John Bourryau of Grenada

???? - 1769


Owner of Simon estate in Grenada until his death, apparently in 1769. Although the estate was advertised for sale in 1773, it appears to have then become bound up in Chancery proceedings, and readvertised for sale 20 years later. His identity as the son of the London merchant Zachariah Bourryau (q.v.) is confirmed by the presence in the wills of both men of Robert Turner as John's brother-in-law and Zachariah's son-in-law, the husband of John's sister and Zachariah's daughter Sophia. Probably but to certainly one of the two purchasers in Tobago as 'Burryeau & Douglas' who bought North-east division (St John) Lots nos. 14 and 15 on 09/05/1769.

  1. John, son of Zachariah and Mary Bourryan [sic], was baptised at St Alfege Greenwich 06/09/1737.

  2. A friend of the poet and physician James Grainger (q.v.), who was in charge of Bourryau's education from a young age. Apparently Grainger agreed to travel to the West Indies with Bourryau for a period of four years from 1759 in return for an annuity of £200 per annum.

  3. The will of John Bourryau of Island of Grenada proved 01/03/1770 appears only in effect to be a a codicil, leaving an annuity of £400 p.a. to his brother-in-law Robert Turner to replace an annuity of £300 p.a., and referring to another will which has not been traced among the PCC wills. That missing will however was summarised by Vere Langford Oliver: John Bourryau left all his property in St Kitts, Grenada and Jamaica in trust, to sell the property in Grenada 'not for much less than they were appraised in 1765' and to pay annuities of £1200 p.a. in total to his sisters Elizabeth Broadley (£200 p.a.), Mary Ramsay Karr [sic] (£200 p.a.), Hannah Bourryau (£400 p.a.) and to Joseph Sill (£400 p.a.). He left his English land to the first son of Hannah Bourryau in default of whom [the first son] of his sister Luard; he left his St Kitts estates as to half to the first son of his sister Broadley and the other half to the first son of his sister Karr. He left £5000 to his cousin John Bourryau Spooner at 21, and £1000 to Louisa the daughter of James Grainger. His brother-in-law Robert Turner was indebted to him, and he 'forgave him' his [Turner's] partnership with him [the testator] and Peter Rob. Luard. He appointed Peter Rob. Luard as his consignee.

  4. To be sold by Publick Sale; at Garraway's Coffee-House in Exchange-Alley, London, on the 18th Day of February, 1773, by Order of the Trustees, pursuant to the Will of John Bourryau, Esq; deceased: A Plantation called Simon, situated oh the River Simon in the Quarter of Marquis in the Ifland of Grenada, containing 466 Acres of cleared Land, whereof about 360 are in Canes, the Remainder in Pasture and Provisions, together with 350 seasoned Negroes; among which are many Creoles and several Tradesmen, 60 Mules and above 40 Head of Horses, Cattle, &c. and a complete Set of Works, consisting of a Water-Mill, Boiling-Houfe, Curing House, Still-House, and all other buildings necessary for earning on a Sugar Plantation, together with an excellent Dwelling-House. The Buildings are partly new within these few Years, the whole in compleat Repair. Also an Estate in the Mountains, two Miles distant from the above, containing Eighty Acres of Land, very proper for Provisions, and now full of hard Timber. For further Particulars enquire of Mr. Sill, at Mr. Luard's, Copthall-Court, Throgmorton-Street, or at Mr. Palmer's, Philpot-Lane.

  5. In 1792 he was described as late of Blyborough and also of St Christopher in the West Indies and a death date of 04/10/1769 given.

  6. In 1789 the Simon estate had been valued at £72,194 sterling, and in 1794 it was offered for sale at £72,000 (with the next or ensuing crop) or £65,000 (without the next or ensuing crop).


  1. London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database online]

  2. John Nichols, Illustrations of the literary history of the eighteenth century, consisting of authentic memoirs and original letters of eminent persons, vol. VII (1848), pp. 225-233.

  3. PROB 11/955/239; Vere Langford Oliver, History of Antigua Vol. III pp. 251-252.

  4. London Gazette 11223 15/02/1772, p.3. The advertisement was repeated in the London Gazette 11326 09/02/1773, p. 2.

  5. London Gazette 13394 03/03/1792 p. 153. The article mentions two Chancery suits, John Broadley v James Baillie and v Charles Spooner versus Joseph Sill. There is little doubt it is the same man.

  6. London Gazette 13628 01/03/1794 pp. 195-196. This advertisement of impending sale provided a detailed description of the Simon estate, as well as the 1789 valuation, and expands the descriptions of the parties to the Chancery suits to: (a) John Broadley and Elizabeth his wife and others as plaintiffs and James Baillie, Hungerford Spooner and Sir Cecil Wray as defendants; and (b) Charles Spooner Esq. deceased as plaintiff and Joseph Sill also deceased as defendant. Further particulars could be obtained from Mr Luard Solicitors Warnford Court Throgmorton Street.

We are grateful to Matthew Lee for his assistance with compiling this entry.

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
1763 [EA] - → Owner
- 1789 [EY] → Owner
1789 [SY] - 1794 [EY] → Previous owner

Relationships (10)

Uncle → Nephew
Son → Father
First Cousins
Notes →
John Bourryau Spooner, then an infant, was left £5000 at 21 in the will of his cousin John Bourryau of...
Brother → Sister
Testator → Executor
Notes →
Bourryau also left Sill an annuity of £400...
Brother → Sister
Notes →
Mary Ramsay Karr was an annuitant under the will of her brother John...
Brother → Sister
Brother → Sister
Grantor → Annuitant
Business partners
Notes →
The men - who were brothers-in-law - had been partners with Robert Turner, another brother-in-law of John Bourryau according to his will. ...

Addresses (1)

Blyborough Hall, Blyborough, Kirton Lindsey, Lincolnshire, East Midlands, England