Jacob Belgrave junior

1770 - 1827


Jacob Belgrave junior, son of Jacob Belgrave senior. Owner of Graeme Hall, Sterling and Ruby estates in Barbados. Active petitioner for the rights of free people of colour. Tentatively identified as the guardian of Julia and Ann Maria Belgrave and executor of John Thomas Belgrave.

  1. Son of Jacob Belgrave senior and his first wife Elizabeth Ann Spike. Jacob Belgrave married Charlotte Murrell 08/12/1802 in St Michael, Barbados. They were both given as FM - "free mulattoes". They had five children: Mariah Jane (1797-1799), Nathaniel (1800?-), Dorothy Linda (1808-), Sarah Ann (1810-) and Charlotte (1802-1827). Charlotte Murrell was buried 25/01/1811 in St Philip, Barbados, aged 35.

  2. Jacob Belgrave, "free coloured man" married Elizabeth Ann Barrow, "free mulatto", 28/11/1811 in St Michael, Barbados. Their daughter Mary Ann was born 1812 and baptised that same year in St Philip, followed by a daughter Elizabeth Maria born 1813, a son Allen Howell, born and baptised in 1819 in St Philip and a daughter Sarah Barrow baptised in 1816. Jacob Belgrave, "Free col. Person" of Graeme Hall, buried 27/08/1827 in St Philip, Barbados, age 58. Three further children (Emma Augusta, Catherine Crowther and Antoinette Adams) were baptised in Christ Church 25/10/1828 after their father's death.

  3. Elizabeth A. Belgrave was owner of five enslaved people in Barbados in 1829, "all reverted back to her by the death of her late husband J. Belgrave." Listed in the slave register as "fm" ("free mulatto").

  4. Jacob Belgrave junior was the brother-in-law of Renn Phillips Collymore, another prominent petitioner, who married Elizabeth Maria Belgrave, daughter of Jacob Belgrave and Elizabeth Ann (Spike) Belgrave in St Philip in 1796 (Elizabeth Maria was born and baptised in St Philip in 1779).

  5. In 1823, in the aftermath of the Demerara Rebellion and amid serious concerns about insurrection among the enslaved and free populations, Jacob Belgrave junior presented a petition to the House of Assembly "in the behalf of the free colored community at large" and signed by 20 prominent free men of colour. The petition condemned "the ill-directed, but too successful efforts of a few mistaken individuals, who… would run the risk of involving inpractical and lamentable ruin, the property, and even the lives of thousands of their fellow subjects.” Belgrave and co-signatories applauded amelioration as the best way to sustain the institution of slavery: “We hail however with peculiar pleasure, the efforts which are now making in every part of the Country, to impart religious instruction to the Slaves, which we humbly conceive to be the best means of counteracting the mischievous influence of designing persons, by teaching them to be contented and happy in their present highly improved condition.” Belgrave stressed that their best chances for advancement flowed from approval from the white elite and to take advantage of the present unrest by lodging further demands would be “so ungenerous, so dishonourable to all who have the real interests of their Country at heart…”


Jerome S. Handler, The Unappropriated People: Freedmen in the Slave Society of Barbados (1974) p. 121.

  1. Familysearch.org, Barbados, Church Records, 1637-1849 [database online].

  2. Ibid.

  3. T71/540 91.

  4. Familysearch.org, Barbados, Church Records, 1637-1849 [database online].

  5. CO 31/49, 21 Oct 1823, “Humble address of the free coloured inhabitants…”

We are grateful to Ruth Hecht for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

[1] Charlotte Murrell [2] Elizabeth Ann Barrow
twelve children (see text)

Associated Estates (7)

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
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Executor
- 1828 [LA] → Previous owner
1816 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Previous owner
1820 [EA] - → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Guardian
1817 [EA] - → Guardian

Relationships (8)

Husband → Wife
Notes →
It is possible that the Jacob Belgrave who was brother of John Thomas Belgrave was the Jacob Belgrave who was owner of an estate in St Michael, 1829-34 and an awardee on the claim, Barbados...
Son → Father
Uncle → Nephew
Notes →
Uncle → Nephew
Guardian → Ward
Guardian → Ward