Hon. John Mais

1778 - 1853

Claimant or beneficiary


Hon. John Mais, son of John Mais (1747-1798). Planter and attorney, mostly resident in Jamaica though in London in the late 1830s.

  1. His father, John Mais senior, was resident in Jamaica from at least 1779 and was joined by his uncle Charles from at least 1781. Charles had 5 children with Anne Ivey, described as a free quadroon/free mulatto woman. One of these children, Rev. John Mais, was rector of Tintern Parva Monmouthshire, and living at Westbury-on-Trym born Jamaica, aged 61 in the 1851 census.

  2. The Hon John Mais, son of John Mais senior, was a Member of the House of Assembly for St Andrew in 1820 and held numerous other civic offices in St Andrew from the 1810s to the 1840s.

  3. John Mais was left "£2000 in certificates to set him up in business with Messrs. Steel and Thompson, merchants of Kingston" in the will of his father, John Mais senior, proved in 1798. The residue of his father's estate was to be divided between John and his 2 sisters, Amelia and Ann Elizabeth.

  4. John Mais had 2 children with Elizabeth Dickson, a free mulatto woman, Francis (born 1807 and died in infancy) and Edward (q.v., born in 1809). Elizabeth presumably died in 1829 as in the Slave Registers of 1832 Edward Mais is listed as owning 6 enslaved people, 5 of whom were transferred to him by John Mais as administrator of the estates of Elizabeth Dickson in 1829. John had a further 4 children with Susanna Hamilton, a free woman of colour, Eliza (born 1816), John (born 1817), Amelia (born 1819) and Jeremiah (born 1821). He married Martha Cleland (q.v.) in St Andrew, Jamaica, in 1827 or 1828. They had 6 children together between 1829 and 1836. The first 5 were baptised in St Andrew, Jamaica and the youngest child at All Souls, Marylebone, London in 1837 (where the father's address was given as 64 Mortimer Street, London, and his occupation as merchant).

  5. John's wife Martha died in London and was buried at Kensal Green All Souls 22/04/1841 age 36. Two addresses were given on her burial record: Kingston, Jamaica and 1 Mornington Crescent, St Pancras. It's not clear whether she had been living in London continuously from 1837 nor whether John was in London with her. Two of their children (Amelia age 8 and Ernest age 4) were pupils of Susan Knaggs (wife of surgeon and apothecary John Knaggs) at 1 Mornington Crescent at the time of the 1841 census (June 1841). Two more of their children (Leslie age 11 and Winchester age 7) were pupils at a school in Bury, Odiham, Hampshire in the same census. In her will of 1844, his sister Amelia left her estate to John and thence to his 6 children who were described as living in London at the time.

  6. John died 09/10/1853 in St Andrew, Jamaica. In his will he left £500 to his sister Ann Elizabeth (who had in fact predeceased him). He ordered that his property be sold and £11,000 of the proceeds be divided between his 6 legitimate children; the residue was to be divided between 3 of his older children (Edward, Eliza and Jeremiah).

  7. John Leslie Mais attended Caius College, Cambridge and became a clergyman and schoolmaster in Jamaica. Winchester Mais was a miner in New Zealand in the 1880s and 1896 and died in an asylum in Claremont, Western Australia in 1914. Ernest Cleland Mais was a registered voter in Bruce, Ortego, New Zealand in 1862.

  8. John Caspar Mais (q.v.) was the son of another John Mais (who died in Bristol in 1819) and his wife Phillipina nee Weise (daughter of Johan Caspar Weise). In his will, John Caspar Mais refers to Hon. John Mais as his uncle, suggesting that the John Mais who died in Bristol in 1819 was an illegitimate son of John Mais senior. John Caspar Mais and Hon. John Mais had both been executors of the will of John Caspar's father. John Caspar Mais claimed the compensation as executor of Francis Sicard but then admitted the counterclaim of Hon. John Mais as judgement creditor.


T71/861-863 Kingston claim nos. 1070, 1531, 1533, 1771 and 1772; T71/864 Port Royal claim nos. 13 and 49; T71/868 Portland claim no. 177; T71/865 St Andrew claim nos. 121, 246, 415, 416 and 418; T71/857 St Ann claim no. 82; T71/869 St George No. 186; T71/854 St John claim no. 139; T71/856 St Mary claim nos. 288 and 289. Given simply as 'John Mais' in Kingston 1533 and St Mary 289.

  1. B. W. Higman, Plantation Jamaica 1750-1850: capital and control in a colonial economy (Mona, Jamaica, University of West Indies Press, 2005), pp 86-7 (which gives year of death as 1855); Background is also given by Howard Mais 'John Mais of Bristol (1747-1798) and his descendants: a summary' http://www.newtons-online.net/histories/Maisesincejohnn..pdf [accessed 26/04/2013]. Howard Mais, 'Charles Mais (1755-1823) of Bristol, Jamaica and Jersey and his descendants' http://www.newtons-online.net/histories/Maisessincecharles.pdf [accessed 26/04/2013]. See separate entry for Elizabeth Corne Mais for references to a Chancery dispute in which Rev. John Mais was involved.

  2. Jamaica Almanacs.

  3. Howard Mais 'John Mais of Bristol (1747-1798) and his descendants: a summary'.

  4. Howard Mais 'John Mais of Bristol (1747-1798) and his descendants: a summary'. Familysearch.org batch nos. I04151-6, I03863-1l I04151-6, I03817-8. Ancestry.com, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database online].

  5. Ancestry.com, London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 [database online]. 1841 census online. Howard Mais 'John Mais of Bristol (1747-1798) and his descendants: a summary'.

  6. Howard Mais 'John Mais of Bristol (1747-1798) and his descendants: a summary'.

  7. Ancestry.com, Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900 [database online]. Ancestry.com, New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981 [database online]. Ancestry.com, Australia Death Indix, 1787-1985 [database online]. Howard Mais, 'John Mais of Bristol (1747-1798) and his descendants: a summary'.

  8. See separate entry for John Caspar Mais for more details of their shared business transactions. T71/857 St Ann claim no. 82 (York Castle Plantation).

We are grateful to Howard Mais for his assistance in compiling this entry.

Further Information

Martha Cleland
6 illegitimate; 6 legitimate
Planter and attorney

Associated Claims (19)

£83 13s 3d
£44 11s 7d
£98 15s 5d
£27 0s 4d
£234 10s 5d
£3,609 6s 3d
Awardee (Trustee)
£2,420 14s 11d
Awardee (Administrator)
£1,654 13s 5d
Awardee (Administrator)
£2,374 4s 4d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£3,086 18s 3d
Awardee (Receiver)
£3,150 13s 10d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£317 15s 5d
£562 0s 8d
£4,086 11s 5d
Claimants in List E or Chancery cases (Receiver)
£1,512 2s 1d
£1,888 12s 9d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£1,786 0s 7d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£2,094 1s 2d
Claimants in List E or Chancery cases
£118 16s 4d

Associated Estates (33)

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
1823 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1834 [EA] - → Administrator
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Receiver
1806 [EA] - 1807 [LA] → Mortgage Holder

In 1806 and 1807 John Thompson as surviving partner of Steele, Thompson and Mais was shown as in possession as mortgagee. Hon. John Mais was partner from c. 1798, but was still alive in 1806-7, despite the description of Thompson as surviving partner.

1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1810 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Trustee and administrator
1815 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Attorney
1826 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Receiver
1823 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Executor
1825 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney

Given simply as 'John Mais'

1817 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1809 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Executor

Shown as John Mais 'of St John' but inferred by LBS to be the Hon. John Mais.

1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney

Given as 'John Mais'.

1819 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner

Unclear why he is given as receiver 1831-1832

1829 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Executor
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney

Given as John Mais

1829 [EA] - → Attorney
1809 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Receiver
1823 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Not known
1820 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Other

Acting churchwarden for the parish of St Andrew

1823 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1817 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - → Joint owner
- 1837 [LA] → Receiver
1831 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Name partner
Steele, Thompson & Mais
West India merchant  

Imperial (2)

New Zealand 
notes →
His son Winchester Mais was a miner in New Zealand in the 1880s and 1896 and died in an asylum in Claremont, Western Australia in 1914. His son Ernest Cleland Mais was a registered voter in Bruce,...
Australia: Western Australia 
notes →
Winchester Mais was a miner in New Zealand in the 1880s and 1896 and died in an asylum in Claremont, Western Australia in...

Relationships (6)

Nephew → Aunt
Father → Natural Son
Husband → Wife
Uncle → Nephew
Notes →
This relationship is tentative - in his will, John Caspar Mais refers to Hon. John Mais as his...
Son → Father
Son → Mother

Addresses (1)

64 Mortimer Street, London, Middlesex, London, England