James Corne Pownall

29th Jan 1776 - 4th Sep 1825

Claimant or beneficiary


James Corne Pownall, owner of Silver Hill plantation in Jamaica.

  1. William Pownall, grocer of Macclesfield, married Sarah Burchall (or Birchill) Corn (or Cornes) of Warrington by licence 10/01/1770 at Prestbury. They had three children: Elizabeth Corne (born 1774 in Bristol St Michael, baptised age 28 on 28/04/1802 at Bristol St Michael); James Corn (born 29/01/1776 at Macclesfield and baptised 28/02/1790 at Bristol Temple); Sarah Birchall (born 14/08/1782 at Macclesfield and baptised 28/02/1790 at Bristol Temple).

  2. William Pownall and Sarah Burchill may have had a fourth child: Augustus Willliam Pownall, husband of Mary Pownall nee Lowe (q.v.).

  3. James Corne Pownall had 7 daughters and 3 sons by "free mulatto" Sarah Watt: William (born 11/04/1801), Sarah (born 1803 and baptised 15/07/1805), Eliza Steel (baptised in Kingston, Jamaica, 27/12/1805 aged 2 years 7 months), James (born 1807 and baptised 14/07/1807), Mary Ann (baptised 01/07/1809 aged about 7 months), Jane Lewis (born 29/03/1812), Hannah (born 20/01/1815), Sarah (born 22/10/1817), Isabella (born 10/05/1821), Robert (born 07/09/1823). All the children were baptised in Jamaica.

  4. Mary Ann Pownall went on to marry John Britton in Westbury-on-Trym, 09/04/1823. Jane Lewis Pownall married Edward Chester Jones, a barrister, 22/04/1846. Hannah Pownall married her first cousin William Lowe Pownall in Cambridge, 18/09/1839. James Pownall became a surgeon and married Ann Lucretia Bishop in 11/08/1828 in Calne, Wiltshire, where he can be found in the censuses of 1841 and 1851. He took charge of an insane asylum from 1853 but experienced manic episodes and subsequently killed the housemaid of a house he was staying in. In December 1859, James was found not guilty of willful murder but judged to be insane, "to be kept in strict custody". He died in Broadmoor Hospital in 1882. Isabella was living with her brother James in Curzon Street, Calne in Wiltshire in 1841 and with her sister Sarah in the 1851 census in Ainslies Belvedere, Bath (occupations given as "Independant Landed Proprietors"). By 1861 Isabella was in the household of her sister Mary Ann Powell at Windsor Terrace, Bristol.

  5. Death "On the 4th Sept. last, of typhus fever, aged 50, at his estate of Silver Hill, St. Andrew's, in the Island of Jamaica. James Corme Pownall, son the Rev. [sic] William Pownall of Macclesfield. This gentleman proved honor to place his birth; having gone to Jamaica at an early period life, by a course of just and virtuous conduct, not only obtained extensive property, but arrived at the exalted offices of Member of the House of Assembly, and Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas." Will of James Corne Pownall of Saint Andrew, Island of Jamaica, proved 20/12/1826. Kathleen Monteith shows his assets as having included £49,597 in debts owed to him.

  6. Creditors to William Bennett [Pownall's brother-in-law] requested to prove debts following a decree in the High Court of Chancery dated 24th December 1810 in which Charles Mais, Elizabeth Corne Mais and others were plaintiffs and Kenrick Collett and James Corne Pownall defendants. Bill of Revivor and Supplement dated 9th January 1829 by Elizabeth Corne Mais, John Mais, Jeremiah Mais and others against Kenrick Collett and James Corne Pownall (who had died outside the jurisdiction), guardians under the will of Willam Bennett to his (then) infant daughters.

  7. Final claims invited against the estate of James Corne Pownall 25/06/1844. Bill of Complaint dated 26/04/1856 by Mary Ann Britton, a daughter of James Corne Pownall, and others against Jeremiah Mais, Reverend John Mais, James Pownall and others, trustees under an Indenture of 1832 regarding shares in Silver Hill Plantation in Jamaica under the will of James Corne Pownall, owner (the plantation having since been sold). Complaint against Jeremiah Mais in the same Chancery dispute taken 'pro confesso', 13/03/1857. Inference of finding against Rev. John Mais resulting from his insolvency, 17/01/1860.


  1. Ancestry.com, Cheshire, England, Extracted Parish Records [database online]. Ancestry.com, England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 [database online].

  2. See separate entry for Mary Pownall nee Lowe.

  3. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online]. Note: William's father is given as James Cawn Pownall and James' surname is indexed as Poronall.

  4. Ancestry.com, England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005 [database online]. 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, 1885) p. 247. See separate entry for Mary Pownall nee Lowe for Hannah's marriage. 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses online; Ancestry.com, England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940 [database online]; Ancestry.com, England and Wales, Criminal Registry, 1791-1892 [database online]; Sarah Burton, A Double Life: A Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb (Penguin, London, 2003), Introduction; National Probate Calendar 1883.

  5. Chester Chronicle 25/11/1825; PROB 11/1719/375; Kathleen E.A. Monteith Plantation Coffee in Jamaica (2019) p. 33.

  6. London Gazette Issue 16470, 30/03/1811, p. 606 and Issue 16473, 06/04/1811, p. 661. William Bennett was the first husband of his sister Elizabeth; Charles Mais was her second husband.

  7. London Gazette Issue 20357, 28/06/1844, p. 21 and later issues. London Gazette Issue 21977, 13/03/1857, p. 20 and later issues. London Gazette Issue 22346, 17/01/1860, p. 30 and later issues.

We are grateful to Howard Mais, Rita Lamb, We are grateful to Peter Selley and Jill Britton for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

With Sarah Watt: 7 daughters, 3 sons

PROB 11/1719/375.

James Corne Pownall of St Andrew, Jamaica.

Executors to be • Robert Lewis of Downend near Bristol • Robert Bright of Messrs. Gibbs and Bright of Bristol Esquires • My sister Mistress Elizabeth Corne Mais (these three in England) • James Waddell • John Bloxham Elin • Henry John Ross • Samuel Lawson Dallas (these four of Jamaica, Esquires) • The executors of the said Robert Lewis and Robert Bright expecially named to act to be my executors and executrix.

All my real and personal estate to my executors upon trust.

To my housekeeper Sarah Watt, £150 Jamaican currency annuity.

To my father [unnamed] £100 sterling annuity.

To my sister Sarah Burchal Pownall, £30 sterling annuity after the death of my father.

A discretionary sum for my reputed children by Sarah Watt (James, Mary Ann, Jane Lewis, Hannah, Sarah, Isabella, Robert) as may be needful for their support and education in Britain until the youngest child reaches 18 (if a girl) or 21 (if a boy).

All the rest and residue to be shared between my reputed children and those of my sister Elizabeth Corne Mais by her late husband Mr Bennett and her present one Mr Mais, my reputed children to each get a double-sized share, when my youngest child reaches 18 (if a girl) or 21 (if a boy). Should any die before this and have issue, then their share to their issue. Should any marry before this time with the consent of my trustees then their shares according to the best estimate to be transferred and settled on them and their issue as my trustees shall seem proper and advisible.

At any time my executors may settle £1000 for each of my reputed children in any business and establishment that may seem to my trustees to be proper and adviseable or any lesser sum they may think fit to subsititute.

It is my wish that my said son shall never reside in Jamaica. I do hereby will and declare that any of my said daughters who shall return or shall reside in Jamaica shall forfeit all right, title and claim under my will save and except any of my said daughters who may accompany their husbands thither and that their brothers and sisters shall inherit in their stead.

To my sister Elizabeth Corne Mais, £50 sterling annuity.

To my sister-in-law Mrs Mary Pownall, £40 sterling or £50 Jamaican currency.

To Sarah Watt, all my wearing apparel, bed and table linen, to whom belongs all the furniture, plate and other such articles at Stepney Lodge Pen.

Codicil [undated?]: whereas I have since that [?] prepared to become possessed of certain other real estate and slaves now I do hereby give devise and bequeath all such real estate and slaves to my housekeeper in addition to what I have already given her.

Proved in London 18/12/1826 by Robert Lewis Esquire and Elizabeth Corne Mais.


Associated Claims (1)

£2,547 19s 3d
Beneficiary deceased

Associated Estates (30)

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
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Receiver
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1825 [EA] - 1825 [LA] → Receiver
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1820 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Receiver
1820 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Other

Administrator and attorney

1823 [EA] - → Receiver
1817 [EA] - → Attorney
1825 [EA] - → Receiver
1809 [EA] - 1824 [EY] → Owner
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1826 [EA] - → Other

Previous owner of 11 of these enslaved people.

1815 [EA] - 1823 [EY] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1823 [EA] - → Joint owner
1817 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Owner
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - → Receiver
1823 [EA] - → Receiver

Relationships (17)

Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Brother → Sister
Extra-marital relationships
Father → Natural Son
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Son
Uncle → Niece
Uncle → Niece
Uncle → Niece
Uncle → Niece
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Niece
Father → Natural Daughter

Addresses (1)

Macclesfield, Cheshire, North-west England, England