John Croal

1789 - 1853

Claimant or beneficiary


Resident (although see below) merchant and planter, partner with Peter Rose. Born 1788 Arbroath, Scotland. Son of John Croal (1765-1825), stone-mason and Isabel (1759-1822), daughter of James Whitton of Arbroath. His younger brother Alexander (1802-86) was shipmaster and also a merchant in Demerara in the 1820s but subsequently returned to Scotland. John Croal was married to Margaret Ironside, with whom he had: Peter Rose Croal (1813-73), born and died at Georgetown, where he was a doctor; Eleanor Jane Croal (1815-??), born Georgetown and married John Neischer; Julia Croal (1818-51), born Georgetown, married Edwin Ethelston, died Liverpool; Charles Robertson Croal (1820-62), born Georgetown and became a plantation owner; John Conrad Croal (1822-??), subsequently a teacher in Lancashire.

  1. In 1835 John Croal served as Commissioner of Compensation (Slavery Bill). A year later he was the first mayor of Georgetown, Guyana and the main street (Croal Street) was named after him. Most internet sources give the date of his first election as May 1836 although a published transcription of a letter from him dated 31/05/1834 gives him as "Hon. John Croal, Member of the Court of Policy of British Guiana, and Mayor of Georgetown".

  2. In 1851 he was living (widower aged 62 landed proprietor, born Scotland) with his widowed daughter Julia Ethelston (aged 33, born British Guiana) at 25 Stafford Street Islington in Liverpool.

  3. Will of John Croal 'of City of Georgetown Demerary' proved 08/12/1854: he had died at sea on the steamship Derwent 15/05/1853 and was buried at Bourda Cemetery, Georgetown, Demerara, Guyana. In his will he left Lot no. 26 situate in Werken Rust in the City of Georgetown 'and now known as the Clarendon Hotel' to his daughter Julia for life and then to her daughter Isabel Ethelston; he left to Conrad 'the several pieces of plate that have been presented to me as Commissioner of Compensation by the inhabitants of this colony'. To his brother Alexander Croal he left his half of the barque Palmyra. The residue of his estate he left equally in trust for his five children. Among his named estates were Malgre Tout situate on the West Bank of the River Demerary; and Versailles and Regt door Zee situate on the West Bank of the River Demerary.


T71/885 British Guiana claim no. 107. T71/887 British Guiana claim nos. 2349 (Retrieve), 2369 (Elizabeth Anne), 2373 and 2508 (Lima (?)). PROB 11/2201/397 [TNA gives PROB 11/2201/342]. In 1838 Croal was reportedly joint owner with Peter Rose of Goodhope, Malgre Tout, Palmyra, Regt door Zee and Versailles plantations.

  1. Information provided by Ron Newfield; Odeen Ishmael, The Guyana Story: From Earliest Times to Independence (2013) p. 254; Carl Warburg, 'Specific for fever, now first introduced into Europe' (pamphlet, n.d.) p. 6 (accessed via Googlebooks).

  2. 1851 census online

  3. PROB 11/2201/342.

We are grateful to Ron Newfield for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
John Croull
Margaret Ironside
Peter Rose; Eleanor Jane; Julia; Charles Robertson; John Conrad

Associated Claims (7)

£915 14s 7d
£15,074 2s 10d
£680 14s 8d
£26,754 17s 6d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£210 19s 4d
£534 12s 6d
£9,235 7s 11d

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] - 1817 [LA] → Joint owner
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner

Addresses (2)

British Guiana
25 Stafford Street, Islington, Liverpool, Lancashire, North-west England, England