Spencer Mackay

20th Dec 1764 - 1846

Claimant or beneficiary


London-based owner of Lusignan, Cane Grove and Annadale estates in British Guiana.

  1. Likely match for his parents: the marriage of William Mackay and Sarah Spencer in Westminster, 1760; the birth of Spencer Mackay to William Mackay and Sarah, Westminster, 20/12/1764; and christening of Spencer Mackay to William Mackay and Sarah, Westminster, 28/12/1764. Married Bell [Isabella] Ryan in St George, Liverpool, 09/07/1812. Bought Holly Grove House, Windsor, in 1803 but sold it in 1807. In Boyle's Directory 1836 at 55 Upper Harley Street, London. In the 1841 census at 55 Upper Harley Street: Spencer Mackey [sic] age 65, of independent means, born in Middlesex, living with his wife, two daughters, one other resident/visitor plus four servants. Burial of Spencer Mackay aged 81 of 55 Upper Harley Street 13/02/1846 at All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green, Middlesex.

  2. See Slaves & Highlanders for a biography of Spencer Mackay and an account of a slave uprising on his estates in 1818.

  3. Spencer Mackay signed the call for planters and merchants to meet for the preservation of the West Indian colonies in 1832.

  4. Will of Spencer Mackay of Upper Harley Street proved 24/02/1846. In the will he said that he had placed his estates in British Guiana in trust to be sold, and the proceeds made part of his residuary estate in Great Britain. According to his will, under their marriage settlement in 1812 he had settled an annuity of £1000 p.a. upon his wife, and in 1832 he had placed £28,572 in 31/2% annuities in trust to fund this annuity; under the will, he left her an additional annuity of £600 p.a. He placed £24,000 in 3% annuities in trust: one moiety of the income was for his daughter-in-law Mary Charity, with the proviso that the income should not meet the debts of her present or any future husband; the other half was for his son Spencer Mackay 'until [sic] he shall be outlawed, or be found and declared bankrupt or become an insolvent debtor....' He left £2000 to his agent Creswell Spencer of George Town Demerara. His residuary estate was to be invested in 'parliamentary stocks' and be divided into quarters, 1/4th to each of his children Thomas Henry, Alexander, Bell and Rozanna [sic] Louisa. In a codicil he reiterated his wish that his son Spencer Mackay should have no part of his residuary estate.

  5. Alexander Mackay died in 1847, leaving an annuity of £800 p.a to his wife from his share of his father's estate. In 1851 Spencer Mackay's two other sons Thomas H. (aged 35) and Spencer Mackay (aged 37), both born Middlesex were shown living at Petham Kent. Thomas Henry Mackay died at Petham House in 1865 leaving £6000. Spencer Mackay, who had married Mary Charity, the daughter of Admiral Vansittart, died at Havre de Grace in France in 1860, leaving effects under £200 in England: his lack of wealth at death presumably reflects the assessment of him implied by the precautions in his father's will. Rosanna Louisa Mackay married Henry Richard Woodhouse, a barrister from an East India Co. family, in 1846, while Isabella appears to have remained single and died in 1883.


T71/885 British Guiana claim nos. 562A & B (Pln Lusignan), 592 (Pln Cane Grove) and 760A & B (Annandale).

  1. Boyd's Marriage Index 1538-1840, at www.findmypast.com; www.familysearch.org batch no. C13551-2; Ancestry.com, London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 [database online]; 1841 census online; Slaves & Highlanders: Highland Scots in Guyana before Emancipation www.spanglefish.com/slavesandhighlanders/index.asp?pageid=179614.

  2. Slaves & Highlanders: Highland Scots in Guyana before Emancipation www.spanglefish.com/slavesandhighlanders/index.asp?pageid=179614.

  3. Times 05/04/1832 p. 1.

  4. PROB 11/2031/222.

  5. Will of Alexander Mackay of Brighton Susses proved 01/11/1847, PROB 11/2065/84; 1851 census online; http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/clementsmss/umich-wcl-M-4307mac?view=text accessed 07/01/2014; National Probate Calendar 1861 (Administrations) and 1865.

Further Information

Isabella [Bell] Ryan
Spencer (1813-1860), Thomas Henry (1815-1865), Alexander (1818-1847), Isabella [Bell] (1820-), Rosanna Louisa [Rose] (1823-)

Associated Claims (3)

£21,392 15s 6d
£12,722 18s 1d
£464 3s 3d

Associated Estates (5)

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
1826 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1817 [LA] → Owner
1828 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner
1826 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (1)

Trustee → Testator

Addresses (1)

55 Upper Harley Street, London, Middlesex, London, England