Henry Bright

1784 - 26th Mar 1869


Collected compensation for Edward Smith for Haughton Pen in St Elizabeth Jamaica.

  1. MP for Bristol 1820-1830. Representative of the Whig West India interest. Member of the West India Committee and the 'Committee of April 25, 1823' formed to press the government for ameliorationist measures for the Crown colonies and to resist moves towards emancipation.

  2. Bright appears to have been a friend of Thomas Wedgwood and the owner of what has turned out to be (2008) the oldest known photograph - an image of a leaf probably taken by Bright's sister Sarah Anne Bright (1793-1866). Henry Bright and his family had interests in both science and the arts.

  3. Living at Knoll Lodge, Malvern Wells, Hanley Castle, Upton-On-Severn in Worcestershire in 1861, age 76, barrister, born in Bristol, with one male and two female servants. He felt £40,000, resworn at £45,000, when he died in 1869.



T71/870 St Elizabeth claim no. 401.

  1. Alexandra Franklin, Enterprise and advantage: The West India interest in Britain, 1774-1840 (University of Pennsylvania, Unpub. PhD, 1992), p. 214 citing West India Committee Minute Books, 25 April 1823; Terry Jenkins in History of Parliament online

  2. See, e.g., The Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2008: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1931812/Leaf-could-be-worlds-oldest-photograph.html [accessed 06/08/2012]; Larry J. Schaaf, 'Tempestuous teacups and enigmatic leaves', https://talbot.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/2015/06/19/tempestuous-teacups-and-enigmatic-leaves/ [accessed 07/02/2019].

  3. 1861 census online; National Probate Calendar 1869.

The extensive archives of the Bright family are held at the University of Melbourne Archives, see http://theconversation.com/a-fortune-built-on-slavery-the-bright-family-papers-and-their-journey-from-uk-to-melbourne-58423 [accessed 24/01/2019].

We are grateful to CJ Coventry and Liz Milner for their assistance with compiling this entry.  

Further Information

Wealth at death

Associated Claims (1)

£3,293 0s 2d
Other association

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

Whig / West India interest 
election →
Bristol Somerset
1820 - 1830

Relationships (4)

Son → Father
Uncle → Nephew
Grandson → Grandfather

Addresses (2)

Knoll Lodge, Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, West Midlands, England
Queen Square, Bristol, Gloucestershire, South-west England, England