Philip had two daughters (May & Anne) who are not relevant to this Sunderland shipbuilding story, & also a son James who is most relevant, (Jan. In or about 1792, John went into business for himself at North Sands. A year later, John & his brother Philip, joined forces, a partnership which survived through 1818.
In 1793, David, his son, joined him in that business. David died very soon thereafter (in 1796, at just age 21. In 1804 they 'leased (or built)' a dry dock located on the N. Philip and John lived on Church Street, Monkwearmouth, near to the yard.
The anecdote comes from a paper, written I think in the 1970s, by James A.
Marr (known as Jimmy), who was in fact the Managing Director of 'Laing's'. Hopefully soon the entire work may grace these pages.
Not sure if my (new) motor mount was faulty or the 1-2 shift is a bit too violent ?
At a site previously 'tenanted' by William Havelock. The University of Newcastle's 'Sine' project offers a print of the 'Laing' yard at Deptford in the period of 1825 to 1835. The vacated 'Bridge Dock' was later, it would seem, occupied by Mr. In the 1881 Census, I read that James was living at Thornhill Hall, Bishopwearmouth, with his wife, four sons, five daughters, & fourteen servants (14 more than I have! It depicted thousands of men (&some women) outside the Police Station & Magistrates Court in Sunderland, in an image which included an Empire Cinema poster with the date of Feb. The vendor indicated that it possibly related to a strike or protest meeting against unemployment as there was a depression in shipbuilding at that time. 12, 1908, Sunderland Town Councilcut off the electricity supplyto the shipbuilding yard of Sir James Laing as it owed them over 2,000.
See here for a little more about Simey - but if you can tell us more, please do so. In 1843, Philip's son James (married twice - 16 children, 10 girls & 6 boys, image at right) then just 20 years of age, took over his father's business at Deptford (his father was then 71 years of age). The above confirms what I had earlier read that the company had to stop operating in 1908 & had liabilities way in excess of its then assets.
What was then proposed was that a new company be formed & that the creditors accept shares in lieu of their debts. Was, in fact, a new company formed or was the existing company restructured?
It is recorded here not in any way to disparage the Laings or to diminish in any way their amazing achievements.
Rather to permit to a modern reader some understanding of the reality of the early days of Sunderland shipbuilding.