Tag Archives: Spanish Town

Planting seeds and recording sources

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I am ever the optimist when it comes to remembering what I have done. I plant seeds in my garden secure in the knowledge that when they come up I will remember what they are – mostly I don’t and mostly they grow anyway. By the time they bear fruit it is obvious what they were, but I don’t have any record of what I did to ensure that I have a good chance of doing the same again next year. Sometimes, as with the lovely cactus flower above, I get a total surprise, a present I didn’t deserve and did nothing to achieve beyond remembering to water it.

So it has been with genealogy. I am often in such a rush to find the end of the story that I merely sketch out a family tree sure that by the time I am ready to tell the story I will remember where I found the pieces of the jigsaw. Sadly, as with my garden, optimism is no substitute for keeping records!

When I began researching my own family history there were very few on-line resources and so apart from family records such as birth certificates I could be sure that a baptism record would have come from what was then known as the IGI, now familysearch.org and so felt no need to record where I had found the data. I made the beginner’s mistake also of recording the baptism date as the birth date  unaware that a baptism might occur any time from the hour of birth to several years afterwards.

There is a suggestion that in Jamaica baptism was often left until the child was expected to survive (no theological fears of eternity in limbo troubled the parents). In fact the reason may have been the more prosaic one that the local vicar had just died of fever, or the child born on the plantation was so far from the centre of the parish that baptisms were done in batches when the vicar found time to visit; or the planter waited for the next Races or Assembly Meeting in Spanish Town to have his child baptised there.

As a historian I have always insisted on being able to prove any assertion by providing the sources, as a genealogist I am afraid I have generally fallen far short.

So time to do something about it. I am studying for a postgraduate certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies with the University of Strathclyde. It is taught on-line so no need to travel to Scotland, much as I would love to. Already I am learning how to document my sources carefully so that anyone coming after me will be able to check that I have made no mistakes and drawn no false conclusions. The downside of what really is a valuable discipline is that it slows me down – no longer can I rush ahead to sketch out the story trusting that when I reach the end of the road I will still be able to see where I came from! It is also time consuming and has taken me away from Jamaica and this blog.

So I hope you will forgive me if postings here are intermittent for a while. I hope that when I have time for full time research once again it will be more securely anchored and the flowers and fruits will be properly labelled.

 

The Genealogical Jigsaw Puzzle

St Mary Aldermanbury before the Blitz

 

It is always very satisfying when another piece of the genealogical jigsaw puzzle slots into place, and this is what happened following the item I wrote last time about Robert Fotherby, who gave his body to science.

I already had a copy of his Will and decided now was the time to transcribe it and to remind myself why I knew anything about him in the first place. I had in fact come across him in the Will of John Rose of Cotterstock (c.1696-1736), which is one of those documents that is a real treasure trove. John Rose had no children and left a number of legacies to his cousins before making over his estate which included holdings in Jamaica to his nephew, then a minor, on condition that he change his name from John Pate to John Pate Rose – which in due course he did.

He listed the following cousins – Robert Fotherby and his wife Frances; Mary Stileman; Martha Milner; Thomas Bush; Thomas Pain the Elder of Oundle, and his sons John and Thomas; Rose Fuller and Francis Sadler both of Jamaica; and the widowed Mary Smith of Leicester. He left a number of charitable legacies and money for his servants as well as, intriguingly since I don’t know what the connection was, Fifty pounds to be equally divided between the two Sons of Thomas King late of Spanish Town in Jamaica aforesaid Dancing Master deceased to be paid them in Jamaica money. Whether John Rose had ever visited his estates in Jamaica, which were being managed by Francis Sadler, is not recorded. You can read the Will in full here.

To unpick all these relationships we need to go back to the early days of settlement in Jamaica when the sons of Thomas Rose of Mickleton decided that their future lay there. The eldest brother William, an apothecary, remained in London acting to some extent as family banker; Dr Fulke Rose and his brothers Thomas and Francis patented land in Jamaica; John Rose pursued a career as a merchant based mainly in London, trading goods and convicts into the island (although one of his daughters was born in Jamaica). There was also a sister Elizabeth Rose, possibly married in 1679 to Richard Phelps in Jamaica, and later to a man called Milner, finally in 1699 back in London to a widower called William Bush with whom she had several children.

So we can de-code the cousins of John Rose of Cotterstock, whose father was William Rose the Apothecary, as follows: Mary Stileman was a daughter of John Rose the merchant and you can read more about her here. Her son from her second marriage was Francis Sadler. Martha Milner was a daughter of Elizabeth Rose, and Thomas Bush was Martha’s half-brother. Rose Fuller was a grandson of Fulke Rose and as a young man he went to Jamaica to manage the estates belonging to the Fuller and Isted families.

That was as far as I had got until I looked again at Robert Fotherby and discovered a marriage licence allegation on Ancestry for an intended wedding to the widowed Frances Charnock ‘aged upwards of thirty years’, in 1732.  Frances Rose had buried her daughters Elizabeth and Mary in the parish of St John Jamaica in August and October 1720, and her husband Dr John Charnock in September ten years later. Their deaths are recorded in a monumental inscription (Lawrence Archer, p.313).  Returning to England she remarried and had, it is to be hoped, ten happy years with Robert Fotherby. That he was very fond of her is evidenced by the care he showed in providing for Elizabeth Lambe, who had been her companion, and perhaps her nurse in her last illness.

Frances was buried on the 2nd of March 1741/42 at St Mary Aldermanbury in the City of London, where her mother Elizabeth had been buried in 1735 and her infant niece Elizabeth Serocold (daughter of Martha Rose) was buried in 1716. The church was destroyed by enemy action in 1940, but in 1969 when the site was to be redeveloped the stones were sold and the church was rebuilt in Fulton, Missouri, USA as the National Churchill Museum.

So of this extensive list of cousins, all apparently relations of the Rose family, I am left with Thomas Pain and his sons who I suspect were closely related to John Rose’s wife Elizabeth (one of the witnesses to her Will was a Thomas Payne) and Mrs Mary Smith of Leicester.

I did not hold out much hope of finding Mrs Mary Smith though my guess is that she was also a member of the Pain family. However I then discovered that in 1758 the Bank of Smith and Payne was established in London’s Lombard Street. John Payne, the founding partner, and a Chairman of the East India Company, was a nephew of the Thomas Payne of Oundle mentioned in the Will of John Rose of Cotterstock. Both the Smith and Pain/Paine/Payne families had connections with Wigston near Leicester.

John Paine of Oundle, son of Thomas the Elder, was buried  in the church of St Peter, Oundle on the 23rd of July 1801, aged eighty-one, at which time his younger brother Thomas and sister-in-law Sarah were still alive.

 

As a postscript: John Pate did obtain a private Act of Parliament in 1744 to change his name to John Pate Rose. He went on to have three daughters with Martha Henn, but I am not clear whether he was married to her. Hannah Bella born in 1753 died young. His daughters Letitia and Sophia born in 1751 and 1752 both married within a month of each other in 1784, each couple being witnesses at the others’ wedding – Letitia to the widowed Sir George Booth and Sophia to the Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne with whom she had a daughter Margaret.

 

 

Curtis Brett – Spanish Town Printer

 

18th Century style wooden Common Press at The Tom Paine Printing Press Lewes, Sussex

I have to thank Professor Roderick Cave* for reintroducing me to Curtis Brett, who had only merited a footnote in my book. Until now I had been completely unaware of Curtis Brett’s key role as the printer to the Jamaican Assembly at a time in the island’s history when the location of its capital was in dispute. The Kingston merchant lobby wanted to relocate the capital there and avoid the hot and dusty ride across the St Catherine plains to Spanish Town to attend to legal matters. The Plantocracy and its lawyers on the other hand wanted to be able to come in from the surrounding countryside to attend the law sessions in Spanish Town and combine this with residence in their town houses, attendance at balls and social functions, and days at the races.

Brett, who had been born in Ireland in 1720, had trained as a printer, and although his early ventures in Jamaica were as a storekeeper in Kingston, and then as a plantation overseer, he moved on to work in a counting house in Spanish Town for Archibald Sinclair. It was here that his previous printing experience led to his appointment as printer to the Assembly.

In order to raise the start-up capital required it was agreed to invite subscriptions to publish a book of The Laws of Jamaica. Brett finalised the manuscript on board ship, returning  to London in June 1755, where the book was printed and bound by his previous master William Strahan. Back in Jamaica he was to be assisted by Charles White, whose work on the Spanish Town Census of 1754 has already been described here.

In the spring of the following year Curtis Brett returned to Jamaica with copies of the Laws of Jamaica and all the equipment required to set up as a printer in Spanish Town. By the 8th of May he was ready to produce the first edition of the St Jago Intelligencer, of which sadly only one (or possibly two) issues are known to survive.

 

 

This very rare book, of which only three copies are known to exist was printed by Curtis Brett in 1757. Details of this copy, for sale by the William Reese Company, can be viewed online here.

 

By insisting that subscribers to the Intelligencer paid their subscriptions in advance, and by printing materials for the Assembly and probably a book almanac as well as the book highlighted here, Curtis Brett found his business so successful that by 1761 he had accumulated about £5000 and was looking for fresh challenges.  Roderick Cave believes Brett was then bought out by his partner Charles White before setting off to pursue activities as a merchant in Jamaica, New York and London.

 

By this time Curtis Brett was married and the father of a son. His wife was the widowed Ann Allwood, whose first husband was Hayward Gaylard. Hayward Gaylard had a chequered history, he had been a haberdasher and merchant in Cornhill, London but had been declared bankrupt in 1746, and had presumably travelled to Kingston in the hope of mending his fortunes. There was in London at the same time a printer called Doctor Gaylard (c.1699-1749). He was not a medical man, for Doctor was indeed his baptismal name! and although he came from Sherborne in Dorset it is not unreasonable to suggest that he was connected with the family of Hayward Gaylard and hence through the printing connection Curtis Brett may have been introduced to Hayward.

Hayward Gaylard married Ann Allwood, in Spanish Town, on the 25th of  December  1752. The marriage was to be short lived and apparently without surviving children, for Hayward Gaylard was buried in the North churchyard at Kingston on the 24th of July 1756. It seems possible that when Curtis Brett first travelled to Jamaica it was with Hayward Gaylard, and this would account for how he came to meet his future wife.

What is harder to account for is how Ann came to be there in the first place. We know that she had at least two brothers, both of whom had interesting careers. Her brother John was an artisan painter who took an apprentice in St Giles in London in 1765 and spent some time on the Carolinas, painting an altarpiece in Charleston in 1772.

Her brother Thomas was apprenticed to Thomas Johnson in Liverpool in 1752 and became a master carver and gilder. In this role he exhibited sculptures and created picture frames for Romney, framed works by George Stubbs and undertook decorative carving work for the Prince of Wales at Carlton House. Whether because the Prince was notorious for not paying  his bills or for other reasons, sadly, in 1799 Thomas was declared bankrupt, and family properties in Great Russell Street and Charlotte Street had to be sold. What happened to him after this is unknown, but it seems likely he lived out his life at Barking in Essex, died in 1819 and was buried in the family grave in the Whitefield’s Memorial Church in Tottenham Court Road, London. My reasoning on this is governed by the burial in the same church in a ‘family vault’ of his brother-in-law Curtis Brett in 1784.

John Allwood, who died in about 1796, left a wife, seemingly his second, and the only reference to a child was to his son John who had some years previously left for Bombay and had not been heard of since.

So how did Ann Allwood come to be in Jamaica in 1752? It is possible that she travelled there with her brother John, since we know he ventured to the Americas twenty years later. There is the further possibility that there was a third brother, called Francis, who set up shop in Harbour Street, Kingston and lived out his days as an established member of the community there, dying in Liguanea in April 1793. He was noted for having blown up his own house in Kingston to prevent the spread of a conflagration in 1782. The Cornwall Chronicle of 1789 reported that ‘His long pursuit of that business, and known integrity, see from the year 1774, until the fatal conflagration in 1782, which, to save the town from still further destruction, had his house blown into the air by gunpowder, for which he has never received the smallest recompense.[1]

If she did travel out to Jamaica with her brother Francis, this would have placed Ann firmly within the merchant community in Kingston and in a position to meet both of her husbands.

We know of only two children of Ann and Curtis Brett. Charles Richard Brett was born in Kingston on the 4th of September  1761 and he may have been the child mentioned in his father’s letter,  quoted by Daniel Livesay[2], as being sent to England. A second son, Curtis Brett, was born on the 8th of October  1765 and one on-line source suggests he was baptised at Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex on the 11th of November that year, which would imply he was born in England, but I am unable to verify this.

The second Curtis Brett signed  Articles of Clerkship with John Windus of Tooks Castle Yard on the 19th of  November  1781, but I am unclear whether he ever practised law. In due course he inherited all his father’s estate, including mining interests in North Wales, when Curtis Brett senior died in 1784. Four years later he married Anna Maria Johnson and they had a family of four sons and two daughters.

Of their children, Charles Curtis became an army veterinary surgeon; Henry Richard was a wine merchant and later Brewer’s Agent whose son Walter spent several years in Belgium before he migrated to Canada where his sons both became taxidermists; George fared less well and in 1851 seems to have been a Watchman at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. The third Curtis Brett fell even further and seems to have ended his life in the Camberwell Workhouse, perhaps his previous employment as a grocer and later wine cooper and brewer’s agent had led him to drink. I cannot trace Louisa, but Emily Maria married well to a respected clergyman and her grandaughter  Emily Mary Edith Lloyd married the wealthy Charles Bosanquet. It was however a tale with a sad ending. Of their three children Muriel died aged only seven, Sydney died of wounds in the early months of the Great War aged barely twenty and his brother Leslie, who appears not to have served, died aged eighteen in November 1918 perhaps in the Spanish Flu epidemic.

Curiously, or perhaps not so curiously given the social set they all moved in, Charles Bosanquet was related to descendants of Robert Cooper Lee whose letters form such a major part of A Parcel of Ribbons.

 

* ‘Two Jamaican Printers’, in Roderick Cave, Printing and the book trade in the West Indies (London: Pindar Press, 1987) pp. 206-218.

 

 


[1] http://jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Members/C/CornwallC_01.htm

[2] Curtis Brett to his son, c. 1777, MS 10, letter no. 19, 40, National Library of Jamaica,  cited in Children of  Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Migration from the West Indies to Britain, 1750-1820,  Daniel Alan Livesay, unpublished PhD thesis (book in preparation)

These Curtis Brett letters are partial transcriptions of the originals, the whereabouts of which are sadly currently unknown.

 

Spanish Town – an 18th century History worth saving

Recently, I was reading a discussion on the Jamaica Colonial Heritage Society Facebook Group about the current state of Spanish Town. All contributors mourned its decline and the state of its historic buildings, but there are optimistic straws in the wind about what might be possible in future. Despite some people’s concern about the safety of the town, a large group made a walking tour in August 2012 photographing historic sites and buildings and educating each other about a shared history. Many of the photographs were posted on the Facebook Group, which also houses a huge collection of albums of pictures of Jamaica’s Great Houses and many other interesting images.

For those of us outside Jamaica, who may never be able to visit, James Robertson’s book Gone is the Ancient Glory, Spanish Town, Jamaica, 1551-2000[1] provides an ideal history of the development of the town from Spanish colonial outpost, to island capital, to modern centre with the University of the West Indies Campus at Mona.

The book takes a chronological approach to the history of the town beginning with the reasons for its establishment as the Spanish capital after the abandoning of New Seville in the north of the island. One interesting feature of the early town is the relatively large number of free negroes. In 1611 there were 107 when adult Spaniard numbered 523 and there were 558 slaves. Also reflected in Jamaica’s early history were a significant number of Portuguese, and many Portuguese and Spanish Jews due to the absence of the Inquisition. Robertson describes the imprint of the Spaniards on the layout of Spanish Town and on the ecology of the island through their imported fruit trees and domestic animals. Indeed the cattle the Spaniards left behind provided a much needed source of food and hides in the early days of British conquest.

The imprint of Spain on Spanish Town in its layout, single storey houses and buildings facing inward to courtyards rather than outward onto the street, made the town seem very foreign to the incoming English in the late seventeenth century. Following the 1692 earthquake and the destruction of much of Port Royal, Kingston was laid out on a large modern grid pattern and Spanish Town would always suffer to a degree by comparison. However the location of Spanish Town still made it much more convenient for planters coming together for the Assembly and law sessions, and for the associated social life of racecourse, theatre and balls. Its primacy as island capital would be challenged by the Kingston merchants in the mid-eighteenth century, but not supplanted by Kingston until the mid-ninteenth.

One distinctive characteristic of Spanish Town, highlighted by Robertson, was the existence of clusters of slave huts within the town. Whereas in North America the enslaved were segregated and crammed together into buildings and outhouses on the owner’s land, there was legislation in Spanish Town to control the ‘Negro Hutts’. Although such groups of huts could house runaways, they did enable many to live some form of family life, and in turn the town benefited from produce grown in these yards or brought in from outside to negro markets, the sellers staying overnight in the huts with friends or relations.

Robertson describes how Spanish Town flowered in the mid-eighteenth century with the construction of the great municipal buildings, the Archives Building, Kings House and the Assembly around the central square. In many ways this was a high point and far less construction took place in the later part of the century although Spanish Town did win out over Kingston in the tussle to house the statue of Admiral Rodney. A further engineering high point was reached with the construction of the cast iron bridge over the Rio Cobre, which still stands today – probably the first and certainly the oldest still surviving structure of its kind in the western hemisphere.

The arrival of Protestant missionaries amid the struggle for emancipation at the start of the nineteenth century led to the building of new churches, and the street names in Spanish Town reflected the politics of the day – Canning Street, Duke of Wellington Street and Peel Lane demonstrating an identification of the property owning classes with the English establishment.

With the coming of emancipation in 1838 we have a number of prints showing the celebrations as a crowd of about 7000 assembled at the Baptist Chapel and marched to the Parade to hear the Proclamation read – commemorated today by a plaque.

Early Victorian times saw investment in the Island from outside, including the building of the railway between Kingston and Spanish Town, but by the mid-century international recession and a cholera epidemic rapidly followed by a smallpox outbreak resulted in Spanish Town suffering from lack of investment and becoming increasingly dilapidated. Eighteenth century architecture was out of favour with the Victorians, the railway was funneling trade in the direction of Kingston, the population of Spanish Town reduced, many falling into desperate poverty.

Following the uprising of 1865 and the establishment of Jamaica as a Crown Colony, the island’s administration was moved to Kingston and Spanish town was demoted to the status of an ‘inland county town’. Many buildings that had been leased to those attending the island Assembly were no longer tenanted and were demolished to make way for development of humbler cottages. The day of the eighteenth century town mansion was finally over.

All was not lost however and Robertson describes how ‘Architecturally Spanish Town retains a firm imprint from the revival of prosperity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.’ Much derived from the banana boom. Many small houses constructed in this period still remain, and the social mix included middle class professionals. With the banana boats came the first tourists and Spanish Town developed as a stop over between Port Antonio and Kingston, or for day trippers all arriving by by rail.

Moving into the twentieth century Robertson draws on oral history, accounts of the class structure, the myths and tales told by residents, memories of Spanish Town holding the island’s first cycle races. Then in the 1920s three disasters afflicted the town. In October 1925 the Kings House burnt down. Then came Panama disease, a fungal infection destroying the banana crop. A switch to a resistant strain which was thinner skinned and transported less well, had mixed success. Finally the Railway company racked up huge debts sucking money from the government’s allocation for capital investment. The Great Depression and riots in 1938 saw even more difficult times, and only in 1944 did Jamaicans finally achieve universal suffrage.

The final chapter of James Robertson’s book  covers the development of Spanish Town from 1942-2000 and asks ‘Where are we now?’ Bounded by a new bypass, with bus passengers queuing in front the of the now closed railway station, there is more traffic, and fewer animals forage in the streets where taller modern buildings replace those of earlier times. Gradually Spanish Town and Kingston spread out to meet each other.

‘Despite all the demolitions of old buildings and infilling of original lots, the older gridded ground plans of the sixteenth-century settlement and its 1740s expansion still organize the heart of the town”. Spanish Town has now gained conditional acceptance as a World Heritage site but lacks the resources to fulfill the conditions for full acceptance.

I have only been able to scratch the surface here. James Robertson’s book, covering many aspects of the history of Jamaica, not simply of Spanish Town, provides ample material to back up its claim to be viewed and preserved as part of our World Heritage. It is a fascinating read.



[1] Ian Randle Publishers, Kingston, Jamaica, 2005. ISBN 976-637-197-0

 

 

 

 

Of an unjust imprisonment and a shocking legacy

By Thomas Hudon, engraved by Johan Faber (The National Maritime Museum), via Wikimedia Commons

Many who are new to tales of Jamaican slavery are deeply shocked when they discover that freed slaves and mixed Jamaicans often themselves owned slaves. I think this is understandable (which is not to say justifiable), if you accept that for most people in the eighteenth century slavery was a fact of life and one which they generally did not question. Since owning slaves reflected your economic and social status it is unsurprising that freed slaves and mixed race Jamaicans would want to reinforce their new status, in much the same way as aspiring middle class Victorians in England would employ a live-in maid or a cook. A key difference of course being that the latter were free to leave for other employment.

However, I did find it particularly shocking when I read the Will of Francis Delap to discover, that in freeing and educating his little six year-old mulatto son Arthur, he was requiring his executors to provide Arthur with ‘three new Negro Boys nearly of his Age to be bought for him by my Executors immediately after my death to be marked AD and to be bred to the same Trade with himself’.  Not only were three little African boys straight off the boat to be branded with Arthur’s initials, but they were to be the slaves of another child of their own age.

Since they were all to be bred up in the same trade I presume Francis was trying to provide Arthur with the ultimate means of setting himself up in business. And of course this is not the only case of a child being given his own slaves.  But shocking nevertheless.

Francis Delap has however gone down in history for quite another reason. He was at the centre of the great Jamaican controversy in the mid 1750s surrounding the location of the island capital.

When the British arrived in Jamaica in 1655 St Jago de la Vega was the Spanish capital, situated inland for easier defence against seaborn raiders. After the 1692 earthquake and a later fire largely destroyed Port Royal, Kingston rapidly grew to be the centre of mercantile activity. By the mid- eighteenth century a schism had grown up between the planter and administrative classes who favoured Spanish Town, where the Assembly met and legal cases were heard, and the merchants who wanted to move the capital to Kingston. Apart from the disruption this would have caused, planter social life centred on the times of year when they arrived from their estates to enjoy the Spanish Town entertainments and attend the races, to get married and to baptise their children. Any move of the capital would also have had a depressive effect on property values in Spanish Town which had just been ascertained in the 1754 Census.

When Sir Charles Knowles arrived in Jamaica as Governor he sided with the Kingston lobby in favour of the move, falling out with the Spanish Town inhabitants and choosing to move to Kingston rather than as was traditional living in Spanish Town. He also insisted on the supremacy of the English parliament over the Jamaican Assembly.  This direct confrontation with the Assembly came to a head when the Governor dissolved the Assembly and elections were called. There was not of course any universal franchise, only free white men who were freeholders could vote.

It appeared that the votes for the three members for Port Royal were going to be critical and the pro-Kingston lobby wanted to ensure that the vote was not supervised by the Provost Marshall Francis Delap, who was thought to favour the Spanish Town cause. Uncertain what to do for the best when told to hand over the Writs, Delap had the Writs and all his papers locked in two chests and deposited  them with Charles Price and Dr William Wynter.

The Governor had Delap arrested and ordered him to surrender the Writs for the election so that new ones could be issued, putting a Mr Johnston who he had appointed as the new Provost Marshall in charge of the election. Delap had serious doubts about the legality of this, but was unable to act beyond securing all his papers, as Governor Knowles had him committed to the Kingston jail where he was clapped in irons, deprived of the use of pen and ink and prevented from communicating with anyone.

Knowles intended to have him shipped out to England as a prisoner, but the Island Council decided instead to prosecute him for a misdemeanour and he was at last able to apply for a writ of Habeas Corpus and to obtain bail. Following a court appearance in June 1755 Delap was fined £500 and once again imprisoned.

One of Delap’s friends and supporters was Rose Fuller, who had earlier clashed with Knowles as a result of which he had resigned as Chief Justice. In the Spring of 1755 he heard that his brother John had died in England and so after two decades in Jamaica Rose Fuller returned to England, arriving in August of 1755. His presence there enabled him to coordinate support for Delap’s case in London and eventually Delap was freed. Papers held at the East Sussex Record Office at Lewes show that Fuller had raised a letter of credit on Arnold, Albert and Alexander Nesbitt of London  for £6000 for Delap’s legal support, based on a valuation of Delap’s Jamaican estate which ‘recently stocked with a great strength of able negroes and mules, is good security for £30,000’ (ESRO  SAS-RF/21/42).

The Board of Trade eventually decided in favour of Spanish Town on a technicality and Governor Knowles left Jamaica. A huge procession of carts brought the island papers back to Spanish Town and the celebrations included two huge bonfires, one topped with an effigy of Governor Knowles and the other one of his ship[1].

When Delap died over twenty years later most of his wealth was left to his siblings in Ireland, but he also made provision for the care of four mixed race children, whose mother was Mary Shippen, and for little Arthur, now the master of his own slaves.

 

 

 

 


[1] You can read a fuller account of the Spanish Town versus Kingston controversy in Gone is the Ancient Glory, Spanish Town, Jamaica 1534-2000 by James Robertson, Ian Randle Publishers, Kingston 2005; and a contemporary account of the trial of Francis Delap in An account of the trial of Francis Delap Esq upon an information for a misdemeanour: at the Supreme Court of Judicature, held in the town of Kingston, in Jamaica, on June 18, 1755. Ecco Print Editions (print on demand).

Augier or Hosier – name transformations

 

 

When I was transcribing the 1754 census of Spanish Town I came across three people listed as “free Mulattoes or Descendants from them admitted to the privileges of white people by Acts of the Legislature”.  Two of them I knew already – Mary Johnston Rose and her son Thomas Wynter who each lived in the house that they owned. Then there was Susanna Hosier who was recorded as a sugar planter and who owned a house worth £60 that was un-tenanted.  I was surprised that I did not know who she was and could not find any reference to her, since as a mixed race woman she seemed to be unusually wealthy.

Sometime later I was working on the family of Susanna Augier and realised that the name was sometimes written as Augier and sometimes as Hosier.  Once you pronounce Augier as ‘O-gee-er’ with a soft G you realise how it could come to be written as Hosier.  It was also occasionally mis-transcribed as Augire, Angier and Augine.   I often use dictation software when transcribing Wills and writing these blog pieces, and the software delivers ‘osier’ for ‘Augier’ !  It is the kind of name transformation that makes the work of the genealogist both frustrating and fascinating.

Having resolved the name puzzle I was able to build the story of Susanna Augier and her extended family.  She was a quite exceptional woman and well known to the Jamaican Plantocracy. Her case was used to support the argument in the construction of the 1761 act preventing “Devizes to Negroes”, limiting the inheritance of black, mixed race, and illegitimate Jamaicans to £2000. The size of her inheritance seems to have been exceptional, but it provided useful ammunition for those wanting to restrict the size of legacies.

Susanna was the daughter of John Augier, a planter who died in 1722.  He seems to have had little connection to his origins and a fondness and care for his Jamaican family.  Under his Will he freed his daughters Susanna, Mary, Jenny, Frances and Jane.  Subsequent references to his family show that there was a further daughter called Elizabeth and a son called Jacob, and probably a daughter Sarah who died young.  Susanna, who was probably born about 1707, seems to have been particularly favoured and in due course became the mother of four children with a planter called Peter Caillard or Calliard.  Mary, Peter, Frances and Susanna Caillard were born between 1725 and 1728. [But see Postscript below].

Peter Caillard died about 1728 leaving Susanna hugely wealthy. In addition to her inheritance from her father she now had a life interest in several properties in Kingston and Spanish Town and an estate including a Penn in St Catherine and a Mountain at Way Water, all valued for probate at £26,150 8s 1d, and entailed for her children Mary and Peter.  By 1753 Susanna owned 950 acres of mainly good land in the parish of St Andrew (including 40 acres under coffee, 100 acres of provision ground and 800 acres of woodland) with eighty negroes, one white servant and forty-two head of cattle. Like many other free mixed race Jamaicans Susanna owned slaves – for example John Augier ‘a negro man belonging to Susanna Augier’ was baptised in Kingston on the 4th of March 1740. Few women in eighteenth century Jamaica owned estates (most who did were planters widows), fewer still managed them themselves as Susanna appears to have done.

Peter and Susanna Caillard both died young, but in 1738 Susanna applied for the rights of whites for herself and her children Mary and Frances Caillard. A Private Act of the Jamaica Assembly dated 19th of July 1738 granted them the legal status of whites.

Mary Caillard travelled to England, perhaps to meet her father’s family in Bristol, and on the 19th of April 1748 at Henbury, Gloucestershire she married Gilbert Ford who would in due course become Jamaican Attorney General.  It was an unusual marriage for a mixed race Jamaican, even more so for a young English Lawyer.  Ford came from a well-to-do family – his brother James became Physician Extraordinary to Queen Charlotte, Physician Extraordinary to the Westminster Lying-in hospital, and Consulting Man-Midwife to the Westminster General dispensary.  Sadly there were no children of the marriage and Mary died in May 1754 at Clifton, Bristol[1].  It seems to have been after her death that Gilbert Ford went to Jamaica where he married for a second time to Elizabeth Aikenhead.

Within about a year of Caillard’s death Susanna was living with Gibson Dalzell  with whom she had two further children, Frances and Robert, and on his death in about 1755 she inherited a life interest in his estate worth £6854 1s 3d.  Dalzell made full provision for Frances and Robert who by then were living with him in London.

Robert Dalzell was sent to his father’s college, Christ Church Oxford in 1761. In 1762 aged just twenty he married Miss Jane Dodd, ‘an agreeable young lady of large fortune, and with every other accomplishment necessary to adorn the marriage state.’ [2]  There were three children of his marriage who lived into the nineteenth century and had descendants, owning the manors of Tidworth and Mackney in Berkshire.

Frances Dalzell married the Honourable George Duff, son of the first Earl of Fife, on the 7th of April 1757 and moved into the ranks of the aristocracy.  Tragically her first child was  ‘a lunatic from birth’[3] perhaps severely mentally handicapped, or born with Down’s syndrome.  Her son George and her two daughters died unmarried.

Susanna herself died in February 1757 and was buried on the 12th in Kingston.

 

All of this would be remarkable enough until you take into account the rest of Susanna Augier’s siblings.  In 1747 two Private Acts of the Jamaican Assembly were passed.  The first gave the rights of whites to Jane Augier and her children Edward James, Thomas, Peter and Dorothy.  The second on behalf of Mary Augier gave ‘the same rights and privileges with English Subjects, born of white parents’ to Mary’s children William, Elizabeth, Jane and Eleanor; to her brother and sister Jacob and Elizabeth and to Elizabeth’s son John.  Even this does not tell the whole story.

Of John Augier’s daughters it must be assumed that Jenny and Frances had probably died before 1747 and so were not included in the family’s bid to acquire full white status.  Jenny had a daughter called Sharlott, born in 1729 and dead just under two years later, whose father was the choleric Theophilus Blechynden.

Around the time of his daughter Sharlott’s death he married Florence Fulton the widow of Dean Poyntz who had left his wife an annuity of £200 a year.  Poyntz was in partnership with Mathias Philp and years later Blechynden and his wife sued the estate of Philp’s other partner William Perrin for £10,000 of back payments of her annuity.  The case dragged on for years and was only finally settled by Blechynden’s son when almost all the other parties were dead!

A not untypical example of Jamaican litigation.

Frances Augier had two sons William and John Muir, and a daughter Hannah Spencer born in 1736. Frances probably died in Kingston in February  1738.  Elizabeth whose son John was granted the rights of whites in 1747 had also had a daughter called Elizabeth who died at the age of four, both were the children of Richard Asheton.  Elizabeth was buried in Kingston on the 16th of January 1749/50. Jacob Augier also died in Kingston and was buried on the 18th of September 1751, I have found no record that he had any children.

Mary and Jane Augier both had large families.  Jane had six children with John DeCumming, of whom two died before she could apply for their rights.  It is the children of Mary who have descendants that we know the most about.  Mary had at least seven children with William Tyndall a Kingston merchant, and her daughter Elizabeth (born in 1726) had nine children with the wealthy Kingston merchant John Morse.  Morse also had a daughter called Frances, probably born before he began his relationship with Elizabeth, who was brought up by his sister Sarah Vanheelen in Holland, and who died, unmarried, in London about 1818.  Several of his children died before their father, but his three youngest daughters all married and had descendants.

John Morse had returned to London before his death – he was buried at St Mary Aldermanbury on the 2nd of April 1781. His family may have travelled with him, or may already have been educated in England. Catherine Morse married a young lawyer called Edmund Green at St Mary Aldermanbury in 1777 – the witnesses at the wedding included her uncle by marriage Joseph Royall.

Catherine had eight children, among whom her daughter Frances Ann married William Farington from the Isle of Wight who became an Admiral in the Royal Navy.  Edmund’s training as a lawyer was called into play during a lengthy Chancery suit[4] on behalf of John Morse’s children against the Morse family who were unhappy at the legacies left to his mixed race illegitimate offspring.  In this he may have had help from Robert Cooper Lee who had himself secured his children’s future via a Private Act of the Assembly passed in 1776. Frances Lee, his daughter, left legacies to her friend Catherine Green and her daughter Frances Ann Farington.

As the boom days of Jamaica were coming to an end so the focus of empire switched to India. Catherine’s sisters Ann Frances and Sarah went to India with their brother Robert and both married there in 1780. Ann Frances married Nathaniel Middleton and had ten children born variously in India and England. The Morse/Middleton fortune passed down the generations and  in 1898, at the death of Hastings Nathaniel Middleton, was worth £84,100 15s 7d.

Sarah married William Cator in Calcutta and their daughter Ann Frances became the wife of Colonel Edward Baynes who as Adjutant General to the British forces in North America was sent to negotiate the armistice with the US government in July 1812. After service in North America they settled happily to retirement in Devon, their investments managed by Robert Cooper Lee’s son Richard. Their son William Craig Baynes migrated to Canada taking charge of the extensive estates acquired while his father was serving in Quebec.

Edmund Green eventually won the Chancery case on behalf of his wife and her siblings.

By the early nineteenth century the descendants of the Augier sisters had blended seamlessly into the highest levels of British society, their Jamaican slave roots conveniently air-brushed from history.

————————————-

POSTSCRIPT : 2nd August 2012

I have been looking again at the children of Susanna Augier and I think a confusion has arisen over her children with Peter Caillard. I now think that her children with Peter Caillard were Mary, Peter and Susanna and that there is only one child called Frances – the daughter of Gibson Dalzell.

 

 

 



[1] I have a reader of this website to thank for this information. “Last week died at Clifton near Bristol, after a lingering illness, the Lady of Gilbert Ford of the Middle-Temple, Esq.” London Evening Post (London, England), May 7, 1754 – May 9, 1754

[2] ‘Parishes: Tidmarsh’, A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3 (1923), pp. 433-437. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk

[4] For more detail on the Morse sisters and the Chancery case see D.A.Livesay, Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Migration from the West Indies to Britain, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Michigan, 2010 – available on-line at http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/77875

 

 

Mary Johnston Rose – How to become legally white

Sample of eighteenth century Indian chintz.

The Spanish Town census, featured here recently, listed three people who were described as “free Mulattoes or Descendants from them admitted to the privileges of white people by Acts of the Legislature”.

They included Mary Johnston Rose and her son Thomas Wynter. Mary was a free mulatto, the daughter of Elizabeth Johnston who died in 1753 a free negro. Mary may have been born as early as 1700 when there is the baptism of a Mary Elizabeth daughter of Elizabeth Johnston ‘a negro wench’ on 5th July 1700. If this is the right mother and daughter then Elizabeth was probably a house slave at the time and later freed. It seems probable that Mary’s father was one of the Rose family, possibly Francis Rose (1656-1720), or William Rose (d. about 1724).

There is no record of how Mary acquired her education, but that she did so at a time when most women, whatever their colour, were illiterate suggests that she had a favoured upbringing at the hands of her father.

Mary was said to be related to Rose Fuller (a plantation owner and key player in island politics; Francis Rose was his great-uncle and William Rose his cousin) and she was his housekeeper for about twenty years until he returned to England in the summer of 1755, landing at Portsmouth on the 18th August. The role of housekeeper frequently equated to that of common law wife and there was clearly a strong degree of affection between Mary and her employer who was the acknowledged father of her son William.

After Rose Fuller left Jamaica he sent her various items, including a carpet. In May 1756 she wrote that these were “such marks of your esteem for me as I shall never forget” and she forwarded a list requesting calimancoe[1] shoes, coarse linen (probably for servant or slave clothing), chintz (perhaps Indian chintz such as pictured above), tea and a white beaver hat. She sent him some boxes of sweetmeats “which will serve to remind you that you have left here a person who always thinks of you”. In a further letter in December 1756 she wrote “I most heartily thank you for all your favours which have been very great to me, but notwithstanding them, I have often known the want of your being here, since your departure. May you long enjoy your health is the sincere wish of your most affectionate honourable servant Mary Rose”.

Clearly she missed him, but knew that she would never see him again.

Mary had two sons by different fathers – Thomas Wynter who was probably the son of Dr William Wynter; and William Fuller – born on the 28th of January and baptised on the 18th of April 1735 – who was the son of Dr Rose Fuller. From a letter written by her nephew Robert Kelly to Rose Fuller in 1758 we know that William Fuller was sent to England to be educated at his father’s expense, but as nothing further is heard of him it seems he probably died young. Robert Kelly was the son of Mary’s sister Ann Rose, and his father was one of the five Kelly brothers whose Wills are on this website, most probably John Kelly who died in 1740.

Mary also had a sister Sarah Johnson, a niece called Peg whose child she took in when Peg was drowned in a storm, and nephew and niece John Schutz Johnson and Ann Rose – Sarah’s children.

Thomas Wynter, William Fuller and Robert Kelly were all classified by Jamaican society as quadroons and as such did not have the same rights as white people, although having mothers who were free meant they too were free. However in 1745 Mary applied for herself and her sons to be accorded the same rights as whites, and in 1746 the English parliament confirmed an Act of the Jamaican Assembly granting those rights.

“At the Court of St. James 17.12.1746.  Present the King’s Most Excellent Majesty in Council.  Whereas the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s Island of Jamaica with the Council and Assembly of the said Island did in 1745 pass an Act which hath been transmitted in the words following viz An Act to Intitle Mary Johnston Rose of the Parish of St. Catherines in the said Island, a free mulatto woman and her sons Thomas Wynter and William Fuller begotten by white fathers to the same rights and privileges with English subjects born of white parents.  The Act was confirmed, finally enacted and ratified accordingly.”

This was not a wholly unusual event, there were a handful of such Acts each year from the early eighteenth century onwards, but the proportion of all the mixed race adults and children granted such rights was small and it does indicate that Mary had some influence over her own position, albeit presumably through the fathers of her sons, both of whom were members of the Assembly at the time.

Had her sons been born a few years later their position would have been more difficult, for in December 1761 the Jamaican Assembly, alarmed by the numbers of mixed race illegitimate children of the Plantocracy inheriting from their white fathers, passed an Act to “prevent exorbitant grants and devises to Negroes”.  William Wynter was one of three men to sign a protest against the Bill.

Nevertheless the Act was made law and so in 1783 Mary’s son Thomas was forced to petition for the rights of his own mixed race children William Rose Wynter and Mary Mede.  The baptism record for William Rose Wynter lists him as a mulatto so it is possible his mother was black.

Although Thomas Wynter was listed as a Millwright in the 1754 census, by the time of his death in 1789 he was able to leave £1000 to his daughter Mrs Mead, and an annuity to Mrs Hemming the mother of his two children, and to direct that Hampshire Plantation and Prospect Penn and all his other real estate and slaves in Jamaica should be sold by his Executors for the benefit of his children. His estate was valued at £65,820 and the money from the sale was put in trust invested in securities in England.

After a career in the Army, William Rose Wynter ended his days in England dying in Devon in 1846, and his sister married an English vicar and also left Jamaica for England. The descendants of William Rose Wynter through his son Thomas Rose Wynter can be tracked down through the nineteenth century, also in the Indian Army and later in Cornwall. The descendants of Mary Elizabeth Wynter Mead nee Hemmings can be tracked into the late twentieth century.

When Rose Fuller died in 1777 he left his house in Spanish Town to the lifetime use of Mary Johnson (sic) Rose “to whose care and attention under God I conceive my life has been more than once preserved in several dangerous illnesses I had in Jamaica”. He left her an annuity of £100 Jamaican currency (worth a bit over £70 sterling) annually for her lifetime, which was the continuance of a similar annuity he was already paying her. She was also left the lifetime use of the contents of the house except for what might be needed for the use of his attorneys managing his property from the Grange, and he requested, but did not require, that she might live at the Grange Pen to assist the attorneys when necessary. Mary was also left the use of six female slaves with any children they might have, again for her lifetime; and mention is made of her chaise and horse. Clearly she was left well provided for, but she later supplemented her annuity by letting out lodgings and she was able to buy her house in Spanish Town. She died a relatively wealthy woman.

On the 19th of March 1783 the parish register for St Catherine recorded the burial of “Mary Rose mulatto Old Age”. She had reached the age of over seventy and possibly as much as eighty three, a very good age in Jamaica, after a full life which had seen her and her sons become legally white.

 

If you would like to know more about women and the African Diaspora, and about Mary Rose, you can find it in Gendering the African Diaspora, Indiana University Press 2010, which contains a paper by Linda L. Sturtz entitled Mary Rose: “White” African Jamaican Woman? Race and Gender in Eighteenth Century Jamaica.

The letters written by Mary Rose and others referring to her are in the collection of the Fuller papers held at the East Sussex County Record Office at Lewes, England.



[1] Calimancoe was a dense, and expensive fabric used for shoes, stiffened petticoats and waistcoats. It was a shiny fabric with a striped or chequered pattern made of wool with silk or mohair.

 

The Portrait of Frances Lee

 

Francis Cotes (English, 1726-1770), Portrait of Miss Frances Lee, 1769.

Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Vogel M1964.5. Photo by Larry Sanders.

 

This beautiful portrait of Frances Lee was painted for her parents by the English artist Francis Cotes in 1769 and today hangs in the Milwaukee Art Museum. If she looks rather solemn perhaps it is because she had been sent away from her family to school in England and neither she nor they could know whether they would ever meet again.

Frances Lee was born in Spanish Town Jamaica on the 31st October 1758, the eldest child of Robert Cooper Lee and Priscilla Kelly, and was baptised in the St Catherine’s parish church Spanish Town on the 23rd of January 1759. The parish register entry for Frances reads:

“Frances Lee a Quadroon” and on the line below, John Venn the vicar who transcribed the registers wrote “I believe a white illegit. child “. Technically since Priscilla Kelly was a free quadroon, Frances was in fact an octoroon.

In late 1767 or early 1768, at the age of nine, Frances (known in the family as Fanny) was sent to school in England. It is not clear whether there were specific fears for her health, although she suffered health problems throughout her life and early mention is made in the family letters of a six month period away from her school in Streatham.

Then in May 1768 her uncle Joseph Lee made a trip from Jamaica to England, leaving in haste because of fears for his health. While in England he visited his niece at Mrs Endleigh’s school in Streatham. It is likely the school was recommended by the Fuller family who had a house there. At first Fanny did not recognise her uncle, perhaps because she had not seen him for so long or perhaps simply because she did not expect to see him in England.  Joseph however was able to report that she was ‘admirably improved’ and ‘in extreme good health’.

I have been at the school where every thing is in the utmost Order and Regularity…Mr Fuller and myself have been all over the School and seen the Beds and other accommodations which are all with the greatest neatness and elegance.

It was important for the family to verify that Frances was being well cared for since even expensive girls’ schools could be chill and unpleasant places. In an account of Camden House where his daughter was until her death in 1797, Arthur Young recalled that ‘The rules for health are detestable, no air but in measured formal walk, and all running and quick motion prohibited, preposterous! She slept with a girl who could only hear with one ear, and so ever laid on the one side, and my dear child could do no otherwise afterwards without pain, because the vile beds are so small they must both lie the same way…..She never had a bellyful at breakfast.  Detestable this at the expense of £80 a year’.[1]  Why he allowed his poor daughter to continue there is a mystery to me.

On his first visit to the school Joseph stayed an extra day in order to see his ‘pretty niece’ dance. While in England he spent some time on business trips, on sightseeing and on family visits out of town, but he saw Fanny in London when she was staying with friends and he reported in a letter to his brother having seen her again and said that he considered her to be ‘the Flower of the School’. Fanny had become a firm favourite with her Uncle Joe, and there were plans for a family celebration during the Christmas holidays with her Aunt Charlotte Morley, and her three Morley cousins.  Joseph confessed to Robert that he had taken the liberty of presenting Frances with a new silk dress for the winter – possibly even the one in the painting.

The portrait must already have been commissioned by the autumn of 1768 because Joseph promised his brother that he would see it finished during the Christmas holidays. In March 1769 Joseph wrote to his brother

I have had her Picture drawn by Cotes who is in great repute here and is considered as next to Reynolds in the Art and when it is completed it shall be sent to you by the first safe Opportunity – the Price will be a few Guineas beyond the sum you mentioned which I apprehend will not be disagreeable to you as it will always remain a handsome Picture even after she has outgrown the likeness.

There was a delay sending the picture ‘a very strong likeness of her’, so that it could be put into a ‘neat Italian fluted frame’ and it was not until October that year that it was finally despatched to her parents in Jamaica .  The cost was thirty Guineas ‘the usual sum for a picture of that size’, and the frame cost an additional six pounds eight shillings. You can see the shipping order that included the portrait here.

At school in Streatham, Frances received a letter written by her father in April and carried by Mr Moulton, a friend who presented her with a guinea from her mother.  A Christmas letter from Frances had reached her parents together with a purse and ‘swordknot’ (an ornamental tassel attached to the pommel of a sword) that she had made for her father.  The main news to reach her was that her young brother Robert was to sail for England. Joseph Lee remained in England long enough to meet his six year old nephew, who was sent to Harrow School in the autumn of 1769, and finally returned to Jamaica in 1770 where he died in 1772 at the age of thirty-six.

In 1771 Robert Cooper Lee brought his family back to England and like many who had made their fortune in Jamaica he never returned there. The portrait of course came with them. Frances, who suffered from health problems throughout her life, never married. She inherited substantial Jamaican interests from her father and from two friends and lived to a comfortable old age dying at her home in Devonshire Street, Portland Place, London on 7th December 1839. Her younger sister Favell married the banker David Bevan and according to Audrey Gamble (née Bevan) who wrote a history of the Bevan family[2], the family failed to buy the portrait of Frances Lee back at an auction in the early twentieth century and so it rests now, beautifully restored, in the care of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

 

 

 

 

 


[1] M. Dorothy George, London Life in the Eighteenth Century,  Penguin, London 1966,  p.342

[2] Gamble, Audrey Nona, A History of the Bevan Family, Headley Brothers, London. 1923.

 

Spanish Town Census 1754

 

Reproduced by kind permission of the East Sussex County Record Office ref: ESRO SAS/RF 20/7

 

Held at the East Sussex County Record Office at Lewes as part of the Jamaica papers of Fuller family of Rosehill in Brightling, is a copy of a census of Spanish Town, otherwise known by its Spanish name of St Jago de la Vega; its reference is ESRO SAS/RF 20/7.

In July and August 1754 Charles White undertook the task of surveying the whole of St Jago de la Vega in order to create a census of all the white population and the free Negroes and Mulattoes. The only persons excluded were those gentlemen who were occasional residents during the sitting of the Assembly and the law courts. White attested that he had taken

Particular Account of the Houses and the Annual Rents or Estimate of Rents of the said Houses in and belonging to the said Town and Suburbs of St Jago de la Vega and of the Number of people of free Condition in each Family by going thro the different Streets Lanes Allies and Places thereof and by calling at or enquiring concerning each respective and Distinct Tenement and concerning the Number of People in each Family and that the annexed Account is the most exact he could with his utmost diligence procure of the Number of houses and the Rents of them and of the Number of persons of free Condition that were in the said Town att the time he took the said Account, exclusive of Gentlemen who appear by the said Account to have Houses therein and who come there occasionally to attend the Service of the Country as Members of the Council and Assembly and Judges of the Suprem(sic) Court of Judicature.

In total he recorded 866 white people and 405 free Negroes and Mulattoes. Slaves were of course not included. He also recorded the rental value of each property, the names of the owner and the occupier and the occupation of the latter. Additional notes give us information about the owners, for example that they were normally resident in Kingston or owned a plantation in some other parish than St Catherine.

You can find the full transcription of the census here, but in the meantime here is a quick breakdown.

 

The occupations of the white residents are recorded as follows:

11 Attorneys, 5 Barristers and one councillor at law

2 Bakers, 2 Barbers, 2 Blacksmiths (one who was also a provision planter)

1 Bookbinder and 3 Bookkeepers

2 Bricklayers (one of whom was also a provision planter)

9 Carpenters, of whom one combined his work with being Coroner, farmer and provision planter

13 Clerks working in offices, for merchants or the courts and two of whom were also planters

1 Deputy Marshall, a Deputy Clerk of the Peace and a Dancing Master

2 Factors, a Fisherman and a Gardener

5 Gentlemen (one a planter and Justice of the Peace)

1 Housekeeper

20 Hucksters (who would have sold their wares on the street or from booths), one also a carpenter

2 Iron Mongers

1 Jew Butcher

8 keeping Lodgings

2 Mantua Makers

6 Merchants (one combining it with being a planter and farmer)

2 Midwives

2 Millwrights (one combining with being a provision and ginger planter)

1 Music Master and Organist (who had died between Charles White taking the census and writing it up)

John Venn the Parish priest who was also a planter

1 Penkeeper and a Peruke Maker

3 Physicians who were also planters; 4 physicians who were also surgeons (2 being provision planters); and 2 Surgeons

85 Planters, of whom one was Island Secretary, one a Member of the Assembly, one combined it with being butcher, one was clerk of the vestry and one a shopkeeper.

2 Provision Traders, a Retailer and a Riding Master

3 Sadlers

4 School Mistresses and 3 School Masters (one also a planter)

3 Seamstresses

3 Shoemakers, one a provision planter

23 shopkeepers, one resident in Kingston, one with a provision mountain and one a provision planter

1 reader to the Synagogue

3 Silver Smiths and a Surveyor

5 Tavernkeepers who variously combined it with being a silversmith, shoemaker, planter and pen keeper

4 Tailors (two of whom were also planters)

1 Upholder (i.e. upholsterer)

3 Watchmakers and a Wheelwright

11 households were made up of Orphans and there were 18 Widows

One man was Blind and 27 Properties were untenanted.

Three people in the survey of whites were recorded as being “free Mulattoes or Descendants from them admitted to the privileges of white people by Acts of the Legislature”. They were Mary Rose, her son Thomas Wynter, and Susan Hosier.

 

Of the free Negro and Mulatto inhabitants their occupations included:

4 Bricklayers

17 Carpenters (including 4 planters and one who was also a cooper), 1 cooper, 1 Sawyer,

1 Coachman, 1 Fisherman, 1 Hawker and 1 keeping Lodgings

2 Doctors, 1 Midwife, 1 Nurse (who was also a provision planter)

1 Cook and 3 Pastry cooks

1 Planter

4 Poulterers,

1 Mantua Maker, 29 Seamstresses and 9 Tailors

1 Schoolmistress, 1 Servant

4 Washers

2 Wheelwrights

4 Widows, 2 Orphans , and 19 persons for whom no occupation is recorded.

64 of the total proprietors in this group are women and 50 are men, but a few appear to be duplicates, with the same or a very similar name owning more than one property. This may reduce the total to 60 women and 45 men.

 

 


Mary Rose – a colonial snob


Georgian houses in Charterhouse Square London

reproduced by kind permission of the London Photo Project

 

Mary Rose is one of my Jamaican favourites, not because I can say she was a particularly good or nice person but because she was a much married survivor. She was also more than a bit of a snob.

The Rose family came from Mickelton in Gloucestershire. Mary’s father John Rose was a merchant, based in London, who traded with Jamaica and made some of his money by transporting convicts captured after the 1685 Monmouth rebellion.

9 December 1685 –
Invoice of sixty eight men servants, shipped on board, Capt
Charles Gardner, in ye Jamaica Merchant (ship) for account of
Mr.Rose and Comp.,they being to be sold for ten years.
The men whose names are contained in the within written list, as
shipt upon the account of John Rose and Company, on board the
Jamaica Merchant, to be landed and disposed of in Barbados or
Jamaica.

Born in the City of London on the 17th of May 1681, she was baptised on the 29th of  May at the church of All Hallows Barking by the Tower, the oldest church in the City of London. She was the fifth of fourteen children born between 1676 and 1694. Her uncle Dr Fulke Rose had gone to Jamaica around 1670 and his brothers Thomas and Francis joined him there. So Mary already had family in Jamaica when she went there in her early teens.

On the 18th of  December 1697 aged sixteen, Mary married Thomas Hals (or Halse) in Spanish Town. Thomas was the great grandson of Sir Nicholas Halse of Cornwall, England and was heir to the Halse Hall estate in the parish of Clarendon. It was a sad fact of life in Jamaica that marriages were frequently cut short by the death of one partner, and on 24 Aug 1702 Thomas Halse died barely six months after his father, and was buried at Halse Hall. He left behind him one son, also called Thomas, and a rich widow.

Rich young widows in Jamaica did not long remain unmarried and within three months Mary had married again, this time to John Sadler whose father Charles Sadler was prominent in island politics. Mary and John had at least three children – Mary baptised in 1705, John Charles baptised in 1709 and Francis baptised in 1711.

In the early years of the eighteenth century Mary was joined in Jamaica by two of her sisters – Elizabeth who married Samuel Heming and Frances who married Dr John Charnock – he and their two young daughters died in Jamaica and Frances returned to England. Elizabeth left at least three children – Richard, Mary and Samuel – who lived to grow up. Mary also had several cousins in Jamaica, William the son of her uncle Thomas (who had died in 1679) and the family of her uncle Francis who lived until 1720.

Mary was luckier in the length of her second marriage which lasted over a quarter of a century. John Sadler, who like his father  took an active part in island politics, was a Member of the Assembly for Clarendon in 1704, 06 and 09,  St. Ann in 1707 and  St. John 1711. He was later also a Member of the island Council. Although it seems likely her children Mary and John died young, her son Francis went on to play a particularly dramatic part in island history – of which more another time.

After the death of John Sadler Mary returned to England where she was now the only surviving child of her mother Elizabeth. Captain John Rose her father had died in 1703 and was buried at All Hallows Staining in London. Her sister Martha who had married Jamaica merchant and agent John Serocold had died in childbirth in February 1716/17.

For a time Mary went to live with her mother who by now was in her seventies, but on the 12th of February 1731/32 at St Dunstan and All Saints she married for a third time as the fifth wife of John Styleman an East India merchant who was by then aged about eighty-two. When Mary was a small child and her siblings were baptised at All Hallows Staining there was a Styleman family in that parish and it is possible that the families had known each other for half a century. John Styleman had spent three decades in India, married there and buried his first wife and five children there before returning to England in the first decade of the eighteenth century to marry three more wives before Mary.

John Styleman died in 1734 and Mary lived out her life in his house in Charterhouse Square in London. She died about May 1750 and opted to be buried with her last husband and three of his wives at Bexley in Kent where he had built almshouses that still exist today. You can read Mary’s Will here. It makes fascinating reading being full of very specific instructions such as leaving the marble fireplaces in the garrets of the house in situ!

Sadly I don’t know exactly which house in Charterhouse Square she lived in, though it could have been one of the ones pictured, and I have no idea where the two portraits of herself and John Styleman now are, if indeed they still exist.

And the reason I called her a snob? In her Will she left her silver plate and jewels to her son Francis but specifically requested him not to use them in Jamaica, and in respect of her other household goods  “I likewise earnestly desire and request that he will not use them at Spanish Town which place is my Aversion for a Planter to live in” .