Charles Austin

1780 - 1826


Charles Austin was the son of Charles Austin (d.1797) and Mary Ann Hanley (d.1795) who had married in 1778. His father was licensed to practice as an attorney by the Jamaica Supreme Court. His father served as Lieutenant in the Kingston Regiment foot militia in 1784 and as a Major in the Port Royal Foot Regiment in 1787 and 1790. His father's will declared that 'I Charles Austin of Kingston, Attorney at Law.... I give and devise and bequeath unto my dearly beloved wife Mary Ann Austin all my Estate real and Personal for her life and for the purposes of maintaining and educating my beloved son Charles Austin now residing in England..... I nominate my wife Mary Ann Austin my executrix, John Sims of Kingston Attorney at Law and Hugh Barnett of the Parish of Trelawney Esquire my Executors. In trust to maintain and support my mountain plantation, Real and Personal property until Charles is 21.'

By 1801 Charles Jr. had returned to Jamaica and was living with his 'house-keeper' (a euphemistic term sometimes used to describe a mistress or common law wife). Her name was Mary Austin and the couple had three daughters including Mary Ann (b.11 Dec 1801, d.1897), Charlotte and Jane. In 1809 the latter two children were baptised alongside Thomas Austin a 'free mulatto' and 'Harriet Robinson & Sarah Austin, slaves to Mr. Charles Austin.'

In 1804 Austin's livestock pen Barbecue River was listed on a map of the County of Surrey. The Jamaica Almanacs listed his ownership of enslaved people on Stafford Hall and Galloway House. Like his father he was listed as an ensign in the Bull Bay Company, Port Royal Regiment, Foot Militia in 1808 and later in 1817 as a Lt. Col. Port Royal Regiment of Foot.

Charles Austin was described by Benjamin McMahon in Jamaica Plantership in the following passage: 'The proprietor of Bloxburgh Mr T. P. Kellerman, was also a kind hearted and good natured man, but at last he became intimate with a a monster in human shape, Charles Austin, who owned a small property in the neighbourhood. By Austin's seductive and treacherous arts, Kellerman, was at last utterly ruined. He formed a connexion with one of Austin's daughters in the island fashion and was entirely ruled by Austin's villainous advice. From this time, by gambling, cock-fighting, and horse-racing, Kellerman, involved his fine property deeper and deeper in the rapacious jaws of a mortgagee— his disappointment soured his temper— his mild policy was changed for persecution, and, under the influence of Charles Austin and his locust brood, he became as great a tyrant as his neighbours- Mr. Roberts found himself unable to give satisfaction under the inhumane system recommended by Austin, and he was therefore necessitated to throw up his situation, and leave the country.'

In July 1821, Charles Austin served as the coroner during an inquest ordered by the authorities in Kingston upon Dr. Craig's submission of evidence of the death of an enslaved man on Phillips Valley. According to McMahon, Austin "was a particular friend of Mr. Levy, and he, of course, took care to have every thing his own way. After going through this sham investigation, the jury returned a verdict according to custom, 'Died by the visitation of God.'"

The daughter to whom Thomas Penny Kellerman became attached was Mary Ann (1801-1897). When she died aged 98 the death register at Half-Way Tree Jamaica described her as the 'widow of Thomas Penny Kellerman a planter.' The couple had four children - Charles Austin's grandchildren - Jacob, Ann, Ellen and Charlotte Kellerman.


Donna R. Campbell-Kenny, A Journey Through Time in Jamaica: The Story of A.C. Campbell & His Ancestors (Stewart Publishing & Printing, 2003), p.53.

Jamaica Family Search

Benjamin McMahon, Jamaica Plantership: Eighteen Years Employed in the Planting Line in that Island (1839) p. 21.

We are grateful to Siddharth Singh Ahlawat for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Married but no further details
Mary Ann (b.11 Dec 1801, d.1897), the daughter of Mary Austin, a quadroon, by Charles Austin.

William Parke, Thomas Parke, Richard Hall, Thomas Penny Kellerman executors. Says Galloway House is at present his on lease. (11 May 1824)


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
1804 [EA] - → Owner

Plotted as Austin's on James Robertson's 1804 map of Jamaica

1810 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (2)

Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter