James Watson late of Jamaica

???? - 1763


Slave-owner in Jamaica, but dying in London c. 1763. He was probably the lessee mentioned in the will of John Gregory for what LBS believes was the Crawle estate in St Thomas-in-the-Vale.

  1. Will of James Watson [late of the island of Jamaica but now] of Leicester Square Middlesex proved 08/11/1763. In the will he left £1000 each to his brothers Andrew Watson surgeon of Kelso and George Watson of Jamaica, and an annuity of £100 p.a. to his sisters Mrs Gordon wife of Capt. Alexander Gordon and Margaret Watson. He felt Ann Phillips daughter of Robert Phillips of Jamaica an annuity of £100 p.a. until he marriage and then £1000. He felt £200 to a 'mullato boy' William Watson apprentice to George Sparks carpenter in Jamaica. He manumitted a 'negro woman slave' Eleanirah [Wanirah?] and left her £10 p.a. He left the rest of his estate in trust for his brother John Watson of Overmains in the county of Berwick.

  2. John Watson of Overmains was shown as the father of George Watson (1767-1837), the first President of the Royal Scottish Academy, and grandfather of John Watson-Gordon (1788-1864), the artist: both men have entries in the ODNB as 'portrait painters.' John Watson of Overmains was also however given by the History of Parliament as the grandfather of George Watson Taylor (q.v.) (?1770-1841), who was the son of George Watson of Sauls Island Jamaica. There thus appear to have been at least two generations of 'John Watson of Overmains', with the elder John being the father of James Watson, George of Jamaica, Andrew and John.

  3. James Watson was listed in the Jamaican Quit Rent books for 1754 as the owner of 847 acres of land in St Thomas-in-the-Vale. This was likely to be Tomshall or Tomhall, which appears in the Accounts Produce 1760-1762.


  1. PROB 11/893/165

  2. Thomson, Duncan. "Watson, George (1767–1837), portrait painter." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 5 Apr. 2018. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-28836; Melville, Jennifer. "Gordon, Sir John Watson- (1788–1864), painter of historical subjects and portraits." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 5 Apr. 2018. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-11068.

  3. "A List of landholders in the Island of Jamaica together with the number of acres each person possessed taken from the quit rent books in the year 1754", TNA CO 142/31 transcribed at http://www.jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Samples2/1754lead.htm

Further Information


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
1760 [EA] - 1762 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (1)

Uncle → Nephew
Notes →
Inferred by...

Addresses (1)

Leicester Square, London, Middlesex, London, England