John Gordon of Newton

1802 - 1840

Claimant or beneficiary


John Gordon of Newton, son of Alexander Gordon of Newton (q.v.) [the John Gordon jointly awarded the compensation with Alexander Gordon on Tobago Nos. 19, 72 and 75 (for all 3 of which Alex.[ander] Gordon signed) is John Gordon of Cluny (q.v.), a different man]. John Gordon of Newton was given as in his 38th year in his death notices in 1840.

  1. Will of John Gordon of Newton Aberdeen proved 25/06/1840. Under the will he acknowledged the entail over the estate of Newton but placed in trust (his trustees included his spouse Mrs Barbara Gordon, Duncan Davidson advocate of Aberdeen and John and James Leith of Tobago) his estates in Tobago, identified as Grafton, Old Grange, New Grange and Hampden. He left Grafton to his wife, with any house he had in England, and instructed the rest of his real estate to be realised and pooled, to be divided in the proportions to be specified in a letter he would leave behind. In the absence of such a letter, the property would be divided into as many shares as there were his trustees plus two extra shares; the shares would be paid to each of the trustees, with one of the additional shares going to the public charities of Aberdeen and the other going to 'the most deserving and indigent black or coloured natives' of Tobago. In a codicil of 1839, he recorded his purchase of the Pippingford [sic] estate which he left to his wife with his leasehold estate in Kensington; he revoked the charitable provisions of his will, making his residual legatees his five trustees and Mrs Margaret Ritchie wife of Capt. Alexander Ritchie in equal one-sixth shares. He had, he said, in 1838 entered into mercantile speculations with John and James Leith, under the firm of Gordon & Leith, with a store in Tobago and a counting house at 135 Fenchurch Street. He also referred to disputes with Sir Michael Bruce (q.v.) and William Hendrie.

  2. Will of Alexander Gordon of Newton (made in 1808) proved 26/03/1825. The will identifies his wife as Jane Morison, rehearses the entail of his Newton estate and dealt with the rest of his property, including in Tobago. He left £2000 each to his sons Alexander and George and his daughters Jane and Mary, and his house in Plymouth Tobago on Courland Point, together with 'my negro girl slave named Grace' and another unnamed woman purchased by George Morison, to Polly Gibb [also given as Gibbs], 'free mulattoe woman.' Polly Gibb appears to have been related to George Gibb, Alexander Gordon's 'brother uterine'. In a codicil of 1820 he reported the death of his daughter Jane and increased the monetary legacies to his younger children to £5000 each. Alexander Gordon of Newton is shown in an antiquarian source as 'sometime of Tobago' and as marrying 'Mrs Ogilvy' [n.d., apparently Jane nee Morison who had married first James Ogilvy or Ogilvie of Ascreavie], with John Gordon of Newton among their issue, together with his brothers George and Alexander, the latter of whom succeeded John of Newton. The song 'Gordon O'Newton's Marriage' commemorates the [first] wedding of Alexander Gordon of Newton the son, to Sarah Forbes in 1844.

  3. The mortal remains of John Gordon were temporarily deposited in Catacomb A, beneath the North Terrace Colonnade of the General Cemetery of All Souls, Kensal Green, on 16/01/1840. In 1842, his widow purchased a prominent plot on the roadside in Square 57 for £48, which suggests that she built the fine monument there (based on two models from the cemetery of Pere-Lachaise, Paris), which is now Grade II Listed. In the cemetery register, his addresses are given as Newton Aberdeenshire, 'Pippingford' Sussex (Peppingford Park, Sussex) and Dudman's (?) Cottage, Lee Road, Blackheath. John Gordon 'remarried' Barbara Leith, fourth daughter of Alexander Leith of Aberdeenshire, in the chapel of the British Ambassador in Paris on 07/11/1829. The vault beneath the monument has space for twelve coffins; Gordon, his wife (d. 1845) and her niece, Margaret Leith (d. 1843, aged 15) are the only deposits there.

  4. John Gordon of Newton's successor was his brother Alexander: Alexander's grandson Alexander Theodore Gordon (1881-1919) was returned very briefly as MP for Aberdeen and Kincardine Central in the 1918 General Election.


E.g. 'At Blackheath in his 38th year, [death of] John Gordon Esq., of Newton Aberdeenshire and Peppingford Park, Sussex.', Annual Register 1839 vol. 11 (1840) p. 381.

  1. PROB 11/1929/151; NB the Register of Claims in the compensation records (T71/891) identifies 'John Gordon of Newton' as the awardee for Tobago Nos. 7 (Grange) and 28 (and as a counterclaimant in Tobago Nos. 9 and 73), but for Tobago Nos. 13 (Hampden) and 17 (New Grange) identifies the awardee only as 'John Gordon.' Our identification of John Gordon of Newton as the awardee for these latter two estates currently depends on (1) Indentures held by UC Irvine showing the sale of Hampden to John Gordon of Newton in 1829 and (2) the fact that John Gordon signed at the NDO for these two awards, as did John Gordon of Newton for Tobago nos. 7 and 28; University of California, Irvine, 'Guide to the Indentures for the purchase of land and slaves belonging to Hampden plantation, parish of St Andrew, Tobago.' Collection number: MS-M048. The collection includes two sales: (1) in 1823 by Donald and Mary Brodie of Pole (?) in County Argyll, Scotland (sellers), and Charles Kaye of London and John Hopton Forbes of Ely place, Middlesex (buyers) (2) in 1829 Charles Kaye of Netherton County Devon, and John Hopton Forbes of Ely Place (sellers) and John Gordon of Newton by Old Rain, County Aberdeen (buyer) accessed through the Online Archive of California, accessed 20/11/2013.

  2. PROB 11/1696/341; Rev. William Temple, The Thanage of Fermartyn, p. 159.

  3. Email from Signe Hoffos, 03/03/2014, sourced to General Cemetery Company registers, Bishop's Transcripts and Morning Post 13/11/1829.

  4. 'History - Newton House Ventures' accessed 17/05/2015.

We are grateful to Signe Hoffos for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Barbara Leith

Associated Claims (6)

£1,892 1s 11d
£2,041 10s 9d
£1,687 4s 5d
£1,238 18s 0d
Unsuccessful claimant
£2,234 7s 3d
£4,501 5s 9d
Unsuccessful claimant (consensual)

Associated Estates (3)

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
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Not known
1829 [SY] - 1834 [EY] → Owner
01/10/1831 [SD] - → Lessee (Estate)

Relationships (3)

Son → Father
Business partners
Business partners

Addresses (3)

Dudman's[?] Cottage, Lee Road, Blackheath, Kent, South-east England, England
Newton House, Newton, Aberdeenshire, North-east Scotland, Scotland
Pippinford Park, Crowborough, Sussex, South-east England, England