Nicholas Gyles

No Dates

Claimant or beneficiary


Slave-owner in Jamaica, reportedly unreconciled to Apprenticeship. Possibly the brother of John Gyles (d. 1827), pioneer of the Australian sugar industry who had lived on his [unnamed] brother's sugar plantation in Jamaica on leaving school and later acted as an overseer (by inference between c. 1795-1815).

  1. 'Nicholas Gyles the proprietor of Recess plantation, an individual prominent in the recent contest, which terminated in the dismission of Dr Palmer from the magistracy.' Sturge and Harvey cited Nicholas Gyles's letter to a friend in London which states that 'without coercion, no good can be done after the termination of the apprenticeship'. Apprentices could never be improved or changed 'so long as they are black'. Mentions 'the coffin', an imprisonment room and that 'the proprietor said it had not been used since 1834.'

  2. Benjamin M'Mahon said of Nicholas Gyles when the latter was overseer on Halifax estate: 'His disposition was cruel in the extreme. No man ever made larger crops of sugar: but, to effect this, he nearly destroyed the whole of the estate labourers by his tyrannical and oppressive conduct.'


Niel Gunson, 'Gyles, John (?–1827)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 2 July 2018.

  1. Sturge & Harvey pp. 327-328.

  2. Benjamin M'Mahon Jamaica Plantership (London, 1839) pp. 201-2.

Associated Claims (2)

£327 19s 7d
£2,242 11s 7d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (7)

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
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Guardian
1820 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1839 [EA] - → Not known
1821 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1815 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - → Lessee