Thomas Usher

1774 - 19th Nov 1834

Claimant or beneficiary


Scottish merchant and planter in Jamaica, owner of Cedar Valley. Following the death of Thomas Usher in 1834, his brother Andrew Usher (q.v.) asserted the claim of his family to the compensation versus ‘some person or persons having no right or title whatever to interfere with it.’ Compensation for the ownership of 4 enslaved persons in St Ann was awarded to Thomas Usher but compensation for the enslaved persons on Cedar Valley went to Charles Mack Glashan (q.v.) as trustee and assignee of Thomas Usher.

  1. Christened 07/02/1774 in Melrose, Roxburghshire, the son of James Usher of Toftfield and Margaret [Peggy] Grieve. His father was a Scottish laird (landowner). Thomas Usher most likely went into business with his elder brother Hugh Usher, a West India merchant in London who died when his ship was lost at sea on his return journey from Jamaica in 1811. Another brother died in Jamaica of Yellow fever and a fourth also drowned en route.

  2. Proprietor of Sandysbury-Grove in 1820 and Cedar Valley in 1822, 1825 and 1832.

  3. Death: ‘At Port Royal, Jamaica, on the 19th November last, Thomas Usher, Esq. merchant, Kingston, son of the late James Usher, Esq. of Toftfield, Roxburghshire.’

  4. John Usher (brother of Thomas and Andrew) was the third laird of Toftfield and sold the estate (afterwards named Huntlyburn), to Sir Walter Scott, the novelist and family friend, in 1817 where Abbotsford was to be built, started in 1824.


T71/852 St Catherine claim nos. 612 and 613. T71/1593 letter to Andrew Usher of Edinburgh, Scotland. T71/1606 letter dated 19/12/1835 from Andrew Usher of Edinburgh.

  1. batch no. C10009-1. Comprehensive genealogy of the Usher family available at [accessed 04/07/2012]. See also C.M. Usher, A History of the Usher Family in Scotland (1956) [via Googlebooks] pp. 36-37.

  2. Jamaica Almanac (1820, 1822, 1825 and 1832).

  3. Scotsman, 14/03/1835 p. 4.

  4. Email from Roger Grant 26/-7/2015 sourced to Usher, op. cit.

We are grateful to Roger Grant for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Merchant and planter

Associated Claims (2)

£1,042 3s 6d
Beneficiary unsuccessful
£68 7s 9d

Associated Estates (2)

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
1817 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Trustee
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Lessee

Relationships (2)

Trustee → Beneficiary of Trust

Addresses (1)

Toftfield [now Huntlyburn], Melrose, Roxburghshire, Southern Scotland, Scotland