Frances Dickinson

6th Mar 1820 - 26th Oct 1898

Claimant or beneficiary


Tenant in tail of the Barton estate St Elizabeth in Jamaica, a minor whose property was under the jurisdiction of Chancery in the suit of Frances Dickenson [sic] versus Thomas Jones and William Cooke. Writer and friend of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens.

  1. Captain Francis Dickinson (1632-1704) was granted 6000 acres in Jamaica by Charles II as a reward for his actions of 1655 when Jamaica was taken from the Spaniards. His estates were inherited by his son Caleb (1670-1728) who married Sarah Vickris of Chew Magna; the couple had three sons, Ezekiel (1711-1788, grandfather of Jeremiah and Ezekiel Harman, both q.v.), Caleb (1716-1783, grandfather of William Dickinson, q.v.) and Vickris (1718-1797, grandfather of Frances Dickinson of this award). The Dickinson family papers are kept at the Somerset Record Office and include records of the management of the family's Jamaican estates.

  2. Barton was shown as Vickris Dickinson deceased in 1811, and heirs of Vickris Dickenson [sic] in 1820, 1826 and 1833. The will of Vickris Dickinson of Queen Charlton Somerset was proved 26/06/1797.

  3. Frances Dickinson, a friend of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, was born 06/03/1820, the daughter of Charles Dickinson (1755-1826) and Catherine Allingham. Charles Dickinson was described as 'a member of an old Somerset family...[t]hough he owned a house in Somerset, Frances was brought up at another Dickinson property, Farley Hill Court near Reading Berkshire.' Charles Dickinson, the son of Vickris and Elizabeth Dickinson, was baptised 06/03/1755 at Bristol. The will of Charles Dickinson of Farley Hill Berkshire proved 22/03/1827 refers both to Catherine Dickinson his wife and Frances his daughter, but makes no reference to Barton or to Jamaican property, which had been entailed by his father. A suit in Chancery, Frances Dickinson versus Catherine Dickinson, was instituted in 1827, presumably a precursor of the Chancery suit into which the compensation was paid.

  4. The will of Frances Elliot widow of Queen Charlton Somerset who died 26/10/1898 at Palazzo Chigi Sienna proved 15/11/1898, effects £1507 14s 6d.

  5. The Dickinsons were a Quaker family: Frances's grandfather Vickris left the faith at some point after the 1761 Quaker declaration that forbade Quakers from owning slaves.


T71/1608 letter from Jennings & Bolton: Miss Frances Dickinson is the owner of Barton Estate, tenant in tail in possession, an infant and a ward of court of Chancery in a suit instituted to protect her property during her infancy.

  1. Walter Minchinton, Jamaica Plantation Records from the Dickinson Papers 1675-1849 in Somerset Record Office and Wiltshire & Swindon Record Office: Introduction to the microfilm collection (East Ardsley, Wakefield, Microform Academic Publishers Limited, 1978), available at [accessed 11/03/2013]. Somerset Record Office, DD/DN.

  2. Jamaica Almanac (1811, 1826 and 1833); PROB 11/1292.

  3. Catherine Peters, 'Frances Dickinson, friend of Wilkie Collins', Wilkie Collins Journal Vol. 01 (1998), [accessed 24/01/2012];, England and Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 [database online]; PROB 11/1722; TNA C13/1475/40.

  4. National Probate Calendar 1898.

  5. Email from Sandra Adams dated 11/03/2013. See separate entries for Jeremiah and Ezekiel Harman for their Quaker baptisms.

We are grateful to Sandra Adams for her assistance in compiling this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Frances Dickenson
(1) John-Edward Geils (2) Rev Gilbert Elliot
With (1) 4 daughters
Wealth at death
£1,507 14S 6D

Associated Claims (1)

£3,852 15s 0d

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Queen Charlton 
description →
Significant modifications made by Frances Dickinson, probably in the 1850s, to the extant house purchased by her grandfather Vickris Dickinson. ...

Relationships (5)

Other relatives
Notes →
Grand-daughter → Grandfather
Niece → Uncle
Notes →
Charles Dickinson, Frances' father, was the half-brother of Caleb Dickinson of Pickwick Lodge, both the sons of Vickris Dickinson (1718-1787). ...
Other relatives
Notes →
Other relatives
Notes →

Addresses (1)

Farley Court, Swallowfield, Reading, Berkshire, Central England, England
Notes →

Frances' father was shown as of Farley Hill [Court] in his will proved 1827