There were various stories about why William left the employ of his Uncle William Camper in the Camper shipyard at Gosport Hampshire in July 1862.
" When my father passed away at the age of 82 years on the 15 th July 1911 my father's wish that the compass be passed onto the senior male of this Laws family. It came into my possession on his passing. Percy Murray Laws jnr.
William Laws borne 1829 This compass was given to William Laws by a Prussian Prince ( name unknown) who brought his yacht from Germany for repairs to the Camphour and Nichols boat yard England on or about 1854.Camphour was his uncle and he W Laws was foreman of the yard and was responsible for the repairs. Mr Camphour died in 1866 and through some deceitful work of the part of some person, when the will was read neither Mrs Camphour nor W Laws, my grandfather received nothing. This shocked my grandfather(W Laws) and he decided to mygrate to Australia. At the age of 38 years in the year 1867.
This was told to me (K Laws) by my father Percy Murray Laws jnr. it being left to him by his father."
As you can see by the citation above we have, some of this tale is not quite right.
It intrigued me about the will so I bought a copy of the will of William Camper( note the correct spelling of the name) who died 8 February 1863. Mrs Camper had died in 1851 so she definitely would not inherit anything from the will. His three daughters Mary Ann, Susanna and Amos( Amy) inherited most of the personal wealth. There was no mention of the shipyard in the will. However in the newspaper there was an advertisement in the Hampshire Telegraph 31 January 1863 ( just 8 days before he died)
Notice is hereby given that WILLIAM CAMPER of Gosport in the County of Southampton, has this day DISPOSED OF and ASSIGNED his business of a ship and yacht builder carried on by him at Gosport to MR BENJAMIN NICHOLSON( foreman to him for many years), and in the future the Business will be carried on by the said Benjamin Nicholson on his own sole account, on the same premises as heretofore, under the name of "CAMPER & NICHOLSON"
Gosport 24th January 1863
So was the deceitful act done in 1862 to make William leave the shipyard? I guess we will never know.
Below are other items handed down in the family.
|William's clay pipe|
|William's clay pipe in case|
|Sarah's bag probably used for storing her brush & comb|
|Sarah's Hymn Book given to her in Dec 1851and then given to Frank Goodall Laws in Jul 1905|
The brooch that Sarah is pictured wearing in this photo was handed down to Lillian's family
Do other members of the family have any other items? It is interesting to see what has lasted the test of time.