John Tapin

1756 - 1834

Claimant or beneficiary


Major slave-owner in British Guiana, with several awards to his executor W. H. Austin (q.v.), as well as a smaller one in Barbados. Given the extent of his ownership of enslaved people, it is striking that so little information has been found about him to date.

  1. It is likely that this was John Tapin who is estimated to have been born in 1756 and died in St Michael, Barbados in 1834, being buried on 18 May 1834.

  2. In 1821 John Tapin was described as 'late of this colony' in litigation with Thomas Tapin over the Susannah cotton estate in Berbice.

  3. Tapin must have died at some point between 1832 - when he registered enslaved people for the Maxwell's estate, Barbados - and 1834. William Sharp (q.v.) - as well as W.H. Austin - was appointed an Executor of John Tapin and had incurred a debt to Tapin in the mid-1820s. The debt figured in the case of Turner v Cox in 1853. However, the case record contains no significant information about Tapin himself, except to characterise him as of the island of Barbados.

  4. In 1851 a John D. Tapin, medical student University College aged 24 born West Indies was living with Joseph W Commissory, aged 20 also born West Indies, lodger at Calthorpe Street in St Pancras: the two men are marked as 'Friends.' John D. Tapin was possibly connected with John Tapin the awardee but in what way has not yet been discovered.


  1. Barbados Church Records, 1637-1887, FamilySearch, accessed 1 May 2018.

  2. London Gazette, 17741, 28/08/1821, p. 1767.

  3. W. Herbert Greaves and P. Clarke (eds), Report of cases relating to Barbados to be found in the English Law Reports and of certain cases argued and determined in the Local Courts, vol. 1 (Barbados, 1897), pp. 3-19.

  4. 1851 census online.

Further Information

West Indian?
Married but no further details

Associated Claims (6)

£580 11s 1d
Beneficiary deceased
£253 19s 11d
Beneficiary deceased
£9,609 19s 5d
Beneficiary deceased
£13,522 6s 5d
Beneficiary unsuccessful
£8,564 4s 4d
Beneficiary deceased
£20,852 13s 2d
Beneficiary unsuccessful

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
1830 [SY] - 1831 [EY] → Owner

The appearance of W. H. Austin as executor of John Tapin for claims in both Barbados and British Guiana confirms that the John Tapin slave-owner in Barbados was the same man as the John Tapin active in Berbice.

1825 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Owner
1825 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Owner
1829 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner
1828 [EA] - 1828 [LA] → Owner
1828 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1825 [LA] → Owner
1825 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (1)

Business associates