David Shakespear or Shakespeare

1751 - 21st Dec 1823


Slave-owner in Jamaica, of Hodges Pen. Father of Rev. John and Arthur Shakespeare (each of whom q.v.). Son of John Shakespear Alderman of London and Elizabeth Currie, daughter of Anne Campbell and David Currie. Anne Campbell was the daughter of John Campbell of Black River (q.v.).

  1. Married Catharine Wagstaffe in Hanover in 1773. Children: Catherine Campbell (1774, baptised in All Hallows, Staining, London), John (1778, Hanover), John Blagrove Fitzroy (1783, St Ann), John Mure and Arthur (both 1789, St Elizabeth). Two other daughters, Sarah and Eliza, whose baptisms haven't been located.

  2. His youngest daughter Sarah married at Charlton Kings, near Cheltenham, in October 1804 to Captain Roome of the Bombay Establishment. Presumably she was the Sarah Frances Roome, relict of Major General William Roome, Bengal Army, who died at her residence in Cadogan Place, London, 02/01/1858 aged 76, probate granted to William Frederick Roome, effects under £2000.

  3. Senior Magistrate in St Elizabeth in 1812.

  4. Fatima Campbell Shakespear, “reputed daughter of David Shakespear esq by Eleanor Smith, a sambo belonging to himself” was born 20/06/1811 and baptised 05/01/1812.

  5. David Shakespear died 12/12/1823 and was buried at Hodges, 22/12/1823, aged 72. According to Lieutenant Colonel J. Shakespear, in the year of his death David Shakespear "owned 150 slaves and 550 head of stock [...] On David's death Hodges passed to the Rev. John Mure Shakespear, his elder on, who went out to manage his estate."

  6. Mrs Eliza Hamilton, daughter of David Shakespear, esq, and wife of Rev. Mr. Hamilton of Nevis [this is William Vaughan Hamilton - q.v] was buried at the family burying ground, Hodges, 05/05/1808.

  7. By the will of his father (Alderman John Shakespear of Stepney Causeway, Master of the Ironmongers’ Company in 1769; died 1775) he was left £4,000. Among the five trustees appointed in that will were John Campbell of Orange Bay (q.v.) and John Campbell of the Hope (q.v.), both of whom were present when the will was opened in London on 20/05/1775.

  8. A portrait miniature of David Shakespear by John Smart sold at Sotheby's on 05/12/2019 for £8750.


  1. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  2. Findmypast.co.uk, England, Phillimore Marriage Registers, 1531-1913; Morning Post, 29/10/1804 and 07/01/1858; National Probate Calendar 1858.

  3. Royal Gazette of Jamaica, 26/05/1812.

  4. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  5. Ancestry.com, London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database online]. Lieutenant Colonel J. Shakespear, John Shakespear of Shadwell and his descendants 1619-1931. Northumberland Press, 1931, p. 89.

  6. Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  7. PROB11/1009/5 (will dated 08/08/1772; proved 01/06/1775).

  8. Photograph of the portrait on the Sotheby's website, https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2019/the-pohl-stroeher-collection-of-portrait-miniatures-part-iii/john-smart-portrait-of-david-shakespear-1751-1823?locale=en [accessed 08/10/2020].

We are grateful to Paul Hitchings and Mary Hewitt for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Catharine Wagstaffe
Catherine Campbell, John, John Blagrove Fitzroy, John Mure, Arthur, Sarah Frances, Eliza

Associated Estates (5)

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
1810 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner
1825 [EA] - 1827 [LA] → Previous owner
1810 [EA] - → Owner
1815 [EA] - → Owner
1789 [EA] - 1798 [LA] → Not known

Shown as in possession of David Shakespear but belonging to James Campbell.

Relationships (14)

Notes →
John Blagrove had married Ann or Anne...
Grandson → Grandfather
Son → Father
Father → Son
Father → Son
Uncle → Nephew
Other relatives
Notes →
Great grandson and great grandfather. David Shakespeare's mother Elizabeth Currie was the grand-daughter of Col. John Campbell, the daughter of his daughter Anne...
Father → Daughter
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Grandfather → Grand-daughter