Thomas Collow

???? - 1803


Merchant in Tobago and signatory of the 1781 address of inhabitants on the departure of Lt Gov Ferguson, who relocated to Le Havre c. 1785 dying at Le Havre in 1803.

  1. At Havre-le-Grace, [death of] Thomas Collow esq., merchant there, and formerly of the island of Tobago.

  2. William and John [sic] Collow were reportedly slave-traders out of Le Havre, with 9 voyages in the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database to St Domingue and Tobago 1787-1793 (all nine also involving [James] Carmichael); William Collow was also in some 18 voyages out of London between 1790 and 1796, mostly to St Vincent but with some elsewhere in the Caribbean, including Tobago. These were almost certainly brothers of Thomas Collow, sons of the Rev. John Collow of the Church of Scotland, Minister of Penpont. Literature in French identifies Thomas Collow as central to the slave-trading of the firm of 'Collow and Carmichael' [in fact Collow Freres Carmichael & Cie.] out of Le Havre: it is not clear why Thomas Collow's name does not appear in the Trans-atlantic Slave-Trade Database. The death on Tobago of James Collow, identified as the son of the late Rev. John Collow of Penpont, was reported in March 1796.

  3. In 1773, 'Cheap, Callow [sic] and Paul' were show as the Present Proprietors of Northeast division (St John parish) Lot no. 33 (200 acres) originally purchased by William Young 05/06/1770 and which became Telescope. This probably referred to William Collow, known to have been a partner with Thomas Cheap in 1782.


John G. Alger, Englishmen in the French Revolution (1889) p. 224

  1. Gentleman's Magazine (June, 1803) Vol. 73 Part 1 p. 600.

  2. [accessed 09/12/2013]; Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ: the Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation (1915-), (9 volumes. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1915-), FHL book 941 D3s; FHL microfiche 6026402., vol. 2 p. 323; e.g. E. Saunier, 'Le Havre port negrier', Cahiers Anneaux de la Memoire no. 11 (2007); Philippe Dupre, 'Les activites maritimes en Normandie a la veille de la Revolution', Cahiers des Annales de Normandie 1982 Vol. 24 pp. 225-41; Scots Magazine Vol. 58 (1796) p. 218.

  3. John Fowler, A summary account of the present flourishing state of the respectable colony of Tobago in the British West Indies illustrated with a map of the island and a plan of its settlement, agreeably to the sales by his Majesty’s Commissioners (London: A Grant, 1774) pp. 48-49; Woodcock's transcription shows St John Lot No. 33 as a precursor to Observatory, 'Tables showing the Lots in each Parish, numbered as originally granted - the original Grantee - the name of the Lot, or lots, if one has been acquired, and the present Possessor where there is one' and 'A Table, showing the Estates in cultivation in 1832, and their Owners, in 1832, copied from the list appended to Byres' map of that date, with those in cultivation in 1862', Henry Iles Woodcock, A History of Tobago (Ayr: Smith and Grant, 1867; new impression London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1971).

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