SLAVERY - THE EPSOM AND EWELL CONNECTION

The abolition of the slave trade Or the inhumanity of dealers in human flesh exemplified in Captn. Kimber's treatment of a young Negro girl of 15 for her virjen (sic) modesty
The abolition of the slave trade Or the inhumanity of dealers in human flesh exemplified in Captn. Kimber's
treatment of a young Negro girl of 15 for her virjen (sic) modesty.
By Isaac Cruikshank
Source: Library of Congress - Image 98510128

Following the Anti-Slavery Act of 1833, slavery was abolished in the British colonies of the West Indies. The British Government paid out £20 million in compensation to plantation owners to compensate them for the loss of their 'property'. University College, London, has collected information and data regarding the compensation payments made to plantation owners, in a project entitled Legacies of British Slave-Ownership, all of which has been put online at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs. Some of these compensation payments were paid out to individuals resident in Epsom and Ewell. The details of these claims, and the payments made to local residents, have been obtained from this UCL project, as has much of the biographical information. Other sources are named where appropriate.

Although the trading in slaves was banned in 1807 with the Abolition of Slave Trade Act, it was very difficult to stamp out. It was a very profitable trade, and slavers could deal with other nations which had not banned it. The British navy patrolled the seas and intercepted slaving ships, but often the men liberated were then forced to serve in the navy for many years, rather than being allowed to return home. Slavery was still legal on the plantations of the West Indies and, despite the growing anti-slavery campaigns in England, the plantation owners put their economic interests ahead of any moral qualms, and defied public opinion. After an increasing number of uprisings and rebellions on the plantations, the Rev. R. Bicknell commented: 'the general cry in Jamaica seems to be that the members of the African and Anti Slavery Societies and their agents, have been the cause, by impressing on the minds of the Negroes that they are free, or ought to be free.' (recoveredhistories.org).

The anti-slavery movement continued to campaign and publish pamphlets, and the number of rebellions continued to rise. After a particularly large uprising in Jamaica in 1831-2, known as the Baptist Rebellion, in which property worth over a million pounds was destroyed, and it took two weeks for the authorities to regain control, the Abolition of Slavery Act was passed in August 1833, abolishing slavery in the British colonies. Planters demanded compensation for the loss of their 'property' and twenty million pounds was paid out by the Government.

Emancipation Day, 1st August 1834, was celebrated throughout the colonies at chapels, churches and festivals (overseen by hundreds of extra troops). However, the slaves themselves were not free to leave, they were (if over the age of six) indentured as 'apprentices' for four years for domestic duties, six years for field hands, which was just another form of slavery. After more pressure from the anti slavery movement these 'apprenticeships' were finally ended in 1838.


Scene on a West Indian Plantation--Slaves Receiving the News of Their Emancipation.
Scene on a West Indian Plantation--Slaves Receiving the News of Their Emancipation.
Cassell's Illustrated History of England, ... 1820-1861
(London: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, 1863), vol. 3, p. 234
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. Cass2*

After emancipation the economy of the plantations declined overall. The estate owners did not invest their compensation in their plantations, sugar production declined, the price rose, and the newly freed slaves held several large scale strikes, resulting in the replacement of slave labour by 96,850 indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent.

Compensation payments were made not only to resident planters, but also to many other people - absentee landlords, bankers and financiers, widows or children who had inherited under a will, etc., as in the case of the Rev. Robert Hesketh of Epsom, a widower who inherited an interest from his late wife. Some of the terms used to describe a claimant in the cases below are as follows:
'Owner-in-fee: The unqualified beneficial owner

BENEFICIARIES -
Legatee: The beneficiary of a specific lump-sum bequest secured on an estate and the enslaved people or under the terms of a will.

Mortgagee: A creditor who had secured his claim on the estate and the enslaved people on it by way of a deed of mortgage entered into with the owner. A mortgagee had prior claim on the compensation money over the owner.

Assignee: A person to whom a financial claim (including in some cases the compensation money) has been legally made over, perhaps to settle a debt incurred elsewhere.
AGENTS -
Executor/Executrix: A man or woman appointed under the terms of a will by the testator to carry out the terms of the will. Sometimes also a beneficiary of the will, especially if a family member such as widow or brother or sister.

Trustee: A person appointed under the terms of a legal construction of a trust to carry out the purposes of the trust. The trust may have been established under a will, a marriage settlement or for the benefit of creditors. Under the rules of the Commissioners of Slave Compensation, trustees were appointed where the compensation monies "belonged to or [were] vested in any married woman, infant, lunatic, or person of insane or unsound mind, or persons beyond the seas, or labouring under any other l legal or material disability.....".'

CLAIMANTS FROM EPSOM

REV. ROBERT HESKETH (1777-1837)

Parkhurst, Church Street, Epsom, Surrey.

Frontage of what is now called Park Place House - the three storey stuccoed bays on the right are thought to date from after the second half of the 20th century
Frontage of what is now called Park Place House -
the three storey stuccoed bays on the right are thought to date
from after the second half of the 20th century.
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

Robert Cuthbert Hesketh, was an Anglican clergyman, son of Robert Hesketh Esq. of Shrewsbury. He graduated from Christ Church, Oxford, with a BA in 1797, (MA 1814). He was ordained in 1799, Rector of Acton Burnell in 1815, and of St Dunstan's-in-the-East, London, from 1817 until his death in 1837. He appears to have inherited his ownership of property in Antigua from his first wife, Eliza Gabbett, née Mayer, daughter of John Mayer of Antigua. Eliza Gabett was already a widow when Robert Hesketh, himself a widower, married her at St. Michael Cornhill on 23 August 1804.

Eliza died in 1807, and on 16 August 1809 he married Emma Daniel, and the family lived at Parkhurst, Church Street, Epsom, next door to his new wife's family. On the death of Robert Hesketh in 1837, his widow became the beneficial owner, with others, of both Parkhurst and also the property next door which had belonged to her brothers, John Frederick Daniell and Edmund Robert Daniell, and which became known as Richmond House. Following the death of Emma in 1847, her two daughters, Julia and Agnes, continued to live in the house until their deaths in 1900 and 1901 respectively.

Richmond House, Church Street
Richmond House, Church Street on 18th June 1973
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre

A Memorial Inscription in St Martin's churchyard has been transcribed as follows: -

'Beneath this Stone are buried the Bodies of the Revd. ROBERT CUTHBERT HESKETH M.A.
who died on the 11th day of February 1837 In the 61st Year of his Age.

And of EMMA his Wife who died on the 17th Day of February 1847 In the 62nd Year of Her Age.
In the hope of the Resurrection of the Dead Through Jesus Christ

Near this Stone is buried the Body of GEORGE FREDERICK their Son
who Died on the 11th day of January 1813 in the 3rd Year of his Age.
My flesh also shall rest in Hope. Psalm XVL 10.'

Additional sources include (from this website):
Richmond House
Parkhurst
Claim by Robert Hesketh:

Antigua
28 November 1836
Claim no.51, Parson Mawle Estate, 24 slaves.
Award of £398 3s 7d to Rev. Robert Hesketh as owner-in-fee (together with George W. Kedeatt).


Sugar Boiling House, Antigua, West Indies, 1823
Sugar Boiling House, Antigua, West Indies, 1823
Caption: "Exterior of a Boiling House, on Weatherell's Estate,"
'slaves hauling cane trash to fuel furnace, ox carts with sugar bags; white overseer/manager'
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. Hamilton1*

JOHN ROBINSON OF DOMINICA (c1750-1809)

Epsom, Surrey, South East England

The London Gazette for 17th October 1803 records the appointment of John Robinson Esq. 'to be Major Commandant of Epsom Volunteer Infantry'. In April 1804, also according to The London Gazette, he had the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and was Commandant for the volunteer infantries of Ashtead, Betchworth, Carshalton, Epsom, Ewell, Leatherhead and Mickleham. 'He is reported to have been an officer with 1st Troop Grenadier Guards, rising from Sub-Lieutenant in 1773, to Colonel by 1798. During 1803 he acted as President of the Council in Dominica, residing at the Rosalie and Brookhills Estate.' (Ewell's Loyal Volunteers).

Merchants from the southern states of North America sometimes travelled to Dominica to purchase slaves. For instance, in 1788, three New Orleans merchants 'traveled to British Dominica to purchase Africans........Daniel Clark, a British immigrant from East Florida owned and captained his ship, sold slaves, and owned a plantation near New Orleans. He bought 121 Africans off an English slaver in Dominica and later sold them in New Orleans................John Robinson, Dominica's collector of customs, observed in 1788 that "foreigners only purchase the healthy and merchantable Negroes", for "others would not bear the voyage to the settlements".' (The Final Victims, Foreign Slave Trade to North America 1783-1810, James A. McMillin.) The journey onwards from Dominica was particularly hard on the slaves as the conditions on the smaller ships were even worse than aboard the transatlantic slave ships.

John Robinson died at Epsom on 6 July 1809, and a tablet in the Lady Chapel of St Martin of Tours church describes him as 'formerly of the Island of Dominica, and late Lieut. Colonel Commandant of the Loyal Epsom Volunteers, deceased aged 59'. See Ewell's Loyal Volunteers on this website. The Monthly Magazine, No. 188, records his death in 'Marriages and Deaths in and nr. London' for 1809: 'At Epsom - John Robinson, Esq., late of Dominica'.

The claim for compensation in Dominica was made under the will of John Robinson, dated 8th November 1799, and proved in 1809. His estate was left in trust - the trustees were: 'John Blackburn of New Broad Street, John Gilmore Sen. and John Gilmore jun. of Boghead in Ireland, Thomas Daniel late of the island of Dominica but now of London, and John Gay, formerly of Dominica now resident at Martinique [?]).' He apparently had only one child, a 'reputed' daughter, Elizabeth, to whom he left £500 on her wedding day, but nothing else, as her mother, Martha Phipps, 'is wealthy'. He left legacies to his brothers and sister, and their children, but those left to his nieces and natural daughter were dependent upon their marriages meeting with the approval of the executors. His real estate, which comprised not just his land in Dominica, but also 'all negroes, cattle......attached and belonging to the said lands,' was left equally to his brother Samuel, and Samuel's sons ('seven, I believe').

In a codicil of 22 November 1802, in which he gives his address as 'of Epsom in Surrey being about to make a journey to the West Indies', he annulled the legacy of shares in the Dominican property given to two of Samuel's sons, but confirmed the legacy of the slaves to the other five. Samuel Thompson was also appointed one of the trustees and executors in place of John Gilmore jun. His Epsom property (acquired since the will was written) was left to his nephew William and then to his three other nephews, Skeffington, Thomas and Alexander in succession.

The marriage of John Robinson's 'reputed' daughter was recorded in the New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 7, February 1817 - Births, Marriages and Deaths in and near London: 'James Rymer Esq. of Reigate to Elizabeth daughter of the late John Robinson of Dominica.' James Rymer was a naval surgeon and the marriage was approved of by the executors, but the £500 legacy was not forthcoming, and the claim for compensation he made on behalf of his wife was unsuccessful.

Samuel Robinson, John's brother, and at least one of John's children, (Skeffinton) were born in Co. Antrim, and Samuel Thompson was from Muckamore Abbey, Antrim, so there appears to be an Irish connection for John Robinson.

Claim made under the will of John Robinson:

Dominica
23 January 1836
Claim No. 581A & B, Rosalie Estate, 181 slaves
Two awardees - £3488 3s 6d
Claim 581A - £1744 3s 1d went to Samuel Thompson, John Robinson's Testator and Trustee
Claim 581B - £1744 3s 2d went to Elizabeth Metcalfe, as a mortgagee of a moiety of the estate, who contested the claim by Alexander Robinson on behalf of himself and his brothers as legatees.
John Robinson's 'reputed' daughter, Elizabeth, had married James Rymer, a naval surgeon. He also made an unsuccessful claim on the Rosalie estate, because of disputes with the trustees over his wife's £500 legacy.

EDWARD WHITMORE (1784-1857)

The Grove, Epsom, Surrey

Grove House
Grove House
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2012

'Opposite the Vicarage, and adjoining the premises of Mr. Miller, is the mansion lately occupied by John Whitmore, Esquire, a gentleman universally respected and esteemed. He resided at Epsom for many years, where his affable manners and benevolent action gained him the esteem of all who knew him. He was also for a long period a Governor of the Bank of England.' The quotation is taken from A History of Epsom by Henry Pownall, dated 1825, and refers to Grove House, once known just as The Grove.

Edward Whitmore was the third son of John Whitmore, a City merchant with 'extensive mercantile establishments', who was also MP for Bridgnorth (1795-1806), a director of the Bank of England, Deputy Governor, and then Governor. Two years after his father's death in 1826, Edward Whitmore took possession of The Grove in 1828 as a result of a family agreement. He was a banker, and his company, Whitmore, Wells & Whitmore of Lombard Street, failed in 1841 and, following bankruptcy proceedings, the freehold and copyhold properties in Epsom were sold by public auction.

His first wife, Frances, had died in 1833, and was buried in St. Martin's churchyard, in Epsom. At the time of the bankruptcy in 1841 he was living in Grove House with his second wife, Elizabeth, and six children, the four oldest being from his first marriage. After his death in 1857 his remains were brought to Epsom and buried in St. Martin's churchyard, alongside his first wife, the memorial inscription on the tomb reading:
South Side
In Memory of FRANCES Wife of EDWARD WHITMORE ESQR. who died 28th of June 1833 in the 40th Year of her Age. Also Two of their children
JOHN died 18th Feby. 1828 Aged 6 Days. HARRIET died 6thJuly 1828 Aged 17 months.

North Side
To the Memory of EDWARD WHITMORE ESQR. who died 26th of Jany. 1857 Aged 72 Years.
Also of ELIZABETH second wife of the above who died on the 12th of August 1861 and buried at Frensham near Farnham.
Additional sources include (from this website):
Grove House

Plantation Village, Jamaica, 1843, By James M. Phillippo
Plantation Village, Jamaica, 1843, By James M. Phillippo
Caption - "Visit of a Missionary and Wife to a Plantation Village"
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. Phillippo03*

Claims by Edward Whitmore:

Jamaica
27th February 1837
Claim No. 23 (part) St. Thomas-in-the-East, Surrey, 74 slaves
The total award of £487 9s 4d was split in two:
Edward Whitmore, his brother Frederick (possibly as trustees), and George Leake (merchant of Fenchurch Street and petitioning creditor in the Whitmore, Wells bankruptcy) were awarded £275 12s 10d
The remaining two awardees (Henry Lord Garrigues and William Lambert were awarded £211 16s 6d


Sugar Cane Cultivation, Trinidad, 1836 By Richard Bridgens
Sugar Cane Cultivation, Trinidad, 1836 By Richard Bridgens
Caption - "Planting the Sugar Cane"
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. NW0053*

Tobago
27th February 1837
Claim No. 57 Lure Estate, 59 slaves.
The claim was made (successfully) by John Larkins Kensington, son and executor of Chas. Kensington - award £1250 19s 1d. (His brother Charles Snell Kensington was a beneficiary under the will of Chas Kensington)
Edward Whitmore and Edward Wilson Banks (a solicitor from Witham in Essex) made an unsuccessful counter claim on this estate as trustees of the will of Chas. Kensington.

Trinidad
20 June 1836
Claim No. 1042, 11 slaves
Four awardees, all partners in the banking firm Whitmore, Wells & Whitmore: Edward Whitmore, John Wells, John Wells junior, Frederick Whitmore - £479 19s 4d

Trinidad
20 June 1836
Claim No. 1327, 13 slaves
Four awardees as mortgagees, all partners in Whitmore, Wells & Whitmore: Edward Whitmore, John Wells, John Wells junior, Frederick Whitmore - £600 8s 8d

Trinidad
20 June 1836
Claim No. 1548, Santa Rosa Estate, 8 slaves
Four awardees, all partners in Whitmore, Wells & Whitmore: Edward and Frederick Whitmore as mortgagees and John Wells and John Wells junior - £509 14s 5d

Trinidad
20 June 1836
Claim No. 1551, 2 slaves
Four awardees, all partners in Whitmore, Wells & Whitmore: Edward and Frederick Whitmore, John Wells and John Wells junior - £137 16s 9d

Trinidad
20 June 1836
Claim No. 936, 6 slaves
Four awardees, all partners in Whitmore, Wells & Whitmore: Edward and Frederick Whitmore, John Wells and John Wells junior - £324 14s 0d

Trinidad
20 June 1836
Claim No. 981, St. Ann's, 13 slaves
Claim by Andrew Mackintosh, Counterclaim by Whitmore, Wells etc. as mortgagees was admitted. Power of attorney granted by Andrew Mackintosh, to allow Whitmore, Wells to collect the compensation. Collected by Edward and Frederick Whitmore as mortgagees, and John Wells and John Wells junior - £553 19s 5d

Trinidad
1 August 1836
Claim No. 1382, 15 slaves
Compensation collected by Edward and Frederick Whitmore as beneficiaries under power of attorney from awardee Andrew Mackintosh - £757 4s 3d


Sugar Mill and Boiling House, Trinidad, 1836 By Richard Bridgens
Sugar Mill and Boiling House, Trinidad, 1836 By Richard Bridgens
Caption - "carting canes to the mill--sketch taken from the estate of St. Clair farm"
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. BRID1*

JOHN BRATHWAITE (1722-1800)

Church Street, Epsom (Ashley House as it became known later)

John Brathwaite was born in Barbados, part of a well-established family of plantation owners there, and was the British agent for that colony. (See the article about him on this website - John Brathwaite). There are a whole series of claims for compensation in Barbados made by variously named Brathwaites, who may very likely be related to this John Brathwaite, who owned a property in Church Street, Epsom. However, as he appears not to have had any children, they are not probably direct descendants.

There are sixteen claims in Barbados by various Brathwaites and one in Grenada. The number of slaves claimed for varies from 1 to 274, with ten of these claims being for 3 or fewer slaves. The total compensation for these claims was in excess of £34,000.


CLAIMANTS FROM EWELL

SIR JOHN RAE REID, Bt. (1791-1867)

Ewell Grove, Epsom, Surrey

Ewell Grove - click image to enlarge.
Ewell Grove - click image to enlarge.

Sir John Rae Reid, second baronet, was a Director of the Bank of England and its Governor from 1839 to 1841, as well as being a partner in Reid Irving & Company, and a director of the London & Bristol Railroad Company, and of a putative West India Company, as one of twelve West India merchants out of twenty four directors.

The first baronet was his father Sir Thomas Reid (1762-1824), son of a merchant in Dumfries. Sir Thomas was head of Reid Irving & Company of Broad Street, general merchants, with interests in both the West and East Indies, and a director and sometime chairman of the East India Company. He was made a baronet in 1823, and was the owner of Graystone Park, Dumfries, as well as Ewell Grove, and also had a property in Woodmansterne. Sir Thomas had another son, George, born in 1800, who also was a partner in Reid Irving & Co. and who features as an awardee along with his brother and other partners in most of the compensation claims listed below. The Irvings were related to the Reids and also had originally come from Dumfries.

Crest of the Reid Family
Crest of the Reid Family
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Sir John Rae Reid stood for election at Dover in 1830, claiming to be independent of any party, and with the backing of the Duke of Wellington. At that election he played down his West Indian interests. In response to claims that he was a large slave owner, he issued an immediate denial explaining that he had had nothing more than 'a temporary interest as mortgagee of an estate in the West Indies'. He promised to give the abolition question his 'attentive consideration' when he judged that the time was ripe. He stood again, unsuccessfully, in 1831 as an anti-reform candidate 'against the innovations attempted by persons styling themselves reformers', but he stood again and was elected in 1832, and remained Conservative MP for Dover until 1847. He was part of the pro-Peel City faction in 1835 trying unsuccessfully to keep the PM in office despite his party being in a minority in the House of Commons.

Reid, Irving & Co failed in September 1847 for an amount of £1.5 million. Its assets, although nominally greater than its liabilities, were tied up in property in Mauritius and the East Indies. Sir John was disqualified as a director of the Bank of England.

Sir John Rae Reid inherited Ewell Grove upon the death of his mother in 1829. His father, who died in 1824 had left a life interest in Ewell Grove to his wife. The property in Woodmansterne had been left to his other son, George. On occasion Sir John chaired the church vestry meetings at St. Mary's in Ewell, and in June 1847 he laid the foundation stone for the building of the new church. Although his three children were born in London, they were each baptised at Ewell, and Sir John died there in 1867. There is a memorial to the Reid family in St. Mary's church, Ewell. The baronetcy became extinct upon the death of his second son, Sir Henry Rae-Reid in 1903.

Memorial to the Reid family in St Mary, Ewell.
Memorial to the Reid family in St Mary, Ewell.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum.

The many compensation awards paid to Sir John Rae Reid as awardee were, it would seem, because the business in which he was a partner, Reid Irving & Co. were mortgagees and had money owing by the estate owners.

Additional sources include:
http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1820-1832/member/reid-sir-john-1791-1867

On this website:
The Reids of Ewell Grove
Ewell Grove
Claims made by Reid, Irving & Co:

British Guiana
7th December 1835
Claim no. 540, Plantation Thomas, 189 slaves.
Out of a total compensation of £10,555 12s 5d for this plantation, Sir John Rae Reid Bt., as assignee for Reid, Irving & Co., mortgagees, awarded £6060 12s 2d.


Plantation Driver, Jamaica 1840s By James M. Phillippo
Plantation Driver, Jamaica 1840s By James M. Phillippo
Caption - "Planter attended by Negro Driver"
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. Phillippo01*

Jamaica, Manchester
14th December 1835
Claim no. 338, (Mile Gully Estate), 249 slaves. (See Barritt)
Reid, Irving & Co. mortgagees, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt. awardee - £4852 15s 4d

Jamaica, St. Thomas-in-the-East, Surrey
30 January 1836
Claim No. 464, (Garbrand and Mullet Hall Estate), 505 slaves (See Barritt)
Reid, Irving & Co. mortgagees, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt. Awardee - £9,940 5s 6d
Claim contested unsuccessfully by Sir Edward Hoare and his wife Harriet (née Barritt, daughter of Thomas Hercey Barritt of Garbrand Hall, Ewell) and Eleanor Barritt, her sister. See Thomas Hercey Barritt

Jamaica, Vere
30 January 1836
Claim No. 77, (Paradise Estate), 244 slaves (See Barritt)
Reid, Irving & Co. mortgagees, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt. awardee - £4,608 5s 10d
Unsuccessful counter claim by Eleanor Barritt and Edward Hoare and Harriet.

Jamaica, Vere
30 January 1836
Claim No. 78, (Smith's Pen Estate), 34 slaves
Sir John Rae Reid, Bt. Awardee - £516 18s 5d


Sandy Point Estate, St. Kitts (St. Christopher) c.1795
Sandy Point Estate, St. Kitts (St. Christopher) c.1795
Taken from a Barbados Museum and Historical Society Greeting Card
"Shows a windmill and enslaved workers engaged in activities associated
with bringing canes to the mill; also various outbuildings. Toward the
right center is a small illustration of a cattle or horse powered mill;
a white overseer is shown on horseback in bottom center."
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. NW0005*

St. Kitts
23 January 1836
Claim No. 190, 29 slaves
Four awardees all partners in Reid, Irving & Co following counter claim by husband of the owner: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., George Reid, James Milligan - £454 14s 4d

St. Kitts
23 January 1836
Claim No. 191, (Comarees? Estate), 160 slaves
Four awardees all partners in Reid Irving & Co, mortgagees and assignees for £80,000 upwards: John Irving the elder Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., George Reid, James Milligan - £2968 12s 7d

St. Kitts
28 January 1836
Claim No. 644, (Wingfield [Mansfield?] Manor), 256 slaves
Four awardees all partners in Reid Irving & Co: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., George Reid, James Milligan - £4308 19s 0d.
(£1263.19s. 7d was taken from this claim by H.D. Baillie, J.E. Baillie and G.H. Ames)

Trinidad
27 June 1836
Claim No. 1650, (Enterprise Estate), 27 slaves
Four awardees, all partners in Reid Irving & Co as mortgagees, (following unsuccessful claims by two owners-in-fee): John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reed, Bt., George Reid, James Milligan - £1317 14s 1d

Trinidad
27 June 1836
Claim No. 1664, (Milton Estate), 54 slaves
Four awardees, all partners in Reid Irving & Co as mortgagees, (following unsuccessful claims by two owners-in-fee): John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reed, Bt., George Reid, James Milligan - £2770 6s 7d

Virgin Islands
21 November 1836
Claim No. 257, 606 slaves
Five awardees, all partners in Reid Irving & Co: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., John Irving the younger, James Milligan, George Reid - £8661 2s 5d

Virgin Islands
24 October 1836
Claim No. 261, 80 slaves
Five awardees, all partners in Reid Irving & Co: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., John Irving the younger, James Milligan, George Reid - £1221 18s 5d

Virgin Islands
21 November 1836
Claim No. 263, 112 slaves
Five awardees, all partners in Reid Irving & Co: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., John Irving the younger, James Milligan, George Reid - £1627 19s 2d

Virgin Islands
21 November 1836
Claim No. 266, 226 slaves
Five awardees, all partners in Reid Irving & Co: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., John Irving the younger, James Milligan, George Reid - £3300 14s 2d

Virgin Islands
24 October 1836
Claim No. 95, 79 slaves
Five awardees, all partners in Reid Irving & Co: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., John Irving the younger, James Milligan, George Reid - £1178 17s 5d

Virgin Islands
24 October 1836
Claim No. 254, 126 slaves
Five awardees all partners in Reid Irving & Co: John Irving the elder, Sir John Rae Reid, Bt., John Irving the younger, James Milligan, George Reid - ?
Unsuccessful claims by legatee and administratix under will of Daniel Donovan; counter claim by Rae Reid as assignees in trust of legatees under the will of Daniel Donovan.


Sugar Plantation & Slave Settlement, St. John, Virgin Islands, 1833
Sugar Plantation & Slave Settlement, St. John, Virgin Islands, 1833
Original painting in Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Denmark (slide, courtesy of Karen Fog Olwig;)
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. NW0089*

THOMAS HERCEY BARRITT (1733-1817)

Garbrand Hall, Ewell, Surrey and also Manchester Square, London, Middlesex

Garbrand Hall in c1895
Garbrand Hall c1895, Photographer C J Hopkins, Ewell
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre

Thomas Hercey Barritt, who came from Jamaica, purchased Garbrand Hall (as he later named it) in 1796. His family came originally from Cornwall, where their lands had been confiscated by Oliver Cromwell, and in 1655 his forebear, Lt. Hersey Barrett went to Jamaica with the invading force to eject the Spanish. Given a grant of land by King Charles II in 1662, the family built up estates in the new British Colony. The eldest son of Hersey Barrett fell out with his father over what he considered to be favour shown to his younger brother, and he changed the spelling of his name to Hearcey Barritt and it is from his branch of the family that Thomas Hercey Barritt is descended. In Jamaica he was a Member of Council in 1776 and 1782, and a magistrate in St. Thomas-in-the-East and St. David in 1784.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning is descended from the younger son of Hersey Barrett who became a prominent landowner on the north side of Jamaica. Although she was raised in England, her father's fortune was in Jamaica. The family were keen to hand down the name 'Barrett' and inheritances were sometimes dependent upon the name being used by the beneficiary. Elizabeth herself often signed her name 'Elizabeth Barrett Barrett' before her marriage. This side of the family have an Epsom connection in that they owned a property, The Cedars, Church Street, Epsom. This house had come down to the Moulton Barrett family from the widow of George Whitehorne Lawrence of Jamaica, who was herself a Barrett, and who inherited it in 1783 from her husband. In 1843 Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's father, was the owner of The Cedars. However he lived in London, (74 Gloucester Place, Portman Square) and so the three claims he made in Jamaica were not made from an Epsom address and fall outside the scope of this article. Details can be found on the UCL website.

Thomas Hercey Barritt made many additions to the house at Ewell which, not having previously had a name, now became known as Garbrand Hall. He built pavilions and conservatories at each end of the house and extended the gardens (demolishing neighbouring houses in order to do so). He built a dairy in Gothick style, designed by the architect of Ewell Castle, and also the boundary wall with its gateway ornamented with a coat of arms and heraldic beasts, incorporating the arms of Barritt and Garbrand (another Jamaica family with which the Barritts had intermarried). The hound on top of the imposing gateway, known as the 'Dog Gate', is said to represent an animal which saved a member of the family from drowning.

Dog Gate in 2007
The Dog Gate in 2007
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

Dog Gate Detail
The Dog Gate (Detail) in 2007
Copyright image courtesy of Clive Gilbert

BARRITT: Azure on a chevron Ermine between three griffins' heads erased Or, two serpents in saltier, as part of a caduceus proper. Crest: A talbot's head per fess Argent and Ermine, collared Or, eared Sable. Granted to Thomas Hercy Barritt of Jamaica Oct. 28, 1768.

GARBRAND: Or, a battle-axe, in bend sinister, surmounted of a launce in bend dexter, and in chief a dart barwise pheoned and flighted, all proper. Granted to Joshua Garbrand of Jamaica Oct. 28,1768.

From his first marriage to Eleanor Booth, Thomas Hercey Barritt had a son, George Booth Barritt (1768), and he had four children from his second marriage, to Ann Mellas, all baptised in Marylebone: Eleanor (1798), Louisa Ann (1799), Thomas Hercey (1802) and Harriet (1803). Louisa Ann died aged 12, and Thomas died at 18 months and 3 days. They are remembered by a memorial inscription in St. Mary's church, Ewell.

He also appeared to have several natural children in Jamaica who were left legacies in his will, namely: 'to Sarah Garbrand Barritt, a free mustee girl, the daughter of Mary Elizabeth Johnson, a free quadroon woman, deceased, and to Susanna Barritt, a free mustee girl, one of the daughters of my slave Susanna Cassup, a quadroon woman, £3,000 Jamaica currency each. To Elizabeth Grant Barritt, a mulatto girl, a daughter of a negro woman and slave named Frances Barritt, £500 Jamaican currency at age 21 or marriage. My Jamaican trustees to pay £50 Jamaican currency each year for the maintenance and education of the said Elizabeth Grant Barritt until age 21 or marriage......................... To my trustees Henry Wildman and Thomas Wildman £200 Jamaican currency per annum free from all deductions during the life of Frances Barritt, a free mustee girl and another daughter of the said Susanna Cassu.'

(Mustee - a person who has one eighth African blood, e.g. one white and one quadroon parent.
Quadroon - a person who has one quarter African blood, e.g. one white and one mulatto parent.
Mulatto - a person with one white and one black parent.)
His property in England, including Garbrand Hall, he left first to his wife and then to his two daughters Eleanor and Harriet. His property in Jamaica and the remainder of his estate was held in trust for his two daughters until they reached 21, as long as they married with the consent of the trustees. Also, regarding the name 'Barritt', 'I hereby earnestly request that the respective husbands of my said daughters if they shall happen to marry and their children will take and use the name of Barritt in addition to their own name and that they will apply for and obtain proper authority for that purpose.'

All that was left to his son from his first marriage, George Booth Barritt, was £400 p.a. for life. He appears to have remained in Jamaica, as there is a christening record on 14 February 1798 in Vere, Jamaica, for his daughter, another Sarah Garbrand Barritt (Mother Elizabeth).

The compensation claim by his heirs for his estate in Jamaica, ironically named Paradise, was unsuccessful, as it appears to have been heavily mortgaged.

Additional sources include:
History of Bourne Hall (Epsom & Ewell history and Archaeology society)
Garbrand Hall (This website)
Claim made by his heirs as owners-in-fee (See also Sir John Rae Reid for these claims):

Jamaica
14th December 1835
Claim No. 338, Manchester (Mile Gully Estate), 249 slaves.
Sir Edward Hoare (husband of Harriet Barritt, and an Irish absentee landlord), and Eleanor Barritt unsuccessful claimants.
Reid, Irving & Co. mortgagees for £38,361 1s 0d
Sir John Rae Reid awardee - £4852 15s 4d

Jamaica
30 January 1836
Claim No. 77, Jamaica Vere (Paradise Estate), 244 slaves
The claim was made by Eleanor Barritt, Sir Edward Hoare and his wife Harriet (Barritt), but the counter claim by Reid, Irving & Co. as mortgagees for £38,361 1s 0d was successful.
Sir John Rae Reid awardee - £4608 5s 10d
(this estate was registered to Thomas Hercey Barritt in 1833)

Jamaica
30 January 1836
Claim No 464, St. Thomas-in-the-East, Surrey (Garbrand and Mullet Hall estate), 505 slaves.
Claim by Eleanor Barrit (sic) and Edward Hoare as to one moiety each. Counterclaim by Reid Irving as mortgagees for £38,361 1s.
Sir John Rae Reid awardee - £9,940 5s 6d

JOHN ELDAD WALTERS (1797-1883)

Purberry Shot, Ewell Road, Ewell, Surrey, South-East England

The Walters of Ewell coat of arms.
The Walters of Ewell coat of arms.
The motto means 'let wisdom be leader'.

John Eldad Walters
John Eldad Walters
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Born in Batheaston, Somerset in 1797, John Eldad Walters was a lawyer at Lincoln's Inn and director of the Law Life Assurance Society from 1859-1880. See the article about his life on this website, entitled the Walters Family of Ewell.

The compensation claims involve three estates in Jamaica owned by John Rock Grossett, who was MP for Chippenham 1820-1826, living at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire. He was in Jamaica from 1830 until he returned to Britain where he died at Chew Magna in 1866. Although the two men were friends, there was a suit in Chancery of John Eldad Walters v John Rock Grossett, and it was into this suit that the compensation payments were made, with both men shown as awardees, although John Rock Grossett was the owner-in-fee. In view of the friendship of the two families the Chancery suit was likely to have been administrative rather than confrontational.


Spring Garden Plantation, St. George Parish, Jamaica, 1820-21 By James Hakewill
Spring Garden Plantation, St. George Parish, Jamaica, 1820-21 By James Hakewill
'Seaside sugar plantation. Shows the plantation yard and sugar works, as well as the slave settlement and houses; also, a group of field slaves apparently returning from work and a white supervisor on horseback.'
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. HAKE3*

Jamaica
6 November 1835
Claim No. 56, St. George (Chepstow Pen Estate), 99 slaves
John Eldad Walters and John Rock Grossett (owner-in-fee) awardees - £1704 0s 6d

Jamaica
6 November 1835
Claim No. 66, St. George (Spring Garden Estate), 483 slaves
John Eldad Walters and John Rock Grossett awardees - £8429 18s 1d

From The Times 23 May 1848, reporting on a meeting at St. George's (John Rock Grossett in the chair): 'the account of the WI colonies with GB stands as follows: Value of WI property before emancipation £140MM, less compensation of £20MM less present reduced value of WI property £20MM, balance now due to WI proprietors for loss of property £100,000,000'.'

Jamaica
6 November 1835
Claim No. 563, St. Thomas-in-the-East, Surrey (Petersfield Estate), 334 slaves
John Eldad Walters and John Rock Grossett awardees - £6009 3s 2d
The money to be paid to the Accountant General under an order from the Vice Chancellor.



Commemoration of Slave Emancipation in the British Empire, 1834
Commemoration of Slave Emancipation in the British Empire, 1834
Painted by Alexander Rippingille, engraved by David Lucas
Caption - "A glorious and happy era on the first of August, bursts upon the Western World;
England strikes the manacle from the slave, and bids the bond go free."
Source: www.slaveryimages.org - Image Ref. LCP60*

Sheila Ross © 2015.

* As shown on www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library



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