John Blagrove the younger

1753 - 1824

Slave-owner and antecedent of claimant or beneficiary


John Blagrove, Jamaica planter, owner of Cardiff Hall, Orange Valley, Unity and Belle Air in St Ann and tenant-for-life on Orange Bay in Hanover. Father of John Williams Blagrove (q.v.), father-in-law of Frederick Richard Coore (q.v.) and grandfather of Henry John Blagrove (q.v.). The compensation for his estates was awarded to his executors or to the trustees of the lunatic John Williams Blagrove.

  1. "John Blagrove was bequeathed Orange Valley and Unity estates, Jamaica, by his grandfather, John Blagrove senior. Blagrove senior had intended his other Jamaican estates, Pembroke, Magotty and Cardiff Hall, to be inherited by his son Thomas. However, Thomas died (at the age of 21) before his will had been awarded probate and all the estates passed, in c.1756, to John Blagrove junior, who as a minor was placed under the guardianship of Colin Currie. Thomas Blagrove’s widow (John’s mother), Elizabeth, later remarried and was known subsequently as Elizabeth Witter." Attended Eton and Oxford, married Anne Shakespear in 1777 and shortly after moved to Jamaica where he remained (with short trips to England) until 1805.

  2. "Blagrove rented a property called Little Ankerwykce from John Simon Harcourt in 1803. The following year Blagrove attended an auction in August 1804 whereby - by a gentleman's agreement - Blagrove agreed to purchase the whole estate for about £5500, which included the Tudor mansion built on the site of Ankerwycke Priory by Sir Thomas Smith. Later that year or in 1805 Blagrove demolished Smith's mansion and constructed a new house adjacent to Little Ankerwycke. Blagrove turned the old mansion into a ruin, retaining a number of walls that were formerly part of the medieval priory. He created pleasure grounds and parklands, and created a model farm, garden house and orchard. The house suffered at least 2 fires, with eventual demolition in the 1990s after significant vandalism and thefts."

  3. Blagrove's will of 1824 was commented on by the Times: 'The late John Blagrove Esq., who died in April 1824, and the owner of 1500 slaves in Jamaica, by the following clause in his will, marks at once his feelings for his slaves, which few men would bestow upon the free labourers of England. We suspect however that Mr John Blagrove has not, nor will have many imitators in the colonies; "And lastly, to my loving people, denominated and recognized by the law as, and being in fact my slaves, in Jamaica, but more estimated and considered by me and my family as tenants for life, attached to the soil, I bequeath a dollar for every man, woman, and child as a small token of my regard for their faithful and affectionate service and willing labours to myself and my family, being reciprocally bound in one general tie of master and servant in the prosperity of the land, from which we draw our mutual comforts and subsistence in our several relations (a tie and interest not practised on by the hired labourer of the day in the UK), the contrary of which doctrine is held only by the visionists of the puritanical orders against the common feeling of mankind."'

  4. Anne (1786-1864), the daughter of John Blagrave [sic] 'of Calcott Park, Berkshire' married 1814 Revd. Henry van Notten Pole, son of Sir Charles Pole (1735-1813), who left £120,000 on his death in 1865.


St Ann claim nos. 542, 543, 544 and 584; Hanover claim nos. 88 and 503.

  1. 'Papers of John Blagrove (1753-1824), West Indian plantation owner, regarding estates in Jamaica', held at the Royal Bank of Scotland Archives, [accessed 01/07/2016].

  2. Email from Stuart Burgess 24/03/2021 sourced to: PRO C13/2076/8 Blagrove v Harcourt (documents related to the purchase of the Ankerwycke Estate); Gyll, Gordon, The History of Wraysbury, Ankerwycke Priory and Magna Carta Island (1862) pp. 46-50.

  3. Times 05/06/1829 p. 3.

  4. William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders (MS) reference 1865/87 Pole, (Revd.) Henry Van Notten (1781-1865); Sir Charles Pole himself was in William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume One 1809-1839 (London, Social Affairs Unit, 2009) reference 1813/5, leaving £250,000.

We are grateful to Stuart Burgess for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

John William Blagrove

Associated Claims (1)

£9,126 4s 1d
Other association

Associated Estates (18)

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
1793 [EA] - 1824 [EY] → Owner
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner
1817 [EA] - → Joint owner
1756 [SY] - 1774 [EY] → Trust beneficiary
1774 [SY] - 1824 [EY] → Owner
1792 [EA] - → Owner
1756 [SY] - 1774 [EY] → Trust beneficiary
1774 [SY] - 1824 [EY] → Owner
1810 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner
1826 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Previous owner
1756 [SY] - 1774 [EY] → Trust beneficiary
1774 [SY] - 1824 [EY] → Owner
1792 [EA] - → Owner
1756 [EA] - 1817 [LA] → Owner

'A minor' throughout this period 1756-1774. He sold the estate and enslaved people to Frederick Richard Coore (his son-in-law) on 01/01/1818

1761 [EA] - 1774 [LA] → Trust beneficiary
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Previous owner
1756 [SY] - 1774 [EY] → Trust beneficiary
1774 [SY] - 1824 [EY] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Ankerwycke House [Built] 
description →
Early 19thC country house built by John Blagrove. See main text for more details....

Relationships (8)

Father → Son
Grandfather → Grandson
Notes →
John Blagrove had married Ann or Anne...
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Grandson → Grandfather
Son → Father
Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Son → Mother

Addresses (2)

Ankerwyke House, Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire, Central England, England
Great Abshot House, Fareham, Hampshire, Wessex, England