George French

1776 - 28th Nov 1850

Claimant or beneficiary


George French of Risden House, Hawkhurst, Kent, awarded the compensation for the enslaved people on Queenhithe and Tobolski estates in St Ann.

  1. Queenhithe and Tobolski estates were registered to George Turner from 1811 to 1831 and to George French from 1832 to 1845. George French inherited the Jamaica estates (as well as Risden House and all his other land in Kent and Sussex) under the will of George Turner of Hawkhurst, whose will was proved 03/06/1828. In the will George Turner describes George French as 'George French younger of Hurst Green in the parish of Sandhurst in the County of Sussex shopkeeper.' There is no explanation of his choice of heir or of George Turner's his own background, although it refers to property he lived when in London: the will is also (unusually for a man of this much property in that period) signed by mark. George Turner left £100 to Hamilton Brown of St Ann [Jamaica] if he were still acting as Turner's attorney at the time of Turner's death. There is a memorial to George Turner in St Laurence (or St Lawrence) Church, Hawkhurst which describes him as Risden House and of Rooksby Park Jamaica, dying aged 73 in 1828. George Turner French (1861-1862) must have been named after this previous owner and family benefactor (see 7., below).

  2. In his own will, George French of Risden House, Hawkhurst, left numerous small legacies including to his brothers John Croft and William Croft. The sole executor and main beneficiary was his only child George French junior. Mention of "My three several Estates situate in the Parish of Saint Anne in the Island of Jamaica comprising the Sugar stocks called Queenhithe the Pasture to Wait called Rooksby Park, and the Pen or Pasture Lands called Tobolskie..." The will was proved by George French junior, 17/12/1850.

  3. "[Death] Nov. 28th [1850], suddenly, at his residence, Risden, in the parish of Hawkhurst, Kent, George French, Esq., in his 74th year." George French's sarcophagus is in the churchyard at St Laurence Hawkhurst, and describes him as of Risden House and Queenhithe, St Anns, Jamaica.

  4. In 1841, George French, age 62, of independent means, born in county, was living at Risden House in Hawkhurst, Kent, with 2 male servants and 3 female servants.

  5. George French junior has not been found in the 1851 census but in 1861, 1871 and 1891 he was living at Risden House, born in Salehurst, Sussex c. 1821, variously described as "J.P. Farmer 350 acres 12 men + 4 boys" (1861), "Farmer, Magistrate, Landr 250 acres, 8 men, 1 boy" (1871), "Magistrate, occupier of own Land" (1891). The death of George French was registered Q3 age 79 in Cranbrook, Kent. In his will written in 1893 and proved in 1899, George French left annuities to his wife Anna and daughters Annie Eliza and Sarah Blanche, and left all his property to his daughters as tenants-in-common, "my Mansion House known as Risden and all the real and copyhold estate in England Jamaica or elsewhere..." George junior left £129,571 7s 10d for probate in 1899; Sarah Blanche French left £69,000 in 1920 and Annie Eliza French left £160,000 in 1924.

  6. George French was listed as an absentee owner of Queenhithe and Tobolski (attorney U.T. Todd) from 1881-1885. George French was again listed as absentee owner of Queenhithe and Tobolski in 1910 (occupier R.L. Young).

  7. George French junior had a son, called George Turner French, who was born 30/12/1860 and died 20/04/1862 "aged sixteen months and twenty days."


  1. Jamaica Almanacs, 1811-1845.

  2. PROB 11/2123/325; PROB 11/1742/40.

  3. The Essex Standard, and General Advertiser for the Eastern Counties, Issue 1042, 06/12/1850.

  4. 1841 census online.

  5. 1861, 1871 and 1891 censuses online. Transcript of the will of George French junior provided by Keith Atkinson. National Probate Calendar 1899; ibid 1920; ibid 1924.

  6. Jamaica Handbooks, 1881-1885, 1910.

  7. Morning Post 03/01/1861 p. 8 and Morning Post 24/05/1862 p. 7.

We are grateful to Keith and Nancy Atkinson for their assistance in compiling this entry.

Further Information

George (1821-1899)
A will but no further details

Associated Claims (2)

£5,420 5s 0d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£2,602 18s 11d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (3)

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
1832 [EA] - → Buyer
1828 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1828 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (1)

Legatee → Testator

Addresses (1)

Risden House, Hawkhurst, Kent, South-east England, England