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Wilkinson & Sons

Details about Wilkinson & Sons

Thomas Wilkinson and his two sons, George and Matthew owned and had shares in Hartlepool registered ships from the 1840s.

Other shareholders included: John Duncan (master mariner); William Ramsey (master mariner, Seaton Carew); Robert Fawcus; James Stephenson; William Watson; Thomas Robinson; Thomas Wilson ( master mariner); Andrew Smith; William Watson (shipowner) William Bird Gary (shipbroker); Thomas Robinson (clerk); Matthias Newton (shipowner), John Ranson junior & William Grimshaw (all Bishopwearmouth); Robert John Sewell & Ann F Clarke (both Newport, Isle of Wight).

Family Histories:

Thomas Wilkinson was born on 21st December 1785 at Monkwearmouth to parents Jane (nee Johnson) and George Wilkinson. Thomas married Isabella Shepherd at Sunderland on 25th June 1810. By 1841 the couple and their two sons, George and Matthew, were living at William Street, Bishopwearmouth. In 1851 the couple and their son, George, were living at Southgate Street, Hartlepool.


George Wilkinson was born on 1st January 1817 at Sunderland to parents Isabella (nee Shepherd) and Thomas Wilkinson. He became a surgeon and remained unmarried. In 1861 he was living at High Street, Hartlepool.

George retired on 30th August 1869 and went on a trip to the Channel Islands where he died suddenly on 14th September 1869 at St. Hillier’s, Jersey and was interred there. He left effects of under £4,000.


Matthew Wilkinson was born on 2nd April 1822 at Sunderland to parents Isabella (nee Shepherd) and Thomas Wilkinson. He married Mary Ann Gordon at Hartlepool on 10 May 1846. Matthew became a druggist/chemist. In 1843 he was advertising his shop and dwelling house in Southgate Street, opposite the King’s Head Hotel, for sale. In 1851 his shop and dwelling house in Market Place was for sale. According to the advertisement the shop had been in use as a chemist/druggist for the past ten years.  By 1861 he and his wife were living at Regent Street, Hartlepool with Matthew listed as a shipowner. In the 1871 census the couple were living at 30 High Street, Hartlepool. The couple had no children and after Matthew’s death Mary took work as a housekeeper for a solicitor.

Matthew died aged 55 at Friar Street, Hartlepool on 7th January 1881.


John Duncan was born on 13 August 1810 at Portroy, Banffshire. He went to sea as an apprentice in 1827 and worked his way up to become a master C.N. 37960. He was master on the Hartlepool registered ships Pearl from 1843 to 1850 and the Britannia in 1853.


Matthias Newton was born in 1876 at Durham to parents Mary (nee Laws) and Joseph Newton. He married Hannah (nee Ranson) and they resided at Bishopwearmouth. He was a tinman and brazier before becoming a shipowner. Matthias died aged 84 at Sunderland in March 1870 leaving effects of under £3,000 to his son John Newton.


James Stephenson was born 1n 1820 at Wolviston to parents Ann (nee James) and John Stephenson. He married Jane Chapman in 1850 and the couple lived at Bishopwearmouth. He is listed on the census as a timber merchant and commercial agent.

James died aged 89 in 1909 at Wolviston.


Andrew Smith was born in 1819 at Fair Isle, Shetland to parents Agnes and John. He married Janet Leask on 26 January 1843 at Tynemouth. In 1850 the couple were living at Fowler Street, South Shields and in 1871 at 17 Regent Street, Hartlepool. By 1881 Andrew had retired from the sea and the couple were living at Shortridge Street, South Shields. Andrew went to sea as an apprentice in 1837 and became a master mariner C.N.107804. As well as sailing on Shields vessels he was mate on the Jane of Hartlepool from 1846 to January 1847.

Andrew died aged 78 at South Shields in 1898.


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