James Swaby

14th Jan 1798 - 3rd Feb 1863

Claimant or beneficiary


Born in Jamaica, but educated in England at Charterhouse and apparently in England from the late 1820s onwards, awardee in different capacities of the compensation for several estates in Manchester Jamaica. Son of John Swaby and Frances King ('a free mulatto'), and grandson of Joseph James Swaby senior.

  1. James Swaby, reputed child of John Swaby by Frances King was born 28/10/1787 and baptised 18/12/1789 in St Elizabeth. This James Swaby presumably died young as there is a second baptism for a James Swaby (no parents named) in Vere, 13/12/1799 with the date of birth 14/01/1798. This second baptism took place at the same time as that of Ruth Swaby and Joseph Swaby, both known to be siblings of James. James Swaby junior was aged under 21 in 1817 when Frances King registered enslaved people "as Guardian to her Son and Daughter James and Eliza Swaby" so must have been born in 1796 or later.

  2. James Swaby of Thorne House near Great Berkhampstead, son of John Swaby resident in Jamaica, was appointed on half-pay as an ensign to the 49th Regiment of Foot on 1st December 1814 when just 16 years old.

  3. 1851 census shows James Swaby born Jamaica aged 53 'West India estate' living 23 Earls Terrace with wife Elizabeth 46 born London, and children James 21 and Robert 19 (both born Chesham, Buckinghamshire consistent with the address of James Swaby as claimant in the 1830s), Elizabeth 13 William 9 and Louis 2.

  4. James Swaby's wife Elizabeth was the second daughter of Robert Sutton of Rossway Hertfordshire and Swaby was thus in all probability the brother-in-law of Robert Sutton junior (q.v.). Will of Elizabeth Swaby formerly of 12 Addison Gardens but late of 24 Addison Gardens who died 20/05/1881 [aged 76] proved by daughter Elizabeth Sutton Swaby 13/07/1881 personal estate £1103 resworn March 1883 £5498 17s 5d; will of James Sutton Swaby late of Somers Town who died 27/04/1875 proved 15/01/1881 effects £303 17s 11d.

  5. James Swaby and Robert Sutton were engaged in a dispute with the assignees of the failed London merchant Rowland Mitchell (q.v.) over the Fort Stewart estate in the mid-1840s. In 1851 James Swaby was a director of the Annotto Bay Mining Company, alongside John James Ronaldson (q.v.).

  6. James Swaby died in Kensington 03/02/1863. Death of James Swaby registered Kensington Q1 1863.


  1. St Elizabeth Copy Register Vol 1, p. 56 (LDS film 1368561). Vere Copy Register Vol. 1, p. 67 (LDS film 1291677).

  2. Email from David J. P. Wood dated 26/04/2015 sourced to TNA WO 25/775/222 (Returns of Officers’ Services). T71/65 pp. 443-444.

  3. 1851 census online; T71/1188 counterclaim gives James Swaby as of The Thorne in the parish of Chesham, Buckinghamshire at the time of compensation.

  4. Gentleman's Magazine Vol. 145 (1829) p. 366; National Probate Calendar 1881; FreeUKGen, England and Wales Free BMD Database, Deaths, 1837-1983 [database online] Q2 1881.

  5. London Gazette 20355 21/06/1844 p. 2149; ibid, 21190 11/03/1851 p. 712.

  6. London Standard, Monday 9 February 1863, p. 7, col. 6. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Free BMD Death Index: 1837-1915 [database online].

We are grateful to Peter Durbin and David J. P. Wood for their help with this entry.

Further Information

Elizabeth Sutton
James, Robert, Elizabeth, William, Louis

Associated Claims (8)

£87 9s 4d
Awardee (Assignee)
£2,478 14s 9d
Claimants in List E or Chancery cases
£700 9s 1d
Unsuccessful claimant (Judgement creditor)
£1,823 19s 5d
Awardee (Trustee)
£555 12s 8d
Awardee (Guardian)
£534 17s 5d
Unsuccessful claimant
£181 6s 3d
£4,332 18s 4d
Claimants in List E or Chancery cases

Associated Estates (6)

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
1839 [EA] - → Not known
1823 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Trustee
1826 [EA] - → Trustee and Executor
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Trustee
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Trustee

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Proposed Director
Railway Investment
Direct London and Brighton (Rennie's) [183749]  

Relationships (9)

Natural Son → Mother
Nephew → Aunt
Grandson → Grandfather
Nephew → Uncle
Natural Son → Father
First Cousins
First Cousins
Nephew → Uncle

Addresses (2)

54 Oxford Terrace, London, Middlesex, London, England
The Thorne, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, Central England, England