James Hart

???? - 1800


Owner of Kippon in Westmoreland and Hampstead in St Elizabeth. Lieutenant, Black River Foot, 1784.

  1. Two children of James Hart by Mimba, a "negro belonging to Dr David Fyffe", were baptised in St Elizabeth in 1778: John (born 1774) and Margaret (1776). Three children of James Hart by Elizabeth [Green], a "free negro", and three children of his by Mary [Scott], also a "free negro", were baptised in St Elizabeth in 1791: William (born 1782), Robert (1785), Elizabeth (1789), Rebecca (1782), Nancy (1785) and Sally (1788). A further three children by Mary Scott were baptised in St Elizabeth in 1800: George (born 1792), Thomas (1794) and Elizabeth (1797).

  2. James Hart wrote his will 07/09/1793; it was proved with a codicil in Jamaica in 1800. Of his 41 enslaved (all of whom had been purchased by him from Alexander Walker with the Hampstead property) his trustees were to place 16, together with specified furniture, on Kippon (which comprised approximately 50 acres lately purchased from James Crow) and Hart’s natural children (by Elizabeth Green) Margaret Hart, William Hart and Robert Hart were to settle thereon for their lives as tenants-in-common, the survivor(s) among them to inherit the share of the other(s) except that if Margaret should have a child, legitimate or not, by a white person then such child was to have her share. Elizabeth Green was to have liberty to live on Kippon for life provided she did not interfere with the management of the property or “bring any negro or other person of colour to reside” there. It seems probable that the child Margaret, described as daughter of Elizabeth Green, is the Margaret, daughter of the enslaved woman named Mimba, born in 1776, and that Mimba took the name Elizabeth Green after being manumitted.

  3. Also under the terms of the will, 25 of his 41 enslaved people were to be placed on the 300 acres (adjacent to Hampstead) he had purchased from Alexander Walker and that Mary Scott and her daughters by him were to be permitted to settle on that holding and enjoy the same. The rights of inheritance for his daughters by Mary Scott were to be the same as those specified above for his children by Elizabeth Green with the proviso that Mary Scott was always to have a one-fifth share of the proceeds of the holding. His trustees (Thomas Smith and Edward Francis Coke, who were also to be the girls' guardians) were instructed to build a comfortable house for them there to the value of at least £200, and Scott was to have Hart's two best horses and identified items of furniture, silver etc. Also his daughters by Mary Scott were to have £1,500 Jamaican currency to be laid out in the purchase of “twelve new negroes”, to be divided equally among these daughters. Thomas Hart was to have a further seven enslaved people and if Thomas died without issue these enslaved people were to be inherited equally by Hart's four daughters by Mary Scott.

  4. The above division of Kippon and Hampstead to his children by Elizabeth Green and Mary Scott was to be for life only, and both estates were to afterwards form part of Hart's residual estate which he left to his "friend and benefactor" Thomas Smith (q.v.).

  5. John Hart (son of Mimba), described in his father's will as “now in Great Britain”, and to have £100 on completion of his apprenticeship.

  6. Under a codicil (10/08/1800) to Hart’s will, his natural son Robert was to have £200 sterling to set him up in business when out of apprenticeship.

  7. By the 10/08/1800 codicil, Hart left to a free girl of colour Elizabeth Browne, the daughter of Elizabeth Green, £280 to buy “two or three new negroes”. She looks likely to have been his child (he comments that he has not previously mentioned her in his will) and the Elizabeth born in 1789.

  8. Also in the 10/08/1800 codicil, George (born 1792, son of Mary Scott) was to have £800, such sum to be placed in funds and the interest thereon to be applied to George’s maintenance and education until 21; George Hart, aged 16, was buried at Harts Hall (home of Mary Scott) on 27/11/1813.

  9. Hart’s will left £30, increased to £240 by codicil, to a “mulatto girl Louisa” who was “the property of William Gale esq” in 1793 but was “now free” in 1800; the legacy was to be “laid out in the purchase of two new negro girls”. Perhaps Louisa was another daughter, but Hart’s relationship with her is not disclosed.

  10. In consideration of the long friendship and intimacy between the family of Dr John White (q.v.) and himself, Hart gave £500 sterling to Ann Margaret, daughter of Hon. Colonel John Browne, 13th Light Dragoons, by his wife Ann when 21 or on marriage, and if she died earlier then to her younger sisters in succession. He gave his gold watch to James White, son of Dr. John White, £100 sterling to Mrs Elizabeth Gauntlett (relict of William Gauntlett), £300 Jamaican currency to Samuel Alexander the younger of St Elizabeth, planter, £100 sterling to his own half-sister Agnes Nimho of Dailly parish in Ayrshire, and specified silver plate to Mary, daughter of E. F. Coke (q.v.).

  11. James Hart was buried at Hampstead, 12/08/1800.


See estate information; Jamaica Almanac (1784).

  1. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  2. Information from Paul Hitchings sourced to transcript of will of James Hart held by SOAS as MS380887.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Ibid.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Ibid.; Familysearch.org, Jamaican parish registers, St Elizabeth, Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1705-1830 p. 348.

  9. Will of James Hart.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Familysearch.org, Jamaican parish registers, St Elizabeth Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1795-1820, p.341.

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

Further Information

at least 11 illegitimate children

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
- 1800 [EY] → Owner

Relationships (7)

Extra-marital relationships
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter
Father → Natural Daughter
Grandfather → Grandson
Father → Natural Son