Thomas Fletcher

22nd Jun 1767 - 1850

Claimant or beneficiary


Partner with Joseph Brooks Yates (q.v.) in Fletcher, Yates & Co. (q.v) until 1827. Awarded with Joseph Brooks Yates and Elizabeth Osborn the compensation for the enslaved on four estates in Jamaica that had belonged to Kean Osborn (q.v.). Yates is identified as trustee and executor of Kean Osborn in these awards, which are silent as to Fletcher's role; however, the will of Kean Osborn shows that he had entered into a credit transaction with Fletcher, Yates & Co. to raise annuities for his dependents on his Jamaica estates.

  1. Died, Gateacre [south east Liverpool], 1850. Fletcher and Anna Enfield were the parents of Emily Fletcher and Charles Booth, the latter a Liverpool corn merchant. They in turn were the parents of Charles Booth, founder (with his brother, Alfred) of the Booth Steamship Company, author of Life and Labour of the People in London (17 vols., 1889-1902) and husband of Mary Catherine Macaulay, daughter of Charles Zachary Macaulay, niece of Thomas Babington Macaulay and granddaughter of Zachary Macaulay. In turn the Fletcher-Booth line was tied in to the Potter family (including Beatrice Potter, later Beatrice Webb [1858-1943]). 

  2. Fletcher's autobiography includes some details of his association with Yates, the Liverpool West India Association (of which he was an active member), etc.

  3. Fletcher' had a 2/5th interest in Fletcher, Yates & Co.: Joseph Brooks Yates 3/5ths. Fletcher's banking firm of Fletcher, Roscoe & Co. (with William Stanly Roscoe, Richard Roberts, John Tarleton and Francis Fletcher) failed 13/09/1833. 'Among Thomas Fletcher's assets were one-fourth interest in a mortgage for £5636 7s 10d on a coffee plantation called Friendship Hall, Portland Jamaica with 70 slaves thereon, and one-fourth of a mortgage for £16,000 on a moiety of a sugar estate called Fellowship Hall, St Mary's Jamaica, and of the fifty slaves on the estate.'

  4. Probably the author, as 'T.F.', of several letters to the Liverpool Mercury and James Cropper in 1823 defending himself, unsuccessfully, against the charge of being pro-slavery.

  5. Chairman of the Liverpool West India Association in the 1810s; also took part in the major commercial campaign of the early C19th in favor of independent East India trade: campaign to revoke the East India Company's monopoly of trade to India and China, and to allow individuals to send British ships to Asian ports. But as a West India sugar merchant, he was also aware that the campaign 'could do me no good, but rather the contrary, as the measure relative to the East Indies served to raise up there [in South Asia] a competition in the production of ... sugar and coffee', i.e. two staples of West Indian commerce which Fletcher imported. As Franklin remarks: 'Fletcher's dilemma suggests that West India merchants had to negotiate carefully through the tangle of new trade proposals as the "merchant class" flexed its political muscles in the early nineteenth century'. (Franklin, p. 67) His life also exemplifies some of the tensions between the merchants and planters within the broader 'West Indian interest'.


  1. Kindred Britain has the relevant family trees.

  2. Thomas Fletcher, Autobiographical Memoirs of Thomas Fletcher of Liverpool (Liverpool, Privately printed, 1843).

  3. Hughes, Liverpool Banks pp. 78-9. A share of the compensation for both the Fellowship Hall and Friendship awards (Portland no. 259 and T71/856 St Mary no. 532) was awarded to Yates alone.

  4. Included in The Correspondence between John Gladstone ... and James Cropper ... on the present state of slavery in the British West Indies... (Liverpool, West India Association, 1824), Appendix A.

  5. See Fletcher's Autobiographical Memoirs; Alexandra Franklin, Enterprise and advantage: The West India interest in Britain, 1774-1840 (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1992), pp. 66-8.

Further Information

Anna Enfield (marriage in Norwich, Norfolk, 1 October 1795)
Maria (1798-1885), Francis (1799-), Emily (1803-1853), Caroline (1806-1882)
Merchant and banker

Associated Claims (4)

£1,846 8s 0d
£2,948 9s 1d
£2,912 11s 6d
£7,029 16s 1d

Associated Estates (1)

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
1817 [EA] - 1820 [LA] → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Name partner
France, Fletcher & Co.
West India and General Merchant  

Historical (1)

Autobiographical Memoirs of Thomas Fletcher of... 1843 
notes →
Includes material on his family and business life, the Liverpool West India Association, cultural material on Liverpool etc. Privately produced for the family. Copy in the British...

Relationships (1)

Business partners