John Graham Clarke

1736 - 1818


Of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, industrialist and shipowner, with pre-existing business as a West India merchant, who reportedly had in 1816 inherited Jamaica estates (Lapland and Bamboo) from his uncle Jacob Graham (who had gone to Jamaica as a young man in 1746). Married Arabella Altham. Father of John Altham Graham Clarke (q.v.) and grandfather of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (q.v.), who was born at Coxhoe Hall, Co. Durham. John Graham Clarke built a large portfolio of mortgages over estates and enslaved people in Jamaica, and appears to have been the centre of a slave-owning nexus in the north-east, taking in six children of George Goodin Barrett and Elissa Peters in 1792 [other sources give 1796], receiving young James Scarlett in 1785 and hosting Edward Moulton Barrett in the mid-1790s.


John Charlton, Hidden Chains: the Slavery Business and North East England (2008) Ch. 14 'Newcastle's West India Man' pp.119-124.

Further Information

(1) Elisabeth Rutter (as her second husband) (2) Arabella Altham
with (2) John Altham; Mary

Associated Estates (13)

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
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Other

Bought by William Dyer as administrator of the late John Graham Clarke between 1829 and 1832.

1815 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder

John Graham Clarke, a mortgagee for £27728 12s 2d (mortgage dated 01/08/1815).

1829 [EA] - → Other
1820 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
27/06/1816 [SD] - 1818 [EY] → Owner
1816 [EA] - → Judgement creditor

The debt owed to John Graham Clarke does not appear in the Accounts Produce or the Slave Registers but is shown in the compensation process under the counterclaim for Trelawny no. 423, which shows a judgment dated October 1816 for £40,000.

Mortgage Holder

Counterclaim under St James no. 651 from Wm. Dyer, as administrator of John Graham Clarke, mortgagee.

- 1818 [EY] → Mortgage Holder
- 1821 [EY] → Other

The executors of John Graham Clarke recovered enslaved people on this estate by order of court as a result of a mortgage.

1834 [EA] - → Other

Executors of John Graham Clarke pursued the compensation in the 1830s under a mortgage on Thatchfield pen in St Ann. His executors were still seeking repayment in 1851.

- 1818 [EY] → Mortgage Holder
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Previous owner
1832 [EA] - → Other

Bought at a Deputy Marshall's sale by William Dyer, administrator to the late John Graham Clarke.

Relationships (5)

Father → Son
Father-in-law → Daughter-in-law
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Father → Son

Addresses (1)

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, Northern England, England