William Philp Perrin

9th May 1742 - 29th Apr 1820


Owner of five estates in Jamaica which he inherited from his father William Perrin in 1759. He was in financial difficulty by the early 1800s, when Lord St Helens was acting as his trustee.

  1. Born 09/05/1742 and baptised 03/06/1742 at Westminster, the son of William Perrin and Frances. Attended Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 07/11/1761; MA 15/04/1772). Inner Temple 1761.

  2. High Sheriff of Kent in 1776. Moved to Smith's Hall, West Farleigh, Kent, from 1774 until his death in 1820. "A keen amateur botanist and gardener", letters from his school and college friend Joseph Banks (1743-1820) exist from 1768 and 1784. Fellow of the Royal Society from 1772 and member of the Society of Antiquaries 1772-1790.

  3. Inherited Retrieve, Vere, Forrest, Blue Mountain and Grange Hall estates in Jamaica from his father William Perrin who died in 1759. Never visited Jamaica. He left his estates to his mother Frances and sister Sarah Fitzherbert but both predeceased him and the main beneficiary of his will was his nephew Sir Henry Fitzherbert.


http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/price-of-britains-slave-trade-revealed [accessed 23/12/12015]. The whole Perrin archive was originally deposited on loan to Derby County Record Office, before it was sold by the owner and dispersed. Eight of the Perrin family letters were acquired (through a dealer) by St John's College Cambridge in 2014. The catalogue entry for Derbyshire Record Office shows D239 M/E 12584-12607 Description: Correspondence to and from Lord St. Helens as a trustee of William Philip [sic] Perrin, including reports of attempted suicide by William Philip Perrin amid "the deplorable state of his pecuniary affairs" in 1808.

  1. Ancestry.com, England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 [database online]. Ancestry.com, Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886 [database online].

  2. Averil M. Lysaght, 'Some Early Letters from Joseph Banks (1743-1820) to William Phelp Perrin (1742-1820)', Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London Vol. 29, No. 1 (Oct. 1974), pp. 91-99.

  3. Papers of Fitzherbert of Tissington at Derbyshire Record Office, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=026-d239_5&cid=1#1 [accessed 13/12/2013]. PROB 11/1632/339. European Magazine and London Review Vol. 77 p. 468 (May 1820).

We are grateful to Kathryn J. McKee and Winston Williams for their assistance with compiling this email.

Further Information


PROB 11/1632/339 - precis.

William Philp Perrin of the parish of St George's, Bloomsbury Esquire.

To my mother Ffrances Perrin £1000.

To my brother-in-law William Fitzherbert £500.

To Lydia Rothery spinster daughter of Lydia Rothery of Fulham, widow £2500.

To Edward Bloxam of Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire, Gentleman, £100 over and above the £100 which I give to him as one of my executors.

To Mrs Grant of Stony Stratford, widow, his sister, and her six children Thomas, Edward, John, Phebe, Mary and Elizabeth £100 each.

To Miss Elizabeth Guilders, niece of Mrs Midgeley of Beverley in Yorkshire and great niece of Lady Dennison of St George Bloomsbury £500.

To Lydia Rothery, widow, an annuity of £100 for life.

To Mary Slemaker[?] now or late of East Smithfield, Middlesex, spinster, an annuity of £50 for life.

All my estate real and personal to be charged with the payment of the said annuities and legacies, including put for sale if necessary (except my plantation called Blue Mountain Valley in Jamaica).

To Duncan Davidson of Fenchurch Buildings and Edward Grant of Stony Stratford my plantation called Blue Mountain Valley in St Thomas, Jamaica, with the sugar works and slaves for the term of 99 years ensuing if my sister Sarah Fitzherbert, wife of William Fitzherbert, shall be alive, to pay my sister the sum of £1,000 per annum for life for her sole and separate use. All the profits or net surplus to be received by the said trustees for 99 years.

All my other real estate in Jamaica, America and Britain, to the same trustees for 99 years; one half to be paid to my mother Frances Perrin, her assigns for life and immediately after her death to my sister Sarah Fitzherbert, her heirs and assigns forever; the other half to my sister Sarah Fitzherbert.

All rest and residue of my personal estate to my sister Sarah Fitzherbert.

My mother Frances Perrin, William Fitzherbert, Edward Bloxham, Malcolm Laing and Chaloner Arcedeckne to be executors. £100 to each of them.

Signed 21/10/1780.

And to Duncan Davidson £100 as a legacy omitted to be inserted in the body of this will.

Codicil dated 25/01/1782. William Fitzherbert not to be an executor. The £500 to him still to be paid. Edward Grant of Stony Stratford to be an executor; £1,000 to him in lieu of the £100 previously bequeathed. I revoke the £1,000 annuity chargeable on Blue Mountain Estate to my sister Sarah Fitzherbert; the rents or profits of Blue Mountain Estate, my other property and my income of all kinds to be equally divided between Sarah Fitzherbert and Frances Perrin.

Proved in London 22/07/1820. Administration granted to Sir Henry Fitzherbert, the nephew and one of the next of kin, the named executors having died in the testator's lifetime.

Oxford (Christ Church) [1761 ]
Legal Education
Inner Temple [1761 ]

Associated Estates (6)

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
1765 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner
1764 [EA] - 1767 [LA] → Owner
1765 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Owner
1820 [EA] - 1825 [LA] → Previous owner
1759 [SY] - 29/04/1820 [ED] → Owner
1765 [EA] - 1804 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Cultural (2)

Royal Society...... 
notes →
For the full record of Perrin's membership of the Royal Society see Royal...
Society of Antiquaries...... 

Physical (1)

Leith Hill Tower 
description →
Folly Tower, built 1764 or 1765, and restored and heightened by William Philip Perrin of...

Political (1)

Local Government
office →
High Sheriff

Relationships (4)

Mortgagor → Mortgagee
Son → Father
Uncle → Nephew

Addresses (2)

Bloomsbury Square, London, Middlesex, London, England
Smith's Hall, West Farleigh, Kent, South-east England, England