Sir John Gay Alleyne 1st Bart.

28th Apr 1724 - 7th Dec 1801


  1. Resident of Barbados, father of Sir Reynold Abel Alleyne (q.v.). Born in St James, Barbados, April 1724, the son of John Alleyne (23 December 1695-20 April 1730) and Mary Alleyne (née Terrill) ( -1742) of Cabbage Tree Hall. John Alleyne died at Bath, England, in 1730 and was buried in Bath Abbey. Mary Alleyne also died in England and was buried at St Nicholas Church, Guildford, Surrey. John Alleyne had inherited Four Hills estate, Barbados, from his father Reynold Alleyne (1672-1722).

    Married twice:
    (1) 19 October 1746: married Christian Dottin, the daughter of Joseph Dottin by whom he gained 'a certain control' over St Nicholas Abbey. There was 1 child.
    For a dispute of 1748-1752 between William Kennedy and the Alleyne family over monies owed - a dispute which had been running since 1725 involving George Nicholas of St Nicholas Abbey, the Dottin family, and the Alleynes against Kennedy and which was finally settled in 1752 - see the William Kennedy papers.
    In 1782 his wife settled the properties which she owned on her nephews and nieces but the life interest of Sir John in St Nicholas was maintained.

    (2) 29 June 1786, at St James's, Barbados: married his cousin Jane Abel Alleyne (1765–1800), the daughter of Abel Alleyne MD, of Mount Standfast, Barbados, and his wife, Jane Skeet. 2 sons and 5 daughters, including Reynold Abel Alleyne (1789–1870), who succeeded as baronet.

    Children of John Gay Alleyne:

    With Christian Dottin: Gay Alleyne (baptised 20 April 1747; no record of his death).

    With Jane Abel Alleyne: John Gay Newton Alleyne (18 February 1787-1800; died at school, Eton College); Mary Spires Alleyne (21 May 1788-10 June 1862); Sir Reynold Abel Alleyne (10 June 1789-14 February 1870). Married Rebecca Olton, 20 September 1810; Jane Gay Alleyne (11 November 1790-23 November 1836; died in Clevedon, Somerset); Rebecca Braithwaite Alleyne (18 November 1792-13 March 1846; married Dr John William Bovell, St James Church, Barbados, 20 November 1810. Bovell’s second wife. Rebecca Alleyne buried in Clifton, Gloucestershire); Christian Dottin Alleyne (12 January 1795-11 February 1873; married Rev Henry Withy, Huddersfield, 26 March 1829); Abel Alleyne (18 March 1796-buried 6 January 1812; [female])

    He owned the Four Hills, Bawdens, Skeets and River plantations.

    Elected to the Barbados Assembly for St Andrew in 1757; elected speaker in 1767 and remained so (apart from a short break in 1771-72) until 1797.

    Best known for his ‘patriotic’ defence of Barbados and the British connection. A defence of the conduct of Barbadoes, during the late expedition to Martinique and Guadeloupe, in a letter to the Right Hon. Gen. Barrington (1760) refuted the notion that Barbados not in support of the British in its conflicts with the French. As Speaker of the House of Assembly in 1767 he also claimed the privileges claimed by the House of Commons in Britain: (1) freedom from arrest for Members; (2) freedom of speech in the Assembly; (3) free access to a representative of the Crown. His views criticised by George Frere in his A short history of Barbados, from its first discovery and settlement, to the end of the year 1767 (London, 1768). Alleyne issued a riposte in 1768: Remarks upon a book, intitled, A short history of Barbados….

  2. In a List of inhabitants of St Peter, Barbados, 1780, Alleyne was listed as owning 188 enslaved but the name of the estate (or estates) was not given.

  3. In a Levy Book list for an unidentified parish in Barbados, 1804, Alleyne was listed as owning 169 enslaved and 1 windmill. The name of the estate (or estates) was not given.

  4. In a Levy Book list for St James, Barbados, 1822, the estate of Alleyne was listed as owning 103 enslaved and 295 acres of land. The name of the estate (or estates) was not given.


  1. James C. Brandow (comp.), Genealogies of Barbados families: from Caribbeana and the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (1983), pp. 13, 21, 35-46 (articles by Louise R. Allen on the Alleyne family); E. A. Stoute, Barbados Sunday Advocate News, 9 October 1977 in Stoute, Scrapbooks (Barbados Department of Archives), IV; John Gilmore, ‘Alleyne, Sir John Gay, first baronet (1724–1801)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online; William Kennedy Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan; Stephanie Bergman and Frederick H. Smith, ''Blurring Disciplinary Boundaries: the Material Culture of Improvement during the Age of Abolition in Barbados', Slavery & Abolition vol. 35 issue 3 (September 2014) pp. 418-436.

  2. List of inhabitants of St Peter, Barbados Department of Archives, RB9/3/6

  3. Levy Book, unidentified parish 1804. Barbados Department of Archives, RB9/3/7

  4. Levy Book for St James, 1822. Barbados Department of Archives, RB9/3/7.

Further Information

(1) Christian Dottin; (2) Jane Abel Alleyne
With (1) 1 son; with (2) 5 daughters and 2 sons
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Estates (3)

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
1777 [EA] - → Other

Alleyne granted possession as power of attorney.

1730 [EA] - 1801 [LA] → Owner

Inherited as an infant from his father John Alleyne under the latter's will proved 1730.

1746 [EA] - 1801 [LA] → Owner

Alleyne's wife appears to have been the principal owner; Sir John Gay Alleyne had a life interest under a settlement of 1782. See biog notes on Alleyne.

Legacies Summary

Historical (2)

A defence of the conduct of Barbadoes, during the late expedition to Martinique and Guadeloupe, in a letter to the Right Hon. Gen.... 1760 
A Letter to the North American, on Occasion of his Address to the Committee of Correspondence in... 1766 
notes →
The context of this pamphlet was the response of Alleyne and others to the denunciation of Barbadians for accepting the Stamp Act (1766). See Jack P. Greene, ‘Liberty and Slavery. The Transfer of...

Relationships (3)

Father → Son
Husband → Wife
Son → Father