John Robertson of Bellemont

25th Dec 1771 - 21st Sep 1818


  1. Scottish planter, owner of Bellemont estate in St Elizabeth, Jamaica. Born 25/12/1771 and baptised 27/12/1771 at Cramond near Edinburgh, son of Peter Roberston and his wife Janet Adamson. Nephew of Hon. Duncan Robertson (q.v.) who was his father's brother. Cousin of Hon. Duncan Robertson of Gilnock Hall (q.v.) who was the son of his paternal uncle Rev. James Robertson (1739-1812). Living at Gartincaber House, Perthshire, in 1818 but died in Newington, Edinburgh. The record of his burial (in Greyfriars kirkyard) gives his age at death as 46.

  2. Two children baptised at New River, St Elizabeth, the estate of his father-in-law Joseph James Swaby senior, 11/12/1806: Ann (born 1804) and Joseph James (born 1806). Four children baptised at Bellemont, St Elizabeth: John and Peter (born 1807 and 1811 respectively but both baptised 03/02/1812); Elizabeth and Caroline (born 1813 and 1815 respectively but both baptised 16/01/1816).

  3. Two children baptised in Kilmadock, Perthshire: Janet (1809) and Mary Margaret Adlam (1817). Presumably this youngest daughter was named after the wife of Mary Margaret Adlam, the wife of one of Robertson's executors, William Adlam of Warminster.

  4. His eldest son Joseph James Robertson, MD, died at Friendship, 09/05/1830, aged 24.

  5. The Morning Post of 29/09/1818 reported his death on 21st inst, describing him as “of Bellemont, St.Elizabeth, Jamaica, many years a Medical Practitioner in that island”. The baptismal entry for his children Ann and Joseph James (11/12/1806) calls him Dr John Robertson.


  1. Baptism GROS OPR 679/0030 0009 Cramond; death GROS 685/1 990 289 Edinburgh; email from Peter Durbin, 17/03/2015.

  2., Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  3. batch no. C11362-4.

  4. Death of James Robertson MD, Inverness Courier 18/8/1830.

  5. Morning Post 29/09/1818.

We are grateful to Peter Durbin and Paul Hitchings for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Caroline Swaby
Ann, Joseph James, John, Janet, Peter, Eliza, Caroline and Mary Margaret Adlam


John Robertson of Bellemont in the parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica. Residing at Garlincaber in the county of Perth. Died in Newington, Edinburgh 21/09/1818. Will made 16/05/1818.

Executors: John Chambers of Northampton Estate, St Elizabeth; William Aldam of Warminster Estate, St Elizabeth; Duncan Robertson of Friendship Estate, Jamaica (at present in Great Britain); Joseph Lawes Swaby of Montpelier (at present in Great Britain); James Robertson, writer, 2 Heriot Row, Edinburgh (cousin); and Caroline Robertson (wife).


£1000 sterling in deposit by the British Linen Company £75000 sterling in deposit receipt by Sir William Forbes and Company £167 12s 3d balance of account current with the branch of the Bank of Scotland at Stirling A debt due from Major E. M.Pherson of the 79th regiment.


Executors to be trustees for whole property.

Payment of just debts, sickbed and funeral expenses. £200 per year to wife Caroline Robertson. Should she wish to live again in Jamaica she shall be able to occupy my house in Bellemont and use all household furniture within it. £500 to her in order to purchase furniture which shall remain her absolute property.

My mother Janet Robertson to be allowed possession rent-free throughout her lifetime the second flat at number 10 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, which belonged to my father and which has been occupied by her since his death.

My father sold to Sir John McLean, Lieut. Col. of the 27th regiment of foot, the lease of the farms of Gaskenloan and Dalwhinnie in Inverness-shire which he had obtained from the Commissioners of the Forfeited Estates. £90 per annum still due from Sir John McLean for the remainder of this lease, which I allow my mother to draw for the rest of her life. If she survives after the end of the lease then my trustees to pay her £50 per annum for the rest of her life.

The residue of the whole proceeds, rents and profits of my estate real and personal estate to be spent by my trustees to pay towards the clothing, maintenance and education of my beloved children Ann, Joseph James, John, Janet, Peter, Eliza, Caroline and Mary Margaret Adlam and any other children which I may leave at the time of my death until they reach the age of 21 or at marriage. The surplus each year to be invested in stock in the three percent consols as an accumulating fund to be added to the capital. My estate to be shared between my children equally as tenants in common and not as joint tenants.

Should my children all die before age 21 then my property to be divided one third to my wife, one third to my sister Jessy Mitchell, wife of William Mitchell of Gorden Hall, North Britain, the final third to my brother Archibald Robertson of Dunsinane at present in the parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica.

Executors and trustees to also be guardians of my children.

Codicil adds £100 annuity to wife Caroline Robertson in addition to that already allocated and £1000 to buy a suitable house for her.

Physician and planter

Associated Estates (2)

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] - 21/09/1818 [ED] → Owner
1821 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner

Relationships (8)

First Cousins
Husband → Wife
Nephew → Uncle
First Cousins
Testator → Executor
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (2)

Cramond, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland
Gartincaber House, Kilmadock, Stirlingshire, Central Scotland, Scotland