Sir James Bontein of Balglas

1749 - 1819


Soldier and exemplar of colonial 'Old Corruption', shown as owner of 41 enslaved people on Evesham Vale on St Vincent in 1817.

  1. Bontein had been Collector of Customs at Martinique, and was alleged by Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey (with whom he was involved in a conflict after Bontein had agreed in 1795 to share his income from the post with Thomas Grey but refused to share it with Capt. George Grey after Thomas's death) to have accumulated £100,000 from his post.

  2. Will of Sir James Bontein of [Charles Street Berkeley Square in the parish of] St George Middlesex proved 12/08/1823. After some minor legacies, he left his estate to his wife for life and then 1/4 to his daughter Alice and the other 3/4 equally between his sons Edward Trant, James and John Pitt Bontein share and share alike. In a codicil he left an additional £500 to James.


T71/493 pp. 209-213. Bontein's gravestone gives 1749 as his date of birth: genealogical sources show 1752.

  1. Bontein was ousted in 1799 by George Grey: Paul David Nelson, Sir Charles Grey, first Earl Grey: Royal Soldier, Family Patriarch (1996) p. 190.

  2. PROB 11/1674/163.

Further Information

Alice Trant
Alice; Edward Trant; James; John Pitt

Associated Estates (2)

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
1817 [EA] - 1817 [LA] → Other

Shown as owner of 41 enslaved people (of a total of 201) on a group of estates including Evesham Vale and Clifton Hill in the 1817 Slave Registration

1817 [EA] - 1817 [LA] → Other

One enslaved person shown as belonging to Sir James Bontein was included in the registration return for Hope in 1817

Relationships (1)

Legatee → Testator
Notes →
Sir James Bontein was married to the niece of Mary...

Addresses (1)

Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London, Middlesex, London, England