James Adam Gordon Esq.

16th Apr 1791 - 4th Mar 1854

Claimant or beneficiary


Son of James Gordon, Moor Place, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire and Harriot, daughter of Samuel Whitbread I of Bedwell Park, Beds. and Cardington Beds.

Gordon’s family made their fortune in the West Indies in the 18th century, purchasing plantations there and then landed estates in Britain. In a codicil of 1826 to her will, his mother said that the and been visiting his property in St Vincent and Antigua for the previous 16 months.

A survey of his West Indian inheritance in 1824 showed that he owned 885 acres (with 460 enslaved) in Antigua, 421 acres in St. Vincent and 112 in St. Kitt’s.(1).

Familial relations include: nephew of Sir William Abdy 6th bart. (who married his aunt, Mary Anne Brebner Gordon) and cousin of Sir William Abdy 7th bart.

For a dispute in 1827 over inheritance of estates between Lady Abdy, her son Sir William, her two daughters and their husbands, over estates in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, see James Russell, Report of Cases Argued and Determined in the High Court of Chancery During the Times of Lord Chancellor Eldon and Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst, vol. III, 1826, 1827 7 & 8 Geo. IV (London, A. Strahan for Saunders and Benning, 1830), pp. 278-85.

Estates in Aberdeenshire (Knockespock estate, parish of Clatt), Hertfordshire and Somerset. He left his estates to his wife for life and then to an approved list of legatees among whom she had to choose one or more to inherit: the list included his cousin Sir George Grey and Grey's family, and Viscount Chewton and his family.

Somerset: Naish estate. See Somersetshire: important manors, farms, mansion of Naish, advowson, and estates, near ... Bristol. Messrs. Fargus will sell by auction, at the White Lion Inn, Bristol, in August 1855, valuable freehold manors, farms, and Somersetshire estates, of the late James Adam Gordon ... (1855).

Inherited Stocks House, Aldbury, Hertfordshire from his mother. Shortly after his death in 1854, his widow, Emma Katherine, married Richard Bright, M.P. for East Somerset, who died at Stocks in 1878. Mrs. Bright died in 1891, and left the estate to Sir Edward Grey, (1862-1933), 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Foreign Secretary 1905-1916. He never lived there. Sold the house to Mr. T. Humphry Ward, husband of Mrs. Humphry Ward, the novelist.


T71/877 Antigua claim nos. 259 (Lavingtons) and 342 (Sandersons).

Fisher, House of Commons, 1820-1832, vol. 5.

There is material relating to the Gordon family in the Somerset Record Office:

GORDON FAMILY deeds, wills DD\BR\pll/11 1803-1869

13 docts


Marriage settlement, James Adam Gordon of Hill Street, Berkeley Square, Middlesex and Emma Katherine Wolley of Clifton, Gloucs., involving manor of Portishead, Naish House, Wraxall, and lands in Clapton-in-Gordano, Nailsea and Portbury, 1832, endorsed memo. re. conveyance of Clapton lands to Richard Bright, 1862; marriage settlement, E. K. Gordon, wid., and Richard Bright of Inner Temple, Middx., involving Stocks estate, Herts., 1855; appt. of new trustees of marriage settlement (1784) of James Gordon of Moor Place, Herts., and Harriot Whitbread, 1803, 1823.

Probate wills of Dame Mary Abdy of Savile Row, Middx., 1829; James [Brebner] Gordon of Moor Place, 1808; James Adam Gordon of Naish House (includes bequest to Nelson's daughter and request for cremation), 1854.

William Anderson, The Scottish Nation (1867), vol. II, p. 322; [Also available at Electric Scotland]; Burke's Peerage (1846), vol. 1, pp. 480-1; see also sources listed under physical legacies for Gordon.

Further Information

Emma Katherine Wolley
Harrow [1805 ]
St. John’s, Cambridge [1809 ]

Associated Claims (3)

£2,289 14s 8d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£4,677 11s 11d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£6,438 13s 7d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (5)

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
1825 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1824 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner
1824 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Physical (2)

Country house
Stocks House 
description →
Georgian mansion set in estate of approx. 180 acres. The image, from [Hertfordshire Genealogy](http://www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/data/places/places-a/aldbury/aldbury-stocks-house.htm), is...
notes →
Built in 1773 for Arnold Duncombe; inherited by James Gordon's wife Harriett nee Whitbread, then owned by James Adam Gordon and his wife Emma Katherine Gordon (later re-married to Richard Bright,...
Little Naish [Built] 
description →
Folly built in the grounds of Naish House in Somerset by James Adam Gordon in the early 19th century....

Political (7)

Local Government
office →
office →
office →
office →
office →
High Sheriff
1830 - 1830
office →
1830 - 1830
Tory / West India interest 
election →
Tregony Cornwall
1830 - 1831
election →
Tregony Cornwall

Relationships (7)

Nephew → Aunt
Grandson → Grandfather
Grandson → Grandmother
Husband → Wife
Marriage Details →
24th Sep 1832 [St Albans, Herts.]
First Cousins
Son → Mother
Son → Father

Addresses (3)

Moor Place, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, South-east England, England
Naish, Wraxall, Somerset, South-west England, England
Stocks House, Aldbury, Hertfordshire, South-east England, England