Nathaniel Byles

1807 - ????

Claimant or beneficiary


Awarded the compensation for two groups of enslaved people in St Catherine (one award made jointly to Nathaniel Byles and J.W. Byles, q.v), and awarded half the compensation for the enslaved people on Blackheath in St Ann in right of wife and the other half with William Foreman and Samuel Mitchell as trustees of Patrick Duncan (whose guardians he and William Foreman also were).

  1. An extensive but unsourced family genealogy online shows Nathaniel Byles and James Williams Byles as the sons of James Hodge Byles, Nathaniel born 1808 and dying c. 1855 and marrying Elfreda Duncan 1829, all in Jamaica. In some parts of the site his name is given as Arthur William Nathaniel Byles, in others as Nathaniel. It also gives James Hodge Byles's date of death as 1847 rather than 1837. The will of James Hodge Byles (q.v.) of Bowden Hall Gloucestershire proved 04/08/1837 identifies his two sons as Arthur William and James Byles.

  2. If the identification is nevertheless accurate, Nathaniel and James William Byles were (posthumously) the brothers-in-law of the poet Coventry Patmore, who married their half-sister Marianne in 1864. The ODNB entry makes no reference to the sojourn of Marianne's father James Hodge Byles in Jamaica at the time of slavery, nor of his slave-ownership, nor of the sources of her wealth, saying only: 'On 18 July 1864 Patmore married Marianne Caroline Byles (1822–1880), a wealthy Catholic convert, and the daughter of James Hodge Byles of Gloucestershire and his wife, Judith. Able to depend upon her monetary resources as well as her religious convictions, in 1866 he could now settle as the gentleman poet that he had always considered himself to be; and he much improved an estate, Heron's Ghyll near Uckfield in Sussex.' Marianne Caroline Patmore left £20,000 on her death in 1880.

  3. Very likely the Nathaniel Byles, "Br[own] I[nfant] Fr[ee]" baptised in St Catherine, 19/04/1810 age 3 years on the same day as William Hodge Byles, "Br[own] I[nfant] Fr[ee]" age 5 months. No parents' names given but given the Hodge middle name their father was very likely to be James Hodge Byles.

  4. Married Elfrida Duncan at some point before 1834. Three children baptised in St Catherine: Jane Hodge (1834), William Duncan (1835) and Theophilus Lynch (1837).

  5. Deceased by 1885 when his widow Elfrida Byles died in Jamaica.


T71/857 and T71/1378 Special Awards in Trust, St Ann 111B; St Catherine nos. 243 and 244.

  1. accessed 02/03/2013; PROB 11/1882/310..

  2. John Maynard, ‘Patmore, Coventry Kersey Deighton (1823–1896)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2008 [, accessed 2 June 2013]; National Probate Calendar 1880.

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

  4. Ibid.

  5., Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880-1999 [database online].

We are grateful to David Barker for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Elfrida Duncan
Jane Hodge (1834-), William Duncan (1835-), Theophilus Lynch (1837-)

Associated Claims (3)

£526 7s 0d
£138 18s 4d
£39 1s 8d

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
1834 [EA] - → Guardian
1834 [EA] - → Joint owner

Relationships (8)

Husband → Wife
Natural Son → Father
Notes →
Notes →
Inferred relationship...
Notes →
Or possibly...
Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Son-in-law → Mother-in-law
Natural Son → Mother
Notes →
Or possibly...