1809 - 26th Sep 1877
Slave-owner in Surinam, the subject of correspondence between the British consul and Lord John Russell over his illegal slave-owning in 1859.
Will of Hugh Wright of Paramaribo Surinam merchant who died 26/09/1878 at Paramaribo was proved 02/11/1878 by Frances Wright otherwise McLeod of Fountainhall Road, Edinburgh the relict, personal estate under £1500 in England.
Born in Manchester in 1809, died at Paramaribo, 26/09/1877. 'Surinam, October 10, 1859 My Lord,………. Mr. Hugh Wright came into this colony with his late uncle, Mr. Hugh McLeod, about the year 1836, from Demerara, the latter having purchased at the time Plantation Burnside, a cotton estate with upwards of 300 slaves, in the upper district of Nickerie, now called Coronie ; the said plantation, about four years afterwards, was sold to the late Thomas Gray. Mr. McLeod having about the same time bought plantation New Accanoribo, a coffee and plantation estate in the Commowyne river, with about 250 slaves attached. About the month of March, 1843, Mr. Hugh McLeod died, leaving Mr. Hugh Wright, with others of his family, heirs to his property. Afterwards, at different periods, Mr. Wright bought several other estates, with slaves attached. In 1854 he purchased the cotton estate Leydenshoop, with a gang of 140 slaves attached, but the negroes refusing to have him for a master, he got permission from the Court to dispose of them separately and in families. The estates of Mrs. Adam Cameron he purchased at execution sale, on the 25th of March this year, with p.m. 392 slaves attached; which makes him owner of upwards of 1,700 slaves. I believe he has gone on purchasing under the idea that he, being a burgher of Surinam, is therefore not amenable to British law, as also on the plea that he is not purchasing slaves, but merely the properties on which they are attached ; and no doubt would, in the event of prosecution being entered against him, have recourse to naturalization as a Dutch subject.'
In 1863, Hugh Wright was paid 66,000 guilders in compensation for 220 enslaved people (out of 242 claimed) on Plantage Hanover; 3,600 guilders in compensation for the 12 enslaved people on the De Twee Kinderen estate; 150,600 guilders for the 508 enslaved people on Plantage Alliance; 105,500 guilders for 361 enslaved people on Badenstein; and 187,500 guilders for 625 (of 640 for whom he claimed) on Plantage Hooyland.
Frances Macleod 'married her first cousin (and her father's former business partner) Hugh Wright in Edinburgh, 29/08/1847. Frances and Hugh Wright had 3 children, although Hugh lived mostly in Suriname and visited Frances in Edinburgh occasionally. Frances had an unusual degree of control over her own finances and had been left £3000 by her father which was taken to have been gifted back to her by her husband after their marriage. Hugh Wright also had a family in Suriname with a female slave, Carolina Josephina Uchlein; and some of these children travelled to Scotland to live with Frances.'
National Probate Calendar 1878
Parliamentary Accounts and Papers – Slave Trade – Vol. 32 Session 24 January-28 August 1860, p. 90, Letter no. 96 of Consul Munro to Lord J. Russell, reproduced by Philip Dikland, http://www.kdvarchitects.com/smartcms/downloads/Alliance%20geschiedenis.pdf [accessed 05/04/2016].
Okke ten Hove, Surinam en Nederlandse Antillen: Vrijverklaade slaven (Emancipatie 1863) 2.02.09.08 inventarisnummer: 225 [database online]; National Archief, Den Haag, Algemene Rekenkamer CB (Comptabel Beheer) nummer toegang 2.02.09.08,inventarisnummer 225, claim number 82; Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Algemene Rekenkamer CB (Comptabel Beheer), nummer toegang 2.02.09.08, inventarisnummer 225, claim number 113; Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Algemene Rekenkamer CB (Comptabel Beheer), nummer toegang 2.02.09.08, inventarisnummer 223, claim number 6; Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Algemene Rekenkamer CB (Comptabel Beheer), nummer toegang 2.02.09.08, inventarisnummer 223, claim number 9; Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Algemene Rekenkamer CB (Comptabel Beheer), nummer toegang 2.02.09.08, inventarisnummer 225, claim number 93.
David Alston, 'Slaves & Highlanders', http://www.spanglefish.com/slavesandhighlanders/index.asp?pageid=485286 [accessed 05/04/2016].
We are grateful for the help of Ank de Vogel-Muntslag, Henk Muntjewerff and Okke ten Hove with this entry.
Wealth at death
Nephew → Uncle
Hugh Macleod (d. 1843) was also the father-in-law of Hugh Wright of Paramaribo....
Manchester, Lancashire, North-west England, England