John White Cater

1800 - 1889

Claimant or beneficiary


  1. Baptised 26/06/1800 in Long Melford, Suffolk, son of Jeremiah and Mary Cater. Ensign, 1826, and Captain, 1835, Kingston Regiment. Travelled from Kingston to New York in 1832 on the brig Alexander, age 31, merchant.

  2. Married, July 1833, Elizabeth McGowan; two of their children were buried at Kingston, 1834 and 1840.

  3. Director (Jamaican Board), Jamaica Steam Navigation Company, 1837.

  4. Of Canning Street, Liverpool, for the baptisms of his daughters Mary Eliza (born 1840) and Georgina Margaret Louisa (born 1841) in April 1842.

  5. Of Liston Hall, near Sudbury, Suffolk in 1842. Of Rodney Street, Liverpool, merchant, for the baptism of his son Charles Alexander in 1844. His son Howell Paget was born at Liston Hall in 1845. Om 1850 Cater was granted a 31 year lease of West Bailey Lodge Farm, Enfield, by the crown.

  6. Living at West Lodge Chase, Enfield, Middlesex, in 1851, age 50, general merchant, born Long Melford, Suffolk, with his wife Eliza Simpson Cater age 43, children Charles Alex age 6 born Liverpool and Howell Paget age 5 born Essex, with some other visitors including his nephew Bryn L. Davis age 17 clerk born Jamaica. At Cockfosters, Enfield, in 1861, with his wife and sons John S. age 24 born Jamaica, Aymac [?] age 23 born Jamaica, Charles A. age 17 born Liverpool and Howell P. age 15 born Lyston Hale [sic]. At West Lodge, Enfield in 1881, "JP and colonial merchant", widower (previous entry is Waggon Road, Enfield).

  7. Director of the Bank of England; JP, Bucks and Herts.

  8. Member of the deputation to Prime Minister Palmerston on the subject of increase in the slave trade and the means for its suppression, 1857.

  9. Returned to England after the 1830s and partnered with Thomas Reid Arnott and Mark Wilks Collet; the firm of 'general merchants' evolved into John W. Cater & Sons in London and John W. Cater & Co. in Liverpool with his sons John James Cater and Charles Alexander Cater. John White Cater retired from the firm in 1873, and died late of West Lodge Barnet in 1889 leaving £99,368 2s 3d.

  10. In his will, Cater bequeathed £10,000 South Brazil and Rio Grande do Sul Railway shares and £2,000 Baltimore and Ohio Railway shares in trust to Mary, widow of his son Aymar.


  1., England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database online]; Royal Gazette (Jamaica), 29/7/1826, 12/9/1835;, New York, Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1820-1850 [database online].

  2. Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919), vol. V p. 39.

  3. Henry Pinckard, Observations on the Management and Extraordinary Losses of the Jamaica Steam Navigation Compan (1838) p.34.

  4., Liverpool Parish Registers [database online].

  5., England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database online]; Howell Paget's place of birth given as Liston Hall in the census of 1851; Ipswich Journal, 23/09/1843; Copy of the Register of the Electors, of the Northern Division of the County of Essex (1842) p. 59; National Archives ACC/1060/001.

  6. 1851, 1861, 1881 censuses online.

  7. Caribbeana vol. V p. 39.

  8. Morning Chronicle, 11/06/1857.

  9. London Gazette 20994 p. 2135 (03/07/1849) and 24050 (02/01/1874) p. 25; National Probate Calendar 1889.

  10. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18/05/1889. We are grateful to Paul Hitchings for his assistance with compiling this entry,

Further Information

Elizabeth McGowan
at least 7 children
Wealth at death
£99,368 2S 3D

Associated Claims (5)

£48 13s 11d
£449 15s 9d
£77 17s 1d
£29 3s 1d
£1,281 10s 11d
Awardee (Receiver)

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
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Receiver
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Joint owner
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Receiver

Legacies Summary

Commercial (5)

Senior partner
John W. Cater & Sons
General overseas merchant?  
notes →
Reportedly the mainspring behind the formation of the London & Brazilian Bank c....

Relationships (2)

Business associates
Notes →
The two men were joint owners of enslaved people in Kingston in the late 1820s....
Trustee → Testator

Addresses (1)

West Lodge, Barnet, Hertfordshire, South-east England, England
Notes →

John White Cater was a tenant at West Lodge 1850-89 and planted some of the trees there.