David Finlay

1776 - 1826


  1. Attorney for Ardoch Pen from at least 1812 - the earliest known letter from him is dated 08/08/1812 and the letter informing his executor George Fletcher Coward (q.v.) informing Thomas Graham Stirling (q.v.) of Finlay's death is dated 10/10/1826. By the time of his death, Ardoch Pen was the property of Finlay and subject to a mortgage to Thomas and William Stirling (both q.v.). Finlay's residuary legatee was his brother Alexander Finlay (also q.v.). Baptised in Baldernock, Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1776, son of James Finlay of Bogside, Stirlingshire (whose will, proved in 1821, lists his sons as Alexander of Glencorse, David and John (both in Jamaica) and his son-in-law as James Connell, merchant in Glasgow).

  2. Benjamin McMahon worked for David Finlay at Ardoch Pen in the early 1820s: "The time I remained here was the happiest in my life. Mr. Finlay was one of the best men I ever knew; he was exceedingly kind and humane to all his slaves in every respect: they were truly happy, and conducted themselves in the most orderly and respectful manner. The work went on cheerfully without the necessity of the whip, and although the place was worn out and barren, the net proceeds were comparatively very large. Yet for all this he was denounced and ridiculed by his neighbours as an old fool. The increase of the slaves on this property, from a few women, was truly remarkable. He compensation alone must have amounted to a large sum..."


  1. See Sarah Harrison (ed.), The Stirlings of Ardoch and the Grahams of Airth - new edition (2017), https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.8444 for the letters of Thomas Graham Stirling including correspondence about the management of Ardoch Pen; will of James Finlay, PROB 11/1650/316; GROS OPR Births 471 10 239 Baldernock.

  2. Benjamin McMahon, A Description of Jamaica Planters, viz Attorneys, Overseers and Book-keepers, With Several Interesting Anecdotes (1839) pp. 63-64.

We are grateful to Sarah Harrison and Cheryl Hazell for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Associated Estates (6)

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] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner
1824 [SY] - 1826 [EY] → Owner
1817 [EA] - → Attorney
1817 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1817 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney

Relationships (3)

Testator → Executor

Addresses (1)

Baldernock, Stirlingshire, Central Scotland, Scotland