John Purling

1722 - 1800


Slave-owner on St Vincent. He was an East India Co. man who purchased land and enslaved people in St Vincent in conjunction with his fellow East India Co. man and brother-in-law Thomas Fitzhugh (q.v.) and with Richard Neave (q.v.). Purling himself was Chairman, East India Co. 1771-1772 and MP for New Shoreham, East Looe and Weymouth and Melcombe Regis between 1770 and 1790. In his will of Portland Place proved 28/08/1800, he left £12,000 in trust for his niece Margaret Clements: his real estate, including interests in unspecified estates and enslaved people on St Vincent, were left in trust for his nephew George Purling.

  1. John Purling of Chisslehurst [sic] Kent was party to a deed of 03/09/1783 concerning the equity of redemption of an unnamed estate on St Vincent tentatively identified by LBS as Richmond Vale: 'Release 03/09/1783 Between Valentine Fitzhugh of Southampton; Thomas Fitzhugh of Suffolk Street but now of Portland Place in the Parish of St. Mary in the County of Middlesex; John Purling of Chisslehurst, Kent; Richard Neave of New Broad Street, London; Mary Rogers late of Kings Road but now of Portland Place, widow; Sir William Lee of Hartwell in the County of Buck[inghamshire], Baronet; Philadelphia Lee of Totteridge in the County of Bedford, Widow; William Michael Lally of the Chancery of the City of London, Gentleman and Sir Charles Raymond of Valentine House in the County of Essex respecting the release of equity of redemption of a plantation in St. David's in the island of St. Vincent.' LBS has not fully untangled the relationships between the parties: John Purling was the brother-in-law of Mary Rogers and of Thomas and Vincent Fitzhugh, but their connection to the Lee family is unknown.

  2. In 1791, John Purling, Thomas Fitzhugh (q.v.) and Richard Neave (q.v.) bought 88 acres of land and 31 named enslaved people on St Vincent for £6169 14s from Duncan Campbell of St Vincent.

Sources; PROB 11/1346/338.

  1. C DDI/3/9 [accessed 25/05/2018].

  2. Deed Book 1791, British Library, EAP688/1/1/5, pp. 184 et seq.

Further Information

Nancy Fitzhugh

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

The collection of paintings of John Purling was auctioned at 68 Portland Place in London starting 16/01/1801 over 2 days by John White on the instructions of Purling's executors. The collections... 
notes →

Political (1)

election →
Shoreham Sussex
election →
East Looe Cornwall
1772 - 1774
election →
Weymouth and Melcombe Regis Dorset
1774 - 1790

Relationships (3)

Business associates
Notes →
Neave and Purling together with Thomas Fitzhugh were joint purchasers of an estate and enslaved people form Duncan Campbell in 1791. Neave still held an inteterest when he made his will, proved in...
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law

Addresses (1)

Chistlehurst, Kent, South-east England, England