Thomas Samson

1760 - ????


  1. Thomas Samson, son of John Samson, gardener, and his wife Jean Good, baptised in Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Scotland, 25/11/1760. This baptism for Thomas Samson is confirmed through the family and business connections of his brother Charles Samson (q.v.).

  2. Attorney for Amity Hall estate in Vere, Jamaica, from at least 1802 until 1818. Samson was accused in 1802, in an anonymous letter to Susanna Goulburn (q.v.), of extreme cruelty to the enslaved people on Amity Hall, and of using the produce of the estate to feed his own jobbing gang while starving the Goulburns' workforce. Samson disputed the claims of the anonymous author, and was contradicted in turn by fellow attorney Alexander Moir (whom the anonymous author had suggested as a replacement for Samson). According to Moir, many enslaved people had run away from the estate - "They are determined to suffer any death rather than return to their duty while Mr Samson is continued in charge of the property" - and neighbours were forced to appeal to Samson to "put a stop to the sound of the whip and shrieks of those suffering under it." Samson was eventually dismissed by Henry Goulburn (q.v.) in June 1818 after reports from Henry's brother Frederick that "as far as regards the negroes of the Estate the system hitherto used by you had been founded altogether upon erroneous principles..."

  3. Executor of his brother James (who owned Smithfield in Manchester, Jamaica) in 1820; he appears to have inherited the estate, of which he was the previous owner from 1826.

  4. Thomas Samson (possibly as executor of James Samson) paid 10 shillings each for the manumission of Quaco, Elizabeth Messum, Ruthy Huggins, Nancy Lambert, Sarah Huggins and Frances Samson, 03/03/1820. Ruthey Grey was manumitted by the will of Thomas Samson (date of probate of the will, 11/05/1824). Fanny Samson, age 20, "mulatto" and Elizabeth Clarke, age 69, "negro", were recorded as having been manumitted by Thomas Samson on Grimett in Vere, 1823.

  5. The 1817 slave register shows the Quaco, Fanny Samson, Ruthy Huggins, Sarah Huggins and Nancy Lambert were the children of Elizabeth Messum. All were recorded as "Negro" except for Fanny Samson, strongly suggesting this is the Frances Samson, daughter of James Samson, baptised in Vere in 1806 (she would have been around 3 years old at the time of her baptism). Also in the same group in 1817 are Elizabeth Clark, age 63, "Negro", creole, and Ruthy Gray, age 60, "Negro", creole. These enlsaved people were in the possession of Thomas Samson as lessee to the receiver of the estate of Elisha Clarke Ranger deceased.

  6. Jane (born 06/12/1796) and Charles (born 19/12/1798), children of Thomas Sampson[sic] and "his housekeeper" were baptised in Vere 20/01/1805, along with John (born 30/04/1801), son of Thomas Sampson[sic] and "his [blank]". Thomas (born 15/01/1804), also son of Thomas Sampson and "his [blank]" was baptised in Vere 20/05/1805. Rachael Samson, "free child of colour", batised 02/08/1818 in Vere. These five children, as well as two more daughters, Margaret and Georgiana, were the children of Margaret Williams Samson, and enslaved woman. Thomas Samson requested the valuation of all eight enslaved people in May 1816, and in May 1818 he pledged to pay the annuity of £5 to each of them upon manumission. The slave register of 1820 recorded the manumission of Charles Samson, age 20; John Samson, age 17; Thomas Samson, age 14; Jane Samson, age 21; Margaret Samson age 9; Georgiana Samson age 6; Rachel Samson age 4 (all the children listed as "mulatto") and their mother Margaret Williams, "Negro", age 40, creole.

  7. Ratchel[sic] Samson, age 20, born out of county, was living in Ochiltree in 1841 in the household of her uncle John Samson (Thomas's brother). She married Samuel Kilpatrick in Colyton, Ayrshire, in July 1841. In 1851 she was living at Barnhill, Ayrshire, with her husband and young family, birthplace given as Vere, Jamaica. She died in Montgomerieston, Ayrshire, in 1882; on her death certificate, her parents' names were given as Thomas Samson, coffee planter, and Margaret Samson nee Williams.


  1. GROS OPR Births 609 20 30 Ochiltree. See separate entry for Charles Samson and email from John Hales 24/09/2018.

  2. Guide to the microfilm edition of Papers relating to the Jamaica estates of the Goulburn family of Betchworth House from the Surrey History Centre introduced by Prof. Kenneth Morgan, Brunel University (Wakefield, Microform Academic Publishers, 2008); 'Slaves’ Living Conditions and the childrearing problem at Amity Hall' for download at; 'Henry Goulburn' Exploring Surrey's Past, [accessed 25/09/2018].

  3. See estate information for Smithfield.

  4. 'List of Jamaican Manumissions of 1821-1825 in the Public Record Office (1)', from CO137/162,; 'List of Jamaican Manumissions of 1821-1825 in the Public Record Office (5)', from CO137/162,; T71/53 p. 17.

  5. T71/51 p. 245;, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  6., Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online]; 'Henry Goulburn' Exploring Surrey's Past, [accessed 25/09/2018]; T71/52 pp. 80-82.

  7. Censuses online; GROS OPR Marriages 583 030 219 Colyton; GROS Deaths 1882 600 9 Kirkpatrick.

We are grateful to John Hales for sharing his considerable research in helping to compile this entry.

Associated Estates (8)

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
1802 [EA] - 1818 [LA] → Attorney
1809 [EA] - 1824 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1817 [LA] → Lessee (Enslaved)
1829 [EA] - → Previous owner
1820 [EA] - → Executor
1823 [EA] - → Owner
1826 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Previous owner
1817 [EA] - → Executor

Relationships (4)

Uncle → Niece
Father → Natural Daughter

Addresses (1)

Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Southern Scotland, Scotland