John Orr

???? - 1803


Son of William Orr of Barrowfield (d. 1755), and brother of Matthew Orr and Thomas Orr (each of whom q.v.). The Tobago investments of the brothers appear to have been an effort to restore the family fortunes after collapse of their Glasgow mercantile concerns in the mid-1750s.

  1. John Orr, town clerk and commissary of Glasgow, granted his wife Marion an annuity in 1792 of £50 p.a. and in 1795 he disposed of his property, notably the estates of Kings Bay and Brotherfield in the West Indies, in equal parts to his three sisters Miss M[artha] Orr, Mrs [Janet] Kennedy and Esther Orr and his natural son Thomas Orr. By a codicil he enlarged the share of Thomas Orr to one half in consideration for the transfer of Thomas Orr of slaves for his benefit and that of the testator's sisters. John Orr died in 1803 and his widow (who became Mrs John Lang through her second marriage) brought an action against Orr's sisters for arrears of the annuity. Orr's Scottish estate was not sufficient to cover his debts, while Kings Bay was mortgaged to English mortgagees [identified as Coll Turner]. In 1810 the Orr sisters conveyed their moiety of the Kings Bay estate, the Brotherfield estate and the lands formerly known as the Sandy Bay and Ayr estates to Coll Turner in exchange for annuities of £100 each.

  2. The affairs of John and Matthew Orr coal-masters having become embarrassed, their trustees advertised for sale land at Stobcross in 1755 and of dues on the estates in 1776.

  3. Dobson shows 'John Orr, a merchant in Barbados, co-owner of the ship Hope of Greenock, 1792' [NAS.CE60.11.3/55].


  1. The Scottish Jurist (1831) 12/11/1830-09/07/1831 Vol. III pp. 54-55 1st December 1830 No. 59 'John Lang pursuer v Miss M. Orr and Mrs Kennedy defenders.'

  2. Senex, Glasgow, past and present, illustrated in Dean of Guild court reports.. (Glasgow: David Robertsonn & Co., 1884) Vol. III, pp. 18-19.

  3. David Dobson, Barbados and Scotland links, 1627-1877 p.110.

Further Information


Associated Estates (2)

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
- 1795 [EY] → Owner
- 1788 [EY] → Joint owner

This is based on a complex description in the will of George Oswald of an interest he held in a mortgage that he said originated in the sale by John Orr of the estate and half the enslaved people to John Baird of Glasgow in 1788.

Relationships (3)

Father → Natural Son

Addresses (1)

Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Central Scotland, Scotland