William Vassall senior

23rd Nov 1715 - 8th May 1800


Of Boston (and later of Battersea Rise Clapham). American Loyalist exiled in 1776. Father of William Vassall (q.v.).

  1. William Vassall was listed in the Jamaican Quit Rent books for 1754 as the owner of 963 acres of land in Hanover.

  2. William Vassall, born Jamaica 23/11/1715, son of Leonard Vassall (1678-1737) and his first wife Ruth Gale (1685-1733). Married [1] Ann Davis (died 26/01/1760 aged 40 years) [2] Margaret Hubbard (died 06/02/1794 at Battersea Rise). He died 08/05/1800 at Battersea Rise, aged 85. Temporarily a resident in Jamaica 1747-8 and then at Cambridge, Massachusetts "for a short time, occupying the house afterwards owned by the widow of Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse; he was afterwards the possessor of a magnificent estate near Bristol, R.I." Purchased the Cooper estate on Pemberton Hill, Boston, in 1758 for £1,250 and lived there until the Revolution. "William Vassall was one of the most prominent of his name in New England." Loyalist whose estate was confiscated by the American government.

  3. Will of William Vassall of Battersea Surrey proved 08/08/1800. Under the will he left his ten children annuities totalling £1430 p.a., increased by a codicil of 1799 to £1990 p.a., all secured on Green Castle estate. The structure varied among his children: in the case of two of his younger sons and four unmarried daughters, he left each £3000 [subsequently increased to £5000] each, with an annuity of £120 p.a. [for Leonard, £160 p.a.] raised to £220 p.a. each in the codicil. He left his daughter Sarah Syme an annuity of £150 p.a. with £500 each to her two children at their mother's death; and he left his daughter Lucretia the bond from her husband for £800 with punitive security of £1600 p.a. to part-fund her annuity of £120 p.a. His eldest son William received an annuity of £400 p.a. plus the Greencastle estate. His son Henry received the repayment from the estate of £2500 Henry had borrowed elsewhere for which his father had previously stood security. He left specified family portraits in his will, three by Smibert [now lost] to his son William and one by John Singleton Copley [extant, see opposite] to Leonard.


  1. 'A List of landholders in the Island of Jamaica together with the number of acres each person possessed taken from the quit rent books in the year 1754', TNA CO 142/31 transcribed at http://www.jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Samples2/1754lead.htm.

  2. Charles Maclear Calder, John Vassall and his descendants (1921) pp. 13, 17-18.

  3. PROB 11/1346/94.

We are grateful to Barry Jolly and Gillian Allen for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

(1) Ann Davies (2) Margaret Hubbard
11 children

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
1740 [EA] - 1800 [LA] → Owner
1803 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Previous owner

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

William Vassall and his son Leonard, portrait by John Singleton Copley c. 1770-1772. Left by William Vassall in his will proved in 1800 to his son Leonard 'his and my picture drawn in one picture by... 

Relationships (6)

Other relatives
Notes →
Henry Vassall, son of William Vassall senior, married Margaret Harvie Graeme, daughter of Alexander Graeme, after the latter's...
Father → Son
Son → Father
Nephew → Uncle

Addresses (2)

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - United States of America
Battersea Rise, Battersea, Surrey, London, England