Charles Samson

1756 - 1844

Claimant or beneficiary


Awarded the compensation for the enslaved people on Smithfield estate in Manchester Jamaica as owner. He inherited Smithfield from his brother Thomas Samson, who had in turn inherited the estate from a third brother, James. Both Thomas and James were active attorneys and planters in Jamaica. It's not clear how Charles Samson made his fortune but his connections suggest involvement in the West India trade.

  1. Charles Samson, son of John Samson of Ochiltree and his wife Jean Good, baptised in Ochiltree 27/03/1757. Brother of James Samson and Thomas Samson (both q.v.).

  2. Charles Samson was the nephew of Mr Thomas Samson, seed merchant of Rosebank, Braehead, Kilmarnock was a patron of Robert Burns, immortalised in Burns' 'Tam Samson's Elegy'. According to A History of Kilmarnock, Charles Samson was 'seldom absent' at dinners with Burns hosted by his uncle Thomas Samson, and was at this time (the 1780s) a clerk with Mr Paterson of Braehead. Mr Charles Samson, writer, Kilmarnock, was one of the subscribers to Burns' 1787 edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. He does not appear to have become a member of the Society of Scottish Writers to the Signet so presumably didn't further pursue a legal career in Scotland.

  3. George Bogle (d. 1813) left £1,000 sterling to his friend Charles Samson 'as a mark of my regard'.

  4. Charles Samson Esquire of Piccadilly appeared in the Game Lists of 1815 and 1819 (presumably the same man as the Charles Samson in the Game Lists of 1811 at Cannon Row, Westminster). Charles Samson was listed as one of the stewards at a 'Colonial Dinner' hosted in May 1838 in Freemasons Hall, London, 'in honour of the loyal inhabitants of the British Colonies in North America'; fellow stewards included a number with West India interests, including Archibald Paull, Russell Ellice and Abel Smith (all q.v.).

  5. In 1841 Charles Samson aged 85 Independent born S[cotland] is shown living on the North side of Piccadilly between Dover Street and Berkeley Street. Charles Samson Esquire died at his residence in Piccadilly in February 1844 aged 89 years. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery. Will of Charles Samson of 70 Piccadilly, 23/02/1844. In his will he left, among other legacies, £1400 to his 'cousin' Rachel Kilpatrick nee Samson.

  6. The probate record of Charles Samson of Piccadilly gives his estate at death of about £40,000 moveable property.

  7. According to a privately printed family history, Charles was the son of John II Samson (1718-1791). His brother John was aged 90 in Ochiltree, Ayrshire in the census of 1841, living with his daughters Jean, Margaret and Jacobina as well as Rachel Samson age 20 (rounded to the nearest 5 years) who was born in Vere, Jamaica. The private family history gives Rachel as the daughter of a woman of colour in Jamaica so she may have been the Rachael Samson, "free child of colour", baptised in Vere in 1818. Other details about Rachel's life given in the family history tally with the statutory records. According to Rachel's death certificate, she was the daughter of Thomas Samson, a coffee planter, and Margaret Samson nee Williams.


T71/860 Manchester no. 61, Charles Samson London owner. His name appears in the Parliamentary Papers 1837-8 list as 'Sampson'. The estate appeared against James Samson in 1811 then Thomas Samson and estate of Thomas Samson, then Charles Swanson [sic] 1838, Jamaica Almanacs 1811-1838.

  1. GROS OPR Births 609 20 24 Ochiltree.

  2. Robert Burns, 'Tam Samson's Elegy'; Archibald McKay, History of Kilmarnock (1858) pp. 150-151; Robert Burns, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1787) p. xliv; A history of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet: with a list of the members of the society from 1594 to 1890 (1890).

  3. George Bogle of Effingham in the County of Surrey and of Burlington Street in the County of Middlesex Esquire - PROB 11/1550/327.

  4. Morning Chronicle 16/09/1815, 13/09/1819, 16/09/1811; Morning Advertiser 29/05/1838.

  5. 1841 census online, indexed to St George Hanover Square Mayfair District 4; Bell's New Weekly Messenger 18/02/1844;, Middlesex, Brompton Cemetery records [database online]; PROB 11/1994; Boyles 1835 p. 589 shows Charles Samson Esq., at 70 Piccadilly.

  6. Email from John Hales 24/09/2018.

  7. Email from John Hales, 16/11/2014. 1841 census online., Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online]. GROS OPR Marriages 583 030 219 Colyton; GROS Deaths 1882 600 9 Kirkpatrick.

We are grateful to John Hales for sharing his considerable research in helping to compile this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Charles Sampson

PROB 11/1994 - precis.

Charles Samson of 70 Piccadilly, Esquire.

My funeral to be conducted in a plain manner.

Boyd Miller of Colliers Wood in Lower Tooting, merchant, William [Smith] Boyd of 8 Old Jewry, London, merchant, and John Shaw of 11 America Square, London, Esquire, to be executors and trustees.

To each of my executors £800, an acknowledgement of the trouble of executing my will.

To Mrs Boyd, widow of my late friend Matthew Boyd deceased, £100.

To Mrs Miller, wife of Boyd Miller, £100.

To Mrs Margaret Adam, widow of John William Adam, late of Greenock, deceased, £300.

To my friend George Mure Esquire of Herringswell, Suffolk, or if he should die in my lifetime to his present wife formerly Miss Squire, £500.

To my cousin Thomas Samson of Kilmarnock, nursery and seedsman, only surviving son of my uncle Thomas Samson deceased, or if he should die in my lifetime then to his only surviving daughter Jean Samson, £500.

To my cousin Jean Milne, widow, daughter of my late uncle Thomas Samson, £500.

Also to my executors £1,400 in the three per cent reduced bank annuities, and £6,000 in the three per cent consolidated bank annuities upon trust. The £1,400 for my cousin Rachel Samson, now the wife of Samuel Kilpatrick of Barnhill in Ayrshire for her sole and separate use. In case of her death during my lifetime, in trust for her children. The £6,000 upon trust to permit and empower my only surviving brother John Samson of Ochiltree to receive the annual income during his life. After his decease then one moity in trust for my three neices Jean Samson, Margaret Samson and Jacobina Samson, the daughters of John Samson absolutely. The other moity in trust for my grandnices Catherine Samson and Janet Samson, daughters of my late nephew John Samson decased, who was the last surviving son of my brother John Samson absolutely.

All my estate to my executors upon trust to sell or otherwise convert my estate into monies and to pay thereout my debts, funeral expenses and legacies and to invest the residue in the public funds of the United Kingdom.

Of this residue, 3/12ths of the dividends and annual produce to my nieces Jean Samson, Margaret Samson and Jacobina Samson in equal shares and to the survivors of them for their natural lives, and thereafter in trust for such persons as they should appoint by will. The remaining 9/12ths to all my grand-nephews and grand-nieces, sons and daughters of my late nephew John Samson decased, equally between them.

Signed 13/10/1842.

Proved at London 23/02/1844.

Associated Claims (1)

£1,558 3s 8d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

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
1834 [EA] - → Owner

Relationships (4)

Uncle → Niece
Uncle → Niece

Addresses (2)

Piccadilly, London, Middlesex, South-east England, England
Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Southern Scotland, Scotland