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Sir James Laing (1823-1901) of Sir James Laing and Sons, shipbuilder.
1823 Born in Sunderland
1847 Married Mary Tanner in Bishop Wearmouth; James was son of Philip Laing
1849 Birth of Philip Henry Laing
1850 Mary Laing died in Bishop Wearmouth
1851 James Laing 28, shipbuilder employing 200 men and boys, lived in North Bishop Wearmouth, with Mary Laing 2, Philip H Laing 1
1855 Married Theresa Talbot Peacock in Auckland Saint Andrew,Durham
1861 James Laing 38 and Philip H Laing 11 were visitors in Newcastle
1871 James Laing 48, shipbuilder, lived in South Bishop Wearmouth, with Theresa Tallich Laing 39, Mary Laing 22, Philip W Laing 21, at college in Cambridge, Florence T Laing 11, Thomas T Laing 11, Mabel T Laing 10, Maud Laing 8, Sophia S Laing 6, George Laing 15, Margaret J Laing 3, Eleanor S Laing 1
1881 James Laing 58 JP, DL, shipbuilder, lived in South Bishop Wearmouth, with Thorna Talbot Laing 49, Philip H. Laing 31, shipbuilder, Arthur Laing 25, engineer, James Laing 24, shipbuilder, Florence Talbot Laing 21, Theresa Talbot Laing 21, Sophia T. Laing 16, Margt. Dunbar Laing 13, Louisa H. Laing 8, Bryan Laing 5
1901 Sir James Laing 78, lived in South Bishopwearmouth, with Theresa Talbot Laing 69, Hugh Laing 29, Eleanor S Laing 31
Another person of similar name and background:
1841 James Laing (b 1791 Scotland), surveyor of ships, lived in Bishop Wearmouth with James Laing (b 1821 Durham), shipwright, Thomas Laing (b 1826 Durham), Isabella Laing (b 1827 Durham), Sophia Laing (b 1830 Durham), Octavius Laing (b 1833 Durham)
1902 Obituary 
Sir JAMES LAING died on December 15, 1901, at his residence, Etal Manor, Northumberland, after an illness of a fortnight. Sir James, who was seventy-eight years of age, was the only son of Philip Laing of Deptford House, Sunderland.
Since 1868 he had been chairman of the River Wear Commissioners. In 1883 he organised and presided over the committee of shipowners who concluded a convention with the Suez Canal Company which resulted in the lowering of dues, abolition of pilotage charges, and the representation of British shipowners on the board of the company. Since that year he had been a director of the Suez Canal Company. He served as Sheriff of Durham in 1879, was Deputy-Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace for that county, and Justice of the Peace for Northumberland. He unsuccessfully contested North Durham in 1881 as a Liberal. He was knighted in 1897.
He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1874.
1901 Obituary