James Stirling the elder

17th Sep 1714 - 9th Aug 1773


Son of James Stirling of Keir (d. 1749). Sent to Jamaica in 1753 by his elder brother Archibald Stirling "to collect some of the family debts while earning a living as a merchant." Bought Hampden in St James jointly with his brother Robert Stirling in 1757. Sold his moity to Robert in 1761 in return for an annuity of £300 and returned to Scotland. Back in Jamaica in 1765 as executor to sort out the debts of Robert.

James Stirling of St James, planter. Estate probated in Jamaica in 1776. Slave-ownership at probate: 378 of whom 211 were listed as male and 167 as female. 53 were listed as boys, girls or children. Total value of estate at probate: £40030.57 Jamaican currency of which £25594 currency was the value of enslaved people. Estate valuation included £0 currency cash, £8300 currency debts and £66 currency plate.

The will of James Sterling, planter, now resident in Edinburgh, was proved in Jamacia, 10/11/1774.


Alan L. Karras, Sojourners in the Sun: Scottish Migrants in Jamaica and the Chesapeake, 1740-1800 (Ithaca and London, 1992) pp. 71-80. William Fraser, The Stirlings of Keir, and their family papers (Edinburgh, 1858) p. 72.

Trevor Burnard, Database of Jamaican inventories, 1674-1784.

LOS 42.

We are grateful to Daniel Livesay for his assistance with this entry.

Further Information


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
1757 [SY] - 1761 [EY] → Joint owner
1761 [SY] - 1773 [EY] → Executor

Relationships (7)

Uncle → Niece
Uncle → Niece
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Nephew

Addresses (2)

Keir House, Perthshire, North-east Scotland, Scotland
Monkrigg, Haddington, Haddingtonshire (East Lothian), Central Scotland, Scotland

Inventories (1)