???? - 1746
Solomon Hart (???? to 1746) was a planter in Vere Parish in Jamaica. Solomon Hart married Elizabeth Hisum in Clarendon on 21/06/1717.
Hart’s will, dated 25/1/1746, makes reference to and revokes a previous will dated 4/11/1729 which left his estate to his four children at that time - Lettice, Rachel, Mary and Solomon. The 1746 will identifies Hart’s wife, Elizabeth, as his executor. In this will Hart leaves all his estate, real and personal, to his three youngest children (Moses, Catherine and Judith Ann) as they are “young and not able to provide for themselves.” The will specifies that ownership of the estate will be transferred to the three children when Moses attains the age of 21 years. The four older children were each left a shilling.
Baptism records have been found for three of the seven children. Daughter Lettice was baptised in St Elizabeth 1/7/1719, father Solomon Heart [sic]. Daughter Katherine (Catherine) was born 22/08/1731 and baptised 11/06/1732 in St Elizabeth. Son Moses was baptised 05/04/1738 in St Elizabeth.
Solomon Hart of Vere, planter. Estate probated in Jamaica in 1748. Slave-ownership at probate: 34 of whom 14 were listed as male and 20 as female. 6 were listed as boys, girls or children. Total value of estate at probate: £2,383.66 Jamaican currency of which £1,237.75 currency was the value of enslaved people. Estate valuation included £0 currency cash, £0 currency debts and £0 currency plate.
Prior to 27/12/1757, Moses died underage, unmarried and without issue. Catherine married Joseph James Swaby senior in 1751 and Judith Ann married William Matthews that same year. (He was probably the William Matthews who owned 33 acres in St Catherine and 117 acres in St John in 1754; and their first child, Ethrington Thomas Matthews, was born and baptised in St Catherine in January 1754.)
In an indenture dated 27/12/1757, Joseph James Swaby, Catherine Swaby, William Matthews and Judith Ann Matthews seek to break the entail established by the will, in order to divide the property between Joseph James Swaby and William Matthews. (Under English common law at that time, a married woman had no legal rights of property ownership and could not enter into contracts.)
In the indenture Hart is described as "late of the parish of Vere" when he was "in his lifetime and at the time of his death, si[e]zed in fee simple and possessed of a considerable real and personal estate". Hart also possessed 1085 acres in St. Dorothy as of 1754; however, this property is not listed or distributed in the 1757 indenture. The indenture lists nineteen enslaved people and eight parcels of land inherited by Solomon Hart's daughters:
"the first piece or parcell thereof situate lying and being in Alligator Pond Mountains in the parish of St. Elizabeth containing by estimation five hundred acres be the same more or less bounding northeasterly on Thomas Chapman Thomas Anderson and Jonathan Harrison southerly on Joseph Bowen and westerly on Samuel Beavis
"the second piece or parcell containing fifty acres situate lying and being in Alligator Pond Mountains bounding on the land or lands of the late Samuel Beavis then in the possession of Solomon Hart northerly and southerly
"the third parcell containing seven acres of savanna land commonly called or known by the name of Cow Penn savanna bounding northeast south and west upon the land or lands parcell or parcells lately belonging to and being in the possession of Joshua Marks
"the fourth piece or parcell of land containing one hundred acres being parcell of a larger run late of Jonathan Harrison situate lying and being in Carpenter’s Mountains towards the head of sixteen mile gully in the said parish of St. Elizabeth which said one hundred acres of land are to abut and abound and be laid out as near as may be adjoining on the land of Benjamin Durrant late of the parish aforesaid planter deceased
"the fifth parcell containing one hundred and nine acres of land being the one fourth part of four hundred and thirty six acres of land situate in the parish of St. Elizabeth aforesaid and bounding east northerly on the mountains southeasterly and west northerly on unsurveyed lands and the kings path
"The sixth piece or parcell of land situate lying and being in the parish of Saint Elizabeth aforesaid containing by estimation 218 acres be the same more or less butting and bounding on the dividing line between Margaret Bolt and William Dunbar and Mary his wife they being heirs at law to the other moiety Or half part of the said land the whole containing 436 acres of land be the same more or less commonly called or known by the name of Canoa[sic - Canoe] Valley situate about two miles in the mountains above the Devills Race
"The seventh parcell of land situate in the Parrish of Saint Elizabeth aforesaid containing by estimation 300 acres more or less bounding west on the land of mr. John Anderson and Edward Pratter esquire north and northwest on waste Rocky mountains northeast southeast on unpossessed land and south on waste land
"The eighth and last parcell of land situate at a place called Manaty [sic - Manatee] Valley in the parish of Saint Elizabeth aforesaid bounding northerly on Captain Jonathan Dickinson and easterly on Colonell Harvey and south on Rger Waite and westerly on the kings road"
All eight parcels of land were "sold" to James Powell for ten shillings, who then "reconveyed" the first five parcels to Joseph James Swaby and the seventh and eights parcels to William Matthews. The sixth parcel was shared between Swaby and Matthews "undivided". Swaby received nine enslaved people and Matthews ten enslaved people.
The will of Solomon Hart was proved in Jamaica in 1746.
We are grateful to Denny Swaby for compiling this entry.
RGD Jamaica LOS Wills Vol 32 Folio 36: Will of Solomon Hart.
Indenture dated 27/12/1757: L.O.S Deeds Vol 170, Folio 69 provided by Denny Swaby and David J. P. Wood.
Landowning in Jamaica in 1754: CO 142/31.
Births, baptisms and marriages: Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].
Trevor Burnard Database of Jamaican Inventories.
Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919) vol. 2 p. 122.
We are also grateful to David J. P. Wood and Peter Durbin for their assistance with compiling this entry.
Lettice, Rachel, Mary, Solomon, Catherine (1731-), Moses (1738-), Judith Ann
Wealth at death
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Father → Son