Garson Blake1

#25632, b. 15 July 1814, d. June 1878

Individual's Timeline

Birth15 July 1814Garson Blake
Christening19 April 1815Garson Blake2
Marriage3 May 1836Garson Blake1
Marriage of SonDecember 1862Lovewell Blake
Marriage of Son1866Arthur William Blake3
Marriage of SonDecember 1866Garson James Blake4
Marriage of Son14 January 1869Stuart Charles Blake5,6
Marriage of SonDecember 1870John Henry Blake
Marriage of SonSeptember 1873Stuart Charles Blake
Death RegJune 1878Garson Blake7
Death2 June 1878Garson Blake
Probate19 June 1878Garson Blake

Primary events

Secondary circumstances

  • Occupation: Garson was a cashier at Messers. Gurney's Bank when he married Elizabeth. He was later a ship owner and coal merchant, as well as a fire and ship insurance agent. A Mr G BLAKE was listed as the Yarmouth Agent for General Life and Fire Assurance Company in newspapers in 1852.
    * It appears he was in a partnership with his sons (L = Lovewell; G.J.= Garson James; and J.H. = John Henry). This partnership was dissolved in May 1868, refer to cutting in the exhibits.
    * He was appointed as the Belgian Consul in Yarmouth in 1873 (The Times Wednesday, Jan 08, 1873; pg. 8; Issue 27581; col A ).

Census details

Some aspects of Garson Blake's life. In 1866 Garson was named as one of 3 people who petitioned the House of Commons, alleging bribing, treating and undue influence in the election of Sir E H K LACON (of brewery fame) and Mr GOODSON. They asked that the election be deemed null and void.

In 1848 Garson was already heavily involved in the politics of 'making money'. There was a mutually recriminatory series of letters to the editor between Garson and a 'John Norgate'. John went so far as to make fun of Garson's name, coupling it with the french term 'Garcon'. In essences there were recriminations between firms making money in yarmouth taking coal to Norwich, and firms who wanted the ships to go direct to the quay in Norwich. The arguments are no longer important, but it does show that Garson was keen to protect his interests in yarmouth against competition from Norwich.9

Some aspects of Garson Blake's life. Garson was a Dissenter. He was at a conference of the Liberation Society held in Norwich in January 1864, and he moved a motion which was in the local newspapers. Refer cutting in exhibits.
Brushes with the LAW

In 1859 Garson was involved in a court case in Yarmouth. He was named as the major plaintiff (Garson BLAKE and others v General Steamship Navigation Co). The case was summed up in the Norfolk Chronicle dated 29th January as - Plaintiffs are owners of the brig 'Astley', out of Yarmouth. The case was brought to recover damages in consequence of one of the steamers of the GSNC, the 'arlequin' on 15th October 1857, ran into the Astley whilst in the River Yare. Blame had to be apportioned during the case, and the manner of the collision was reported as - Astley was small (93 tons, crew of 5). She left the quay in ballast, heading north. She was towed down the river, in tandem with the 'Unity', by a steam tug named the 'Volunteer'. The correct amount of rope was being used, with the 'Unity' being towed to the stern of 'Astley'. The tide at the time was flowing. The 'Volunteer' kept to the west side of the river, and when abreast of the fish offices The Harlequin was seen to be steaming up the river. It was contended that it was not proper for so powerful a steam vessel to come among the great quantity of shipping which was lying at Yarmouth quay with stern to the tide. The proper and regular course would have been to drop up stern first, by which those in charge of the steamer would have greater command of the vessel. The contention was that the steamship, which was a vessel of 'great power', should have been navigated with vigilance and precaution. But as the 'Astley' neared the 'Harlequin', the crew declared they saw the latter was kept too much in the stream, and that there was therefore danger to themselves. The 'Astley' captain at once put his helm hard-a-port, the effect of which would be to put the vessel still nearer the west side of the river. The tug got almost up to the Harlequin, going at a steady pace, but it was found that it was becoming too close for safety, and the master of the tug either stopped his vessel or eased his steam so much that the rope hung slack in the water. The consequence was that the 2 towed ships were dead in the water. meaning that the hard-a-port helm had little or no effect to the course of the 'Astley'. The steamer and the brig collided. Witnesses, mostly masters and crew of other ships moored in the river, said that, even though the Harlequin stopped her engines, she was running with the tide, so her momentum was 'fast'. It was thought she should have reversed her paddles, not stopped the engines. The Master of the Harlequin said the poor seamanship of the Master of the Astley contributed to the accident. The jury found against Garson and the other plaintiffs.

1874 saw the end of a strike of seamen in Yarmouth brought about by the shipowner's dropping the wage from £4 per month to £3/10/-. The paper dated 10th March, reported that the strike had been resolved by a compromise of wages of £3/15/-, and also reported that 2 ships owned by Garson had been inspected by surveyors from the Board of Trade, with one being found as unseaworthy. The shipowners of Yarmouth banded together to complain that surveys of ships were undertaken by the Board of Trade from 'secret' allegations being received. Reading between the lines, aggrieved sailors took it upon themselves to 'report' the state of Garson's ships. Again, reading between the lines, one would assume Garson must have been seen by the sailors as a major player in downturn of their financial wellbeing.10

Voter Enrolements

  • Garson Blake was enrolled to vote in 1868 in 12 Gaol Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. Lived in Southtown, and owned 12 Gaol Street, which was occupied by Blake Bros., Printers. Lived in Southtown, and owned 12 Gaol Street, which was occupied by Blake Bros., Printers.11

Research Notes

  • Research note 03: In 1841 Mr G BLAKE was summoned for refusal, on conscientious grounds, to pay the Church Rates. Note that he was a Dissenter. On June 17th he paid 1s, and 6d..12
  • Research note 02: Donated 2 guineas to the Gorleston life boat crew widows and orphans fund. 13 of the crew were lost on a rescue.13
  • Research note 01: Stated by Lovewell in 1866 as still alive with 12 children.14

Children of Garson Blake and Elizabeth Lovewell Laws


  1. BDM, Norfolk Marriages 1801-1837, BLAKE Gaison 3 5 1836 LAWE Elizabeth Lovewell Gorleston.
  2. Free parish registers, online,      Norfolk
    Place     Great Yarmouth
    Church     Middlegate Congregational Tr
    RegisterNumber     18
    BaptismDate     19 Apr 1815
    Forename     Arson
    Sex     -
    FatherForename     John
    MotherForename     Harriet
    FatherSurname     BLAKE
    MotherSurname     GARSON
    FileNumber     6584.
  3. The Foxearth and District Local History Society, Foxearth Archive, On the 8th August, at the parish church, Gorleston, Suffolk, by the Rev A.D. CAMPBELL, M.A., late minister of Gorleston,
    assisted by the Rev J. P. BRITTON, of Brightlingsea, Essex, Arthur William BLAKE, of Southtown, Great Yarmouth, to Ellen
    Louise, second daughter of James LING, of Gorleston.…
  4. Free UK BDM index from 1837, online, Baintree Essex Dec 1866 4a/703.
  5. Website England and Wales BMD records 1530-1940 (unknown url) "Stuart Charles Blake
    Gender:      Male
    Birth Date:      abt 1844
    Age:      25
    Father's name:      Garson Blake
    Spouse's name:      Mary Ann Buston
    Spouse's Age:      20
    Spouse's Father's Name:      Hezekiah William Buston
    Marriage Date:      14 Jan 1869
    Marriage Place:      Yarmouth, Norfolk, England."
  6. The Foxearth and District Local History Society, Foxearth Archive, BLAKE --- BUSTON. On the 14th January, at St Nicholas' Church, by the Rev F.C. CLUTTERBUCK, Mr Stuart C. BLAKE, to Mary Ann, daughter of Mr Hezekiah W. BUSTON, both of Great Yarmouth.

    From East Suffolk Gazette And Beccles And Bungay Weekly News 19 January 1869 Page 5, column 5…
  7. Free UK BDM index from 1837, online, Garson Blake
    Estimated birth year:      abt 1815
    Year of Registration:      1878
    Quarter of Registration:      Apr-May-Jun
    Age at Death:      63
    District:      Mutford
    County:      Norfolk, Suffolk
    Volume:      4a
    Page:      491.
  8. Website ( "Name:     Garson Blake
    Death Age:     63
    Birth Date:     abt 1815
    Death Date:     abt 1878
    Death Place:     Southtown Suffolk
    Burial Date:     7 Jun 1878
    Burial Place:     Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
    Cemetery:     Yarmouth Old Cemetery
    Cemetery Section:     A
    Grave Number:     358
    Interment Number:     8995
    Cemetery Notes:     Not Consecrated."
  9. Find my past web sites, online or, Publication:Norfolk News

    Publication date:Saturday 10 June 1848.
  10. Find my past web sites, online or, Headline: YARMOUTH COUNTY COURT, Jan. 27.

    Publication:Norfolk Chronicle

    Publication date:Saturday 29 January 1859.
  11. International Genealogical Index (IGI), England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952
    Northern division
    Image 118.
  12. F Danby Palmer, Yarmouth Notes 1830 - 1872.
  13. British newspapers Nat Lib AU, The Times, Tuesday, Feb 20, 1866; pg. 4; Issue 25426.
  14. John OWEN and Mark PIERSON, 15th August 1866, Harriet's children are as follows - 3 Garson Blake living - 12 children.
  15. Free UK BDM index from 1837, online, Blake      Garson James            Mutford &c      13     431.