???? - 22nd Oct 1776
"Free mulatto woman of the parish of Kingston", daughter of Varney Phip of Vere, Jamaica. Bequeathed £50 Jamaican currency per annum for life, 10 enslaved people, 20 acres of land and a house in the will of William Perrin (died 1759). Later had two children with Malcolm Laing.
Eliza and Susanna Fickle were baptised in 09/03/1736 in Vere, Jamaica. In 1776 was passed "An act to intitle Elizabeth Fickle, of the parish of Kingston, in the island of Jamaica, a free mulatto woman, to the same rights and privileges with English subjects, born of white parents, under certain restrictions." Robert, the son of Elizabeth Fickle, "a free mulatto woman" by Malcolm Laing was born 26/11/1767 and baptised 25/03/1768 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Malcolm Laing writing to William Perrin’s widow Frances 28/08/1759 said “Bessey Fickle’s legacy was too large for one of her colour in this country - I make no doubt she served him faithfully and was about him during his sickness and at his last moments.” It seems that there was considerable delay in giving effect to the instruction about buying land for a house, which is referred to in subsequent letters to William Philp Perrin as well as in a direct request to William Philp Perrin from Elizabeth herself (05/01/1771). Whether it was ultimately resolved is unclear - the last reference found was in a letter from Laing to William Philp Perrin in March 1773 “As to Elizabeth Fickle’s affair I beg leave to say nothing on the subject. She has lived with me as a housekeeper since your father’s death and always behaved well and been very serviceable in your father’s affairs from her knowledge of all your negroes and estates. The late Varney Philp was her father. She is willing to leave the settlement to yourself of that affair of the house.” It appears, however, that she did meanwhile buy land on her own account: Elizabeth Fickle, a free mulatto, purchased “four lots of footland (each lot 150’ by 50’) on John’s Lane, East Queen Street, and Upper East Street, Kingston, from Tobias and Anne Smollett on 23 March 1764".
Elizabeth died on 22/10/1776.
Will of William Perrin, PROB 11/849/234.
Familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online]. The Laws of Jamaica: 1760-1792 [unpaginated].
Email from Lucy Richards 12/02/2017 sourced to the Fitzherbert Papers, Derbyshire Record Office. Individial letters, 28/08/1759 - M/E16586; 05/01/1771 - M/E 18236; March 1773 - M/E 16773; death of Elizabeth Fickle M/E 16827. Purchase of land, Lewis Mansfield Knapp, Tobias Smollett Doctor of Men and Manners (New York, 1963) p.328, which gives reference as Deeds 204/22 in Spanish Town).
We are grateful to Lucy Richards for her assistance with compiling this entry.
[with Malcolm Laing] Samuel (1762-1763), Robert (1767-1833)
Will of Elizabeth Fickle - transcribed by Lucy Richards RM Wills Index vol I 1663-1818 f105/43 1776
[Proved 14 November 1776]
In the name of God Amen Elizabeth Fickle a free mulatto woman of the parish of Kingston in the county of Surrey in the Island of Jamaica Spinster being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding do make publish and declare this my last will and testament in writing in manner following that is to say First I will and direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be duly paid and satisfied and I subject all my estate real and personal to the payment of the same Item I manumise enfranchise set free of and from all and all manner of slavery and servitude whatsoever my negro woman slave named Belinda and her three children named Lucy Adam and Peter formerly the property of William Philp Perrin Esquire and I give and bequeath unto the said negro woman named Belinda the sum of ten pounds currency and I give and devise my negro girl slave Behaivour [sic] unto the said Belinda her heirs and assigns Item in case I should have any female child or children of my body then I give and bequeath all my wearing apparel unto such female child or children but if I should happen to die without any female child or children of my body then I give and bequeath all my wearing apparel unto my sister Jane Fickle and the said negro woman named Belinda to be equally divided between them Item all the rest residue and remainder of my estate real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever I give devise and bequeath unto and for the use and behoof of my son Robert Laing and all or every other child or children of my body living at my decease (in case there be any such) to be equally divided between them share and share alike and to the heirs of his and their respective body and bodys lawfully begotten and in case of the death of any or either of them the said Robert Laing and my said other child or children without such heirs then the part and share of him her or them so dying to go and remain unto the survivors or survivors of them and the heirs of his her or their respective body or bodys lawfully begotten But in case I shall leave no other child than the said Robert Laing then I give devise and bequeath all the said rest residue and remainder of my estate real and personal unto the said Robert Laing and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten And in default of such heirs of him the said Robert Laing and of all and every other the child or children of my body (in case I shall leave any such) then all the said rest residue and remainder of my estate real and personal (except my negro woman slave named Grace and her future increase in case the said negro woman Belinda shall be then living) to go and remain and I give and devise the same unto and to the use of Malcolm Laing of the said parish of Kingston Esquire his heirs and assigns for ever and the said negro woman slave named Grace and her future increase in case the negro woman Belinda shall be then living to go and remain unto her the said Belinda her heirs and assigns for ever And I fully authorise and impower my Executors hereinafter appointed or either of them to sell convey and dispose of all my lands tenements slaves and real estate whatsoever (except the said negro girl slave named Behaivour and the said negro woman slave named Grace and her future increase) or such part thereof as he shall think proper unto such person or persons and for such price or prices as he shall approve of and the moneys arising from such sale or sales to place out at interest upon good or sufficient security either in this island or Great Britain the same to be and remain to and for such uses interests and purposes as the premises that shall be sold and hereinbefore given and devised lastly I constitute and appoint the said Malcolm Laing and William Philp Perrin executors of this my last will and testament I hereby revoke any [?previous will made by me] and declare this only to be my last will and testament In witness whereof I the said Elizabeth Fickle have hereunto set my hand and seal the fourth day of August in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixty nine
Signed sealed published and declared
Presumed extra-marital relationship based on bequests in Perrin's...