John Laidlaw

???? - 1831


Slave-owner on Dominica, of Streatham Surrey when he made his will (proved in 1831) in 1825 and added a codicil in 1829.

  1. Will of John Laidlaw of [the island of Dominica but at present residing at] Streatham Surrey proved 27/10/1831 [made 17/10/1825]. Under the will he left an annuity of £700 p.a. to his wife Mary, confident that she would use part of it to give their children an education suitable to their 'rank and station.' He left his property, including the estate known as Wall House 'and the negroes thereon' which and whom he had contracted to buy and paid for but which and whom had not yet been conveyed, in trust (his trustees included his wife Mary, James Laing of Streatham, his brother Dugald Stuart [sic] Laidlaw and William Bremner of Roseau) to pay the annuity, 'not doubting that my friends Messieurs Wm Fraser, Alexander, Neilson & Co. of London will assent.' He then dedicated the residue of the income to building up a fund of £6000 for his three daughters, with the residue in turn to his wife until his elder son James turned 25, when the residue would be shared between James and his [the testator's wife] until his second son John was 25, when the estates would pass to James and John subject to an annuity of £500 p.a. to his wife Mary (in lieu of the earlier annuity of £700 p.a.). In case of the sale of his half-share of the Sugar Loaf estate, which he owned with his brother Dugald Stuart Laidlaw and the devisees of his late brother-in-law John Bruce, he instructed his [other] trustees to give Dugald Stuart Laidlaw the chance to purchase the share in the estate at a fair valuation. In a codicil dated 06/12/1829 he revoked the legacy to John Laidlaw on account of the latter's physical and mental condition, and made James Laidlaw his residuary heir. He also replaced the deceased William Bremner with George Seton of Perth as executor and trustee.

  2. Indenture dated 09/07/1823 between John Laidlaw of Dominica Esquire and Mary his wife on the one part and John Bruce late of the said island now at Sierra Leone and Dugald Laidlaw of the same island of the other part. Whereas by indenture of 26/03/1818 between John Neave of Exeter Esquire of the one part and John Laidlaw of the other, John Neave in consideration of £8,500 paid by John Laidlaw confirmed to him that sugar plantation in the parish of St John called Sugar Loaf and slaves and one moity was for John Laidlaw, one quarter for John Bruce and one quarter for Dugald Laidlaw. John Laidlaw confirms one moity to them.

  3. John Laidlaw's son and heir James Laidlaw died in the 31st year of his age 01/01/1841, Member of the Council. James Laidlaw's widow Ellen remarried in 1847 to Francis Head Brockman at Lewisham; John Laidlaw's daughter Eliza. Mary married Rev. John Innes, Vicar of Downe, in 1847.


  1. PROB 11/1791A/324.

  2. Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919) vol. III p. 309.

  3. Vere Langford Oliver, More Monumental Inscriptions: Tombstones of the British West Indies p. 8.

We are grateful to Douglas Baugh for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

3 daughters; 2 sons

Associated Estates (5)

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
1820 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Attorney
26/03/1818 [SD] - 1831 [LA] → Joint owner

Shown as owner in the 1820, 1823 and 1826 registrations. In his will made in 1826 and proved in 1831, he described himself however as owning one moiety (half), with his brother Dugald Stewart Laidlaw and the heirs of his former brother-in-law John Bruce. The estate was shown as co-owned between 1829 and 1832. See indenture dated 1823, below.

1825 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Owner

In his will made in 1826 but proved in 1831, John Laidlaw said he had contracted for and purchased the Wall House estate and the enslaved people on it, but that the estate had not yet been conveyed to him.

1820 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Attorney

Relationships (4)

Notes →
Dugald Stewart Laidlaw was also a trustee of John Laidlaw's will....
Testator → Trustee
Notes →
William Bremner of Roseau was a trustee under the will of John Laidlaw made in 1826, but in a codicil of 1829 Bremner was described as deceased, and replaced as trustee. ...
Executor → Testator

Addresses (1)

Streatham, Surrey, South-east England, England