Robert Symes

???? - 1783


Owner of the Oxford estate in Jamaica from at least 1755 to 1780, and shown as previous owner 1787.

  1. Robert Symes was listed in the Jamaican Quit Rent books for 1754 as the owner of 1304 acres of land in St Elizabeth.

  2. Will of Robert Symes of Esher Surrey proved 11/10/1783. In the will he left Oxford to his son William Leigh Symes (q.v.).

  3. John Symes, the Assistant Judge of the Supreme Court, Acting Register of the Court of Chancery 1804 - who was described by Lady Nugent as "a sensible well informed old gentleman who can be of infinite use to the Governor in his character of Chancellor, which is, by much the most unpleasant and embarrassing duty which he has to perform" - and who was the attorney for Robert Symes on Oxford in 1780, was possibly the natural son of Robert Symes. John Symes does not appear in the will of Robert Symes, but John Symes, eldest son of Robert Symes of Jamaica in America, was admitted to the Middle Temple 13/05/1756. In December 1757, Robert Symes, of the parish of St John the Evangelist, Westminster, signed John Symes into articles of clerkship to be an attorney, with John Grace of the parish of St George the Martyr in Southwark.


  1. A List of landholders in the Island of Jamaica together with the number of acres each person possessed taken from the quit rent books in the year 1754', TNA CO 142/31 transcribed at

  2. PROB 11/1109/161.

  3. Philip Wright (ed.) Lady Nugent's Journal (2002) p. 318; Register of Admissions to the Middle Temple, 1751-1850, p. 350, [accessed 12/11/2016]. The will of John Symes of St Catherine Jamaica proved 19/03/1810 PROB 11/1509/326 shows him bequeathing several named enslaved people and a house and land in Kingston, but no estates. National Archives file CP 5/67/1 (source supplied by Patrick Wallace, email 14/10/2016].

We are grateful to Betty Evans and Patrick Wallace for their help with this entry.

Further Information

Married but no further details
William Leigh; 4 daughters

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
1755 [EA] - 1783 [LA] → Owner
1787 [EA] - 1787 [LA] → Previous owner

Relationships (2)

Father → Son
Notes →
William Leigh Symes was also the heir of his father Robert...
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Notes →
Henry Swann married Robert Symes' daughter Katherine....

Addresses (1)

Esher, Surrey, South-east England, England