Joseph Gordon

1790 - 1867

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

Slave-owner and attorney, resident in Jamaica in the 1830s but in 1851 shown, Custos of St Andrew Jamaica, living at Meadowbank, St Lawrence Jersey aged 61 born Scotland with his wife Sarah aged 40 born England and five children aged 3 to 15 all born Jamaica.

  1. Joseph Gordon was a powerful planter-attorney. In 1832 he was one of only four attorneys who had control over more than 20 properties on the island.

  2. Gordon was the father of George William Gordon. Said to be born in 1820, G. W. Gordon's mother was an enslaved woman of colour called Ann Rattray. G. W. Gordon went on to become a successful businessman and politician. However he was courtmartialed and executed on the order of John Edward Eyre, Governor of Jamaica following the Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865. He was constituted a National Hero of Jamaica in 1969: his face was featured on the ten dollar note and the Jamaica Parliament's official meeting place Gordon House is named after him.

  3. Executor of Benjamin Marriott Perkins I and later married Perkins' widow Sarah nee Arrowsmith. Sarah Marriott Perkins, his only surviving daughter and stepdaughter of Joseph Gordon esq, married at St Andrew, 10/03/1840, James Carson Esquire of the firm of Chrystie, Porteous and Carson of Kingston.

  4. Joseph Gordon's children by his wife Sarah were: Joseph Seaford Gordon (born 09/03/1836 and baptised 09/04/1836); Ellis Macintosh Gordon (born 28/01/1838 and baptised at St.James, Paddington, 23/06/1838, died 14/12/1847 and was buried at Twickenham); Constance Josephine Minna Gordon (born 20/12/1839 and baptised 10/3/1840, married, 27/04/1876 Frederick Swinnerton Dyer (per “The Peerage”) and had issue); Francis Smith Gordon (born 25/08/1841 and baptised 05/02/1842, alive in 1891 (Census)); Georgina Wilhelmina Gordon (born 07/03/1845 and baptised 22/05/1845); Duncan Robertson Gordon (born 30/09/1847 and baptised 01/01/1848). All baptisms, except that of Ellis, were at St Andrew and the father is described as Custos in the 1842 and subsequent entries, his address being given as Shortwood.

  5. Various on-line posts, citing credible Channel Islands sources, say Gordon died at 3 Clarence Terrace, St.Helier, aged 77 years and 2 months, 12/05/1867, that his widow Sarah died at 3 Victoria Terrace there, 08/02/1883, and that her will dated 09/03/1880 was proved 13/02/1883 (probate description is widow of Benjamin Marriott Perkins and of Joseph Gordon of Melrose Place).

  6. There are also posts on genealogical sites identifying seven alleged children of Gordon by Ann Rattray born in the period 1815-30. Two of these children, Jane and Ann Gordon, are said to have been born on 18/1/1830 and the St Andrew register records children of colour of these names and birthdates as having been baptised on 31/12/1830, described as of Charlton Pen; the particulars for four others of the alleged children are very sketchy but (contrary to material published by Jamaican government sources, which makes him much younger) give the birthdate of George William Gordon as September/October 1815. This strongly suggests he was the “George Gordon, aged 3 months, a quadroon slave on Cherry Garden” baptised at St Andrew on 27/12/1815 (per parish register). Ann Rattery, aged about 23, a "mulatto slave on Cherry Garden", was baptised at the same time.


Sources

1851 Channel Islands Census.

  1. B. W. Higman, Plantation Jamaica, 1750-1850: Capital And Control In A Colonial Economy (Kingston, University of the West Indies Press, 2005), p.64

  2. B. W. Higman, Plantation Jamaica, 1750-1850: Capital And Control In A Colonial Economy (Kingston, University of the West Indies Press, 2005), p.81; http://www.jnht.com/site_gordon_house.php [accessed 23/05/2017].

  3. Evening Mail 08/05/1840.

  4. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  5. https://www.ancestry.com/boards/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=3625&p=surnames.gordon [accessed 19/02/2019].

  6. Email from Paul Hitchings, 08/02/2019; Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online]. See https://jis.gov.jm/information/heroes/george-william-gordon/ [accessed 20/03/2019] for more on George William Gordon.

We are grateful to Paul Hitchings for his assistance with compiling this entry.


Further Information

Spouse
Sarah Perkins nee Arrowsmith
Occupation
Planter and attorney

Associated Claims (15)

£180 3s 11d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£2,358 4s 2d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£2,289 1s 2d
Awardee (Trustee)
£2,915 8s 10d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£266 16s 4d
Awardee
£544 9s 8d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£31 0s 10d
Awardee
£1,383 2s 5d
Awardee
£478 8s 1d
Awardee
£3,564 14s 4d
Awardee (Trustee)
£2,109 13s 0d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£458 0s 6d
Awardee
£1,281 10s 11d
Awardee (Receiver)
£2,240 14s 4d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£533 2s 3d
Awardee (Judgement creditor)

Associated Estates (60)

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
1829 [EA] - → Attorney
1829 [EA] - → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1829 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1828 [EA] - → Not known
1832 [EA] - → Agent
1829 [EA] - → Attorney
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Owner
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Executor
1839 [EA] - → Not known
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
- 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Mortgagee-in-Possession
1834 [EA] - → Owner
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1829 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1826 [EA] - → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1834 [EA] - → Receiver
1829 [EA] - → Executor
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1823 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - 1836 [LA] → Executor
1832 [EA] - → Mortgagee-in-Possession
1834 [EA] - → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - → Mortgagee-in-Possession
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1834 [EA] - → Owner
1831 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
- 1837 [LA] → Receiver
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1839 [EA] - → Not known
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1839 [EA] - → Not known
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1829 [EA] - → Administrator
1839 [EA] - → Not known
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1817 [EA] - → Joint owner
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1826 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Agent
1834 [EA] - → Receiver
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Executor
1832 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder

Held a mortgage on some of these enslaved people in 1832.


Relationships (3)

Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Notes →
By Smith's first...
Executor → Testator
Notes →
And Perkins' widow Sarah married, secondly, Joseph...
Other relatives
Notes →
Shannon's daughter married Gordon's reputed...

Addresses (1)

Meadowbank, St Lawrence, Jersey, Channel Islands