Joseph Barnes

???? - 1829


Slave-owner in Jamaica, and possibly the man of the same name who was a slave-trader and slave-factor in partnership with Charles Fairclough and others in Jamaica c. 1800. Joseph Barnes (?-1829) was married to Hannah (1766-1841) and the couple had one daughter Charlotte Hannah Barnes. As a child Charlotte was herself a slave-owner with her father listing a single enslaved person as belonging to Charlotte in the givings in for St. Catherine in 1809. Charlotte married William Trutch in Jamaica and the couple had four children - John, Caroline, Emily and Joseph. Their youngest son Joseph went on to become an influential figure in British Columbia, Canada. Charlotte died in 1876.

Joseph Barnes was a merchant and the 'proprietor of two large grazing farms', he owned Cumberland Pen and Cedar Grove Pen as well as a smaller property named Halfway Tree all of which were in St. Catherine. Joseph was noted as a merchant who 'traded regularly with Caymanian vessels' whose main trading product was cotton. He acted as an Alderman in 1808, Judge of the Supreme Court of Jamaica and acted as Mayor of Kingston between 1823-29. Barnes Gully is named for Joseph Barnes. Barnes was interested in science, horticulture and agriculture and served as an Honorary Member of the Council of the Society for the encouragement of Horticulture and Agriculture, and the Arts connected with them in Jamaica - the first institution of its kind in the British West Indies. Following Joseph Barnes' death in 1829 the family moved to England in 1834.

The heirs of Joseph Barnes are mentioned in Higman's Jamaica Surveyed as the owners of Cumberland Pen. Cumberland Pen was located in St. Catherine's, it was a large property of more than 1,000 acres which was worked by 300 enslaved people at the time of emancipation. The taxable livestock on the plantation amounted to 250. The total income for Cumberland Pen was £6,218 in 1832. On Joseph Barnes' death in 1829 the property descended to Thomas Barnes 'of Great Britain', Joseph's brother. Thomas employed Bartholomew Ibbott Williams (executor of Joseph's estate) as attorney and Samuel Sharpe Wortley as overseer. A detailed survey of Cumberland Pen was undertaken in 1848 by Thomas Harrison for McGeachy and Griffiths.

Sources T71/1 1817 Slave Register, National Archive, pp.351-2, pp.354-63, pp.1028-9. (Dictionary of Canadian Biography) Roger C. Smith, The Maritime Heritage of the Cayman Islands (Gainsville: University of Florida Press, 2000), p.189. Frank Cundall, Jamaica Place Names (Kingston: Institute of Jamaica, 1909), p.9. Jamaica Almanac 1808. Jamaica Almanac 1811. American Vital Records from the Gentleman's Magazine, 1731-1868 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), p.17. The Philosophical Magazine and Journal: Comprehending the Various branches of Science, the Liberal and Fine Arts, Agriculture, Manufacture and Commerce, Volume 67 (London: Richard Taylor, 1826), p.146. Debates on the resolutions and bill for the abolition of slavery in the British Colonies (Maurice & Co., 1834), p.349. Barry Higman, Jamaica Surveyed: Plantation maps and plans of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Kingston: Institute of Jamaica Publications, 1988), pp.224-226.

Further Information

Hannah Barnes
Charlotte Hannah Barnes

(St. Jago de la Vega, Jamaica, 30 May 1829). Size per leaf unfolded 134x 79 cm. Preserved in a slipcase. Manuscript on two folded leaves of vellum with attached printed document filled out in manuscript, with blindstamepd paper seal attached.

Will of Joseph Barnes (d. 6 May 1829 at Kingston, Jamaica), who had property in Cumberland Pen on Jamaica. As executors of the will are mentioned: Joseph's brother Thomas Barnes to whom a part of the property in Cumberland Pen had descended (with John Sutton Williams as his attorney) and Barthlomew Ibbott Williams residing at Jamaica, and Alexander Evans and John Lynch at London. The will was registered and officially endorsed in London on 9 November 1831 in the name and with the seals of William the Archbishop of Canterbury. The will lists as Joseph Barnes's heirs among others Bettey Stalker (widow of William Stalker and sister of Joseph Barnes) and Joseph's 'dearly beloved daughter' Charlotte Hannah Barnes. It is the latter who inherits another part of her father's property on Jamaica: '... all that land ... which is situated to the northward and eastward of the house in which I now reside situated on the Rock Ffort or Great Wind Road in the parish of Kingston with the appurtenances thereunto'. Another part of his property was 'in the parish of Saint Catharina in the County of Middlesex and island of Jamaica commonly called and known by the name of Cumberland Penn together with all and every negro and other slaves thereunto belonging ...'.

Associated Estates (9)

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] - → Executor
1823 [EA] - → Executor
1820 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1809 [EA] - 1829 [EY] → Owner
1815 [SY] - 1829 [EY] → Owner
1820 [EA] - → Other

One of the commissioners of the workhouse

1817 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Executor
1817 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Joint owner
1817 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (5)

Husband → Wife
Grandfather → Grandson
Notes →
Joseph Barnes's only daughter Charlotte Hannah Barnes married William Trutch in Jamaica c. 1822. Born in 1826 Sir Joseph William Trutch was the son of William and...
Executor → Testator
Executor → Testator