Lady Jane Davy formerly Apreece (née Kerr)

1780 - 1855


Daughter and heir with her mother of Charles Kerr of Antigua. She married firstly Shuckburgh Ashby Apreece and then in 1813 Sir Humphry Davy. She has an ODNB entry as 'society figure', which says of her: 'Her wealth enabled Davy to retire from routine work (in 1813 he resigned his Royal Institution professorship) and devote himself, as he hoped, to chemical researches.' Sh left £180,000 on her death in 1855.

  1. 'She was already wealthy when she married Humphry Davy in 1812- her wealth allowed him to become a fulltime experimenter. She presumably inherited her wealth from her father. She was a noted Society figure, distantly related to Sir Walter Scott, who frequently travelled abroad throughout Europe, and was highly intelligent and well-informed.'

  2. Under the will of Charles Kerr merchant of island of Antigua [made in 1789 with a codicil of 1795] proved 30/06/1796, Kerr left his property including enslaved people ('negroes or slaves') to his wife Jane [nee Tweedie] and their only child Jane in equal halves, subject to two annuities of £20 p.a. each to two of his female relatives.


Sophie Forgan, ‘Davy , Jane, Lady Davy (1780–1855)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008 [, accessed 31 July 2017], which gives her father as 'of Kelso and sometime merchant of Antigua.'

  1. W.D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? Vol. II. [MS] 1855/26.

  2. PROB 11/1276/320. One of his executors was Walter Scott.

Further Information

Maiden Name
(1) Shuckburgh Ashby Apreece (2) Sir Humphry Davy
Wealth at death
Oxford DNB Entry

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Portrait of Humphry Davy by Thomas Lawrence, commissioned by Lady Davy c. 1821, held by the Royal... 
notes →

Relationships (1)

Step-daughter → Step-father
Notes →
Robert Farquhar married Jane nee Tweedie, the mother of Jane...