Amelia Arthurton was the daughter of the mulatto James Arthurton and the granddaughter of Thomas Arthurton Snr, owner of Richmond Lodge estate. Her father was born on Mountravers estate in 1775 and manumitted by his father in 1803; he had died by the time Thomas Arthurton made his will in 1820. Amelia Arthurton’s siblings were George Arthurton and Eliza Arthurton but she may have had more brothers and sisters. Amelia Arthurton married a free man of colour, Thomas Webbe. The witnesses at their wedding on 1 March 1838 were William Browne and Robert Reap junior; Reap was the husband of Amelia’s cousin Joan Arthurton (one of John Fraser Arthurton’s daughters). This is the last known reference to Amelia Webbe nee Arthurton.
Each of James Arthurton’s three children inherited a plantation slave from their grandfather: Amelia inherited Friday, and Eliza and George were left Betty and Sarah. George did not complete a register but Amelia’s and Eliza’s guardian, Francis Branch, in 1825 registered on the children’s behalf the 11-year-old girl Friday and the 13-year-old Betty. Francis Branch, a millwright, died in October 1827 and the following year his widow Elizabeth signed the registers for Amelia and Eliza as trustee. By 1831 the sisters were old enough to complete their own slave registers. This is the last known reference for Eliza Arthurton; it is not known what happened to her or Betty.
In 1832 Amelia’s young female slave Friday gave birth to a son, Samuel, and had another child but her daughter was born too late to be included in Amelia Arthurton’s claim for compensation: Eliza was baptised on 11 August 1835 as Friday Arthurton’s ‘illegitimate daughter’. The parish register documented the change in status; Friday was no longer recorded as a ‘slave’ but as Miss Arthurton’s ‘non-praedial’, or domestic worker.
Christine Eickelmann The Mountravers Plantation Community, Part II - The Enslaved People, Chapter 4, p. 553: http://seis.bris.ac.uk/~emceee/part2chapter4.pdf; Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Registry, Nevis (ECSCRN), Common Records, Book of Wills 1819-1830 f.218; NHCS, St Thomas Lowland Marriages 1828-1965.
UK National Archives (UKNA), T 71/366 Slave Register Nevis 1825 f.6 and f.8; ECSCRN, CR 1814-1817 f.195; Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS), St Paul’s Burials 1825-1837 (Buried on 20 October 1827); UKNA, T 71/367 Slave Register Nevis 1828 f.18 and f.19.
UKNA, T 71/369 Slave Register Nevis 1834 f.41; NHCS, St Paul’s Baptisms 1824-1835 No 785.
We are extremely grateful to Christine Eickelmann for sharing with us her detailed archival research and on which this entry is based.
£23 18s 8d
Sister → Brother