James Fergusson of Tobago

???? - 1777


James Ferguson [sic] was shown c. 1773 as the present proprietor of North East division (St John parish) Lot no. 12 (300 acres), originally purchased by A. Wilson and J. Hamilton 19/04/1768, which together with Lot no. 11 was shown by Woodcock as becoming the Bloody Bay estate.

  1. James Ferguson [sic], the son of Sir James Ferguson [sic], died on Tobago in 1777. This was James Fergusson, the youngest son of Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, 2nd bart. and Jean Maitland.

  2. Eric Graham identifies James Fergusson's estate as Carrick, and gives its history. James Fergusson, younger brother of Sir Adam Fergusson, purchased 300 acres from 'Mr Wilson' for £4000, with the intention to plant cotton and indigo. After an initial struggle, he successfully established the estate which on his death in 1777 was worked by over 90 enslaved people and valued at £15,000. The Fergussons abandoned the cultivation of the estate during the cession to France and in 1787 it was declared forfeit.


'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. 46-47.

  1. American Vital Records from the Gentleman's Magazine, 1731-1868 p. 99 (which gives the reference 48:45); The Scots Magazine Vol. 40 (Jan. 1778) p. 53 gives James Fergusson dying on his estate in Tobago, the youngest son of the late Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran bt., one of the Lords of Session and Judiciary of Scotland.

  2. Eric Graham, Burns and the Sugar Plantocracy of Ayrshire (2014) pp. 33-35, 'Tobago: the "unfortunate adventure".' The family tree on p. 96 shows James Fergusson 4th bart. (1765-1838) as the brother of Sir Adam Fergusson, but this should be James Fergusson of Tobago (d. 1777), as the text makes clear. James Fergusson 4th bart. was the son of Charles Fergusson (1740-1804) and the nephew of Sir Adam Fergusson 3rd bart.

Relationships (3)

Uncle → Nephew