Thomas Aspinall

1765 - 1813


Slave-owner in Jamaica, slave-factor and merchant with Thomas Hardy in Kingston, dying in Liverpool in 1813. He was the brother of the Liverpool slave-trader John Bridge Aspinall.

  1. Will of Thomas Aspinall [late of Kingston Jamaica but now] of Liverpool proved 24/09/1813. He left his house on Rodney Street in Liverpool to his wife Elizabeth for life, together with an annuity of £600 p.a. He left his estate or pen called Windsor Forest in Kingston, and his houses on Hanover Street and Wildman Street in Kingston in trust to be sold. He detailed his eight children with Elizabeth, all of whom other than Ellen Maria (b. 1812 in Liverpool) had been born in Jamaica. The baptisms of these children give their mother Elizabeth as a "free mulatto". She is presumably the Elizabeth Espinall, "free mulatto woman" born 02/06/1773 and baptised in Kingston 05/05/1791. The Jamaican-born children were:

    . Sarah, born 19/04/1792 and baptised 12/10/1792

    . Thomas, born 31/03/1794 and baptised 24/05/1794

    . Betty, born 21/10/1785 and baptised 17/04/1796

    . James Rainford, born 08/11/1798 and baptised 20/03/1799

    . William, born 02/08/1802 and baptised 28/09/1802; died 14/07/1828, aged 26, when described as his late father’s third son (Liverpool Mercury 18/07/1828)

    . Francis Edward, born 03/10/1804 and baptised 17/01/1805; there is an entry for him (as well as for his brother Robert) in Alumni Cantabrigienses

    . Robert Augustus, born 20/02/1807 and baptised 11/04/1807.

  2. In 1812 the Royal Gazette of Jamaica reported the marriage “Some time since in England Thomas Aspinall esq, merchant formerly of this city but now of Liverpool, to Elizabeth Browne [sic] formerly of this island.” Elizabeth, relict of the late Thomas Aspinall esq, died at Oakfield, Aigburth, Liverpool, 06/08/1857 in her 85th year.

  3. Of his children traced by LBS, Thomas Aspinall insurance agent died in 1859 late of Rock Ferry Cheshire leaving £3000; Francis Edward Aspinall died at Liverpool in 1826 leaving £6000; Ellen Maria died at Oakfield House Liverpool in 1854 leaving £6000; Robert Augustus Aspinall died in 1885 formerly of Motcomb Street leaving £50,287 10s 6d.

    Robert Augustus Aspinall, 'Adm. pens. (age 23) at TRINITY, May 12, 1830. S. of Thomas [merchant, of Jamaica, afterwards of Liverpool], deceased. B. Feb. 20, 1807, at Kingston, Jamaica. [School, Royal Liverpool Institute.] Matric. Michs. 1830; B.A. 1834. Held a Commission for many years in the Royal Lancashire Militia. Resided at Oakfield House, Liverpool; sold it June 16, 1858. Deputy Lieutenant for Lancs. Removed to London. Devoted the later years of his life to public work. J.P. for Middlesex, 1874. Married Mary Isabella Maria, dau. of Richard Selby Lowndes, of Elmers, Bletchley. Died Jan. 5, 1885, as the result of being run over by a cab in London. Buried in Brompton cemetery. Brother of Francis E. (1824).'

    Francis Edward Aspinall, 'Adm. pens. (age 21) at TRINITY, Feb. 10, 1824. 4th s. of Thomas. B. Oct. 3, 1804, at Kingston, Jamaica. School, Royal Liverpool Institute (Mr Monk). Matric. Michs. 1825. Adm. at Lincoln's Inn, May 11, 1825, as 4th s. of Thomas, Esq., late of Liverpool, deceased. [For an account of the Aspinwall and Aspinall families see The Genealogist, N.S., XXXV, XXXVII, XXXVIII, etc.; N.B. These articles were revised and issued later in a separate volume.] Died Jan. 16, 1826, at Cambridge. Buried at St James's, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. Brother of Robert A. (1830). (E. Axon.)'

  4. His father James Aspinall, along with William Gregson, John Gregson, James Gregson and Edward Wilson were the co-owners of the slave ship Zong, the subject of a famous legal action in 1781-3. Hundreds of enslaved people were thrown overboard in a voyage across the Atlantic when the ship ran low on drinking water. 232 of the 440 enslaved people who embarked on the voyage died before disembarkation at Black River, Jamaica. The ship's owners then claimed compensation from their insurers. The insurers refused to honour the claim. Judge Mansfield ruled that, although the ship's crew were found to be negligent, the enslaved people were to be treated like any other property and the ship's owners were acquitted of any liability.

  5. The firm of Aspinall & Hardy, of Kingston, was heavily concerned in the slave trade by 1793 (in a typical advertisement the firm offered for sale in June 1783 “470 choice young Negroes upon the ship Elliott from Melinba Coast of Angola. Cargo all inoculated for the small-pox prior to leaving the coast and only has buried five during the voyage”) and afterwards did substantial business importing Irish linen, ham, butter, cheese, herrings etc from Liverpool.


Data on slave factors suppled to LBS by Nick Radburn, University of Lancaster, for whose help LBS is grateful.

  1. PROB 11/1547/515;, Jamaican parish registers, Kingston Baptisms 1722-1792 p. 42, 452 and Kingston Baptisms 1793-1825 pp. 17, 37, 74, 125, 154, 182.

  2. Royal Gazette of Jamaica 19/12/1812; Morning Post, 22/05/1854.

  3. National Probate Calendar 1858, 1859 and 1885;, Cambridge University Alumni 1261-1900 [database online].

  4. ID 84106; 'Gregson v. Gilbert', Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of King's Bench (1831) vol. 3 pp. 232-235.

  5. Royal Gazette of Jamaica 26/06/1793.

We are grateful to Christopher J. Barnes and Paul Hitchings for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Sarah (1792-); Thomas (1794)-; Betty (1795-); John (1799-)'; William (1802-); Francis Edward (1804-); Robert Augustus (1807-); Ellen Maria (1812-)

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
- 1813 [EY] → Owner

In his will made and proved in 1813 Thomas Aspinall left his estate or pen named Windsor Forest in Kingston to be sold by his trustees.

Relationships (4)

Other relatives
Notes →
Richard Addison married a niece of Thomas...
Business partners
Business partners
Notes →
The two men were slave factors in Kingston...

Addresses (1)

Rodney Street, Liverpool, Lancashire, North-west England, England