Elizabeth Metcalfe

1785 - 4th Jan 1846

Claimant or beneficiary


Daughter of William and Margaret Davis of Gargrave Yorkshire, and widow of George Metcalfe (q.v.), the President of the Counsel of Dominica (and Acting governor 1805-8), who himself died in 1821. Elizabeth Metcalfe was also  tenant-for-life in 3 further estates (Dominica Nos. 4, 5 & 275), for which the compensation was shared between her and the remaindermen.

  1. Elizabeth Metcalfe, née Davis, was born c. 1786 in Yorkshire, the daughter of William and Margaret Davis. Her gravestone gives her parents as of Gargrave, some 40 miles from Rigg House in Hawes where Elizabeth was living at the time of the claim. However, there is a marriage of a William Davis and Margt. Routh on 01/01/1783 in Hawes, Yorkshire, and this couple appear to have had a daughter, Elizabeth, baptised 24/10/1785 in Hardraw, some three and a half miles from Hawes, which would fit with the dates of Elizabeth Metcalfe. No sign of the baptism of an Elizabeth Davis in the Gargrave parish register 1784-1788. To support the theory that the Elizabeth baptised in Hardraw is the correct one is the fact a Mr John Routh is named as an executor to her husband’s will (see 5 below) and also that other baptisms fit. William Davis and Margaret Routh were married in 1783 in Hawes. There is a baptism in nearby Hardraw for a Jane Davis, parents Willm Davis and Margt Davis, on 18/01/1784. A Jane Davies, parents William and Margaret Davies, married Robert Benson in Skipton, Yorkshire on 11/10/1803 and a Jane Benson was a witness at Elizabeth’s marriage to George Metcalfe (see 2 below). Likewise there are baptisms in Stallingbusk, again near Hawes, for Tho. Davis 23/09/1787, John Davis 25/04/1790 and William Davis 16/05/1791. Parents in each case are given as William and Peggy Davis. Peggy is a common diminutive for Margaret and shows up as a match on FamilySearch and a Thomas Davis was also a witness at Elizabeth’s marriage and a co-claimant (q.v.). Both Thomas Davis (q.v.) and John Davis are mentioned in Elizabeth’s husband’s will (see 5 below). (The incumbent at Hardraw might have insisted on Margaret’s correct first name while the incumbent at Stallingbusk might have been happy to use the name she was known by.)

  2. Elizabeth Davis married George Metcalfe 01/07/1812 in Gargrave, Yorkshire. ‘George Metcalfe of Rigghouse in the Chapelry of Hardraw & par. of Aysgarth dio Chester, Esquire & Elizabeth Davis of this par. Spin. Mar. by Lie. (from Revd William Carr, Surrogate) i July 1812 by A. Lister, Vicar – George Metcalfe, Elizabeth Davis – Thomas Davis, Jane Benson’. Both George and Elizabeth shown as able to sign their names as no cross given. Wording of marriage far more detailed than most of the entries. Given that George Metcalfe is shown as of Hardraw, where there is an appropriate baptism for an Elizabeth Davis, this again supports other evidence (see 1above) that Elizabeth and her siblings were born and baptised in the Hawes area but that the family perhaps moved to Gargrave later, hence given as ‘of Gargrave’ on her gravestone.

  3. George Metcalfe was born circa 1758, possibly in Yorkshire. Given as of Halton, Yorkshire, in one of the claims but no evidence of a birth/baptism there. There are four possible baptisms in the Hawes area: 16/10/1757 at Askrigg, father John; 07/05/1757 at Hawes, father Robert; 22/01/1759 at Askrigg, father John; 23/12/1759 at Askrigg, father James. The first can probably be discounted as it’s likely this one died and another child was named George and was the one baptised 22/01/1759. Given the name of other claimants [Robert Metcalfe Atkinson (q.v.) and Robert Metcalfe (q.v.)]and George’s age at death, the second baptism is the most likely. This would give George’s father as Robert. In support of this is a gravestone in Hawes which reads ‘Near this stone lies interred the body of Robert Metcalfe late of Hawes & Birkrigg who departed this life on 4 day Apr 1768 in 49th yr of his age. Also of Margaret his wife dau of George & Elizabeth Foster’. Rigg House and Birkrigg face each other across what is now the A684 so are very close and both are mentioned as Estates in the will of George Metcalfe (see 5 below). The age of Robert would make it possible for him to be the father of George. Also there are a number of Metcalfe gravestones in Hawes and only this one and the one for George and Elizabeth Metcalfe of Rigg House give details of the wife’s parents (see 7 below).

  4. George’s gravestone gives him as President of the Counsel of Dominica and Colonel of St George’s Militia in that island. The first part of this is supported by Planters and Plantation Workers at Hidden History online, documents at the John Rylands University Library, Manchester and the list of Governors of Dominica. George Metcalfe is also referred to as ‘senior Member of the Council’ in 1805 in The Defence of Dominica. There are documents in the Lancashire Record Office relating to his Dominican property 1809-1813. George died 13/02/1821, aged 63 years, and is buried in Hawes graveyard. (His burial is given as 17/01/1821 on the National Burial Index which would make his death 13/01/1821 rather than 13/02/1821.)

  5. George Metcalfe’s will was proved 21/02/1822. ‘This is my last will. I am in plorable good health but think it necessary to have a will by me. I give and bequeath all my property of whatsoever kind Real and Personal to my beloved wife Elizabeth for and during her natural life and at her decease I bequeath Birk Rigg Estates, Rigg House Estate, Mossdale Moor Estate, Gayle Estate with all my property in Hampton Court Estate, Negroes and all my estate Negroes and houses in the Island of Dominica to Robert Atkinson now in Richmond To Thomas Davis now in Gargrave and to Isaac Metcalfe now in London each one third as Tenants in Common with this proviso that Robert Atkinson and Thomas Davis assume and bear the name of Metcalfe and qualify at the Herald’s Office before they enter into possession and subject to pay the following legacies viz Margaret Coats £50, Nancy Atkinson £100 and if she marries well £100 more. One shilling per day to George Atkinson during his life and £10 to Isaac Atkinson now in Dominica. I appoint W T Roberts Esquire, London, Mr John Davis of Liverpool, Anthony Davis in Philadelphia son of Thomas, and Mr John Routh of London to be to be my executors and I bequeath £1,000 sterling to each of them from the Hampton Court Estate as a reward for acting zealously. I further will that my dear wife shall not marry again and that should she marry the whole of my property shall as heretofore devised. I bequeath the shop at the East End of Hawes Market and my half the pew in Hawes Chappel to my wife Elizabeth for ever and to her executors her heors and admons and further it is my will that the Mortgages and other Incumbrances shall be paid prior to the legacies and that the legacies to my executors shall be the last paid. Given under my hand and seal at Rigg House this twenty first day of September 1820 …. George Metcalfe, signed and acknowledged in the presence of Chris Moor, Alexander Metcalfe, Mary Hunter. I further will by way of a codicil that the male heir of each of the legatees to the estates after the death of their father and if it be descended to a person not named Metcalfe that then the said person shall qualify and take the name of Metcalfe before he shall enter into possession and I recommend to each of the three principal legatees to curtail by will the said properties to the heir male of each and I give power to my executors to sell my Dominica property except the Negroes that may be removed to Demerara.’

  6. Elizabeth Metcalfe appears in the 1841 census at Rigg House, High Abbotside, Aysgarth, Yorkshire. The household is shown as William Metcalfe, 55, occupation not clear, Mary, 50, William, 20, Thomas, 15, Richard 15, Ann, 14, and Agness, 12, all born out of county, and as a separate household at the same address, Elizabeth Metcalfe, 55, Independent, born in county, with two servants.

  7. Elizabeth died 04/01/1846 and was buried on 08/01/1846 with George in Hawes graveyard. Their gravestone records ‘In memory of George Metcalfe Esq of Rigg House many yrs President of the Counsel of Dominica & Colonel of St George’s Militia in that island. He d on 13 day Feb 1821 aged 63 yrs. Also of Elizabeth Metcalfe his wife dau of William and Margaret Davis of Gargrave in this country who d on 4 day Jan 1846 aged 60 yrs.’ There do not appear to have been any children to the marriage. Elizabeth’s will was proved in the Prerogative Court of York in June 1846: ‘Metcalfe Elizabeth of Rigg House Aysgarth’ – total £2,000.

  8. The ‘shop at the East End of Hawes Market’ mentioned in George Metcalfe’s will could be the Grocer’s shop at which John Wilson Metcalfe (q.v.) is shown in the 1851 census.

  9. Rigg house was for sale, valued at £695,000, in 2011. 'It dates to the 17th century and sits in two acres of ground. It was inherited by the Hillary family in the 17th century through marriage with a Metcalfe and presumably passed back to the Metcalfe family. Further details of the family could be found online, including a portrait of George Metcalfe.'


T71/881: Dominica claim nos. 4A, B & C , 5 (Picard), 275 (Hertford) and 581A & B (Rosalie).

  1. 1841 census online; www.dalesgenealogy.com/Hawes/metcalfedavis.html [accessed 25/11/11]; FamilySearch online [accessed 27/11/2011]; The Parish Register of Gargrave in the County of York, 1558-1812 Vol. 28.

  2. The Parish Register of Gargrave in the County of York : 1558-1812 Vol.28.

  3. FamilySearch online; Dales Genealogy "Hawes Metcalfe Davis."

  4. FamilySearch online; Dales Genealogy "Hawes Metcalfe Davis"; RA Journal "Defence of Dominica" [World Statesmen website]; National Burial Index online.

  5. "Metcalf George" [WillTranscriptions website].

  6. 1841 census online.

  7. Dales Genealogy "Hawes Metcalfe Davis."; National Burial Index online; Prerogative & Exchequer Court of York Probate Index (1688-1858) online.

  8. 1861 census online.

  9. Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. Henry Colburn, 1939.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Eliz. Metcalfe
George Metcalfe (d. 1821)

Associated Claims (4)

£901 19s 4d
Unsuccessful claimant
£1,159 5s 8d
Unsuccessful claimant
£1,744 13s 5d
Unsuccessful claimant
£3,488 6s 3d

Associated Estates (4)

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
1823 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Tenant-for-life
1832 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Mortgage Holder

Relationships (2)

Sister → Brother
Widow → Deceased Husband

Addresses (1)

Rigg House, Hawes, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, England