Cuthbert Potts

1750 - 1826


Saddler, slave-owner and pen owner in Jamaica. Died in 1826 or early 1827. In Jamaica from at least 1810 when Middlesex, a large estate, was registered in his name. Owner of Middlesex in 1817; around the year 1820 he substantially down-sized, later being registered as owner of Mount Pleasant.

The will of Cuthbert Potts of Hanover, Jamaica, saddler, was proved in London in 1827. In the will he left legacies to five (possibly six) illegitimate children and his estate Mount Pleasant to his mistress Frances Donaldson.

Notes on people named in the will of Cuthbert Potts:

James Kitson, his son Elley and daughters Mary, Penelope and Martha - the children's mother was his wife Ann - Mary Kitson baptised St Dionis Backchurch, London, 20/10/1804 - Penelope baptised at the same place 21/09/1806 - Ely 27/07/1810, Thomas 28/09/1812 - Martha 05/06/1816. James Kitson of 154 Fenchurch Street was a saddler of 154 Fenchurch Street when he testified in a case of killings in London in 1810. The partnership of William Richardson and James Kitson, wholesale sadlers and harness makers, 154 Fenchurch Street, disolved by the death of William Richardson and the business continued by James Kitson in 1813. At the same address and listed as a creditor of Peter Harris Abbott in 1843.

John Donaldson Potts appears to have become an apothecary in London in 1835. He was registered as an assistance surgeon in the Hanover Regiment of the Middlesex Foot Militia in 1857 and surgeon to the Poor House in Hanover in 1865.

James George Potts ("a mestee"), Maria Sinclair ("quadroon"), Eleanor Eliza Gibbs, Peachy Gibbs (both "Sambos") were baptised in a group with others in Hanover 01/01/1814.

Anna Potts, the daughter of "Cuthbert Potts (a white man) and Deborah Roach a free mulatto" born 30/08/1790 and baptised in Hanover 21/11/1790. Thomas Potts, daughter of Deborah Potts "a free mulatto" born in 1797 and baptised in Hanover 1799.

Frances Potts, "an adult" was baptised in Hanover 10/01/1815.

Cuthbert P. Butler, a saddler, age 25, of Westmoreland, became a Freemason in Montego Bay in 1837. He was probably the daughter of Hannah Potts and David Butter. In the census of 1823, David Butter, age 38, "White", Hannah Potts, age 28, "mustee", Cuthbert P. Butter, age 12, "mustee" and George P. Buttler, age 11, "mustee", were living at Graham Hall.

Pechey Gibbs, "Sambo", age 24, Creole, daughter of Lucy Gibbs was in the 1817 slave register on Middlesex pen, owned by Cuthbert Potts. In the same registration were Eliza Eleanor Gibbs, "Sambo", age 22, Creole, daughter of Lucy Gibbs; Elizabeth Innes, "quadroon", age 13, Creole, daughter of Frances Donaldson; Frances Donaldson, "mulatto", age 34, Creole, daughter of Lucy Gibbs; Lucy Gibbs, "Negro", age 50, African; Maria Sinclair, "quadroon", age 10, Creole, daughter of Frances Donaldson; Montague James, "Negro", age 40, Creole. Others have not been positively identified.

On Mount Pleasant in the census of 1823 were: Walter Gordon, age 49, White; John Farquharson, age 44, White, Thomas Reynolds, age 26, White; Cuthbert Potts, age 70, White; William Burt, age 40, "Mulatto", Frances Donaldson, age 30, "mulatto"; Elizabeth Innes, age 19, "Quadroon"; Maria Sinclair, age 16, "Quadroon"; and Frances C. Reid, age 14, "Quadroon".

Frances Ann Potts, age 6, "Quadroon", was living in Lucea in the census of 1823.


PROB 11/1732/186.

James Kitson: Report of the Committee appointed by the Court of Lord Major and Aldermen to investigate by what causes and under what circumstances some persons were killed or wounded by the military, on Monday the 9th of April, 1810 (London, 1810) p. 37; Parliamentary papers 'Supplement to the votes and proceedings of the House of Commons. Session 1843' p. 197; London Gazette 12/06/1813 part 1 p. 1130.

John Donaldson Potts: The London Medical and Surgical Journal vol. 6 p. 768; Jamaica Almanacs (1857 and 1865).

Baptisms in Jamaica:, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

Cuthbert P. Butler:, England, United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Registers, 1751-1921 [database online].

Slave register for Middlesex Pen in 1817: T71/190 pp. 609-611.

Census of 1823 at [accessed 14/02/2017].

We are grateful to J. Peynado for providing assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

See notes

PROB 11/1732/186 - precis.

Cuthbert Potts of Hanover, Jamaica, saddler.

There is now standing in my name in the new four per cents now three and a half the sum of £3,990. Monies remitted and put into the fund in the name of James Kitson in the three per cents £2,000 and in the four per cents £1,000 making in all the sum of £6,990. To be bequeathed in the following manner.

Interest from this sum to pay the following annuities:

To Stephen Butler and Elizabeth his wife £40 per annum for life

To my brother John Potts £20 per annum for life.

To Amy Fisher at the Pope[?] Office Somerset House £40 per annum.

The remaining interest or such part as may be needful for John Donaldson Potts and George James Potts, two boys at school in England.

After the decease of the above four annuitants then I bequeath the following sums to be transferred by James Kileen, No. 154 Fenchurch Street, London, my sole executor in England:

To John Donadson Potts £2,000 and to George James Potts £2,000 at age 25 years or older and all the annuitants dead.

To Elley Kitson and his sisters named Mary, Penelope and Martha £100 each, the sum of £400 in total, they being the son and daughters of James Kitson.

To Frances Ann Potts my youngest daughter now in Jamaica £1,000, the interest to be yearly remitted in such goods as she may want and the principal now drawn till she is 25 years of age.

To my grandsons Cuthbert Potts Butler and George Butler £300 each at age 25 years.

To my son William Potts now in London £400.

To my daughter Ann Sowerby £300.

To my grand-daughter Frances Carnall[?] £200.

To the heir at law £5. Making the sum of £6,905.

The remainder and residue of principal and interest to be equally divided among my son William Potts' children.

And after all my lawful debts are paid I give and bequeath in Jamaica to be paid out of money in Jamaica:

To Elizabeth Innes, Maria Sinclair and Frances Ann Potts, they being the daughters of Frances Donaldson, £200 each.

To Pechey Gibbs and Eliza Eleanor Gibbs £50 each.

The fourteen following slaves named Old George, Ben, Belley, John, Mary Lewis, Robert and his mother Eleanor, Ann Eliza Allen, Eleanor daughter of Montague Maucey[?], Bessey, Sarah, Frances and George [note no punctuation in original, some added according to slave register entry for enslaved people on Mount Pleasant for 1829], £5 each.

To Montague £10 and his freedom from all kind of slavery and servitude for ever and to keep his house where he now lives and three acres of land for life.

Pechey Gibbs and Eliza Eleanor Gibbs to keep their rooms where they now live and to have three acres of land each for life.

The amount of the Jamaica legacies being £780 currency to be immediately paid.

To Frances Donaldson for life all the remaining land and pusion[?] by the name of Mount Pleasant supposed to contain 59 acres 3 roods and 20 perches after deducting 9 acres given away for life, with mansion house, out offices, stock, bed and bedding, furniture of every kind whatever, nothing to be taken away, and one house in Lucea butting and bounding on Lucea Street and the ever following slaves named Old George ben Belley John Mary Lewis Robert and his mother Eleanor Maurey Besse Ann Eliza Ellen Eleanor the supposed daughter of Montigue and after the decease the whole to devolve on my reputed daughter Frances Ann Potts unimpaired.

Should Frances Ann Potts die before she comes of age and leaves no offspring at the death of her mother the place to be sold and the amount to be remitted and to be divided between her three brothers and sister in England of which sale Elizabeth James and Maria Sinclair are to have the refusal and the house at Lucea for Frances Ann Potts to be to them without purchase at the same time. Those who have land left for life must not be debarred from making use of it. Also the £1,000 in the funds her mother to have the interest of it for her life and then the principal to be equally divided between children and grandchildren in England.

My respected friends Lewis Grant, James Deans and Hugh Munro junior Esquires to be executors.

Signed 08/02/1826.

Sworn by witnesses in Jamaica, no date given.

Proved at London 31/10/1827 by James Kitson the executor in England.


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
1810 [EA] - 1821 [LA] → Owner
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Owner
1820 [EA] - → Administrator

Relationships (2)

Extra-marital relationships
Grandfather → Grandson