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Alexander Coachman

Alexander Coachman was probably born in England and died in January of 1671 in Barbados, West Indies.  He married Elizabeth Arrundell, the daughter of Robert Arrundell and his wife, Francis. 

Barbados was founded by the English when, on February 17th 1627, Captain Henry Powell landed with a party of 80 English settlers and 10 slaves. We donít know when Alexander Coachman arrived but we know he was there and an adult by 12 October 1659 when Elizabeth Fitzjames, age 33, gave the following deposition in court: "on 12 April last past she had heard of a certain gentleman, a lawier who lately arrived in this place and who lodged in the house of Alexander Coachman, by name John Jerome.  She went there desiring his advice.  Jerome said he had known said Coachman from a child.  Coachman and his wife had been so good to him that if he died he left everything to them as he was very sick.  He himself was now a widower and had settled his business in England."

Alexander Coachman was probably a planter of some substance.  Barbados, in many respects, was England's first experimental tropical agricultural export colony. Contemporary opinion in the late seventeenth century acclaimed it the 'richest spote of ground in the worlde.' Private English capital financed the settlement in 1627 and market conditions for its first commercial crop, tobacco, enabled the accumulation of quick profits which were later utilized to finance the shift to sugar production in the 1650s.  Within twenty years, during which Alexander Coachman built his fortune, the economic phenomenon known as the Sugar Revolution transformed the face of Barbados forever. Tropical luxuriance gave way to a carefully controlled garden-like appearance of the entire island, as almost complete deforestation occurred. Not only was nature subjected to man's tight control but profound demographic and economic changes created a whole new society. Sugar demanded labor and people poured into Barbados in increasingly large numbers, quickly making the island not only the most populated of England's overseas colonies, but also one of the most densely populated places in the world. Initially whites from Britain were brought in to supply labor, either as indentured servants or prisoners but later slaves from Africa became more economical to import and Barbados quickly acquired the largest population of any of the English colonies in the Americas. In many respects, Barbados became the springboard for English colonization in the Americas, playing a leading role in the settlement of Jamaica and the Carolinas, and sending a constant flow of settlers to other areas throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Alexander Coachman made his will on 31 December 1670.  He must have been sick and known he was about to die because the will was filed with the St. Michaels Parish Court in Barbados on 12 January 1671.  In his will he mentions his sisters, Anne Smith and Alice Coachman, and his father-in-law Robert Arrundell.  He left the majority of his estate to his only son, Tilney.  Tilney was to receive his inheritance when he turned 18.      

The only child of Alexander Coachman and Elizabeth Arrundell was:

1.  Tilney Coachman, born about 1660 in Barbados, West Indies and died 13 Feb 1716 in Berkeley, South Carolina.

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