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Plantation slavery

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Caribbean plantations owned by North East Scots

Many North East families owned plantations in the Caribbean in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In some cases, the young men who went to the Caribbean had no land or money to their name when they left Scotland. If they did well in the Caribbean they bought one or more plantations there. When they had made enough money, they sold up their properties there and bought an estate in Scotland, where they retired to live as landed gentlemen.

A complete list of the Caribbean properties owned by North East Scots would be very long. The following includes some of the better known estates:

Dr William Bremner
Dominica – Dawn, Aberdeen

Dr James Clark (d. 1819) of Aberdeen
Dominica – Clark Hall, Mount Pleasant

Thomas Cumming of Inneshouse
Grenada – Kelty, Garden of Eden

Alexander Forbes (fl. 1740s) of Aberdeen
Jamaica – Aberdeen

Alexander Farquharson (d. c.1838) of Belnaglack
Jamaica – Job’s Hill

James Gardiner (d. 1825) of Banff
Jamaica – Swanswick

Dr Alexander Gordon (d. 1801) of Elgin
Tobago – Belmont

Charles Gordon (1749–1796) of Buthlaw & Cairness
Jamaica – Georgia

Sir Alexander Grant (1705–1772) of Dalvey
Jamaica – Albion, Berwick, Charlemont, Crawle, Dalvey, Eden, Epsom,
Rio Magno

Sir Archibald Grant (d. 1778) of Monymusk
Jamaica – Monymusk

Charles Irvine (c.1720–1794) of Aberdeen
Jamaica – Friendship

Dr James Laing (d. 1831) of Haddo & Auchleuchries
Dominica – Union, York Valley, Macoucherie

Dr Alexander Murchison of Elgin
Jamaica – Springfield

James Murray (died. c.1856) of Aberdeen
Jamaica – Lottery

John Shand (c.1758–1825) of The Burn, Fettercairn
Jamaica – Belmont, Kellitts, Mamee Gully, Clifton Pen

William Shand (1776–1845) of the Burn, Fettercairn
Jamaica – The Burn, Hopewell, St Toolie

A slave driver oversees the digging of a canefield in Antigua, 1823.
(© The British Library Board)