Rt. Hon. Eric Mackay, 7th Lord Reay

1773 - 1847

Claimant or beneficiary


Partner in the 1790s in the London merchant firm of George Baillie & Co., with George Baillie, Robert Lang, John Turing and Nathaniel Snell (each of whom q.v.) between 1793 and 1800, and then in Lang, Turing until 1805. The firm's business was guaranteeing the sale of 'slave-cargoes', i.e. accepting the bills issued by slave-factors and slave-purchasers in the Caribbean and thereby providing secure payment to slave-traders in Britain, and taking in consignments of produce from the slave-purchasers to complete the cycle of credit. The firm broke up acrimoniously c. 1800. Awarded the compensation for Goldstone Hall in British Guiana, which he had purchased 01/01/1830 from William Fraser of Goldstone Hall (q.v.). In his will in 1847 he secured several annuities for his family and other individuals on the estate.

  1. Son of George Mackay of Skibo (bankrupt 1782) and inheritor from his cousin Hugh Mackay of the title of Lord Reay and the family estates in Sutherland.

  2. Reay went through a significant financial restructuring in the 1820s, which appears to have coincided with or immediately preceded his purchase of Goldstone Hall.

  3. Purchased Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing, which had been largely rebuilt by Sir John Soane 1801-1802, in 1832.

  4. The "faithful and well beloved Eric Lord Reay" was the second signatory on the Petition sent to George III seeking permission for the establishment of Tain Royal Academy in the Royal Burgh of Tain, Ross-shire in 1807. The subscribers each paid £50 or upwards towards the cost of erecting, building & endowing the school.

  5. Will of the Right Honourable Eric Baron Reay (made 16/03/1842) was proved 11/10/1847. He bequeathed monetary legacies for a few hundred pounds but left Goldstone Hall in trust to John Abel Smith, Martin Tucker Smith (two of the Smith, Payne & Smith banking family) and the West India merchants Duncan and William Davidson, with the instruction that they should 'provide a sufficient labourers, stock and cattle for the cultivation thereof', in order to secure annuities of: £300 p.a. jointly to his sisters the Honourable Mary Mackay and the Honourable Anne Mackay; £100 p.a. to his brother Hugh Donald Mackay; £50 p.a. to Catharine Holcroft formerly Catharine North for the lives of her two sisters (he had apparently previously secured an annuity on his bond to Catharine Holcroft); £100 p.a. to Martha Pakham widow of Capt. Pakham late of the Ceylon Regiments; £100 p.a. to Sarah Lycott; and then after the decease of his [illegitimate] daughter Dame Erica Catharine Farquhar (the wife of Sir Walter Minto Townsend Farquhar), Goldstone Hall was to pass to her children. The will directed that the produce of Goldstone Hall should be consigned to Davidson Barkly or whatever house in which Duncan and William Davidson were engaged as partner. In a codicil dated the same day as his will (16/03/1842), Reay added William Fraser of the East India merchant firm Magniac Jardine of Lombard Street as executor.


  1. David Alston, Slaves & Highlanders http://www.spanglefish.com/slavesandhighlanders/index.asp?pageid=536858 [accessed 28/04/2015].

  2. The Reay estate was sold to the Marquis of Stafford in 1829 - Stafford had lent Reay £100,000 in 1825, Times 23/02/1829 p. 3; Times 25/10/1831 p. 2: 'We understand' that the Marquis of Stafford has purchased the Estate of Reay for £300,000. Lord Reay and 4 other noble pensioners gave up pensions amounting to £2609 4s 6d per annum.

  3. Victoria County History - Middlesex Vol. 7 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol7/pp123-128 [accessed 28/04/2015].

  4. Petition to George III for the establishment of Tain Royal Academy in 1807, facsimile of the Petition in the possession of Councillor Derek Louden (Tain & Easter Ross).

  5. PROB 11/2064/17.

We are grateful to Derek Louden for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Rt. Hon. Eric Lord Reay
Erica Catharine
West India merchant

Associated Claims (1)

£17,204 19s 0d

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
1794 [EA] - 1802 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
- 1804 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
01/01/1830 [SD] - 1847 [LA] → Owner
1797 [EA] - 1797 [LA] → Mortgage Holder

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

George Baillie & Co.
West India merchant  
notes →
Partner c....
Chauncy, Lang
West India merchant  
notes →

Cultural (1)

Tain Royal Academy...... 
notes →
The "faithful and well beloved Eric Lord Reay" was the second signatory on the Petition sent to George III seeking permission for the establishment of Tain Royal Academy in the Royal Burgh of Tain,...

Relationships (2)

Business partners
Business partners