Robert Stokes

1774 - 2nd Feb 1819


  1. Born 30/09/1774 and baptised 08/10/1774 in St James's, Westminster, son of John Stokes and his wife Esther. Married Martha Frances Barker, daughter of John and Sarah Barker, sister of Judith Barker (q.v.) and sister-in-law of John Boswell (q.v.). Children Robert Stokes (1809), Ann (1814) and John Milbourne Stokes baptised 1813 in Jamaica.

  2. Abbey Court pen in St Andrew, Jamaica, was registered to Robert Stokes in the almanac of 1816 (based on the givings-in of 1815) with 23 enslaved people and 23 stock. He was receiver for Abbey Green estate in St David, Jamaica, the property of his wife's nephew John Matthews Boswell, in 1817. Abbey Court was registered to the estate of Robert Stokes with 40 enslaved people and 10 stock in the almanac of 1820 (based on the givings-in of 1819). Robert Stokes died at Abbey Court pen, St Andrew, 02/02/1819.

  3. His executor in Jamaica was Robert Graham (q.v.), who was to succeed him as receiver at Abbey Green, was instructed to sell all Stokes' real estate in Jamaica for the benefit of his wife and children. The assets at Abbey Court comprised 'Thirty-Three NEGROES, consisting of 17 Men, 4 Women, and 12 Children. The LEASE of ABBEY-COURT Pen, of which twenty-two Months are unexpired, with the STOCK thereon, consisting of a Flock of very fine Sheep, in number 137, seven Mules, six Cows, with their Followers, a Bull, of a good size, and two Horses; Also, the HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE. Likewise, a Piece of PEN LAND, adjoining Abbey Court, containing 90 Acres, of which there is a great proportion in Guinea-Grass, and well fenced'.

  4. After Stokes' death, his wife Martha moved to Britain. Both his sons moved to New Zealand in 1840 where, by 1880, they had jointly acquired property of nearly 30,000 acres; the eldest, Robert, was a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council 1862-1879.


  1. Findmypast, Westminster Baptisms [database online]., Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  2. See estate information for Abbey Green. Jamaica Almanacs 1816, 1820. Royal Gazette (Kingston), 06/02/1819 - British Library microfilm.

  3. PROB 11/1623. Royal Gazette (Kingston), 20/02/1819.

  4. Martha Stokes was described as 'of Chelsea, Middlesex, widow' in the will of her nephew John Matthews Boswell (proved 1827). Fully sourced article on Robert Stokes junior in [accessed 16/12/2016].

We are grateful to James Hodsdon for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Martha Frances Barker
Robert, John Milbourne, Ann

PROB 11/1623 - precis.

Robert Stokes of the City and parish of Kingston, Jamaica, Esquire.

All my real and personal estate to be liable for payment of my just debts, funeral expenses and the charges attending my will.

Executors to sell my messuages, tenements or dwellinghouses, pens and other lands, slaves and other real estate in Jamaica, the proceeds and all my other monies to be remitted to John Smith Esquire late Deputy Post Master General for the Island of Jamaica and at present paymaster of His Majesty's Navy upon trust to invest all the money in the purchase of stock or funds or government securities.

The annual profits and dividends to form in the first place an annuity equal to one half of the interest of the above funds to my wife Martha Frances Stokes for the term of her natural life in lieu and bar of dower. If she remarries then no part of the annuity shall be liable for her husband's debts.

The residue and remainder of the profits or so much as will be sufficient for that purpose to be spent in educating, maintaining and cloathing in a proper genteel and suitable manner my children Robert Stokes, John Millbourne Stokes and Ann Stokes and any other children of Martha and myself, until my sons reach the age of 21 or, for daughters, at marriage if before age 21. Any surplus to be reinvested with the original sum. Should my wife still be living when my our children reach the age of 21 then John Smith to set apart such part as will be sufficient to produce one half the annual interest for my wife's annuity. The rest to be divided between my children equally at age 21 or, for daughters, at marriage if before age 21.

My property in Great Britain to be divided between my children at age 21 or, for daughters, at marriage if before age 21, equally as tenants in common.

John Smith and Robert Graham of Kingston to be my executors. In the event of the death of Robert Graham before my decease then William Caldwell of Kingston Esquire to be executor instead. John Smith to be sole executor of my estate in Great Britain and guardian of my children and their estates.

Signed 09/04/1817.

Codicil dated 10/03/1818. Should my wife die before my sons Robert and John Milbourne reach age 21 years, and my sons die before that age, then all my property real and personal to be divided between Ann and Judith Barker of Kingston as tenants in common; if both die then the property to devolve to the other.

Proved at London 02/12/1819 by the oath of John Smith.

Associated Estates (3)

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
1815 [EA] - 02/02/1819 [ED] → Owner
1819 [EA] - → Previous owner
1817 [EA] - → Receiver

Relationships (7)

Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Other relatives
Notes →
Their wives were...
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Husband → Wife
Father → Son
Father → Son
Testator → Executor