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Dr. John GORDON 1728-1774

Born in Scotland; Lived in Jamaica; Died at Dorchester

Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester January 2017


St Peters Church Dorchester
Where John Gordon was buried on 6th Oct 1774

Dr. John GORDON (1728-1774)

My Interest as OPC for Dorchester is purely that John GORDON was buried at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 6 Oct 1774, evidenced by his name appearing in the parish burial register, and on a monumental inscription displayed on a white marble tablet on the north wall of the church. Frustratingly despite extensive research I have not been able to find out why John Gordon was in Dorchester at all. Clearly he was on his way back to Jamaica which may have occasioned him heading for Portsmouth where he had landed in 1773, and we know he had friends at Chichester, but Dorchester is not en-route and the local ports including Weymouth did not trade with the West Indies. They did sail regularly to New England so perhaps he was looking to gain passage south from there. There are no records of his family or his known friends ever being in Dorchester, and being a staunchly Puritan town there is no history of the merchants being involved in the slave trade at all.

From research into his family most family members seem unaware that he died at Dorchester, so I thought it might be helpful to outline my understanding of his life and background in the hope that more information may come to light. I am grateful for earlier researchers efforts, in particular Anne M Powers the author of "A Parcel of Ribbons" who writes about the life of Robert Cooper LEE a respected Jamaican attorney who over many years became a close friend of John and his brother George GORDON and guardian of John's son Robert Home GORDON.


Antecedents in Scotland: (1&2)

Sir John GORDON (d.1649) 1st Baronet of Embo in the county of Sutherland in Scotland.


Arms: Az. three boars' heads erased or. Crest - A Boar's head, as in the arms.
Motto - Forward without fear(3).


(1) His great grandfather was - Sir John GORDON (d.1649) 1st Baronet of Embo in the county of Sutherland in Scotland. He had married to Margaret (1&6) the daughter of the Hon. Robert LESLIE of Findrassie, co. Moray, by Margaret the daughter of Alexander Dunbar of Grange, Dean of Moray and one of the Lords of Session. In the book "The Gordons of Sutherland, including the Embo Family" (2) it gives an account of his land transactions as recorded in the "Inverness Register of Sasines" and it makes it clear that he was first called John GORDON of Golspitour citing two very early references, one dated 1595, and the other in 1597. Golspitour is better known today as Golspie Tower (4) on the east coast of Sutherland just above the village of Embo. The book recounts some of his many exploits including how he was wounded. Despite a number of on-going feuds which took years to resolve, he became a man of some influence and was appointed justice of the peace for Sutherland in 1623. He succeeded his father, John GORDON of Embo, when he died on 23 Nov 1628(1/2) and was sufficiently wealthy to be created 1st Baronet of Embo on June 18th 1631, the patent being sealed 11 days later. He also received a grant of 16,000 acres on part of Anticosti Island in Nova Scotia entitled the Barony of New Embo (5). From 1634 he encountered difficulties following the purchase of Achinnes which meant he was in debt by the time he died in 1649.

    
Modern day map showing location of Embo in the Highlands of Scotland & county of Sutherland
Map dated 1654 showing location of Golspitour (now Golspie Tower)
Sir John GORDON left two sons and a daughter:-

    1.1. John Gordon - his eldest son appears to have died prior to 1649
    1.2. Robert GORDON (d.1697) - became the 2nd Baronet of Embo - see paragraph 2. below.
    1.3. Jane Gordon (d. 1656) - married Dr Lamere, a French physician, and died in 1656.

(2) His grandfather was - Sir Robert GORDON (d.1697) 2nd Baronet of Embo
Robert succeeded his father in 1649 and found the estate to be much impoverished, inheriting a debt of £10,862, for which he was adjudged to be imprisoned until the sum was paid. He was nevertheless M.P. of Sutherland, 1649-1650 and again in 1661, being in 1663 excused from attendance as in the Kings service. He married his cousin Jean the daughter of Robert LESLIE of Findrassie by Isabel daughter of Abraham Forbes of Blackford, and appears to have improved viability of the estate. He died on the 16th Oct 1697 (1) when he was succeeded by his eldest son and heir Sir John GORDON (d. 1701) 3rd Baronet of Embo . Their children were:-

    2.1. Sir John Gordon (d.1701?) 3rd Baronet of Embo, educated at Marischal college in Aberdeen in 1672 & 6th winner of the archery medal; Captain of Lord Strathnaver's Regiment ; M.P. of Sutherland July 5th 1681, 1682; Mar 5th 1689, 1700; Said to have died May 10 1701 but others contest that he was alive up to 1704? Succeeded by his son John GORDON 4th Baronet - See Family tree page 22 The Gordons of Sutherland (2). The 9th Baronet was Sir Orford GORDON.
    2.2. Robert GORDON of Pronsey see paragraph 3. below
    2.3. James Gordon
    2.4. William Gordon
    2.5. George Gordon Captain M.P. for Dornoch March 5 1689 (Sessions 4-7, 910) and died before Dec 21 1692

(3) His father was - Robert GORDON of Pronsey as stated on John's tombstone.
As a second son Robert did not carry the family title of Embo which went to his elder brother's son who became 4th Baronet. I had some difficulty locating Pronsey until I realised search engines were not picking up variations in the name (It is also spelt Pronsie; Pronsy; & Proncy). Pronsey is situated in the parish of Dornoch and consisted of a farm and castle or tower. Link to modern satellite image of the area showing the villages of Dornoch, Embo and Golspie, all on the coast. Pronsey lies just off the A9 between Evelix and Poles with the earthworks of the castle located just behind Pronsey (Proncy) farm. (Note:-allow time for the map below the text to load) In 1525 Pronsey (Pronsy) Castle, which was an ancient medieval stronghold, came into the possession of William Sutherland(7). These lands had previously been held by Hugh Sutherland, son of Angus, with Elizabeth Countess of Sutherland who had married in about 1509 to Adam GORDON as overlords. Adam Gordon was also responsible circa 1515 in building Golspie Farm next to the medieval Golspie tower(4) . (Note:- The link provided goes to images of 2 maps one above the other purporting to show the area in 1654. The lower of the two maps interestingly shows both Golspitour and towards the bottom Pronsie). In 1606 after prolonged dispute the laird of Duffus and the burg of Dornoch agreed the boundaries between the lands of Skelbo and Pronsey (Pronsie) and the burgh. A few miles north of Dornoch lies the little village of Embo.

Marriage and children:- Robert married, about the year 1726, to Isobella (Isabella, Isobel) the daughter of Sir George MUNRO (MUNROE) of Culrain which lies about 20 miles west along Dornoch Firth. After marriage they lived at Golspie farm where their first three children, John, George and Mary Gordon were all born. John was the eldest son and born in 1728 as his age was given as being 46 on his memorial tablet. George his younger brother was probably born the following year and ultimately would be responsible for the erection of the marble tablet dedicated to his brother on the wall in St Peters Church in Dorchester. Mary Gordon was his eldest sister, and both George and Mary are beneficiaries under John Gordon's will. Unfortunately the parish registers for St Andrew's Church at Golspie (which was recorded as the Earl of Sutherland's chapel in the 13th century and became the parish church in 1619) have not survived prior to 1739. By 1732 however the family had already moved to Pronsey where the parish church was Dornoch Cathedral. Parish Registers in Scotland are difficult to locate but the Church of Latter Day Saints in their film 990561 records the baptism of four of his sisters at Dornoch Cathedral, three of which are referred to in his Will. Information about the lives of Robert and Isobella's children is scant and needs to be approached with some caution but I have recorded what I believe to be relevant below in the hope that as more information is made available it can be better substantiated or improved upon:-

    3.1. Dr. John GORDON (1728-1774) see Section 4 below

    3.2. George GORDON (c1729 -1778) was their second son and died unmarried in Jamaica. He was a beneficiary under his brothers will in 1774 and left as guardian for his only son Robert Home Gordon who was still a minor and at school in England. He filed accounts for Hayfield Pen his deceased brothers farm in St Thomas in the Vale in Jamaica in 1778 so was living then. He was the owner of the Cromwell Plantation in the parish of St Mary and the accounts for the property were filed in 1779 by Gustavas MacFarquhar who recorded the ownership as being "the property of the heirs of George Gordon Esq. deceased". He is reported (2) to have left this property to his brother Dr John and his brother's only son, Robert Home Gordon. He is also said to have made a later will leaving his estate to his sisters, but as this will was unsigned it was invalid, although a lease of some property in Jamaica was drawn up in 1781 (9) on the basis of it being all right, and signed by Robert Home Gordon. I have not so far located either will which presumably would be in Jamaica.

    3.3. Mary Gordon (c1731-aft 1774?) , received an annuity of £30 in her brothers will dated 16th Sep 1774. Nothing else known.

    3.4. Elizabeth Gordon (1732-aft 1774?) recorded at Dornoch Cathedral as the daughter of Robert Gordon baptised on 18th May 1732. She married George MACKENZIE, factor to Sir H MUNRO. Elizabeth is referred to in John Gordon's will of 1774 and there is an additional legacy of £300 to his nephew Colin MACKENZIE who later became an attorney in Jamaica. He was also a beneficiary under the will of Robert Home Gordon in 1826 receiving £1,000 (transcription section 5 below) as was his brother (Note:- where his brother's name should be in the will is left blank)

    3.5. Jean (Jane) Gordon (1738-1795) recorded at Dornoch Cathedral as the daughter of Robert Gordon and Isobella Monro baptised on 6th March 1738. She married on June 18th 1762 to Baillie Robert MURRAY, a merchant in Edinburgh who was a native of Ross-shire. Her husband Robert died in 1792 being buried at Cannongate, Midlothian in Scotland on 4th July that year. Jane died Feb 14th 1795 when her age was given as 51 (57?) and was also buried in the Cannongate Churchyard in Midlothian. (2&7) She is reported to have had 4 children

      3.5.1 Robert Murray c1770 - bet 1826 and 1830) Living in Jamaica and a beneficiary under the will of Robert Home GORDON (1765-1826)
      3.5.2 Sarah Morgan Murray (c1770-1837) She married at Canongate, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland on 16 Mar 1796 to the Revd. Thomas Kennedy (1770-1828) Minister of the parish of St Madoe's. She is described as Miss Sarah Murray daughter of the late Baillie Robert Murray leather merchant.
      3.5.3 George Home Murray (1774-1833) who was baptised at Golspie Sutherland on 19th June 1774(9); he became a Lieutenant Colonel and Brigadier General in charge of the 16th Lancers a Regiment in which he served for over 30 years. Present at the Battle of Waterloo as Captain George Home Murray he took command of the Regiment early in the day when Colonel James HAY was badly wounded. He was a beneficiary under the will of Robert Home GORDON (1765-1826). He died at Canpore East Indies 15th Dec 1833 leaving a will which refers to an interest in estates he inherited from his uncles Dr John and Mr George GORDON.
      3.5.4 Mary Murray Baptised 8th Nov 1771 at Canongate, Edinburgh, Midlothian

    3.6. Margaret Gordon (1739-1740's) recorded at Dornoch Cathedral as the daughter of Robert Gordon and Isobell Monro baptised on 26th Aug 1739, who presumably died in infancy as only three of his sisters are referred to in Burke's Peerage and she is missing from his will, and I have not located any burials for the parish

    3.7. Charlotte Gordon (1740-nk?) recorded at Dornoch Cathedral as the daughter of Robert Gordon and Isobell Monro baptised on 18th Sep 1740. Received an annuity of £30 in her brothers will dated 16th Sep 1774.

    3.8. Catherine Gordon (nk-aft 1778) said (2) "to have married into the MUNRO Family of Dalmore but her husband died prior to 1778. They had a daughter who married Alexander Smith of Kinmylies, Inverness (a native of Lothian)". I have not been able to substantiate this statement but John Gordon's will in 1774 leaves £500 to his nephew John MUNRO for his education, to be employed as his brother George thinks fit. A private letter dated 4th October 1779 from Robert Cooper Lee to his wife Priscilla who had by then returned from Jamaica and was living in London states " Poor young Munro - Gordon's cousin is dead in Jamaica".

Dr. John GORDON (1728-1774)
Attorney, Plantation and slave owner of Jamaica

(4) Dr. John GORDON (1728-1774) was born at Golspie Farm in the county of Sutherland in Scotland, and in all probability baptised at St Andrews church in the year 1728. Before he was four years old however, he and his family had moved to nearby Pronsey to live and this is where he and his younger brother George grew up with their siblings. As young men from a reasonably well to do family he and his brother would have received a worthwhile education. They went onto University, probably around the age of 16 or 17, and studied law, possibly at Aberdeen or Edinburgh, but I have not so far been able to ascertain when or where. Following University he appears to have started to practice law in his local community as there is mention(2) of his sitting at a session of the court at Dornoch in 1750. To further his career however he needed to gain a much wider experience of the law and that was not likely to happen at Dornoch. In 1751 or 1752 he headed for Jamaica which already had a large community of Scottish immigrants established on the Island and where fortunes were there to be made by those brave enough to endure the risky voyage and unhealthy climate.

4.1 JAMAICA: By the 1750's many of the original plantation owners had died leaving their estates to their next of kin in England. Many had no desire to come to Jamaica and would employ local lawyers to manage their estates. The typical fee for the administration of plantations of absentee landlords was 5% of the gross value of the produce of plantations under their care. As many of these estates produced huge profits it was relatively easy to accumulate wealth and most lawyers quickly became property owners themselves. Many records from this period have not survived but it is clear that he quickly established himself on the island and became an attorney for John ELLIS and, jointly with another attorney named William Needham, took over administration of the Greencastle & Newry Plantations in the parish of St Mary's.

    GREEN CASTLE PLANTATION - It can be found on the 1760-1761 map of Jamaica just inland from Jack's Bay on the north coast of the island. It is described on the map as Upper and Lower Green Castle and its southern border joins Orange Hill. It produced sugar, rum, and molasses. A history of Greencastle Plantation has also been written by Paul Larsen but makes no mention of John Gordon. Greencastle was owned by the ELLIS Family and when George ELLIS died in 1738 it was administered by his widow, and executrix of his will, Mrs Ann ELLIS nee Beckford. Ann died in 1746 (10)and as residuary legatee of her husbands will she explained that her husband had left 'Greencastle' to her son George Ellis; 'Newry' to their son John Ellis and 'Orange Hill' to their son William Beckford Ellis and that she had been charged with arbitrating any dispute over the boundaries of the three contiguous estates, a duty she passed to her executors. Her son George Ellis married Charlotte LONG the sister of the historian Edward LONG about which more later. (11) George died in 1753 leaving his third of their fathers estate to his younger brother John ELLIS. John Ellis's Newry Plantation is referred to on the map as Lower Greencastle and the original Green Castle estate as Upper Green Castle. John also inherited other property so employed Dr. John GORDON and William NEEDHAM two of his attorneys to administer both estates and a farm called Fort George Penn. (12)
4.2 Having secured such a lucrative appointment John Gordon used his position at Greencastle to establish his own business and we know he was already well established as an indigo plantation owner by 1756:-
    Background: An influential character in Jamaica at that time was Dr. Rose FULLER (1708-1777) who had come to Jamaica as a young man to manage the family estates there. In 1735 he was elected to the assembly and in 1737 called to the council. About the same time he was made judge of the supreme court. Disputes with Governor William Trelawny led in 1740 to his removal from the council and in 1746 from the bench, and in 1749 he was back in England. He returned to Jamaica in 1752 when Charles Knowles succeeded Trelawney, and was appointed chief Justice. This was about the time John Gordon first arrived in Jamaica and he would have met and known such an important plantation owner and a key player in the island's politics. Rose Fuller's biography is on the History Of Parliament website to which I have provided a link. On the death of his elder brother, Rose Fuller returned to England, landing at Portsmouth on 18th April 1755 and in addition to being the biggest planter in Jamaica became a wealthy iron-master in Sussex. Determined to enter Parliament he represented New Romney 1756-1761; Maidstone 1761-1768 and Rye 1768-1777. Ideally placed, plantation owners back in Jamaica sought his help in raising issues important to them and representing their views in Parliament. Many of his Family papers have survived and are held at East Sussex Record Office. On 15th June 1756 John GORDON wrote to Rose Fuller seeking " his interest in the house of commons on behalf of his fellow indigo-planters to continue the bounty". [Note:- Trying to get a copy]
    Indigo: When the British captured Jamaica in 1655 they inherited their first indigo plantations. The plant grown in the region was generally indigofera Suffrustiosa a flowering plant in the pea family which was used as a source for indigo dye. It was often referred to as 'blue gold' as it was an ideal trading commodity, high value, compact and long lasting. By the 1740's and the time when John Gordon came to the island sugar had replaced indigo as the main crop. What seems to have happened is that John Ellis either sold, or leased, a portion of his estates to John Gordon.

4.3 Also amongst Rose Fuller's papers is a letter from a James Oswald dated 3rd September 1756 in which he asks Rose Fuller to write letters of recommendation to his Jamaican friends "for John Gordon's brother Mr Gordon, who has gone to the island as an attorney" [Note:- trying to obtain a copy] so it would appear that George joined his brother in Jamaica in 1756. The 1761 accounts for John Ellis's estates clearly refer to George GORDON as Overseer of Green Castle (12).

4.4 At this point I need to introduce you to John GORDON's memorial tablet in St Peters Church in Dorchester as it confirms that he was already well established on the Island in 1760 when he was present during the slave riots.


Memorial in St Peters Church Dorchester
[Note:- I would like a better image?]
    Slave Riots of 1760: I have provided links again here to the excellent interactive map of Jamaica dated 1760-1761 which enables you to follow the progress of what were in fact 3 separate riots. The one we are most interested in is the first, St Mary's Revolt of April 8th 1760. The interactive map starts on the 7th so use the 'play' arrows at the top to progress to the 8th which gives you 14 stages in the riot with the text down the left explaining what happened. Use the right arrow again to progress through the stages following progress on the map. At stages 6 & 7 of 14 they have reached Esher where the text informs us that they killed Mr Norris the Overseer, a Surveyor named Castillo, a young lad named Gordon, and two other white men. Over the river just north east of Esher depicted on the map is upper and lower Green Castle which is where John & George GORDON lived. When any disturbance occurred the Militia were activated and in Jamaica any male between the ages of 16 and 60 had to participate unless incapacitated. John Gordon was 32 and as a plantation owner would have been one of the leading characters. If you continue it's evident that the rioters stopped at Esher and retraced their steps so this looks like the place where John Gordon, and probably George Gordon as well, are most likely to have faced the rioters. Clearly the event had made a great impression on George Gordon for him to add the text to the memorial tablet some 14 years later. There is no indication as to whether the young lad Gordon was any direct relation.

4.5 By 1764 John GORDON was married and according to the book "The Gordons of Sutherland" (3) he married Isabel(la) GRANT, the widow of James SUTHERLAND of Pronsie. It also suggests that John Gordon left her behind in Scotland, and settled in Jamaica where he was when she was struggling to get her jointure from Pronsie (13). This seems quite likely to be correct to me as traveling to Jamaica and establishing himself on the Island in the mid 18th Century was a risky business and he would have wanted to be sure that he had a stable income and somewhere healthy to live before bringing a wife. Also arranged marriages were common then, and Isabel probably had to be in Scotland or London to plead her case in the House of Lords which she did in 1755. There is also a possibility that some of her family were already living in Jamaica. We do know that only one child survived infancy, a boy they named Robert Home GORDON who was not born until 1765 which suggests that she may have come to Jamaica much later. The absence of other children also becomes more understandable as this was her second marriage. It is not known whether the trustees Alexander Grant and John Grant of Spanish town in Jamaica, named in John Gordon's will, were directly related to her but it seems likely. John GRANT was Overseer of Fort George Penn in 1762(12).

4.6 Whilst on the Island both brothers became close business associates, and later friends, with Robert Cooper LEE (1735-1794). Robert had come to Jamaica in 1749 to study law under the sponsorship of Rose Fuller and also became a respected Jamaican attorney. Many of the Lee family letters have survived and have been published in the book "A Parcel of Ribbons" written by Anne M Powers. The following letter is from George GORDON to Robert Cooper LEE and written on 22nd July 1771. George is writing from his residence in Jamaica whilst Robert Cooper Lee is still in transit on his way to England. Robert would have received it some time after his arrival at Dover on 29th August 1771.

    Dear Sir,
    I hope long er this comes to hand you will be safe arrived in England with your family in perfect health. and that you had a happie meeting with such of them as were there before you, which with every (illegible) happiness that can possibly atend you will afford me equal pleasure with any good event attending the subject of my own connection. The anxiety and uneasiness I am under on my nephews account induces me to beg a favour of you and Mr GRANT to have him removed from his mother which however hard she may think it may be absolutely necessary for his preservation and I am perfectly satisfied from the confidence his Father has in your friendship that there is no act of yours that will be considered as weal [well] intended as his own or mine. As you know that my Brothers sole happiness is inseparable from his Child's I shall offer no apology for giving you this trouble before you are well settled in England; Only assure you if ever and [an] Oppertunity offers by which I can evince my Gratitude for any trouble you take in this, as well as former favours it will give rise the utmost pleasure as I will ever remain yours with the most perfect esteem Dear Sir. Your most obliged and obedient Humble Servant
    George GORDON
    Anne Powers usefully comments:-
    The concern that led parents to send their children to England to be educated related not only to the lack of good educational facilities (in) Jamaica, but also to the health risks that resulted in the deaths of so many children in infancy or childhood. Before Robert Cooper LEE had even arrived in England his friend Dr George GORDON was writing to him concerning his nephew Robert Home GORDON, the son of his brother John GORDON who was an indigo planter at Greencastle. It is clear from the letter that the parents were torn between the desire for their son's well-being and their preference to keep him with them.

4.7 The only Mr GRANT likely to have that sort of influence over Isabella was probably her father but I know nothing about him. What is clear is that the brothers wishes prevailed, and Robert Cooper LEE quickly arranged for Robert Home GORDON to come to England and be educated with his own son Richard LEE at Harrow. There is no further mention of John Gordon's wife so it is assumed she died shortly after this in Jamaica. In a letter written by Robert Cooper Lee to his wife Priscilla dated 30th August 1773 he talks about the arrival at Portsmouth of the long awaited 'Princess Amelia' from Jamaica. As a Royal Navy ship (80 guns) originally launched on the Thames on 7th March 1757 she had sailed for Jamaica on 3rd June 1771 and remained in the Caribbean until her return voyage to Portsmouth as a private ship under a new commander Andrew Berkley. Robert Cooper Lee states that Dr GORDON and Mr Mc LEOD had also come and that he has a letter from the former that talks of staying in Portsmouth a day or two & calling upon Mr LONG at Chichester on his way to town (London). This was Edward LONG (1734-1813) (11 ) who was clearly well known to John Gordon as Charlotte LONG, Edward's sister, was the widow of George ELLIS who's estate of Green Castle had passed to his brother John ELLIS and was now being managed by John Gordon. Edward Long had married in 1758 to Mary the daughter of Thomas Beckford and widow of John Palmer of Springvale in Jamaica. After the birth of their 4th child in 1769 they returned to England because of his ill health and had twin sons born at Chichester. Edward Long was to become famous for his book 'The History of Jamaica' which was published in 3 volumes in 1774 the year John Gordon died.

4.8 It may have been the death of his wife that prompted John GORDON to come to England, perhaps to tell his son in person, as he was still only 8 years old, and check on the arrangements made for his future. We know from the memorial tablet that John GORDON died at Dorchester on 4th October 1774 on his way back to Jamaica and was buried at St Peters Church in the high street on 6th. Thankfully he left a Will which he had only written on the 16th September 1774, probably conscious of his sons vulnerability and the dangers of a long sea voyage home. The first thing of note is he gives his place of residence as "the Parish of Saint Thomas in the Vale of Middlesex". This was also where Rose Fuller owned property. As can be seen on the 1794 map of Jamaica this is the inland parish immediately below the northern coastal parishes of St Ann's and St Mary's and which were all in the county of Middlesex. It is separated to the south from Spanish Town by the great ridge of the Blue Mountains. Parish boundaries appear to have changed over time, St Thomas in the Vale later becoming subsumed into that of St Catherine's Parish. Edward Long gives an excellent description of Thomas in the Vale in Volume II of his history of the island (pages 53 to 60). He refers to 41 sugar and 37 other estates being in the parish in 1768 worked by 8,382 negroes. No mention is made of indigo plantations and elsewhere in his book he refers to there being only 8 left on the island and John and George GORDON by the late 1760's clearly had established their own sugar plantations..

4.9 PLANTATIONS and PROPERTY: We are clearly missing a lot of information over the crucial period when John and George GORDON set up or bought their own sugar plantations. The information that I do have relates mainly to records that have survived from the late 1770's available at the University of the City of London (UCL) under their excellent "Legacies of British Slave-Ownership" website. I have provided a link to their listing of Estates - (input Jamaica as the Colony and select the update button). The map of Jamaica on their site resulted from surveys carried out between 1796 and 1799 and the map published in 1804. I have listed below the properties that The GORDON Family were involved in:-

    HOME CASTLE - Bef 1774-1826 - Parish of St Ann situated inland from Dry Harbour - As far as I can tell this is one of the estates John Gordon left to his son Robert Home Gordon when he died in 1774. In 1775 it was producing sugar, rum, coffee, fustick, and logwood. Most later years simply record sugar and rum but in 1782 they list sugar, rum, coffee, pimento, cattle, horses, and pasturage. When Robert Home Gordon died in Sussex England in 1826 the estate passed to his widow Susannah Harriet Gordon. On 11th January 1836 Susannah lodged a claim for compensation for 354 slaves who had been freed by the Act of Parliament (Claim No. 498) for which she was paid £7,503. 4s. 8d.

    RIVERHEAD Pen (Farm) - Bef 1774 - Aft 1779 Parish of St Ann - Was producing sugar, rum, coffee, fustick and logwood in 1775, Pimento and livestock 1776. Cattle, horses and mules in 1793. Recorded as a trust estate of Robert Home Gordon, a minor under the care and direction of George Gordon Esq as acting executor and trustee who filed the accounts. The estates of Home Castle, Dornoch, Riverhead, and Gordon Hall were all listed together [Jamaica Archives 1B/11/4/8/48]. George Gordon managed the farm until his death in 1778 when administration fell to John GRANT another of the trustees of John Gordon's will. Peter Gordon is also recorded as Overseer in 1779. Unfortunately ownership details are missing after this date but the same accounts were all being rendered together up to 1793. The farm was located on the west border of St Ann's Parish on the river just south west of the Dornoch Plantation on the 1804 map.

    HAYFIELD PENWERE - Bef 1774 - after 1778 - St Thomas in the Vale - In 1741 Hayfield is recorded as the estate of the late James HAY from whom it took it's name. It was then producing sugar and rum. There is one entry for the year 1778 which is recorded as Hayfield Pen with Robert Home GORDON a minor (then aged 13) as the owner. It appears to have been a farm raising livestock, and presumably the property which his father lived in in 1774. It was sold prior to 1799 when John Hudson Guy is recorded as the owner.

    CROMWELL Estate - 1789 - 1829 - Parish of St Mary's situated just below Esher. An estate owned by George Gordon producing sugar and rum. It was registered for the heirs of George GORDON Esq for the period 1779-1788. The accounts were generally registered by Gustavas MacFarquhar during the period 1779-1783 but by Colin Mackenzie in 1786 & 1787. Colin Mackenzie was John and George GORDON's nephew via their sister Elizabeth GORDON and clearly an attorney in Jamaica. From 1789 it is registered as the property of Robert Home Gordon until his death in 1826 when it became the property of his widow Susannah Harriet Gordon until her death in 1839. On the 26th Oct 1835 Susannah via her attorney Robert Fairweather lodged a claim (T71/856) for 325 slaves freed under the act for which she was paid £5,981.17s 6d. In 1798 a survey of Jamaica was carried out by James Robertson which he used to produce his map of 1804. Cromwell is shown as a sugar estate with two cattle mills

    CLERMONT Pen - Bef 1823 - 1839? - Parish of St Mary - Robert Home Gordon's is recorded as a Lessee of this livestock farm in 1823 and the property passed to his widow Susannah Harriet Hope in 1826 as she is recorded as the lessee during 1829-1832. She died in 1839 so almost certainly was lessee up to that point. This is probably the property marked on the 1804 map as"R.H.Gordon's" south of the Cromwell estate

    DORNOCH PLANTATION - Bef 1774- Parish of St Ann - Was producing sugar, rum, coffee, pimento, fustick, cattle, horses, pasturage and logwood. Part of the estate inherited from his father owned by Robert Home Gordon in 1775 and managed by George Gordon until his death in 1778. On Robert's death in 1826 passed to his widow Susannah Harriet Gordon who on 11th January 1836 lodged a claim for compensation (T71/857 - 499) in respect of 119 freed slaves for which she was paid £2,461. 9s. 4d. This is probably the farm shown on the 1804 map as "R.H.Gordon's" south west from the Home Castle estate.

    GORDON HALL Penns - Bef 1775 - not identified unless referred to on the map as Mrs Gordon's south of Home Castle in the parish of St Ann's

    Times 14th June 1842 page 7: The case of Barkley v Lord REAY. Robert Home Gordon's will had charged his estates in Jamaica with inter alia a legacy of £5000. The estates had produced £5,000 pa but now only £180 and was loss making last year. Consignees were not willing to make advances: the plaintiff sought receivership. Lord REAY as devisee in trust, had done all he could, one annuity still came before the legatee.

(4) Will of John GORDON (1728-1774)
PROB 11/1010 dated 16th Sep 1774: Buried 6th Oct 1774 at St Peters Church Dorchester: Proved 24th Nov 1774

In the Name of God Amen, I John Gordon of the Parish of Saint Thomas in the Vale in the County of Middlesex in the Island of Jamaica Esquire but now in London Do make this my last Will and Testament in writing in manner and form following that is to say

Impremis: I give and bequeath unto my Brother George Gordon his late Sister and his Nephews Pictures - Also my Gold Watch and Seals my Gold Headed Cane my Gold Buckles and Buttons my Swords Pistols Silver Mounted Ffusee my Books and Manuscripts and all my Wearing Apparel

Item: I give to my Nephew John Munro the sum of five hundred Pounds and to my Nephew Colin Mackenzie the sum of three hundred Pounds both the said sums to be laid out in the Education of my said Nephews at such time and in such manner as my Brother George Gordon thinks fit

Item: I give to my Sisters Mary and Charlotte Gordon an Annuity of thirty Pounds to each of them during their respective natural lives, the said Annuities to be in full of certain Bonds Executed by me to them in the Year one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven

Item: all the rest residue remainder of my Estate Real and Personal or Mixt whatsoever in Jamaica or elsewhere I give devise and bequeath unto and to the use of James Home Esquire of Gamelshiels in that part of Great Britain called Scotland Robert Cooper Lee Esquire of Berners Street Westminster Doctor Richard Burk of Spring Garden Alexander Grant younger of Dalvey my Brother George Gordon (&) Robert Gray of the Parish of Saint James John Grant of Spanish Town and William Gray Esquires of Kingston, all of the Island of Jamaica and to the Survivors and Survivor of them and the Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns of such Survivor Upon Trust and Confidence and to and for the intents and purposes herein after mentioned Limited expressed and declared of and concerning the same that is to say As for and concerning my Personal Estate in Jamaica Scotland and elsewhere to call in and collect the same and therewith to pay and discharge all my Debts Funeral Expenses and the Legacies in this my Will contained

    And upon further Trust to remit the residue of my said Personal Estate to the said James Home, Robert Cooper Lee, Doctor Richard Burk and Alexander Grant or the Survivors or Survivor of them to be by them laid out in such manner as is hereafter directed to be done with the Money arising from the Sale of my Real Estate and Slaves And as for and concerning my Real Estate and Slaves in Jamaica Upon Trust that they the said James Home, Robert Cooper Lee, Doctor Richard Burk, Alexander Grant, George Gordon, Robert Gray, John Grant and William Gray and the Survivors and Survivor of them and the Heirs Executors and Administrators of such Survivor Do at such time or times as they shall think fit sell and dispose of my said Real Estate and Slaves in Jamaica either together or in Parcels for such Price and Prices as they shall think Proper and that the Money arising from such Sale or Sales be by them laid out at such time or times as they shall think proper in the purchase of Freehold Lands Tenements or Hereditaments in Great Britain the same to be settled and assured to and for the use of my dear Son Robert Home Gordon and the Heirs of his Body lawfully to be begotten and in failure of such Heirs of my said Son then to the use of my said Brother George Gordon and the Heirs Male of his Body lawfully to be begotten he or they paying unto each of my Sisters Catherine, Elizabeth, Mary, Jean and Charlotte the sum of one thousand Pounds to each of them And in case of either of their deaths before such contingency happens Then the Legacy or Legacies which she or they would be entitled to if living to go to and be equally divided between the respective Children of her or them so dying such Children (if any there be) to be entitled to their respective Mothers Legacy and the Lands Tenements and Hereditaments so to be Purchased as aforesaid are to be made subject and liable to the said last mentioned Legacies upon failure of Issue of my said Son
    And in default of such Issue Male of my Brother George Gordon then the said Lands Tenements and Hereditaments to be to and to the use of my said Nephew John Munro and the Heirs Male of his Body lawfully to be begotten and failing such Issue Male of my said Nephew then subject in the first place to a further Annuity of Fifty Pounds to each of my Sisters Mary and Charlotte for their respective natural lives remainder to the use of my said Sister Catherine Elizabeth and Jean equally to be divided between them share and share alike and the Heirs of their several and respective Bodies lawfully to be begotten remainder to my own right Heirs and I do hereby authorize and empower my said Trustees and the Survivors and Survivor of them from time to time as they shall think Proper to Purchase Sell and Exchange my Lands they may think proper for the benefit of my Estate and likewise from time to time to purchase or sell any Negroes or Stock as may be most for the benefit of my said Estate and to do every other Act for the Cultivating Conducting and Improving the same till the whole is sold as herein before directed leaving the time of such Sale or Sales to the discretion of the Trustees as aforesaid so as the same may be sold and the Moneys arising from such sale remitted to Great Britain by the time my Son arrives to the Age of twenty one Years and until my said Real Estate and Slaves shall be sold I will and direct that the Rents Issues and Profits thereof shall be subject to the several uses Trusts Intents and Purposes herein before limited and appointed concerning the Monies arising therefrom and until the said Monies arising from my Real Estate and Personal Estate and the Rents Issues and Profits thereof shall be laid out in the Purchase of Freehold Lands Tenements or Hereditaments in Great Britain as aforesaid I will that the said Monies shall be from time to time Placed out at Interest in Great Britain upon good and sufficient Security and the Interest and Profits thereof to be for the same uses intents and Purposes as herein before mentioned expressed of and concerning the said Freehold Lands Tenements or Hereditaments It is my earnest request that my Son be Educated in Liberal manner and bred to some Profession such as his Genius and Constitution is best suited for and my Will meaning and express desire is that in case of any difference of Opinion arising betwixt the Trustees the Majority of Opinions shall determine such difference
It is also my meaning and wish that during my Brothers life and actual residence in Jamaica the Management of my Affairs in that Country be Chiefly left to him I request my much loved Friends James Home Robert Cooper Lee Doctor Richard Burk Alexander Grant Robert Gray John Grant and William Gray each to accept of Mourning Rings of the value of thirty Guineas each and Lastly I nominate and appoint the said James Home Robert Cooper Lee Doctor Richard Burk Alexander Grant George Gordon Robert Gray John Grant and William Gray Esquires Executors of this my last Will and Testament and Guardians to the Person and Estate of my said Son Robert Home Gordon until He Arrives at the Age of twenty one Years and hereby revoking all former Wills heretofore made I do declare this to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament contained in this and the two Preceding pages to the two first whereof I have set my Hand and to this my Hand and Seal this Sixteenth day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy four

Jno.Gordon

Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the Testator John Gordon as his last Will and Testament in Our Presence and Subscribed by us at his desire in the Presence of each other and in his Presence

Jno. Cruikshank, Isaac Lewis & Edward Milward.

22nd November 1774


Proved: Appeared Personally John Cruikshank of the Parish of Saint Mary le Bone in the County of Middlesex Esquire being only sworn upon the Holy Evangelists maketh Oath And Saith he this Deponent was present and did see John Gordon late of the parish of St Thomas in the Vale in the County of Middlesex in the Island of Jamaica Esquire but then in London the Testator named in the Paper Writing hereunto annexed Purporting to be the last Will and Testament of the said John Gordon and beginning thus "In the Name of God Amen I John Gordon of the Parish of St Thomas in the Vale in the County of Middlesex in the Island of Jamaica Esquire but now in London Do make this my last Will and Testament" and ending thus "In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament contained in this and the two Preceding Pages to the two first whereof I have set my Hand and to this my Hand and Seal this sixteenth day of September in the Year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy four" and thus subscribed "Jno.Gordon" he the said Testator John Gordon being then of sound Mind Memory and Understanding duly executed the same and Sign Seal Publish and Declare the said Paper Writing hereunto annexed bearing date as aforesaid as and for his last Will and Testament and that at the same time Isaac Lewis and Edward Milward were also present at the Execution of the said last Will and Testament of the said deceased and together with this Deponent subscribed their Names as Witnesses thereto in the Presence of the said Testator and in the Presence of each other
Jno. Cruikshank.

Same Day the said John Cruikshank Esquire was duly sworn to the truth of this Affidavit Before me F. Simpson Surrogate Henry Farrant Notary Public. This Will was Proved at London the twenty fourth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy four Before the Worshipful Francis Simpson Doctor of Laws Surrogate of the Right Worshipful Sir George Hay Knight also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted By the Oaths of Robert Cooper Lee Esquire Richard Burk Doctor of Physick and Alexander Grant Esquire three of the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased having been first sworn duly to Administer Power reserved of making the like grant to James Home George Gordon Robert Gray John Grant and William Grant Esquires the other Executors named in the said Will when they or either of shall apply for the same

(5) Robert Home GORDON Esq. (1765-1826)
Plantation and slave owner of Jamaica

Robert Home GORDON (1765-1826) was the only child of John GORDON (1728-1774) and Isabel GRANT and was born in Jamaica circa 1765. A letter from his brother George to Robert Cooper LEE makes it clear that John and Isabella parted with their son for the sake of his health and survival in 1771. Robert was sent to England and went to school at Harrow where Robert Cooper LEE's own son was already being taught, and on 14th January 1785 when he was aged 18, admitted to Pembroke College Cambridge. On the 7th April the same year his college alumni record shows that he migrated to Trinity College but makes no comment on his academic qualifications. It does however state that "he possessed valuable estates in Jamaica and resided in Albemarble Street and afterwards in Conduit street in London. In 1794 he was engaged in divorce proceedings brought against him by Joseph Seymour Biscoe Esq, and had to pay £5,000 in damages".

Joseph Seymour BISCOE (1761-1830), had been at school with Richard Lee and Robert Gordon at Harrow. He had married Susanna Harriot [Harriet] HOPE (1768-1839) on 22nd May 1786 when he was 26 and she was 18. He was the wealthy grandson of Lady Somerset and son and heir of Vincent BISCOE a West India Merchant. Susanna was the daughter of the well respected Vicar of All Saints church in Derby the Rev. Charles HOPE MA where they married by licence. Her father had the picture left painted by a family friend, Joseph Wright of Derby, sometime prior to her marriage. It was auctioned at Christie's in 2009 when it sold for 79,250. The only child from the marriage was a daughter Dame Mary Biscoe (1787-1872) They moved to Shoreham House near Sevenoaks in Kent where they took a house belonging to Robert Home Gordon who rapidly fell in love with Biscoe's wife.

His elopement with Joseph's wife Susanna on 21st October 1794 has already been covered by Anne Powers in her article 'A very Regency Scandal' to which In have provided a link. Her husband did not file for divorce but instead sued for £10,000 damages in December 1794. This caused a huge scandal as they were then living together and she did not defend the suit, her husband being awarded £5,000 in damages. After the trial the proceedings were published under the title "The Trial of Mrs Biscoe for Adultery with Robert Gordon etc". Susanna Hope's marriage to Joseph Seymour Biscoe was eventually dissolved by act of Parliament in 1795(15). The codicils to Robert Home Gordon's will transcribed below suggests that they had married sometime after 1814 and before 13th Aug 1818. Susannah died in Westminster in 1839, but described as a widow of Brighton.

The Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies have survived for the period 1813 to 1834 and the returns for 1817, 1820, 1823 and 1826 all list the individual slaves (men, women and children) owned by Robert Home GORDON on his estate in St Mary's parish on Jamaica (Home Castle estate). The return for 1817 for example lists the names of 408 slaves owned by him. The Jamaica Almanac for 1826 records Robert Home Gordon as owner of Home Castle and the editions for 1828 and 1833 lists Susannah H Gordon. She made a compensation claim when the slaves were freed dated 11th Jan 1836 when 354 slaves were registered at the estate for which she received £7,503. 4s.8d. Susanna also claimed for two other estates - on 26th Oct 1835 for compensation for 325 freed slaves on her Cromwell estate in St Marys for which she received £5,981.17s.6d and her Dornoch Pen estate in the parish of St Ann on 11th Jan 1836 where 119 slaves were freed and she received £2,461. 9s.4d. An article in the Times (14th June 1842 page 7) suggests that revenue from the estates had been falling for many years from about £5000pa to £180 and made a loss the previous year.

Robert Home GORDON appears in the electoral registers for Westminster for the years 1818 and 1820 as being resident at 37 Conduit Street. He died at the age of 61 on 26th or 28th Nov 1826 at Brighton in Sussex and left an extensive will which has been transcribed below.

The Will of Robert Home GORDON (1765-1826)
Ref PROB11/1721 Dated 17th Aug 1812, Codicil 8th Aug 1814 & 13th Aug 1818; Buried 28th Nov 1826; Proved 3rd Feb 1827

This is the last Will and testament of me Robert Home GORDON of Embo in the shire of Sutherland in the North of Britain Esquire whereby in the First place:

I give direct and bequeath my plantation and estate of Home Castle situate in the parish of St Ann in the Island of Jamaica and also all and singular my other plantations messuages lands slaves and other real estate whatsoever situate or being in the said Island of Jamaica and also all and every the goods chattels and other personal estate and effects whatsoever in or upon the said Island of Jamaica which I shall be possessed of or entitled to at the time of my decease unto and to the use of the Right Honourable Eric Lord REAY; Henry DAVIDSON of the City of London Merchant, and Major General John HOE and Susan Harriet HOPE daughter of the late Reverend HOPE of Derby deceased and their heirs executors administrators and assigns respectively according to to the different natures or qualities of my said real and personal estates

    But upon trust nevertheless that they the said Eric Lord REAY, Henry DAVIDSON, John LEE, and Susan Harriet HOPE and the survivors and survivor of them and the heirs executors and administrators of such survivors shall and do by sale or Mortgage of all or any part or parts of my said real and personal estates in and upon the Island of Jamaica leaj? raise and pay so much and such parts of my debts and my funeral and testamentary expenses and the several legacies or sums of money hereinafter bequeathed as my other personal estate hereinafter bequeathed to my said Trustees shall not be sufficient to pay or satisfy and as shall not be paid satisfied or discharged directed to be sold and the interest hereinafter directed to be paid for or in respect of the said sums of money in the meantime and until the payment thereof respectively

    And Also Upon Trust out of the rents issues profits and produce of my said real and personal estates in and upon the Island of Jamaica to pay unto Miss Mary MUNRO late of Dalmore in the County of Ross but now of Inverness in North Britain during her life one annuity or yearly sum of one hundred pounds sterling And also to pay unto the daughters of George MACKENZIE late of or near Inver Gowan Ferry in the said County of Ross Esquire deceased and to the survivors and survivor of such daughters if and whilst any or either of them be then living one annuity or yearly sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to be equally divided between such daughters if more than one And if they be reduced to one then the whole t5o be paid to such daughter during her life And I direct that the said two several last mentioned annuities or yearly sums of one hundred pounds and one hundred and fifty pounds shall be respectively paid by equal quarterly portions free and clear of and from the income or property tax and all other taxes charges and deductions whatsoever And that the first quarterly payments thereof shall be made at the expiration of three calendar months next after my decease and subject and without prejudice to the several trusts and directions hereinafter declared and contained of or containing my said real and personal estates in the Island of Jamaica

I direct that then my said trustees and the survivors and survivor of them and their heirs shall and do permit and suffer the said Susan Harriet HOPE from time to time during her life to receive and take the net rents issues profits and produce of my said last mentioned real and personal estates or of such of them as shall not be sold for any of the purposes aforesaid / after keeping down the interest of such monies as shall be secured thereon at the time of my decease and the interest of such money as shall be or borrowed and secured by way of Mortgage for any of the purposes of this my Will for the sole use and benefit of the said Susan Harriet HOPE and from and after the decease of the said Susan Harriet HOPE then upon trust that they the said Eric Lord Reay, Henry DAVIDSON, and John LEE and the survivors and survivor of them and the heirs executors or administrators of such survivor shall and do by all/      (end of first page)

or any of the ways or means aforesaid levy raise and pay unto the said Miss Mary MUNRO / if then living/ and her assigns during her life an additional annuity or clear yearly sum of two hundred pounds sterling

And Also shall and do levy raise and pay unto such of the daughters of the said George MACKENZIE deceased as may be then living and to the survivor s or survivor of such daughters if living and whilst any or either of them shall be living an additional Annuity or yearly sum of two hundred pounds sterling to be equally divided between such daughters if more than one and if they shall be reduced to one then the whole to be paid to such one daughter during her life the said two several last mentioned annuities / or such of them shall become payable / to be paid by equal quarterly portions free and clear of and from the income or property tax and all other taxes charges and deductions whatsoever and the first of such quarterly payments to be made on the expiration of three calendar months next after the decease of the said Susan Harriet HOPE

And Upon further Trust that they my said last named Trustees or Trustee shall and do within six calendar months next after the decease of Susan Harriet HOPE by all or any of the ways or means aforesaid levy raise and pay the sum of Five Thousand pounds sterling unto each of my cousins George Home MURRAY Esquire now of his Majesty's Eighteenth Regiment Dragoons and Robert MURRAY Esq now of the said island of Jamaica

And Also the sum of one thousand pounds sterling unto my relation Colin MACKENZIE of the Island of Jamaica aforesaid and the like sum of of one thousand pounds sterling unto his brother [Blank] Mackenzie subject to the several trusts and directions hereinbefore declared and contained of and concerning my real and personal estates in the Island of Jamaica or such of them as shall then be subsisting or capable of taking effect I direct that they my said last named trustees and the survivors and survivor of them and the heirs executors and Admons of such survivor shall do after the decease of the said Susan Harriet HOPE by such proper deeds and conveyances in the law as council shall advise in that behalf effectually convey settle and issue all such part and parts of my said mentioned real and personal estates as shall not be sold for any of the purposes aforesaid and the equity of redemption of such part or parts thereof shall be Mortgaged for any of the purposes of this my Will do and such way and manner as that the same may remain continue and be to the several uses and upon and for the several trusts and purposes following or such and so many of them shall be then capable of taking effect / that is to say/ To the use of Sir Orford GORDON Baronet (14)and his assigns during his life without impeachment of waste strict settlement with remainder to proper trustees and their heirs during his life to preserve the contingent remainders with remainder to the use of his first and other son and sons successively intail male according to their priority of birth with remainder to the us of my said cousin George Home MURRAY and his assigns during his life without impeachment of waste in like strict settlement in birth remainder to the use of his first & every other son & sons successively intail male according to their priority of birth with remainder to the use of my said cousin Robert MURRAY and his assigns during his life without impeachment of waste in like strict settlement with remainder to the use of his first and other sons and sons successively in tail male according to their priority of birth with the remainder to the use of all and every the son and sons of the body of Mrs Charlotte CAMERON / the wife of General CAMERON and the daughter of the late Sir William GORDON of Embo aforesaid Baronet deceased / who now is are and shall be born in my lifetime d and in such way and manner as that each of such first and other son and sons of the said Charlotte CAMERON may be entitled to take in succession according to the order of his birth during the term of his respective natural life in strict settlement and that after his respective decease the said estates and premises to be comprised in such settlement may be and remain to the use of his respective first and other sons successively according to their respective seniorities in tail male the eldest of such sons and his first and other sons and the heirs male of his and her body and respective bodies always entitled to take before & being preferred to the younger of such sons and his and their first & other son and sons & the heirs male of their body respectively such last mentioned first and other sons with remainder to the use of such other son and sons of the body of the said Charlotte CAMERON as shall be born after my decease severally and successively in tail male according to their priority of birth with remainder to the use of the before named Colin MACKENZIE and his assigns during his life without impeachment of waste in like strict settlement with remainder to the use of his first and other son and sons successively in tail male according to their priority of birth with remainder to the use of the said [Blank space] MACKENZIE / the brother of the said Colin MACKENZIE and his assigns during his life without impeachment of waste in like strict settlement with remainder to the/      (end of 2nd page)

use of his first and other son and sons successively in tail male according to their priority of birth with the ultimate remainder or reversion to the use of my own right heirs for ever and I direct that in such intended settlement there shall be inserted a proper power to enable the tenants for life to be therein named when and as they shall respectively became into or be in the possession of the estates to be therein comprised to limit or appoint to or for the benefit and as the jointure of any woman or women they may respectively marry any yearly rent or charge or rent charges not exceeding the yearly sum of one hundred pounds sterling for every one thousand pounds sterling or the value thereof in Land or Money which they respectively or their respective heirs executors or administrators shall receive or be entitled to with any woman or women respectively But so as that the said yearly rent charge or rent charges shall not exceed in the whole the yearly sum of five hundred pounds sterling for any one woman and also as that the same estates shall not be liable to payment of more than two such jointure at one and the time but although two or more such jointures may have been previously limited and shall be then subsisting the said jointure power may be exercised and take effect when such previous subsisting jointure shall be reduced to two and also a power from such tenants for life when respectively in possession to subject and charge the estates to be comprised in such settlement to and with the payment of any sum or sums of money for the portion or portions of the child or children of him or them respectively (other than the eldest or only son for the time being entitled to the said estates for an estate in tail male in remainder on the decease of his parent/ not exceeding in the whole in respect of the children or any one person making such charge the sum of five thousand pounds sterling for his younger sons or daughters with interest for the same at any rate not exceeding five pounds per cent per annum in such way and manner as the person or persons respectively making such charge shall deem expedient But do nevertheless as that the said Estates shall not be subject or liable to the actual raising or payment of an sum or sums of money exceeding the principal sum of five thousand pounds sterling in the whole for the portions of the younger children and likewise a power or authority / in the usual form of words/ to enable the trustees to uses to be therein named with the consent of the tenant for life or tenant entail in possession if of full age or otherwise of his guardian or guardians to make sale of or to exchange all or any of the said Estates to be comprised in such settlement so that the money to arise by by or from such sale or sales shall be laid out in the purchase of Messuages Lands or Hereditaments in England and as well the Messuages Lands and Hereditaments so to be purchased as those to be received by way of exchange shall be respectively conveyed settled and assured to the same uses and with such leasing power as hereinafter is mentioned or referred unto

And my Will is that in such intended settlement there shall also be inserted all such other power provisions clauses declarations and agreements for effectuating the intention this my Will as are usually inserted in Settlements of the like nature and as my said trustees shall by their council be advised are necessary or expedient in that behalf

And I do hereby declare and direct that when and so often as any such sum or sums of money shall be paid into the hands of my said trustees or the survivors or survivor of them or the heirs or administrators of such survivor by any purchase or purchases or Mortgage or Mortgages of any part or parts of my said real and personal estate in the said Island of Jamaica the receipt or receipts of them my said trustees or the survivors or survivor of them or the heirs executors or administrators of such survivor shall from time to time be good and effectual discharges to the person or persons who shall pay advance or lend the sum or sums of money for which such written receipt or receipts shall be given and that after such receipt or receipts shall be so given the person or persons who shall so pay advance or lend such sum or sums of money shall not afterwards be concerned to set to application thereof or be in any wise answerable for the loss misapplication or non application thereof or of any part thereof

And I give and devise all my Messuages Land Tenements Hereditaments and real estate whatsoever situate in the County of Kent or elsewhere in England with their respective appurtenances unto and to the use of the said Eric Lord REAY, Henry DAVIDSON, John LEE, and Susan Harriet HOPE their heirs and assigns forever But upon trust nevertheless that they the said Eric Lord REAY, Henry DAVIDSON, John LEE, and Susan Harriet HOPE and the survivors and survivor of them or the heirs of such survivor shall and do forthwith or as soon as may be after my decease make sale and absolutely dispose of and convey and assure or join and concur in assuring/      (end of 3rd page)

all and every my said Messuages Lands tenements Hereditaments and real Estate so last hereby devised to them as aforesaid with their appurtenances either together or in parcels and by public sale or auction or private contract or otherwise as may be thought expedient for the best price or prices that can be reasonably obtained for the same unto such person or persons as may be willing to become the purchaser or purchasers thereof and shall and do with and out of the net monies which shall arise or be received by or from such sale or sales as aforesaid and the rents issues and profits of the said Messuages Lands tenements hereditaments and premises to arise or become payable in the meantime fully pay satisfy and discharge all and every the sum or sums of money which I have borrowed or shall or may borrow of or from any person or persons upon or by way of Mortgage of the same Messuages Lands Tenements Hereditaments and premises or any of them together with such interest as be then due or arising for the same and in the next place shall as with and out of such net monies as aforesaid pay the sum of ten thousand pounds sterling unto and for the sole use and benefit of the said Susan Harriet HOPE her executors administrators or assigns and the shall and do with or out of such monies pay or satisfy and discharge such of my debts and funeral and testamentary expenses and of the several legacies or sums of money respectively bequeathed by this my Will as shall be not be paid satisfied or discharged from or out of my personal estate hereafter bequeathed to my said Trustees or otherwise in pursuance of any of the trusts or directions hereinbefore declared and subject thereto I direct that all the residue or surplus of the net monies to arise by or from such sale or sales as last aforesaid shall be laid out and invested by my said trustees or the survivors or survivor of them or the heirs executors or administrators of such survivor in out or more purchase or purchases of Messuages Land Tenements Hereditaments in fee simple to be situate some where in that part of Great Britain called England and also / if thought proper/ of any copyhold or leasehold lands or tenements if there shall be any such that may be convenient to be held and occupied therewith All which Messuages Lands Tenements and Hereditaments so to be purchased as last aforesaid shall be effectually conveyed settled and assured to the use of the said Susan Harriet HOPE and her assigns during her life without impediment of waste in such strict settlement as aforesaid And from and after the decease of her the said Susan Harriet HOPE to such and the same uses and upon such and the same trusts and for such and the same ends intents and purposes and with under and subject to such and the same powers and provisions as are hereinbefore directed to be limited pressed declared and contained by and in the Settlement hereby directed to be made of such of my estates in the Island of Jamaica as aforesaid or such of them as at the time of the decease of the said Susan Harriet HOPE shall be subsisting or capable of taking effect or as near thereto as the deaths of persons and the nature of such copyhold and leasehold lands and tenements / if any such shall be purchased / will admit of but so as no such leaseholds may be made to rest absolutely and ultimately in the Son of any person hereby directed to be made tenant for life unless or until such Son shall attain the age of twenty one and if under that age leaving issue inheritable to the estate tail of such son and in the meantime and until attainment purchase or purchases shall offer where into invest such residue or surplus Monies as aforesaid I do hereby authorise and empower my said trustees and the survivors and survivor of them and the executors or administrators of such survivor to place out or invest all or any part or parts of the same residue or surplus Monies at Interest either in the public stocks or funds or in India Bonds or any other convenient or real securities in Great Britain and to alter vary and transpose such of the stocks funds or securities as occasion may require and I direct that the interest dividends and annual produce arising from such stocks funds and securities shall go and be paid to such person or persons and be applied to and for such ends intents and purposes and in such manner as the rents issues and profits of the hereditaments to be purchased      (end of 4th page)

therewith would go or be payable unto in case such purchase or purchases settlement or settlements as aforesaid was or were then actually made provided always and I do hereby also direct that the settlement or settlements to be made of the Messuages Lands or Hereditaments to be purchased in pursuance of this my will that there shall be contain a proper power or powers to enable the tenants for life therein to be named when respectively in possession and the several tenants in tail male under such settlement or settlements when respectively in possession or entitled to the rents and profits of the said premises if they shall be of the age of twenty one years And also the trustees to uses therein to be named during the Minority or respective Minorities of any tenant or tenants for life or in tail so for the time being entitled as aforesaid to demise lease or grant any of the estates therein to be comprised for any term or number of years not exceeding twenty one years in possession at and under the most improved yearly rent or rents that can be reasonably obtained and subject to the usual proper conditions covenants and restrictions such without taking any fine or revenue for the granting any such lease or leases and for promoting and facilitating od such sale or sales of my said Real estates last hereby devised as aforesaid

I do hereby declare that the receipt and receipts of the said Eric Lord REAY, Henry DAVIDSON, John LEE and Susan Harriet HOPE or the survivors or survivor of them or the heirs executors or administrators of such survivor shall be a good and sufficient discharge or discharges to the purchaser or purchasers of all or any part or parts of my said Messuages Lands Tenements Hereditaments and Real Estates situated in the said County of Kent or elsewhere in England and hereby devised devised and to his heirs and their respective heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns for so much or such part or parts of his her or their purchase Money as in and by such receipt or receipts shall be expressed or acknowledged to be received And that such receipt or receipts shall be so given such purchaser or purchasers and his her or their heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns shall be absolutely acquitted and discharged of and from the same and shall not be in any wise obliged to see to the application of the same or answerable or accountable for any loss misapplication or non application thereof or of any part thereof

And I give and bequeath my leasehold Messuage or Dwelling house and offices situate in Conduit Street in the parish of St George Hanover Square and all my household goods and furniture plate linen china books pictures hines? and other personal property which shall be therein at the time of my decease Unto and for the sole use and benefit of the said Susan Harriet HOPE her Executors Administrators and Assigns

And I give the sum of one thousand pounds Sterling unto Mrs Sarah PROTTER late Miss Sarah MUNRO daughter of the late George MUNRO of Ffoulis [Fowlis] Esquire deceased And I direct that the same shall be paid to and upon the sole and separate receipt only of her the said Sarah PROTTER free from the control debts or engagements of her present husband And also until the payment thereof the annual sum of one hundred pounds sterling shall be paid to and on the separate receipt or receipts of her the said Sarah PROTTER her executors administrators and assigns by half yearly portions by way of interest for the same.

And I give the like sum of one thousand pounds sterling unto the said Major General John LEE and I direct that until the payment thereof the annual sum of one hundred pounds sterling shall be paid to him the said John LEE his executors administrators and assigns by half yearly portions by was of interest for the same

And I give and bequeath all such other personal estate and effects whatsoever as I shall die possessed of or entitled unto and which is or are not so hereby otherwise specifically bequeathed or disposed of as aforesaid unto the said Eric Lord REAY Henry DAVIDSON John LEE and Susan Harriet HOPE their Executors Administrators and Assigns But upon Trust nevertheless to invest the same into money and to apply the produce thereof / so far as the same shall extend/ in the payment of my funeral and testamentary expenses and of such of my debts as shall not be otherwise paid or satisfied and of the several legacies or sums of money hereby respectively bequeathed or which I may give or bequeath by any codicil or codicils hereto

And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint the said Eric Lord REAY, Henry DAVIDSON, John LEE and Susan Harriet HOPE to be executors and executrix of this my last will and testament

And I give to each of them the said Eric Lord REAY, Henry DAVIDSON, John LEE the sum of one hundred guineas as well [a] token of my respect and regard for them

And I direct that the produce of my Jamaica Estates shall always be      (end of 5th page)

consigned to the house of Davidson GRAHAM and Co in London on the usual terms and commission notwithstanding the naming of the said Henry DAVIDSON as a trustee and Executor of this my Will And my will is and I hereby declare that my said trustees and Executors each of them their and each of their heirs executors and admons respectively shall and may from time to time deduct and retain by and out of the Money which by virtue of this my Will or any of the trusts hereinbefore declared shall raise to their hands all charges expenses losses and damages whatsoever which they or any of them shall expend be put unto or sustain in or about the execution or performance of all or any of the trusts of this my Will and that they my said said trustees and Executors and each of them their and each of their heirs executors and Admons respectively shall be charged and chargeable only for his or her own receipts payments acts and wilful defaults and shall not be charged or chargeable with or for any sum or sums of Money other than such as shall actually come to his or their hands respectively by virtue of this my Will nor with or for any loss or damage which may happen in or about the Management or Execution of the trusts hereby in then reposed without their respective wilful default

And Lastly I do hereby revoke all former Wills by me at any time heretofore In Witness whereof I the said Robert Home GORDON have to this my last Will and Testament contained in ten sheets of paper set my hand to the first nine sheets thereof and my hand and seal to this tenth sheet and last sheet thereof this seventeenth day of August in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twelve

Robert Home GORDON

Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Robert Home GORDON the testator as and for his Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names and also to a duplicate hereof

William ROSS; James HALL; Henry WATSON


Whereas since the date of my Last Will and Testament I have sold and disposed of my Estate in the County of Kent which I by my said Will had directed to be sold by my trustees in my said Will named and out of the produce of such sale had given to Susannah Harriet HOPE therein named the sum of ten thousand pounds for her own sole use and benefit Now I do by this Codicil to my Will which I direct may be taken as part thereof forlard? that no[t] withstanding the said Estate has been so sold by me as aforesaid yet my Will is that the said legacy of ten thousand pounds shall be paid to the said Susannah Harriet HOPE to whom I do give the same accordingly and subject and charge all my estates for the payment of the same as Witness my hand this eighth day of August One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fourteen

Robert Home GORDON


Whereas I have in and by my Last Will and Testament bearing date the 17th day of August 1812 made several provisions and bequests in favour of Susan Harriet HOPE daughter of the late Rev. Mr HOPE of Derby now my beloved wife Now I do hereby confirm such bequests and provisions here in favour of her the said Susannah Harriot HOPE now my beloved wife / whom I have publicly acknowledged to be my wife by the law of Scotland / and whom I do publicly acknowledge as my wife in England and am ready to confirm the same by any other necessary legal act and I trust that no quibble in law will deprive her of any of the benefits intended for her use but at that all doubtful points will be construed to her advantage and for her benefit and I do hereby ratify and confirm this by my hand and seal this thirteenth day of August 1818.

Robert Home GORDON

Witnesses: James STEELE; Hugh BARKLY; Henry FEARNLEY [of] Lime Street Square


Appeared: Personally James STEELE of No. 8 Lime Street Square in the City of London Insurance Broker and Henry FEARNLEY of No. 6 Lime Street Square aforesaid Gentleman and made oath that they knew and were well aquatinted with Robert Home GORDON late of Embo in the County of Sutherland in North Britain of Conduit street in the Parish of St George Hanover Square in the County of Middlesex and of Brighton in the County of Sussex Esquire deceased and also with his manner and character of handwriting and subscription having frequently seen him write and subscribe his name and having now carefully viewed and perused the paper writing hereunto annexed purporting to be and contain a codicil to the last Will and Testament of the deceased beginning "Whereas since the date of my Last Will and Testament I have sold and disposed of my Estate in the County of Kent " ending thus " as Witness my hand this eighth day of August One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fourteen " and thus subscribed "Robert Home Gordon" the deponents lastly made oath that they verily and in their consciousness believe the whole body series and contents of the said Codicil beginning and ending as aforesaid together with the name Robert Home Gordon Esquire deceased James Steele H Fearnley on the 31st January 1827 the said James STEELE, and Henry FEARNLEY were duly sworn to the truth of this affidavit before me John DAUBERY Surrogate Wm Slade Notary Public


Proved: at London with two Codicils 3rd February 1827 before the worshipful John DAUBERY Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the Oath of the Right Honourable Eric Lord REAY one of the surviving Executors named in the Will to whom Administration was granted being first sworn duly to Administer power reserved to Susan Harriet GORDON / formerly HOPE/ the widow the Relict the other surviving Executor.

Genealogical Notes:-

(1). Complete Baronetage Volume II 1625-1649 published by William Pollard Exeter1902 Page 392 - GORDON:

(2) The Gordon's in Sutherland, including the Embo Family - See pages 23-54: Page 30 records the death of his father in 1628 and gives much background; Page 34 refers to Sir John GORDON 1st Baronet of Embo recording his land transactions which refer to him as John Gordon of Golspitour; Page 48 refers to Sir Robert Gordon (d.1697) ; Page 49 refers to Robert GORDON (of Pronsey) ; Page 50 refers to Dr John GORDON (1728-1774) ; Page 53 refers to George GORDON 2nd son of Robert Gordon of Pronsey, and also states that the lease referred to was then in the possession of General Sir J.J.H. Gordon. See also "The Family of Gordon of Embo" in The Scottish Nation

(3) Source: General Armory of England, Scotland and Wales Page 411

(4) Source - Canmore the on-line source of Scotland archaeology, buildings, and industrial maritime heritage. Golsie Tower - "The site has had several buildings: the medieval Golpitour which gives its name to the site, a two storey house built circa 1515 by Adam GORDON near the tower. This house was turned into a farm in the early 19th century and finally demolished in 1978. Nothing remains of Golspie Tower, the last vestiges, a heap of stones 3ft high were removed from in front of the farm cottage about 20 years ago (1940's?) . Mr Adam (University lecturer St Andrews Fife) states that it was the farm tower of a largish property, mentioned by Sir Robert Gordon in 1636. A map of the area dated 1654 can be accessed via this link when it is recorded as Golspitour the title granted to his great grandfather prior to the death of his father in 1628.

(5). Location of the Barony of New Embo - It is referred to in the grant of a charter by the King to Lachlan McLean of Morvaren on 3rd Sep 1631

(6). On the stones on the archway of the cattle court at Embo remains are still to be seen of two adjoining coats of arms, "I.G." "1627" : "M.L."c early standing for John GORDON and Margaret LESLIE. Note in 1627 "I" was interchangeable with "J". Source page 47 of The Gordon's of Sutherland see 3. below.

(7) Source quoted as Sir J.J.H.Gordon's MS Pedigree (Not viewed)

(8). The making of the West Indies. The Gordons as colonists page 26 "George GORDON took a lease of some property in Jamaica, 1781. He was the second son of Robert of Pronsey and the brother of Dr John GORDON (q.v.) to whom, on his death in Jamaica he left his fortune."

(9) George Home Murray (1774-1833): Sources Scotland Select Births and Baptisms file Ancestry.com + The Belfast Newsletter (Births, Marriage and Death Notices) 20th May 1834 + His Will PROB 11/1834 + Will of Roibert Home Gordon transcribed above

(10) Ann ELLIS widow of George Ellis Esq late of the Island of Jamaica - her Will PROB 11/748/440 - made 28th January 1744; proved 13 Aug 1746 - Confirms that her husband (who died in 1738) left the plantation of Greencastle to her son George Ellis, the plantation of Newry to her son John Ellis and Orange Hill plantation to her son William Beckford Ellis. See also short Biography of Ann Ellis (nee Beckford) on the Legacies of British Slave Ownership website

(11) Edward LONG (1734-1813) See Chambers General Biographical Dictionary Page 395. Edward Long a Barrister in Jamaica who owned the Lucky Valley Plantation was the 4th son of Samuel Long (1700-1757) of Jamaica and Amy Lawes. Ill health caused his return to England in 1769 when he settled to live in Chichester. He became famous for his book The History of Jamaica which was published the year John Gordon died, 1774. He had several siblings including an elder sister Susanna Charlotte Long (1733-1818)

(12) Green Castle Plantation: Estate records held at Jamaica Archives (Link to compilation of estate information for Green Castle on the University of the City of London (UCL) Legacies of British Slave Ownership website - many records have not survived (accounts for the period 1754-1758 for example) but the accounts for 1759 [Jamaica Archives 1B/11/4/3 135-136] state that the plantation was producing sugar, rum, and molasses and belonged to John Ellis Esquire, but was under the direction of Doctor John GORDON, his attorney who filed the accounts for Greencastle, Newry and Fort George Penn together. The accounts for 1761 [1B/11/4/3/217] are particularly interesting as it states "Belonging to John Ellis Esquire under the direction of the Honourable William Needham and John GORDON, his attorneys but the accounts this time are filed by George GORDON, described as overseer for Green Castle; with Alexander Campbell, overseer for Newry; and John GRANT, Overseer for Fort George Penn." John Grant of Spanish town in Jamaica was also a trustee in John Gordon's will in 1774. The accounts for 1762 [1B/11/4/4 5] also record William Needham and John GORDON as attorneys for the estate but give no other details. John Gordon died in 1774 and George Gordon in 1778 and no other accounts survive until 1781.

(13) Journals of the House of Lords Volume 28 Jan 1755; March 1755 (21-30) and April 1755 (11-20) "In the case wherein Isabella GRANT relict of James SUTHERLAND of Pronsie complaining of an interlocutor of the Lords of Sessions in Scotland of the 12th day of December 1754 made on behalf of David Sutherland and praying that the same may be reversed or altered. -- (304) It is ordered that the said David Sutherland may have a copy of the said appeal; and do put in his answer, in writing on or before Thursday the sixth day of February next; and service of this order upon any one of his council or agents in the Court of Session in Scotland shall be deemed good service.-- hearing delayed until 14th April -- After hearing council upon the petition and appeal and also upon the answer of the said David Sutherland put in to the said appeal and due consideration had of what was offered on either side in this cause -- "The said petition and appeal is hereby dismissed this House. i.e. Probably an out of Court Settlement reached.

(14) Sir Orford GORDON (d. 1857) Baronet - See The Gordons of Sutherland at genealogical note 2 above page 22 gives a genealogical tree showing that Sir Orford Gordon was 9th Baronet . His life is covered on page 63.

(15) From A Table of the Statues. Private Acts " Act 107: An act to dissolve the marriage of Joseph Seymour Biscoe Esq, with Susannah Harriot HOPE his now wife, and to enable him to marry again, and for other purposes therein mentioned.

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