John William Perch

1786 - 1831


Resident slave-owner in Barbados. Members of his family appear to have moved to Britain after Emancipation.

  1. Christened 8 March 1786, St Michael, Barbados. The son of Thomas Wilmott and Susanna Perch. He appears to have married, first, Elizabeth Margaret Marsh, 29 September 1807 in St George, Barbados and, second, Mary Skinner Griffith, 14 May 1822 in St Michael, Barbados (it is possible that these were distinct men called John William Perch but it is likely that his first wife died and was then followed by a second marriage).

  2. Inventory of J. W. Perch, deceased, Graeme Hall dated 1831.

  3. In a Levy Book list for St James, Barbados, 1822, Perch was listed as owning 147 enslaved and 246 acres of land. The name of the estate (or estates) was not given. This probably refers to Apes Hill.

  4. On 26/02/1831, two sons of John William Perch of Graeme Hall were baptised in Christ Church, Barbados: Hugh Perch aged 13, son of John William Perch and Margaret Elizabeth Perch aged 13; and William Perch, son of John William Perch (the mother's name was given as Margaret Elizabeth and then deleted).

  5. In 1861 William Perch born Barbados aged 30 'commission merchant' was living at Stratheden [?] Villa Hammersmith (near Shaftesbury Road, now Ravencourt Road) with his family including son Howard Griffith Perch; in 1871 he was at Charles Street Glamorgan, 'colliery proprietor'. He died at Cannes 26/02/1891, late of 31 Albert Hall Mansions and of 129 Bute Road Cardiff, 'colliery proprietor, merchant and ship-owner', leaving £71,353 18s 2d. Subsequent grants of administration in 1895 and 1904 showed effects of £22,871 19s 8d (later resworn to £36,872 9s 2d), and £100 respectively, implying complexity around, and probably indebtedness associated with, his finances at death. The George Perch of St Michael Barbados who died at Bath in 1867 leaving £600 in England was probably also a son of John William Perch.


  1. Caribbean Births and Baptisms, 1590-1928, FamilySearch; Caribbean Marriages, 1591-1905, Family Search: John William Perch and Elizabeth Margaret Marsh; Caribbean Marriages, 1591-1905, Family Search: John William Perch and Mary Skinner Griffith.

  2. Barbados Department of Archives, Inventories.

  3. Levy Book for St James, 1822. Barbados Department of Archives, RB9/3/7.

  4. [accessed 23/11/2019].

  5. 1861 and 1871 censuses online; National Probate Calendar 1891, 1895 and 1904. William Perch's colliery was shown as 'Perch Levels' before mid-century; William Perch & Co. appears to have been the successor company ( [accessed 23/11/2019]; London Gazette 27973 4 December 1906 p. 8577) and was still operating a colliery called Buttery Hatch with 120 men in 1935, [accessed 23/11/2019]. Dorothy Perch Lewis, a female poet of the First World War and daughter of William Morgan Lewis, a partner in William Lewis & Co., was presumably a namesake.

We are grateful for the help of Audrey Dewjee with this entry.

Further Information

(1) Elizabeth Margaret Marsh (2) Mary Skinner Griffith

Associated Estates (4)

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] - 1831 [LA] → Owner
1829 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Owner
1829 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Not known

Capacity not specified but probably Attorney.

1817 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney