James Evan Baillie

1781 - 14th Jun 1863

Claimant or beneficiary


London and Bristol merchant and banker (Baillie, Ames & Baillie), major recipient of slave compensation across the Caribbean.

  1. Son of Evan Baillie of Dochfour (1742-June 1835) and Mary Gurley of St Vincent. James Evan Baillie was partner in a highly successful West India merchant firm in Bristol, reportedly in premises that later housed the Old Bank, Bristol, of which Baillie also became head. Despite his extensive possessions in the Caribbean he never went abroad, but owned a large fleet of trading ships and cultivated a network of young Scots employed on his plantations. Described as 'banker' by Rubinstein: 'His family moved from being successful West Indies planters to bankers in Bristol.'  (Baillie had become a partner in the Bristol Old Bank in 1812 on the death of his eldest brother Peter). MP (Whig) for Tralee 1813-18; Bristol 1830-35. Left £120,000 - although his obituary put the figure at £500,000 - which was bequeathed to various family members. Unmarried. Brother of Hugh Duncan Baillie [q.v.]

  2. Large-scale purchaser of Scottish land: Glentrome in Badenoch (£7,350) 1835; Glenelg, Western Highlands (£77,000) 1837; Glenshiel (£24,500) 1838; Letterfinlay (£20,000) 1851. Also owned an estate in Wales

  3. Acquired Redland Court mansion and 150 acres surrounding farmland from Sir Richard Vaughan in 1829, following Vaughan's bankruptcy. Vaughan had mortgaged the estate to Elton, Baillie & Co (the Old Bank) in 1823. James Evan Baillie appears not to have lived at Redland Court, the occupant being William Edwards, a partner in the Old Bank 1816-52. James Evan Baillie left the Redland estate to his nephews Evan Baillie of Dochfour and Henry James Baillie MP of Elsenham Hall Essex, plus James Leman his attorney as trustees. The will stated that if there was not sufficient 'personal estate' to pay Evan Baillie £50k then trustees could realise assets. Accordingly, they sold Redland Court to George Oldham Edwards (son of William Edwards) and sold off 32 acres for development. Edwards paid £25,730 for about 91 acres (plus the house?). The house is now Redland High School. After G.O. Edwards' death in 1883 the house and 10 acres were sold to a developer, and the rest acquired by G.O. Edwards' son over 30 years or so.

  4. Living at 1 Seamore Place, Curzon Street Mayfair both in the 1830s and at his death in 1863.


T71/885 British Guiana claim nos. 125A, 158A and 629 (Peter Hall); T71/887 British Guiana claim no. 2289 (Hampton Court); T71/879 St Kitts claim nos. 48 (Mornes Estate) and 576; T71/892 St Vincent claim nos. 491 (Caubaimarow (sp?)), 506 (Harmony Hall), 507A (Golden Vale), 538, 548 (Cane Hall Estate), 553 (Liberty Lodge) and 661 (Convent Estate); T71/880 Grenada claim nos. 312, 591 (Revolution Hall Estate), 642 (Peter's Hope), 690 (Levera) and 701 (Hermitage Estate); T71/894 Trinidad claim nos. 1416 (Washington & Wilderness) and 1641 (Camden).

  1. William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? 1860- (Volumes 3 and 4, manuscripts in preparation), reference 1863/2; 1a. R. G. Thorne (ed.), The House of Commons, 1790-1820 (5 vols., London, Secker & Warburg for the History of Parliament Trust, 1986), vol. 3; Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser, 23/6/1863.

  2. Douglas Hamilton, Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic World, 1750-1820 (2005), p. 201, which also puts Baillie's compensation at £53,964 and a further £57,042 to 2 partnerships with brother Hugh Duncan and with Hugh Duncan Baillie and 'Henry Ames', with another £25990 in Chancery cases.

  3. Email from Peter Malpass, University of the West of England, 02/01/2010 sourced from Bristol Record Office 6682/40 for Baillie's involvement, and from deeds of Redland High School for G.O. Edwards' purchase.

  4. Boyles Directory, 1835, 1846; Rubinstein op. cit. reference 1863/2.

We are grateful to Bill Norton for his help compiling this entry.

Further Information


Will proved under £80,000, with additional property in Scotland valued at £24,761 (PROB 11/1853/635; IR26/1378/987)

£55,000, raised in part from estates sales in Gloucestershire and Glamorgan, divided among ten individuals: they were possibly his illegitimate children.

D. R. Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons 1820-1832 (7 vols., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the History of Parliament Trust, 2009), vol. 4.

Merchant and banker

Associated Claims (20)

£23,024 6S 5D
£4,349 13S 7D
£8,617 18S 8D
£9,256 18S 4D
£89 8S 11D
£4,210 16S 8D
Awardee (Assignee)
£2,759 1S 0D
Awardee (Assignee)
£4,030 4S 3D
£2,043 19S 6D
£147 4S 10D
£2,526 6S 3D
£1,723 15S 3D
£162 8S 11D
Awardee (Judgement creditor)
£4,385 6S 2D
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£1,367 8S 2D
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£2,727 4S 0D
Unsuccessful claimant
£93 16S 1D
£4,206 8S 9D
£6,042 8S 3D
£1,569 4S 11D
Unsuccessful claimant

Legacies Summary

Commercial (3)

Railway Investment
Welsh Midland [1846528]  
Name partner
Baillie, Ames & Baillie
West India merchant  
notes →
Partner from at least 1820 to 1861. There appears to be overlap of partners and possibly premises between the mercantile partnership of Baillie, Ames and Baillie and its predecessors, and the banking...
Name partner
notes →
There appears to be overlap of partners and possibly premises between the mercantile partnership of Baillie, Ames and Baillie and its predecessors, and the banking partnership known variously as...

Political (3)

election →
Tralee Kerry
1813 - 1818
election →
Bristol Somerset
1830 - 1835
parliamentary notes →
Slavery in the West Indies
House of Commons 20/12/1830
Urban Politics
political association →
Brooks's Club Member
3 February 1818 -
political association →
Whig Anchor Club, Bristol President
? - 1820?

Relationships (6)

Son → Father
First Cousins
First Cousins
First Cousins
First Cousins

Addresses (3)

1 Seamore Place, Curzon Street, Mayfair, London, Middlesex, London, England
Albany, Piccadilly, London, Middlesex, London, England
Rodney House, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, South-west England, England