James Brotherston Laughton, 1814-1883

Born Denton Hall, Cumberland, in 1814, son of James Laughton described in Sir John Knox Laughton's Who's Who entry as: "Liverpool Mariner, wine merchant & in times of war captain of privateer" but indicated as Scottish born on 1841 census. He moved to Braust, Andreas in early 1840 with his parents and siblings (in 1841 census parents James and Ann and siblings Margaret, Ann and John are shown together with two scottish born servants) - the family had moved to Braust from Liverpool early in 1840 and can be found in the 1843 directory - they had gone by 1846. On 3rd April 1843 he married Jane Looney at Braddan and shortly afterwards moved to Australia initially as a school teacher then as a Presbyterian Minister, initially at Carcoar, New South Wales..

Brother of Sir John Knox Laughton (1830-1915) the Naval Historian and writer; wrote a guide book to the Island initially for William Dillon in 1842 but subsequently published by Samuel Johnson and also wrote verse concerning the affairs of the day (Three Legs of Man, Copper Row. ) - also wrote libretti whilst in Australia. His brother John describes JBL's writing of the guide as "He himself spent a good deal of his days in writing a Guide to the Isle of Man which took him about the island a good bit - at least he paid the places he wrote about the compliment of going to see them." (from "Unpublished memoirs of Sir John Knox Laughton" written in 1912-14 but never completed or published).

Editor of Manx Sun from 1842 to April 1844. His following career can be briefly summarised:

1846 Listed as insolvent in the NSW Insolvency court as schoolteacher.
1850 Admitted by Synod
1849 to 1851 Minister of Carcoar, NSW
1851 to 1854 Minister of Paterson, NSW
Moderator of 1854 Synod meeting in East Maitland
1854 to 1865 Minister of Bathurst, NSW
1865 Elected Clerk to 1st session of General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New South Wales
1866 Clerk to second session of the general assembly.
1866 to 1876 Minister of Parramatta, NSW
1870 Moderator of General Assembly of NSW
10 Dec 1872, Jane Laugthon (nee Looney) dies in Parramatta, Buried Presbyterian Cemetery, Parramatta
5 Aug 1873; Marries Sarah Ann Blain at Woolahra, NSW
1873 Appointed tutor at newly established Theological Faculty.
1877 to 1883 Minister of Orange, NSW
23 May 1883, died Paddington NSW, Buried at Necropolis 25 May 1883

There is a letter from him to Sir Archibald Geike dated 1861 in the special collections at Edinbugh University in which he introduces himself as the only remaining member of the Oineromathic Club, and suggests the publication of some poems by Edward Forbes, offering some for this purpose - John Knox's memoirs describe Edward Forbes as an intimate friend of his brother from Edinburgh days - Forbes, JBL and two of Edward Forbe's friends George Day and Tom Leming spent a summer holiday together on the Island in 1840.



W. Cubbon Bibliography of works relating to the Isle of Man Vol II section L4 Douglas:1939

Centenary History of the Presbyterian Church in New South Wales, Rev James Cameron, MA, DD, published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney 1905

Many thanks to John Bell for correcting my initial mistaken indentification and allowing me to quote from the unpublished memoirs as well as sharing his hard work in locating marriage and death certificates etc.

Manx Note Book   [Index of Printers]

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley, 2006