John Kelly of St Catherine

1st Nov 1746 - 28th Sep 1804


Previous owner of Tamarind Grove in St Catherine and House Hill (or Househill) in St Thomas-in-the-East, both in Jamaica, and father of Christian or Christiana Robertson Kelly (q.v.) with Catherine Munro (q.v.).

  1. John Kelly was born 01/11/1746 and baptised 04/11/1746 in Alves, Moray, Scotland, son of Alexander Kelly and Christian Robertson in Newmill. Two of the witnesses were his grandmother Elizabeth Falconer and his aunt Anna Robertson. Godparents were John Ross of Blackhills and John Ross of Newton. His mother was buried in Alves 30/11/1746. His father remarried, in 1748, to Isobel Cuming, and had at least 12 further children baptised between 1748 and 1765, including Henrietta (later Gilzean, mother of Alexander Gilzean (q.v.))

  2. John Kelly of Tamarind Grove and Househill died in Jamaica, 28/09/1804. Will of John Kelly planter of St Catherine Island of Jamaica proved 10/04/1805.


We are grateful to Jim Brennan for his help with this entry and for providing a copy of the will of John Kelly of Tamarind Grove.

  1. General Registry Office for Scotland OPR Births 125 02 215 Alves; GROS OPR Deaths 125/ 30 169 Alves.

  2. Gentleman's Magazine Vol. 97 p. 87 (January 1805); PROB 11/1424/99.

Further Information

Catherine Robertson Kelly; Colin; Hugh; William

PROB 11/1424/99 - precis.

John Kelly of the parish of St Catherine, Jamaica, planter. In case I shall die within 20 miles of my pen Tamarind then I am to be buried there in the place already allotted for that purpose.

First, payment of my debts and funeral expenses. My whole estate personal and mixed to be liable for the following legacies and annuities.

To my much esteemed uncle William Robertson Esquire £100 guineas as a token of my gratitude.

To my aunt Mrs Ann Robertson £30 sterling per year for life.

To my half sister Elizabeth Kelly £100 sterling.

To my half sister Margaret Kelly alias Findlay £40 sterling per year for life.

To my half sister Henrietta Kelly alias Gilzean £100 sterling.

To my half sister Isabella Kelly alias Laing £100 sterling.

To my half sister Anne Kelly £15 sterling annually as a pittance for her support during life and on account of the unhappy situation she has been in for several years.

To my nephew Alexander Gilzean now residing with me on Tamarind Grove £1,000 sterling, my gold watch and trinckets.

To my cousins Joan, George and James Forteath and to my cousin William Falconer 20 guineas each to purchase a ring. The same to my esteemed friends Alexander Machead[?] late of Jamaica and Colin Donaldson of St Thomas in the East. The same to each of my executors.

To my natural and reputed sons Hugh and Colin Kelly, free quadroon boys late of Jamaica but now of the city of Edinburgh £2,000 sterling each to be laid out for their use and benefit as my executors shall judge proper.

To my natural and reputed daughter Christian Robertson Kelly, a free quadroon child, £500 sterling to be laid out for her use and benefit as my executors shall judge proper.

To Catharine Monro, a free mulatta woman, my housekeeper and the mother of my natural reputed children £20 sterling per annum for life. Also to he 10 acres of land at the south or north end of my pen Tamarind Grove during her life and likeways £100 sterling for the purpose of building a house thereon. Also to her the liberty of remaining in my house of Tamarind Grove for the space of one year provided she conducts herself with prudence and propriety and to the satisfaction of my executors.

To my natural reputed son William Kelly, free mulatto lad, now in or near the Borough of Elgin, North Britain, £1,000 sterling, also any two of my negro men slaves who are or may be carpenters for ever with the use of 20 acres of land on the boundary of my plantation of House Hill during his life.

My executors to manumise and make free my negro man slave named Philip Redwood, and to him an annuity of £10 sterling for life and the use of 10 acres of land on the boundary of my plantation House HIll for life.

All rest, residue and remainder of my estate to be equally divided among the children of my half sister Margaret Kelly alias Findlay of the City of Edinburgh, share and share alike. My executors authorised to sell and dispose of all my estate, real, personal or mixed, for the purpose of being divided or distributed as aforesaid or laid out at interest in Great Britain as my executors shall think proper. Nevertheless it is my will and I herein direct provided my executors or a moity of them shall judge proper that my plantation of House Hill shall be continued and carried on by John McClune my present manager. And that my other business shall be continued under the direction of John McClune as at present with all the legacies hereinbefore mentioned and all the debts due by me at the time of my death shall be paid off from the net procedue of my plantation and other business.

My cousin William Falconer, my friends John Shand and William Ross, attorney at law with the friend and manager John McClune all of Jamaica together with my cousin George Forteath and my friend Aledxander Innes both late of Jamaica with my friend Robert Falconer of Nairn, North Britain, to be executors.

I particularly commend my natural reputed children to the h[?] of my executors.

Signed 24/06/1802 at Tamarind Grove.

Proved at London 10/04/1805 by the oath of George Forteath, one of the executors.

Associated Claims (2)

£530 5s 3d
Previous owner (not making a claim)
£2,375 3s 0d
Previous owner (not making a claim)

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
1807 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Previous owner
1802 [EA] - 28/09/1804 [ED] → Owner

Relationships (5)

First Cousins
Father → Daughter
Uncle → Niece
Brother → Sister
Extra-marital relationships