James Walker of Woodlands, Dumfries

???? - 1832


Returnee from Jamaica, first a merchant in London and then retiring to Scotland, leaving £100,000 in 1832. It is possible that the architect Walter Newall's Woodlands House is connected with this man. His slave-ownership has not been traced beyond that indicated in his will.

  1. 'A planter/ merchant "formerly of Kingston, Jamaica, then for many years a merchant in London" (Morning Post, 2 November 1832), then of Woodland[s], Dumfriesshire. "Merchant" (James Walker & Co.) of 1 Artillery Place, Finsbury Square, City of London (1811. 1817, and 1823 directories) The nature of his mercantile business in London is unclear, but presumably he was a West Indies merchant. It is also unclear if he was a planter or merchant in Jamaica.'

  2. Will of James Walker of Woodlands [registered at Edinburgh 06/11/1832] proved 22/11/1832. Under the will he recited that he had already settled his Scottish estates in 1818 and 1821 on his son John, 'lately my partner in business as merchants in London'. He left monetary legacies of £20-150 to his brother and nieces and nephews, but £10,000 to his daughter Eleanor then living with him. In a codicil, he left a legacy of £20 for 'a girl of colour residing in Kingston, Jamaica named Betty or Elizabeth, the daughter of a servant or slave of mine named Kitty long since deceased,' and lots or shares in lots of land in Kingston. His son John was given as of Kelton Mains.


  1. W.D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? Vol. I (1809-1839) 2nd ed. MS, which reports that the probate calendar shows him as 'Formerly of Artillery Place, Finsbury Square, City of London and then of Woodland [sic[ near Dumfries, Scotland.'

  2. PROB 11/1808/328. He is given as of Woodlands Dorset [sic] in the TNA index.

Further Information

John; Eleanor
Wealth at death
Oxford DNB Entry

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Senior partner
James Walker & Co.
West India merchant?  

Relationships (6)

Executor → Testator
Executor → Testator
Trustee → Testator
Uncle → Nephew
Notes →
John Biggar made his uncle James Walker then of Artillery Place London an executor of his will in...
Other relatives
Notes →
Probably brothers. James Walker 'of Crawford Town' was identified as the brother of William Walker and John Walker merchant of London as the nephew of William Walker in the latter's will, which was...
Father → Son

Addresses (2)

Woodland[s], Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Southern Scotland, Scotland
1 Artillery Place , Finsbury Square, London, Middlesex, London, England