Laidmans of Interest

Broadly speaking, the Laidmans are distinguished only by their relative lack of notoriety. There are however a few who have achieved some sort of reputation, though not always positive:

The Revd John Ladyman (1546-1610), vicar of Warkworth in the north of the county, worked for the villainous Thomas Percy, a crony of Guy Fawkes and one of the most active organisers of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Percy was gunned down after a manhunt; John Ladyman probably died in his bed.

Barnard Laydman (circa 1580 - circa 1673) is the first Laidman we know to get into trouble. He was up before the magistrates in 1609 for playing football on a Sunday (it is unlikely that Frederick Laidman (1913-1987) was ever prosecuted for playing football on a Sunday. A professional footballer, Freddie represented a number of clubs, including Everton, Bristol City, Stockton and Darlington).

William Laidman of Barton (Yorkshire) was an alehouse keeper (not a very reputable occupation then). In 1609 he was accused of aiding and abetting some drunken thugs who subsequently nearly set fire to his establishment.

Jonas Laydman was indicted in 1657 - and again in 1660 - for keeping an unlicensed alehouse.

Mitford Laidman (1711-1746), born into an affluent family, ended his life a pauper in a Northumberland gaol, on a weekly stipend from his father of 2/6d.

Joseph Laidman (1769 - after 1799), a mathematical instrument maker, was (rather surprisingly, in view of his respectable profession) found guilty of highway robbery in 1792. We are lucky to have substantial correspondence on his case.

Bridget Laidman (1784-1840) married William Shaw, a schoolmaster of Bowes, who was the model for the appalling Wackford Squeers in Charles Dickens' novel Nicholas Nickelby. Shaw's direct descendant Ted Shaw is still trying to clear his ancestor's name to this day.

William Laidman (1817-1888), innkeeper to the haunted Marquis of Granby, was witness to (and it was even rumoured the perpetrator of) a horrible and yet unsolved crime, "The Streetgate Murder", fully reported here. The victim's ghost still walks today, apparently.

Leonard Laidman (1829-1893) was sentenced to five years penal servitude for embezzling a very large sum of money. He is found in the 1881 census return working out his sentence in H.M. Prison, Portsmouth.

To balance out Laidman villainy, we can at least boast of a Saint in the family, though only through marriage, when Christopher Ullathorne (1826-1898), a direct descendant of Sir (Saint) Thomas More (the lineage is not recorded on this site), married Mary Ann Laidman.

Mark Laidman (1691-1765) married Tamar, the sister of Martha Railton, famous for her tragic love-affair, called 'The Bowes Tragedy' and the subject of a ballad of the same name, a transcription of which may be found here.

Charles Harbottle 1831-1918 was the son of Mary Laidman and her husband Thomas who emigrated to Tasmania in 1832. He was elected mayor of Hobart, and wrote a fascinating account of life in Tasmania in those early days.

Richard "Dick" Laidman (1921-2002), a Canadian pilot, discovered an unnamed lake which was called after him - Laidman Lake - apparently the only topographical feature in the world that bears the family name (but there is a Laidman Road in Binbrook Ontario - see under Canadian Laidmans). A log cabin, Laidman Lake Lodge, is available for rent at:

The Laidmans can also trace their ancestry back to royalty (but so, apparently, can some 30% of the British population). The convoluted line goes back to King Edward III through the Mitfords, when the Revd. John Laidman married Christian Mitford in 1707 (the lineage is not shown on this site). Aristocratic ancestry however is no guarantee of good character, for Christian was described in a diary of 1717 as "frantic or foolish".

The estate of the Revd William Laidman (1710-1782) gave rise to over forty years of litigation and squabbling. A full account can be found here (2.5Md PDF).