James Sproull

???? - 1840

Claimant or beneficiary


Fourth son of Andrew Sproule/Sproull of Tullymoan and his wife Martha nee Sproule/Sproull of Coolnacruniagh. Born about 1776 in Tullymoan. Moved to Jamaica in 1801 on the invitation of his cousin Andrew Sproull of Arnotto Bay (who died while James was en route). Of County Tyrone when he made his will in 1840.

Owner of Rosemount estate in Plantain Garden Division, St Thomas-in-the-East, from at least 1822 (probably from at least 1814 but the name of the estate is not given until the almanac of 1823). Rosemount is not named in the compensation records but is very likely to be claim nos. 238, 239, 241 and possibly 258 in St Thomas-in-the-East, totalling 54 enslaved people. Charlotte Tayler/Taylor (see below) was awarded compensation for claim nos. 240 and 242, totalling 35 enslaved people.

Also listed as owner of Spring Bank plantation in St Thomas-in-the-East in the compensation records, with 50 enslaved people.

Awarded compensation for Resource, Gibraltar and Charlemont estates as executor of James Betty, and for Springfield estate as executor of Lewis Cruickshank.

Sproull had 7 children with Charlotte Taylor, a 'quadroon' daughter of Hon. Simon Taylor (1739-1813). The baptisms of 5 of these children have been found in St Thomas-in-the-East: Margaret Madden (1814), William Taylor (1816), Matilda Ann (1820), Hellen or Ellen Madden (1822) and Robert Samuel (1826). Charlotte Sproull (described as James Sproull's wife in his will of 1840) and their children continued to live at Melmount, Co. Tyrone, after their father's death.


Slave register entries for Spring Bank and Rosemount. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

For more about James Sproull and his family see the blog of Kate Tammemagi, 'Sproule Genealogy', http://sproulegenealogy.blogspot.ie/2014/03/the-beginning-of-big-story.html and 8 further episodes [accessed 27/11/2015].

Further Information

[With Charlotte Tayler] Margaret Madden, William Taylor, Matilda Ann, Ellen Madden, Robert Samuel, Jane Nugent, Sarah Charlotte

PROB 11/1938/182 - precis.

James Sproule of Mellmount in the parish of Urney, County of Tyrone, Ireland.

To my brother Andrew £50 sterling, or in case of his death, to his wife Rebecca. If he or his son James are not able to pay their bond and acceptance to me conveniently I direct that as steps will be taken against them for payment of the same.

To my late brother William's wife Mary Sproule and my niece Matilda Gwynne £50 sterling. In case of Matilda's death then to her son James.

To my reputed daughter Eleanor Sproule £300, or £15 p/a in the meantime as interest. Should she wish to remain with the family to get her board gratis and £5 p/a for nothing in lieu of interest. Should my estate turn out well she is to get something more as my executors may decide.

To my reputed daughter Jane Sproule of Bath, Jamaica, the remaining part of my freehold of land in Jamaica called Rose Mount now partly occupied by my late negroes for her sole use and that of her son James Sproule Wilson and his heirs. In default this estate to be sold for my wife and children.

To my beloved wife Charlotte and my children by her (Margaret Madden, William Taylor, Matilda Ann, Ellen Madden, Robert Samuel, Jane Nugent and Sarah Charlotte) I leave my property named Mellmount with the house rented from Col. Bernard for their support and education with the residue of my estate share and share alike.

Children to be educated at a moderate rate at the expense of my estate. Robert Samuel may be brought up to some profession as his abilities may suit or I would prefer his going out to India in the Honorable East India Service, if it can be accomplished the expense of fitting out and passage to be deducted out his his share. William Taylor's education is completed and in employment he will require nothing for his support but when division of my estate takes place he will come in for his share. My daughter Margaret Madden got about £500 on her marriage for fitting her out for her India passage which is to be deducted of her share (this includes £300 which her husband has past his Bond for); lately her husband has got near to £400 for fitting her out again for India passage, which is to be repaid to my estate.

With regards to my Jamaican property say Spring Bank Plantation with the stock thereon I wish to be disposed of as soon as convenient, the proceeds with all monies due me in Jamaica after paying my legacies to be placed in some sure way either a landed property or otherwise, the interest to pay for the maintenance and education of my wife and her children. The money placed in the three per cent consols and that in the hands of James Johnston Esquire (say £2000 sterling) with all other monies due me are also to pay for their maintenance and education. Should this not be sufficient my wife and executors may use their discretion to take a little bit from the principal.

The money now in the hands of Mr William Gwynne on a speculation of Corran [presumably Curran] Linen (the profits on halves) to be put out on interest in a sure way.

I do not wish a division of my estate to take place until the youngest of my children attains the age of 21 years, and then if their mother and my executors think it advisible it may be postponed until they think propert. But if any of them should marry to the satisfaction of their mother and my executors I authorise them to use their own discretion in giving part of their fortune or what money may be convenient. Should any die without issue then his or her shares will fall into the surviving ones share.

With regard to my gold cup I wish it to remain at Mellmount as long as any of my family remains there. My gold watch to my wife during her lifetime and afterwards to any of her children by me as she may think proper.

Executors to be Thomas Sproule of Bridge Hill, Moses Sproule of Incheny and William Gwynne of Strabane Esquires with my wife Charlotte. These people to be guardians of my children.

Signed 02/04/1840.

Proved at London 22/12/1840 by Charlotte Sproule.

Associated Claims (9)

£1,748 3s 0d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£443 16s 4d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£1,647 14s 11d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£1,028 10s 8d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£305 5s 1d
£58 18s 4d
£155 13s 11d
£421 8s 4d
£884 14s 6.25d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)

Associated Estates (12)

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
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Executor
1832 [EA] - → Guardian
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Attorney
1823 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Executor
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Executor
1817 [EA] - 1840 [EY] → Owner
1832 [EA] - → Executor
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner

James Sproull was awarded the compensation payments for the enslaved people on Spring Bank as owner.

1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Executor
1832 [EA] - → Executor

Relationships (4)

Executor → Testator
Executor → Testator
Executor → Testator
Extra-marital relationships

Addresses (1)

Melmount, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Ireland