Sarah Watt

No Dates

Claimant or beneficiary


  1. "Free mulatto" and slave-owner who had 10 children with James Corne Pownall (q.v.) between 1801 and 1823: William (born 11/04/1801), Sarah (born 1803 and baptised 15/07/1805), Eliza Steel (baptised in Kingston, Jamaica, 27/12/1805 aged 2 years 7 months), James (born 1807 and baptised 14/07/1807), Mary Ann (baptised 01/07/1809 aged about 7 months), Jane Lewis (born 29/03/1812), Hannah (born 20/01/1815), Sarah (born 22/10/1817), Isabella (born 10/05/1821), Robert (born 07/09/1823). All the children were baptised in Jamaica.

  2. Named in the will of James Corne Pownall as "my housekeeper" and bequeathed an annuity of £150 Jamaican currency per annum. The estate of Pownall, after payment of a number of small annuities, was to be shared between his reputed children by Sarah Watt and the children of his sister Elizabeth, his reputed children to receive a double share each. Pownall specified in his will that none of the children were to reside in Jamaica, unless the daughters visited with their husbands.

  3. Mary Ann Pownall went on to marry John Britton in Westbury-on-Trym, 09/04/1823. Jane Lewis Pownall married Edward Chester Jones, a barrister, 22/04/1846. Hannah Pownall married her first cousin William Lowe Pownall in Cambridge, 18/09/1839. James Pownall became a surgeon and married Ann Lucretia Bishop in 11/08/1828 in Calne, Wiltshire, where he can be found in the censuses of 1841 and 1851. He took charge of an insane asylum from 1853 but experienced manic episodes and subsequently killed the housemaid of a house he was staying in. In December 1859, James was found not guilty of willful murder but judged to be insane, "to be kept in strict custody". He died in Broadmoor Hospital in 1882. Isabella was living with her brother James in Curzon Street, Calne in Wiltshire in 1841 and with her sister Sarah in the 1851 census in Ainslies Belvedere, Bath (occupations given as "Independant Landed Proprietors"). By 1861 Isabella was in the household of her sister Mary Ann Powell at Windsor Terrace, Bristol.


  1., Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  2. PROB 11/1719/375.

  3., England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005 [database online]. Joseph Foster, Men-at-the-bar: a biographical hand-list of the members of the various Inns of Court, including Her Majesty's Judges, etc. (2nd ed., London and Aylesbury, 1885) p. 247. See separate entry for Mary Pownall nee Lowe for Hannah's marriage. 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses online;, England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940 [database online];, England and Wales, Criminal Registry, 1791-1892 [database online]; Sarah Burton, A Double Life: A Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb (Penguin, London, 2003), Introduction; National Probate Calendar 1883.

We are grateful to Howard Mais, Rita Lamb and Jill Britton for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Associated Claims (1)

£754 13s 9d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (2)

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
1826 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1824 [EY] → Other

The enslaved people owned by Sarah Watt were probably kept on Stepney Lodge before the death of James Corne Pownall in 1824.

Relationships (8)

Extra-marital relationships
Mother → Natural Son
Mother → Natural Daughter
Mother → Natural Daughter
Mother → Natural Daughter
Mother → Natural Daughter
Mother → Natural Daughter
Mother → Natural Son