William Rowe of Great Torrington

???? - 1785


Almost certainly the eldest son and heir of James Rowe of Great Torrington (q.v.), dying very shortly after his father in November 1785 (the only hesitation in the identification is that in the will of William Rowe of Great Torrington, he named three of his brothers as James, Charles and Peter: while James Rowe of Great Torrington is known to have had sons named Charles and James - as well as the eldest son William, and another son John - no record has yet been found for James Rowe of Great Torrington of a son named Peter).

William Rowe studied at Oxford before returning to Jamaica, where he is first noted in the Jamaica Almanac in 1776 and 1779 as one of the “Masters Extraordinary” of the court in St Elizabeth parish and as one of the Justices of the Cornwall Assize and as a Justice of St Elizabeth parish. He appears as one of the judges or magistrates for St Elizabeth in 1782 and as one of the magistrates for that parish again in 1784. Named in a family settlement of 1780 as heir apparent to his father and entitled to inherit his Jamaican properties after paying his father £500 and each of his siblings £50. His father bequeathed him the Jamaican estates and the manor at Alverdiscott.

  1. Will of William Rowe of Great Torrington proved 11/11/1785. In the will he left his property in Great Britain and Jamaica in trust (his trustees included his youngest brother Charles, Bryan Edwards, Francis George Smyth and John Vanheulen) for the benefit of his two sons, then minors, James and William Rowe. On James' majority, his trustees were to transfer the property to him subject to £4000 charged on it for the benefit of William. He left 'my now wife Catherine' an annuity of £400 p.a. and his brothers James and Peter £2000 each.


Much of this material comes from the extensive research carried out by Peter Murray and generously shared with the project. It offers a detailed family history based upon wide ranging archival research.

  1. PROB 11/1135/249.

We are grateful to Peter Murray for his assistance in compiling this entry.

Further Information

James; William
A will but no further details

Associated Estates (1)

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
1785 [EA] - 1790 [LA] → Previous owner

Relationships (6)

Father → Son
Notes →
The Hon. William Rowe has been inferred to be the William Rowe the younger son (and a minor) in the will of William Rowe of Great Torrington proved in 1785. ...
Father → Son
Son → Father
Grandfather → Grandson

Addresses (1)

Great Torrington, Devon, South-west England, England
Notes →

Although given as of Great Torrington in his will, it is not clear that he died in England.