Thomas Townsend of Grenada

???? - 1824


Major slave-owner on Grenada, then buying property in Rodney Place Clifton where his daughters and co-heirs lived for fifty years after his death c. 1824.

  1. The will of Thomas Townsend formerly of Grenada but now residing at Clifton, Gloucestershire was proved 13/05/1824. He had in contemplation of his marriage secured jointure of £300 p.a. for his present wife on certain plantations in Grenada, but was unsure whether his wife had released such property. He left the Grenada estates in trust to James Baillie of Bedford Square, John Ross of Grenada and his grandson Matthew Munro, with instructions to sell them and to provide his wife with a total of £1000 p.a. (including the jointure), with the residual estate to his five daughters Sophia, Charlotte, Jane, Caroline and Louisa. In a codicil dated 23/03/1820 Thomas Townsend stated that he had purchased nos. 3 and 4 Rodney Place, Clifton and added these to the property under his trust will; by a further codicil 01/07/1823 he redirected this property to his wife for life and then to his 'four unmarried daughters': at the same time, he added Andrew Loughnan (q.v.) of Bedford Square as an additional trustee.

  2. Consistent with the reference to his grandson Matthew Munro in his will, Thomas Townsend is further indicated in genealogical sources as the father of Elizabeth Townsend who married Matthew Munro (q.v.), and as the owner of Belmont estate: Thomas Townsend late of the Island of Grenada but now of Poyle Park in Surrey appears in the will of Matthew Munro [Poyle Park was a mansion near Farnham]. Stephen Mullen shows Thomas Townsend selling the Belmont estate in Grenada in 1817 to James Bain (q.v.), who was financed by the company of Leitch & Smith. Thomas Townshend (q.v.) is currently in the database as owner of Belmont in Berbice rather than Grenada: these might be the same man, with the estate naming practice transferred, although there is no reference in the will of Thomas Townsend of Grenada to an estate in Berbice.

  3. The Sophia Townsend aged 74 U[nmarried] 'Head, Lodger' 'Independent' born Grenada West Indies, St George's who was living in Monkton Combe in 1851 was one of the daughters and legatees of Thomas Townsend of Grenada. Her will, which gives her as of Clifton and was witnessed by Caroline and Louisa Townsend of 3 Rodney Place [made in December 1852) was proved 08/08/1853: she left £2000 to her nephew Rev. George William Newnham, who was also her residuary legatee and executor. Caroline Townsend died 16/02/1858 at 3 Rodney Place leaving £20,000. Louisa Townsend died 28/10/1874 at 3 Rodney Place leaving £14,000.

  4. Thomas Townsend of Clifton appears in the will of Gilbert Petrie (q.v.). Fowler shows a Thomas Townsend purchasing 15/05/1771 in Tobago North-East division (St John parish) Lot no. 41 (200 acres) (although Woodcock shows 'Wm Townsend'); by c. 1773 this Lot was in the hands of Gilbert Petrie.

  5. In 1795, Thomas Townsend of Poyle Park received an exchequer loan of £36,000, with security from William Mackintosh of Gower Street, John Boyd of Grafton Street, Alexander Hamilton of Upper Charlotte Street and Thomas Ellis of the City of London. In his own will proved 25/06/1803, William Mackintosh, commander of the ship Hindostan in the service of the EIC left Thomas Townsend of Poyle Park formerly of Grenada £5000 in recognition of their friendship and of Townsend's exertions in obtaining payment to Mackintosh of 'that sum which I believe would never have been received (at least in a form useful to me)' and his attention to Mackintosh's 'concerns' after his final departure from that island.


  1. PROB 11/1686/114.

  2. S. Mullen, 'A Glasgow West India House', Journal of Scottish Historical Studies Vol. 33.2 (November 2013), p. 218.

  3. 1851 census online; PROB 11/2177/106; National Probate Calendar 1858; National Probate Calendar 1875.

  4. 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.

  5. Museum of London in Docklands, BA 2182 678 Cert. No. 16.

We are grateful to Ruth Hecht for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Married but no further details

Associated Claims (1)

£3,660 8s 0d
Previous owner (not making a claim)

Associated Estates (3)

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
- 1817 [EY] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1817 [LA] → Owner
1780 [EA] - → Owner

Relationships (1)

Father-in-law → Son-in-law

Addresses (2)

Poyle Park, Farnham, Surrey, South-east England, England
3 Rodney Place, Clifton, Gloucestershire, South-west England, England