Alexander Cowan

6th May 1790 - ????

Claimant or beneficiary


  1. Alexander Cowan, son of Adam Cowan and Hannah Brown, born 06/05/1790 and baptised 29/06/1790 in Port Royal, Jamaica. His sister Catherine Cowan, "a Mistese"[?], born 03/10/1807 and baptised 28/08/1808 in St Elizabeth, Jamaica, daughter of Mr A. Cohen.

  2. Mary Watson, born 05/03/1835 at Cheltenham, St Elizabeth (no parents names given), baptised in St Elizabeth, 20/09/1835.

  3. Planter of St Elizabeth, Jamaica. Died at some point between 1845 and 1853. The main beneficiaries of his will were his sister Catherine (refered to in his will as Cohen but this is assumed to be a mistranscription for Cowan) and his natural daughter Mary Watson. Mary's mother Amelia Watson received a small annuity and Louisa Wright was granted the use of a house and 5 acres of land for life.

  4. Mary Watson was at school at 10-11 Unio Crescent, Margate in 1851, age 16, born in Jamaica. In 1861 she was living with her "godmother" Catherine Cohen at Phillimore Place, Kensington. According to the census, Catherine was born c. 1801 in Jamaica.


  1., Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online].

  2. Ibid.

  3. PROB 11/2176/353.

  4. 1851, 1861 censuses online.

We are grateful to Andrea Azan for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

[illeg., with Amelia Watson] Mary Watson (1835-)

PROB 11/2176/353 - precis.

Alexander Cowan at present of the parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica.

All my stock in the 3 per cent consols of of Great Britain to my beloved sister Catherine Cohen[sic] spinster, at present residing in Great Britain, for the following purposes, with power to her at her death either by her will or otherwise to nominate an appointee or appointees to the said trust to execute the following purposes should they not have been completed by my said sister. The funds arising amount to £6747 8s 11d following an annual dividend of £202 8s 4d money. A sum of £80 sterling to be reserved annually by my sister as trustee and paid for the maintenance and education of my beloved daughter Mary Watson, borne unto me by Amelia Watson of the parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica. The remainder or residue to be enjoyed by my sister during her natural life for her own absolute use and benefit. When my daughter Mary Watson shall attain the age of 25 years which will be on the 6th day of March 1860, or shall be married, whichever shall first happen, then I will and direct that as much of the capital or principal of my said stock in the public funds whatever that amount shall be equitably decided to be (and I cannot with accuracy determine it here) shall to that period have yielded the said annual amount of dividend of £80 sterling shall be transferred by my said sister to the name of my daughter Mary Watson for the absolute use and benefit of my said daughter, her heirs, executors, administrators and assigns for ever. The remainder of the capital and the dividends thereof to the use of my sister. And at the death of my sister then the remaining part of the capital to my daughter Mary Watson.

But at the death of my said sister should my said daughter not have attained the age of 25 years or have married, then the appointee of my sister shall do in her lieu the aforesaid sum...

If my daughter die before having attained the age of 25 years or without having been married leaving my sister surviving, then the whole of my afresaid bequests to my daughter shall fall to and become the absolute property of my sister... except the sum of £200 sterling which must be bequeathed by my said sister to Amelia Watson of St Elizabeth, Jamaica, the mother of my said daughter (should she be alive to receive the same, otherwise to lapse into my estate)...

All other property of whatever description soever situate lying and being in England or Great Britain to my belowed sister Catherine Cohen[sic] for her absolute use and benefit. I leave my said daughter Mary Watson to the especial care and protection of my belowed sister Catherine Cohen[sic], to whom I commend my said daughter and by the affection which my said sister bears me I trust she will extend her maternal and fostering care to her forever.

Unto Amelia Watson, all my lot and land now called Golden Grove situated on the opposite side of the Kings Road to that of Cheltenham amounting to 7 acres (and purchased by me in the lifetime of the late J. E. Burtton from him and for which I have a title from him and wife duly recorded) with all the buildings for her aboslute use and benefit for ever...

Should I depart this life in possession of my property called Cheltenham then I give devise and bequeath the same in trust to my said sister Catherine Cohen[sic] with a sincere recommendation to her that the same with all the stock and other things on it be sold as soon after my death as possible even with but a moderate advantage. If not immediately possible to sell it then to lease or to rent it and if neither be practicable then to continue its cultivation or my said sister may sell of the stock alone or do as she pleases in respect of the said property. If the same be sold then the amount of purchase money to be funded and the dividends thereon to be enjoyed by my sister and daughter share and share alike, and at the death of my sister the principal of such purchase money to fall to and become the absolute property of my daughter... I would strongly advise that my said sister sell the same even disadvantageously and that she do not risque the cultivation of it for from experience I know that without incessant personal attention thereto its cultivation would ruin her in debt rather than be productive whereas but a small sum realised from its sale would be secured in the funds.

But in whatever manner my said property may be dealt with, regard must be had to that portion of it on which a small house as been built by me and now called New York in which Louisa Wright resides as I am desirous that for the term of her natural life the said Louisa Wright shall reside there and enjoy the possession of it with 5 acres of land as close to the said residence as possible, and after her death the whole to revert to my estate.

During the natural life of Amelia Watson (or until she may by the event stated in the foregoing part of this my will become entitled to the said £200 sterling money of Great Britain under the will and testament of my said sister when the annuity hereafter directed to be paid shall cease) that the sum of £8 sterling money be paid annually by my said sister to Amelia Watson towards her maintenance and that the same be continued to her by my daughter. Such annuity to be reserved from any funds of my estate most convenient to my said sister and daughter but to render the said annuity secure...

My old horse Punch must never be sold but retained on Cheltenham or by some good friend as a pensioner.

All my silver plate (if I die possessed of any) to my sister. All my table and bed linen, crockery ware, knives and forks to Amelia Watson with 6 chairs and the set of breakfast and dining tables from Cheltenham.

My sister Catherine Cohen[sic] to be sole trustee and executrix.

If I die in this island then I request and direct my good friend John Maitland Esquire of Giddy Hall to take charge immediately after my death of all my property here until he hears from my sister...

Signed 17/02/1845.

Proved at London 08/08/1853 by the oath of Catherine Cohen[sic] spinster.

Associated Claims (4)

£243 4s 0d
£534 17s 5d
Awardee (Administrator)
£787 0s 8d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£29 3s 1d

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
1827 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1826 [EA] - → Owner