Bezsin King Reece

1765 - 23rd Sep 1838


Resident merchant of Barbados, father of Bezsin Reece (q.v.).

  1. Reece was descended from a family which first settled in Barbados in the C17th. His parents were William Reece (1725-1769), of the parish of St Thomas, who married Mrs Mary Harper (?-1784) in 1748. Bezsin King Reece had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He was probably born in Antigua.

On 27 December 1794 he married Sarah Barrow. His father had appointed William Barrow his attorney in Barbados when William was in Antigua in 1767. Presumably Sarah was William Barrow's daughter.

Bezsin Reece was a merchant in Bridgetown 'for forty years', was 'one of the town's most prominent citizens' and, at his death in 1838, was the oldest surviving merchant of the town.

His will reportedly provided that 'His faithful female slaves Mary Ellen, Elizabeth and Diana to be bona fide free subjects after his executors receive compensation money from the British Government and these slaves to be paid immediately the proportion of the compensation money awarded for each.' He left £5000 to his oldest son John who 'it is believed...died in Kensington, London without issue'. The will also provided for £500 to each of the 5 children of his son Bezsin, £100 each to the 3 daughters of his sister, Margaret Gaskin, and the residue to his son Bezsin.

He was buried in St Michael's Parish Church and Cathedral; there is a mural tablet in the nave in his memory and a stone marking his grave in the western porch.


T71/896 Barbados claim nos. 1013, 1592, 1593 and 1606; T71/898 Barbados claim nos. 3078A&B (Thurban), 3174 (Yorkshire plantation).

  1. Major H. M. Reece, 'The kindred of Bezsin King Reece (1765-1838) of St Michael, Barbados', in James C. Brandow, Genealogies of Barbados families: from Caribbeana and the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (1983), pp. 496-7.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Bezin K. Reece
Sarah Barrow
John (1795-); Bezsin (1796-1842); James (1799; died in infancy)

Associated Claims (4)

£85 8s 11d
£11 13s 0d
£431 2s 4d
£400 1s 9d

Associated Estates (9)

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] - 1826 [LA] → Executor
1826 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Executor
1823 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1826 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Executor
1823 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Attorney
1835 [EA] - → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Executor

Filed the return in the 1832 Slave Register.

1829 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Not known
1820 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (1)

Father → Son