Stephen Denton

???? - 21st Jul 1840

Claimant or beneficiary


A returned slave-owner, awarded the compensation both as owner-in-fee of enslaved people and as trustee on John's Hall & Somerset estate, and as mortgagee of the Devon and Green Vale & Norway estates, all in Manchester Jamaica.  He appears to have sold off his estates and the enslaved people on them before his return to Britain.

  1. Death of Stephen Denton registered at Beverley East Riding Q3 1840. Death 21/07/1840 at Beverley, Stephen Denton Esq., formerly of Green Vale, St. Elizabeth, in the Island of Jamaica, aged 73 years. Will of Stephen Denton of Beverley Yorkshire East Riding proved 04/12/1840. Stephen Denton reportedly built on an inheritance from his brother Peter, a tanner, to amass an estate at Beverley Parks in Yorkshire before his death: this account omits any role for Jamaica and slavery in his wealth-formation.

  2. The case of Denton v Davy, an appeal heard in 1836 by the Privy Council from the Court of Chancery of Jamaica, provides background on Stephen Denton. Denton, late of the parish of Manchester in the island of Jamaica but then of England, and Charles Gatfield of England, filed their bill in the Jamaican Court of Chancery 10/01/1831 as trustees and executors of Henry Palmer, late of Jamaica deceased, whose will was dated 06/08/1814 and in which James Davy was the third trustee.  Stephen Denton left Jamaica in April 1820 and had ever since been resident in Great Britain: Gatfield never travelled to Jamaica. Consistent with Henry Palmer's will, the three trustees sold Palmer's three coffee estates for £40,000 20/05/1821 and entered a mortgage for the whole amount, less a 6% commission payable to them alone, secured on the 3 estates and on the buyer (John Coley's) John's Hall estate. The suit was over the division of this and subsequent commissions on the annual produce for the period Denton was still in Jamaica. Evidence brought forward included letters from Stephen Denton in Beverley dated 04/02/1821 and a letter from Gatfield in London dated 06/06/1821 referring to Mr Denton being in Yorkshire and afterwards at Cheltenham.  

  3. The will of Stephen Denton of Beverley Yorkshire was the subject of a suit in the Court of Rolls, Denton v Denton, in which Thomas Denton, Stephen Denton's nephew and inheritor of his estate as tenant-for-life came into conflict with the trustees under the will over the receipt of rents and the cutting of timber.  


T71/860 Manchester Nos. 244, 245, 246, 298, 335. T71/1189 and T71/1190 show him as having sold Devon and Green Vale & Norway, probably to Glanville and Abell, and describe him as of Beverley Devonshire [sic], which appears incorrect. In the 1808 Jamaica Almanac, S. Denton was shown as an Ensign in the St Elizabeth's Regiment of the militia. In the 1812 Jamaica Almanac Stephen Denton is shown against the Beverley estate in St Elizabeth.

  1. FreeUKGen, England and Wales Free BMD Database, Deaths, 1837-1983 [database online]; London Evening Standard 28/07/1840; PROB 11/1937; 'Outlying townships: Beverley Parks', A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6: The borough and liberties of Beverley (1989), pp. 271-277. URL: [accessed 23/01/2012].

  2. Edmund F. Moore, Reports of Cases heard and determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Vol. 1 (1836-7) pp. 15-43

  3. Times 29/04/1844 p. 8.

We are grateful to William Norton for his assistance with this entry.

Further Information


Associated Claims (5)

£4,353 2s 10d
Awardee (Trustee)
£532 14s 10d
Awardee (Trustee)
£199 15s 10d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£2,683 7s 10d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£4,652 5s 11d
Awardee (Mortgagee)

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
1815 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner

Sold by Stephen Denton c. 1820.

1820 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder

Relationships (1)

Trustee → Testator

Addresses (1)

Beverley, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, England