Sir James Campbell of Houstoun

???? - 1731


Slave-owner in Westmoreland, Jamaica. Died in 1731. Bequeathed all his property in Westmoreland and in Renfrewshire, Scotland, to his brothers Hugh, Robert and Andrew, in succession, and thereafter to his sisters Catherine, Margaret and Agnes equally. His brothers died without issue, the property devolving to his sisters by 1735. The will of his brother Hugh Campbell became the subject of prolonged contestation between Hugh Campbell's natural daughter Daniel [sic] Katharine Campbell, and Hugh's sisters.

  1. Registered arms as Sir James Campbell of Grandvale, Jamaica, in 1722. Bought the estate of Houstoun in Renfrewshire at some point before his death; it was inherited by his sisters who sold it to Governor Macrae. Nothing is known of his origins.

  2. James Campbell of Westmoreland, Esquire/knight. Estate probated in Jamaica in 1737. Slave-ownership at probate: 921 of whom 434 were listed as male and 487 as female. 238 were listed as boys, girls or children. Total value of estate at probate: £30775.77 Jamaican currency of which £24628.93 currency was the value of enslaved people. Estate valuation included £10 currency cash, £50 currency debts and £9.25 currency plate.


Will of Sir James Campbell of Houstoun, PROB 11/674/380 . Extensive Cunninghame family genealogy at and [both accessed 08/12/2016]; D.A. Livesay, Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Migration from the West Indies to Britain, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Michigan, 2010., [forthcoming as of March 2017 from the University of North Carolina Press or the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture], pp. 169-178.

  1. G. Harvey Johnston, The Heraldry of the Campbells with notes on all the males of the family, descriptions of the arms, plates and pedigrees (1920) vol. 2 p. 87. George Robertson, A General Description of the Shire of Renfrew (Paisley, 1818) p. 416.

  2. Trevor Burnard, Database of Jamaican inventories, 1674-1784.

Further Information


PROB 11/674/380 - precis.

Sir James Campbell of Houstoun.

Hugh Campbell merchant in Jamacia, my second brother German and the heirs lawful of his body, which failing Robert Campbell merchant there my third brother German and the heirs lawful of his body which failing Andrew Campbell merchant there my fourth and youngest brother German and the lawful heirs of his body which failing my sisters German after named equally and the heirs lawful of their bodies not only to be heirs and successors to me in my lands and estate pertaining to me lying within the parish of Westmoreland in the Island of Jamaica and in the lands and estate of Houstoun Monfode and Scaart pertaining to me lying within the parishes of Houstoun and Kilelland and County of Renfrew and all and sundry other lands, messuages and tenements pertaining to me, or that shall be pertaining to me the time of my decease, hereby giving and granting the same to my siad brothers and sisters freely to be possessed and enjoyed by them and their aforesaids in the order above mentioned.

My said brothers and sisters in the same order to be my sole executor and universal legator.

£4,500 equally to Catherine, Margaret and Agnes Campbell, my beloved sisters German equally amongst them. Also to them all my furniture etc at my house of Houstoun. My sisters to stay there rent free...

All mortgages and bonds due me within the Island of jamaica and the equal half of all sums of money due to me within Jamaica upon land, security or mortgage to Robert Campbell my third brother and the other half to Andrew Campbell my youngest brother...

Signed 09/10/1731.

10/12/1735 sworn in London.

Proved in London 22/12/1735 by the oath of Catherine Cunningham otherwise Campbell (wife of Alexander Cunningham), Margaret Porterfield otherwise Campbell (wife of Alexander Porterfield) and Agnes Cunningham otherwise Campbell (wife of William Cunningham) the natural and lawful sisters of the deceased, and executors substituted in the said will. The brothers Hugh Campbell, Robert Campbell and Andrew Campbell having dying without taking upon them the execution thereof.

Associated Estates (1)

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
1741 [EA] - 1743 [LA] → Other

Deceased administrator.

Inventories (1)