John Wilson Davis

1st Jul 1772 - 26th Oct 1868

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

  1. "John Wilson Davis the son of Thomas Davis and his wife Margaret was born the 1st July 1772 and baptised the 6th of May one thousand seven hundred and seventy three."

  2. "The Jamaica Stud Book states that John Wilson Davis was the most successful horse breeder and racer in Jamaican history and an astute business man owning, at the time of his death, at 96, the Bellevue (579 acres), Belmont (1728), Harmony Hill (755), Grierfield, Unity Valley and Malvern Park (1394) and Mammee Bay plantations. In 1858 he conveyed the Milford Plantation to a Robert Wilson, so ownership of this estate must also be assumed. Davis also served the local community as an Ensign in the militia in 1831, a Vestryman for St. Ann's between 1841 and 1854, was assistant judge in 1832 and, at the time of his second marriage, was serving as Her Majesty's Custos, or Lord Lieutenant. Much of his property was bequeathed to his grand-daughter, Margaret Jane Mackintosh and she, dying but 12 years later, passed on the same to her surviving children. This included Malvern Park, Belmont, Harmony Hill and Bellevue estates "and the stock thereon" to the value of £20,000."

  3. Davis died 26/10/1868 age 96 and was buried at Bellevue, St Ann. He has recently been inducted into the Jamaica Racing Commission Hall of Fame.

  4. John Wilson Davis was the subject of an article in the Daily Gleaner, 31/03/1919, as part of their series 'Landmarks of Past History Of Horse-Breeding Industry in Jamaica', entitled 'Owners I have known - Davis brothers':

"Wherever horse breeding is mentioned the name of John Wilson Davis is inseparable therefrom, he earned for himself the title of "The father of the Jamaica Turf" and richly he deserved it. He was a tall, well built man with broad shoulders, carried little surplus flesh, straight black hair which he wore rather long and brushed behind his ears, broad expansive forehead, firm mouth and a strong face, a figure of physical strength and force. His grandson, Mr. C.L. Walker of Hopewell, St. Ann's, whom we all know, resembles him very much. Mr. J W Davis was a shrewd and capable businessman and known all his life as a man of the strictest rectitude.

He was the oldest son of Mr. Thomas Davis to whom we owe the importation of the Eclipse mare, Yarico,the founder of the No. 6 family in Jamaica, from which so many good horses and brood mares are descended. He was born at Bellvue, St. Ann's in 1772 , and as his father was a breeder of thoroughbreds and a racing man, he soon got initiated in these subjects and, at an early age, developed that love of the thoroughbred which was the ruling passion of his life..."

Sources

  1. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  2. Email from Paul Pratt, 13/03/2014.

  3. Jamaica Gleaner 31/03/1919. http://www.jrc.gov.jm/HallOfFameInductees.aspx [accessed 28/03/2014].

  4. Jamaica Gleaner 31/03/1919.

We are grateful to Paul G. Pratt for his assistance with compiling this entry.


Further Information

Spouse
(2) Eugenia de la Mercedes Maria
Occupation
Planter

Associated Claims (3)

£1,875 19S 9D
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£2,909 13S 4D
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£1,409 6S 10D
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (5)

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
1809 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner
1839 [EA] - → Not known
1826 [EA] - → Executor