George Metcalfe

1758 - 13th Feb 1821

Slave-owner and antecedent of claimant or beneficiary


[Acting] Governor of Dominica 1805-27 May 1808.

  1. Inscription on tomb at Hawes churchyard: 'In memory of George Metcalfe, esq., of Rigg House many years President of the Counsel [sic] of Dominica and Colonel of the St George's Militia in that island. He died on 13th February 1821 aged 63. Also of Elizabeth Metcalfe his wife, daughter of William and Margaret Davis of Gargrave in this county, who died 4th January 1846 aged 60 years.'

  2. George Metcalfe's will included three legatees as tenants-in-common behind his wife Elizabeth: Robert Atkinson now in Richmond, Thomas Davis of Gargrave and Isaac Metcalfe now in London, with the proviso for the first two that they take the name Metcalfe and a codicil with the same provision for their male heirs.  Robert Atkinson was presumably Robert Metcalfe Atkinson (q.v.) who appears in the compensation records; there are also small bequests to others named Atkinson, so conceivably Robert Atkinson was an illegitimate son.  Thomas Davis was presumably George Metcalfe's brother-in-law, and Isaac Metcalfe a brother or nephew.

  3. Robert Metcalfe Atkinson was the son of Edmund Atkinson and his wife Agnes nee Metcalfe, who married in Aysgarth, Yorkshire, 20/06/1775. Peggy Atkinson, baptised 05/04/1776 in Askrigg, daughter of Edmund, married Thomas Coats 14/12/1805 in Hawes (she was 'of Gayle'). The Margaret Coats named in George Atkinson's will is presumably Peggy or a daughter. Nancy Atkinson, baptised 28/09/1798 in Hawes, daughter of Edmund and Ann Atkinson of Gayle, was the sister of Robert Metcalfe Atkinson and presumably the Nancy Atkinson named in George Metcalfe's will who was bequeathed £100 and a further £100 'if she marries well'. She married Oswald Allen Q2 1841 in Askrigg; Oswald Allen was a surgeon who died in 1848 leaving a personal estate valued at £600.

Sources [acccessed 07/11/2010].

As George Metcalf [sic] Dominica sugar planter and slave trader, GB/NNAF/C110424: papers (deeds, papers and letter books rel to slave trading voyages and management of his estates in Dominica) 1804-36 at Lancashire Record Office DDX239/3-14; DDX428/5; and papers (personal accounts and statistics) at Manchester University John Rylands Eng MS 894.

  1. email from Audrey Dewjee 11/07/2010.

  2. See Will details. See also separate entry for his wife Eilzabeth Metcalfe for more information on George.

  3. Findmypast, England Marriages 1538-1973 [database online]. Findmypast, Yorkshire Baptisms [database online]. Findmypast, Yorkshire Marriages [database online]. National Probate Calendar 1862.

We are grateful to Judith Fell for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information


Transcript of will 21/9/1820 of George Metcalfe Riggs House Hawes N R[idin]g made by Mrs Denise Minnett (one of the Friends of the Dales Countryside Museum) and relayed together with a copy of the original will to  the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project by Ms Audrey Dewjee 9/11/2010.

All real and personal property to 'my beloved wife Elizabeth' for life and at her death the Birk Rigg Estates, Rigg House Estate, Mosdale Moor Estate, Gayle Estate with all my property in Hampton Court estate and Negroes and all my Estates, Negroes and houses in the Island of Dominica to Robert Atkinson now in Richmond to Thomas Davis now in Gargrave and to Isaac Metcalfe now in London each one-third as Tenants in Common with this proviso that Robert Atkinson & Thomas Davis assume and bear the name of Metcalf and qualify at the Heralds Office before they enter into possession and subject to pay the following legacies Margaret Coats £50, Nancy Atkinson £100 and if she marries well £100 more, 1s per day to George Atkinson during his life and Ten Pounds to Isaac Atkinson now in Dominica.  Exors W.T. Robarts Esq., of London, John Davis of Liverpool [Mr Robert Metcalfe of Hawes (son of Thomas) 'who is too young' deleted and replaced by Anthony Davis in Philadelphia] and Mr John Routh of London, £1000 each.  'I further will that my dear Wife shall not marry again and that should she marry the whole of my Property shall go as heretofore devised'. Bequest of the Shop at the East End of Hawes Market and my half the pew in Hawes Chapple to wife Elizabeth. Codicil that the male heir of each of legatees shall be entitled to the estates after the death of their father, and if it descends to a person not named Metcalfe then the said person shall qualify and take the anme of Metcalfe before he shall enter into possession.  'I recommend each of the three principal legatees to entail by will the said properties tot he heir of each.' 'I give power to my executors to sell my Dominica property except the negroes that may be removed to Demerara.'   Administration of the will granted to Elizabeth Metcalfe widow after death of William Tierney Robarts, renunciation of probate by John Davis and John Routh and non-response of Anthony Davis to a citation to accept or refuse the Probate and execution of the said will.

Associated Claims (1)

£1,159 5s 8d
Other association

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
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner

The enslaved people appear to have been sold to Demerara by 1820.

1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (2)

Deceased Husband → Widow
Testator → Legatee

Addresses (1)

Rigg House, Hawes, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, England