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Will of John Dickson, 1783

[RGD, Jamaica, LOS 47/111]

Jamaica SS

I John Dickson of the parish of Hanover...planter1 do make this my last will and testament...
Item, I bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth the sum of £1,000 Current Money to be paid to her attaining the age of twenty one years or one year after the day of her marriage...also I bequeath the following slaves Viz. two Negro Girl slaves Debby and Eve, one Negro child named Candess, one boy slave named William and one Negro man boy slave Adam...and if no heirs of her body to be returned to my estate  
[The section above is struck through. The will was written in 1776, Elizabeth Dickson died in 1779, but John Dickson made no other alterations before his death in April 1782]

Item, I bequeath to each of my sons James, William, Richard,2 Archimedes [otherwise Archibald] and George the like sum of £1,000 Current Money and in case of the death of my daughter Elizabeth before marriage then I give the said sum of £1,000 hereby given to her to be equally divided amongst my sons or such of them as may be living...in case of the death of any of my sons before he or they attain the age of twenty one years without lawful issue then I bequeath the sum of £1,000 to be equally divided amongst my daughter Elizabeth and the survivors of them my sons...
It is my particular desire that my sons be brought up to such trades, businesses or professions as to my executors and their guardians may appear best to suite their respective geniouses and my children are to be educated3 and maintained out of my estate
The rest and residue of my estate real and personal in this island or elsewhere4 I bequeath to my eldest son John and the heirs of his body and in case of his death without lawful heirs to my second son James...third son William...Richard...Archimedes...George and in the case of his death without lawful issue to my brother William Dickson5
And should any of my younger sons by the death of my eldest son John be entitled to the residue of my estate then what such younger son may be entitled to under my last will and testament be equally divided amongst my other sons then living and my daughter Elizabeth...
It is my further will that my eldest son John or his heirs do give a full title to my daughter for a Negro woman slave named Clarinda and in case of failure of such title being given...£100 Current Money to my daughter
Item, I do hereby appoint John Campbell of Salt Spring Esq.,6 John Paterson7 practitioner of physick, Donald Malcolm8 and Francis Somerville9 merchants all of the parish of Hanover and William Dickson of Great Britain gentleman executors of this my last will and testament and guardians of the persons and estates of my daughter and my sons till they respectively attain the age of twenty one years.
In witness whereof I have put my hand and seal this 16 October 1776 in the presence of
Thomas Brown10
James Miller11
James Thomson
Proved in Jamaica by the witnesses, before Duncan Campbell12 [magistrate] 10 June 1783

1 John Dickson was the former owner of Salem plantation, Hanover 1769-1775. He managed Crooks' Cove plantation for the widow of his brother-in-law, James Crooks [d.1774] and also bought wharves and land at Davis' Cove
2 By 1807, Richard Dickson, merchant at Davis' Cove since 1781, was the only surviving son. He became the owner of Cousins Cove estate in 1810
3 All the children, save George, had been sent to school in Scotland [1770] where they lived with their uncle. One son, Alexander, died there of the smallpox within 3 months. Elizabeth, John, James, Richard and William returned to Jamaica, Archibald remained in Scotland. George was later sent to school in London where he lived with his aunt, Rebecca Rankin, (nee McKenzie) his mother's half sister. He later lived with his cousin, Mrs Miller, the wife of James Miller and returned to Scotland in 1784.
4 John Dickson also owned properties in Scotland, including an inn with a brewery and distillery [NAS RS27.159 f.164]
5 William Dickson managed his brother's properties and tenants in the parish of Lasswade, Edinburgh. His only son, William Augustus Dickson, arrived in Jamaica about 1804. He inherited Cousins Cove plantation from his cousin, Richard Dickson, in 1821
6 John Campbell of Salt Spring, son of Dugald Campbell and Ann Launce, was a 1st cousin of Dickson's wife, Ann Crooks [d.1769]. Campbell died in America seven months after Dickson
7 John Paterson of Baulk had married [April 1776] Deborah McKenzie, a half sister of Ann Crooks
8 Donald Malcolm, the brother of Neill and George Malcolm. George Malcolm married [1784] Sarah Crooks, a niece of Ann Crooks
9 Francis Somerville, a nephew of Duncan Campbell of London, merchant correspondent of John Campbell (his brother in law) John Dickson and John Paterson
10 Thomas Brown, a doctor in Montego Bay, had married Sarah Grizell, the widow of James Crooks of Crooks' Cove (Cousins Cove)
11 There is evidence in the letters of Duncan Campbell to suggest that James Miller may have married one of the daughters of Dugald Campbell of Salt Spring [d.1744]. Miller was described as having 'a connexion' to John Campbell and Miller's wife was a cousin to John Dickson's children [Duncan Campbell Letter Books]
12 This Duncan Campbell, of Duchernan in Argyll, a merchant in Hanover, was another cousin of John Campbell of Salt Spring and managed the estate when John Campbell left for Britain in the summer of 1782

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