Bay Estate

Estate Details

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Associated People (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
- 1772 [LA] → Owner

Owned by Francis Ford of Lear's, but leased to Alexander Sandiford since 1771, with Sandiford having the option to buy for £13,500.

1772 [EA] - 1786 [LA] → Owner

Under lease to Alexander Sandiford for part of the period.

1820 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner
1826 [EA] - 1840 [LA] → Owner

Associated Claims (1)

£3,636 19S 4D


"The Bay Estate was then [in the later 18th century] a large sugar plantation with its lands stretching from the high ridge on which is the Garrison Savannah down to the sea as far as Charles Fort, and thence in the direction of the town past the Bay Mansion and back to Culloden Farm. About 1789 the War Department acquired about 20 acres of this land in the Garrison District divided off and sold to them by Mr. Beckles. Other portions of the Estate in and around Upper Bay Street were sold off for building purposes, and eventually the area of the plantation under cultivation became considerably reduced. On the death of John Beckles, his son John Alleyne became possessed of the property, and again on the latter's death in 1840 it passed to his children, subject to charges which their grandfather, John Beckles had made upon it for legacies under his Will. In 1842 the property consisted of 107 acres, and through the fall in the price of sugar the plantation was placed in Chancery and was appraised to £16,425. The Estate was purchased out of Chancery by Robert Hunte, (son-in-law of John Alleyne Beckles) and John S. Sainsbury, and afterwards Robert Hunte became the sole owner by purchase of his co-owners share. Robert Hunte died in 1864 and left the plantation to his only child Robert Beckles Hunte, whose descendants are still [in 1944] the owners of the Estate."

The associated mansion was occupied by John Beckles and his family and afterwards by his son John Alleyne Beckles as his principal residence. It was one of the very few houses In that part of St. Michael which withstood the hurricane of 1831, only the roof sustaining damage.

To the south of the mansion: the 'Beckles Spring' was a major source of water supply for the inhabitants of Bridgetown before the development of mains water from country reservoirs. It was also the source of water supply for ships in the bay.


James C. Brandow (comp.), Genealogies of Barbados families: from Caribbeana and the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (1983), pp. 154-5. [Article originally published in the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, XII (1944), pp. 3-19 with revisions and corrections, XXIX (1962), p. 92.]

Estate Information (10)

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On 3 January 1786 John Beckles and his wife Elizabeth mortgaged 'The Bay Plantation' in St. Michael to Francis Ford for £4,000. (Probably Beckles bought in that year and Ford left £4000 as mortgage).
It appears that the Bay Estate had been owned by Francis Ford by 1763, having previously been owned by William Whittaker. By the will of Francis Ford in 1772 (q.v.), the estate had been inherited by Francis Ford the younger, subject to the lease of the estate to Alexander Sandiford.

Barbados Department of Archives. Hughes-Queree Index of Plantations.
[Number of enslaved people] 221(Tot)  
[Size] 449  

Hughes-Queree give the acreage and number of enslaved based on: National Archives (Britain), CO28/62.

Barbados Department of Archives. Hughes-Queree Index of Plantations.

In 1790 Beckles wanted to sell 22 acres of a total of 208 acres to the British Government for £1,165 sterling and sought Francis Ford’s permission as mortgagee. Ford agreed provided the £1,165 was paid to him to reduce the mortgage. In the agreement to sell to the British Government, Beckles insisted that he, his agents and servants must at all times have access to “the pond at the end of the land” to let out fresh water and let in sea water (the Esplanade area). [This must refer to the 'Beckles Spring": see general notes on the estate for the latter.]

Barbados Department of Archives. Hughes-Queree Index of Plantations.
[Number of enslaved people] 156(Tot)  

Return of John Beckles, his own property.

T71/520 43
[Number of enslaved people] 153(Tot)  
[Name] [No name given]  

Return of John Beckles, his own property. Previously 159 enslaved. Note also that under his will of 1823, John Beckles bequeathed The Bay to his son John Alleyne Beckles.

T71/529 38
[Number of enslaved people] 160(Tot)  
[Name] Bay  

Return of John A. Beckles, his own property. 127 of the enslaved were the gift of the Hon. John Beckles, deceased; 5 the gift of Eliz. Wilson; 16 births; 22 brought from Lancaster; 10 deaths. Net number of enslaved: 160. Note that the Register incorrectly gives the net number as 170 (increase of 180, decrease, 10). See also the return of John A. Beckles, Executor, of the estate of the Hon. John Beckles, deceased, pp. 37-41. The latter includes the following changes in the 'property of the estate of John Beckles, to which John A. Beckles was the Executor: previously enslaved: 153; births: 2; deaths: 5; sent to Baxters: 1; Sold to Ambo Sandiford: 1; "Her time given to her" (Princess, aged 45): 1; Inherited by Mrs Hyndman: 7; Inherited by Miss Margaret A. Beckles: 9; Inherited by Miss Henry: 3; gift to John A. Beckles: 128. Total decrease: 155.

T71/534 32-6
[Number of enslaved people] 184(Tot)  
[Name] Bay Plantation  

Return of John A. Beckles, his own property.

T71/540 48-9
[Number of enslaved people] 178(Tot)  

Return of John A. Beckles, his own property.

T71/547 73-4
[Size] 107  

According to Stoute, the estate was of 102 acres in 1842 and was put into Chancery with a valuation of £16,425.

Stoute Scrapbooks, Barbados Dept of Archives, vol II; article by E A Stoute originally in Barbados Sunday Advocate News, 9 July 1972.
[Name] Bay  
[Size] 128  

Listed in St Michael, property of Hunte.

Barbados 1913 list from the Hughes-Quere indexes transcribed at