May 1865 Farmer, Levens, Milnthorpe, Westmorland [birth of son Wilson]
3 Dec 1867 Farmer, Levens, Milnthorpe, Westmorland [birth of daughter Margaret Jane]
31 May 1873 Labourer, Rigmaden, Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland [marriage to Alice BRASS]
12 Dec 1874 Waterhouses, Brandon, Durham [death of wife Alice BRASS]
6 Apr 1878 Coke drawer, Brandon & Byshottles, Durham [marriage to Jane JONES (née SPOORS)]
J1879 Waterhouses, Brandon & Byshottles, Durham [birth of daughter Agnes]
1880 Waterhouses, Brandon & Byshottles, Durham [birth of son Edward]
3 Apr 1881 Russell St, Brandon & Byshottles, Durham [Census]
20 Apr 1882 Waterhouses, Brandon & Byshottles, Durham [birth of son James Wilson]
5 Apr 1891 Newhouse Cottages, Esh Winning, Durham [Census]
Death: 29 Jan 1895, Browns House, Esh, Lanchester, Durham, England, age 67. [GRO M1895 10a 201 (Entry 436)]
REGISTRATION DISTRICT Lanchester
1895 DEATH in the Sub-district of Lanchester in the County of Durham
436 Twentyninth January 1895 Browns House Esh A.S.D. Thomas Laidman Male 67 Years a Coke drawer (cause of death) Natural Causes Failure of Hearts Action (informant) Simon Taylor Son in Law in attendance Cornsay Colliery Cornsay (registered) Thirtyfirst January 1895 George Buckham Registrar
Marriage31 May 1873, Kirkby Lonsdale, WES
Marr MemoMansergh Chapel
1873 Marriage solemnized in the chapel of Mansergh in the Parish of Kirkby Lonsdale in the County of Westmorland after banns
31 May 1873, Thomas Laidman, 40, widower, Labourer, [of] Rigmaden, [son of] John Laidman, Labourer, and
Alice Brass, 31, spinster, servant, [of] Rigmaden, [daur. of] John Brass, Farmer.
Both signed. Witnesses: William Edgar, Margaret Robinson.
This appears at first sight to be a different Thomas Laidman to ID O1476, who previously gave his father’s name as John Graham and was born ca 1829. But there are no other Thomas’s in the area, in births, marriages or deaths. There are very few Thomas Laidman marriages in the GRO lists and all are identified. Thomas could have lied about his father NOT being a Laidman (he was after all illegitimate), and about his age. Another possible explanation is that he was born Laidman legitimately, and his mother subsequently married a Graham whose name he adopted. Or he was born Graham and adopted his stepfather’s name of Laidman. Since his birth is before the period in which birth certificates were issued we may never know.