John Barkly Macdonald

1808 - 29th Dec 1855

Claimant or beneficiary


John Barkly (or Barclay) Macdonald, planter and resident of Grenada, awarded the compensation for one group of enslaved people on Grenada and a second larger group in Trinidad. Born in Glasgow, his father was John Macdonald of Trinidad and Grenada, and who ended his life living at Claremont Sq., Pentonville. In Grenada John Barkly owned a plot of land in Market Square, St George and a parcel of land named Plaisance estate, formerly part of Boccage estate.

He married twice. Firstly to Elizabeth, with whom he had a son also named John. The land in Grenada passed to John upon him reaching 21. John Barkly married again in 1844 following his return to Britain sometime in the early 1840s. With his second wife, Mary (daughter of Alexander McConachie of Windyhall, Rothesay, Bute), he had another 5 children: Janet Eliza Jemima (1845), Margaret (1847), Alexander (1849), Charles Barkley (1851), Sarah (1855). In 1851 the family were living at Stewarthall Farm, Rothesay, and John Barkley recorded himself on the census as 'West Indian proprietor and farmer'.

Upon his death he left an estate of £289 15 shillings. His will bequeathed his property in Grenada to John, his eldest son from his first marriage, and the farm on Bute to his wife for the maintenance of their children. He stipulated that if she remarried the farm should be sold.


T71/894 Trinidad no. 2016A&B John Barclay Macdonald of Grenada; Grenada no. 159 John Barkly Macdonald

1851 Scotland census, accessed through

Inventory of John Barkly Macdonald, proved Bute 22/5/1857, copy provided by David Carey [23/7/2015].

We are grateful to David Carey for his help with this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
John Barclay MacDonald
[1] Elizabeth McDonald [2] Mary McConnochie
With [1] John; with [2] Margaret, Sarah, Janet, Mary, Charles, Alexander

SC8/35/8, Rothesay Sheriff Court - precis.

Personal estate of John Barkly Macdonald tenant of the form of Stewart Hall in the island and shire of Bute who died 29/12/1855.

Cash in the house £4 15s

Cash in credit at the Royal Bank of Scotland at Rothsay £26 15s

Household furniture, silver plate and other effects £258 5s

Total £289 15s.

Trust deposition.

John Barkly McDonald tenant of the parm of Stewarthall in the Island and Shire of Bute.

Trustees to be Archibald Gray Macdonald Esquire, lithographer in Glasgow, Thomas Maclachlan, Doctor of Medicine in Rothesay, John McConochie, famer, windyhall and John Gillies, town clerk of Rothesay. In trust: my lease of the farm of Stewarthall; all my share and interest in that piece of land in the Market Square in the town of St George in Grenada, 24 feet in front and 102 feet in depth; all and sundry my other lands houses, furniture, debts etc real and personal. My trustees to also discharge my father's trustees and all other indebted to me or my estate. Trustees also to be sole executors.

In the event of Mary McConochie or McDonald my wife surviving me, she to have the occupation of the farm of Stewarthall or any other farm I shall occupy at my death for the maintenance and upbringing of my family while they are in minority. Should she remarry then my trustees to dispose of the lease of the farm as they may think proper for the benefit of my family. As a widow, she to have the use of the farm implements, furniture etc.

All my other property to be divided equally among my children by my present and former marriage, including all that was left to me or my family by my father's settlement. On the remarriage or death of my wife, whichever comes first, my trustees to make an equal division of all my effects. Although my trustees are to make an equal division of my estate, they shall not be obliged to pay any of the principal sum till they arrive at majority, but the annual proceeds as much as is necessary to be applied for their maintenance and education. If my trustees are satisfied that it is to the benefit of my children to have a part of the principal sum before their majority, my trustees to have full power to advance such a sum.

My trustees shall obtain from Grenada a valuation of that parcel of land known as Plaisance Estate, formerly part of Boccage Estate in St David, Grenada, which was made over to William Alexander Horne and Charles Bubb Esquires of Grenada in trust for Elizabeth McDonald, my former wife, during her life and which is to be conveyed over to my son John when he arrives at 21 years of age. When settling with my son John and paying him his share of my estate and my father's property, my trustees shall deduct from my son John's share the value of Boccage estate and divide that value equally among him and my other children.

The provisions made here for my spouse are over and above the provisions made in her favour by our marriage contract.

Signed at Rothesay 13/10/1849.

Antenuptial contract of marriage between John Barkly Macdonald Esquire and Hiss Mary McConnochie referred to in the oath:

John Barkly Macdonald Esquire late of Grenada but now residing in Glasgow but presently residing in Rothsay on the one part and Miss Mary McConnochie daughter of Alexander McConnochie farmer Windyhall Rothesay, with the consent of the said Alexander McConnochie her father on the other part. Mary McConnochie to receive £150 sterling per annum for life should she survive John Barkly Macdonald. The deceased John Macdonald, Esquire, father of John Barkly Macdonald, by his deed of settlement executed 31/03/1830, left the sum of £5,000 sterling in the hands of certain trustees therein named. Should Mary McConnochie remarry, the annuity to be reduced to half the original sum and appropriated solely for the benefit of our children. All the lawful children of John Barkly Macdonald to have an equal interest in all his estate. Should John Barkly Macdonald die before his son by his previous marriage reaches the age of 18 years, he shall live in family with the said Mary McConnochie until he reaches the age of 18 years. Should she not wish to live with John and his income is under £40 per year, then £20 of her annuity is to be applied to pay for his board. Mary McConnochie with consent will make over to John Barkly Macdonald for liferent all her property and effects. Signed at Windhall, 04/07/1844.

Wealth at death
£289 15S

Associated Claims (2)

£41 5s 8d
£1,436 5s 2d
Awardee (Assignee)

Addresses (1)

Stewarthall Farm, Rothesay, Buteshire, Argyll and Bute, Scotland