John Cosens

???? - 1799


  1. Of Creswell Hall in Staffordshire, where he appears to have been only a tenant, since the house does not appear among his legacies in his will. Owner of Markham and Sheerness in St Mary, Friendship in St George and Elysium in St George and Portland. Part owner of Carlton Woodhouse and Downes Coves in St Mary. In his will he confirmed an annuity of £800 p.a. secured on the Elysium estate which he had settled on his wife the previous year, in addition to the £200 p.a. currency under their marriage settlement; he left £10,000 to his daughter Arabella Wilkinson Cosens, and his Jamaica estates to his eldest son George Harrison Cosens and thereafter to George's heirs as tenants-in-common. However the will of George Harrison Cosens (q.v.) appears to have varied the transmission in favour of his eldest son Samuel.

  2. John Cosens contributed £20 8s 9d to the University of Pennsylvania following Dr John Morgan's fundraising tour of the West Indies in 1772-1773.

  3. Death of Sarah, widow of John Cosens of Jamaica, in Beaumont Street, London, March 1816.


  1. PROB 11/1333/238.

  2. William Smith, Joseph Hopkinson, and Plunket Fleeson Glentworth, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Minute Books, Volume 2, 1768-1779 p. 75, entry for 13/12/1773. Note amounts are in Jamaican currency.

  3. New Monthly Magazine vol. 5 p. 171 (March 1816).

Further Information

George Harrison (1768-1817), Cecilia Wilkinson, Ellen, John, Arabella Wilkinson

PROB 11/1333/238 - precis.

John Cosens of Creswell Hall, Staffordshire.

Payment of just debts and funeral expenses out of my personal estate; should this be insufficient then out of the rest of my estate.

By my marriage settlement with Sarah, an annuity of £200 Jamaican currency to her, chargeable on my real estate. By another deed dated August 'now last', to her another annuity of £800 sterling payable out of Elysium Estate in Portland and St George. Confirmation of these settlements. Also to her any coach or four wheeled carriage I may be possessed of together with a pair of horses and harnesses, all my household goods and furniture, plate, linen, bedding, china in England and Jamaica. Also to her 'four of my House Negroes as she shall make choise of'.

To George Hibbert of the City of London, merchant, and Robert Hibbert the younger of Kingston in Jamaica, merchant, all my plantations and sugar works in St Mary named Markham and Sheerness and my pen in St George called Friendship, and one moity of Carlton Wood House with the plantations and pen adjoining called Downes Coves, both in St Mary, and my plantation in St George and Portland called Elysium in trust for the following purposes.

To my wife Sarah an annuity of £360 Jamaican currency for life chargeable on the said plantations.

My executors to invest £10,000 in stocks for the benefit of my daughter Arabella Wilkinson Cosens. The interest to be given to my wife before Arabella reaches the age of 21 or marries, then to be given to Arabella for her sole and separate use. On the death of Arabella the £10,000 to be divided amongst her children in the proportions she shall decide. In default the £10,000 to form part of my personal estate.

To my son John Cosens an annuity of £300 pa for life, to be paid to my wife Sarah Cosens during his minority. Should I have another son born to me, then my executors likewise to invest £10,000 to produce for each additional son an annuity of £300 pa for life. For any subsequent daughters, the sum of £6,000 to be invested for each one under the same terms as for the £10,000 of my daughter Arabella.

In case either of my grandsons William Lambie and John Cosens Lambie, sons of my late daughter Ellen Lambie, shall live to age 21 or be married, my executors to raise the sum of £10,000 - being £5,000 each for them. In case of the death of either before the age of 21 or marriage, the £5,000 to be paid to the other grandson.

To my brother Richard Cosens an annuity of £100 pa for life. Should he have any children under the age of 21 at the time of his death then this annuity to be continued until the youngest child reaches the age of 21.

All my real estate in Jamaica and elsewhere to my trustees for the use and behoof of my son George Harrison Cosens and his assigns for his life. Thereafter to the use of every child of him as tenants in common. In default to the heirs of my son John Cosens, then my daughter Arabella Wilkinson Cosens, then to my grandsons William Lambie and John Cosens Lambie and their heirs as tenants in common...

Executors to be George Hibbert and Robert Hibbert junior, my son George Harrison Cosens and my wife Sarah Cosens. Executors to be guardians to Arabella Willkinson Cosens and John Cosens and for my two grandchildren during their minorities.

Signed 05/02/1796.

Codicil dated 20/01/1797, signed 18/11/1799. Annuity of £100 to my brother Richard revoked; replaced with an annuity of £1 1s. The annuity instead paid to John Robinson of Weston in Nottingham, clerk, and John Robinson of Leicestershire, draper, to be applied to the maintenance and education of Richard's children to age 21.

Proved in London 18/12/1799 by George Harrison Cosens.

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
1778 [EA] - 1783 [LA] → Joint owner
1801 [EA] - 1807 [LA] → Previous owner
1807 [EA] - → Previous owner
- 1799 [EY] → Owner
1783 [EA] - → Owner
1801 [EA] - 1807 [LA] → Previous owner
1769 [EA] - 1769 [LA] → Owner
1775 [EA] - 1780 [LA] → Lessee (Estate)

Shown as paying rent on the estate between 1775 and 1780.

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

University of Pennsylvania...... 
notes →
William Smith, Joseph Hopkinson, and Plunket Fleeson Glentworth, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Minute Books, Volume 2, 1768-1779 p. 75, entry for 13/12/1773. Note amounts are in...

Relationships (7)

Father → Son
Grandfather → Grand-daughter
Grandfather → Grandson
Grandfather → Grandson
Grandfather → Grandson
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Notes →
John Cosens left his daughter Arabella Wilkinson £10,000 under his will of 18. Arabella Wilkinson Bryan died at Brighton in 1833; she appeared as his wife in the will of William Bryan of Worthing...
Grandfather → Grandson

Addresses (1)

Creswell Hall, Stafford, Staffordshire, West Midlands, England