Robert Shedden senior

1741 - 26th Sep 1826

Slave-owner and antecedent of claimant or beneficiary


American and West Indian merchant and slave-owner, settling in Britain after American independence. Founder of merchant firm of Robert Shedden & Sons (q.v.), in which his partners were his sons Bartlet Bridger, William (d. c.1820), Robert Shedden jun. (q.v., a partner until 1810) and George Shedden (q.v., identified in his father's will as his long-standing business partner). Father also of John Shedden (q.v.). Robert Shedden senior left £120,000 in 1826.

  1. 'Mediterranean and North American merchant' (Rubinstein). Son of William Shedden (1708-1751) of Aughingree Ayrshire and Kerse, Renfrewshire, and Beatrix, daughter of Robert Dobbie Chamberlain of Giffen. Settled in Virgina 1759, Bermuda 1776, London 1783 onwards. Lived 35 Gower Street, had house Slatwoods at East Cowes, Isle of Wight. Married 1767 Agatha, daughter of John Goodrich of Nansemond Plantation, Virginia.

  2. Robert Shedden junior, Robert Shedden's son, was Sheriff of the County of Southampton in 1822.  

  3. Copy of the inscription on the monument to Robert Shedden in the Manor Chapel of Paulerspury Church: "In the Vault of this Chancel pertaining to the Manor are deposited the remains of Robert Shedden, Esq. of Paulerspury Park, (and of Hardmead, Bucks), Son of William, the youngest son of Robert Shedden, of Roughwood, (and of Coalburn), in the county of Ayr, North Britain. He married Agatha Wells, daughter of John Goodrich, Esq. of Nausemond Plantation, in the province of Virginia, where he was residing as a merchant prior to the American Rebellion, in which contest, adhering to the cause of Loyalty, his possessions were confiscated, and his flattering prospects in the Colony sacrificed; but being blessed with prudence and with energy of Character, on his return to Great Britain he amply redeemed, during forty years of activity and perseverance, the cost of Loyalty and Fidelity. In the eventful struggles which convulsed Europe he continued a steady and consistent supporter of the Constitution and Established Religion, and was distinguished as a Patron and Guardian of Patriotic Institutions which befriended the Widows and Orphans who fell in battle, universally respected for Probity and Liberality as a Merchant, and pre-eminently for his judgement and enterprise in Marine Insurance, Mild, Charitable, and Generous, beloved by his numerous Family and Descendants, Devout and Humble, This Monument will but feebly convey That general affection and regard which greeted his Virtues, and cherishes his Memory, He departed this life the XXIX September, A.D. MDCCCXXVI, Eatat. LXXXV.”

  4. In his will, proved 14/10/1826, he left: to his wife his house in Gower Street for life, his 'small house' in Topsham Devon and an annuity of £2400 p.a.; to his son George who had been 'my companion, my friend and my co-partner in business' his estate at Paulerspury Northants for life, then to George's son Robert John Shedden. Among other bequests including further landed property in Britain, Robert Shedden left one half of his share ('being three tenth parts') of the Stewart Castle estate in Trelawny Jamaica, with the people upon it, to his son Robert and one half to his son John.

  5. Robert Shedden senior's daughter Margaret (to whom he left £10,000 and an estate at Battle that Robert Shedden had bought from Sir Godfrey Webster) married in 1807 Edward Allfrey, an East Indian merchant who left £160,000 in 1834. their son Robert Allfrey left £400,000 in 1875.


  1. William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume One 1809-1839 (London, Social Affairs Unit, 2009) reference 1826/16; John Burke, A genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Great Britain and Ireland (2 vols., London, Henry Colburn, 1863), vol. 2, pp. 1224-1225; Mariners Mirror 1958 Vol. 44 p. 2.

  2. London Gazette, Issue 17788, 05/01/1822, p. 1.

  3. Burke, John, A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank but uninvested with heritable honours, (1836) Volume 3 p. 353.

  4. Will of Robert Shedden merchant of Bedford Square, PROB 11/1718/54. Letters of administration were granted in 1858 to William George Shedden, son of George Shedden, when effects were put at under £100.

  5. William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume One 1809-1839 (London, Social Affairs Unit, 2009) reference 1834/25; ibid Vol. 5 1875-1879 MS, reference 1875/2.

Further Information

Agatha Wells Goodrich of Virginia
George Shedden; Robert Shedden jun.; John Shedden; William Shedden; Bartlet Bridger Shedden; Margaret Shedden; Agatha-Beatrix Goodrich Shedden; Mary-Elizabeth Shedden

[Rubinstein 1826/16].  Left £120,000.  

Wealth at death
Church of Scotland/Church of England

Associated Claims (1)

£2,781 5s 8d
Other association

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1820 [EA] - 1826 [EY] → Joint owner
1817 [EA] - → Mortgagee-in-Possession
1817 [EA] - → Lessee

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Senior partner
Robert Shedden & Sons
General overseas merchant?  

Relationships (9)

Father → Son
Notes →
Also business...
Father → Son
Father → Son
Grandfather → Grandson
Father → Son
Father → Son
Grandfather → Grandson

Addresses (3)

Paulerspury, Northamptonshire, Central England, England
35 Gower Street, London, Middlesex, London, England
Slatwoods, Old Road, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Wessex, England