Sarah Hunter Taylor Cathcart (later Wells)

1807 - 1889

Claimant or beneficiary


Daughter of William Cathcart (q.v.) and Sarah Taylor, bequeathed 1 enslaved person in the will of her grandfather Simon Taylor (1704-1813).

  1. Sarah Taylor was the Jamaican-born daughter of Simon Taylor (1740-1813), one of the wealthiest planters in Jamaica. Described in Simon Taylor’s will as his “Natural Quadroon Daughter”, and possibly the daughter of “a free Mulatto woman”, Sarah Blacktree Hunter, also mentioned, he left her 2500 pounds Jamaican and an annuity of 30 pounds Jamaican in his will. Sarah Hunter Taylor Cathcart was the daughter of Sarah Taylor; Simon Taylor bequeathed to his granddaughter 500 pounds Jamaican, an annuity of 50 pounds Jamaican and an enslaved person.

  2. “Sarah Hunter Taylor Cathcart, the daughter of William Cathcart Esq by Sarah Taylor, a free woman of colour, 17 months old. Baptised 29th June [1808].” Another child, Simon Hunter Taylor Cathcart, the son of William Cathcart Esq. by Sarah Taylor, a free woman of colour, was born 14/11/1809 and baptised 12/04/1810 in St Andrew, Jamaica.

  3. In October 1845, Mary Cummins and Catherine Cummins were indicted for stealing a silver coffee pot, value £14, the property of Sarah Hunter Taylor Cathcart, from No. 11 Terrace, Walworth, St Mary, Newington, London, the dwelling-house of Charles and Elizabeth Shaw. Sarah Hunter Taylor Cathcart gave evidence: “I entrusted a box of plate to Mr. Shaw to keep for me – this coffee-pot was one of the articles I entrusted to him to keep for me – it is my property.”

  4. Sarah Hunter Taylor Cathcart of 10 Brighton Place, London, daughter of William Cathcart (deceased), married Frederick John Wells, a chemist of 55 Queens Row, London, son of Joseph Wells (deceased), at Walworth St Peter, London, 17/05/1848. The rank or profession of both fathers was given as “Gentleman”. The witnesses were Chas Shaw and Marie Cecily[?] Dorothea Tearks[?].

  5. In 1851, Frederick and Sarah Wells, age 29 and 35, were living at 11 Victoria Road, St George's Hanover Square, Westminster, with Margaret Bishop, age 37, and 2 female servants. Frederick’s occupation was “Dentist” and Sarah’s birthplace was given as Scotland. Although her age in 1851 would have been 43 not 35, the reduction in her reported age is not unexpected given the fact that she was older than her husband. Likewise the Scottish birth would tally with the Scottish origins of her father.

  6. In 1852 a Henrietta Wells was born in the registration district of St George Hanover Square. Her birth certificate has not been seen but this would match with the 1881 census: Sarah Wells age 65 [she would have been 74], widow, born in Jamaica was living at 59 Penrose Street, Lambeth with her daughter Henrietta Wells age 23 [she would have been 28 or 29], unmarried, born in Belgravia. The census for 1871 shows an even more reduced age for Sarah Wells, but is consistent with a gradual reduction in the age of her daughter Henrietta: in 1871 Sarah Wells, widow, age 40 [she would have been 64], no occupation, born Jamaica, and Henrietta Wells, age 14 [she would have been 18 or 19], scholar, born Belgravia, were boarders in the household of William Henry Peck, stationer, at 276 Albany Road, Camberwell, Surrey.

  7. The death of of Sarah Hunter T. Wells, age 75 [she would have been 82] was registered Q2 1889 in Fulham, Middlesex.


T71/866 St David claim no. 94.

  1. Daniel Livesay, ‘Extended Families: Mixed-race Children and Scottish Experience, 1770-1820’ in International Journal of Scottish Literature, Issue 4, Spring/Summer 2008, available at Will of Simon Taylor, PROB 10/7400/7.

  2. Excerpts from St Andrew Jamaica Parish Register, Vol. 2, p. 14, available at [accessed 21/06/2012]., Jamaica Church of England Transcripts, 1664-1880, St Andrew, Baptisms, marriages, burials 1807-1826, Vol. 2 images 5 and 9.

  3. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London’s Central Criminal Court, 1674-1913: [accessed 14/08/2012].

  4., London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 [database online].

  5. 1851 census online.

  6. 1881 census online; 1871 census online.

  7. Findmypast, England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 [database online].

We are grateful to Sue Castle-Henry for her assistance with compiling this entry.

We are grateful to Sue Castle-Henry for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
S. Hunter Taylor Cathcart
Frederick John Wells
Henrietta (1852-)

Associated Claims (1)

£19 10s 10d

Relationships (3)

Grandmother → Grand-daughter
Grand-daughter → Grandfather
Daughter → Mother

Addresses (4)

10 Brighton Place, London, Middlesex, London, England
11 Victoria Road, Westminster, London, Middlesex, London, England
276 Albany Road, Camberwell, Surrey, London, England
59 Penrose Street, Lambeth, London, Middlesex, London, England