William Davidson

1808 - 1894

Claimant or beneficiary


London merchant, partner in Davidsons and Barkly, son of Henry Davidson (1771-1827) and brother and partner of Henry Davidson (1802-1886), and a major recipient of slave compensation.

  1. In 1851 Wm Davidson aged 40 West India merchant born Middlesex was living at Bloomfield House, Plumstead, Kent with wife Louisa aged 32 born Fetcham Surrey and children Edith, Francis and Ida, all born Middlesex. In 1861 the family was at the same address. In 1871 they were visiting Louisa's brother at Fetcham Park Manor. In 1881 the family was again at Bloomfield House, William described as 'Former director Royal Exchange Insurance', and their son F. Robert a clerk in the Imperial Insurance Office. Will of William Davidson of the Guesons, Welwyn City Hertfordshire who died 12/5/1894 proved by Barnard Henry Davidson, effects £4653 11s.

  2. There is potential confusion arising from the existence of William Davidson (nee Barkly), strangely a woman, the mother of Hugh Barkly Davidson and the sister and legatee of Hugh Barkly (q.v.). In 1871, William Davidson 'W' was living at 2 Gordon Place Kensington aged 71 'dividends', born Scotland with son Hugh B. Davidson and a cook. In 1861, at the same address, are recorded 'Williamina [the 'ina' added] Davidson, aged 61 'Independant Lady' born Scotland, with daughter Isabella Napleton 38, son Hugh B Davidson merchant's clerk aged 27, daughter Elizabeth 20 and daughter Ann 29. Robert Davidson Esquire had married William [sic] Barkly 20/06/1820 at St Mary Islington, when the witnesses included Aeneas Barkly. The will of William Davidson late of 2 Gordon Place Campden Hill Kensington widow [sic] who died 18/09/1878 proved 29/10/1878 by Hugh Barkly Davidson the son and Charles Elliott Farquharson, effects under £3000 resworn September 1880 under £2000.


T71/877 Antigua claim no. 333 (Cochrane's, Old North Sound).

  1. 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses online. 

  2. 1861 and 1871 census online; Ancestry.com, London, England, Marriages and Banns 1754-1921 [database online]; Ancestry.com, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database online] shows the baptism of Hugh Barkly Davidson to Robert and William Davidson 12/08/1833 at St Mary Islington; National Probate Calendar 1878.

Further Information

Louisa Eleanor Barnard Hankey
Duncan; Barnard; Edith; Frederick; Ida; Lilian; Sir Arthur
West India merchant

Associated Claims (10)

£2,087 18s 6d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£16,592 4s 6d
£8,878 0s 0d
£4,680 8s 7d
Other association
£586 5s 11d
£3,142 18s 1d
£2,069 3s 4d
Unsuccessful claimant (Executor or executrix)
£3,442 15s 2d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£6,944 11s 4d
£6,544 4s 1d

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
1835 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
1827 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Not known
1834 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1831 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Name partner
Davidsons Barkly & Co.
West India merchant  
notes →
William Davidson was shown as one of the 24 directors of Royal Exchange Assurance in 1842. Announcements in the British Imperial Calendar for 1840 and in the Economist in 1847 place him on the board...

Relationships (5)

Son → Father
Grandson → Grandfather

Addresses (2)

Bloomfield House, Plumstead, Kent, London, England
The Guesons, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, South-east England, England