1811 - 1846
George Arthurton, a free coloured man, worked as a merchant’s clerk and lived in Charlestown, Nevis. His siblings were Eliza Arthurton and Amelia Arthurton (both q.v.). They were the children of the slave-born Mulatto James Arthurton, who grew up on Mountravers estate and was the son of British planter Thomas Arthurton. Manumitted in 1803, James died by November 1820, when Thomas Arthurton made his will. Phibba, their paternal grandmother, was a fieldhand. She died on 1 December 1827 on Mountravers. Both George Arthurton’s grandparents were in their eighties when they died.
George Arthurton married Mary Laurence on 10 April 1834. Their witnesses were the free coloured man James Laurence junior, Elizabeth Ottley and Elizabeth Bradley. Both women were widows and the groom’s relatives. Elizabeth Ottley was the common-law-wife of Charles Arthurton senior. He was the son of John Arthurton senior (who was the brother of Thomas Arthurton senior) and a mulatto woman called Charlotte. Elizabeth Ottley and Charles Arthurton had three children – Charles, George, and Georgiana. Charles Snr died between 1822 and 1825. Elizabeth Bradley was his sister. Her husband, Bradley, a free man, had died in February 1824.
George and Mary had at least three surviving children: Charles James, Laurence George, and Mary. All their children were baptised in St Paul’s church. Elizabeth Bradley Arthurton, their first-born girl, died at the age of two years and nine months and she was also buried there.
George’s grandfather left him in his will a plantation girl, Sarah, but his uncle John Fraser Arthurton, who had jointly inherited in trust Thomas Arthurton’s Richmond Lodge plantation, did not pass her on to him, and George Arthurton did not possess any people of his own. He only received slave compensation ‘in right of his wife’, Mary Laurence.
In 1825 Miss Mary Laurence completed her first slave register jointly with the Misses Catherine Laurence, Ann Laurence and Frances Laurence. They declared that, between October 1823 and September 1824, they had purchased five females from James Laurence. Mary Laurence had bought Phillis/Phillice who was then about ten years old. By 1831 the Misses Laurence had in their possession three fewer women: they sold one (Christiana), another absconded (Polly) and one died (Penny). This left Phillis and Catherine Laurence’s Betsey Bell. Following the death of the free woman Elizabeth Jones in March 1833, Mary Laurence received from her a recently-born girl, Grace, and Catherine Laurence a young woman, Louisa. Three of the Misses Laurence – Catherine, Fanny and Mary – jointly recorded the transfer of Grace and Louisa, as well as the birth of a girl, Mary. George Arthurton was buried on 4 May 1846, aged 35 years old.
evis Historical and Conservation Society ( NHCS), St Paul’s Baptisms 1835-1873 No 69; Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Registry, Nevis (ECSCRN), Book of Wills 1819-1830 f.218; Christine Eickelmann, The Mountravers Plantation Community, 1734 to 1834, Part 2, Chapter 4: http://eis.bris.ac.uk/~emceee/mountraversplantationcommunity.html.
1.NHCS, St Paul’s Marriages 1826-1842; (NCH, Book of Wills 1787-1805 ff270-72; UKNA, T 71/254, T 71/256 and T 71/258 Slave Registers St Kitts 1822, 1825 and 1827-8; NHCS, St Paul’s Burials, 1825-1837).
NHCS, St Paul’s Baptisms 1824-1837 (6 May 1835), and St Paul’s Baptisms 1835-1873 (30 April 1836, 17 July 1837 and 3 June 1839) and St Paul’s Burials 1837-1841 (26 November 1837).
ECSCRN, Book of Wills 1819-1830 f.218; UKNA T 71/364 and T 71/366 Slave Registers Nevis 1817 f.165 and 1825 and f.163; Bristol University Special Collections, Pinney Papers, Dom Box R Item 6.
UK National Archives (UKNA), T 71/366 Slave Register Nevis 1825 f.110 and f.115; Elizabeth Jones was 36 years old when she died and it is likely that she fell victim to the cholera outbreak that in the early 1830s spread throughout the Caribbean (NHCS, St Paul’s Burials 1825-1837 No 506 (14 March 1833); UKNA, T 71/368 and T 71/369 Slave Registers Nevis 1831 f.132 and 1834 f.130; NHCS, St Paul’s Burials 1844-1965.
We are extremely grateful to Christine Eickelmann for sharing her detailed archival research with us, upon which this entry is based.
Charles James, Laurence George, and Mary
£43 17s 6d
Nephew → Uncle
Brother → Sister