Rev. Wiltshire Stanton Austin

1794 - 1857


Son of Rev. Richard Austin (q.v.) and born in Barbados, but his family moved to Surinam before the end of British colonial slavery.

  1. The Rev. Wiltshire Stanton Austin gave evidence 'at the instance of a friend, Z. Macaulay' to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Extinction of Slavery in 1832. His evidence, which supported the future work ethic of the enslaved people if and when freed, was reproduced approvingly by the Anti-slavery Monthly Reporter. Austin testified that on his father's estate in Surinam the introduction of task-work had been successful and that by the conversion of the 250 enslaved people to a 'peasantry', paying rent and working for wages, his father would be the gainer. According to his account, his father, however, had been prevented from unilaterally emancipating his enslaved people by the restrictions of the heavy mortgage over the estate, 'comprising the slaves.' Austin acknowledged that he had 'large reversionary interests in prospect both in British Guiana and Barbadoes' 'those interests are in slaves and not in land', but he was, he said, nevertheless in favour of emancipation, although not in fact of immediate emancipation. He confirmed in answer to a question that he knew the La Belle Alliance and Land of Plenty estates in British Guiana, which belonged to his uncles. His conduct in regard to Missionary Smith (John Smith, who died in Demerara in 1823 after being imprisoned for his role in the uprising by the enslaved in that year) had led to him being ostracised for a period by his relatives in the West Indies other than his father. He had left Surinam because he was 'disgusted with the whole system' and would return to the West Indies only in the case of emancipation, not while slavery endured.

  2. Burial of Wiltshire Stanton Austin of Great Bentley Essex aged 63 04/02/1857 at St James, St Pancras London.


  1. The Anti-slavery Reporter 31st December 1832 No. 104 (Vol. 5 no. 13) pp. 372-378. For Austin's full evidence, 2 and 4 July 1832, see Parliamentary Papers, 1831-32 (721) Report from Select Committee on the Extinction of Slavery, pp. 178-95.

  2., London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 [database online].

Further Information

Wiltshire Stanton
Church of England

Relationships (4)

Son → Father
Nephew → Uncle
Nephew → Uncle