John Elmslie senior

1739 - 1822


  1. 'John Elmslie who is said to have come from Aberdeen, and who lived for years at 21 Berners Street, London and who owned land at Oldmeldrum, was at one time a merchant in the West Indies. He was left a valuable estate in Jamaica by his uncle John Gray, F.R.S., Lord Rector of Marischal College, Aberdeen 1764-69. John Elmslie, who married his cousin, Jane Wallace, at Dumfries, September 16, 1776, had twenty-one children, and he died at 21 Berners Street in 1824 [sic]. One of his daughters, Jane, married in March 8 1806, George Gordon of the Croughly family. His grandson, William Elmslie of Lloyd's, had a daughter who married in 1873 the late Dr Barnardo, the well-known philanthropist...I am indebted for this information to Mr Augustus Elmslie, London J.M.B.'.

  2. Will of John Elmslie of Berners Street proved 02/11/1822. He began the will by reciting his children (his five sons James, John, Adam Wallace, William and Henry Simpson, and his nine daughters, Jane the wife of George Gordon, Elizabeth Bridget the wife of John Wybergh Shaw, Agnes, Helen, Frances, Caroline, Louisa, Frances and Harriet), and the marriage settlements he had made: of £3000 on his death to Jane Gordon (1806); of £400 p.a. secured on the Grays Inn estate if James' wife Caroline Ann Foster survived James and a further lump sum of £8000 to be paid to trustees after the death of the survivor of the three of them [presumably to maintain the couple's children] (1810); of £2500 after his death to trustees under the marriage settlement of Elizabeth Bridget and John Wybergh Shaw, again secured on Grays Inn (1811). He confirmed those settlements but secured the £2500 for Elizabeth Bridget Shaw on Serge Island as well as Grays Inn. He left annuities of £200 p.a. in trust, similarly charged on the two estates, to his daughter Agnes; £100 p.a. to Frances; £140 p.a. to his reputed daughter Ann wife of James Fuller (each for life); £80 p.a. for seven years to John Gray Gerard; and £16 p.a.. to his children's nurse Elizabeth Keoul [sp?]. He left his estates in Jamaica (defined as Grays Inn with its penn [sic] Fairy Land, together 2100 acres; Serge Island with 660 acres and an adjoining tract called Alexandria of 461 acres; a parcel of land in St Thomas-in-the-East called Mt Tarbut and another tract of 406 acres there called White River, together with the 'negro and other slaves, live and dead stock') in trust for his five sons in equal shares as tenants in common. He added £2000 to his daughter Jane's marriage settlement, void if she had no children, and £2500 to the settlement of Elizabeth Bridget, apparently unconditionally. He left £30,000 in trust for his six daughters Helen, Frances, Caroline, Louisa, Frances and Harriet. In a codicil he left £1000 to his friend John Elmslie and £500 to his reputed daughter Ann Fuller, and made a series of minor monetary legacies to relatives and servants. He identified Dr John Gordon of Jamaica and Elmslie's uncle John Gray (whose tomb in Petersham Church he instructed his sons to maintain) as his 'benefactors', and asked to be buried in the family vault at Lewisham.


  1. Scottish Notes & Queries 2nd series Vol. VII July 1905 to June 1906 ed. John Bulloch (Aberdeen: the Rosemount Press, 1906): p. 100., London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 [database online] shows John Elmslie of Berners Street aged 83 buried at Lewisham St Mary August 31 1822.

  2. PROB 11/1663/75.

Further Information

Jane Wallace
21 including James, William, Henry Simpson, John jun.

Associated Estates (8)

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
1780 [EA] - 1783 [LA] → Joint owner
1785 [EA] - 1822 [LA] → Owner
1822 [EA] - 1836 [LA] → Previous owner
1785 [EA] - 1822 [EY] → Owner
1778 [EA] - 1783 [LA] → Joint owner
1780 [EA] - 1782 [LA] → Owner
1801 [SY] - → Trustee and Executor
1784 [EA] - 1822 [EY] → Owner

Relationships (7)

Father → Son
Father → Son
Father → Son
Father-in-law → Daughter-in-law
Father → Son
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Nephew → Uncle
Notes →
Elmslie was the chief beneficiary under his uncle's...

Addresses (1)

21 Berners Street, London, Middlesex, London, England