Andrew Colvile

6th Nov 1779 - 1856

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

  1. Son of James Wedderburn-Colvile of Inveresk (the second son of the executed Sir John Wedderburn 5th bart.) and Isabella Blackburn. Joined Webster, Wedderburn in 1798. Married (1) 1802 Elizabeth Susannah Wedderburn (d. 1803); (2) 1806 Hon. Mary Louisa [sic]  Eden [sic]. In 1814 took the name and arms of Colvile of Ochiltree.

  2. On 14/05/1850 appointed with James Cavan, William King, Charles McGarel, Charles Cave and Michael McChlery Esq to be Her Majesty's Commissioners in England for borrowing, raising, managing and expending the funds under an Ordinance of the Governor and Court of Policy of British Guiana, entitled 'An ordinance to authorise the raising on loan of a sum of five hundred thousand pounds for immigration purposes.'

  3. In the 1851 census Andrew Colvile 'landed proprietor' aged 71 b. Edin[?] Co. N.B. was living at 44 Eaton Place with wife Louisa Mary aged 62 born Spain and daughters Jane, Isalen Mary and Margaret Agnes aged 30, 25 and 21. Death of Andrew Colvile registered Q1 1856 St George's Hanover Square.

  4. The coal-mining town of Colvile in British Columbia was named after Andrew Colvile on its establishment in 1852.

  5. Colvile was a major figure in the Hudson's Bay Company of Canada: a proprietor from 1809; member of the Committee from 1810 and very influential in the administration of the company; also played a major part in effecting the union of it with the North West Company in 1821. Became Deputy Governor 1839, and Governor, 1852 until his death in 1856.

  6. Andrew Colvile was the half-brother of Robert Wedderburn, the important anti-slavery activist and socialist who wrote, among other works, the autobiographical work The Horrors of Slavery (1824). The Horrors of Slavery occasioned a minor press war between Colvile and Wedderburn, the former disputing the latter's kinship claims.

  7. Under the will of Andrew Colvile proved 12/02/1856 (made in 1834) he left an annuity to his wife Louisa Mary of £400 p.a. over and above what was provided for her in their marriage settlement, and left £10,000 to his younger sons and daughters (with additional legacies to raise the minimum share to £3000 for sons and £2000 for daughters), with the residue of the estate to pass to James William Colvile or in the event of his death to Eden Colvile. James William Colvile (who has an entry in the ODNB as 'judge in India') was Advocate General to the East India Company in 1845, knighted in 1848, Chief Justice of Bengal 1855-1859, first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta, President of the Asiatic Society, a full member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council from 1871 and Fellow of the Royal Society from 1875 and left £80,000 in Britain in 1880. Eden Colvile (1819-1893) was James William's younger brother and Governor of Rupert's Land 1849-1852.

  8. Colvile, who had been active in the West India committee since the early 1820s, was one of those who, in the wake of emancipation, developed schemes to import indentured labour into the British Caribbean. In May 1838, he, in conjunction with Davidsons and Barkly, brought 78 men, 2 women and 2 girls (aged 8 and 4) from Calcutta to British Guiana to work on his Bellevue planation, British Guiana, under an indenture of 5 years. There were reports of abuses of the labourers – within a year 12 men had died and one of the girls died after being raped – and Bellevue became one of the prime targets of investigations by emancipationists into the treatment of indentured labour. Conditions there were one of the elements leading to the British government suspending immigration until 1842 (though this did not prevent the subsequent immigration of indentured labour).

Sources

T71/877 Antigua claim no. 331 (Diamond Estate).

  1. http://www.antohnymaitland.com/scrymwed.htm, unsourced [accessed 08/11/2010].

  2. London Gazette, Issue 21095, 14/05/1850, p. 1393.

  3. 1851 census online; FreeUKGen, England and Wales Free BMD Database, Deaths, 1837-1983 [database online].

  4. G. P. V. and Helen B. Akrigg, British Columbia Placenames (University of British Columbia Press: Vancouver, 1986; 3rd edition 1997), 'Nanaimo' p. 184.

  5. See the account of his life in the Hudson's Bay Company Archives biographical sheet: http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/biographical/c/colville_andrew.pdf.

  6. Robert Wedderburn, The Horrors of Slavery and Other Writings, ed. Ian McCalman (Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle, 1997). Malcolm Chase, ‘Wedderburn, Robert (1762–1835/6?)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008).

  7. PROB 11/2226/336; ODNB online Katherine Prior, ‘Colvile, Sir James William (1810–1880)’; National Probate Calendar 1881 and 1893.

  8. Alexandra Franklin, Enterprise and advantage: The West India interest in Britain, 1774-1840 (unpub. PhD., University of Pennsylvania, 1992), pp. 297-99.

We are grateful to Christopher Taylor and Roberta Wedge for their assistance with compiling this entry.


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Spouse
(1) Elizabeth Susannah (2) Louisa Mary Eden
Children
Louisa (1815-), Jane (1820-), Georgiana Mary (1822-), Isalen Mary (1825-), Caroline (1827-), John Barclay[?] (1838-), Eden Colvile
Occupation
Merchant

Associated Claims (19)

£1,115 2S 9D
Awardee
£11,257 5S 7D
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£1,506 11S 2D
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£3,870 19S 8D
Awardee
£5,622 17S 11D
Awardee
£6,005 0S 10D
Awardee
£2,087 5S 10D
Awardee
£5,866 16S 8D
Awardee
£5,417 1S 5D
Awardee
£1,855 7S 7D
Awardee
£765 10S 10D
Awardee
£2,755 18S 10D
Awardee
£4,583 13S 7D
Awardee
£3,574 3S 0D
Awardee
£2,839 1S 4D
Awardee
£2,727 6S 5D
Awardee
£2,125 6S 7D
Awardee
£221 8S 0D
Awardee
£6,597 12S 5D
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (15)

1826 - 1826 → Owner
1820 - 1823 → Owner

Colvile appears to have purchased the estate between 1817 and 1820 and then shipped the 112 enslaved people to Demerara (British Guiana) in 1822.

1808 - 1837 → Joint owner

Heir to father, John Wedderburn of Balindean's estate (including all lands in Jamaica) 1803. Blackheath jointly purchased by John Wedderburn of Balindean and his brother James Wedderburn Colvile c. 1802. Upon his death in 1808, James Wedderburn Colvile left his share to his eldest son, Andrew Colvile. Throughout the first decades of the C19th the property was managed by the firm of Wedderburn and Co. in which Andrew Covile and David Wedderburn were partners, along with their cousin John Wedderburn of Spring Garden.

1832 - → Trustee and Executor
1808 - 1836 → Tenant in possession
1817 - 1834 → Owner
1832 - → Trustee and Executor
1832 - → Trustee and Executor
1832 - → Trustee and Executor
1832 - 1834 → Joint owner
1832 - 1834 → Joint owner
1832 - → Trustee and Executor
1832 - → Trustee and Executor
1817 - 1832 → Owner
1832 - → Trustee and Executor

Legacies Summary

Commercial (3)

Governor
Hudson Bay Co.
Canada Merchant  
 
notes →
1. General Court of Governor and Company of the Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay convened 21/4/1856 to elect a Governor, Deputy Governor and Committeemen consequent upon the death of...
Director
 
notes →
1. Retired by rotation from Board of Marine Insurance Co., and stood for re-election 1841, 1845, 1848 and...
Senior partner
Wedderburn, Webster
West India merchant  
 

Imperial (2)

Governor
Hudson's Bay Company Canada 
notes →
A proprietor from 1809; member of the Committee from 1810; Deputy Governor 1839; Governor,...
sources →
Other
Canada: British Columbia including Vancouver Island 
notes →
Fort Colville in British Columbia was named after Andrew Colvile when it was established in 1825 and the name was transferred to the city of Colville, established nearby in...
sources →
G.P.V. and Helen B. Akrigg, British Columbia Placenames (University of British Columbia Press: Vancouver, 1986; 3rd edition 1997), 'Nanaimo' p....

Physical (1)

 

Relationships (26)

Father → Son
Brother → Sister
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Business partners
Nephew → Uncle
Brothers
Half-brothers
Business partners
First Cousins
First Cousins
Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Other relatives
Business partners
Other relatives
Other relatives
Business partners
Trustee → Testator
Executor → Testator
Son-in-law → Mother-in-law
Other relatives
Son → Father
Son → Mother
Executor → Testator
First Cousins
Brothers

Addresses (2)

11 Lower Berkeley Street, London, Middlesex, London, England
44 Eaton Place, London, Middlesex, London, England