James Bourdieu

1714 - 1804


London merchant, partner in Bourdieu, Chollet Bourdieu and then James Bourdieu & Sons, father of James Berney Bourdieu, John Berney Bourdieu (will proved 1825, as John Bourdieu) and William Bourdieu, grandfather of Emily Bourdieu and John Henry Bourdieu (each of whom q.v.). Owner of unidentified property in West Indies, possibly including the Kendal estate in Tobago, for which the compensation was paid into the Chancery suit of Bourdieu v Bromley. Compensation was also paid into the same suit for the Hoghole estate in St Thomas-in-the-Vale, Jamaica, but this appears to have come into the Bourdieu family only c. 1817.

  1. Will of James Bourdieu of [Coombe in the parish of] Croydon Surrey proved 01/03/1805. Under the will he charged Coombe and his lands at Norwood Common with an annuity of £40 p.a. to Mrs Sarah Gibbs, and left the estates themselves in trust for his son James Berney Bourdieu and his heirs, then to his son John Berney Bourdieu and then to his son William Bourdieu, then to his grandson Peregrine Paschal [?] Bourdieu, then his grandson James Bourdieu and then his grandson William Bourdieu. He also referred to the fourth and fifth children of his son Peregrine Berney Bourdieu in the chain of succession. He left £3000 to each of his three daughters secured on these estates. He left the rest of his property in England and all his property in the West Indies, including enslaved people, in trust to his three sons James Berney Bourdieu, John Berney Bourdieu and William Bourdieu to be sold. Under this trust, he left each of these three sons (who were also executors) £10,000, with the proviso that James Berney and John Berney would have deducted from their legacies the share of James Bourdieu in the capital of his house of business. He also left £10,000 to his son Peregrine Berney Bourdieu, and then to Peregrine's three sons Peregrine Paschal, James and William Bourdieu; and £6000 each to his three daughters Anna Maria, Harriott and Mary from his personalty. Two codicils dealt further with Mrs Sarah Gibbs. The will is conspicuously silent about his wife Philippa Berney.

  2. James Bourdieu was buried at St John Croydon 10/11/1804 aged 90.

  3. The firm of Bourdieu, Chollet and Bourdieu was a London merchant house with business both with pre- and post-Revolutionary America and with pre-Revolutionary France. It was the London house on which were drawn the bills of exchange after the sale in 1788 by Samuel Chollet & Co. of 290 enslaved people on Dominica from the ship Pearl owned by James Rogers & Co. of Bristol.


  1. PROB 11/1421/224.

  2. Ancestry.com, Surrey, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database online].

  3. David Richardson (ed.), Bristol, Africa and the Eighteenth-century Slave Trade to America Vol. IV, The Final Years, (Bristol, 1996), p. 130; Jacob M. Price, France and the Chesapeake (1973) Vol. II pp. 687-9, 738-41.

We are grateful to Sean Creighton for his assistance with the entries concerning the Bourdieu family and the firm of Bourdieu, Chollet & Bourdieu.

Further Information

Philippa Berney
James Berney; John Berney; William; Peregrine Berney; Anna Maria; Harriott; Mary
West India and General Merchant

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Name partner
Bourdieu, Chollet & Bourdieu
North American merchant  
Founder Subscriber
Lloyd's of London
notes →
One of the 79 founder-subscribers to New Lloyd's in...

Relationships (6)

Father → Son
Father → Son
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Grandfather → Grandson
Father → Son
Business partners