John Alleyne Beckles

10th Jun 1778 - 15th Jul 1840

Claimant or beneficiary


Son of John Beckles, and a resident planter. Uncle of John Beckles Hyndman (q.v.) and brother and trustee of John Beckles Hyndman's mother, Elizabeth C. Hyndman. Father of John A. Beckles junior (q.v.).

  1. Baptised 1777 in Westminster, England, son of John Beckles and Elizabeth. Baptism of his sister Elizabeth Christian Beckles, to John and Elizabeth, Marylebone, 04/11/1776.

  2. Born in London at Saville Row.

    8 February 1800: Married Elizabeth Spooner, youngest daughter of the Hon. John Spooner, President of HM Council of Barbados. Elizabeth died 25 August 1868 at Durham Villa, Adelaide Road, London.

    J. A. Beckles is said to have been educated in England and been a student at one of the Inns of Court but returned to Barbados without having been called to the Bar. In 1800 received licence from the Governor admitting him to practice as a barrister in the island's courts. 1804: Secretary of the Island and Remembrancer. 1807 appointed as Assistant Registrar of the Courts (i.e. deputy to the Registrar who lived in England). Then became, also in 1807, Chief Judge of St Andrew then transferred in the same year as Chief Judge of St Peter. In 1822: Chief Judge of Christ Church. In 1829: Chief Judge of St Michael (the highest office of the 5 precincts of the Island Courts of Common Pleas). In 1807 he had also been appointed as Chief Judge of the Court of Vice Admiralty of Barbados (an "important and lucrative position").

    In about 1830 got a seat on HM Council of Barbados and in 1833 became its President. [The President administered the island in the event of the Governor's absence.] 1836: resigned as Chief Judge of St Michael and voted an annuity of £500 a year by the Council. Remained as President and as Chief Judge of the Court of Vice Admiralty until his death.

    Freemason: member of the Albion Lodge No. 333 of Barbados. Became Provincial Grand Master of Barbados, 27 December 1817 and remained so until his death.

    Buried in the Cathedral Church, St Michael: for his funeral and the monument to him in the church see Brandow.

    The children of John and Elizabeth Beckles were:

    Sarah Elizabeth Spooner (12 December 1800-23 December 1866). Married Rev. Thomas Rochford Redwar ( -1 January 1866), Master of the Boys’ Central School and Curate of St Michael’s Chapel, Barbados. They both died in England.

    Susanna Mary (10 March 1802-5 August 1866. Died unmarried in England.)

    Christian Margaret Maxwell (1806-11 October 1821. Died unmarried, St Michael, Barbados.)

    Hannah Maria Husbands (1807-1871). Married Robert Hunte of St Philip, Barbados. He died in Ryde, Isle of Wight, 28 August 1864. She was living in South Norwood, Surrey, in 1869. Her death was registered in Croydon, 1871.

    John Alleyne (22 June 1810-2 September 1841). Married Mary Lee Hill, second daughter of the late William Hill, HM Customs, Trinidad and formerly of Barbados, 16 May 1836 at St Pancras Church, London. Called to the Bar in England; succeeded his father as Judge of the Court of Vice Admiralty in Barbados in 1840. 1841 went to England and died there in Preston, Fylde, Lancashire. Their children included another John Alleyne Beckles (born at the Bay estate, 13 April 1837-27 June 1867 [died in England]).

    William Augustus (12 August 1812-23 October 1840). Educated at Codrington College. Ordained as Church of England minister 1837. Died in Berbice 1840.

    Samuel Husbands (12 April 1814-4 September 1890; died in Sussex having lived in England since the 1830s.). Barrister and Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

    Edward Hyndman (14 February 1816-5 December 1902). Anglican minister etc.

    Caroline Frances Ann (29 May 1818-1884). Died in England. (She and her sister Julia were living together in South Norwood, Surrey in 1869 as was Hannah Maria.)

    Julia Amelia Worrell (30 December 1820-1888).

  3. In a Levy Book list for St James, Barbados, 1822, Beckles was listed as owning 244 enslaved and 478 acres of land. The name of the estate (or estates) was not given. The person referred to in the list was John A. Beckles: it is assumed that this is the correct person.


T71/895 Barbados claim nos. 1 (Bay Estate), 3 and 6; T71/899 Barbados claim no. 4548; T71/900 Barbados claim no. 5288 (Airy Hill).

  1. batch no. C13550-9., London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database online].

  2. James C. Brandow, Genealogies of Barbados families: from Caribbeana and the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (1983), pp. 157-61.

  3. Levy Book list for St James, Barbados, 1822. Barbados Department of Archives, RB9/3/7.

Further Information

Elizabeth Spooner
6 daughters; 4 sons

Associated Claims (6)

£3,636 19S 4D
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£135 18S 9D
Awardee (Trustee)
£42 14S 5D
Unsuccessful claimant
£3,050 15S 8D
£277 13S 11D
Awardee (Trustee)
£19 8S 4D

Relationships (4)

Father → Son
Son → Father
Brother → Sister
Uncle → Niece

Addresses (1)