Mary Selby Gurley (née Johnston)

???? - 1819


Slave-owner in her own right on St Vincent, widow of Peter Gurley jun., and grandmother of William John Selby Gurley (q.v.). The enslaved people on Peter's Hope in St Vincent were registered to her in 1817, to her son William in 1822, and then by her son Bentinck in the 1820s: the compensation for the enslaved people on Peter's Hope was claimed inter alios by her daughter-in-law as guardian of her grandson William John Selby Gurley. Mary Selby Gurley was the daughter of Sir William Johnston 'of Custobers' [Sir William Johnston 6th bart. of Caskieben who had purchased Hilton near Aberdeen].

  1. Will of Mary Selby Gurley of Newham [sic] Market Suffolk proved 07/09/1819. In the will she identified her late husband as Peter Gurley of St Vincent. 'Whereas I lately purchased certain freehold estate lands, hereditaments and premises' for £5000 of which £1000 remained unpaid, she gave first refusal of it to her son William provided he paid £1250 to each of his three brothers Henry, John and Bentinck [it appears this was land other than Peter's Hope]. If he declined to exercise the option, she left the property in trust with her sons-in-law Alexander Cruikshank of St Vincent and Alexander Cumming of Manchester Street Manchester Square for her three younger sons. She also left her personalty to support a daughter, Helen Amelia Gurley.

  2. The executorship of the will of Mary Selby Gurley's husband Peter Gurley [jun.], dated 31/03/1810, was renounced by both his sons-in-law Alexander Cumming and Alexander Cruikshank.


David Dobson, American Vital Records from the Gentleman's Magazine, 1731-1868 p. 122.

  1. PROB 11/1620/88.

  2. Kenneth Morgan, The Endangered Archives Programme. EAP345: A survey of the endangered archives of St Vincent, West Indies, during the slavery era [accessed 10/09/2015].

Further Information

Maiden Name
William, Henry, Bentinck, John, Ann, Helen Amelia, at least one other daughter

Associated Estates (1)

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] → Owner

Relationships (8)

Sister-in-law → Brother-in-law
Notes →
Related by marriage: Evan Baillie was married to Mary Gurley, daughter of Peter Gurley and sister of Peter Gurley jun., to whom Mary Selby Gurley was married....
Mother-in-law → Daughter-in-law
Mother-in-law → Son-in-law
Mother-in-law → Son-in-law
Notes →
'Alexander Cruikshank of St Vincent' was a trustee of the will of Mary Selby Gurley, who identified him as her son-in-law. Alexander Cruikshank of Stracathro is known to have married Ann...
Grandmother → Grandson
Mother → Son
Mother-in-law → Son-in-law
Widow → Deceased Husband

Addresses (1)

Needham Market, Suffolk, East Anglia, England