Josiah Heath

???? - 1852

Claimant or beneficiary


Resident slave-owner on Barbados.

  1. Will of Josiah Heath of St John Island of Barbados [made 1847 with a codicil of 1849] proved 26/09/1853.

  2. It is probable given legacies in his will to individuals in Staffordshire that this is Josiah Heath who was born in Staffordshire in 1791. His probate indicates his death as 1852 in St John, Barbados. He appears to be the same man as married the 15 year old Jane Ann Cheesman (b. St Joseph, 1810, d. Oct 1878 in St. Michael, Barbados) and the father of Edwin Francis, Jane Anna, John Culpepper, Marianna Stewart, Robert Ince, William Wood, Josiah (1834-), Laura Jane (1841-) and Frances Ford (1846-).


  1. PROB 11/2178/404.

  2. Family trees include Ray Family Tree on Ancestry; Family for marriage

Further Information

Jane Ann Cheesman
4 daughters, 5 sons

Josiah Heath, d.1852 p.1 – of parish of St John in island of Barbados - All debts and costs to be paid as soon as possible.
Wife - ‘My dear wife’ Jane Ann Heath all my household furniture, table and other linen of every description, all my wines, all my china and glassware, my silver tea and coffee service and the choice of any carriage and two horses of those which may be in my possession at time of death. o In case leave a carriage at time of death she should be supplied with a carriage and two horses according to her choice at expense of estate. - An annuity of £400 currency paid half yearly during natural life, starting day after death. - During widowhood option of living on my plantations and to be supplied therefrom with sugar, rum, roots and vegetables such as the plantation can supply until plantation is sold. o If plantations are rented or sold or wife should choose to live elsewhere she should be supplied with a house for herself and my children…’whilst she remains my widow and no longer.’ - Wife empowered to dispose of £1500 currency amongst their children in her will. - Wife has use of all plate during natural life.

Objects & Legacies - To eldest son [rouge?] silver waiter given to me by Rev. Bayley. - To next son the tankard and waiter given by my friend Mr Culpepper. - To next son cup and waiter marked FH to JW and given to me by friend Mr [Wood] - To all sons after death of wife rest of silver and plate articles not herein bequeathed and my watches equally divided share and share alike p.2 - To my goddaughter Mary Jane Cheeseman daughter of [??James? obscured] Cheesman £100 currency at 21 or upon marriage. - To sister-in-law Rebecca Francis Jones wife of Robert Trotman Jones 10 guineas as token of remembrance. - £30 sterling to be committed annually by executors hereafter named…during the natural life of my mother, paid to my relation Samuel Mayer of Newcastle, Staffs, to be paid over to her. - Executors to dispose of all the shares held in the West India Bank, Barbados – amount raised to be divided equally amongst children except my sons Edwin Francis Heath and John Culpepper Heath who are to have no portion of the money. To be distributed within 12 months of death. - Executors to sell all sugar works, plantations and other real estate of which I may be possessed in this island or elsewhere in parts or proportion as shall be most advantageous for my estate. - When son Edwin Francis Heath reaches 21, if my said plantation called Quintynes shall remain unsold that he be allowed to purchase it at the executional appraisement if he be desirous but which is no way to effect the proportion of my estate bequeathed to him under this my will and the money to arise by the sale to sink into estate. - All rest and residue of estate to be divided between children, as well as those to be born. If any die before they inherit legacy to go to their issue or if none split between siblings. o If all die £6000 currency to wife in addition to other bequests. p.3 - To cousin John Mayer of Newcastle Staffs, son of my uncle Samuel Mayer £1000 sterling. - To Henry Day, son of Henry Day & Olivia Day his wife, £1000 sterling at 21 – in meantime interest to be used to for education and maintenance. o To each of other children of Henry and Olivia Day £500 (under same terms). - Goddaughter Mary Jane Cheeseman £500 sterling in addition to legacy herein bequeathed. - To each of the children of Joseph Bliss late of this island who are living at the time of the last of my children without issue £500. - To Elizabeth [Donster?] formerly Elizabeth Bliss mother of aforesaid children £500 currency. - All rest and residue of my property after the death of my last child without issue to my wife, Mary Jane Cheeseman and all the children of my sister-in-law Mary Payne Hart wife George Payne Hart equally divided share and share alike. - All remainder of proceeds of sale of plantations after payment of debts, costs and legacies to be ‘placed out at interest on good and sufficient security either in this island or elsewhere’ and the interest to be applied to education and maintenance of children until they reach 21. p.4 - To wife all my right title and interest share in the Library Association established in this island. - Provisions made for wife are in full lieu and bar of all dower and thirds. - Annuities sink back into estate upon death of beneficiary. - Where children have been left ‘trifling legacies’ of around £50 by friends which Josiah Heath has control of and want to claim these, JH’s executors to pay over amount to those liable to pay it over to his children. o Not to include £1000 currency left to Edwin Francis and John Culpepper under the will of their deceased grandfather Francis Cheeseman due from plantation called Redland and a legacy of £500 sterling to said son Edwin Francis Heath by will of my deceased friend Robert James Haynes & of which I am executor.

Executors - Nominate and appoint wife, friends George Hewitt, George Payne Hart, Robert Trotman Jones and Benjamin Howell Jones as executrix and executors, and guardians of children. - If any of the executors should undertake the management ‘care and superintendence’ of my plantations either in this island or elsewhere should be allowed a 5% commission on the clear net amount produced by them so long as he or they shall continue such care and superintendence. - Appointment as executor shall not discharge them of any outstanding debts owed to the estate. - Written 7/4/1847

p.5 – Codicil – written 4/10/1849 - When JH wrote previous will he considered himself worth (after payment of debts) £35,000 currency; however – ‘As the acts of the British government have despoiled me of my property and completely beggared me I think it prudent, as I am about to take a voyage for the benefit of my health, to make such alterations in my will as the unjust, ungenerous and ruinous measures of the time serving ministry of Great Britain have made absolutely necessary and as the present nature of my altered circumstances seem to require… o Firstly I ratify and confirm my last will and testament before mentioned save and except so far as and so much thereof as may be contrary to the meaning and intentions set forth and stated in this my codicil… • I now find that it will not be possible to pay unto my wife the annual sum of £400 old currency nor pay my goddaughter Mary Jane Cheeseman the legacy of £100.’ Both revoked. • Instead executors to provide an annual sum that estates are capable of providing with a view to paying the debts and encumbrances which may be existing against them at the time of my decease. • Also now at executors’ discretion to provide a horse and carriage depending upon capability of estate to furnish them strongly enjoining frugality and economy as the only means by which my children can be educated or maintained. • My mother having departed this life since the completion of my will bequest is null and void. • Share due to each of my children at 21 – with this in mind now with that ‘estates be cultivated and kept up in the best possible manner with the view of paying off by their annual crops the debts and incumbrances against me and as this may be compatible with the provisions contained in my will relative to my children’s legacies. I do now declare that my property must not be divided until such time as my executors shall think and decree it prudent and advantageous to the general estate and all interested herein to do so and the legacies to my children shall not be paid till such time or times as may be though proper and beneficial to my estate by executors. • I am aware that at the present time my property would scarcely meet the amount of the demands against me for these have not diminished in amount as my property has in value. • I trust that the Grenada property vizt. Mt Parnassus and the [Laura?] sugar plantation with a lieu of 3000 [St.?] in Mt Gay Plantation will pay the debt which I am owing to Messrs Thomas Duncan & Sons of nearly £2000 sterling and to effect this I would recommend the immediate sale of the plantations Mt Parnassus and the [Laura?] p.6

• ‘It is my will that my 2 sons Edwin Francis and John Culpepper’s proportion of my property shall be £500 sterling less than that of my other children’ – this done on basis of 2 eldest sons having been provided for by their grandfather Francis Cheeseman. - Have received the legacy left to son Edwin Francis by my friend Robert James Haynes and have confessed judgment to him for the amount on which execution has been issued. He knows my wishes with reference to a portion of this amount. - Son Edwin Francis Heath appointed executor.

[We are very grateful to Chris Jeppesen for extracting the details of this will.]

Associated Claims (6)

£2,559 9s 7d
£141 15s 3d
£108 14s 11d
£3,788 14s 5d
Not a claimant (Attorney)
£2,969 4s 7d
£930 3s 9d
Claimants in List E or Chancery cases

Associated Estates (8)

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
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney

Given the naming of one of his sons as John Culpepper [sic] Heath in the will of the Josiah Heath who died in 1852, it appears very likely that the attorney on this estate (which belonged to the Culpepper family) was the same man.

1823 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1838 [EA] - 1853 [LA] → Owner
1823 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney

Relationships (2)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Husband → Wife