inscribed on the verso: "Geo. Garbutt, Bookseller, Sunderland./ Painted by Jas. Wood about 1827"
George Garbutt was baptised at Stokesley, North Yorkshire on 18th January 1792, the son of George Garbutt by his wife Elizabeth Hindson.He appears in the directory for County Durham 1827-8 living on the
High Street at Bishop Wearmouth. By 1851 he is living at 190 High Street, Bishop Wearmouth trading as a book seller. George Garbutt eminent local historian of Sunderland who wrote and published his "History of Sunderland" in 1819. His account of Sunderland's history is well known to local historians and provides much information interesting to anyone but particularly those living in or connected to this city.
He gives a wonderful masonic eulogy of a gentleman named Michael Scarth a truly remarkable man who was third partner with Rowland Burdon and Thomas Wilson in the building of the Sunderland Iron
Bridge in 1796, and assisted Rowland Burdon in constructing the original A19 roadway. Garbutt also provides us with an excellent account of the lead up to the actual building of Sunderland's unique Iron Bridge by Rowland Burdon and the details of the planning and design work which can befound by visiting the comprehensive section on the Sunderland Iron Bridge.
Further research shows that George Garbutt was a member of Sea Captains' Lodge (now Palatine Lodge No.97) and that James Field Stanfield, also a member of the lodge, is said to have written the
portions dealing with masonry and the theatre.