Major Edward Hicks

No Dates


Original purchaser of Great River division Lot no. 51 (200 acres) 15/05/1771 (St Mary parish) in Tobago.

  1. "The humble petition of Edward Hicks, Patrick Ferguson, Robert Irving, Boulter Johnston, William Cumberland Campbell and James Sharpe, officers in his Majesty's 70th Regiment who have purchased lands in the ceded Islands", dated c. 1773, stated that during their 10 year stationing in the West Indies, due to the unhealthy and undeveloped nature of the islands, the high cost of local provisions and the "impossibility of living on their pay", the officers had purchased land on the islands in order to profit from rises in land prices. The petitioners argued that "the failures in England...have rendered it impossible to Sell the New Lands for the prices paid for them, much less for any profit" and therefore they asked for "either to be allowed further time for the payment of the Installments due to the Crown... or that they may be permitted to resign their Lands upon being reimbursed the expences they have been at for their purchase." The petitioners also argued that they had "contributed much to increase the value of the Lands, and consequently the price given at the Sales, by their Activity in quelling the frequent Insurrections of the Slaves, particularly in the Island of Tobago, where the Lands in question are mostly situated, and having gone through much fatiguing service, and having lost one sixth part of that Division of the Regiment stationed there, in different engagements with the Insurgents."

  2. Major Edward Hicks was the son of Edward Hicks the elder, a merchant, and his wife Violetta (daughter of William Ricketts of Ridgeland, q.v.). Ricketts bequeathed 50 hogsheads of sugar to the children of Edward the elder and Violetta and requested that either Hicks the elder or his other son-in-law become an executor of his will. In a later codicil, Ricketts denied executorship to Hicks, stating "its my will and desire that Edward Hicks be no ways considered nor interfere in this my last will and testament". Violetta died in Philadelphia in 1747. Edward the elder's children (including Major Edward Hicks) were apparently denied their due Ricketts inheritance by their father. One of his sons-in-law Rev (later Bishop) Samuel Seabury, sued Edward the elder for his wife Mary’s inheritance, but by then it was spent. In 1765, Hicks the elder transferred to Seabury ownership of four enslaved people in part payment of the money due.

  3. Under the will of Edward Hicks Major of His Majesty's 70th Regiment of Foot proved 10/07/1787 (but made at Nova Scotia 11/01/1781), Hicks left his plantations, lands and slaves in Tobago in trust to 'my worthy friends' George Chamberlain of Merton Surrey, Henry Pullins Carlton Hall Yorkshire and John Skinner Esq Captain 70th Regiment, to provide £25 p.a. to "my good friend and companion Elizabeth Anderton, with the remainder of the estate to be divided among his reputed children hereafter named, Mary Hicks (the daughter of Mary Mawby deceased), Edward Hicks jun. (now Lieut. in the 70th Regiment), William Hicks, Charles Hicks, Elizabeth Hicks, Ann Hicks, the sons and daughters of Elizabeth Anderton. "Whereas my plantation at Tobago called Crown Point consists partly of a poor settler's lot of 30 acres" was granted to the reputed son William Hicks, the latter was obliged to buy it out on reaching 21, or be excluded from the will.

  4. In a letter written in 1788, George Chamberlain wrote to Samuel Seabury about Major Edward Hicks' family and West India estate: "Mrs Hicks [presumably Elizabeth Anderton] still resides in Gresse Street with her Eldest Daughter [Elizabeth] + youngest Son [Charles], the youngest Daughter [Ann] is at school, and I have the pleasure to inform you that they are very well. Ned + Will are upon their Duty, the former in Ireland and the latter in the Mediterranean and were both well when I last heard from them, I have strongly recommended it to them to keep up a friendly correspondence with their relations in America which I hope they will do." Chamberlaine then referenced the children's inheritance: "I am in anxious expectation of hearing from the West Indies, when if the Trustees are put into possession of the Estate for the benefit of the Children, they may have a comfortable subsistance, but if otherwise they will scarce have the means of subsistance, however we hope for the best."

  5. In the will of Major Edward Hicks' reputed son Edward, written in 1789, by which time he was a Lieutenant in the 70th Regiment of Foot, Lieut. Edward Hicks bequeathed an annuity of £32 to his mother Elizabeth for life. His siblings William, Charles, Elizabeth and Anne were to inherit "my estate share and interest of and in certain plantations or estates in the Island of Tobago in the West Indies late belonging to my late father Edward Hicks" as tenants in common. The will was proved at London in 1801.

  6. Major Edward Hicks' sister Catherine (1745-1781) married her first cousin Isaac (1748-1836) and was the mother of the American Quaker folk artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849).


John Fowler, A summary account of the present flourishing state of the respectable colony of Tobago in the British West Indies illustrated with a map of the island and a plan of its settlement, agreeably to the sales by his Majesty’s Commissioners (London: A Grant, 1774), pp. 44-45. For an extensively sourced family tree see 'A Kerstetter-Miller Family Tree' on Ancestry, [accessed 07/01/2022].

  1. Auction listing for "Extremely rare, signature of Patrick Ferguson, famed", [accessed 04/01/2021].

  2. Email from Pamela Miller 03/01/2022; John Edwin Sitwell, The history of Captain Richard Stillwell, son of Lieutenant Nicholas Stillwell, and his descendants (1930) pp. 232-236; Bruce Steiner, Samuel Seabury, 1729-1796: a study in the High Church tradition (1972) pp. 65-66, 75-79; William Jones Seabury, Memoir of Bishop Seabury (1908) pp. 24-30; gravestone of Violetta Hicks, [accessed 04/01/2022].

  3. PROB 11/1155/123.

  4. CT-Diocese-Episcopate-Seabury Collection. Archives of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut [Meriden, CT], George Chamberlain to Samuel Seabury 2 Apr 1788.

  5. PROB 11/1360/278.

  6. A Genealogical and Personal History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania vol. 1 p. 113; Edward Hicks, Memoirs of the Life and Religious Labors of Edward Hicks: Late of Newtown, Bucks County. Pennsylvania (1851) pp. 18-19.

We are grateful to Pamela Miller for her extensive assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

[illeg., with Mary Mawby] Mary; [illeg., with Elizabeth Anderton] William, Edward, Charles, Elizabeth, Ann

Associated Estates (1)

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
- 1787 [LA] → Owner

Major Edward Hicks left the Crown Point estate to his natural children in 1787.

Relationships (3)

Grandson → Grandfather
Grandson → Grandmother
Nephew → Uncle