In my previous post, I had mentioned that I would be looking in more detail in the slave ownership of my Russell ancestors who had plantations in Nevis, Aniqua and possibly also St. Kitts. I will come back to them because while trying to untangle the ownership of their estates, I noticed that this blog was cited on the record for my ancestor Walter Nisbet (1745 – 1797) on the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery database (LBS) hosted by UCL. And that a resource I have been citing in recent posts.
I think it must have been the following original The Nisbets of Carfin Connection post that they were citing:
Walter Nisbet, second son of Archibald Nisbet II of Carfin; born 10 July 1706; “emigrated to Nevis, West Indies, and bought the estate of Mount Pleasant: was on the Council of Nevis 1759-65; married 1743 Mary, daughter of Josiah Webbe of New River, Nevis. She died 24 January 1752-3 in her twenty-ninth year. He died l 5 June 1765.
Walter Nisbet of Mount Pleasant, Nevis, and of Grafton Street, London, born in Nevis 3 January 1745; married at St. Marylebone, London, 19 April 1784, Anne, daughter of Robert Parry of Plas Newydd, Denbighshire. He died in Nevis 8 December 1797.3 She died at Bath 2 December 1819, aged 67.
Looking at the record for Walter Nisbet junior on the LBS database it includes new information, including how he was formerly married to Ann Blomberg (née Maynard). She has her own record on LBS that includes the following about their marriage and estate ownership (see more here):
Ann Bloomberg [sic] of Kirkby over Carr Yorkshire was party to a deed of 18/05/1775 with William Maynard senior formerly of Nevis but then of St James, Middlesex, which recited the agreement in 1767 of her late husband William Blomberg to lend £5000 to William Maynard senior secured on the latter’s estate in Nevis. She had then lent a further £6000 to William Maynard, and he mortgaged his estates on Nevis to her to secure the debt. William Maynard was her father, although the deed did not identify hm as such. Ann Blomberg nee Maynard remarried, to Walter Nisbet at St James 06/10/1775; the couple were divorced by 1784, although it is not clear whether Ann nee Maynard was alive at that point – Walter Nisbet was described as ‘divorced from his late wife’ on his second marriage. The marriage settlement of Walter Nisbet and Ann Blomberg recognised the wealth, both real and personal, she was bringing to the marriage and placed Nisbet’s property in trust to secure an annuity of £1000 p.a. to Ann Blomberg if she survived him.
LBS also concludes that this Walter is the same man involved in the case of Nisbet v Smith in 1789 (see more on this here). And that his estates and enslaved people later passed into the hands of James Daniell (q.v.), through a process not yet traced by LBS.
I have also seen a record for Walter Nisbet junior on the Johnson / Bryans Families site that traces the ancestry of Pamela Murdoch Bryans and Maurice Alan Johnson (see here). Walter Nisbet junior was the 3x gt. grandfather of Pamela Murdoch Bryans. The record contains the following information about Walter:
Walter Nisbet was born in Nevis in the West Indies on the 3rd January 1745, the son of Walter Nisbet and Mary Webbe.
Walter became the manager of the Nevis estates of the Stapleton family after his father died (his father had been manager from about 1736 to 1765). Walter’s brother Josiah was the plantation doctor. Incidentally, Josiah’s widow went on to marry Lord Horatio Nelson.
In terms of the ownership of the New River plantation on Nevis; the earliest owner I can identify seems to have been Josiah Webbe, the maternal grandfather of Walter. I think Josiah had no sons, and so passed on the New River estate to his son-in-law William Maynard, who had married Josiah’s daughter (and Walter’s aunt) Frances Webbe in 1737. William Maynard then mortgaged the estate against loans from his son-in-law William Blomberg (husband of his daughter Anne Maynard who subsequently went on to marry Walter Nisbet of this page). These mortgages effectively transferred a share in the estates to Walter Nisbet.
Walter Nisbet first married Anne Blomberg1 (her maiden name was Maynard – she was his cousin), but divorced her in 1783 for committing adultery with a man called Thomas Totty2. He subsequently married Anne Parry (daughter of Robert Parry of Plasnewydd and Llwyn-on) on the 19th of April 1784 in St Marylebone, London. The witnesses at the wedding were Paul Parry (Anne’s brother) and Charlotte Edwin. They had six children:
1. Caroline, born c. 1787 and who did not marry
2. Walter, born c. 1788 of the Bengal Civil Service; died 1833
3. Josiah, born c. 1790 and who married Rachael Marjoribanks, eldest daughter of Sir John Marjoribanks
4. Emilia, born 1791 and who married Rev. C M Mount, prebendary of Wells
5. Robert Parry, b. 1793 and who married firstly Clara-Amelia Harriott and had issue and subsequently Elizabeth Greene
6. Harry, b. 1794 and who married Anne Harriet Curtis-Hayward of Quedgely House, Gloucestershire
Walter died on the 8th December 1797 at the Mount Pleasant sugar estate on Nevis. His wife Anne’s will was very concerned with supporting their eldest daughter Caroline, who Anne feared could be left destitute after her (Anne’s) death.
The Josiah who married Rachael Marjoribanks mentioned above our my ancestors (see more below). But from what I can work out from this site Walter Nisbet’s first wife Anne Maynard was a cousin because her mother was Frances Webb (b. c. 1716) who was the sister of Walter’s mother Mary Webbe (1724 – 1753). There’s no record for their mother, but the site has a more information on the father Josiah Webbe. It speculates he was born around 1690 given the approximate birth of his older daughter but doesn’t determine whether this was in Nevis, or back in Cornwall where it speculates the family appears to have originated from including notes supporting this (see below).
Based on an inscription for his daughter Mary Webbe, the record speculates that Josiah must have died before 1752. However, it mention that confusingly there are references to a Josiah Webbe of New River who was alive in 1763. One posibility speculated is that this Josiah passed on his New River estate briefly to his nephew, also called Josiah (who was more properly ‘of Stoney Hill’ in Nevis). Joseph the nephew died c. 1767 and may have then passed on the New River estate to his cousin Frances Webbe. As the record points out, this is all speculation but does explain how the Webbe family was well established in Nevis in the 1700s and attempts to join the dots to others owning plantations.
Based on the record for New River Estate on the LDS database, this speculation on the Johnson / Bryans Families site makes more sense then I have managed given all the brothers and uncles named either George or Joseph Webbe:
The Webbe family was well established in Nevis in the 1700s; amongst others, we find George Webbe of Westbury-upon-Trym (near Bristol, so an absentee landowner), his brother Josiah Webbe of Stoney Hill, and their nephew George Webbe (first ‘junior’ later ‘senior’). The father of the nephew George Webbe is not known.
The Josiah Webbe of Stoney Hill (see LDS here) may possibly have been a cousin of Josiah of this page (see here). My current theory is that George Webbe of Westbury-upon-Trym was a nephew of Josiah of this page, and that the father of George (also called George Webbe, possibly of Falmouth) was the brother of Josiah of this page.
Going back to the LBS record for Walter Nisbet junior, it has includes the following information with references:
He was the son of Walter Nisbet, who was in turn the second son of Archibald Nisbet II of Carfin. Walter Nisbet Sr. was born on 10 July 1706. He emigrated to Nevis, West Indies, and bought the estate of Mount Pleasant. He married 1743 Mary, daughter of Josiah Webbe of New River, Nevis. She died 24 January 1752-3 in her twenty-ninth year. He was a member of the Council of Nevis from 1759 to 1765. He died on 5 June 1765.
Walter Nisbet (1745-1797) of this entry became the manager of the Nevis estates of the Stapleton family after the death of his father who had been the manager from ‘about 1736 to 1765’. He was ‘apparently dismissed in 1770 but continued to take an unofficial interest in the estate for the next two years’. His brother ‘Josiah Nisbet, MD (whose widow married Horatio Nelson in 1787) … was plantation doctor from 1773 to 1781’.
Walter Nisbet is named [as ‘Walter Nesbitt’] as the lessee and purchaser in 1784 of two estates from James Russell Madan (q.v.), Hog Valley and Lower Ground [?], together with the enslaved people on them, in Madan’s will proved in 1788. Madan described him as of Grafton Street in 1784 but then of Nevis.
In Anne Nisbet’s will made at Bath 20/03/1819, she was consumed with anxiety for her daughter Caroline who she feared would be left destitute after her own death. She had nothing, she said, to leave to her dear sons. In a subsequent note, she recorded the provision of support by the sons for her and for their sister.
I will probably need to make a chart to map these relationship all out, but the ancestral link between all these family seems to be my Maitland ancestors.
Alice Anne Nisbet (Abt 1825 – 1869) is my 3x gt. grandmother. She is the daughter of Josiah who married Rachael Marjoribanks mentioned above, and she married George Ramsay Maitland (1821 – 1866). She is the therefore also the granddaughter of Walter Nisbet junior (1745 – 1797).
Penelope Madan (1730 – 1805) married Sir Alexander Maitland, 1st Bt (1728 – 1820) the gt. grandfther of George Ramsay Maitland above. I am pretty sure that this Penelope is also the neice of James Russell Madan mentioned above (i.e. the one that Walter Nisbet junior is shown on the LBS database as as purchasing two estate from in 1784).
Penelope Madan is also gt. grandaughter of Sir James Russell, Colonel, Lt.-Governor whose daughter was Frances Russell married Sir William Stapleton, 3rd Bart of the Leeward (i.e. of the Stapleton family above who owned the Nevis estates that Walter Nisbet junior became the manager of after the death of his father).
I need to check but I think Sir Willian Stapleton was the son of Anne Russell rather than the Frances listed on the LBS database (see here). And she was the sister of Sir James Russell, Colonel, Lt.-Governor above, whose daughter Penelope above married Martin Maden (father of James Russell Madan above).
I still haven’t completely figured out which estate belonged to who and when, and how it got passed down through various relatives. But based on what I have found out above, for my previous post about my Madan ancestors and previous ones about Russell ones I am slowly beginning to see the connections between these families. Perhaps a time line of the different families and connection to Nevis in general and the specific estates would be useful. That might have to wait for another time.