Alexander Aikman senior
Profile & Legacies Summary
23rd Jun 1755 - 1838
Claimant or beneficiary
Resident, founder of the Royal Gazette, father of Alexander Aikman jr and grandfather of Alexander Wells Aikman (q.v.).
- 1838 July 6. At Prospect Pen, St Andrews, Jamaica, aged 83, Alexander Aikman Esqr. proprietor of Birnam
Wood and Wallenford in St George's Parish, and late Printer of the Jamaica Royal Gazette. He was born at Barrowstoun-ness, Co. Linlithgow on the 23rd of June 1755, the second son of Andrew Aikman and Ann Hunter (the only child of William Hunter and his Wife Margaret Aynsley). He left his native country for South Carolina at the age of sixteen, having previously made a voyage to Danzic. After his arrival at Charleston, he apprenticed himself to Mr Robert Wells, a bookseller and printer of a newspaper, the father of William Charles Wells, M.D. E.R.S. L. and Ed. of whom a long memoir will be found in the Gentleman's Magazine for Nov. 1817, and an engraving of his monument in St Bride's, Fleet Street, erected by his daughter Mrs Aikman in that for June 1821. The American Revolution caused Mr Aikman to leave that Country; and after some wanderings, he fixed his residence in Jamaica; where in 1778 he established a newspaper called the " Jamaica Mercury " which title, two years after, the government patronage having been obtained, was altered to that of "The Royal Gazette" under which it still continues to be published. He likewise became printer to the House of Assembly and King's Printer and having resigned those offices to his son Alexander, he was for many years a member of the House of Assembly, as representative of the parish of St George. After his son's death in 1831, he for a short time resumed his business and the conduct of the Royal Gazette, but on a favourable opportunity occurring, he made his retreat from all commercial anxieties. He was a truly honourable, worthy and charitable man; and his death is much lamented. Mr Aikman visited Great Britain in 1795 (in which voyage he was taken by a privateer, and had to repurchase his property at Philadelphia) in 1801, in 1803, and in 1814, but from that time had remained at home. He married at Kingston, Jamaica, Jan. 14th 1782, Louisa Susannah, second daughter of his former master Mr Robert Wells. This lady had for four years been his fellow clerk in her father's office at Charleston. She joined him from England after no little peril, having twice attempted the voyage: on the first attempt she was captured by the French, by whom she was detained for three months in France, and on the second by a King's ship, in consequence of taking her passage in a slave vessel. By this lady who died on the 29th Nov. 1831, (and of whom a brief memoir will be found in the Gentleman's Magazine vol. CI pt. ii, p. 571) Mr Aikman had two sons and eight daughters, of whom the only survivors are Mary, the wife of Mr James Smith, of St Andrews, Jamaica, and Ann-Hunter, the Widow of John Enright, Surgeon R.N. His younger son Robert died an infant. His elder son and successor in business, Alexander Aikman Esqr. died on the 11th April 1831, (see Gentleman's Magazine CI, i, 650) leaving a numerous family.
- Gentleman's Magazine (November 1838) Vol. X New Series p. 556.
Louisa Susannah Wells
Associated Claims (3)
Associated Estates (5)
Charleston, South Carolina, USA