Samuel Martin the elder of Antigua

1694 - 1776


Antiguan slave-owner, author of Essay upon Plantership (1754?) and father of the British MPs Samuel and Henry and the colonial governor Josiah. Samuel Martin the elder has an entry in the ODNB as 'plantation [sic] owner', as does his son Josiah as 'colonial governor.'

  1. Will of Samuel Martin late of the Island of Antigua but now of Ashted [sic] Surrey proved 30/05/1777. The will transmits his [unnamed] estate in Antigua to his son Samuel for life, and also provides for other children including Henry and Josiah.

  2. There is no mention in the will of property in Tobago, where a Samuel Martin bought Barbados Bay (St George) Lots nos. 18 (200 acres) and 19 (300 acres) 16/05/1766, which became the Friendship estate. Samuel Martin mentioned in a letter to his son that "I have sold my land in Tobago"; the letter is not dated but the preceeding one is dated 21st April 1767 and the following one 28th April.


John Martin, ‘Martin, Samuel (1694/5–1776)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 21 March 2015]. Sheridan gives the publication date of An Essay upon Plantership as 1754; the ODNB says that the first publication date is unknown but that the third edition was 1756, R.B. Sheridan ‘The rise of a colonial gentry: a case study of Antigua 1730-1775’ Economic History Review NS 13.3 (1961) pp. 342-357 at p. 353.

  1. PROB 11/1031/304.

  2. 'Tables showing the Lots in each Parish, numbered as originally granted - the original Grantee - the name of the Lot, or lots, if one has been acquired, and the present Possessor where there is one' and 'A Table, showing the Estates in cultivation in 1832, and their Owners, in 1832, copied from the list appended to Byres' map of that date, with those in cultivation in 1862', Henry Iles Woodcock, A History of Tobago (Ayr: Smith and Grant, 1867; new impression London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1971). 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. 32-33; email from Caitlin Rozario 10/05/2018 sourced to Martin Family Papers Vol. 5 (MS. Add. 41350), f. 44v.

We are grateful to Caitlin Rozario for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

(1) Frances Yeamans (2) Sarah Irish nee Wyke
Samuel; Henry; Josiah
Oxford DNB Entry

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
- 1776 [EY] → Owner

Relationships (3)

Grandfather → Grandson
Father → Son
Father → Son

Addresses (1)

Ashtead, Surrey, South-east England, England