William Taylor

No Dates


Biography

Probably the man who was an apparently London-based partner of Hibbert, Taylors and Simpson until 1814, and certainly then associated 1816-1827 with Simpsons & Co. of Jamaica. William Taylor gave evidence to the Select Committee on the Extinction of Slavery, 6, 9, 11 and 12 June 1832.

His evidence was framed by the SC’s concern with establishing whether, in the event of emancipation, the enslaved ‘would be industrious and disposed to acquire property by labour’. There is much detail about conditions on the estates Taylor worked on (and in the parishes of St Andrew, Clarendon and Vere), the attitudes of the enslaved to labour and to property and other issues.

Taylor was resident in Jamaica for 13 years. He went there in 1816, left in 1823, returned in 1824, left again in 1825 and returned again in 1826. From 1816 to 1827 he was engaged in commercial pursuits in Kingston (in the house of Simpsons & Co.: q. 261, p. 30). In 1828 he was unoccupied but from February 1829 until May 1831 he was engaged in the management of 3 estates: one each in St Andrew’s (where he was resident), Clarendon and Vere. (The estates were 30-40 miles apart from each other.) These were all owned by Mr [James Beckford] Wildman of Chillam Castle. When he first started the number of enslaved was about 700 and they were divided equally between the 3. But within a few months he removed 100 from St Andrew’s so that there were about 250 in Vere, 250 in Clarendon and 140 in St Andrew’s. [I.e. a total of about 640.] They were all sugar estates though the St Andrew’s one was being converted into a pen on which cattle were being reared.

Taylor's uncle, Mr Cunningham, was also an Attorney in Trelawney. And all of Taylor's 'relations and connexions' were West Indians; 'all my friends and intimate associates are West Indians, Jamaica people'.


Sources

Parliamentary Papers 1831-32 (721). Report from Select Committee on the Extinction of Slavery, qq. 1-10, p. 7. For the whole of Taylor's evidence see pp. 7-64. For reference to his uncle, see qq. 370-75, pp. 36-7; and for his relations and friends: qq. 639-40, p. 55.


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
1829 [SY] - 1831 [EY] → Attorney
1829 [SY] - 1831 [EY] → Attorney

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Name Partner
Hibbert, Taylors and Simpson
West India merchant  
 
notes →
Inferred to have been the partner of the same name apparently based in London in...
Partner?
Simpson, Taylor & Co.
West India merchant