John Mackeson

1776 - 26th Jun 1843

Claimant or beneficiary


A member of the Mackeson brewing family of Hythe, Kent and brother-in-law of William Wyllys (q.v.), inherited Blue Mountain estate on his marriage to Olive McKeand whom he married in 1806.

  1. The letters of John Mackeson, coffee planter, mainly to his brother Henry but also to his brother William, relating to his experiences in Kurria, Bombay and America between 1801 and 1817 including references to the War of 1812, are held by the Kent Archaeological Society. William is likely to be the brewer 'of Bath' whose will was proved in 1821 and Henry the driving force behind the development of the brewery and father of Henry Bean Mackeson. The John Mackeson who was among the partners of the brewery on its dissolution in 1847 (who included Henry Mackeson, Harriett Mackeson (William's widow), Henry Scroope Mackeson (William's son), George Mackeson and Harriet Sophia Backhouse, as well as John Mackeson) may not be the same man as this entry, but may be John Mackeson (1804-1892), Harriet Sophia Backhouse's brother.

  2. John Mackeson's daughter Olive Ann Mackeson was born 10/02/1809 and baptised, St Andrew, Jamaica, 15/12/1809; as the widow of Capt. J.W. Styles, Bengal Army, she died at Spanish Town, 21/07/1840. His daughter Mary Mackeson married, at Bath, Lieut.S. Moorrish, RN - reported 05/07/1845. His son, William Wyllys Mackeson, barrister, Inner Temple, was baptised in St Andrew, Jamaica in 1812 and married at Jersey, 12/03/1839, to Ann, daughter of Hugh Godfrey of Woodlands, Jersey. A daughter, Elizabeth, was baptised in St Andrew, Jamaica in 1808 and another son, John Orr, in St Andrew in 1811.

  3. Biographical listing for his son: "Mackeson, William Wyllys, Q.C... 2nd son of John Mackeson, Esq. Of Blue Mountain, Jamaica, and of Caen, Normandy; born 1813...". William Wyllys Mackeson was born in Jamaica, according to the 1871 census, when he was living with his wife, children and servants at 21 Holland Villas Road, Kensington, London.

  4. Capt. John Mackeson, late Hon. East India Company Service, of Blue Mountain Pen, Manchester parish, Jamaica, died in his 67th year on board the Tulloch Castle en route from Jamaica to London, 26/06/1843. (A Lieutenant John Mackeson was listed in the Seventh Regiment Native Infantry of the EIC 06/09/1797.)

  5. No trace has yet been found of John Mackeson's will or probate. In 1851 Olive Mackeson aged 64 born Jamaica was living at St Helier Jersey with her daughter Mary E. Morish aged 28 born London Lieutenant RN's wife, grandson William E. Morish, and another grandchild, Rose W Hiles or Miles aged 17. In 1861 she was living at St Saviour Jersey with Mary E. Morrish and William Mackeson her son, barrister, born Jamaica, as well as a granddaughter Elizabeth, also born Jamaica.

  6. A letter sent in 1828 from John Mackeson's stepmother Clare Mackeson to her son Henry (John's half-brother) suggests John Mackeson brought some illegitimate children back to Britain: Clare wrote, "John has left Bath & has a large house within 7 miles & Mrs Mackeson has charge of his 6 children from the West Indies. I think she has her hands full adding her own 6 to the number." No trace of the baptisms of these children has been found in Jamaica nor their later presence in Britain.


T71/860 Manchester claim no.358.

  1. Alan Furness, 'The Jamaican coffee boom & John Mackeson: a Blue mountain coffee plantation 1807 -1819', Jamaican Historical Review Vol III March 1962 pp 10-21; Gazette 20817, 21/01/1848, p. 214.

  2., Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online]; Kentish Gazette 06/10/1840; Naval & Military Gazette 05/07/1845; Kentish Gazette 19/03/1839.

  3. Joseph Foster Men-at-the-bar: a biographical hand-list of the members of the various Inns of Court, including Her Majesty's Judges, etc. 2nd ed. (London and Aylesbury: Hazell, Watson and Viney, Limited, 1885) p. 69; 1871 census online.

  4. Kentish Gazette 15/08/1843 and Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard, 05/09/1843;, UK, Registers of Employees of the East India Company and the India Office, 1746-1939 [database online].

  5. 1851 and 1861 censuses online.

  6. Email from Anne Petrie 23/11/2021 sourced to the Mackeson Family Papers at Kent History and Library Centre, EK/U511/C7/1.

We are grateful to Paul Hitchings and Anne Petrie for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Olive McKeand
William Wyllys (1813-1892), Olive Ann (1809-1840), Mary, Elizabeth, John Orr

Associated Claims (1)

£2,446 9s 8d

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
1806 [SY] - 1839 [LA] → Trust beneficiary

Legacies Summary

Imperial (1)

East India Company
notes →
Listed as late Captain of the EIC in his death notice. A John Mackeson was Lieut. in the 7th Regiment Native Infantry in Bombay in...

Relationships (2)

Husband → Wife
Father → Son

Addresses (1)

Leigh House, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, Wessex, England