John Plummer

1780 - 1st Oct 1839

Claimant or beneficiary


Baptised 11 July 1780.

Son of Sarah Plummer and her husband, Thomas, merchant, of Camberwell, Surrey.

Married Mary, daughter of John Taylor of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 6 Mar. 1810. 3 sons, 5 daughters.

Father and elder brother, Thomas William (1776-1817), both briefly MPs in the 1800s.

Plummer a West India merchant with interests in shipping and insurance. See Commercial legacies.

Member of the West India Planters’ and Merchants’ Committee committee for managing their rum establishment, Fenchurch Street, London, 12 May 1813.

Seems to have been at the main Cmtee meetings in 1814.

Following brother's death (1817) and father's (1818) inherited his father's entire estate, including personalty sworn under £60,000.

Since 1807 the family agents for the Jamaican estates of William Beckford of Fonthill [q.v., under William Thomas Beckford] (who disliked the family). At general election of 1820 Beckford yielded Hindon constituency to Plummer, "who agreed to pay all the electoral expenses, to underwrite mortgages to the value of nearly £35,000 and to settle other debts, and to increase the firm’s annual payment to Beckford (out of the income on his Jamaican property) from £4,000 to £5,000". (Fisher)

Regular attender of both the Merchants’, and the Planters’ and Merchants’ Committees from the early 1820s (eg member of the West India Committee and the 'Committee of April 25, 1823' formed to press the government for ameliorationist measures for the Crown colonies and to resist moves towards emancipation: see Franklin), his parliamentary activities were largely concerned with the protection of his mercantile affairs.

Early 1820s Beckford’s financial position became untenable: he was heavily in debt to his West Indian agents, who threatened to foreclose. Had consequences for Plummer:

He was still owed well over £12,500 and Beckford sold Fonthill in 1822, in part to avoid it going to Plummer. This also meant that electoral influence went to Lords Grosvenor and Calthorpe; and Plummer without a seat at general election of 1826.

His company, Plummer and Wilson (as it was known from mid-1820s), in increasingly poor state during 1820s. Declared bankrupt December 1830, though Plummer and William Wilson became partners in a new firm led by Thomson Hankey (q.v.).

Brought with them clients including Beckford: within ten years most debts repaid.

Plummer a partner until his death at his house in Bedford Square in October 1839.

Estate divided between his six surviving children.


D. R. Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons 1820-1832 (7 vols., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the History of Parliament Trust, 2009), vol. 6.

Alexandra Franklin, Enterprise and advantage: The West India interest in Britain, 1774-1840 (University of Pennsylvania, Unpub. PhD, 1992), p. 214 citing West India Committee Minute Books, 25 April 1823.

Further Information

Mary Taylor
3 sons, 5 daughters
West India merchant

Associated Claims (4)

£48 7s 5d
Awardee (Trustee)
£1,528 0s 11d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£2,756 8s 0d
Awardee (Trustee)
£3,631 7s 3d
Awardee (Mortgagee)

Associated Estates (2)

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
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner
- 1807 [EY] → Not known

Shown as transferor of mortgage securities in trust

Legacies Summary

Commercial (3)

Senior partner
Plummer & Co.
West India merchant  
Name partner
Plummer & Barham
West India merchant  
notes →
From at least...

Political (1)

election →
Hindon Wiltshire
1820 - 1826
parliamentary notes →

Relationships (3)

Son → Father
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (1)

Bedford Square, London, Middlesex, London, England