James Rymer

1791 - 1876

Claimant or beneficiary


James Rymer, surgeon, wrote from Ramsgate in pursuit of part of the compensation for an estate in Dominica which we have identified tentatively as Rosalie.

  1. James Rymer's account ran as follows: On 21/12/1816 James Rymer had married a natural daughter of the late John Robinson of Dominica [q.v.]. Under John Robinson’s will, £500 was due to his daughter on her wedding, provided his executors consented. The executors did consent [to the marriage] but said they had no money to pay the legacy. Now, it was the intent of his wife’s mother to settle £4000 upon her child, but given the impossibility of the executors paying £500, ‘my wife’s mother paid me down £500.’ James Rymer and the executors of John Robinson made over the £500 to Rymer’s wife, with she having interest for her lifetime and the principal to be paid to her children after her death. The marriage settlement specified that the legacy of £500 should be into the Bank of England - not one farthing has yet been paid - and interest to be paid at 5%. The acting trustee under the marriage settlement has kept back £2 10s per annum on the plea of what he, Skeffington Robinson, calls interest on legacy duty! S. Robinson as residuary legatee now claims for 181 Negroes. Skeffington Robinson is residing in the City of London: he is agent to the other residuary legatees. The trustees for Rymer’s wife were Wm Holmes Esq, Grafton St; James Payne ?; and Skeffington Robinson, and his wife’s claim (with interest) was £546 5s 0d.

  2. James Rymer of Reigate married Elizabeth Georgiana Beaulieu Chollet Robinson of St George, Hanover Square in the bride's parish 21/12/1816. Their son James Holmes Rymer was baptised 10/11/1818 in Nether Stowey, Somerset, and their daughter Elizabeth Mary Rymer born 01/01/1822 and baptised 26/06/1822 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Their daughter Philippa Cutler Rymer was baptised 26/12/1823 in St Lawrence in Thanet, Kent and buried there 07/07/1824, followed by the baptisms of two more daughters at the same place: Georgiana Jane 22/06/1825 and Matilda Susan 18/10/1826. Their son, Henry Samuel, was baptised 06/07/1827 in Ramsgate. They had a daughter, Adelaide, baptised in St Giles, Camberwell, 12/09/1830, when James was a surgeon of Peckham and Elizabeth's full name was given. No further records of Adelaide has been found. James and Elizabeth were probably the parents of Julia Ann Rymer, an infant buried in St Lawrence in Thanet 26/11/1824 (no baptism has been found for her).

  3. In 1841, James Symer, surgeon, age 50, was living at Albion Hill, Ramsgate with Elizabeth Rymer age 45, James Symer age 25 (also a surgeon), Elizabeth Rymer age 15, Georgiana Rymer age 15, Matilda Rymer age 15, Henry Rymer are 10 and three female servants. The three younger children were born in Kent, the two eldest were not. James Holmes Rymer, surgeon, son of James Rymer, surgeon, married Mercy Horne in Ramsgate 29/05/1841 and was buried in Ramsgate 22/06/1857 age 39. Note that in the 1851 census the entry for 10 Albion Hill states "One House Uninhabited" and none of the family have been located in 1851.

  4. In 1861, James Rymer, age 70, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, born in Reigate, was living at 10 Albion Hill, Ramsgate, with his wife Elizabeth age 66, born West Indies and daughter Matilda, age 34, born Ramsgate. In 1871, James Rymer, widower, age 80, surgeon, born in Reigate and partially blind, was living at 7 Arthur Terrace, Ramsgate, with his daughter Matilda S. Rymer age 44, born Ramsgate. James Rymer, age 86, was buried in St George's, Ramsgate, 16/04/1876 age 86 years.

  5. The parents of James's wife Elizabeth were John Robinson of Dominica (q.v.) and Martha Phipps (q.v.), confirmed in the wills of both.

  6. James Rymer has an entry in the ODNB as 'naval surgeon' which details his service but makes no mention of his wife or family and gives his death as c. 1842. In fact he is probably the James Rymer senior, surgeon of Reigate, Surrey, whose will was written 27/10/1822 and proved by his daughter Elizabeth Maria Rymer 04/08/1829. In his will, he bequeathed everything, including his collection of medicines, to his wife Mary. Mary's will was written 11/02/1829; she bequeathed everything to her daughters Elizabeth Maria and Mary Anne. Neither will mentions a son James, but the James Rymer of this entry was probably their son.


  1. The National Archives T71/1609 Dominica Bundle; Letter from Jas Rymer, surgeon, Ramsgate Kent to the Commissioners of Compensation dated 11/8/1835.

  2. Ancestry.com, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 [database online]; Findmypast.co.uk, Somerset Baptism Index [database online]; Findmypast.co.uk, Buckinghamshire Baptism Index [database online]; Ancestry.com, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database online]; Findmypast.co.uk, Kent Baptisms [database online]; Findmypast.co.uk, Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Burials [database online].

  3. 1841, 1851 censuses online; Findmypast.co.uk, Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Marriages [database online].

  4. 1861 census online; Findmypast.co.uk, Kent Burials [database online].

  5. Will of John Robinson, PROB 11/1506/156; will of Martha Phipps, PROB 11/1805/415. The will of Martha Phipps reveals that the house at 10 Albion Road, Ramsgate, was bequeathed to by her to Elizabeth for life.

  6. G. Le G. Norgate, ‘Rymer, James (fl. 1770–1842)’, rev. Claire E. J. Herrick, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/24425, accessed 21 Jan 2014]; will of John Robinson, PROB 11/1506/156; will of Martha Phipps, PROB 11/1805/415.

We are grateful to Stuart Cresswell and Jeremy Greenwood for their help with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Elizabeth Georgiana Beaulieu Chollet Robinson
James Holmes, Elizabeth,

Associated Claims (1)

£3,488 6s 3d
Unsuccessful claimant

Relationships (2)

Son-in-law → Mother-in-law
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (1)

Ramsgate, Kent, South-east England, England