Thomas James Bernard of Bernards Lodge

???? - 1850


Online genealogical sources show that there were two men named Thomas James Bernards active in Jamaica at this time: Thomas James Bernard (1796-1850) 'of Bernards Lodge', shown in genealogical sources as the son of Thomas David Bernard, and Thomas James Bernard (1797-1859) 'of St James', son of David Bernard and Judith Bowen. These notes are for Thomas James Bernard (1796-1850). Some of the associations are tentative but the two men were largely operating in different parishes.

  1. Bernard's wife was given as Theodora Foulkes for 2 children buried at Spanish Town Cathedral b 1828 and 1832.

  2. Thomas James Bernard of Bernards Lodge's daughter [Susan] Agnes Bernard (1836-1920) became Lady McDonald through her marriage in 1867 to the Canadian politician Sir John A. McDonald and subsequently a baroness in her own right after his death. Hewitt Bernard, the son of Thomas James Bernard and Theodora Folks, also has an entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography as 'lawyer, militia officer, editor and civil servant'.

  3. Thomas James Burnard [sic] had some business dealings concerning Lambs River estate in Westmoreland but the reasons behind this are unclear. Lambs River was registered by Richard Barrett as receiver in 1826 and 1829 with 103 enslaved people each year. By 1832 the enslaved people (and presumably the land) had been purchased out of the Court of Chancery by Thomas James Burnard and Theodora his wife and then conveyed in 6 tranches to various new owners: William Wiggan Ball (30 enslaved); William Wiggan Ball in right of his wife Ann (14 enslaved); John Wiggan in right of his wife Sarah (11 enslaved); William Caldwell and Rebecca his wife as guardians to Catherine Wiggan (10 enslaved); William Caldwell and Rebecca his wife as trustees and guardians to the heirs of Mary Wiggan deceased (19 enslaved); William Caldwell and Rebecca his wife as owners in right of his wife (11 enslaved).


  1. B. W. Higman, Plantation Jamaica 1750-1850: capital and control in a colonial economy (Mona, Jamaica, University of West Indies Press, 2005) p. 80. The Thomas J Bernard who buried 3 children at Bona Vista b 1823, 1824, 1827 was probably Thomas James Bernard (1797-1859).

  2. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, 1911-1920 Vol. XIV, P.B. Waite 'Bernard, Susan Agnes (MacDonald, Baroness Macdonald)' [accessed 01/05/2011]; P. B. Waite, “BERNARD, HEWITT,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 12, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 3, 2018, The latter entry says: 'Hewitt Bernard’s father, a sugar plantation owner in Jamaica, fell on difficult times after the slave revolt of 1832. Like many planters he had numerous functions, among which were justice of the peace and, for a time, attorney general.'

  3. See estate entry for Lambs River.

Further Information

Theodora Foulkes Hewitt
Susan Agnes
Planter and attorney

Associated Claims (4)

£414 12s 4d
£363 12s 4d
£589 2s 8d
£126 17s 4d

Associated Estates (14)

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
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - → Executor
1832 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Attorney
1831 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Not known
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1832 [EA] - → Attorney
1826 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Imperial (1)

notes →
Susan Agnes Bernard (1836-1920), the daughter of Thomas James Bernard of Bernard's Lodge, became Lady MacDonald and then a Baroness in her own right after the death of her husband Sir John A....
sources →

Relationships (7)

Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Uncle → Niece
Notes →
Thomas James Bernard married Mary Anne Broome's aunt...
Husband → Wife
Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Other relatives
Notes →
Anna Statia Hewitt's grand-daughter married Thomas James...
Other relatives
Notes →
Their wives were sisters, both being the daughters of William Hewitt Esquire...