John Richardson Herbert

???? - 18th Jan 1793


John Richardson Herbert was the son of Thomas Herbert and became the President of the Council of Nevis in the late eighteenth century. His niece Frances Nisbet nee Woolward married Horatio Nelson. John Richardson Herbert's assets on Nevis were appraised at £126,498 sterling in 1793.

  1. John Richardson Herbert died in January of 1793 leaving only one child, Martha Williams Hamilton (q.v.), wife of Andrew Hamilton. When she died without issue in August of 1819, his estates passed on to his nephew Magnus Morton (q.v.), who took on the name and arms of Herbert.

  2. Will of John Richardson Herbert President of HM's Council for the island of Nevis proved 23/03/1793. In his will made in 1788 [when he was residing at Cavendish Square], all of his real property on Nevis and Antigua was entailed on Martha Williams Hamilton with reversion to his nephew Magnus Morton. His niece Frances, the daughter of his sister Mrs. Wm. Woolward and the wife of Horatio Nelson, was bequeathed £3000, in lieu of the annuity of £100 p.a. he had been paying her. Frances' son from her first marriage, Josiah Nisbet, was to have £500 at 21 (in a codicil of 5 December 1792, Frances was given £1000 more). His niece Sarah, the wife of William Kelly of Plymouth, Captain in H.M.'s Navy, was left £1500: Sarah's only child, also Herbert's god-daughter, was left £500 (she was nameless in his will but q.v. under Mary Anne Clive nee Kelly). He left to a mulatto woman Maria two enslaved women of her choice and one enslaved man 'provided he not be a tradesman', and left her an annuity of £200 p.a. and £1500 to his reputed natural son with Maria, John Herbert, then in Bristol. He left £300 currency to another natural son Thomas Herbert. He manumitted an enslaved man named John Mintas, and left him an annuity of £30 p.a. He had he said paid £3000 to Lord Cranstoun who had lent it on mortgage to Herbert's brother-in-law Magnus Morton, and that he intended to pay off a further £4180 to William Tuckett of Bridgewater also secured on Morton's estates on Nevis, and he left the mortgages to his nephew Magnus Morton the younger. In a codicil of 1792 he left what appears to have been an additional £1000 to each of Frances Nelson, Sarah Kelly and John Herbert. In a second codicil of 1793 he left Magnus Morton his nephew as much money as would bring the total legacy to him up to £10,000 and ordered his trustees to pay Magnus Morton £350 p.a for managing Herbert's Nevis estates; he left his nephew Andrew Hamilton an annuity of £500 p.a.

  3. A detailed account of John Richardson Herbert's establishment of the Stapleton estate, later known as Montpelier, was written by David Small of the University of Bristol in 2010.

  4. An inventory and appraisal of John Richardson Herbert's assets was taken in 1793 after his death. The Mountain estate was valued at £27,956 (within which 10 named enslaved 'tradesmen' were valued at £1520, and 40 named enslaved men, 50 named enslaved women, 22 named enslaved boys, 17 named enslaved girls and 19 enslaved children were valued at £8880 or £60 each); on the Ground estate rented from Sir Thomas Stapleton the named enslaved people owned by Herbert were valued at £830 for 5 carpenters and coopers and £9425 for £145 'field negroes' at £65 per head, and the total 'property' attributed to him was £20,538; Clay Gut was valued at £25,085 including £8450 for 130 named 'negroes' at £65 per head; Saddle Hill was appraised at £12,925 including £5270 for 85 named 'negroes' at £62 per head; the estate given as late Dasents was valued at £19,286 including £6535 for 113 named enslaved people; and Cox Heath was valued at £20,071 including £6324 for 102 'negroes' at £62 per head.


G.E. Cokayne with Vicary Gibbs 1910 The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed, St Catherine Press Ltd, London, Vol.9 pp.462-3; Laughton, J. K., and Tom Pocock. 2004 "Nelson [née Woolward], Frances Herbert [Fanny], Viscountess Nelson (1761–1831), wife of Horatio Nelson." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 7 Jul. 2019.

  1. Nicholas Harris Nicolas ed. (1844 / 2011) The dispatches and letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson Vol. 1; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 218.

  2. PROB 11/1230/171.

  3. David Small, 'Montpelier Estate St John Figtree Nevis Contrasting Legacies on a Sugar Plantation' (2010), [accessed 14/04/2017].

  4. Wills 1787-1805, British Library, EAP794/1/5/2, pp. 234-256.

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
1772 [EA] - → Owner
1792 [EA] - 1792 [LA] → Owner
- 1793 [EY] → Owner

Relationships (5)

Father → Daughter
Uncle → Nephew
Testator → Legatee
Uncle → Niece
Father-in-law → Son-in-law

Addresses (1)

Cavendish Square, London, Middlesex, London, England