James Culley

???? - 14th Mar 1833


Slave-owner in Berbice, with Thomas Lighton owner of Belair, and with his partner 'Watson' (George Watson) possibly a trader in enslaved people in Berbice in the early 1830s. Dead by 1833, when an advertisement for creditors of his estate appeared.

  1. James Culley became a member of the Council in 1826 after the old Council members, who had obstructed amelioration, were dismissed. Described as a plantation owner who had been attorney for James Blair.

  2. "Died, at Berbice, on the 14th March, 1833, James Culley, Esq., a native of Newry, after a residence of twenty years, during which he occupied a prominent station in that Colony - having, amongst other important situations, filled the offices of member of the Legislative Council and of the Court of Criminal Justice. The advantages derived from his official station and high respectability afforded him an opportunity of being serviceable to many of his countrymen who visited the Colony; and this power was invariably exercised with a kindness to which many can bear testimony, whilst his house was ever the hospitable shelter of those whose health or circumstances rendered it a desirable retreat. The numerous attendance of the most respectable inhabitants of the Colony, at his interment, gave unequivocal evidence of the general estimation in which his character was held."

  3. Note this was a different person to the Major James Culley of the 5th (Northumberland) Regiment of Foot, promoted from Captain in 1814, retired in February 1828. Acting Governor of St Lucia in 1824.


E.g. T71/444 pp. 110-120 shows Culley & Watson buying enslaved people from Pln Cruysburg; London Gazette 19094 18/10/1833 p.1876.

  1. Email from David Alston 19/04/2019 sourced to CO 111105 Power to Horton (confidential) 7 Sept 1827.

  2. Newry Telegraph 04/06/1833.

  3. London Gazette 29/03/1814, Issue 16875, p. 679; A list of the officers of the Army and of the Corps of the Royal Marines (1827) p. 160; Colonial Office Records: List of Documents in the Public Record Office on 1st July 1876 (1876) p. 208.

We are grateful to David Alston and Alexander Kunde for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Associated Estates (4)

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
1825 [EA] - 1825 [LA] → Joint owner
1832 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1825 [EA] - 1825 [LA] → Attorney
1828 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Joint owner