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A discovery of Jamaica: Statistics on Jamaica: A Scots Heritage: Slavery on Jamaica: Duncan and Rebecca Campbell: Campbell the arch convict contractor: Shipping in the convict service, 1717-1785: Britain's state of crime:

The Blackheath Connection

Chapter 6


A discovery of Jamaica:


Familiarity between Duncan Campbell and his relatives led to trust, a rare commodity in the eighteenth century. ([1]) Duncan after his matriculation gained naval experience as a midshipman on HM Dove from February 1747 to 14 May, 1748, just before his sister Molly married, until he was 22. Then he entered the merchant service. His patrons remain unknown but they were probably his relatives on Jamaica. Between 1749 and 1750 he voyaged between London and Jamaica on the ship Elizabeth, owners unknown. He remained on the ship Mary on the same run for 1751-1752. On 3 August of one of those years he was made a Guild Brother of Renfrew, where his brother Colin would become minister. Duncan continued in the merchant service to Jamaica 1752-1754 on Mary, then again 1754-1757 on the same run, on Britannia. ([2])

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On western Jamaica, Duncan found that planter Dugald Campbell had ten children, ([3]) nine daughters and a son, John. Dugald C had been the owner of Saltspring, Hanover Parish, County Cornwall since 27 April, 1736, when he bought Saltspring from Richard Quarrell. ([4]) Dugald's brother Peter had a nearby estate, New Hope. ([5]) Life on Jamaica evidently appealed to Duncan, but so did life in London. He was anyway falling in love with Dugald's daughter, Rebecca. Duncan also greatly enjoyed the company of her brother, John. The word subsist means that one cannot do without, and in later years, Duncan spoke of the friendship which had ever subsisted between himself and John (they may have been at school together in Glasgow?).


Doubtless Duncan would have become familiar with Kingston and Spanishtown, on the eastern part of Jamaica, but he seemed to gravitate especially where his relatives were, close cousins and probably distant ones as well, a few uncles and aunts. To the Campbells on Jamaica he would probably have been the one with the latest news from London, a valued companion at the dinner table. If, as an affable but ambitious young man from Glasgow who already knew a good deal from shipboard life between London and Jamaica, but little about day-to-day life on a tropical island, he had asked about life and money-making opportunities on Jamaica, he might have been told some of the following: ([6])


(a) People from the British Isles had been on Jamaica only since 1655. The island had seen violent buccaneering days, but that was all now legend, greatly embroidered for entertainment. ([7])


(b) It cost about 30,000 to establish a plantation, on, say, 800 acres, including the complement of slaves. One-third of the land would be used for corn and sugar-cane growing, one-third for pasturing and provisions, the rest for woodland and timber usage, or future expansion. There were two types of estates, called planting estates and dry weather estates. The former were in the more mountainous areas and needed replanting often. The dry weather estates on the coastlines were better suited to sugar and gave higher returns. ([8])


(c) The season's sugar harvest was between July and August. Eating and pilfering of crops by slaves meant a loss of 10 per cent. Socially for the planters, and in many other ways, Jamaica was best seen as a collection of autonomous plantations, each partly identified by its parish. If he was quite interested, perhaps he could read Charles Leslie, A New And Exact Account of Jamaica. Someone may have mentioned a pamphlet of 1749 which stated, "our West India and African trades are the most nationally beneficial of any we carry on ... The Negroe-Trade ... may be justly esteemed an inexhaustible Fund of the Wealth and Naval Power of this Nation". ([9])


(d) One of the most valuable workers on the plantation was the sugar boilerman, because on his skill could depend the profit of an entire field of cane, and cultivation cost 172 days of human labour per acre of cane. The head slave driver was obviously an important figure. (Jamaica did not export refined sugar, so young merchant Campbell would have been handling raw sugar and how to stow it). Oddly enough, it is impossible to find clearly from his Letterbooks which sugar merchants he dealt with in London, even later in his career.


(e) About money. Due to the scarcity of money, Jamaica conducted extensive trade with Spanish colonies. Any currency used came largely from the Spanish, who dealt in slaves and traded in English manufactures. There were tricks of the trade meaning profit or loss. If a planter or settler was in thrall to a creditor, the creditor might oblige his client to use excessively expensive freighting, shipping and various sales facilities offered by the creditor.


(f) About ships. Many ships from Africa bringing the slaves might refuse to take sugar in exchange for slaves and demand cash instead. Those shippers would then buy cheaper French sugar and sell it in England, so that ships were sent in ballast from England to bring home the sugar grown in British colonies. If there was a way around this, it might mean greater profit for all concerned?


(g) Jamaica was on the verge of greater prosperity. Its period of prosperity was from 1700- 1774, then followed a gradual decline, 1774-1834, following the American Revolution. In 1739 began "the golden age" of prosperity. The white population of 7000-8000 was exporting 33,155 hogsheads of sugar each of 14 cwt. (Accompanying the extra output of product of course was an extra input of slaves). ([10])


In a slave-driving society, there were other observations to be made. Great power was wielded in London by alderman William Beckford, whose great-grandfather had come to Jamaica with the Cromwellian army. William had been born on Jamaica in 1709, his family "fabulously wealthy". Beckford backed Pitt the Elder and led the popular faction in London. ([11])


Duncan might not have been told, though being shrewd, he may have noticed, that white women in slave colonies tended (in the words of Orlando Patterson) to be more sadistic than their male counterparts; they often had slaves constantly at their mercy. ([12]) ([13]) If Duncan had ever wondered about the internal security of the island, he might have been informed that in 1732, and despite the presence of two British regiments, Jamaica was in grave danger from a slave revolt. ([14])


In 1730, Jamaica had 74,525 slaves. (Jamaica in 1754 had 130,000 slaves; in 1768, 166,914.) Usually, about 50,000 Negro men had no mate or potential mate). The slaves were managed more by custom than by any laws made by any local assembly. But was he aware, (as Orlando Patterson claims) that about one-quarter of the slaves had been judged criminals in their own society in Africa?


The Atlantic triangle... West Indies sugar had to be paid for by provisions from the American mainland, North America was paid by the West Indies in bills on London, and in rum. Obligations to Americans were settled as bills and for tobacco and timber, by exporting manufactures to them. These all seemed to be natural channels of trade until after the American Revolution, when Britain tried to exclude the Americans, and failed. ([15])

* * *


Duncan may have discovered for himself that (as Orlando Patterson says), the attitudes of the Jamaican planter oscillated between extreme hysteria and unbelievable smugness, the sort of emotional swings that might become habitual in a mono-agricultural setting, on a confined island with a huge population of slaves to be controlled. He may even have met a white man who was a millwright on Jamaica, such as Henry Coor, who might make acid observations about the lack of sexual morality on the island on the part of white men. ([16]) A man who might quote some despairing clergymen who felt that with the whites, there was too little respect for morality and the institutions of marriage and family, partly due to a scarcity of white women. But oddly enough, any cruelties which were part of the West Indian sugar-farming life are not presented in an economic history of India. ([17]) In 1750, Bengal had up to one million weavers. Sugar was the third major industry of Bengal, exporting 50,000 maunds per year, a maund being 82.28 pounds weight. Reports on cruelty to Indian field workers are absent.


* * *


Statistics on Jamaica:


The sugar islands became increasingly parochial in outlook: was this due to reliance on monoculturalism? Some 200,000 acres had been granted to 717 families, about 280 acres per family, but industry economics meant holdings became consolidated. By 1672 there were 70 sugar works on Jamaica (which in area is a total of 3,840,000 acres). In 1752 only 2,133,336 acres were cultivable, and in 1752, cultivable land was measured at only 633,336 acres. In 1754 there were 1620 planters with an average holding of 1000 acres, and much land not used for sugar was left idle, despite the island's potential for greater self-sufficiency in food production, and various urgings that Jamaica should become more diversified in production. It was no accident, if the planters kept production down, the price was propped up. Eric Williams ([18]) reckons Jamaica could easily have had three times the number of sugar plantations it had in 1754.


* * *


A Scots heritage:


But what apparently took the fancy of young Duncan were the arrangements he could reasonably make as a ship man, though he would need more experience, a ship, or a partner, and preferably all three. It became clear that if he could possibly find a ship - perhaps even just space on a few ships? - he could act as a go-between in London for his relatives and connections on Jamaica, helping them keep free of the snares of creditors who would take every step to entrap them, and/or overcharge them for freight, charge them high interest, and inflate the price of goods and services rendered.


At the very best, if he was an honest man in London dealing with honest planters on Jamaica, everyone stood to gain. Apart from mutual trust and a genuine desire to do business, the only other matter for consideration was finding a profitable pattern for the employment of the shipping - London, North America and Jamaica. Since there was so much traffic between Jamaica and the North American colonies, the trick would have been - to find a partner who regularly ran ships to North America, and who could perhaps help create a triangular pattern of trade - between London, North America and Jamaica?


Meanwhile, young Duncan may have even been told a horror story about Scots merchants, about the Darien Scheme - if he had not already known of it. But the Darien Company story may have surprised Duncan Campbell not at all - since one man named in its history is William Dunlop, who had been Principal of the College of Glasgow before Stirling, who had preceded Duncan's father as Principal.


It is unknown precisely how Duncan became a convict contractor to North America, and how he made his decisions. But ten years after he left the navy, twenty years after he matriculated, he was partner of one of London's largest convict contractors, John Stewart, who regularly ran ships to North America, and who probably took space on ships to Portugal... but who did not run ships to Jamaica. As far as can be found, Campbell became the only British convict contractor who also regularly ran ships directly to Jamaica from London.


Duncan may have discussed many deals of many forms. Glynn Christian is a writer descended from the Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian. ([19]) In Fragile Paradise, Christian suggests Duncan Campbell was a slaver from London. This does not appear to have been the case on any regular basis, but it could easily have been. For example, by 1757, Britain had decided to encourage the import of American pig iron to any British port, not only London. Campbell since he traded to North America had access to production from iron works. Iron bars were a currency amongst Africans. All Campbell in London would have had to do was obtain American iron, provide it say to a merchant with the Africa Company as a payment for slaves, have the slaves delivered from Africa to his Jamaican correspondents, then bill the Jamaicans for the slaves, say, in exchange for sugar and rum. Monitoring such deals could easily have been part of his day-to-day activity - but it seems not to have happened. ([20])


In what he attempted commercially, Campbell was original, which seems to have had most to do with his extended family. His feelings about family were one of his strongest motives. The truth was that family feeling also became linked to family finances. It is the ironic paradox of Campbell's life that as a family-feeling man, he traded in people who had been torn from their families - transported convicts and slaves from Africa. Yet, his relatives on Jamaica would probably have known the descendants of some transported Scots, he would then have had evidence before his eyes that a transportee could do well for themselves. Today, the instinct is to disapprove of a custom such as transportation. In Campbell's day, at least some evidence existed that folk could do well out of being transported, even if the outcome of transportation was a lottery. Depending, of course, on an individual's race.


* * *


Slavery on Jamaica:


The death rates of slaves on Jamaica were horrific. Research by the Caribbean historian Eric Williams provides horrifying pictures, including the allegation made by Clarkson, an anti-slaver active in the 1780s, who "professionally" researched the slave trade. One of Clarkson's statistics was that the trade cost the lives of 2000 British sailors annually. ([21])


There is also a symbolism to ship names down the Eighteenth Century decades of British trade. ([22]) King Solomon of the Royal Africa Company in 1720 carried a cargo of slaves worth 4252s. Some 296 negroes were sold in St. Kitts for 9228, a profit of 117 per cent. The profit on the company's exports between 1698-1707 had approached 66 per cent. In 1752, 88 Liverpool vessels carried about 24,730 slaves from Africa. Seven firms owning 26 vessels carried some 7030 slaves.


Jamaica in 1774 took in 18,448 more slaves. Each year the mortality due to plantation conditions made more importation necessary. Mortality on Jamaica was such that between 1703 and 1778, the annual increase in Negro population from all causes was 2109, on average. Between 1703 and 1778, the average annual importation of slaves had been 6807. Mortality on slave ships varied from 5 per cent to 34 per cent, balanced at about 16 per cent. On one sugar island, one in three imported negroes died in the first three years. So, of 100 slaves leaving Africa, only 84 reached the West Indies alive; one third of these were dead within their first three years at work. For every 56 negroes still alive on a plantation after three years, 44 had died.


By 1786, Jamaica planters admitted it was cheaper to work a slave to death and get another one than to breed more workers on the island. In 1804, their attitude showed when the governors of British West India islands were directed to inquire into births and deaths among the slaves. The Jamaica Assembly gave the governors only "a contemptuous silence"; and otherwise it was claimed that the Assembly lacked necessary documents and could not obtain them. ([23])


In 1753, the richest parish on Jamaica was St. Andrews. The total number of plantations was 154 and the largest was owned by Philip Pinnock, 2872 acres, of which 242 were under sugar cane. Pinnock's land produced 140 hogsheads of sugar, or 112 tons. Some 280 slaves were used (sugar cultivation needed one slave per acre under sugar). The plantation had sixteen white servants and 326 head of cattle. The minimum size of a sugar cane plantation was regarded as 300 acres. Williams reports, a census of Jamaica in 1774 revealed 680 sugar plantations, a total of 300,000 acres, 105,000 Negroes, 65,000 head of livestock; and 1498 other estates and farms with total of 300,000 acres, 40,000 Negroes and 71,000 head of livestock. The average sugar plantation was 441 acres, with 154 slaves and 95 head of livestock. Sugar cultivation needed two and a half times the acreage, almost six times the labour force, and double the livestock required for other crops, not including costly buildings and equipment for sugar handling. Over time, Jamaican whites consistently ignored advice to diversify their agriculture. Mono-culturalism won the day, greatly due to the profit motive.


Financially, a 300-acre plantation required a capital investment of 4923 sterling. but a plantation of 300 acres with double the production of the former-mentioned would have required a capital of 14,029 sterling. A plantation of 900 acres might involve an investment of nearly 40,000. ([24])


Some noted London names, sugar-rich absentee landlords of the West India, included: ([25]) Codrington of the Leeward Islands, who gave his library to All Souls College, Oxford. ([26]) Warner of the Leeward Islands, who improbably, has descendants engaged in the sugar industry in northern Queensland, Australia. Longs of Jamaica; Lascelles of Barbados who married into the royal family. ([27]) The prince of absentee landlords was William Beckford (died 1770), who had a grand country estate, Fontill Splendens, in Wiltshire. By the 1750s, his forebear, London Alderman William Beckford was one of Jamaica's leading sugar planters. Beckford, an imposing-looking man, once stated, "all our wars must begin and end" [in the West Indies]. To the end of the American Revolution, George III might well have agreed with him.


Alderman Beckford was the grandson of Peter Beckford, who when he died in 1710 was reputedly the richest man of Europe. William Beckford and his three brothers had seats in Parliament. William's fame as a London Lord Mayor is evident in the monument to him at the Guildhall, erected in his honour for his courage in speaking on freedom, berating George III. The speech is graven in letters of gold on the monument's pedestal. Williams says Beckford, as a friend of Pitt the Elder, was responsible more than anyone for the decision in 1763 to restore Guadeloupe to France. Beckford believed the West Indian climate was inconvenient for the British constitution, and so he defended absentee landlordism of slaving sugar islands - on the grounds of personal health!


As early as the 1730s, ([28]) the West India interest in London formed The Planters Club, making a levy of one penny per hogshead. The West India merchants in England organised at about the same time. In 1781 they formed the Standing Committee of West India Planters and Merchants, partly as the interests of resident planters, absentee landlord planters, and merchants had become so intertwined as to be inseparable. In his unobtrusive way, Duncan Campbell became part of all this - partly due to his marriage.


* * *


Duncan and Rebecca Campbell:


Duncan married Rebecca Campbell on 11 March, 1753, on Jamaica. If a surviving illustration is in fact Rebecca's likeness, she was a fine, good looking, strong-looking woman. On the groom's record of marriage is a note concerning "Capt Duncan Campbell of London, mariner". ([29]) Duncan shortly took Rebecca via North America to London, from where he continued sailing. The marriage was happy and produced eight children, not all of whom lived. Their earliest known London address was Hooper Street (or, Square). ([30]) On Rebecca's way to London, probably in North America, she acquired a desk, probably from an older male relative, probably a wedding present. It was one of her "first sticks of furniture".


So Rebecca met bustling London, rude and polite, rich and poor, urban and rustic. As the saying goes, when anyone has tired of London, they have tired of life itself. In 1753, a population census was proposed, but the House of Lords rejected it as a Frenchified idea, subversive of remaining liberty. The fear expressed was similar to the fear of a standing army left over from the seventeenth century. (In 1750, the population of London was 650,000, by 1801, about 900,000.) ([31]) On sale were livestock at Smithfield. Billingsgate sold fish and coal, Covent Garden fruit and vegetables; grain sold at Mark Lane and Bear Quay and Queenhithe, hay at Haymarket and Smithfield. Blackwell Hall was for cloth and woolens; Southwark and Leadenhall for poultry and leather. Clothing was manufactured at Aldgate and Whitechapel. The silk-weavers at Spitalfields were touchy and would riot when imports or new machines harmed their prospects. The market gardens supplying London were at Lewisham and Plumstead (where Duncan's brother Neil later lived). The wagons came into London at midnight, so must have been loaded up by sunset. Anderton's coffee house in Fleet Street was frequented by Freemasons and literary men. Rebecca might even have noted that Fleet Street was overlooked by the skulls of the Scots rebels decapitated after 1745, the last of the Jacobite risings, skulls kept there till 1772. ([32])


The English were highly ethnocentric. Scots would be deeply distrusted as George III took the throne, not only because of George's resented reliance on the Earl of Bute. Even by 1751, the poorer Welsh in Wales regarded the English as "Saxons". ([33]) The English found dealing with union with Welsh less repellent; the connection was older; the Welsh were also less threatening. But increasingly the English found it necessary to create something larger than England, which could also embrace Scotland. This became the idea of Britain, which became a fact of patriotism, born from a newly-formed ethnic mixing bowl with elements drawn from a very old history, from Roman times, from dimly-known times of invasion, even from Arthurian legend. ([34]) As a new attitude developed, worries increased about Scots horning in on traditional English traditions and opportunities. Even into the 1830s, the Lowlanders regarded Highlanders as savages, aborigines, an inferior race, while the Highlanders despised both the English and the Lowlanders and the English despised the Scots.


About 1760, London put in a new road, called the New Road, now Pentonville Road, Euston Road, Marylebone Road, to let drovers from the west bring their animals to Smithfield without bothering other traffic. The old London gates would be taken down. Streets had to have name plates put up, and later houses were numbered. Shopping was till 9pm at places such as Ludgate Street, Cheapside, Strand, Pall Mall. The streets were dirty. As anyone might complain, the muck heap at the back of the Royal Exchange hadn't been touched, except to be added to.


North of the customs house on the river was a crowded, noisy, confused jumble of streets where goods were lumped from ships, carts got in each other's way, messengers thronged, merchants dealt, warehouses were stacked, clerks counted clinking coins, and pockets were picked. The London that Rebecca Campbell met was expanding. The dramatic difference to sanitised life today was the sweat, the conglomeration of smells, the animal noise. The chief slums were about Drury Lane, St. Giles (as in Hogarth's "Gin Lane"), Southwark, Clerkenwell, parts of Westminster. ([35]) Prosperity was reflected in the tendency to obesity in the population, the typical John Bull portliness of the cartoonists' delight. About 1750, the typical invitation given in public to quarrel, the equivalent of the present-day two fingers jerked upward, was a scornful cocking of the hat.


Duncan and Rebecca planted their family in a parish thriving with maritime-commercial personalities and industries, in St. Dunstan's in the East, about St. Dunstan's Stepney, known for shipping and shipbuilding. There was also St. Botolph, Aldgate, known to sailors, shipwrights, ships carpenters and masters, anchorsmiths, sailmakers, lightermen, fishermen, ropemakers, caulkers, pulleymakers, a teacher of navigation, a compass maker. ([36]) (An extraordinary number of names mentioned in this book had some connection with the parishes, St Dunstan's in the East, and West.)


London Bridge was the only bridge across the river till 1740. London proper consisted of Tower, Aldgate, Bishopsgate, Cripplegate, Aldersgate, Newgate and Ludgate, with outlets to the river by water-gates and stairs. Travellers arriving late still had to use the inns outside the gates. ([37]) After 1700 there had grown new areas outside the gates, West End's squares. Leicester Fields was built, then came Charing Cross, St. Giles, Soho, Clerkenwell, Holborn and Bloomsbury, Marylebone, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Pancras. The penny post was invented, and its rival messengers, the half-penny post, went out of business. Fire insurance offices grew; some London buildings still wear their badges. Oddly enough, about 1710 when investment in fire insurance became popular, many underwriters were men in the sugar industry. Street lighting was installed. Gardens were created for increased enjoyment. ([38]) And Rebecca's husband would profit from transporting convicts to North America. Given the views of the day, he probably thought he was doing some of them a favour, opening up a new and better life. The actual situation vexed logic, and was horribly mixed with death.


In the eighteenth century, a child was lucky to survive to adulthood the usual childhood illnesses, ordinary dangers or trouble with animals. Adults could be struck by fever, especially if they sailed. By the 1830s, shiploads of poorer Scots emigrating to America could suffer death-rates of 30 per cent. It was well-known, the stamina of a slave landed on a sugar island was measured by survival of the first five years. In the 1740s, the death rate of slaves was 43 per cent. It was nearly as bad for indentured servants going to Charles County, Maryland. The Americans noted that newcomers died "in their seasoning" to the new diet, climate and disease factors. Some "seasoning" death rates were as high as 35-40 per cent; the lower limit was ten per cent. ([39]) The death rate on Campbell's convict ships would be about 10 per cent. The implication of the figures, even for "normal" situations, is that a transported convict had near a 50-50 risk of dying from their voyage or during their "seasoning". Life and death was a lottery.


* * *


Campbell the arch convict contractor:


Of all England's convict contractors operating till the American War broke out in 1775, Campbell survived the most successfully. He was the arch convict contractor. In 1776, he snared the contracts for the Thames River prison hulks. Somehow, between 1747 when he was a 21-year-old midshipman on HM Dove, and 1775, when he was a 49-year-old merchant ruined in the tobacco trade, but still a merchant protecting a regular trade to Jamaica, he managed to infiltrate an almost-secret group of London merchants dominant in transporting felons. These merchants had significant links with the Anglo-American tobacco trade which have not fully surfaced via studies of the tobacco trade.


Within twenty eight years, Campbell had travelled from largely nowhere in the navy, to the point where he would regularly address men only a little below the rank of Privy Councillor, about managing the problem of managing convicts who could no longer be sent to North America, and about the tobacco trade. If his methods of operation were known, a great deal more might be known about how business and commerce had operated in London to 1775. Some lucky guesses may have to suffice at times.


* * *




Shipping in the convict service 1717-1758 or later:


The reason to choose a start-date of 1717 for examination of the merchant listings is due simply to the legislation. Prior to 1717, government records-keeping was inadequate, and research on convict shipping in the decades before 1717 proves mostly fruitless. The lists given here of men in the convict service does not include oncers, or mere ships captains employed only a few times. However, once the most important merchant names are identified, information can be linked across many fields of research. The names of the merchants' ships can be attached to the names of captains who dealt with various agents and merchants in the colonies, especially those in the tobacco trade. The result is a labyrinth of dealings, correspondence, commerce, investment and family or legal relationships. Important links were those in London enabling access to transportable convict labour, and links in North America to employers of such labour. Some links are genealogical, due to marriages, and therefore detectable in family histories. By the early 1770s, the colonial employers of convicts were some of the best names in Virginia and Maryland, including the wealthy George Washington, and Colonel John Tayloe. ([40]) Merchants in the convict service dealt often with "colonial quality", but the inter-connections have been traced by few American treatments of the period before the American Revolution.


Where family histories can also be cross-linked, the result by 1775 was an extremely complex web of human activity. It would be surprising if men in 1718 with strictly legal views on convict transportation had ever anticipated that such a complex web of business dealings would ever be ranged around what might have been thought a relatively simple procedure - getting an undesirable out of the country at least expense to the public.


* * *


Britain's state of crime:


And so we turn to... the source of the convicts... Which was the state of crime in England.


Early in the eighteenth century, London had 150 lock-ups. In 1720, the range of felonies to which transportation could be applied was further extended. Act 6 Geo I c.23 ([41]) gave county courts authority to appoint two or more Justices of the Peace to contract with any person or persons for the removal of those felons sentenced for transportation, the county to bear the cost of prisoners being taken by land to the transporting ship. (The word any meant that government kept little oversight of activities, and hence today's researchers remain deprived of relevant information from bureaucratic sources). However, the Keeper of London's Newgate Prison handled many felons rendered transportable by any new Acts, as well as every other class of prisoner imaginable. One of the keepers of Newgate from about 1727 was Richard Akerman. ([42]) In the 1780s, Campbell dealt with a Newgate keeper with this name. So as keeper of Newgate, Akerman either had an astonishing career of 62 years, from about 1727 to 1789 when he died, still at Newgate. Presumably, a father-son duo reigned long at Newgate?


The sheer volume and intensity of human misery that Akerman encountered in his life was remarkable, as was the number of prisoners he must have seen in every kind of sane and insane mental condition. Once in 1727, Akerman had a death-in-custody problem. Major John Oneby had suicided while being held for a killing during a tavern brawl. Before suiciding, Oneby left Akerman the turnkey a half guinea, as he felt guilty for having given Akerman "a great deal of trouble" since he had arrived at the prison. ([43]) News of Akerman's little windfall comes from a surprising source - a compilation of the famous last words of people famous and obscure - but Oneby's situation rings true. Guilt, depression and remorse were as common in Newgate as defiant denial of any wrongdoing, claims of unjust incarceration, fear, terror, depression and plain misery. Newgate was a fearsome place. After 1776, Duncan Campbell and Richard Akerman often dealt with each other.


* * *


[Finis Chapter 6]

Chapter 6 words 5330 words and footnotes 6257 pages 12 footnotes 43

[1] As to Campbell involvement in colonisation, a researcher on Campbell genealogy, Rev. Richard Borthwick, suggests that Duncan Campbell's maternal uncle, Duncan Campbell of Kilduskland, was one of five leaders from the Campbells Argyll in the settlement of North Carolina in 1739. This has not been ascertained.

[2] These details are gleaned from WDC's family history research, ML A3232.

[3] Rebecca's father, Dugald, died June 27, 174, aged 47. Philip Wright, Monumental Inscriptions of Jamaica, (Winchester), p. 218. I am grateful to Miss Avis Jones, West India Reference Library, for sending me this information.

[4] Richard Quarrell was a Member of Assembly, Hanover, Jamaica in 1749. See W. A. Feurtado, Official and Other Personages of Jamaica from 1655 to 1790. Kingston, Jamaica, 1896.

[5] Peter Campbell was succeeded on that estate by another Peter Campbell. Walvin, Black Ivory, p. 127 mentions an estate named Hope on Jamaica.

[6] Many notes here have been taken from an excellent treatment, Orlando Patterson, The Sociology of Slavery: An Analysis of the Origins, Development and Structure of Negro Slave Society in Jamaica. London, Granada, 1967., pp. 16-23, 25, 26, 35, 37, 41-42, 52, 58, 62, 95-97, Patterson is extremely clear about the institutionalised cruelty of the slave system on Jamaica.

[7] Jamaica was captured in 1655 by the English Admiral William Penn and Robert Venables, and in 1670 was formally ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Madrid.

[8] Walvin, Black Ivory, p. 79; Jamaica planters Edward Long; Roehampton owned by John Baillie inland from Montego Bay; p. 80 has White River and a plantation there called Creighton Hall in the southeast of the island; p. 81, Monk Lewis ran a plantation in Westmoreland, Jamaica.

[9] Williams, Whig, p. 296.

[10] Statistics here have been gleaned from Eric Williams' masterly survey of the Caribbean, From Columbus to Castro.

[11] Valerie Hope, Lord Mayor, pp. 118ff.

[12] Orlando Patterson, Sociology, p. 37; 1.7 per cent of the entire number of masters owned over 1/6th of all slaves, and 3870 slaves were owned by 8 per cent of masters.

[13] Walvin, Black Ivory, p. 69.

[14] Orlando Patterson, Sociology, p. 273 suggests that no other slave society in the New World experienced such continuous and intense servile riots, as Jamaica.

[15] Watson, Geo III, pp. 20-21.

[16] Orlando Patterson, Sociology, p. 42. Sexual exploitation of female slaves by white men was the most disgraceful aspect of Jamaican slave society. Patterson Henry Coor, Select Committee on the Slave Trade, 1790-1791, regarding sexual debauchery. Coor had been a millwright in Jamaica 1759-1774.

[17] Dharma Kumar (Ed.), The Cambridge Economic History of India. Vol. 2, 1757-1970. Cambridge University Press, 1983., p. 7.

[18] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, p. 127.

[19] Glynn Christian, Fragile Paradise: The Discovery of Fletcher Christian, Bounty Mutineer. London, Hamish Hamilton, 1982.

[20] Watson, Geo III, p. 31.

[21] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, p. 256.

[22] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, pp. 145-147.

[23] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, p. 273.

[24] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, pp. 122-123.

[25] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, pp. 88, 131-132.

[26] Walvin, Black Ivory, p. 70.

[27] The Queensland family mentioned is Godschall (Godschall-Johnson, or, Johnson), a set of Huguenot who came to southern England in Elizabethan times. Their descendants settled in Canada, Queensland and NSW from the 1820s. Their ancestry can be linked to that of Warner, the original settler of Barbados. Burke's Landed Gentry for Warner formerly of Framlingham. I am indebted to Cathrine Truscett (Johnson) and her Sydney relative, John Godschall-Johnson, for much information on their forebears

[28] Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, pp. 131-132.

[29] From genealogist Dr. Lorne Campbell to the author, citing Hanover Parish Register.

[30] Despite Rebecca's sisters being so numerous, only two can be identified in Campbell's correspondence, Debie (Deborah) and Douglass. Campbell had only two brothers-in-law who were significant to him, Richard Betham and Rebecca's brother, John, familiarly known as "John Saltspring". It is notable that of all the husbands of Dugald Campbell's daughters, Duncan was the one to obtain control over Saltspring.

[31] Williams, Whig, p. 118.

[32] G. E. Mingay, Georgian London. London, Batsford, 1975., pp. 12, 15, 19, 28, 73, 89, 122.

[33] Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837. London, Yale University Press, 1992., pp. 13-15.

[34] Richard Cavendish, King Arthur and the Grail: The Arthurian Legends and their Meaning. London, Book Club Associates, 1978.

[35] Burke, Streets of London, pp. 82-83.

[36] Some material here is drawn from A. L. Bier and Roger Finlay, (Eds), London, 1500-1700: The Making of the Metropolis. London, Longman, 1986., p. 153.

[37] Burke, Streets of London, p. 3.

[38] Burke, Streets of London, pp. 65-66.

[39] Lorena S. Walsh, `Servitude and Opportunity in Charles County, Maryland', pp. 116ff, in Aubrey C. Land, Lois Green Carr, Edward C. Papenfuse, (Eds.), Law, Society and Politics in Early Maryland. Johns Hopkins University Press. London. 1977. I am indebted to Vic Clark, (USAF ret) of Dallas, Texas, USA for finding this information.

[40] John M. Hemphill, Virginia and the English Commercial System, 1689-1733. London, Garland, 1985. [Facsimile of a 1964 Ph. D thesis, Princeton University., p. 49. By 1718, John Tayloe was dealing with Messrs. James and Lyonel Lyde of Bristol.

[41] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 4ff to p. 32. Also Linebaugh, The London Hanged, p. 56.

[42] Akerman is often mentioned in Linebaugh, The London Hanged, which has descriptions of Newgate in the 1720s and during later periods. Linebaugh, The London Hanged, pp. 76ff for Newgate before the time of the Akerman known to Campbell; and pp. 88ff on the chaplains (Ordinary) of Newgate. By 1777, Akerman's salary was 200 per annum, plus fees.

[43] According to Jonathan Green, Famous Last Words. Sydney, Pan, 1979.; entry on Major John Oneby.

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