Ann Harris

1791 - 1862


  1. In the Will of Henry Iles Underwood of Copthall Chambers, proved 15/05/1818, she is described as "a Coloured Woman formerly of Demerara now at Startforth near Barnard Castle in Yorkshire". In his will Henry Iles Underwood directed for £50 p.a to be paid to her as well as £1,000 to be paid to her daughter Eliza Harris "on her attaining the age of 21 years or day of marriage" and "in the meantime it is my will that the interest of the said legacy of £1,000 be applied to the maintenance and education of Eliza Harris at the discretion of my executors".

  2. Ann Harris, "an adult aged about twenty one" was baptised in Startforth in 1814. Ann Harris married Edward Lawson in Startforth, 05/06/1817. They had eight children baptised in Startforth: Edward Barker (1817), Ann (1819), Mary (1821), Frederick George (1827), Charles (1831), Francis James (1833), Septimus (1836), Eliza (1838). Ann's daughter Eliza Harris may be the Eliza Harris of Low Startforth who was buried 06/07/1829 age 29. In 1841 the family were living in Low Startforth (Ann's age given as 50 and her place of birth as Demerara). In 1851 and 1861 they were recorded in Startforth.

  3. Ann Harris, "free coloured" is listed as having paid tax for the ownership of 3 enslaved people in 1808. Ann Harris, "with 4 servants and a child" gave notice to leave Demerara 19/05/1812. The child is presumably her daughter Eliza, whose father was Henry Iles Underwood. The three sons of Henry Iles Underwood (Richard, Henry and John) also mentioned in the will of Henry Iles Underwood may have been those classed as servants and travelled to England with her. John Underwood probably attended Mr Galland's Academy at Startforth (Mr A. Galland was a witness to Ann's marriage in Startforth in 1817).

  4. Ann Lawson, age 71 years, was buried in Startforth 14/06/1862. Edward Lawson, age 82 years, was buried in the same place 20/08/1863.


  1. PROB 11/1604.

  2., Yorkshire Baptisms [database online]. batch nos. M01035-1, C01035-2. 1841-1861 censuses online.

  3. Email from Kathryn Feather, 21/04/2017 sourced to Essequebo and Demerary Royal Gazette 25/09/1810 and 19/05/1812; advertisement for Mr. Galland's Academy, Startforth, in The Times, 08/01/1798.

  4., Yorkshire Burials [database online].

We are grateful to Marion Moverley and Kathryn Feather for their help in compiling this entry.

Further Information

Edward Lawson
At least 8 children

Relationships (1)

Extra-marital relationships
Notes →
This is an assumption based on the will of Henry Iles Underwood and his bequest to Ann Harris and Ann's daughter Eliza...

Addresses (1)

Startforth, Teesdale, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, England