Henry Davidson senior

1771 - 1827


London merchant, leaving £500,000 in personalty in 1827 (much of which was reportedly offset by his indebtedness at death). Son of Duncan Davidson (1733-1799) MP and merchant, and father of Henry, John, William and Duncan (each of whom q.v.).

  1. Will of Henry Davidson of Tulloch in North Britain and of Cavendish Square at present residing in Hampstead proved 26/02/1827. He left an annuity of £3000 p.a. to his wife Elizabeth Caroline, as well as his house at Rosslyn for life with consent to spend up to £10,000 from Davidson's overall property on improvements, and power of disposition over £20,000 on her own death, to be taken from his funds in his mercantile house. Under his will he left among other legacies the Highbury estate in Berbice to his son Henry; Mount Gay estate in Grenada to his son Duncan; Providence and Windsor Castle estates and Graylsfield Pen in St Thomas-in-the-East in Jamaica to his son John; and the L'Esperance estate in Surinam (for which he had entered a sale contract) and his interests in the Coley estate in Jamaica to his son William, in each case including the people attached to the respective estates. He also left £30,000 in money to each of his sons. He left annuities of £500 p.a. to his daughters Lucy (wife of Robert William Dallas q.v.) and Caroline (wife of Charles Baron), and left £30,000 in trust for his daughter Sarah Justina Davidson. He willed that his capital remain in the mercantile partnership until 1833 (its scheduled expiration) and then be divided between his sons active in the business, i.e. Henry and William.


W.D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical directory of British wealth-holders Vol. 1 1809-1839 (2009) p. 262, reference 1827/15.

  1. PROB 11/1722/223. He is indexed simply as 'of Hampstead'.

Further Information

Elizabeth Caroline Deffell
Henry; William; Duncan; John; Lucy; Caroline
Wealth at death
West India merchant and plantation owner

Associated Estates (11)

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 [EA] - → Other
1816 [SY] - 1827 [EY] → Mortgage Holder
1810 [EA] - 1827 [EY] → Joint owner
1818 [EA] - 1819 [LA] → Joint owner
- 1827 [EY] → Joint owner

Henry Davidson senior left his share of the Highbury estate to his son Henry under his will proved 23/05/1827. The Slave Registers appear not to distinguish between the two men.

Judgement creditor

Henry Davidson's executors counterclaimed in the 1830s on this estate for Henry Davidson as judgment creditor

1817 [EA] - 1827 [EY] → Mortgagee-in-Possession
1809 [EA] - → Joint owner

NB it has yet to be confirmed that the estate purchased by John Pearce and Henry Davidson in 1809 was the same as the estate owned by Edward Jackson (d. 1833) and Charles Kirby in the Slave Registers and the compensation records.

1829 [EA] - → Previous owner
1820 [EA] - 1821 [LA] → Not known
1799 [EA] - → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Senior Partner
Davidsons Barkly & Co.
West India merchant  
Bank of England

Physical (1)

Memorial to Henry Davidson [Built] 
description →
Marble monument by John Ternouth in All Saints Church, Marketplace Kingston-upon-Thames, including an urn inscribed for his wife. His own inscription reads: "Hic jacet in expectatione diei supremi...
notes →
Transcription by Jacqueline...

Relationships (8)

Business partners
Business partners
Notes →
Hugh Barkly was also co-executor of the will of Henry Davidson...
Father → Son
Father → Son
Father → Son
Father → Son
Son → Father
Business partners

Addresses (3)

10 Cavendish Square, London, Middlesex, London, England
Rosslyn House, Hampstead, London, Middlesex, London, England
Tulloch Castle, Dingwall, Ross & Cromarty, Highlands & Islands, Scotland