Francis Delap

???? - 1775


Resident Jamaica slave-owner, and benefactor of his family in Ireland.

  1. Son of Rev. Samuel Delap of Rawn, or Raan, Co. Donegal, Presybterian Minister of Letterkenny, and Sarah his wife. Younger brother of Robert Delap (q.v.). Probably born c1715-20. His next brother, Samuel, was stated to be 46 in 1770.

  2. Francis Delap married Elizabeth Ann Bermingham of St Thomas-in-the-Vale in St Catherine, 09/01/1753. She is probably the Elizabeth Ann Dellap, buried in St Catherine, 19/07/1754.

  3. Francis Delap was listed in the Jamaican Quit Rent books for 1754 as the owner of 3000 acres of land in St Mary and 300 acres of land in St James, total 3300 acres (the Delap who, in partnership with [John?] Morse was listed in the Jamaican Quit Rent books for 1754 as the owners of 3008 acres of land in St Elizabeth was more probably Robert Delap (d. 1767), whose sister John Morse had married).

  4. Francis Delap was Provost Marshal in 1755 when suspended from office (and briefly imprisoned) by the Governor during the controversial initiative to move the seat of the island's courts of justice from Spanish Town to Kingston; the suspension was litigated in the local courts and before the Privy Council, and in the course of arrangements to provide security for costs information was provided that the estate which his deceased brother Robert had entailed on Francis could, with 260 negroes, produce 200 hogsheads of sugar a year. He died in London on 10 December 1775.

  5. Francis Delap contributed £50 to the University of Pennsylvania following Dr John Morgan's fundraising tour of the West Indies in 1772-1773.

  6. His illegitimate son Francis, mentioned in his will, was admitted at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1783 (aged 15), elected a scholar there in 1786, but was dead by October 1793 when administration of the effects of Francis Delap, bachelor and bastard of Dublin, was in progress. This Francis's son Elizabeth Delap, also mentioned in his will, may be the "Elizabeth Delap, a quadroon child", baptised in St Catherine 24/12/1757.

  7. Will of Francis Delap of St James Jamaica [made in 1775] proved 16/12/1775. In the will he left each of his three sisters in Ireland £500 each in bar of any claims against his estate or that of his late brother Robert, formerly Provost Marshall-General of Jamaica. He left his nephew John Stevenson, son of his sister Elizabeth Stevenson, his land and plantation called Garden River in St Thomas-in-the-East, with £5000 or £7000 currency to enable him to settle the same as a sugar works, provided he took the name an arms Delap and did not receive the land and money until 1783. If Francis Delap had previously sold the land, he left his nephew £10,000 in lieu. He gave his executors power to sell any of his property except the bequest to John Stevenson, the Orange and Mounteagle estates, and 1700 acres of land near Green Pond in Trelawny now in possession of John Graves and some of it in possession of Mrs Jane Stone, all of which he left to his surviving brother Samuel of Letterkenny 'or Rathmelton' for life, he [Samuel] paying out £500 p.a. to his son Robert, Francis' nephew. He made a proviso that if he had [legitimate] children the Jamaica property would pass to them and his brother and nephews would receive monetary legacies of £3000 and £2000 each respectively in lieu of the Jamaica property under his will. He manumitted Arthur Delap a young 'mulatto' boy aged six 'the son of Fanny the house wench [sic]' on Mounteagle, and left him £10 p.a. and three 'new negro boys' nearly his own age 'to be marked "A.D."' He left mourning rings to his executors and to 'my first and nearest full cousin german of the male line' Samuel Delap merchant of Bordeaux and 'my good old master and uncle Thomas Barton' also merchant of Bordeaux. He made his executors the guardians of his four reputed children by Mary Shippen a free woman deceased, namely Sarah, Robert, Elizabeth and Francis Delap, and of Arthur Delap.

  8. Francis Delap of St James, Esquire. Estate probated in Jamaica in 1777. Slave-ownership at probate: 379 of whom 188 were listed as male and 191 as female. 0 were listed as boys, girls or children. Total value of estate at probate: £30406.25 Jamaican currency of which £25465.25 currency was the value of enslaved people. Estate valuation included £0 currency cash, £0 currency debts and £110 currency plate.


  1. Burke's Landed Gentry (1879) vol. 1 p. 448, 'Delap of Monellan'; email from Paul Hitchings, 26/04/2017 sourced to: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) D/2295/7.

  2. 'A List of landholders in the Island of Jamaica together with the number of acres each person possessed taken from the quit rent books in the year 1754', TNA CO 142/31 transcribed at; email from Paul Hitchings 01/08/2018.

  3. 'Feurtado Personages C to E', For details of Francis's imprisonment see Anne M. Powers, 'Of an unjust imprisonment and a shocking legacy', [accessed 09/05/2017].

  4. C. S. Graubard, 'Documenting the University of Pennsylvania's Connection to Slavery (2018) via [accessed 16/01/2019].

  5. PROB 31/841/656;, unindexed St Elizabeth Baptisms, marriages, burials 1705-1820..

  6. PROB 11/1014/193.

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

We are grateful to Paul Hitchings for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Associated Estates (4)

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
1763 [EA] - 1772 [LA] → Owner
1763 [EA] - 1775 [LA] → Owner
1767 [EA] - 1775 [LA] → Owner
1776 [EA] - 1776 [LA] → Previous owner

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

University of Pennsylvania...... 
notes →
William Smith, Joseph Hopkinson, and Plunket Fleeson Glentworth, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Minute Books, Volume 2, 1768-1779 p. 74, entry for 13/12/1773. Note amounts are in...

Relationships (5)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Nephew

Addresses (1)

Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Inventories (1)