Sir Francis Ford 1st Bart.

15th Nov 1758 - 17th Jun 1801


  1. Son of Francis Ford of Lears, St Thomas, Barbados (1717-1772) and father of Sir Francis Ford 2nd Bart. (q.v.).
    The first Francis Ford was born 24 February 1717-1718. Member of the Barbados Council, 1767. Died at Portman Street, London c. August 1772. Married, 28 January 1758, Elizabeth, daughter of Burch Hothersall and widow of Samuel Osborne. Children included Martha, Anne and Elizabeth and their only son, Francis Ford:

    Francis, was born in 1758. Of Lears, St. Thomas, Barbados and Ember Court, Thames Ditton, Surrey. Educated in England. 22 January 1785, married Mary Anson (1759-20 January 1837) of Shugborough, Colwich, Staffordshire, daughter of George Anson (Staffordshire landowner and politician) and Mary Vernon, the sister of Viscount Anson. She died in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Ford created Baronet, 22 February 1793.

    Ford evidently spent considerable amounts of time in the 1790s in England: see Political legacies for further details. But he died in Barbados in 1801 and left his heir, Francis Ford, estates there and in Essequibo where he made a codicil to his will in March 1801.

  2. Francis Ford's unpublished diary for 1790 is a useful source for showing the sociability between slave owners in and around Bridgetown, Barbados. (Some use of it has been made by Pedro Welch, Slave Society in the City: Bridgetown Barbados, 1680-1834 [Kingston, Ian Randle, Oxford, James Currey, 2003].) His letter to his son, Francis, shows his regard for England as 'home': Mary '...writes every packet and gives me an account of all at home'. At the same time, he was anxious: ' have had terrible times in England...I do not think public affairs look well at all. I think the Empire in unpleasant circumstances but I trust that providence will protect it...'

  3. In a List of inhabitants of St Peter, Barbados, 1780, Francis Ford was listed as owning 70 enslaved but the estate name was not given.

  4. Sir Francis Ford's daughter Sophia has an entry in the ODNB as 'patron of religious and political unorthodoxy', which says that her father 'held estates in Barbados' and says of her inter alia: 'In 1822 Sophia Ford married, as his third wife, Colonel John Palmer Chichester (1769–1823), owner of the Arlington Court estate in north Devon. In addition to her marriage settlement she had received £10,000 and £5,000 under her grandfather's and her father's wills. Childless and financially independent, when her husband died the following year she joined her sister Georgiana (1792–1879) [at Ebworth Park]..


  1. R. G. Thorne, entry in The History of Parliament online; Nixon family tree - family search.

  2. The diary is in the Barbados Department of Archives, X10/1. The undated letter to his son is bound to it. The letter was presumably written in the 1790s.

  3. Barbados Department of Archives, RB9/3/6.

  4. Latham, J. E. M. 2004 "Chichester, Sophia Catherine (1795–1847), patron of religious and political unorthodoxy." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 14 Jul. 2019.'

Further Information

Mary Anson
3 sons; 5 daughters
Winchester [1767-69 ]
St John's College, Cambridge [1774-78 ]
Legal Education
Lincoln's Inn [1774 ]

Associated Estates (8)

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
1772 [EA] - 1786 [LA] → Owner

Under lease to Alexander Sandiford for part of the period.

1773 [EA] - 1795 [LA] → Owner
- 1801 [LA] → Previous owner
1790 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
1817 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Previous owner
1773 [EA] - 1785 [LA] → Owner

The Lears estate formed part of the marriage settlement of [Sir] Francis Ford in 1785 with Mary Anson, daughter of George Anson née Adams.

- 1795 [LA] → Owner
1773 [EA] - 1801 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

Pittite / West India interest 
election →
Newcastle-under-Lyme Staffordshire
1793 - 1796

Relationships (7)

Father → Son
Son → Father
Notes →
Sir George Anson was also trustee of the marriage settlement of 1785 of Sir Francis Ford 1st bart with his sister Mary Anson, a role he must have inherited from his father George Anson ne...
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Notes →
Anne Margaret Coke's husband Thomas 1st Viscount Anson was the brother of Mary Anson who married Sir Francis Ford 1st bart in 1785....
Uncle → Nephew
Grandson → Grandfather
Notes →
Burch Hothersall's daughter Elizabeth married Francis Ford of Lears: their son was Francis the 1st...
Grandson → Grandfather
Notes →
Burch Hothersall's daughter Elizabeth married Francis Ford of Lears: their son was Francis the 1st...

Addresses (1)

Ember Court, Surrey, South-east England, England
Notes →

History of Parliament show Sir Francis Ford buying property in Surrey in 1791 and selling it shortly afterwards, c. 1793. His baronetcy embedded the estate in his title.