History of the Lawley Family
The Lawley family documented in this collection spans four generations of Massachusetts ship builders and designers. Beginning with George F. Lawley, an English shipbuilder who sailed to American in 1851, his son, also George F., his son Frederick D, and ending with his son, the English George’s great grandson, George F. Lawley II (1901-). Interwoven within the family history is the story of the family shipyard, George Lawley and Son.
The first George Lawley began his career as an apprentice to Thomas and William Forrest while in England. In 1851 he moved his family to Massachusetts. Family lore states that the steamship passed the yacht AMERICA on her famous Cup voyage and set the family on its road to subsequent Cup victories. After working for Donald McKay, George founded his own shipyard in Scituate, Massachusetts.
Within a few years his son George joined the business and the company name became George Lawley and Son. The yard moved to South Boston. During this period the Lawleys built such vessels as Cup defenders, PURITAN and MAYFLOWER and other well-known yachts, both sail and power.
George’s son, Frederick D. Lawley, studied naval architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently joined the company as manager and designer.
In 1901 the Lawleys began working for the United States navy and launched two torpedo boats. In the years to come they would continue the association, especially during the World War I.
In 1908 the George Lawley and Son made its final move to Neponset, Massachusetts where it remained until its demise in 1946. Prior to that however, in 1926, George, Frederick and George II left the company and set up F.D. Lawley in Quincy Massachusetts. George died in 1928, but the Lawley’s continued to design and build first class vessels for several years.
“George F. Lawley”, Motor Boating, May 1928, pg.29″Sixty Years’ Leadership In Fine Yacht Construction”, Motor Boating, Feb. 1927, pg. 383
Scope and Content
The Lawley Family Collection is organized into seven series.
The first contains the family papers, the second, the company papers; first of George Lawley and Son, and then of F. D. Lawley.
Series three through seven contain volumes. Series three holds those of George Lawley and Son, the fourth, those of George Lawley and Son but kept by Frederick D. Lawley. The fifth contains volumes exclusively of Frederick D. Lawley. Series six contains a volume of George F. Lawley II’s, and the seventh series and final volume is of the Lawley family.
Restrictions on Access
Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.
Restrictions on Use
Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Lawley, Frederick D.
Lawley, George (1823-1915)
Lawley, George F.
Lawley, George F. (1901- )
Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):
George Lawley and Son
South Boston (Boston : Mass.)
Return to the Table of Contents
Coll. 279, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.
Detailed Description of the Collection
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
|Lawley family papers; 1838-1947|
|1||1||Indenture of George F. Lawley as an apprentice to Thomas and William Forrest; 1838 Sep 12|
|2||Eighty-seventh birthday dinner menu; declaration of incompetence for George F. Lawley; 1910, 1928|
|3||Catalogue, English High School; correspondence of Frederick D. Lawley; 1894-1941|
|4||Documents, certificates and letters, George F. Lawley II; 1901-1947|
|5||Legal notices, deeds, and mortgages pertaining to the purchase of South Boston land by George F. Lawley; 1891|
|6||Correspondence, Lawley family; 1905-1937|
|8||Ephemera (non-business); 1887-1913|
|George Lawley and Son papers; 1880-1990|
|2||Printed materials, brochures and stationary; 1890-1920|
|3||“List of sailing yachts designed by Frederick D. Lawley at Lawley and Son Corp.; 1899-1923|
|4||Petition for wage increase; 1918|
|5||Wage lists and miscellaneous time sheets; 1918-192?|
|6||Tender information; 1929-1937|
|7||Vessel cost sheets; 1929|
|8||Estimates for yawls, cutters, schooner and sloops; ca. 1930|
|9||Estimates for power 60′ up; ca. 1930|
|10||Estimates for auxiliary 60′ up; 1932-1934|
|11||Bid materials, specification and contract; 1937-1944|
|12||Specifications and costs, design no. 724; undated|
|13||Vessel cost lists; undated|
|14||Scantlings for vessels # 838-#921; undated|
|15||History of George Lawley and Son; undated|
|16||Article, “Building the Greyhounds of the Sea”, National Magazine; undated|
|17||Newspaper and magazine clippings re: George Lawley and Son vessels; 1923-1990|
|Volumes of George Lawley and Son; 1872-1935|
|1||Accounts and index of various people and businesses with whom Lawley conducted business; 1872-1876|
|2||Numerical listing of tenders (vessels under 35′), including size, style, date build and owners name; 1890-1920|
|3||Numerical listing of tenders (vessels under 35′), including size, style, date build and owners name; 1920-1935|
|4||Vessel names, customer names, scantlings, other measurements, data and related information for Lawley built vessels #358 – #589; 1898-1906|
|5||Vessel names, customer names, scantlings, other measurements, data and related information for Lawley built vessels #590-#958; 1907-ca. 1925|
|6||Rigging information of various vessels, primarily spar dimensions; 1883-1890|
|7||Numerical list of vessels built with a breakdown of associated costs; 1911-1925|
|8||Vessel names, numbers, and measurements as well as comments on engines or sails and speed during trials. Also includes data on Coast Guard vessels in the back of the volume; 1918-1925|
|9||Estimates for various building and repair jobs. Costs are itemized, and quote figure calculated; 1924-1925|
|10||Numerical list of work orders. Vessel names, type of work performed and date are included. Work orders #916-1516. Back of volume contains numerical list of tenders #1-#87; 1927-1928|
|11||Railway book, launch requirements. Listed alphabetically by vessel name; undated|
|12||Vessel names, customer names, scantlings, other measurements, data and related information for Lawley built vessels #357-#358. Also contains similar information for boats designed and built by F. D. Lawley, Inc. #51-#46. Volume kept by Frederick D. Lawley; 1901-1904|
|13||Vessel names, customer names, scantlings, other measurements, data and related information for Lawley built vessels #659-#891. Volume kept by Frederick D. Lawley; 1904-|
|14||Vessel names, customer names, scantlings, other measurements, data and related information for Lawley built vessels #659-#958. Also contains similar information for boats designed and built by F. D. Lawley, Inc. #51-64. Volume kept by Frederick D. Lawley; 1904-1928|
|15||Numerical listing of vessel displacement table and measurements as well as vessel and owner name. Volume kept by Frederick D. Lawley; 1903-1916|
|16||Numerical listing of vessel displacement table and measurements as well as vessel and owner name. Volume kept by Frederick D. Lawley. Also contains a numerical listing F.D. Lawley vessels 1-144 (1926-1932); 1916-1924|
|17||Numerical listing of labor and material costs for each vessel. Also contains costs of F.D. Lawley vessels #52-#65. Volume kept by Frederick D. Lawley; 1925-1932|
|Volumes of Frederick D. Lawley; 1925|
|18||Numerical listing of labor and material costs for each vessel. Volume kept by Frederick D. Lawley; 1925|
|Volumes of George F. Lawley, II; 1923|
|19||Notebook of naval architecture information and calculations. Kept by George F. Lawley, II while attending MIT; 1923|
|Volumes of the Lawley family; undated|
|20||Newspaper clippings of poems; undated|
|Oversized material; 1880-1990|
|HF||1||Diplomas for Braintree Grammar School and Stanton Military Acadamy, awarded to George F. Lawley, II; 1914, 1920|