Born: George Pyman was born on11th May 1822 at Sandsend near Whitby. He was the eldest son of James Pyman and Jane Arr. He had two brothers and a sister.

Educated: By the age of 10, George Pyman was sailing with his uncle in a fishing smack. Whatever education he may have received came to an early end. Aged 12, he went to work in a general dealer’s shop in Lythe. Not long after, he served his apprenticeship at sea in the Baltic and North American trades.

Married: In 1843 George Pyman married Elizabeth English of Raithwaite near Sandsend. Her brother Francis became George’s business partner almost ten years later.

Family: George and Elizabeth had seven sons and two daughters.

Home: From 1871 the Pymans lived in “The Willows”, a large villa in West Hartlepool, which later became the Gray Art Gallery. In about 1890 they moved to Raithwaite Hall between Whitby and Sandsend.

Known for: In 1850, after a career as a Whitby sea captain, George Pyman moved to West Hartlepool and set up in business as a ship’s chandler in a short-lived partnership with his brother-in-law. In 1854 he went into business with Thomas Scurr as a shipbroker. In 1865 he formed his own company, George Pyman and Co., which grew to be the largest company of shipowners in the North East. He also owned Castle Eden colliery. In 1874 George Pyman became Chairman of the West Hartlepool Improvement Commissioners. In 1888 he was made mayor of West Hartlepool and in 1895 was made a freeman of the borough. The Pyman Institute was opened at Sandsend in the year when George died.

Died:  George Pyman died on 22nd November 1900 at home in Raithwaite Hall and was buried in the North Cemetery at West Hartlepool.

Further Information: “The Pyman Story” Peter Hogg and Harold Appleyard (2000) 

“Durham at the Opening of the Twentieth Century” James Jamieson (1906)