John Lamont

1st Feb 1782 - 21st Nov 1850

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

Awarded the compensation for the River and Cedar Grove estates and for a group of slaves on La Grenade, all in Trinidad, and almost certainly the same man as the 'John Lamot' awarded compensation with George Reid (q.v.) for Trinidad Nos. 1914 and 1915.

  1. John Lamont, born 01/02/1782 and baptised 08/02/1782 in Inverchaolain, Argyllshire, natural son of Mr James Lamong of Knockdow and Isabell Clerk, daughter to Duncan Clerk in Gortainanwaig[?]. Died unmarried in Trinidad 21/11/1850 and buried next to his half-brother Boyden Lamont at Canaan estate.

  2. Lamont was a member of member of the Committee of Management of the Presbyterian Church in Port of Spain in 1836. He gave evidence to the Trinidad Enquiry 1824/5: he had he said been in Trinidad 22 years 'I am a sugar planter' [p. 44], with two estates of his own, '3 more under my superintendence as attorney'. Served 'first as overseer, then as manager, and now a proprietor.' He left his fortune to his nephew [Sir] James Lamont, in the ODNB as 'Arctic yachtsman.' John Lamont bought the Benmore estate near Dunoon, Argyll and built the House on it for his nephew in 1849. The ODNB article also gives James Lamont's mother as Jane Chrystie, daughter of Alexander Chrystie of Balchrystie, Fife - so John Lamont's sister-in-law was the sister of the Jamaican merchant and slave-owner William Chrystie (q.v.).

  3. 'He had arrived in Trinidad at the age of 20 about 1801-2, and after serving an apprenticeship as an overseer and manager set up as a planter on his own account. In 1809 he bought, along with a friend, the sugar estate of Cedar Grove in the quarter of South Naparima and the south-west of the island, which extended over 360 acres and had on it over 100 slaves. For a while he seems to have fallen out of touch with home, but he was not forgotten. In the winter of 1816 he received from Alexander (his older brother) a "truly fraternal letter" to which he replied as follows. "I often felt as if I were alone in the world - a constant degree of melancholy has been my constant attendant from youth upwards; but the frank generous manner in which so many estimable brothers correspond with me, has given me a new and much more pleasing turn to my feelings ... I am charmed with your description of the happy party assembled at Kirkmichael. How delighted I should be to make one of the number. Next year he was joined by his half-brother Boyden, who came out to learn the business and remained all his life. John bought for him the 320 acres of the adjoining Canaan with 70 slaves, and for himself the lave [= remainder] of Cedar Grove in 1819 for £28,750, or £160 per acre. On his return in 1829 he added to the Cedar Grove estate 120 acres known as La Grenade at a cost of £13,000. On the abolition of slavery in 1836 he was also part-proprietor of St Helena, which he took over altogether in 1844 at a total cost of £11,000 or £12,000, while he received £9000 of compensation from the government in respect of 170 slaves. Boyden, who unfortunately died in 1837, got £3700 for 78 and Canaan passed by his will to John, who gave an interest in it to his brothers James and Norman. John died in Diego Martin in the winter of 1850. In his estate of £148,000 his plantations were valued at £31,000 (about a third of their cost).'

Sources

Trinidad nos. 1075A, 1865 and 1869

  1. GROS OPR Births 514 10 113 Inverchaolain; Sir Norman Lamont, 'Inventory of Lamont Papers' (Edinburgh, 1914) p. 440.

  2. Carmichael, p. 201; ODNB A.G. E. Jones, 'Lamont, Sir James, first baronet (1828-1913), Arctic yachtsman.' The ODNB shows James Lamont resigning from the army in 1849, 'when his uncle left him a fortune. He then gave his time to managing his Scottish and West indian estates...' Unsourced genealogical material on Ancestry.com shows John Lamont dying in 1850. There is an account of the Lamont family of Knockdow, including John, Boyden or Boydon and Sir James Lamont, at http://clark-debisschop.co.uk/tng/histories/Clan%20Lamont%20gathering%202008.pdf [accessed 02/07/2014].

  3. Hector McKechnie, The Lamont Clan 1235-1935 (Clan Lamont Society, 1938) ch. XX 'The McGorrie Lamonts of Knockdow' pp. 436-440.

We are grateful to Peter Cole, Diana Cook and David Goodall for their assistance in compiling this entry.


Further Information

Spouse
died unmarried
Occupation
Plantation owner

Associated Claims (3)

£7,055 15S 3D
Awardee
£2,233 13S 5D
Awardee
£6,664 18S 8D
Awardee

Associated Estates (6)

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
1828 [EA] - → Owner
1817 [EA] - → Joint owner
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1828 [EA] - 1828 [LA] → Attorney
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1828 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Benmore House [Built] 

Relationships (2)

Other relatives
Notes →
John's brother Lt. Col. Alexander Lamont was married to Jane Chrystie, the sister of William...
Half-brothers

Addresses (2)

Inverchaolain, Argyllshire, Argyll & Bute, Scotland
Benmore House, nr Dunoon, Argyll, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Notes →

Bought but never occupied by John Lamont