Charles White Williams

1769 - 5th Feb 1832

Slave-owner and antecedent of claimant or beneficiary


Charles White Williams, son of Thomas White (schoolmaster in Lambeth, died 1805) and his wife Martha. Merchant and then planter in Jamaica; owner of Duckworth plantation.

  1. The will of Thomas White, schoolmaster of Lambeth (1805) mentions his son Charles White of Kingston Jamaica, merchant, to whom he leaves one hundred pounds sterling and his diamond ring. He also mentions his daughter Martha Blatch, wife of Henry Blatch (q.v.) of Oxford Street, surgeon, who is a residual legatee. He leaves fifty pounds sterling to Henry Blatch, his executor.

  2. In 1808, Charles White applied to the King to adopt the name Williams, since he was "known by that name in Jamaica."

  3. Marriage of Charles White Williams and Harriet Chubb a minor of Lambeth at St Marylebone 26/11/1808. Five of their children were baptised at Weybridge Surrey, when Charles White Williams was described as a Jamaica planter. The children of Charles White Williams and Harriet were Harriet (baptised 29/05/1810 Banstead, Surrey), Martha Elizabeth (baptised 24/05/1815 Weybridge), twins Charles White and Harriet (born 11/05/1811 and baptised 30/08/1811 Weybridge), Sabina (baptised 24/05/1815 Weybridge), Henry (baptised 09/06/1815 Weybridge), Richard Pilfold (baptised Weybridge 12/06/1816), William Dacres (baptised 08/12/1818 Epsom, Surrey), Mary Sophia (baptised 25/05/1820 Epsom), Emily (baptised 28/12/1821 Epsom) and Edward Graham (born 10/04/1825 and baptised 31/03/1826 Epsom).

  4. A memorial inscription at St James Garlickhythe in London: "Sacred to the memory of Mr Thomas White of Lambeth, who died October 29th 1805 aged 68. Of Martha White who died Septr 7th 1808 aged 69 years. Of Mr. James White who died February 5th 1811, aged 36 years. Also of the Revd Thomas White who died July 10th 1823, aged 51 years. Also Charles White Williams Esqr of Duckworth Plantation in the Island of Jamaica, who died Feby 5th 1832, aged 63 years." Burial of Charles White Williams of St Pancras aged 63 at St Michaels Queenhithe 15/2/1832. Will of Charles White Williams of St Pancras Middlesex proved 20/3/1832.

  5. Possibly the author of Hamel the Obeah Man (1827) and A Tour Through the Island of Jamaica, from the Western end to the eastern end, in the year 1823 (1826) under the pseudonym Cynric R. Williams.

  6. Charles White William's great-grandson was James Patrick Ronaldson Lyell (1871-1948) who bequeathed his collection of medieval manuscripts to the Bodleian Library; the Lyell Readership in Bibliography at Oxford University was also set up under the terms of his will. New College Oxford has silver donated by Lyell including a salver inscribed with the arms of Charles White Williams.

  7. The remains of the Duckworth Great House and aquaduct are the subject of an Elite Jamaica film, [accessed 09/09/2021].


T71/867 St Thomas-in-the-East No. 481.

  1. PROB 11/1434.

  2. Email from Ian Brindle, 23/04/2013, having sight of the records at the Royal College of Arms.

  3., London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 [database online];, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database online];, Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1912 [database online].

  4. Photograph of memorial at [accessed 23/04/2013]., London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 [database online]; PROB 11/1798.

  5. Tim Watson, Caribbean Culture and British Fiction in the Atlantic World 1780-1870 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 66-74.

  6. Michael Burden, with Helen Clifford, 'New College Silver: a financial and cultural patrimony', [accessed 19/04/2018].

  7. [accessed 09/09/2021].

Portrait provided by private email 09/09/2021.

We are grateful to Ian Brindle, Pete Jorgensen and Eileen Ashcroft for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Harriet Chubb

PROB 11/1798/7 - precis.

Will of Charles White Williams of Duckworth planation in the Island of Jamaica but at present residing in Burton Crescent in the parish of St Pancras.

Executors were his eldest daughter Harriet Williams and his friends William Morrice of St Mary Axe in the City of London merchant and Henry Blatch of Upper Charlotte Street Fitzroy Square surgeon. Executors were also to be guardians of his younger children.

Harriet (or in the event of her death, his current eldest daughter) to keep house in England for the benefit of her younger sisters as a home for her brothers for which purpose she is to have the use of all my household furniture plate linen china [?] pictures prints books wine and liquors, £100 a year for her own use, £100 a year for the children still at home and £300 a year to reimburse her for the expense of occasionally [?] her brothers who may be out in the world.

£2000 to each child on reaching the age of 23. All plantations (Duckworth and Dacresfield), estates, land, slaves and [?] to be divided equally among his children as tenants-in-common.

Other bequests:

To niece Sophia White, daughter of my late brother Rev Thomas White, £100 at the age of 23, also £20 per annum.

To sister Martha Blatch £200 and to each of her daughters Martha and Harriet £20.

To Sabina Chubb spinster residing with Messrs Johnstons of Camberwell Green and to her sister Mary Johnston wife of Joshua Johnston £50.

To Sabina Chubb an allowance of £40 per annum out of regard and respect to the memory of my said late dear wife I recommend her to the kind consideration of all my children should she ever be in distress.

Plantation owner

Associated Claims (1)

£5,274 14s 5d
Other association

Associated Estates (1)

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
1810 [EA] - 1832 [EY] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Silver salver of 1798, inscribed with the arms of Charles White Williams, donated by Charles White Williams' great grandson James Patrick Ronaldson Lyell (1871-1948) to New College Oxford. The... 
notes →
Michael Burden, with Helen Clifford, 'New College Silver: a financial and cultural patrimony', [accessed...

Historical (2)

A Tour Through the Island of Jamaica, from the Western end to the eastern end, in the year... 1826 
notes →
The work was published under the name Cynric R. Williams. Tim Watson has suggested that this was a pseudonym of Charles White Williams. The 2nd edn. was published in...
Hamel, the Obeah... 2010 
notes →
Originally published, London: Hunt and Clarke, 1827, in 2 volumes; repr. with a new foreword. The work was published under the name Cynric R. Williams. Tim Watson has suggested that this was a...

Imperial (2)

Canada: Ontario 
notes →
"His eldest son Charles White Williams II, baptized at St. James Church on August 30, 1811 in Weybridge, emigrated to Canada, to the newly opened Huron tract, near Goderich, Ontario, where he bought...
sources →
Email from Ian Brindle,...
Australia: Western Australia 
notes →
His son William Dacres Williams "emigrated to Western Australia, became an Anglican minister, established a ranch (Dacresfield); married Isabella Robinson and had six children: was first headmaster...
sources →
Email from Ian Brindle,...

Relationships (3)

Father → Daughter
Husband → Wife

Addresses (1)

Burton Crescent, London, Middlesex, London, England