Slave-owner in Jamaica, apparently resident. The trustees and executors of his will (dated 1814: he died 'shortly after') sold his three coffee estates for £40,000 to John Coley in 1821, taking back a mortgage secured on the three estates and on John Coley's own plantation.
The case of Denton v Davy, an appeal heard in 1836 by the Privy Council from the Court of Chancery of Jamaica, provides background on Stephen Denton. Denton, late of the parish of Manchester in the island of Jamaica but then of England, and Charles Gatfield of England, filed their bill in the Jamaican Court of Chancery 10/01/1831 as trustees and executors of Henry Palmer, late of Jamaica deceased, whose will was dated 06/08/1814 and in which James Davy was the third trustee. Stephen Denton left Jamaica in April 1820 and had ever since been resident in Great Britain: Gatfield never travelled to Jamaica. Consistent with Henry Palmer's will, the three trustees sold Palmer's three coffee estates for £40,000 20/05/1821 and entered a mortgage for the whole amount, less a 6% commission payable to them alone, secured on the 3 estates and on the buyer (John Coley's) John's Hall estate. The suit was over the division of this and subsequent commissions on the annual produce for the period Denton was still in Jamaica.
The Chancery case over commissions gave Henry Palmer's children as (1) two daughters, Sarah Lewis Palmer (b. 1809) and Ann Palmer (b. 1810) with his first wife Mary Gatfield; (2) a son Henry Palmer (b. 1812) and a then unborn second child with his second wife Ann Palmer. His second wife Ann left Jamaica for England in 1819.
By Sarah White, a "free mulatto", Mr Henry Palmer was reputed father of Ann (aged about 2 years when baptised 17/12/1802), Susanna and Mary (both baptised 21/06/1806, no age stated); Sarah White was about 18 years old when baptised on the same occasion as Ann.
By his wife Mary he was father of Henry (aged about 3.5 years when buried 17/12/1810), Sarah Lewis (born 11/01/1809) and Mary (born 17/06/1810), described as daughters of Henry Palmer and his late wife Mary, when baptised at Greenland, 07/02/1812.
Mrs Mary Palmer, aged 25, wife of Henry Palmer esq, was buried 14/12/1810.
Henry Palmer esq and Ann Oxlade, spinster, both of St Elizabeth, were married by licence at Maidstone in that parish, 07/02/1812.
Henry, son of Henry Palmer esq and Ann his wife, was born 16/12/1812 and baptised at Greenland 7/9/1813.
A notice dated 12/09/1814 convened a meeting of the Vestry of St Elizabeth to elect a successor as vestryman to Henry Palmer who had “gone off the island”.
Eliza Ann, only daughter of Henry Palmer esq late of Greenland in St Elizabeth and his wife Ann, the daughter of Mr Oxlade of Great Marlow in the county of Buckingham, was born 12/09/1814 and baptised at James Davy’s at Wear Penn, 19/09/1815, at the same time as seven "negroes" belonging to the late Henry Palmer esq; the widow was said to be “now residing at Greenland”.
Edmund F. Moore, Reports of Cases heard and determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Vol. 1 (1836-7) pp. 15-43.
Familysearch.org, Jamaican Parish Registers, St Elizabeth Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1795-1820 pp. 105, 117.
Ibid. pp. 345, 164.
Ibid. p. 345.
Ibid. p. 315.
Ibid. p. 171.
Royal Gazette of Jamaica 17/09/1814.
Familysearch.org, Jamaican Parish Registers, Westmoreland Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1739-1825 p. 182.
We are grateful to Paul Hitchings for his assistance with compiling this entry.
(1) Mary Gatfield (2) Ann Oxlade
With (1): Sarah Lewis; Ann; with (2) Henry; Eliza Ann
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:
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Previous owner
Testator → Trustee
Father → Son