Edmund Fleming Akers

1757 - 16th Feb 1821


Biography

Edmund Fleming Akers, born in St Kitts in 1757, the son of plantation-owner Aretas Akers I (1734-1785) and Jean Douglas (?-1768), the niece of the Governor-General of the Leeward Islands). After his death, his estate was the subject the Chancery cases of Aldridge versus Forbes and Richardson versus Akers, one or both of which might have been administrative suits mandated in his will rather than contentious proceedings.

  1. Born in St Kitts to Aretas Akers I, himself the son of a St. Kitts-born planter. Aretas Akers brought his family to England in 1782 when St Kitts was captured by the French. Aretas Akers II and his brother Edmund Fleming Akers were trustees of their father Aretas Akers I and spent more than 20 years untangling their father's financial affairs so that his will could be executed. Edmund Fleming Akers gave a mortgage to his brother Aretas Akers II for 203 enslaved persons and 165 acres of land on Monkton's Land, St Vincent, 02/11/1790. In their claim for compensation for ownership of enslaved persons in Jambou Vale in 1835, the widow and son of Aretas Akers II claimed compensation under the will of Aretas Akers II as mortgagees and residuary legatees of Edmund Fleming Akers.

  2. Bought Monkton's Land, a 165 acre estate in St Vincent, and 179 enslaved persons, from James Muir of Glasgow, 18/12/1804. This estate does not appear in the Slave Registers, where Edmund Fleming Akers is shown as the owner of Jambou Vale, Mariaqua, Coubaimarou and Layou in the 1817 Register. The enslaved people on Layou in 1817 are shown as moved to Jambou Vale by 1827.

  3. Bought Berrymead Priory in Acton, Middlesex, c. 1807. The house had been rebuilt incorporating an original older house c. 1802-1804.

  4. Married Frances Rawlins, the daughter of James Rawlins, a planter in St Kitts. They had at least one child, Elizabeth. Frances died 31/12/1814. Remarried, to Catherine Dewhurst, at Marylebone, London, 24/02/1816, when she was still a minor. They had at least one child, Aretas Seaton, born 09/10/1818 and baptised in Marylebone, 09/11/1818, but dying in 1822.

  5. Edmund Fleming Akers died in Brussels, 16/02/1821.

  6. Administration of the will of Edmund Fleming Akers of [Berrymead Priory, Acton and] Brussels [made in 1818] granted 02/06/1821. He left: an annuity of £1200 p.a. to his wife Catherine reducing to £600 p.a. if she remarried, over and above the [unspecified] provisions of their marriage settlement of 1816; £500 p.a. to his daughter Elizabeth George [sic] Hartman; £50 p.a to his housekeeper Mrs Cornelia Lefevre; and £150 p.a. to his brother John Houstoun Akers, all secured on his real and personal estate in England an the West Indies except Berrymead Priory (which he ordered to be sold). He ordered the sale of his books which he said he expected to raise more than £10,000. His trustees were Richard Walter Forbes of Rolvenden Kent and Isaac Dupuy of Welbeck Street, whom he instructed to invest his personalty in the funds for his 'present only son' Aretas Seaton Akers, and whom he authorised to manage his estates and enslaved people in the West Indies, including the purchase of new enslaved people. He provided for portions of £5000 to any younger children. He instructed his trustees to open a suit in Chancery to administer the will. In a complex codicil of 1819 that LBS has not fully analysed, he varied the terms of the trusts on his West India estates, apparently to include his wife and daughter(s). His widow Catherine was granted administration for a second time in 1828.

  7. Pursuant to the Chancery case of Aldridge versus Forbes, two estates previously owned by Edmund Fleming Akers were sold at auction in London, 30/05/1823. The estates were Olivees in St Kitts, with 165 acres and 123 enslaved persons, and Coubaimarou otherwise Stubbs in St Vincent, with 184 acres and 62 enslaved persons.


Sources

T71/892 St Vincent claim nos. 463 (Jambou Vale) and 494 (Marriaqua); St Kitts claim no. 753 (Mt Pleasant, White Gate).

  1. Akers Family Papers held at the Senate House Library, University of London, summary available at http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgi-bin/vcdf/detail?coll_id=7516&inst_id=14 [accessed 29/06/2012]. Bonhams auction of a list of 203 enslaved persons appended to a mortgage, available at http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16761/lot/83/ [accessed 29/06/2012].

  2. http://historical.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=611&lotNo=25637 [accessed 29/06/2012].

  3. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22548 [accessed 29/06/2012].

  4. Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919), Vol. 4, pp. 97-102. www.familysearch.org batch no. C03524-6; Ancestry.com, London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-2003 for Areta[s] Seaton Akers Westminster St Marylebone 1822 [database online].

  5. Oliver, op. cit., p. 101.

  6. PROB 11/1644/126.

  7. London Gazette, Issue 17886, 11/01/1823, p. 51.


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Spouse
(1) Frances Rawlins (2) Catherine Dewhurst or Dewhirst
Children
With (1) Elizabeth, With (2) Aretas Seaton (1818-)
Occupation
Merchant and planter

Associated Claims (3)

£4,337 19s 4d
Other association
£3,814 0s 9d
Beneficiary unsuccessful
£2,221 17s 0d
Other association

Associated Estates (8)

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
1817 [EA] - 1817 [LA] → Owner
1822 [EA] - 1822 [LA] → Previous owner
- 1821 [EY] → Owner
1825 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner
1817 [EA] - 1822 [LA] → Owner
- 1821 [EY] → Owner
1822 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner
1817 [EA] - 30/05/1823 [ED] → Owner

Listed start year is the first for which evidence has been found so far. Despite the fact that the estate was transferred from Akers to Mannings and Anderdon on 30/05/1823, Akers is still listed as owner in the 1825 St. Kitts Slave Register. The transfer is belatedly recorded in the 1828 St. Kitts Slave Register.


Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Berrymead Priory [Purchased] 
description →
Akers purchased Berrymead Priory in 1807 from the trustees of Thomas Clutton, according to the Victoria County History Middlesex Vol. 7 (1982) pp. 16-23 [<a...

Relationships (9)

Brothers
Uncle → Nephew
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Son → Father
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Notes →
Also shown as trustee under the will of Edmund Fleming...
Father → Daughter
Business partners
Deceased Husband → Widow
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (2)

Brussels, Belgium
Berrymead Priory, Acton, London, Middlesex, London, England