Thomas Bird

No Dates


Thomas Bird was an early purchaser of land in Tobago. With William Karst, he (as Thos. Bird) was granted North East division (St John parish) Lot no. 13 (200 acres) on 19/04/1768: by 1773 the lot was held by William Sloan. William Karst was also the original purchaser of Rockly Bay division (St Andrew parish) Lots nos. 19 and 20, which became Sherwood Park, the estate with which Thomas Bird was later associated. Thomas Bird was among the three dozen resident signatories of the address to the Lieutenant Governor (described as 'late Governor' in the address) of Tobago, Hon. George Ferguson, on his leaving the island 10/06/1781.

  1. The evidence so far examined suggests that there were two Thomas Birds, probably father and son. In the compensation records for the Sherwood Park estate (Tobago claim no. 12), a group of three husbands and wives counter-claimed and received half the compensation awarded for the 107 enslaved people on the estate: Isaac Toby [sic] and Anne his wife of Plymouth, Andrew Scott and Celia his wife of Glasgow and John Park Fleming and Maria his wife of Glasgow, 'under the will of Thos. Bird dated 07/11/1791 for £3977 4s 4d with interest from 1819 subject to certain payments since made amount of which not exactly known.' Celia Scott (b. c. 1797) has been identified as the daughter of Daniel King 'of Tobago' and Anne Bird; Maria Fleming is known also to have been the daughter of Daniel King of Tobago; Anne Toby was born in Dunkirk, where Daniel King of Tobago is known to have traded later in his life c. 1800. The three women were sisters, the children of Daniel King and Anne Bird, and probably the grandchildren of Thomas Bird the testator.

  2. In a lawsuit arising from the will of John Robley (q.v.), Thomas Bird of Sherwood Park was said to have died in July 1813. While it is conceivable that the date given for the will of Thomas Bird in the compensation records (07/11/1791) was the date on which it was drawn up rather than the date of probate, it seems more likely that the Thomas Bird of Sherwood Park dying in 1813 was a different man, probably the son. At the baptism of John Bird King in Glasgow in 1811 (the son of John King and Maria Bird), one of the sponsors was standing in for 'the uncle', Thomas Bird of Tobago. Maria Bird had married John King of Glasgow in 1805, when her father Thomas Bird was described as 'late', and died at Sherwood Park on 11/02/1817. The most plausible interpretation is thus that Anne Bird, Maria Bird and Thomas Bird (d. 1813) were the children of the Thomas Bird of the early land-purchases whose will was dated 1791.


'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. 56-57; The Remembrancer, or Impartial Repository of Public Events for the Year 1781 Vol. 12 Part II p. 250.

  1. T71/891 Tobago No. 12.

  2. B. J. Addams, Reports of cases argued and determined in the Ecclesiastical Courts at Doctors Commons Vol. I Hilary Term 1822 to Trinity Tern 1823 p. 451; Monthly Magazine (1806) Vol. 20 p. 587; Fragmenta Genealogica Vol V (1900) p. 48.

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
1811 [EA] - → Trustee and Executor

Relationships (2)

Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Notes →
Inferred by...
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Notes →
Inferred by...