Henry Moreton Dyer

1775 - 16th May 1841

Claimant or beneficiary


Colonial judge, in London at the time of the compensation process, in which he was awarded the compensation for several estates on Antigua and one on St Kitts, all as receiver of Alexander Coates. Almost certainly the same man as the Henry Moreton Dyer who was awarded the compensation on his own account for five enslaved people in the Bahamas.

  1. Henry Moreton Dyer served as 'sole judge and Commissary' in the Court of Vice Admiralty Nassau Nov. 12 1805 and as a member of HM Council for Bahama Islands in 1816. However, London & County directory puts him in Bayswater in 1811. Boyle's Directory in 1835 shows him at Devonshire-pl house, New Road, Regent's Park.

  2. The Henry Moreton Dyer ridiculed in Punch in July 1841 after his dismissal from the commission of the peace 'for humanely endeavouring to obtain the release of Medhurst from confinement. Two or three thousand pounds, he thought, given to some public charity, might persuade the Home Secretary to remit the remainder of his sentence, and dispose the public to look upon the prisoner with an indulgent eye', was Henry Charles Moreton Dyer, the son of Henry Moreton Dyer of the compensation awards. A week later, Punch proposed Henry [Charles] Moreton Dyer as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland as 'able to assess the true value of every indiscretion, from simple murder to compound larceny', and his footman was nominated as Secretary for Ireland 'on the venerable adage of "like master like man"'. 

  3. Dyer was a trustee under 1823  marriage settlement of Sir William Charles Fahie, Vice Admiral of the Red, who had interests in Bermuda [will of Fahie proved 13/07/1829]. Alexander Coates for whom Dyer acted as Receiver was probably the Antiguan planter who had died in 1807. Coates' son, Robert Coates, was 'Romeo' or 'Diamond' Coates, the celebrated 'Amateur of Fashion'. It is not yet clear why Dyer had the role of Receiver of Alexander Coates.

  4. Henry Moreton Dyer's family had had a long association with slave-owning in the Leewards. His grandfather John and uncle Henry both served as Chief Justice on Montserrat in the 18th century. Henry Morton Willis Dyer, born 20/10/1775, was the son of Mark Dyer of Tortola (d. 15/10/1832) and Ann Arabella Morton of St Kitts. In 1833, Henry Moreton Dyer was awarded the administration of the will of Mark Dyer formerly of Alphington Devon but late of Kensington, having sworn he was the only natural son of Mark Dyer: the will itself was really a codicil, commuting a previous annuity of £60 p.a. to a woman named Hannah Brown to a lump sum of £500 and expressing regret that Mark Dyer could not provide for his niece Mary Dyer Underwood. William Atwick Hamer and Michael Greatheed Hamer (both of whom q.v.) were step-cousins of Henry Moreton Dyer, sons of his aunt by marriage Mary by another marriage.

  5. Presumably this was the same H.M. Dyer of Marlboro Street, London, who wrote to the Compensation Commissioners with regard to his friend Richard Lyne's claim for Elmes estate in Antigua.


T71/877 Antigua claim nos. 16 (Rigby Estate), 66 (Dark Valley), 92 (George Byam Estate), 125 (Creek Estate) and 401 (Rendezvous Bay); T71/879 St Kitts claim no. 658 (The Walk). 

PC1/3936 at TNA shows complaint of H.M. Dyer v Governor, Charles Cameron. 

  1. John Elihu Hall, The American Law Journal and miscellaneous repertory, Vol. 1, p. 53. The Colonial Journal Vol. 2 Issues 3-4 p. 367. London & County Directory 1811 Vol. 1 p. 609; Boyle's Directory 1835 p 368.

  2. Punch Vol. 1 July 24 1841. Ibid. Vol. 1 July 31 1841, 'Punch and Peel The New Cabinet'. 

  3. Nilanjana Banerji, K. D. Reynolds, ‘Coates, Robert [Romeo Coates] (1772–1848)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/5729, accessed 13/08/2012] and also John R. and Hunter H. Robinson, The life of Robert Coates (London, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1891).

  4. Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana Vol. 6 (1919), pp. 77-79 'Dyer of Montserrat'; will of Mark Dyer of Kensington proved 29/01/1833 PROB 11/1810/146.

  5. T71/1609 (unnumbered bundle): letter, dated 06/01/1838, from H.M. Dyer, Marlboro Street, stating that 'My excellent friend Mr Lyne of Emsworth who is now interested in Elmes' estate in Antigua, expresses to me in a recent letter his great anxiety to be allowed a relaxation of time for producing the Bond [?] of an annuity deed'. The letter goes on to request more time and asks if his hearing is approaching.

We are grateful for the help of Lesley Dolbear with this entry.

Further Information

Rebecca Phipps
Henry Charles

Associated Claims (8)

£1,241 12s 3d
Claimants in List E or Chancery cases (Receiver)
£278 1s 9d
Awardee (Receiver)
£22 4s 2d
Other association
£587 9s 10d
Awardee (Receiver)
£2,272 8s 4d
Awardee (Receiver)
£2,238 2s 3d
Awardee (Receiver)
£2,973 15s 11d
Awardee (Receiver)
£5,046 11s 3d
Awardee (Mortgagee)

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Horticultural Society...... 

Physical (1)

St Marylebone Parish Church 

Relationships (1)

Executor → Testator
Notes →
Henry Moreton Dyer was granted administration of the will of Mark...

Addresses (1)

Devonshire Place House, New Road, Regents Park, London, Middlesex, London, England