John Nicholl of Mount Wynne

???? - 1829


Resident slave-owner on St Vincent with an 'outside family' for whom he sought to provide in his will, including two children of colour in England at the time he made his will, which in an attached Memorandum gave details about the profitability of two estates in St Vincent towards the end of slavery.

  1. Will of John Nicholl of the island of St Vincent at this time residing on the Mount Wynne plantation in the said island proved 16/02/1830. Under the will he appointed his brother Richard Nicholl of Greenhill Grove in the county of Hertford, Richard Rees and John McFee planters and his adopted son Edward Nicholl a minor as trustees and [with his adopted daughters Anna Maria Nicholl and Elizabeth Jane Nicholl now Elizabeth Jane McFee] as his executors, and left them in trust such sums of money as would be enough manumit eight enslaved people: 'a mulatto woman named Sally Bigroe [?] Nicholl my housekeeper... aged thirty-eight years or thereabouts', daughter of the late Marianne and grand-daughter of Lydia the present midwife on the Mt Wynnne estate ('both of whom negroes and which family was never subject to any charge granted by the late Robert Wynne to the late Brebner Gordon as a security for the payment of the annuities granted to him'); and the following seven coloured children, the son and daughters of the said Sally Bigroe Nicholl: Edward Nicholl, Anna Maria Nicholl, Elizabeth Jane Nicholl, Mary Anne Nicholl, Betsey Charlotte Nicholl, Lydia Nicholl and Sophia Nicholl, two of whom are at present in England. He also left to his executors his share in the Mount Wynne and Spring estates 'purchased by me of my brother Richard Nicholl' 'subject nevertheless to no mortgage or debt of mine to my brother Richard Nicholl, he having been paid in full...', and having in his possession several thousand pounds from the net proceeds of 'my half or moiety' of the annual crop; and subject also to the annuities left under the will of Robert Wynne. According to John Nicholls' will, Richard Nicholl had the right to (re)purchase John Nicholl's shares in the two estates [he appears to have exercised this right but not to have paid the purchase price, so that the compensation was split between John Nicholl's trustees - including Richard Nicholl - and Richard Nicholl himself, reflecting the ownership of the two moieties or halves of each estate]. John Nicholl asked his trustees to employ his adopted son as manager of Mount Wynne for a salary of £50 p.a. and left annuities of £50 p.a. each to Sally Bigroe Nicholl and her six daughters; £150 p.a. to Edward Nicholl; of £30 p.a. each to John Nicholl a mulatto man on St Vincent and Richard Nicholl a mulatto man for some years absent at sea, and £20 p.a. each to the two children of James Nicholl deceased, another mulatto man; of £150 p.a. to my sister Mrs Elizabeth Coxe; and several further annuities totalling £95 p.a. He also left subject to his brother's consent 20 acres on the Mount Wynne estate to Sally Bigroe Nicholl, 'on which I have built a house' for her. He left her £1000, her daughters £6000 and Edward Nicholl £2000. He made his brother Richard Nicholl his residuary heir with contingent remainder to his nephews John Richard Nicholl and Harry Nicholl. 'And whereas I am exceedingly anxious for the future of my illegitimate children noticed in this my will being aware of the strong prejudice that exists against people of colour I therefore earnestly recommend my said illegitimate children to the rare protection and affection of my brother, his wife and family.'

  2. In a Memorandum of 23/06/1829 he said he had paid the £1000 legacy to Elizabeth Jane McFee, endorsed her husband John McFee as agent and attorney of both the estates and manager of one of them for a salary of £600-700 p.a., recorded further annuities of £50 p.a. to each of his children. He also set out a summary of the estimated values of his property: £17,500 for his half of Mount Wynne estate with 218 enslaved people, after the annuities on it [£400 p.a. to Mary Turner a lady of advanced age; £50 p.a. each to Richard Wynne a coloured man and to Miss Shephard; and £300 p.a. to John Nicholl himself - presumably these were the annuities under the will of Robert Wynne, referred to in the main body of John Nicholls' will]; and £12,500 for the Spring estate with 165 enslaved people 'generally a most fine and effective gang'. He calculated the annual revenue of Spring at £3600 [based on the 7 year average of 200 hogsheads at £18 each], less annual stores from England of £600 and other expenses of £400 p.a., to give 'net annual proceeds at the lowest calculation' of £2600 [of which his share was half]. For Mount Wynne, the expected annual revenue was £4000 (200 hogsheads at £20 each), less annuities of £800 p.a., less stores from England of £600 and other expenses for which a bill may be drawn of £250 p.a, giving 'nett proceeds' of £2350 p.a., of which his share was half. His total income therefore was £1300 + £1175 + £150 [from half the annuity], or £2625 p.a., against which he had left annuities [including the uplift of June 1829] of £1255 p.a. He estimated that he had almost £22,000 in England, £14,000 in the hands of his brother at 31/12/1827, £2300 in consols and two further years of income for 1828 and 1829 (£3000 and £2400), against which he had left legacies of £8000: his brother would therefore inherit some £13,800, which would then go to his widow and then after her death £1000 to each of Richard and his [Richard's] wife's children, leaving a residual amount he calculated as £5823 3s 7d between two of Richard Nicholls' sons (John Nicholls' nephews) J.R. Nicholl and Harry Nicholl.


  1. PROB 11/1767/81.

  2. ibid.

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
- 1830 [EY] → Joint owner
- 1830 [EY] → Joint owner

Relationships (3)

Uncle → Nephew
Legatee → Testator
Notes →
Richard Nicholl, John's brother, described Robert Wynne as his cousin in his will....