James Cunningham

1780 - 1852

Claimant or beneficiary


Son of Hon. John Cunningham, Member of Assembly for St James. [NB this is a separate James Cunningham from James Cunningham of Cunningham and Robley, also of Clifton, a slave-owner in Tobago and St Vincent].

  1. "The parish of St James Montego Bay. 'The Hon John Cunningham Esq., Member of Assembly  Born at Kirknewton, Scotland 1738. He married Elizabeth, relict of Robert Westland, and died in 1812. Erected by his sons James, Samuel and George'. He acquired Maxfield estate of which he had been the attorney for the Hodges family. 'John, eldest son of John and Elizabeth Cunningham ob. 1804' 'Mrs Elizabeth Cunningham ob. 1806' (Archer, 318, 319)".

  2. James Cunningham was listed at 6 Rodney Place, Clifton, Bristol. In 1841 James Cunningham, age 55, was living at Rodney Place, with Mary (16), Catherine (15), Ellen (7) and Samuel (5). 1851 census shows a James Cunningham at Sidmouth Devon aged 71 Landed Proprietor born West Indies, wife Mary aged 52 and daughter Ellen J., born Clifton Gloucs., aged 17.

  3. Will of James Cunningham of St James Cornwall Jamaica and of Sidmouth proved 15/10/1852. In the will he confirmed the annuity of £500 p.a. to his wife Mary secured on his estates of Hopewell and Biddeford (and the enslaved people on them) under his marriage settlement: any shortfall should be met out of the estate he left to his second son, James Arthur. He explained that he had intended to settle a further £5000 upon his daughter Elizabeth Mary Lewis, but because of the depreciation of property in England as well as the West Indies he could no longer do so, and therefore he left his house in Montego Bay in trust for her benefit during her life. He had also, he said made provision for his daughter Mary the wife of Rev. Simeon Burney Warner, whereas he provided £5000 for each of his daughters Ellen Julia Cunningham and Catherine Ann (the wife of Rev. Bircham Houchen) from his residuary estate.


  1. 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. 2, p. 18.

  2. Matthews Directory (1836); 1841 census online; 1851 census online.

  3. PROB 11/2159/384.

We are grateful to Ruth Hecht for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Ellen J.; William George; James Arthur; Elizabeth Mary; Catherine Ann; Mary

Associated Claims (8)

£93 5s 7d
Awardee (Trustee)
£1,860 8s 4d
Unsuccessful claimant (Judgement creditor)
£3,798 9s 3d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£1,408 3s 3d
Awardee (Trustee)
£579 18s 7d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£1,911 4s 5d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£3,870 16s 8d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£4,688 3s 10d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (12)

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
1815 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Attorney
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Attorney
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1820 [EA] - → Receiver
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Agent
1817 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Joint owner
1812 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1820 [EA] - → Attorney
1826 [EA] - → Other

Purchaser of enslaved people from this estate.

Relationships (5)

Son → Father
Uncle → Nephew

Addresses (3)

Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, South-west England, England
Notes →

Birth of daughter Ellen Julia c. 1834.

Sidmouth, Devon, Devon & Cornwall, England
Rodney Place, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, South-west England, England