Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library





"D.N.B." = Dictionary of National Biography

"G.M." = Gentlemen's Magazine

Notes and Queries


Burke's "Commoners" and "Landed Gentry" state that Captain William Ricards or Ricketts of Bluefields Fort, Jamaica, married about 1672 Mary, daughter of [Robert?] Goodwin, a younger son of Sir Francis Goodwin of Winchendon, Bucks, by his wife the Lady Elizabeth Grey, only daughter of Arthur, 14th Lord Grey de Wilton, by his Lordship's first wife Dorothy Zouche.

Burke further states that Mary Ricketts nee Goodwin died 1758, aetat. [aged] 96, which would make her only 10 years of age at the alleged date of her Marriage in 1672! 1 have so far failed to trace any record of this [? Robert] Goodwin. His name does not appear on any of the pedigrees of "Goodwin of Winchendon." I wish to find out his parentage and also the name of his wife, and shall be glad of any clue thereto.



Rachel Ricketts, daughter of Captain William Ricketts, married, according to Burke and the Lawrence Archer's MSS. in British Museum, Lieut. Thomas Johnson, R.N., and had issue.

Is anything known of the ancestry of this Lieut. Thomas Johnson ?

[See Ricketts reply below]



I shall be glad or any information relating, to this family, principally resident in the Parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland, and intermarried with the Tharp, Laurence, Scarlett, Johnson, Haughton, and Spence families. I have got together a "tentative" sketch pedigree of the Brissetts and their descendants.


32 Crosthwaite Park, E., .

Kingstown, co. Dublin.



The "D.N.B." gives the following notice of him:

" BECKFORD, WILLIAM (d. 1799), historian, passed a great part of his life in Jamaica, where be made observations on the country and particularly on the condition or the negroes. On returning to England he settled at Somerley Hall in Suffolk, and died in London on 5 Feb. 1799. His works are:

1. Remarks on the Situation of the Negroes in Jamaica, impartially made from a local experience of nearly thirteen years in that island, 1788.

2. A Descriptive Account of the Island of Jamaica, with Remarks upon the Cultivation of the Sugar Cane throughout the different Seasons of the Year, and chiefly considered in a picturesque point of view, 1790.*

(* Two vols. 8vo. I have a cutting from a bookseller's catalogue which states that the book is "not by William Beckford of Fonthill, but by William Beckford of the Fleet Prison"!)

3. History of France from the most early records to the death of Louis XVI., 1794. The early part is by Beckford, and the more modern by an anonymous Englishman who had been sometime resident in Paris."

In " Bibliographia Jamaicensis," by Frank Cundall, F.S.A., No. 1 of the above works is noted as being by W. Beckford, junior, formerly of Somerly and late of Hertford in Jamaica, and from this he appears to have gone from Somerly to Jamaica and then returned to England, which does not agree with the above statement in the "D.N.B." Mr. Cundall also notices:

" Vues Pittoresques de la Jamaique, avec une Description detaillee de ses productions, surtout des cannes a sucre, des traveaux, du traitement et des moeurs des Negres, etc. Traduit de l'Anglais de M. W. Beckford par J. S. P. nouvelle edition 2 vols. Lausanne et Paris 1793."

I have a cutting from a bookseller's catalogue as follows:

"Set of six copper-plate Views in Jamaica, drawn on the spot by George Robertson, and engraved in line by Daniel. Lerpiniere. Oblong imperial folio, 21 in. by 15 1/2 in., Boydell 1778. These views are each dedicated to William Beckford, Esq., of Somerley in Suffolk, from whose estate (Roaring River near Spanish Town) they were taken."

The question arises, who was this William Beckford, junior, who settled in Jamaica about 1775? Lord Mayor William Beckford died in 1770, aged 60, leaving an only son and heir William, the well-known author of Vathek, and eccentric owner of Fonthill (born 1759, died 1844).

The Lord Mayor had, however, many brothers, one of whom, Richard, matriculated from Balliol College, Oxford, 15 January 1727-8, aged 15, B.A. University College 1731, later became an Alderman of London, and died at Lyons, a bachelor, in 1756. In his will, dated 22 December 1755 in France, he writes: My friend Elizabeth Hay, esteemed as my wife £400 & all my household linen & £500 a year. All my estate in Hanover, Jamaica, according to agreement I devise to my brother Julines Beckford he to convey Roaring River plantation to Trustees my brother William Beckford [the future Lord Mayor] etc. for the use of my reputed son William

Beckford [a minor] born of the said Elizabeth Hay & all residue. I have purchased of my brother Julines the Hertford plantation etc. Proved 4 March 1756 [P.C.C., 59, Glasier].

This William, having inherited his father's great wealth, matriculated from Balliol College., Oxford, 17 March 1762, aged 17; created M.A. 6 April 1765. There can be no doubt, I think, of his identity with the William Beckford of Somerley, as the latter's Hertford and Roaring River plantations were those named in Richard's will. Perhaps some Jamaican reader will be able to confirm this by reference to records.



Information is wanted concerning two Scottish writers on Jamaica: Charles Leslie and J. Stewart.


Of the author, Charles Leslie, who flourished about 1740, and whose name appears only at the end of the dedication to the Earl of Eglington of "A New and Exact Account of Jamaica," published at Edinburgh in 1739, notbing is known. Allibone merely mentions him as the author of this work, and gives no particulars of his life. From the preface, as well as from the work itself, it is evident that he visited the Island. A third edition, of precisely the same format as the first and printed from the same type, with the same misprints, was published by the same publisher, R. Fleming, in Edinburgh in 1740. It has "an appendix, containing an account of Admiral Vernon's success at Porto Bello and Chagre."

In a "New History of Jamaica "-the same work published under a different title in London in 1740--the dedication is omitted and the preface rewritten, and two maps are included, one of the West Indies, the other of Jamaica. The latter shews the sugar estates, indigo works, cotton and provision plantations, cacao walks (as they were called), and crawles for hogs, and pens for cattle. A second edition appeared in the same year in London, which is just like the first. In 1741 an edition of the " New History" was published in Dublin. It contains no maps. In 1751 a French translation in two volumes of the London edition, under the title "Histoire de la Jamaique," was published in London. Some natural history plates are included. The translator, Mr. Raulin, suppressed both his own name and that of Leslie, but he was probably not acquainted with the latter, as it nowhere appears in the London editions of 1740. Indeed Bridges, the author of "Annals of Jamaica," considers it as a piracy, and it is not mentioned by either Lowndes or Allibone. If it is a piracy it is a most impudent one. The alterations from the Edinburgh edition are very slight; in the "New History" a new Letter X is inserted, which is a copy of the appendix of the third Edinburgh edition, and the old Letter X becomes XI, and so on till the end, and the size of the book is larger.

It would seem that the first London edition of 1740 was published after the third Edinburgh edition of that year. Like the London editions the Dublin edition does not give Leslie's name.

It has been suggested that the author is to be identified with the Charles Leslie, M.A., Master Mason, who published in 1741 in Edinburgh "A Vindication of Masonry and its excellency demonstrated in a Discourse at the Consecration of the Lodge Vernon Kilwinning, May 15, 1741. By Charles Leslie, M.A., Master Mason, and Member of the said Lodge. Edinburgh. Drummond and Co., 1741." Small 4to.

[See Leslie reply below]



In 1808 was published anonymously in London a work entitled "An Account of Jamaica and its Inhabitants, by a Gentleman long resident in the West Indies," and in 1823 it was republished in Edinburgh with a new preface and partly rewritten, and with the author's name, J. Stewart, but under a different title-"A View of the past and present state of the Island of Jamaica." He was, he tells us, resident for twenty-one years in Jamaica, from 1800-21, but nothing can be traced of him in the Colony.


Kingston, Jamaica

[See Stewart reply below]



The Rev. T. C. Dale of 115 London Road, Croydon, writes that a certain William Dale went out to the West Indies in 1805 or 1800 to carry on a weekly newspaper. His second wife is supposed to have accompanied him, and he is thought to have died soon after his arrival. Further information about him is desired. Mr. Dale enclosed the two wills of Adam and Robert Dale of Jamaica, of which the Editor has made abstracts.

Adam Dale of the parish of Trelawny, co. Cornwall, Island of Jamaica, land surveyor. Will dated 30 September 1799. All real and personal estate in trust to my friends James Symes of St. Ann, Robert Stoney and Richard Evans of Trelawny for 16 years for my reputed daughter Elizabeth Dale, now an infant under one year, and if she die to Ann Morrison. Trustees to be Executors. Witnessed by Robert Ball, William Brown, John Barnby. Proved 23 December 1799. Recorded in Lib. 66, fo. 147.

Robert Dale of the parish of Hanover. Will dated 10 May 1804. My reputed daughter Mary McCallum Dale and reputed son Philip William Dale £100 each. Nurse Sarah Hall £100 and furniture. My nephew John Dale, my heir-at-law, £140 if possible, and recommend him to my respected friend and employer George Brissett, Esq. The latter and John Foster to be Executors. Witnessed by Agnes Robertson; Adam Gray, George Marvilier. Proved 21, June 1804. Recorded in Lib. 73, fo. 23.

[Abstract made by Mr. G. F. Judah.]


To the Editor, "Caribbeana."(I, 13.)

Kingston, Jamaica.

With reference to a footnote, "What is this word ?" appended to "Negune," which appears in the Marriage Record in Jamaica of August 21st, 1670, between Joshua Paske and Mary Marna, I write to point out that it is obviously a copyist's mistake for Negrine, an obsolete form of Negress, used (as Murray's Dictionary points out) as late as 1703 by Dampier, who speaks of "Negrines and other she-slaves."


The Institute of Jamaica, for the Encouragement of Literature, Science, and Art.


Institute of Jamaica,

Kingston, Jamaica,

5th May, 1909.


Dear Sir,

In connection with your note on William Beckford of Somerly, a member of it family well known in the history of Jamaica, I would point out that there is no doubt that he was the natural son of Richard Beckford, brother of the Lord Mayor, and Elizabeth Hay, and consequently the first cousin of his more celebrated namesake, the author of "Vathe." He impaled the arms of Hay with those of Beckford, placing the fimbria around the shield.

In the "Journal. of the Institute of Jamaica," vol. i., No. 8, published in December 1893, I gave all the information which I had then learnt about William Beckford. I have recently acquired for the Library of the Institute of Jamaica a copy of the "Monthly Mirror" for May 1799, which contains a biographical sketch of him, and a portrait, being a reproduction "from a Shade by Miers."

William Beckford was born in Jamaica on the 13th September (o.s.) 1744. At the age of five years he went to England, and was educated at Westminster School, at Oxford, and under the private tuition of the Rev. Dr. Wilson of Bungay. On the death of his father in 1756 he became heir to his valuable properties, his father trusting to the justice of his brother Julines (who was then in possession of them) to place them under trustees in trust for him. These estates were burthened by legacies to three brothers, and a nephew of his father, of five thousand pounds each, besides other bequests, swelling the debts to a sum beyond one hundred thousand pounds; yet such were the resources that, after a minority of only nine years, these debts were reduced to seven thousand.

Soon after he came of age Beckford started on his travels, and made a somewhat extensive tour in company with William Fullerton (well known as the persecutor of Picton), Glover and Brydone; and, later, Brydone addressed his work on Sicily and Malta in a series of letters to William Beckford, Esq., of Somerly in Suffolk. On his return from his travels Beckford took a long lease of Somerly Hall in Suffolk, which stood where Somerleyton now is. Of the house little remains but two rooms, and there is no record to shew when or why the name was changed to Somerleyton. Old Thomas Fuller, in his "History of the Worthies of England," said he thought it ought to be called Summerley, as it was so "summerly" there.

On the 13th April he married his first-cousin, Miss Hay, daughter of Thomas Hay, formerly Secretary for Jamaica, but then deceased. About this time the electors of Yarmouth offered to elect him to Parliament free of expense, but this he declined.

In 1774, accompanied by his wife, he came to Jamaica, where he stayed until 1788. That his life here was very unlike that of the average West Indian planter may be gathered from "A Short Journey in the West Indies," published anonymously in 1790:

"I am now at Hertford Penn," says the author. "It is the residence of a West Indian, a man of taste and learning; and a description would but picture the elegance of European manners, turning all that the climate offers to the best advantage. A classical education and a course of well-directed travelling, conspired to accomplish the mind of Benevolus, and while that was liberally stored with the beauties of science and art, and with every delicate refinement, nature pressed upon his heart the noble feelings of philanthropy. A princely fortune enabled him to indulge his taste in the patronage of merit, and to enjoy the luxury of doing good. In the bosom of his family he enjoys true and domestic happiness. As a man of the world, he is accomplished, mild and pleasing; as a friend, sincere; as a husband, delicate and affectionate; as a brother, warmly attached; as a master, tender and humane; as a man of business, alas! misled by the goodness of his own heart and the villainy of others.

"The situation of Hertford is one of the pleasantest in the country. It is on a very gently rising ground, nearly equally removed from the sea and lofty mountains covered with wood, and at a short distance from a fine river. Some of the most romantic scenes in this island are upon the estates of Benevolus, and I hope one day (for he is fond of writing, and writes charmingly) to see an account, not only of these scenes that belong to himself, but of the whole island.

"I have spent no days in this country with more pleasure than the short time I have passed at Hertford"

Beckford's other properties in Westmoreland were: Fort William, RoaringRiver, Williamsfield, The Crawl, Hatfield Pen, and Smithfield Wharf, some of which are still in the possession of the Hay family. He is mentioned as a Magistrate for Westmoreland in the Jamaica Almanacs, from 1782 to 1788, after which date his name disappears.

When he came to Jamaica Beckford brought with him George Robertson, an artist. He intended to illustrate his work descriptive of Jamaica with views by Robertson, but pecuniary reasons obliged him to desist. Six engravings, from paintings by Robertson (by Vivares, Mason, and Lerpiniere), were published by Boydell in 1778, as follows: "Fort William Estate, with part of Roaring River," "Roaring River Estate," "Bridge crossing Cabarita River,"The Spring Head of Roaring River," "The Bridge crossing Rio Cobre near Spanish. Town," and "Part of the Rio Cobre near Spanish Town." Copies of these are in the Institute of Jamaica. Two of the original paintings by Robertson are in the possession. of Mrs. C. E. de Mercado of Jamaica. They go far to justify the high praise which Beckford bestowed on a now little-known artist.

Beckford also employed in Jamaica the talents of Philip Wickstead, a portrait painter, a pupil of Zoffany, who practised his art for some considerable period in the island. Unfortunately, many of Wickstead's portraits perished in the hurricane of 1780, which destroyed SavannalaMar, and which Beckford describes vividly in his work.

On his return to England to meet his creditors, as his affairs were becoming involved, Beckford was shamefully betrayed by a man who owed his rise in life to him, and was lodged in the Fleet Prison, in which he wrote his "Descriptive Account of the Island of Jamaica," dating the preface, "Fleet, February, 1790." (This will explain the cutting from the bookseller's catalogue to which you refer.) That he was not unsupported by friends in his affliction is evident. Dr. Burney, writing from Chelsea College on the 8th of October, 1791, to Miss Burney, says:

"I have idly got into miscellaneous reading-the Correspondence of Voltaire, Soame Jenyns's works, Aitkin's Poems, Mr. Beckford's 'Jamaica,' two volumes. How I want Mr. Lock to read them, and how he wants him to see the drawings he had made there-in Spain, Italy, &c.-that he has preserved from the wreck of his all during the hurricane at Jamaica. But," says he, "Mr. L. will never think of coming to such a place as this " (the Fleet Prison).

"I intend to try to got Sir Joshua and Sir Joseph Banks, his old acquaintances, to visit him there with me. I was with the dear worthy and charming man two hours on Wednesday, and love him and honour him more than ever. What a place-surrounded with fresh, horrors-for the habitation of such a man! My most worthy and good nephew Charles, of Titchfield Street, goes to him generally once a week, and dines and plays to him on a miserable pianoforte for five or six hours at a time."

And in February of the following year (1792), Miss Burney enters in her diary:

I had the satisfaction some days after to see again the good and much-injured and most unfortunate Mr. Beckford. He is at length released from unjust confinement, but he has an air of dejection-a look, a voice, a manner, that all speak the term of his sufferings to have been too long for his spirit to recruit. How hard a case! I wish to read his account of Jamaica. He is now writing a History of France. I understand both to have been compiled in his prison. How praiseworthy to have made such an exertion of his abilities, which sorrow and resentment must else have soured and corroded for life."

As soon as his affairs were arranged and he was able to leave the Fleet Prison, he continued to devote himself to literature, and published a part of the " History of France."

He died suddenly on the 5th of February, 1799, while on a visit to his cousin Richard, fourth and last Earl of Effingham, in Wimpole Street. His aunt, Elizabeth Beckford, married Thomas, second Earl of Effingham, whose son, the third Earl, was Governor of Jamaica in 1790.

His character is summed up in the biographical sketch in the " Monthly Mirror" above referred to:

"There was no subject, be it ever so abstruse, that did not in an instant strike upon his understanding with its full elucidation. As a botanist he was complete without having ever appeared to study a single plant. His eye in painting was correct in the most minute degree, as was his ear in music, and his taste in architecture ; and all without any obvious cultivation ; for every useful and ornamental acquisition appeared in him to spring solely from intuition; while he was universally allowed to rank among the best classical scholars of the age."


William Beckford, late of Hertford in the parish of Westmoreland, Island of Jamaica, but now of the parish of St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, Esq. Thomas Baker of Parliament Str., Esq., £5000. All estates to wife Charlotte and sole Executrix, 29 Oct. 1787. Will dated 8 July 1796, of Hand Str., No. 15 Sloane Str., Chelsea. All estates to wife Charlotte, and appoint Rt. Hon. Richard Steward, Earl of Effingham, John Ellis, Esq., of Portland Place, Sir William Parsons, Knight, of Somerset Str., Portman Square, and John Baker Ray, Lieut. H.M.S. Q. Charlotte, Executors. On 15 Feb 1799 appeared James W. Hay, Esq., of the Secretary of State's Office, and John Baker Hay, Esq., of Upper Belgrave Place, and swore to writing. Proved 22 Feb. 1799 by C. B., widow. (96, Howe.)

I recently found the vault with inscription to his wife and her sisters in the churchyard of Batheaston, co. Som. This will appear later.




In his article on the records of Jamaica, Mr. Livingston writes: "The following, so far as I know, were the Island Secretaries of Jamaica," and he gives a list which is similar to that given in Mr. W. A. Feurtado's "Official and other Personages of Jamaica, from 1655 to 1790."

In addition to the names therein mentioned, I have come across from time to time references to the following Island Secretaries: Peter Beckford, 1675, George Harris, 1675, Dr. Samuel Page, 1716, Thomas Hay (Deputy of John Anthony Balaguiere), 1763.

F. C.

On looking into this list of Secretaries, I find that Mr. Livingston has mixed up the Patentees and Deputies, and I am not surprised, for it is very difficult to draw up a correct and complete list of Colonial Officials. The patentee of a lucrative office would often sublet it, for an annual or capital sum, to a deputy, who would reside in the island, this custom leading to much confusion. The office was sometimes even sold for three lives, by the needy minister controlling the patronage, for a large sum of ready cash. The following notes from the Colonial Calendars are reliable:

1661, Jan. Grant to Richard Povey of the office of Secretary of "the islands of Jamaica," &c. (America and W.I. for 1675-6, p. 518.)

1674, Jan. 13. Mem. of grant to Thomas Martyn during life of the offices of Secretary of Jamaica, &c. (Ibid. for 1669-74, p. 550.)

Petition of Will. Blathwayt to the King. The office of Secretary of Jamaica, by the late death of petitioner's uncle Richard Povey, the first secretary, has passed to Thomas Martyn.

Peter Beckford was Secretary in Dec. 1674 and 1675 either in his own right or as deputy to Thomas Martyn, and some of his letters are preserved.

1675, Nov. 20. Warrant to the Attorney-General. To prepare a bill for the King's signature to pass the Great Seal, containing a grant to George Harris of the office of Secretary of Jamaica ... during life, with all fees and perquisites enjoyed by Richard Povey, or any other who held the same. (Ibid. for 16756, p. 302.)

1678, July 20. Rowland Powell producing his deputation from Mr. Harris took the oath of Secretary, &c. (Ibid. for 1677-80, p. 273.)

1683, Sept. 12. The Governor reported the death of the Secretary, Rowland Powell, and proposed that Francis Hickman execute the office in town, and Reginald Wilson at Port Royal, till the lawful deputies of the patentees should arrive. (Ibid. for 1681-5, p. 489.)

John Baber was appointed Sec. by patent of 17 July 9 Will. III. (Hottens Lists). He was residing in England in May 1699 contrary to H.M. order in council.

A lengthy search through the Colonial Calendars and Lists of Patents would be necessary to complete the list.

It looks as though it should be as follows:

Patentee and Deputy.

Richard Povey, 1661, till his death 1673. Deputy: Thomas Freeman, 1664.

Thomas Martyn, 1674. Deputy: Lt.Col. Robert Freeman, 1671.

Peter Beckford (or ? deputy), 1674-1675.

George Harris, 1675. Deputy: Rowland Powell, 1678-83.

John Baber, 1699.

Thomas Nicholls, 1698, followed by Allan Brodrick ("Colonial Calendar," 165.)



Notes and Queries


John Roby brought out in 1831 "Monuments of the Cathedral Church and Parish of St. Catharine: being Part I. of Church Notes and Monumental Inscriptions of Jamaica in the year 1824." 8vo, pp. 83, with Dedication ii., Preface iii., and Index viii. pages, in a blue paper cover. Of this I have a copy.

He then brought out Part II., a similar account of the Parish of St. James, which I have not seen. Were any other Parts published ?

On p. 3 of Part I he wrote: "In the summer of 1824 I visited every church in this island, took notes of its structure and extent, and copied every inscription therein . . . . I also transcribed from the churchyards and other cemeteries many epitaphs that I thought worthy of preservation ; but as most estates of any magnitude have their own burial grounds, there must be very many monumental memorials that I have not seen."

Are Roby's MSS. still in existence?




I find he was the Honourable James Stewart of the parish of Trelawny. He had the prefix of "Honourable" on account of his being Custos Rotulorum of his parish. I traced him as having been in Jamaica from 1797 until 1821, when he left the Island. From about 1800 until some years after he traded with James Gallows, as a firm of merchants in Trelawny. He subsequently retired from that firm and traded on his own account for a short time as a Merchant, and then afterwards retired from business. He was the owner of " Shaw Castle" in Trelawny and of several other properties. He was a member of Assembly from 1798-9, and was made Custos of Trelawny between the latter date and the year 1805. He held those positions up to the time of and a year after his departure from the Island. [Note from Jamaicanfamilysearch: the author of this reply was not identified, and his information is incorrect. The James Stewart who was the Custos of Trelawny was born in Jamaica. Both his baptism and burial are in the Trelawny Parish Register. He died there in 1828 at the age of 65.]



I cannot, from the records in the Island Record Office, identify this name in connection with Jamaica before the year 1756. There are several patents of land in the name of "Leslie" before and after this period, searching from the time of the settlement of the Island under the English flag down to 1815. But there is none to Charles Leslie. Amongst the records of wills the first entry in the name of Leslie occurs in the year 1755, when the will of David Leslie of Kingston, peruke maker, appears. This will is dated 17 February 1755, and was proved 22 May 1755. Then follow the wills of Trevylyan Leslie, 1760; John Leslie, 1763; William Gaply, dated 20 August 1762, proved 5 June 1767; Patrick Leslie of St. Ann, Esq. will dated 18 July 1766 proved 30 November 1769. This testator devised all his estate to his brother Charles of St. Ann, carpenter. Searching from the year 1708 down in the records of deeds to Charles Leslie, the first deed is dated 26 May 1756. Then follow deeds dated respectively 1763, 1764, 1765, 1767, 1768, 1769. In all these deeds he is described as of St. Ann, carpenter. In 1775, in a deed of conveyance of a slave, he is described as of Kingston, Gentleman. In 1780, in a deed of conveyance of a slave from Thomas Leslie of St. Andrew, planter, he is described as Charles Leslie of the parish of Kingston, Gentleman. In 1781, in a deed of Mortgage of a plantation, pen, and Pimants Walk from Peter Davidson of St. Mary, Esquire, he is described as Charles Leslie of the parish of St. Ann, Esquire. The amount of consideration money mentioned in this deed is £2800. This is the last deed of record in his name. I may mention that the consideration money in the preceding deeds was from smaller sums, the largest after being £2000 and £3000. The deed in which the sum of £2000 is mentioned is a deed from Patrick Leslie of St. Ann, Esquire, to Charles Leslie of the same parish, Carpenter.

The only will of "Charles Leslie" of record is dated 7 November 1781, proved 15 May 1782. In it he describes himself as Charles Leslie of Kingston, Esquire. He mentions his sister Margaret Robertson, wife or Alexander Robertson of Whiteside in the parish of Hattram in the County of Aberdeen; his niece Margaret Leslie, wife of William Leslie of Bridgeland, of Coburty, near Frasersburg, Co. of Aberdeen; his grand-nephew Charles Leslie, son of William, and Margaret Leslie; Joan Leslie, reputed daughter of his brother Patrick Leslie, deceased; his friend Thomas Leslie of St Andrew, Planter; Robert Leslie of Kingston, Gentleman; James Gordon of St Mary, Planter; Alexander Leslie of Portland; Alexander Milne of Aberdeen, and his oldest son Peter.

It is evident that by the death of his brother Patrick, Charles Leslie was enabled to give up his trade of a carpenter and became of Kingston, Gentleman, and afterwards Esquire.

N.B. In the deeds in which both the names of Patrick Leslie and Charles Leslie occur, the former is described as Esquire and the latter Carpenter.


St. Jago de la Vega.

(Record and Genealogical Searcher.)

Notes and Queries


Thomas Pepper Thompson of Liverpool and of Vale Royal Estate, Jamaica, died in 1820. His wife was Amelia. His son, James Thompson of Maria Beuno [Bueno] leaving by Mary Edwards, afterwards of Rio Beuno [Bueno] in Trelawney [Trelawny] parish, a supposed kinswoman of Sir Bryan Edwards (if so, what?), three children. Any amplification of the above details is wanted, and any information as to the family prior to the first-mentioned date.


3 Warrington Crescent, .

London, W.



1696. William Brodrick and Hannah his wife v. Thomas Ballard. St. Katherine's, Jamaica. Personal estate of Thomas Ballard. [Before 1714. Bridges, 148-167.]



In the West India Committee Circular is also appearing an interesting series of articles by Mr. Frank Cundall on the above subject. This will be a very welcome addition to our local literature, recalling the fateful actions and exploits of those who made history in these colonies.

The same able writer has also drawn up a complete list of all such sites, etc., in Jamaica, which has been printed as a Supplement to the "Jamaica Gazette" for 23 December 1909, and in the West India Committee Circular for 1 February 1910, and it is to be hoped that similar lists may be issued in all the other islands. I hear from Barbados that a strong Committee is now engaged collecting data for this purpose.




DATED 4 JULY 1746.*


GEORGE the second by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King and of Jamaica Lord Defender of the Faith &c. TO ALL to whom these presents shall come KNOW YE that we for and in consideration that Lieut. John Barnett hath transported himself with his servants and slaves into our said Island in pursuance of a Proclamation made in the reign of His late Majesty King Charles the Second of Blessed Memory and for his better encouragement to become one of our planters there and for divers other good causes and considerations us thereunto especially moving of our special grace certain knowledge and meer motion Have given and granted and by these presents for us our Heirs and Successors Do Give and Grant unto the said Lieut. John Barnett his heirs and assigns a certain parcell of land in the Parish of St. George containing three hundred acres Bounding southerly on land surveyed at the same time for the said Lieut. John Barnett and and on all other sides on Kings land (as by the platt hereunto annexed appears) Together with all edifices trees woods underwoods waters watercourses rents profitts commodities emoluments advantages easements and hereditaments whatsoever growing or being in or upon the premises or any part thereof together with all Mines and Mineralls whatsoever being upon the premises or any part of them Mines of gold and Silver only excepted. To Have and To Hold the said parcell of land Meadow pasture or Woodland and all and singular other the premises hereby granted and their and Every of their appurtenances unto the said Lieut. John Barnett his Heirs and Assigns for ever to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Lieut. John Barnett his heirs and assigns for evermore Rendering therefor yearly and every year unto us our Heirs and Successors the yearly rent or sume of Twelve shillings and sixpence current money of this Island on the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangell and the Annunciation of Blessed Virgin Mary by even and equal portions and also rendering yearly and every year unto us our Heirs and Successors a twentieth part of the clear yearly Profitts of all Base Mines hereby granted (on the said Feast day of Saint Michael the Archangell) which shall happen to be found in or upon the premises or any part of them AND MOREOVER wee will and grant for us our Heirs and Successors unto the said Lieut. John Barnett his heirs and assigns that the enrollment of these our Letters Pattent in our Chief Court of Administration of Justice or Secretarys Office of Our said Island shall be as good firm valid and effectual in the Law for the Transferring the premises according to the true intent and meaning of these presents as if the same premises had been granted aliened or transferred or these presents executed by us after any other manner or way whatsoever so always as these our Letters Pattent be inrolled within the space of six months and not otherwise any Law Custom or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding Nevertheless our further Will and Pleasure is that the said Lieut. John Barnett his heirs or Assigns do and shall upon any insurrection Mutiny Rebellion or Invasion which may happen in our said Island during his or their residence on the same be ready to serve and shall actually serve us our Heirs and Successors in arms upon the command of Our Governour or Commander in Chief for the time being Provided the said Lieut. John Barnett do begin a settlement upon said land within six months and open ten acres every year for four years and keep four negroes for every hundred acres upon said land for five years from the time he shall begin the said Settlement but should he not comply these conditions then the said Pattent is to be deemed as cancelled and void and the Land from that time revested in us to be regranted to any other person and shall keep a sufficient number of White men (if to be procured) Proportionable to the number of slaves thereon employed according to the true intent and meaning of an Act of the Governour Councill and Assembly of Our said Island, intitled An Act for regulating Servants Provided the said Lieut. John Barnett his heirs or Assigns do and shall keep and maintain three white men on the said land Pursuant to Our Instructions of the 1st July 1735.

WITNESS His Excellency Edward Trelawney Esquire, Captain General Governour and Commander in Chief in and over this our said Island of Jamaica and the Territories thereon depending in America Chancellor and Vice Admiral of the same at St. Jago de la Vega, the Fourth day of July in. the twentieth year of our reign anno Domini 1746.


George Duckett. l.s. ,

Clerk Pattents

*( Mr. N. B. Livingston copied this Patent from the local records, and has not seen any original.)


Mr. G. Fothergill sends the following relating to the Barnetts :

Appointment of Guardian. In Samuel Whitehorn Barnett, only child of Jonathan Barnett, late of St. Ann's in Jamaica, by Mary Palmer, his late wife, also deceased. Order made 16 November 1769.

William Barnett the younger, late of Jamaica but of Lisworney in Glamorgan, who is the infant's second cousin and nearest relation now in England, is a fit and proper person to be appointed guardian of Samuel Whitehorn Barnett. Jonathan, the father, died in 1756. George Frisby Barnett, the elder brother, died at Jamaica, 1768. [Chancery Master's Reports, Hil. 1770.]



In your issue of January you ask for information about Roby and his Church Notes of Jamaica.

The following are, so far as I know, the only works which Roby published. Copies of them all are in the Library of the Institute of Jamaica.

I. "Monuments of the Cathedral Church and Parish of St. Catherine,"of which you have given particulars.

II. "Members of the Assembly of Jamaica, from the Institution of that Branch of the Legislature to the present time; arranged in Parochial Lists. By John Roby. Jamaica: Published by Alex. Holmes, Montego Bay.

8vo Pages, 102+ Errata, 1; Title, 1; Dedication, 2; Preface, 2; Introduction, 3.

These lists were originally inserted in four numbers of the "Royal Gazette of Jamaica," published in Kingston in January 1831.

III. "Biographical Notices of the Members of the Assembly of Jamaica for the Parish of St. James." [1837.] 4to: Pages, 152. There is a prefatory letter, dated Montego Bay, 16 January 1837, but no title-page. The copy in the Institute Library contains a MS. in the Author's handwriting, in which he gives the reason for his discontinuance of the series, in the form of an autograph copy of a letter which be addressed to the Editor of the "Jamaica Standard."

He says: "I sincerely lament that I feel myself compelled to terminate abruptly my publication in the 'Standard' of 'Members of Assembly for the Parish of St. James;' but the leading article in your paper of this day appears to me to be, both in matter and style, so improper-recommending resistance to our beloved mother country, after the factious model of ‘the glorious Papinean and his noble band of patriots' that it would be inconsistent in me, as a loyal subject and an Officer of the Crown, to continue any literary contribution to a paper advocating such opinions.

"The 'Standard' used to inculcate subordination and obedience to the powers that be, and supporting (although I think at times rather intemperately) the Tory Sections of 'Church and King' I felt pleasure in inserting in its columns my humble Notes on Jamaica history, genealogy and statistics. The labour was indeed a pleasure to me, but its continuance will be incompatible with my duty. However, as the copies you have transferred into an 8vo form will probably be rendered unsaleable from the work being incomplete, I will cheerfully take them from you at a reasonable price.

(Signed) John Roby."

IV. The History of the Parish of St. James, in Jamaica to the year 1740; with Notes on the General History, Genealogy, and Monumental Inscriptions of the Island, by John Roby. Kingston, Jamaica: Printed by R. J. DeCordova, 66 West Harbour Street: 1849." 8vo; Pages, 165; Title-page 1; Advertisement," 1. This book unfortunately has no index. Its "advertisement" gives the reason why the work was not continued. It runs as follows:

"When the Author commenced the publication of his 'History of the Parish of St. James,' he had no expectation, or even desire, of profit; but, as he had a large family, he determined not to incur serious loss.

"He was aware that the time of its appearance was exceedingly unpropitious, that in the present state of the Island, its almost universal and unparalleled distress, many who might desire to purchase books were hardly able to procure their daily bread-and he was also aware that the subject-matter would be considered dry and distasteful by most Jamaica readers, and the book have a very limited circulation, even in prosperous times. But as an useful repertory of historical, biographical and genealogical facts connected with Jamaica (including most of the monumental inscriptions of persons of distinction throughout the island), he thought it possible that there might have been a sufficient number of purchasers to have paid the expences.

"This has not been the case-the book has been praised, but very few copies have been sold, 'laudatur et alget;' and the Author, having given his experiment a fair trial, cannot afford to proceed; although his publisher has acted liberally, and the work could not have been so well and cheaply printed at any other press in this Island.

" The Author owns that he is disappointed, and is sorry to discontinue his History; for whilst he hoped to contribute some information to a community in which he has for many years received much courtesy and kindness, this occupation of his leisure hours was pleasurable to himself. It was his hobby-horse; and he would not willingly have dismounted so soon. He cannot however take leave of his few Readers without acknowledging the kind and valuable assistance he has received from Richard. Hill, Stipendiary Magistrate; Robert Russell, Registrar in Chancery; and Thomas Storer Hill, of H.M. Customs."

The Richard Hill referred to is best known as the collaborator with Philip Henry Gosse in his "Birds of Jamaica."

These four volumes are, as far as I know, the only works published by Roby.

The last three are very rarely met with. The copy of the "History of the Parish of St. James" was acquired for the Institute by the Author's daughter from an Institution in India, to which another daughter had presented it some years before.

There is an account of Roby, by his daughter Mary Roby, in the "Journal, of the Institute of Jamaica," vol. ii., p. 91 ; and a portrait of him is in the Jamaica Portrait Gallery in the Institute of Jamaica.

I do not think his MSS. are in existence. If they are, his daughter, who was familiar with his work, was not aware of it.




I think this family was of Welsh origin or descent. A portion of them settled in Jamaica. There was a Morgan Williams, who as early as 1665 (only ten years after its capture by the English) obtained a patent of fort land at Old Port Royal. Also William Williams, lands in St. Andrew's Parish 1665 and 1666; Evan Williams in St. John's Parish 1670; William, Rowland, and Lewis Williams, St. Elizabeth Parish, 1671; Christopher Williams, St. Elizabeth, 1672 and 1675; Evan Williams, St. Ann's, 1675; Rowland Williams, Port Royal, 1677; Morgan Williams, Port Royal, 1681, Job Williams, St. James, 1686, and St. Ann, 1686-7, and St. James, 1689 and 1690; same in St. Ann 1693 ; Rowland Williams, St. Elizabeth, 1703; and, more Rowland, William, Job, and others afterwards in different parishes; Assah Williams, Westmoreland, 1722.

William Williams of Llansadwrn was presented with the Rectorship of the parish of St. Mary 13 May 1767.


St. Jago de la Vega, Jamaica.



Right Honourable

My Last unto your Honour was by the Grantham and therein I did Acquaint your honours of my safe Arivall heere the 26th of february these few Lines are to Acquaint your honours that Admirall Goodsin sett sayle from this harbour the 5th day of Aprill with the Glocester Marston moore portland Laurell dover falmouth Selby Armes of holland Cardife & Martin Galley & the 24th of this month the Charity set sayle from hence to Releife the Mary fly boat wich lay to wind ward about port Marant it pleased Admirall Goodsin to leave me to Command this Squadron heere is with me the Indian Marmaduke Succes Mary fly boat Gift Welcome Adam & Eve the Paul & the Golden faulcon the Church is to sett sayle with the faulcon flyboat for New England : I question not but Commissioner Sedgwicke will give your honours a p'ticuler Accompt of all things heere therefore I shall forbeare troubling your honours att p'sent but shall Remayne your honours most humble servant att Command.


from Aboard the Lyon in Jenica [Jamaica?] Harbour

this 29th of Aprill 1656.

Endorsed: "These ffor the Right Honourable The Commisioners for The Admiralty & Navy sitting att Whitehall p'sent." And noted: "29 Aprill 1656 Capt Lambert from the Lyon in Jamaica harbour."

[Original letter, on a double sheet of foolscap, in possession of Editor.]



Mr. Erskine E. West of Shoyswell, Cowper Gardens, Dublin, writes 30 June 1910: "Herewith I send you some notes on the Ricketts family. The Inscriptions were sent me by Mr. Charles M. Calder of Savannah la Mar (Resident Magistrate there) and I have added explanatory notes."

Inscriptions taken from the family mausoleum at Canaan in the Parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica.

I. "Sarah Ricketts, the wife of George Ricketts, Esq., who departed this life the 20th June 1759."

[This Sarah Ricketts must have been the second wife of George Ricketts of Canaan. She is described in Burke and Lodge as Sarah, daughter of. . . . Bennet, and widow of John Lewis of Cornwall, Jamaica. George Ricketts had no issue of this second marriage.]

II. "Here lies George the son of George and Sarah Ricketts who died the 9th day of July A.D. 1741, Aged 21 years 8 months and 26 days." (Eulogistic lines follow.)

III. "To the memory of Eliza Ricketts, who departed this life 4th February 1750 Aged 18 years 5 months and 17 days."

IV. "To the memory of Mary Haughton, daughter of George and Sarah Ricketts, who departed this life 27th of December 1749 Aged 19 years and 9 months."

[Mary, daughter of George Ricketts of Canaan, by his first wife Sarah, daughter of Raynes Wayte of Chertsey, Surrey (and granddaughter of Col. Thomas Wayte, M.P. for Rutland in the Long Parliament, the Regicide), married Richard Haughton of Esher, Jamaica.]

V. "To the memory of Sarah Woodcock, daughter of George Ricketts, Esq., of this Parish, who departed this life the 20th October 1744 aged 18 years and six months."

[Sarah, daughter of George Ricketts of Canaan by his first wife Sarah Wayte, married John Woodcock and died without issue.]

VI. "To the memory of Mary Ricketts, widow, who departed this life 16 April 1750, aged 96 years."

[Mary, widow of Captain William Ricketts. or Ricards of Bluefields Fort, Jamaica, is stated by Burke to have been daughter of a younger son of Sir Francis Goodwin of Winchendon, Bucks. Sir Francis Goodwin married the Lady Elizabeth Grey, only daughter of Arthur, 14th Lord Grey de Wilton, by his first wife Dorothy Zouche. Capt. Lawrence Archer considered this statement of Mrs. William Ricketts' parentage to be inaccurate.]

VII. "To the memory of George Ricketts, Esq., who departed this life 2nd of October 1760, aged 76 years."

[George Ricketts of Canaan (fourth son of Capt. William Ricketts and Mary Goodwin his wife), Major-General of the Militia in Jamaica, died in 1760, consequent on fatigues occasioned by military duties during the rebellion of that year. He married firstly Sarah Wayte, by whom he had 27 children born alive; secondly, Sarah Lewis nee Bennet, by whom he had no issue; and thirdly Elizabeth, daughter of William Cleaver of Westmoreland, Jamaica, by whom be had a posthumous son (28th child), George William, born 1760, afterwards of New Canaan, St. James', Jamaica.]

© 2013. Jamaican Family Search hereby grants you a limited license to copy and use the materials provided on this site solely for your personal, non-commercial use. No other use of the site or materials is authorized. You agree that any copy of the materials (or any portion of the materials) that you make shall retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained therein. Posting of materials on other Web Sites is strictly prohibited.


Search for



Plan of this website

Help - Frequently Asked Questions

Items in the Samples Directory

Items in the Members Directory

Photographs, maps, prints, etc.

Jamaica Almanacs (property owners; civil & military)

Registers (Church of England, Dissenters, Civil Registration); Wills

Jamaican Roman Catholic Church Registers

Jamaican Methodist Baptisms

Slaves and slavery in Jamaica

Immigration Immigrants to Jamaica