Updated 6 March, 2022Convict contractor John Stewart at Portsea: Convicts & Salt
By Peter Dickson with Dan Byrnes (Edited + additions by Dan Byrnes) (Received first on 24-9-2021; updated 8-10-2012 and later)
One family connects Portsmouth to a trans-Atlantic trade that stopped abruptly with the American Revolution - convict transportation. (On the history of the Anglo-American convict transportation scenario 1718-1775, see Note 2 below.) But another connection, far less expected, was salt.
A memorial tablet in St. Mary's Church, Portsea, records that Rev. John Vanderstegen Stewart (c.1794-1878), a son of John Henry Stewart (d.1838) and vicar of St. Mary's for forty years, was buried there in 1878.
Sixty six years earlier, The Monthly Magazine for August 1812, noted the death of Amelia Stewart, the vicar's grandmother. She, born in 1726, had died at Great Salterns, an extra-parochial Crown Estate on Portsea of some 550 acres, that included 70 acres of salt pans east of Copnor. She was eighty five, and Salterns had been her family's home for well over half a century; her husband, John Stewart, had died there forty years before, in 1772. So what do these "facts" have to do with distant Australia? 1
It may be unremarkable for successive generations of a family to appear in one location but merchant John Stewart's main trade was anything but unremarkable. Upon his marriage to nineteen-year- old Amelia Vanderstegen, sister of William Vanderstegen (1737-1797) of Wanstead, Essex. A man of considerable means, Stewart was recorded only as residing in the parish of St. Olave, Hart Street, London in December 1756. By then, however, he already had a burgeoning business transporting English convicts on regular voyages to Maryland, a colony he had visited in 1749 to set this up operation. 2 It is in this context that Gazette notices in Maryland and Virginia during the next two decades published his name, which was a constant, and those of more changeable associates and agents in England and America. But the main business name he used was JS&C - or, John Stewart and Campbell, used to include his junior partner, Duncan Campbell (1726-1803).
London merchant Andrew Reid (d. 1764) and John Stewart had operated jointly in the convict service since 1748 and both had shared in a convict-shipping partnership with fellow merchants James and Andrew Armour since 1752. (The Armour brothers were raised in Edinburgh evidently; and the English, or rather the London-based, convict contractors seem to have mostly been Scottish originally.)3Reid was key to the profits of this enterprise, holding the only government warrant awarding a subsidy for each convict carried overseas. Before 1756 was out, however, he and Stewart were the only surviving members of the group, both Armour brothers having died. (By 1753-1756.) 4 In 1756, too, Stewart's brother Alexander (d.1768/1769 at Baltimore, Maryland), master of the convict transport Greyhound, settled in Maryland to establish a family presence at the American end of a business in which he continued to oversee for the next thirteen years. 5
In 1757, John Stewart engaged another London partner, mariner-merchant Duncan Campbell. 6 Andrew Reid retired but Stewart retained the Treasury warrant - the shipping costs of convicts at £5 per head being paid by government, leaving neat profits to be made from the sale of convict "servants" on arrival in their American colony. In this new arrangement, Campbell managed day-to-day minutiae from a company premises at Tower Hill, London, while Stewart fell into a non-executive role, living with his young family at Great Salterns, overseeing salt-works on the estate until his death in 1772. His widow's brother, or, his own brother-in-law, William Vanderstegen, then took responsibility for the commercial aspects of salt production, allowing his sister a degree of financial independence. 7 For the next three years, Campbell continued the convict trade alone, the last consignment of 120 "servants" being sold in Virginia in October 1775. 8 Ten years later, changing circumstances in the convict overseership scene would mean Campbell would bring convict business directly to Portsmouth.
was not the only convict contractor with an interest in salt
production on the Hampshire coast. Andrew Reid had owned several pans
at Copnor salt-works in 1749. He had an associate, John Campbell RN (see Note 9 below),
who acquired further saltings between Cosham and the Hamble, including
the works at Fareham and Porchester, in addition to those on
The Royal dockyard at Portsmouth was a ready market but salt produce also found its way
around the country and even overseas. Great Salterns estate, with a
large acreage for salt production, was therefore a prize asset: but when
and how it was taken up by John Stewart are questions yet to be
answered, although he certainly used Maryland connections to procure
timber for maintenance at the works.
A younger Stewart relation, Matthew Ridley (1746-1789), whom he had sent to Baltimore on personal and business matters, had written privately to Stewart on 24 August, 1770:
“I have endeavoured to procure the plank and posts for you against [Captain] McDougall's sailing 10 but could not get any plank seasoned and good such as I liked and as I thought would suit you. Cedar posts (good) are scarce but I have now engaged some plank and posts and if the man does not deceive me shall send them by [Captain] Reed. 11 I am told that Locust posts are equal to if not better than cedar and I shall be glad to know if you will have any of them.” 12
Although the owners of salt-works habitually complained of poor returns, especially as the Excise duty increased during the French wars in the last decade of the century, it is unthinkable that Reid and Stewart, astute merchants both, would have ventured money on anything unprofitable forty years earlier. William Vanderstegen, while managing matters for his sister, also complained vociferously – but of fraudulent practices by unscrupulous lessees and customs officials as taxes rose. Salt extraction continued into the first three decades of the next century but after a long period of dilapidations, rising production costs, and small margins, the Stewarts quit the estate in 1829, just four years after extending the lease on "Great Salterns Farm" for a further thirty one years; it realised 11,100 pounds for the Crown when auctioned in 1830.
Portsmouth's link to convicts became more substantive after John Stewart's death in 1772. In 1776, his former partner Duncan Campbell had been contracted by government to house those whose transportation was suspended by the American war. It was a wholly private concern, Campbell laying out money and the Treasury settling his claims. Prisoners were lodged in adapted ships permanently moored on the Thames off Greenwich, an old "Stewart & Campbell" ship, Justitia, being the first put to this use, but as numbers rose, more anchorage was called for.
Campbell chose Langstone harbour on Portsea's eastern shore, familiar with the secure and sheltered location during his long friendship with John Stewart. On 7 December 1785, he wrote to his deputy there, Captain James Hill, to say that the first prisoners would arrive from Newgate on the eleventh but remain aboard their transport until Fortunee, the hulk being readied, was "fit to receive them". 13 Local victuallers, ship's chandlers, other tradesmen and doctors, addressed directly or mentioned in some three hundred subsequent letters from Campbell's offices to Portsmouth, welcomed new business opportunities. Local clergy, too, were paid a salary to attend the hulks. Prisoners, however, may not have appreciated the irony of a view of Great Salterns had they known it was occupied by a family that had once prospered by convict transportation and whose erstwhile business partner was their present gaoler.
While Fortunee's people were intended for labour at Fort Cumberland at the harbour's mouth, some were soon listed for a new government scheme to send the condemned and unwanted overseas. Among others from hulks on the Thames, they were assigned to the "First Fleet" of convict transports that sailed under Royal Navy escort from Portsmouth in May 1787, reaching Botany Bay, New South Wales, in January 1788. (See Gary L. Sturgess, The Botany Bay Trade, 1786-1800. [Forthcoming by about mid-2022.]). Duncan Campbell's involvements with the hulks and transportable prisoners ended in 1801 and he died in 1803. More berths at Langstone, including a hospital ship, continued to house convicts; additional moorings also being made off Gosport. 14The Lion was the first ship there in 1787.
Of John and Amelia Stewart's family: their eldest son Sherborne, commissioned a captain in the life Guards in 1787, married a "Miss [Ann] Mason of Portugal Street", London, in 1789; no surviving successors are recorded. 15 He had no success recovering large pre-war debts owed to his father by Marylanders, an offer of help from relation Matthew Ridley, latterly domiciled in America, never materialising. 16 Before the end of the century, his mother had been indebted to her brother for an amount unspecified but Amelia Stewart and her family had been "unable to pay" anything. 17 William Vanderstegen died intestate in 1797 and a sum of £3,000, payable in instalments plus interest, was agreed as the debt. When his widow, Elizabeth [nee Brigham] died three years later, the full amount remained outstanding. A Freemason, Sherborne was Provincial Grand Master for Hampshire from 1795 to 1819 but lacking either business acumen or personal funds, financial circumstances grew more parlous. In an 1817 letter apologising for the delay in repaying a debt to the Freemasons, he proposed raising funds from his "estate near Portsmouth" if "disappointments" continued. 18 By 1825, however, Great Salterns was in his younger brother's name, an extension of its lease at £700 per annum being granted to John Henry Stewart. 19
In 1839, Sherborne Stewart was eighty when predeceased by the younger brother who had enjoyed better fortune and left him an annuity of £40. 20 When the family left Great Salterns, John Henry had moved to South Ockendon, Essex, having inherited, in 1816, all the real estate there of John Goodere, a cousin, the son of Hannah Elisabeth Vanderstegen, his mother's sister. 21 His sister Sarah Amelia, a lesser beneficiary in the same Will, died unmarried in 1840. His son at Portsea, Rev. John Vanderstegen Stewart, vicar of a church just three miles from his childhood home and former family estate, witnessed, in 1868, the end of convict transportation to Western Australia – convict transportation having been the principal source of his grandfather's lost fortune a century earlier.
1John Stewart was raised in Pembridge, Herefordshire. His father, Captain (J.) Stewart, had married Katherine Sherborne, a daughter of the Rev. Nicholas Sherborne, Rector of Pembridge. The Stewarts leased Middlebrook Farm in the village from Katherine's uncle, Essex Sherborne II of Pembridge Court, who died in 1725.
(A list 1717-1775 follows of British merchants who engaged in convict transportation from Britain: 1717: Francis March, London: from 1718 Jonathan Forward, London (1721 email from the UK indicates he was married to Susannah Waple, a variant of Walpole' a relative of the society lawyer, active the 1750s, John Waple); 1720 members in Virginia of the Lux family, Darby, John, and Francis, probably London (later linked to Jonathan Forward's operations) and in 1750, William Lux; 1721-1722, Jonathan Forward Sydenham of London (hard to trace); 1722, Cheston, ?; 1731, various men named Reed/Reid (hard to trace), to 1771; 1737, Joseph Weld in Dublin; 1739, Andrew Reid (hard to trace), London, with James and Andrew Armour (hard to trace), London, and John Stewart of London; 1740ff: Moses Israel Fonesca, London; 1740, Samuel Sedgley, Bristol; 1740, James Gildart (hard to trace), Liverpool; 1744, and John Langley (hard to trace), Ireland; 1745, Reid and Armour, London; 1745, Sydenham and Hodgson, London; 1747, William Cookson of Hull; 1749, Jonathan Forward Sydenham (named for Jonathan Forward but the precise connection remains unknown); 1749, Stewart and Armour, London; 1750, Andrew Reid (Reid had some rights to salt production in England and these rights were inherited or bought by John Stewart, but it is not even by late 2021 known where Reid first obtained such rights), London; 1750, Samuel Sedgely and Co. of Bristol; John Stewart (ssemingly a protege of Andrew Reid) and (Duncan) Campbell, London (JS&C); 1758, Sedgely and Co. (Hillhouse and Randolph), Bristol; 1759, Stewart and Armour, London; 1760, Sedgely and Hillhouse of Bristol; 1763, Andrew Reid (retired); 1764, John Stewart and Duncan Campbell, London; 1766, Patrick Colquhuon (his nephews whether agents for particular British-Caribbean sugar islands or not are are hard to trace), London and maybe Glasgow; 1766, Sedgely and Co. at Bristol were replaced by William Randolph, William Stevenson, James Cheston, Bristol; 1767, Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, Bristol? with a colonial agent Cheston; 1768, Jonathan Forward Sydenham, London or nearby counties; 1769, Dixon and Littledale, Whitehaven; 1769, Sedgely, Bristol; (1769, any ships captain providing necessary securities could transport felons); 1770, James Baird (hard to trace), Glasgow; 1772, John Stewart died, Duncan Campbell carried on alone in London until 1775. At Bristol, Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston (SRC) were active till 1776; they made ill-advised and vain attempts to transport felons to North America at the end of the American Revolution. So did George Moore (of Isle of Man). Wisely, one of the former convict contractors to North America, Duncan Campbell, did not try to do so. Nor did Campbell, probably because by 1786 he was an older man (now 60), ever try to send convicts to eastern Australia.
26 September, Maryland Gazette, Stewart returned home aboard the
Thames, a merchant transport in which Capt. James Dobbins
had sailed from London in 1749 with a shipment of convicts. See also titles such as: Dan Byrnes, ‘Commentary’, to Wilfrid Oldham, Britain’s Convicts to the Colonies. Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1990.
Charles Campbell, The Intolerable Hulks: British Shipboard Confinement, 1776-1857. Bowie, Maryland, Heritage Books, Inc., 1994.
The Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, ML A3225-3230 are held as: ML A3225, Vol. 1. of Business Letterbooks, March 1772-October 1776; ML A3226, Vol. 2 of Business Letterbooks, 13 December, 1776-21 September, 1779; ML A3227, Vol. 3 of Business Letterbooks, September 30, 1779-March 9, 1782; ML A3228, Vol. 4 of Business Letter books, March 15, 1782-April 6, 1785; ML A3229, Vol. 5 of Business Letterbooks, December 1, 1784-June 17, 1788; ML A3230, Vol. 6 of Business Letterbooks, June 20, 1788-December 31, 1794. Some ML Blighiana is also relevant to Campbell. The breaks of dates which are noted between Business Letterbooks are not in all instances covered by letters entered into Private Letterbooks, ML A3231, comprising three volumes of same (of physically smaller volumes).
(Assistance in compiling and annotating the complex Campbell genealogy and related material (now lodged online) has been gratefully received from Rev. Richard Borthwick, Perth, Australia. Edward Linn of Sydney. Miss Marion Campbell (now deceased) of Kilberry, Scotland. Mr Alastair Campbell of Airds, Chief Executive, Clan Campbell, Inverary Castle, Inverary, Argyll, PA32 8XF. Scotland. Mr Diarmid A. Campbell, Editor, Journal of the Clan Campbell Society of North America, 284 South Sly, Foxway, Denver, Colorado. 80135, United States of America and also PO Box 4428, Denver, Colorado. 80204, United States of America.
For further on convict transportation to North America, see for example: Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775. Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Peter Wilson Coldham, Emigrants in Chains. Phoenix Hill, Far Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire, Allan Sutton, 1992. A. Roger Ekirch, 'Bound for America: a profile of British convicts transported to the colonies, 1718-1775', William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, Vol. 42, No. 2, April 1985., pp. 184-200. A. Roger Ekirch, Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1987. A. Roger Ekirch, 'Great Britain's Secret Convict Trade to America, 1783-1784', American Historical Review, Vol. 89, No. 5, December 1984., pp. 1285-1291.
Kenneth Morgan, ’The Organisation of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775’, William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, Vol. 42, No. 2, April 1985., pp. 201-227. Abbot Emerson Smith, Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labour in America, 1607-1776. University of Carolina Press, 1947. Gloucester, Mass., Peter Smith, 1965.
3The earliest reference to Reid and Stewart acting together on convicts is in 1748; The National Archives, Kew, QS13.2.16.
41753: The National Archives, Kew, Will of James Armour, PROB11.799.19. 1756: Will of Andrew Armour, PROB11.824.388./p>
51756: 3 May, Archives of Maryland, Provincial Land Records 1749-1756, Vol. 701, pp. 683-684, record of a Power of Attorney from John Stewart and Andrew Armour to Alexander Stewart; Armour died only four months later, about the time Alexander would have arrived in Maryland. A third Stewart brother, James, was a wine merchant in Oporto in the firm of Croft, Stewart & Croft. Alexander died in Maryland in 1769, James in Oporto, Portugal in 1772.
61759: 15 February, Maryland Gazette, a notice for John Stewart & Campbell (JS&C). Stewart's new partner would have arrived in the Chesapeake (Maryland and Virginia) in 1768. Much information about Duncan Campbell can be found on Dan Byrnes' website book, The Blackheath Connection, easily available online; and his various items written after the completion of the Connection in late 1999, on his profile on www.academia.edu. Campbell in 1776 became Overseer of the Thames Prison Hulks and so his career is one of the few that can directly join the history of the American Revolution with the general English penal history that traditionally is regarded as the origin-point of modern Australia via Britain's penal colonisation of Australia from 1788.
27 May, The Rectory, Steventon, Hampshire; William Vanderstegen stood godfather to Francis William Austen (1774-1865), younger brother of Jane Austen (1775-1817). Jane Austen's reputation generally seems still rather fractured by the unwillingness of her genealogists to wrestle with some "new facts" about her family and some of her own friendships as well. (Some of these "new facts" include material uncovered by the researches of one of this website's sponsors, the London historian, Ken Cozens, who has tackled the surnames Fitzhugh and Lance as connected to Jane Austen.) Jane's aunt Philadelphia (1730-1792), was first married in India to Dr. Tysoe Saul Hancock (1710/1711-1775), EICo trader, friend of Warren Hastings, surgeon-extraordinary to the Calcutta garrison, then to Warren Hastings (1732-1818) as he was a one-time Governor of Bengal, later rather famously impeached when he returned to London, but never convicted. And what the Austen genealogists seem to find inconvenient is the question rather fudged at his impeachement: did Hastings single-handedly begin the India-China opium trade, or not?
Jane's brother, Francis William Austen, joined the Royal Navy, reached the rank of Admiral, and was buried at Wymering, Portsmouth. In the previous year (1773) Vanderstegen had sent his son, also William, to be schooled by Rev. George Austen at the Rectory; Cassandra Leigh had known Vanderstegen socially before her marriage to George Austen (1731-1805).
8The number of felons (people) transported to America by John Stewart and his various associates in the twenty five years prior to 1775 is estimated cautiously at 8,000-10,000.. In 1787, Campbell stated that, on average, 547 convicts were transported annually in the four years before John Stewart died. A lower mean is used for the 25-year-period on the assumption that efficiency increased over time. With transportation costs subsidised and convicts auctioned on arrival at, say, £12 per head, about £100,000 would have been netted (about £13 million at today's value).
9There is little mention to date of salt import into Colonial American colonies. One rare mention of John Stewart and salt import is in Farley Grubb, 'The Transatlantic Market for British Convict Labor', Journal of Economic History, Vol. 60, No. 1, March 2000., pp. 94-122. Published by Cambridge University Press. (Farley Grubb was Professor of Economics, University of Delaware; Grubb declares that 25% of British emigration to mid-Eighteenth Century America was as a convict.) www.salthistory.yolasite.com ... See the website by Professor Jeremy Greenwood giving a detailed, historical account
of salt production on the Hampshire coast. Captain (later Admiral) John Campbell (1719/1720-1790)
became a vice admiral and Governor of Newfoundland, and also naval Commander-in-Chief there; and as such he had control of one of the few naval stations that the Royal Navy maintained outside England; he circumnavigated the Earth in 1740 on Centurion with Anson, was an astronomer who "invented" the sextant, and died in 1790 when at Charles St., Berkeley Square, London. He was married but his wife's name remains unknown. But amongst his executors were his banker Thomas Coutts; and John and Alexander Pitcairn. This John Campbell possibly had a brother a Naval Commissioner? - William (born 1754?), married to Ann Pitcairn (born 1746? a sister or other relative of John's executors?. Where her brother Alexander seems to have married a daughter Elizabeth of John Stewart's junior partner, Duncan Campbell and his (Campbell's) second wife, Mary Mumford) - William, who as a Commissioner of the Navy was helpful to Duncan the convict Overseer, but it seems new information that this John had anything to do with salt, or was rewarded by the profits from any salt made near Portsea. This John was son of the Kirkbean minister Rev. John Campbell (who unfortunately has no further genealogy on the Net) and his wife Mary Michelson.
One theroy among several (though this also could be wrong) that the relevant "Stewart" genealogy proceeds from King James Stuart V (1512-1542) of Scotland) to his (natural?) son Robert (1533-1592/93), Earl of Orkney; to his son John Steward/Stuart (1574-1645/1646, born in Eday, Scotland, created first Earl Carrick) who was given rights to manufacture salt in Scotland, who was a favourite of James 6 (of Scotland), the Ist of England, who gave him rights to salt production in England; except that he had only one daughter, Margaret, who married a Scots/Kentishman, Sir Matthew Mennes (d.1648, originally named Menzies [orig. pron: Mingeees]) - thus there are unfortunate breaks in and for this Scots Stuart/Stewart lineage which finally seems to lead nevertheless to the known father of the convict contractor, John Stewart, died 1772.)
10Dougal McDougall was then captain of the convict transport Thornton for JS&C.
11Christopher Reed was then captain of the convict transport Scarsdale for JS&C whose ships typically left London with manufactured goods in addition to convicts and returned with tobacco and iron ingots.
121770: Letter, 19 July, Matthew Ridley to John Stewart, Matthew Ridley papers at Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Ridley signed off the letter naming the Stewart children and a "Miss Vanderstegen", Amelia's unmarried sister (Mary). In the MHS collection are the accounts of a salt mill at Portsmouth attributed to John Ridley, Matthew's father, husband of Frances Sherbourne, daughter of Essex Sherbourne II of Pembridge Court. Matthew Ridley's first son by his first wife Ann Richardson was named Essex Sherborne Ridley, who died in 1777 aged 12.
131785: The Duncan Campbell Letter Books, State Library, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Letter, 7 December, Duncan Campbell to Capt. James Hill. [Digital images of Duncan Campbell's letters about convicts at Langstone and suppliers in Portsmouth were given to the Portsmouth History Centre in 2019].
141788: the frigate Hornetwas adapted to provided a hospital at Langstone.
15Sherborne Stewart is referred to as Colonel Stewart in documents after his appointment as brevet Lt. Colonel on 1 January, 1800. He resigned his commission in 1809.
A little-known Captain John Stewart, probably born in Scotland, had married to Katherine Sherborne (born 1696) and also to Sarah. This Katherine Sherborne was daughter of Rev. Nicholas Sherborne/Sherburne at St Mary’s Pembridge, and Mary van Hugen van Menheir (died 1701). The fact that both Captain John (probably an army captain, not a mariner) and his son John the convict contractor had both married migrant women from across the English channel possibly indicates that these Stewarts were unpopular in England, and perhaps, even less popular in Scotland; and here, Dan Byrnes for example is unsure. By Katherine, Captain John Stewart had the convict contractor John (died 1772 and married to Amelia Vanderstegen (1726-1812); the Oporto (Portugal) wine merchant James S. (died 1772) was of the firm Croft, Stewart and Croft; and Captain Alexander Stewart (mariner of Baltimore, born 1709 and died Maryland 1768/1769 ), who married first to Sarah Bowley and Maryland and secondly to Sarah Jane Lux (1738-1817 died Baltimore).
161782: The Duncan Campbell Letter Books, Letter, 8 March, Matthew Ridley to William Vanderstegen. Ridley, already heavily indebted to William Vanderstegen, the State of Maryland and sundry Americans creditors, demanded a 25% commission on the collection of debts to SJ&C. After Ridley died at Baltimore in 1789, all debtors sued his estate. Vanderstegen was the largest creditor, with £5,000 owed him for 17 years.
171800: The National Archives, Kew, Will of Elizabeth Vanderstegen, widow, PROB11.1343.37.
181817: Museum and Library of Freemasonry, Freemasons Hall, London, Letter, 3 September, Sherborne Stewart to the Freemasonry Board of General Purposes.
191825, 6 May, 'The Fifth Report of His Majesty's Woods, Forests and Land Revenues' pp. 86-87 in UK Parliamentary Papers.
201839: The National Archives, Kew, Will of John Henry Stewart, PROB11.1908.314.
211816: The National Archives, Kew, Will of John Goodere, PROB11.1584.549.
1763: Hannah's mother, Engeltie Vanderstegen, (nee Boon) names grandson John Goodere in her Will at The National Archives, Kew, PROB11.890.152.
1758: General Evening Post, London, announces the marriage of 'Rev. [Richard] Goodere of Wanstead and Miss Vanderstegen' [Hannah, by elimination].
In general the impression arises that John Stewart had originally set up things in Maryland and that Campbell expanded the company’s trade into Virginia after he joined Stewart’s firm in 1758. But we have to turn now to the life of Matthew Ridley. Peter Dickson (UK) has also by now proved from letters by Matthew Ridley (1746-1789) that Capt. Alexander Stewart of Baltimore, Maryland, was indeed a brother of the London -based convict contractor John Stewart (died 1772), who since 1758 had had a junior partner, Duncan Campbell (1726-1803). (This Duncan Campbell is subject of Dan Byrnes’ website book The Blackheath Connection – placed on the Net by mid-2000). Some proof as it turns out is in the form of little-known letters from Matthew Ridley in America (Baltimore, Maryland) to John Stewart died 1772 in London, dated 5 June, 1771 and 17 November, 1772. Some of the issues can be captured by genealogy.
Sarah Bowley has parents still unknown but Alexander Stewart was once of Furley Hall, Baltimore, which was built by Daniel Bowley II (1745-1807), the Bowleys being a well-known mercantile family of Baltimore. Sarah Jane Lux was a daughter of the well-known and Baltimore-based convict contractor Darby Lux (c.1695-1750) and Anne Saunder/Sanders (died 1784). Sarah Jane Lux had two children; Anne Stewart (born 1758) married to US Senator Daniel Bowley Jnr. (1745-1807 the builder of Furley Hall), son of Captain Daniel Bowley (1715-1744/1745) and Elizabeth Lux (1725-1793); and John Stewart married to Catherine Hare (no information) who had about 5 children, of whom only one, Charles Augustus Stewart, had a marriage, he married Mary Anne Bloise (no further information yet).
John Stewart (died 1772) had married Amelia Vanderstegen, a daughter of London merchant/tavern keeper Henri V. (died 1754) and his wife, Engletje Boon (died 1763), Henri/Henry being son of the Amsterdam/London burgher Dirck Vanderstegen (died 1711) and Unknown.
[Journals of the House of Commons, 13 December, 1680, Vol. 9, p. 677]
But Dirck Vanderstegen (d.1711) was naturalised by 1680; - so it seems that he arrived in England some years before William III; the Vanderstegens are also supposed to have accompanied William III of Orange when he took the English throne in 1688 (The Glorious Revolution) - but it does look as though they had arrived before the Glorious Revolution!
But rather mysteriously, this John Stewart (died 1772) was connected also with salt production on the southern coast of England, a fact (discovered by Peter Dickson) which has never been discussed before because it was not known about ... re John Stewart’s convict contracting career (1758-1772 if not earlier), as a Scots-origin, London-based convict contractor.
But it is not known what kinds of salt(s) this Stewart was involved with; table salt as used in England (and by the armed forces?), or as used in American colonies or on Jamaica via the relatives or other clients of Stewart’s partner, Duncan Campbell.) Or, bulk salts as used in other areas of life; food processing (fish or beef?), or in tanneries (leather/hide industries), or other sorts of industries/factories. But it is known that Amelia Stewart by 1778 was a major supplier of the London salt market.
The son of John Stewart and Amelia V., John Henry Stewart, (died 1838 and married to Sarah Desborough [daughter of Henry Desborough died 1829 at Clapham, of the British Post Office]), seem also to have been connected with salt production.
This John Henry Stewart was brother of the spinster Sarah Amelia Stewart (died 1840) and of Colonel and Freemason Grandmaster of Hampshire, Sherbourne Stewart (no dates except he was active c.1797) who married Ann Mason (Of Portugal St., Grosvenor Square, London.) As a Masonic grandmaster, Stewart was preceded by the noted Mason Thomas Dunckerley (1724-1795 and said to be an illegitimate son of George II by Ms Dunckerley) and succeeded by Sir William Champion de Crespigny (1765-1829), second Baronet.
Now, Duncan Campbell’s own Letterbooks make it look as though when Campbell had first despatched Matthew Ridley in 1770 from England to Maryland to act as agent for JS&C, that Ridley was an independent discovery by Campbell and not any relative of the Stewarts. The facts are quite different. Ridley was related to the Stewarts. This means that when John Stewart had died in 1772, anything that Ridley did (evidently for Campbell or for Stewart’s widow Amelia Vanderstegen) was also in Ridley’s own interests, and less so in Campbell’s interests. This is all new information, and has not, as far as we know, been in the possession of US historians writing about Ridley as an American sympathizer and a minor diplomat of the American Revolution. (See for example, Herbert E. Klingelhofer, 'Matthew Ridley's Diary during the Peace Negotiations of 1782', William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, Vol. 20, January 1963., pp. 95-133.)
There are other implications of Ridley’s role vis-a-vis these Stewarts. The full facts of Campbell’s relationship to the Stewarts (and/or to Ridley) have not been known to historians interested in convict transportation 1718-1775. We find also that US, UK and Australian historians have NOT tended to see the convict contractors to North America through the lenses of genealogy, as the case of “JS&C” now indicates would be highly appropriate.
The situation was that the major convict contractors operating between London and the North American colonies – such as Andrew Reid – and quite legally - could and did sub-contract some of their convict contracting activities to interested parties – such as John Stewart. Stewart, and/or JS&C, in turn incurred debts with a wide range of colonial names of Maryland or Virginia because of their sales of convict servants to interested parties in colonial Virginia and Maryland, also because of their backloading of American tobaccoes.
(One customer of JS&C [for a convict servant gardener]) was none other than the wealthy Virginian, George Washington, who owned the plantation Mount Vernon. The convict-gardener was, rather ironically, named Freeman.)
There are particularly to be noted, the names of American debt collectors. All these people existed and they need to be explained. US historians then, in particular, seem destined to jettison any tendencies to Triumphalist (Revolutionary) History and to adopt, perhaps, a view that convict transportation could also usefully be seen as a variety of Anglo-American maritime history.
Dan Byrnes (as at May 2019).
Andrew Reid: There is a will for one Andrew Reid who died in Charleston, South Carolina in early 1782 while it was still in British hands. (It was perhaps Reid who helped forge the original link between convict contracting and salt production, as it was Reid who gave or sold such rights to John Stewart.) Reid clearly had property in Britain (unspecified) but there was an inventory of his British assets in 1784. This, too, is in the archives but not accessible remotely at present - which is frustrating …). He names a son, James, under 21 but no other relations or connections; where this James may have ended up, who knows?
The will of Reid’s partner in buying saltings around Portsmouth, Vice-Admiral John Campbell [d.1791] is interesting. His wife had clearly died so is not mentioned by name, but they appear to have adopted a girl who took the surname Campbell. However, he appointed two of the same executors as Duncan Campbell - Dr David Pitcairn and his brother William, so he clearly moved in the same circles.
The following (as researched 2017-2019 by Peter Dickson) consigned tobacco to Duncan Campbell on current account
[From Duncan Campbell Business Letters, Vol. 1, 1772-1775, p. 555]
Gavin Lawson, Falmouth, Rappahannock River
Burgess Ball, Lancaster County
Moore Fauntleroy, Rapphannock River
Austin Brockenbrough, Near Leedstown
Coll. Francis Thornton, Stafford County
Williamson Ball, Rappahannock River
Hon'ble John Page, Virginia
Rodham Kenner, Northumberland County
Peter Presley Thornton, Northumberland County
William Fitzhugh, Somersett
John Cook, Gloucester County
Coll. Wm Brockenbrough, Richmond County
Wim. Fitzhugh Marmion, Stafford County
John Corrie, Rappahannock
Richard Lee, Naval Office, Potowmack
Baynham & New, Caroline County
Benjamin Grimes Jnr., Caroline County
Charles Grimes, Caroline County
Mrs Charlotte Thornton, Northumberland County
Hon'ble John Tayloe, Virginia
Clement Pittman, Mount Carmel, Essex County
Coll. Henry Fitzhugh, Stafford County
Coll. William Fitzhugh, Stafford County
William Edmonson, Hobbs Hole, Essex County
John Reynolds, Hobbs Hole, Essex County
William Champ, King George County
Burgess Smith, Lancaster County
[From Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, Business Letters, Vol. 1, 1772-1775, pp. 45-385]
Major Henry Ridgley, Mrs Rachel Ridgley, Aron (Aaron?) Gartrell, Joseph Whyte, James Riggs, Robert Ryan, Adam Shipley, Richard Stringer, William Sydebotham, Peter Jeves, Edward Hewit, Alexander Melvell, Jonathan Molyneux, Michael Dorsey, Charles Worthington, James Dell, Robert Marshall, John Musgrove, Samuel Owings, Sarah Gartrell, Aaron Gartrell, William Byall, Thomas Dorsey, Lux & Bowley, Richard Hull.
Debtors named by Lawrence Berry, 1805-1819
Debtor Defendant / Rep. Outcome Burgess Ball (dec.) Sampson Ball Kentucky land assigned to John Rose, 1794; land sold 1813 Henry Fitzhugh (dec.) Attorneys Judgement 1806 principal & interest. John Page (Est. of) William B Page per Thomas Swann (Atty.) Compromise agreed – cash payment + purchase of remaining debt John Tayloe (Est. of) John Tayloe III Payment by instalments Sampson Matthews
Assigned Kentucky & Ohio land to Lawrence Berry George Matthews Geo. Matthews Jnr ditto Samuel Love Charles Love (executor) Unknown (but estate sold in 1803 Andrew Leitch (dec.)
Land assigned to John Rose (1794) Hugh Stuart Alex. Stuart Payment by instalments & debtors due assigned to Rose Thompson Mason(d. 1785) John T Mason (son) Debt to Hugh Stuart assigned to John Rose. Paid in full by J T Mason in 1813, balance completed by Judge Archibald Stuart Spence Monroe (dec.) Joseph Jones (exor.) Payment by instalments Alex. Stuart/G. Lawson (dec)
Land taken in Bodetourt Co. sold in 1817 Richard Philip Judgement for full amount of principal & interest Richard Green Ditto Moses Green Ditto Jonathan Green Ditto Philip Peed Unnamed executor Ditto William Thurston (dec.) Ditto Alex. Spotswood Final resolution due in 1819
The following who appeared in the 1775 list of Thomas Hodge are recorded in Fredericksburg court case from 1796
Debtor Defendant / Rep. Outcome
John Cook (dec.), John C. Cook Judgement for full amount of principal & interest; William Pollock, Ditto; William Thurston (dec); Nicholas Talliaferro; Talliaferro as administrator; Job Shedrick (dec); Arculus Hawkins; Hawkins as administrator; David Blair; William Blythe (dec); Joshua Mc Williams
J. Mc Williams as son-in-law.
Ridley's letters from Baltimore June 1770 to June 1771 are exclusively about JS&C business – including financial affairs of the late Captain Alexander Stewart.
Most significant are two letters of June 5, 1771; one is to Campbell in London, the other a private letter to Stewart at Portsea, both on the same subject – the future of the agency in Maryland.
To both Campbell writes that William Russell is resigning to concentrate on his West India business and to expand into others. He therefore puts himself forward as the replacement, although he suggests that Russell should be employed as necessary on older matters that he is more familiar with. To both he asks for a line of personal credit to be used in any promising commercial opportunities that might arise. He then diverges.
To Stewart he adds that he and Russell are to become business partners in a potentially profitable rum store at Elk Ridge; he undertakes not to deal in cargoes to the West Indies, nor dry goods - “bad trade”, in his words.
There are no more letters until October 1772 when he [Ridley] returns to the Chesapeake (after several months at home, in England) as Duncan Campbell's agent. He has credit for a private account with Campbell to which proceeds of his personal business are supposed to be paid and he also has, as we now know, the £5,000 loan from William Vanderstegen.
The undertakings made to Stewart were only words – Ridley tried to trade in dry goods with merchants in Cadiz, Barcelona and Oporto. He also dealt in dry goods with the West Indies (Kingston, Jamaica.) On the subject of rum, he dives straight in and orders a vast quantity from a company in Barbados. It cannot be fulfilled at the price he expects so he tries another merchant but is surprised at the amount of the invoice.
The trade in dry goods, mostly flour and "indian corn", also does not come up to expectation. In 1775, he wrote only half the number of letters [that he usually wrote] to DC. His own affairs abroad become more distracting and frustrating. His partnership with Russell had expanded with the addition of Daniel Bowley and William Lux.
The list of of Ridley's correspondents abroad includes:
Messrs. Bewickes, Timmerman & Romero – Cadiz
Messrs. Philip Lytcote & Co. - Barbados
Messrs. Ford, Curtoys & Co. - Barcelona
William Potts – Barbados
Wallace, Davidson & Johnson – London
Daniel Major – Kingston, Jamaica
Mr. Cadwallader Morris – Kingston, Jamaica
Messrs. Nash & Hitchcock – Figuera, Spain
Messrs. Stafford, Cooper & Co/ - Oporto, Portugal
On Duncan Campbell business there are Ridley letters to the usual: Thomas Hodge; Somervell & Gordon; Hugh Lennox; John Campbell Saltspring; Francis Somervell. Returning to London in December 1775, Ridley is most put out by Campbell's “imputation” that he has put more time effort towards his own interests than to the business for which he was agent. He writes of his grievance over this to William Russell and to Mark Pringle (who has been mentioned in letters to others but who seems to have been something of a "gopher" - and as merchant seems untraceable). To Pringle he writes that the time spent on Campbell's affairs has effectively cost him money! The other complaint that Campbell makes is that Ridley has left financial papers with Russell instead of giving them to Thomas Hodge (of Leedstown, Virginia), as he had been instructed.
1822, Bengal Merchant owned by Notknown. 1822, Castle Forbes, probably owned by Gibbon and Co. 1829: Princess Royal (carrying Smith’s ancestor Susannah Watson, owned by Notknown). 1832, the John owned by Notnown. 1841. Layton, owned by Notknown. 1842, HMS Tortoise, a naval ship. In 1843 Duchess of Northumberland (1) owned by Notknown. 1849, Hashemy, owned by Notknown. 1850 Scindian owned by Notknown, p. 274. 1850, Emma Eugenia, maybe owned by Somes, p. 290. 1852, Fairlee, owned by Notknown. 1852, Earl Grey, maybe owned by Dunbar. 1852-53: St Vincent to Hobart, owned by Notknown. 1853, Robert Small to Fremantle from Ireland, owned by Notknown. 1853, Phoebe Dunbar from Ireland to Fremantle, owned by Dunbar. 1863: Lord Dalhousie to Western Australia owned by Notknown. 1866 Belgravia, owned by Somes. 1868, Houguoumont (the last convict ship for Western Australia) was owned by J. H. Luscombe. (This ship’s name [Hougoumont] is a minor reference to the Battle of Waterloo of 1815.)
Smith also mentions a ship Kinnear which was probably owned by Ellice and Kinnear and (John) Pirie (who was a Lord Mayor of London, and a convict contractor, his name is memorialized by Port Pirie in SA), who (minus the name Pirie) were … Russell Ellice (1799-1873) (See his own wikipedia page.) He once wrote 49 letters to Sir Charles Wood. He was an MP of Grosvenor Square, London, and a banker with such names as Abraham Wildey Robarts. He was a chairman of the EICo in 1853 and a director from 1831 till his death.
Ellice Kinnear and Co. of London used to buy Australian wool, selling it to such as W. C. Botts. There is a London newspaper notice of a dissolving of a partnership, trading as Ellice Kinnear and Co, 27 March, 1844, of Russell Ellice, George Kinnear (convict contractor), George Forsyth, William Ellice and Robert Ellice of Leadenhall Street. He was also an early director of British American Land Co., a director of the first New Zealand Company, and a Governor of North American Colonial Association of Ireland.
His brother born in Canada, Edward “Bear” Ellice (1781-1863), MP for Coventry, is probably the one who in 1857 spoke to a Parliamentary select committee on the Hudson's Bay Co. of Canada. He was also a brother of General Robert Ellice. He was married to the widow (Keppel) of the first Earl of Leicester, Thomas William Coke (1754-1842) of Norfolk. There had been a prior firm in the Canadian fur trade, Phyn, Ellice and Co. working with the Hudson's Bay Co., with which these Ellices seem to have been connected He may have been a contractor for Britain’s Napoleonic wars, using Canadian wood for goods sold to the military. He was a brother-in-law of Charles Grey, second Earl2 Grey, (as in Christie, non-elite MPs, p. 187.) 14 He was son of MP Edward Ellice whose father had been in the Canada fur trade (as in Christie, non-elite MPs, p. 13.) He is on the list of the 1825 directors of the Canada Co. 15
A partner with the Ellices, George Kinnear (1793 Scotland-1888), was married to Elizabeth Notknown (d. 1886), seemingly was of 14 Catherine Road, Surbiton. He is confusing as he was evidently not the Edinburgh banker of the same name. He had a nephew, a London lamp merchant of 138 Regent Street, Westminster, named Hugh Donald Barclay, who became his executor, so presumably his sister had married a Mr. Barclay? (Kinnear’s own entry in the website on Legacies of British slave ownership, re a Grenada property and one in Honduras. He was late of 14 Catherine Road Surbiton. He seems to have been the George Kinnear who was a ship owner and ships chandler. One of his addresses seems to have been 45 Shaft Alley of 1842 re the convict transport Kinnear (from TheShipsList website on Vessels Carrying Convicts From Great Britain, 1839-1846.) There is a London newspaper notice of the dissolving of a partnership, trading as Ellice Kinnear and Co., 27 March 1844, of Russell Ellice, George Kinnear, George Forsyth, William Ellice and Robert Ellice of Leadenhall Street. There was once a London merchant George Kinnear of Cornhill, London, re a link to the Manor of Teddington; it is not known if this was the same man. And if the ship Ocean was the Ocean II of 1818, she seems to have been owned by Attys, who were a firm ostensibly ranged around a man with a coastal shipping business, James Atty sometime of Whitby.
New data arose in 2017 from Burke's Landed Gentry, on Atty of Rugby/Attye of Ingon Grange. One online forum suggests one read Stephen Baines, Captain Cook's Merchant Ships, p. 247 . . . James Atty, who possibly founded a family fortune, owned a ship Content which in the early 1780s was under Commodore Johnston attempting to seize Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch. His Will is found online, PROB 11/1580/112. There were also of Whitby; James Atty Snr, George Atty, James Jnr and Capt Wm Atty.
We find . . . that Arthur Oates Wilkinson was a merchant and insurance broker with partner James Wilkinson till they dissolved in 31 Dec 1817. Re Atty at Whitby married to Holt. Listed in Bateson's index. A website notes the Indefatigable, having embarked 200 prisoners, sailed from London on 4 June in company with the Minstrel, bound for New South Wales and making her second voyage as a convict ship. (See Bateson’s index.) The Indefatigable was built at Whitby in 1799 by Ing. Eskdale as a first-class ship of 549 tons, to be owned by the well-known shipping firm of James Atty & Co. A website notes that in 1812, James Atty and Arthur Oates Wilkinson (of 22 Threadneedle St.) took contracts for Indefatigable Capt John Cross and Minstrel Captain John Reed. (1812, Vessel: Indefatigable - Transport Ship, Date: 6/8 Dec, Master: J Cross, Owner: Jas Atty & Co, Tons: 549, Guns: 14, Men: 45, Wence & Wither: London, Rio, Hobart Town - Canton, England, Cargo: 199 male prisoners: landed at Derwent - Hobart Town.)
It will be clear then that Smith has made no effort at all to research the ownerships of the convict ships that she does mention, while clearly too, so torn is the information in this context. But CC&K were as above … Mangles were such as of the firm F. & C. Mangles, an East India Co. family which produced Ellen Mangles (1807-1874) the wife of the first governor of Western Australia, Sir James Stirling (1791-1865). Ellen was a daughter of James Mangles, (died 1837-1838), MP for Guildford, a ships chandler, East India Co director and part of F. & C. Mangles. Bell and Wilkinson were William Wilkinson (no info); and John Robertson Bell (married to Mary Ann Tebbutt), a friend of the Hazlitts, ship and insurance broker, dealer and chapman, bankrupt (as in London Gazette) and partner with William Wilkinson of Old Broad Street, as ship insurance brokers.
Somes was (probably) either Joseph Somes (1787-1845) or his brother Samuel Francis Somes (1786-1829) . .. Both were sons of a Wapping and Mile End coal merchant, Samuel Somes, who was married to Sarah Green. (It is not known if she was related to the brothers Henry, Frederick or Richard Green (1803-1863), of the Thames-side shipowner family.) These Somes brothers owned other convict ships including Joseph Somes and had a long career as a convict contractor active from 1818. The Somes and Co. addresses were at either of Broad Street, Ratcliff London, of Stepney, Midx., or of 16 St Helens Place.
We find from the Internet that the funeral of Joseph Somes, Esq., MP, was at Stepney Church, 2 July, 1845. The Somes were native Eastenders; Joseph’s father Samuel was a Wapping coal merchant, probably a barge-owner. Joseph was baptised at the relatively new Hawksmoor church of St George in the East, in 1787, and married at the age of 24 to Mary Ann Daplyn, the daughter of a Mile End carpenter. The young Joseph progressed from waterman through lighterman and ship’s chandler to shipowner, and in the 1830s he shrewdly bought many of the ships of the East India Company - which in 1833 had been deprived of its trading functions - earning him the title of the largest shipowner in Britain. His objective was to join the booming trade in transporting people to the Antipodes, whether voluntarily as migrants or involuntarily as convicts, as many genealogy websites from Australia and New Zealand will attest.
Gibbon and Co. were (probably) a Scottish-London family firm answering to Robert Gibbon (1738-1821) maybe of 11 Virginia Street, Aberdeen in Scotland, a firm which was maybe bankrupt by 1825. John Morley was a convict contractor evidently with three sons but there is little on him online. (But see an article online, W. N. Calkins, 'A Victorian Free Trade Lobby', mentioning that in 1848 was the establishment of "the most persistent and single-minded free trade lobby England [had] known", including members John and Samuel Morley, George Otto Trevelyan, Sir Charles Dilke, A. J. Mundella, W. B. Ritchie and Henry Labouchere.
Duncan Dunbar II was too well-known to be re-analysed here. He has the reputation of causing the first dip for the London stock exchange due to a personal event – as it happened, his death. Duncan Dunbar I (1764-1825) had made a fortune in Jamaica with Robert Milligan. He then moved to Poplar in London and became a wine and spirit merchant, also a brewer. Maybe at 21 Fore Street, Limehouse. His son Duncan II (who never married) was trained in the family business and ended very wealthy; he died in 1862 aged about 58 and nieces and nephews inherited his money. Duncan II sold the pale ale he brewed in New South Wales and British-India, transported convicts and also troops for government (he transported troops for the Crimean War). Duncan II had got into shipbroking and coaling, and built his own ships in Calcutta, India, as he admired Indian-built ships. He became very influential in London business circles and about 1848 was the chairman of London’s General Shipowner’s Society. He was possibly a member of the Blackheath Golf Club in London and in the Australian colonies was one of the New South Wales and Van Diemens Land Commercial Society. Duncan II’s Sydney agents were Campbell and Co., who were James Norton Smith and Alexander Campbell.
The first PhD ever written on Australian history, Oldham’s thesis, produced by an academic at Adelaide, South Australia, was little read and not published till 1990, with a commentary by myself. Oldham made some errors re early convict ship ownership; these errors were not picked up by later historians including myself and Charles Bateson (The Convict Ships), who had published by 1959. So the problem can arguably be traced to an extended failure to vet the work of a literary pioneer. Bateson in 1959 made Oldham’s errors even worse.
For the record, the hulks system 1776-1788 was overseen by Duncan Campbell (1726-1803), an uncle-in-law of William Bligh (1754-1817), who is famous-infamous as the master of HMAV Bounty, but was subjected to mutiny; and was in January 1808 deposed as a governor of New South Wales, largely by officers and ex-officers of the New South Wales Corps.
The Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, ML A3225-3230 are held as: ML A3225, Vol. 1. of Business Letterbooks, March 1772-October 1776; ML A3226, Vol. 2 of Business Letterbooks, 13 December, 1776-21 September, 1779; ML A3227, Vol. 3 of Business Letterbooks, September 30, 1779-March 9, 1782; ML A3228, Vol. 4 of Business Letter books, March 15, 1782-April 6, 1785; ML A3229, Vol. 5 of Business Letterbooks, December 1, 1784-June 17, 1788; ML A3230, Vol. 6 of Business Letterbooks, June 20, 1788-December 31, 1794. Some ML Blighiana is also relevant to Campbell. The breaks of dates which are noted between Business Letterbooks are not in all instances covered by letters entered into Private Letterbooks, ML A3231, comprising three volumes of same (of smaller volumes).
There are also the notes of William Dugald Campbell (WDC). Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, (Mitchell Library, Sydney, Australia, ML) which are held as: ML A3232, Small Notebook, "Notes of Campbell's Correspondence by WDC, Vols. A to F." 27 WDC was a great-grandson of Duncan Campbell (1726-1803) 28 And it was WDC who tracked down the 1930s location of the Duncan Campbell Letterbooks, brought them to Sydney, Australia and gave them to the historian George Mackaness. As it happened, Mackaness made disturbingly little use of the Duncan Campbell Letterbooks and by the way, no one as far as I know has ever asked any questions about these omissions. Meantime, briefly, the British convict contractors 1786-1800 are listed, on the Merchants Networks Project website … .
In mid-1989, and as an Australian, I discovered in London what I later called The Blackheath Connection, and I was both elated and disgusted. 29 Elated because the discovery was mine and had been made. Disgusted because ignorance was so widespread, that the discovery could even be made. And I mean ignorance spread across not just one country (the UK), but across two countries; three countries if you counted Ireland and Scotland. Four if you counted Australia. But how could this have happened, I wondered. The German word for it is totgeschwiegen: killed by not being mentioned. The Germans are not the only ones to apply this tactic: the USA, Great Britain (or, the United Kingdom and Australia will also use it! So, and differently, alarmingly, will Australian Aborigines! 30 Let’s hope the Australian response is not: verschlimmbesserung: an attempted improvement that ends up making a bad situation even worse.
The action began in fact (for me at least) in the Lee Historical Centre in Lewisham, London, which was a new use for the old residence of the famed 1790s London banker, Sir Francis Baring, who had once lived in Mincing Lane in London with Duncan Campbell as a neighbour. 31 It seemed that Thomas King of CC&K, alderman G. M. Macaulay, the overseer of the Thames Prison Hulks Duncan Campbell plus the Enderby whalers plus John St Barbe, all of whom except Campbell had transported convicts to early Australia – had all lived at Blackheath in Kent (only later in London) - and that no one knew about it. Worse, Bligh’s mentor had lived at Blackheath, which had been then and still was, a stockbroker belt. So money had something to do with this ignorance, I imagined.
Worse, since 1901 – the Federation of Australia – it seemed that no Australian authorities had ever toured London to identify for the interested tourist the spots that were of “convict interest”or of interest to anyone interested in convictism in Australia. It was time to start again. But I realised also that the novel I had in mind to write about all of this was now impossible – because the history was so badly done.
The British convict contractors 1800-1865 went through various phases of activity, yet we can easily see from 2020’s Australian-managed websites on convict transportation that webmasters and other researchers, many relying heavily on Bateson’s appendices, have not yet realised what the essential problem is with Bateson’s appendices. 33 Which is: that what is important for the fuller discussion of convict transportation is not the date of the landing of the convicts from a particular ship in Virginia-Maryland, or at any Australian port.
What is important is the rough date that the owner of a convict ship decided to employ her in the convict service, that is, for the Australian case, to contract her for this purpose to the British Government (usually, to the Transport Board of the Royal Navy). Whereas, many Australian webmasters still seem to be confused – and most of them, still refuse to imagine that the convict ships had specific owners.
But they might mention The Tyranny of Distance? During the Nineteenth Century, Australia’s being so distant from Britain seldom stopped a convict ship making its voyage, and distance never stopped a ship carrying a new British governor for an Australian colony. The real tyranny of distance was just the money cost of a ship-voyage home to Britain. The rest was the story of filling an often empty-seeming Australia with new, non-Aboriginal people. And this is a story which seems to have engrossed non-Aborigine Australians from 1788 – including Chinese, Jewish, Irish, Scottish, Italian s . . . and above all, even if one is part-Aborigine, it is important NOT to delve into who owned the convict ships – a viewpoint with which I was of course, already at odds with.
The typical Australian attitude to these convict ship owners (1786-1865) – to ignore them as far as possible - is tantamount to saying that any book (or listing) about Britain’s shipowners 1786-1900 would be boring – which as a maritime historian I simply refuse to believe. We need to ask then, what is wrong with Australians? Between 1786-1865, there were about 165 British shipowners transporting felons to Australia – but information can be found on only about 65 of them. In short, about 100 British shipowners have been let go missing by both Australian maritime historians and by today’s family historians of England, who both seem uncommonly lazy and uncommonly uncurious with it. One must ask: why is this?
In 2000 I uploaded to the Internet a long manuscript on convict transportation from England to North America 1718-1775 (the outbreak of the American War of Independence, otherwise known as the American Revolution) – then to Australia, 1786-1810. This (on the Net) became known as The Blackheath Connection . . . and as I later wrote, that Duncan Campbell (1726-1803), a little-known London merchant despite his long overseership of the Thames River Prison Hulks (1776-1803); and despite Australia’s long preoccupation with what might be called Penal History; Australia’s history from 1788 with Colonisation by Penal Transportation .
As Campbell aged in the 1790s and neared death, his son and co-overseer of the Thames prison hulks was John (born 1770 in London) who otherwise in the 1790s amused himself with trading to Madras, India. John Campbell was nominal hulks overseer till from the 1790s till he was replaced in 1802 by former London magistrate, Aaron Graham (1753-1818), when John’s father Duncan was by now in his 70s. (Graham ironically had defended some of the Bounty mutineers and remained as an Inspector of the hulks till 1814.)
This website book, The Blackheath Connection, completed in 1999, with up to 73 chapters (or webpages), as a website, seemed at the time to treat many issues, perhaps too many. I used to worry that it utilised overkill, as it seemed too detailed, and so on. Also, as it was overlong, I feared that it would not be usefully read. This fear was correct. The Blackheath Connection across 19 years on the Net now has been poorly read, badly read. But why? There are about 43 universities in Australia! I put many things down to a lack of curiosity on the part of researchers – to complacency. As author of The Blackheath Connection I have never had email on these issues from numbers of Australian high school students or from roomfuls of Australian university students – or their teachers or tutors. Some email but not much has been sent by post-grads. But I have had email from an Australian writer such as Thomas Kenneally, who has approvingly cited some of my online work while otherwise, Australian historians at upwards of 43 universities seem to pretend that they cannot read the Internet. By 2020 I have had nearly 20 extra years to ponder such issues. The essential problems, or at least, one essential problem, seems to be that most Australian historians, at least those writing before the 1970s, have not just written as though Australian land was terra nullius (which it was not), they have written as though shipping in The Pacific Ocean was also terra nullius (which it was not). Although, there are notable exceptions to this … One exception is David Abulafia (see below).
As to history writing, in 1977 I had reason to read Mackaness on Bligh/Duncan Campbell and Manning Clark on Campbell within the context of penal history – and they seemed not to be speaking of the same man. Why not? Mackaness had Bligh’s more benign view of a non-hulks-overseer Duncan Campbell. Clark had more the general Australian view of the hulks overseer – a more sour view. I was off-and-running then – this in fact was the point of departure for the writing of The Blackheath Connection (which went on from 1977 to late 1999, punctuated of course by my 1989 visit to London and much of non-historical writing).
About the same time in Sydney, historian George Mackaness (he had an MA) and was a Freemason (I think) - and he had the Duncan Campbell Letterbooks in his possession as they were brought to Sydney and given to Mackaness by Campbell’s great grandson, William Dugald Campbell, a mining engineer (who BTW has not been established as a Mason). I take it that Mackaness was a well-informed Mason as he once co-wrote a definitive book on Masonic history in Sydney/NSW. When Mackaness died, the Campbell Letterbooks went to Sydney’s Mitchell Library, where they languished largely unread despite being such a grand source ... Mackaness wrote books on Gov. Phillip (1931) and Bligh (1937), and in neither book uses anything useful that can be taken from the Campbell Letterbooks. (Thus, Mackaness also overlooked Campbell’s involvements 1758-1775 re the transportation of British convicts to North America; and with his 1931 book on Phillip, Mackaness also glossed the matter of the defunct Anglo-American bankers with whom, ironically, Phillip was friends with the Lanes - Lane, Son and Fraser.)
So I am down on Mackaness, to the extent that I have in the past always pulled my punches about him due to fear of legal retribution of some kind (which I did in the 1990s as The Blackheath Connection was not yet finished.) Now, this all seems to be a battle between Oldham (who was not published till 1990, with a commentary by myself), O’Brien (who was published in 1937) and Mackaness (well published by 1940), with some role for the Campbell Letterbooks - which remained unpublished and largely uncommented by Australian historians including Mackaness?. Meantime, the war years (1939-1945) were dreadful for Australian history writing, and basically, nothing happened. And so we come to the next influential book published which was 1947-1952, M. H. Ellis’ book on Gov. Macquarie, which fails to mention convict ship ownerships. (And Ellis’ book’s section on Bibliography indicates he had read Mackaness’ book on Bligh, but he does not cite Oldham. Duncan Campbell is not indexed but William Bligh is.)
So I take it that by 1947-1959, the damage had been done. Mackaness as a Sydney writer had won the debate, and thereafter we Australians began to NOT delve into who owned the convict ships. And worse, we used this as a methodology, a narrative about convict reception minus-any-thought of whom in Britain actually owned the said convict ships. By 1947 then, G. M. Ellis published V1 of his book on Macquarie; the damage (non-mention of convict ship ownership) it appears had become institutionalised.
It wasn’t long later, just 12 years, when Bateson published Version1 of The Convict Ships firstly in 1959, and tried to talk about the convict contractors, and succeeded only in mucking things up; he got both Macaulay and Curtis wrong, as they were activists for “Civic London”. (And Bateson invented, then indexed, a spurious identity, Turnbull Macaulay as well, a person who never in fact existed, and evidently Bateson had not closely enough read the appendix to Phillip’s Voyage (1789), which appendix mentions alderman Macaulay clearly enough).
Bateson or his publishers also tried to Australianise the shipping data of convict transportation by emphasising not when the ships left England, but when they landed their convicts at an Australian port, Bateson succeeded too, inadvertantly I daresay, in consolidating the American errors with this shipping history (which by 1959 via the influences of books by Mackaness involved the seeming-institutionalization of the neglect of Campbell’s career), as it also emphasizes when the ships landed convicts at an American port, not when the ships left England; and for the period 1758-1772 not regarding the decision-making of the contractors such as Campbell and his partner, John Stewart.
Thus we have the sad spectacle of the non-researching of the role of the English convict contractor. (I still think, as I have long done, that what we give culturally to “the Bounty mutiny” and to the Bligh deposition would be different if Bligh’s links to Campbell (the hulks overseer) were more widely advertised.) We reach the topic of the economy of NSW to 1823 or later.
I now think that all sorts of historians have erred by assuming that the early colony had a normal economy. Nothing useful comes of this assumption, I think; the early colony in fact had an economy that was mostly underwritten by a British Government which wanted to continue its convict colony, and that anything else which happened was quite extraneous. But this scenario has been buried in tales of colony building/nation building. With this, I think many Australian historians have conflated post-1788 with events/trends after the gold rushes, when resort to thoughts of mere convict colonies had well and truly been scotched, in both Australian colonies and Britain itself, and when the economy was not just normalized, but supercharged by gold rushes as well.
But the essential problem seems to be that researchers overlook ALL the names of the convict contractors in Britain itself who were involved in convict transportation to North America (1718-775) then to Australia 1786-1865. How does the problem work in practice? Abulafia for example seems not to have consulted or cited Atkinson, Frost, Maxworthy or indeed any Australian, except perhaps Miriam Estensen. He does not cite Beaglehole on Cook, or Oskar Spate, Introduction, ‘The European Apprehension of the Pacific’, pp. xiii-xiv, in Alan Frost, 'The Colonisation of New South Wales', pp. 85-93 in John Hardy and Alan Frost, (Eds.), European Voyaging Towards Australia. Canberra, Australian Academy of the Humanities, Occasional Paper No. 9, 1990. (Or see also, Oskar H. K. Spate, The Spanish Lake. Vol. 1 of The Pacific Since Magellan. Canberra, Australian National University Press. 1979-1988. [Vol. 2, Monopolists and Freebooters; Vol. 3, Paradise Found and Lost]).
Abulafia in short has entirely ignored most Australian historians, including (those researching/writing from the 1960s if not the 1950s) A. G. L. Shaw, Manning Clark (his synoptic-view books of Australian history in which he rarley names a convict shipowner ), Geoffrey Blainey, K. M. Dallas, and Ged Martin’s anthology. Abulafia in his acknowledgments section cites an interesting lot of people, mostly scholars at Cambridge University, UK. Athough he does cite other British scholars, including one scholar who has written on early Australia, Prof. Roger Knight, who years ago enjoyed a career at National Maritime Museum, London. 42
See also Ged Martin, (Ed.), The Founding of Australia: The Argument about Australia’s Origins. Sydney, Hale and Iremonger, 1978. I’m very sorry to say it, but re-reading this anthology’s content is like watching the Australians (most of the contributors are Australian) try to write (mostly re the First Fleet) on the politics of London-Sydney convict transportation without properly inspecting a single convict ship and without inspecting any of the shipowners involved – a mostly pointless exercise. As we would find if we read some of the titles cited in Ged Martin’s book . . .
K. M. Dallas, Trading Posts or Penal Colonies: The Commercial Significance of Cook’s New Holland Route to the Pacific. Hobart, Fuller’s Bookshop, 1969.
K. M. Dallas, ‘The first settlements in Australia: considered in relation to sea-power in world politics’, pp. 39-49 in Ged Martin, (Ed.), The Founding of Australia: The Argument about Australia’s Origins. Sydney, Hale and Iremonger, 1978.
Geoffrey Blainey, The Tyranny of Distance: How Distance Shaped Australia’s History. Melbourne, Sun Books, 1966.
For what has been left out of the discussion (as with Ged Martin’s anthology of articles on the topics) is the role of civic London. It is with ignoring the views of “civic London” that the roles of the London aldermen, Macaulay and Curtis, especially, have been overlooked, as earlier mentioned. ::::::::::::::::::::::::
Therefore, one must also object greatly to the book: Stephen Gapps, The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817. Newsouth/University of NSW, 2018. Gapps downplays maritime history by noting the arrival of the First Fleet in less than a paragraph! One had better then, say exactly what happened to the post-Cook Australia that Australian Aborigines and their friends seem unable to look at. Gapps’ book here must be objected to, if and where he devotes as little as a paragraph to the arrival of the First Fleet, when the tribulations of Australia’s Aborigines began, about sixteen years after Cook’s first “revelations” about Australia and New Zealand were revealed to a mostly uncaring Northern Hemisphere. (I follow Abulafia’s chapters here about Australia and Cook, and especially I recommend Abulafia pp. 743, and see his book index variously.) Gapps may well be correct about unfortunate events such as Gov. Macquarie’s “pacifications” of the Sydney area’s Aborigines, or any undeclared guerilla war that went on between white and black, but he has no right to get wrong, or to underplay, the related maritime history.
While the Second Fleet is very early in the history of convict transportation to Australia.
The problems involved must also be seen as subtle, for they are rarely if ever noticed and observation of them have eluded those who wish to use Blainey’s famous book in 1996, Tyranny of Distance, and they also eluded Clark with his two papers, and then his series of books. Alan Moorehead (The Fatal Impact, 1966-1969-1987) did not have the full facts, nor did his protege, Robert Hughes, (The Fatal Shore, published in 1987-1988) – the bicentennial year thereby was marked by a huge error in history! (Moorehead died in 1983.) It is all a matter of record by now, so we should refrain from complaining about these mistakes and get on with fixing the damage. Australian historians do not seem to excoriate errors made in this regard, which seems to be the reason that Hughes got off so lightly in 1788 when he first published The Fatal Shore with such a fatal mistake, because by now, Australian historians neither know nor care what the real facts are regarding the ownership of the convict vessels.
The problem had earlier eluded Shaw and his book, Convicts and the Colonies. But a potted version of the actual history of the convict contractors cannot possibly be given here, including for reasons of lack of space. It is too complex, too convoluted, and provides too-intimate a set of glimpses into the Britain which produced the convicts sent to Australia.
This Australian story will have then to go on - and on and on and on, till it is all gotten right. It will, I predict, take generations to get it right. There are in Australia, both white and black activists and their views will have to be considered. Also part of the action will be the views of British historians, to a lesser extent, the views of US historians. Plus the views of historians of the Pacific generally; and to an extent, the views of historians who wish for any reason to compare the histories of the Pacific versus that of the Atlantic.
The alternative is the nonsense which Australians both black and white have subjected themselves to for generations, the nonsense of today. The belief that today’s tribulations of Australia’s Aborigines, and their descendants, quite widespead with Australia’s present-day Aboriginals, is traceable to “Captain Cook” is contradicted by a BBC Headlines journalistic website story of 20-4-2020. :::::::::::::::::
But are there any correctives to these problems? Yes, although problem solving is still so to speak, embryonic. The following articles will be helpful ...
Dan Byrnes, ‘A Bitter Pill: An assessment of the significance of the meeting between Thomas Jefferson and Duncan Campbell of the British Creditors in London, 23 April, 1786’. Unpublished. Armidale, NSW, Australia, November 1994. (Available online.)
Dan Byrnes, '"Emptying The Hulks": Duncan Campbell and the First Three Fleets to Australia’, The Push From The Bush: A Bulletin of Social History, No. 24, April, 1987., pp. 2-23.
Dan Byrnes, 'Outlooks for the English South Whale Fishery, 1782-1800, and the "great Botany Bay debate"', The Great Circle, Vol. 10, No. 2, October 1988., pp. 79-102.
Dan Byrnes, 'The Blackheath Connection: London Local History and the Settlement at New South Wales, 1786-1806', The Push, A Journal of Early Australian Social History, No. 28, 1990., pp. 50-98. Gary L. Sturgess, ‘Guillaume Richard/William Richards: A Huguenot Back Story to Australia’s First Fleet’, Huguenot Times: The Newsletter of the Huguenot Society of Australia, No. 32, Spring (November), 2018., pp. 1-4. Gary L. Sturgess and Ken Cozens, 'Managing a Global Enterprise in the Eighteenth Century: Anthony Calvert of The Crescent, London, 1777-1808', The Mariner's Mirror, 99:2, May 2013., pp. 171-195. Gary L. Sturgess, ‘Arthur Phillip: Commodore of the Fleet’, Sydney Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2015, pp. 20-38. Gary L. Sturgess, Sara Rahman and George Argyrous, ‘Convict Transportation to New South Wales, 1787-1848: Mortality Rates Reconsidered’, Australian Economic History Review, Vol. 58, No. 1, March 2018.. pp. 62-86.
Part of what
Phases set in for the institution of convict transportation. To 1800-1810, convict transportation remained in the hands of loners-with-good-connections, including Robert Charnock (died 1803, who had married a daughter (Elizabeth) of the Scottish (and pro-British) financier of Hamburg, John Parish.
Between 1800-1830, the convict-contracting scene became complicated as it was dominated either by men who were dedicated to what became The Australia Trade (dominated by wool, and by Britishers such as convict contractor and businessman Robert Brooks). Or, to East India-type companies. From 1815, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, appeared the mysterious Joseph Lachlan, who became a London-based “bulk contract taker” for British shipowners (including some from outports) interested in letting ships for convict transportation. Lachlan’s career muddies the waters of the next phase, which was rather confused also by a dire depression in the 1840s, and by some convict contractors who got out of the business to work with freight or free passengers to Australasia … From after the gold rushes period to when convict transportation to Western Australia was ended, the mid-1860s, convict transportation fell into the hands of men who were bigger players in the London shipping world, such as Duncan Dunbar II, basically, the only men left to be interested. But after convict transportation was ended to Western Australia, it continued to Gibraltar or Bermuda for the English-speaking world – while British-India made its own arrangements.
(Ends) By Dan Byrnes (March-September 2020)
(And see, for example, Daniel Joseph Foley (Menzies Centre, London), The British Government Decision to found a colony at Botany Bay New South Wales in 1786. April 2004 PhD thesis. King's College, London. At: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/.
An Addenda on John Stewart (died 1772) and on the destruction of the British convict service to Virginia and Maryland
On London convict contractor John Stewart, christened in 1755 in active. He died in Feb 1772 in London. He probably sold salt to the British Navy. On the brig Nancy Capt David Stewart in 1757. (See Willow Mary Meyer, Beyond the Seas: Eighteenth-Century Convict Transportation and the Widening Net of Penal Sanctions. PhD Thesis, University of California, Berkely, 2011. She nears the mark re the merchants/convict contractors but soon gets lost in citations.) JS&C used in America an agent Thomas Hodge who in turn used Archibald Ritchie (d.1784) who was complained about by Landon Carter as Ritchie had refused him credit; William Allanson wrote to Archibald Campbell in 1764; Forward was the official London and Home Counties convict contractor 1718-1739. Andrew Reid about 1742 was a partner with London merchant. Henry Kennon? Reid was a link to Andrew Reid by 1848, and he early used the ship Tryal under Reid and the experienced Capt John Johnson. (See also re John Stewart of Black Raven Court, Seething Lane London to 1772, and Kellock's article, p. 119. See Greene, Carter Diary, Vol. 1, pp. 79ff, in 1752; Landon Carter re a Bill to make masters or owners of convicts liable for costs of attending any prosecution for felony brought against such convicts, Mr Woodbridge surprises by agreeing that convicts make good servants. Carter had tried to look over the legislation and reasons for transportation, etc. John Stewart the partner later of Duncan Campbell, was possibly linked to the merchants Dick and Stewart in the North American colonies. Note that in 1774, one John Stewart shipped small tobacco to unidentified companies, from the Upper James (See Thomson, 'Upper James River', p. 405. See also, Jack P. Greene, The Diary of Landon Carter of Sabine Hall. Vols 1&2. Virginia Historical Society/University Virginia Press. 1965. Also, Arthur P. Middleton, Tobacco Coast. Newport. 1953., p. 151; citing also Glenn C. Smith, 'The affair of the Pistole Fee, Virginia, 1752-1755, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, XLVII, 1940. Also Jack P. Greene, (Ed), The case of the Pistole Fee: the report of a Hearing on The Pistole Fee dispute before the Privy Council, June 18, 1754, ibid, LXVI, 1958., pp. 399-422. [James] Dick and [Anthony] Stewart in Annapolis had a London correspondent, John Buchanan, a senior partner with John Buchanan and Son. This James Dick was a son-in-law of Anthony Stewart. See also, Anthony Vaver, Bound with an Iron Chain: The Untold Story of How the British Transported 50,000 Convicts to Colonial America [Paperback nd] 2019. On the case of the ship Peggy Stewart see a 2015 item online, Michael Adelberg, 'Long in the Hand and Altogether Fruitless, The Pennsylvania Salt Works and Salt-Making on the New Jersey Shore during the American Revolution', in Pennsylvania History, 80, 2013, 215-242. And Larry G. Bowman, 'The Scarcity of Salt in Virginia during the American Revolution', Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 77, No. 4, Oct. 1969., pp. 464-472, available via jstor.
By Dan Byrnes (Australia) with Peter Dickson (UK) and with assistance from Michael Longmire of Virginia, USA.
Some Anglo-American names of intest , 1720s-1811
as though to strengthen the point, in 1783-1784 with the failed ventures in convict transportation of the Manxman, George Moore.
British convict contractor John Stewart ... new work by Michael Longmire of Virginia, USA on his convict ancestor, William Longmire (who was transported c.1726), and Peter Dickson, of Surrey in the UK, who has revisited The Duncan Campbell Letterbooks and found out much that is new – :::::::::::::::::::
The American colonial and post-colonial descendants of George Longmire (married to Anne), who was probably a resident of London, England included … 3 LONGMIRE George, LNOTKNOWN Anne … They were the parents of: a convict in Virginia, the “London hat thief” LONGMIRE William- (b.1704-St Andrews Holborn; d.1748) who probably in Virginia married a German servant girl for some Longmire neighbours, the planters Taliaferro, Susanna, from Germany. (Taliaferro is pron: “Tulliver”.) Their son, George LONGMIRE (b.1736 in Virginia, died 1785 in -SC) married GARRETT Frances Caroline. 4. LONGMIRE Frances, sp: Rev THOMPSON David (b.1758-Orange Co Va;d.1840-Miss. 5. Colonel THOMPSON John Longmire. 4. Rev War Dragoon LONGMIRE William L. (b.1760). Sp: GOODE Emeline Anne (b.1767; d.1832). 5. LONGMIRE Catherine. Sp: Of Sth Carolina HUFF Holloway. 6. HUFF William Longmire (b.1812; d.1879) 6. HUFF Madeline 6. HUFF Holloway II (b.1817) 5. LONGMIRE Frances (b.1788;d.1832) sp: HUFF Daniel (b.1784;d.1863). 6. HUFF R. L. 5. LONGMIRE George (b.1787). 5. LONGMIRE William. 5. LONGMIRE Robert. 5. LONGMIRE Margaret (b.1786;d.1843). 5. LONGMIRE Miss. 4. Deacon at Bethany Baptist Church LONGMIRE John. 4. LONGMIRE Garrett E. Snr. (b. 1767; d.1847). sp: BELCHER Henrietta Mariah (b. 1773; d.1850). 5. LONGMIRE Garret E. Jnr 4. LONGMIRE Susan (b.1765;d.1839-Madison Co Alabama), sp: Major militia Rev SANDIDGE John Shelton (b.1762-St George's Parish Spotsylvania; m.1788; d.1860). 5. SANDIDGE Garrett Longmire (b.1791-Va;d.1871-La). sp: SMITH Frances Susan (b.1792; d.1852). 5. Died young SANDIDGE John Shelton II (b.1793) 5. SANDIDGE Rhoda Longmire (b.1794; d.1870-Alabama) sp: CHANDLER John III (b.1789;d.1861). 6. CHANDLER Nancy 6. CHANDLER Garrett Sandridge (b.1814;d.1900) sp: STAPLER Sarah Ann (b.1816;d.1898) 7. CHANDLER Matilda Ann. 3. LONGMIRE William Jnr (b.1743;d.1818) sp: ATKINSON Emeline (b.1797) 4. LONGMIRE David Houston (b.1834; d.1894) sp: LNOTKNOWN Miss 5. LONGMIRE John Preston (b.1889; d.1953) sp: LNOTKNOWN Miss 6. LONGMIRE Robert A. (b.1927), sp: BRITT Hannah (b.1749;d.1811) 4. LONGMIRE William III, sp: LNOTKNOWN Miss 5. LONGMIRE Martha 3. Rev War patriot LONGMIRE Charles (b.1739-King George Co., Va; d.1799-Tennessee) sp: LNOTKNOWN Lucinda (b.1742;m.1760) 4. Of Indiana soldier in War of 1812 LONGMIRE George, (b.1786;d.1868) sp: HAYNES Sarah (d.1845-Tenn) 5. wagon train master LONGMIRE James (b.1818-Indiana;d.1897) sp wife2 TAYLOR Viranda (b.1830;m.1848; d.1912). 6. LONGMIRE John Albert (b.1852;d.1935) 6. LONGMIRE Tillatha (b.1850;d.1925) 6. LONGMIRE Melissa (b.1856; d.1914) 6. LONGMIRE William (b.1859; d.1947) 6. LONGMIRE Robert (b.1860;d.1941) 6. LONGMIRE George (b.1864;d.1931) 6. LONGMIRE James (b.1868;d.1883) 6. LONGMIRE Laura Ann (b.1855;d.1934) sp: LONGMIRE Charles (b.1848; d.1933-Wales) sp: wife1 NISLEY Susan Nizely (b.1821;m.1843; d.1847) 6. LONGMIRE David (b.1844-Attica Indiana;d.1925) sp: Widow wife2 TREAT Elizabeth Lotz (b.1860;m.1890; d.1949) 7. LONGMIRE Roy Bryan (b.1896;d.1967) 6. LONGMIRE ElCaine 5. LONGMIRE Charles (b.1807;d.1863) RODERICK Katheryn Susannah (b.1824;d.1895) 6. LONGMIRE Charles (b.1848; d.1933-Wales) sp: LONGMIRE Laura Ann (b.1855; d.1934) 4. High Sheriff of Western North Carolina LONGMIRE John. 4. LONGMIRE Sarah 3. LONGMIRE Elizabeth Cabaniss (b.1741; d.1830-Kentucky) sp: CABANISS John (b.1742-Amelia Co Va; d.1820). 4. CABANISS William M. 4. CABANISS George Longmire. 2. LONGMIRE George. 2. LONGMIRE Anne. ::::::::::::::::::
Michael Longmire of Virginia USA was once reading the Memorandum Books of Thomas Jefferson for 1773. Jefferson noted a legal case for 16 Feb. and 21 April, 1773; a legal case for 500 pounds, brought by one William Longmire of Goochland, son of the convict, against Thomas Bolling of Chesterfield, Virginia. We know that in 1774, this William Longmire (died 1818) in 1774 bought land in Lunenburg County, Virginia. And that this William Longmire’s father-in-law, William Britt, had brought several legal cases against this Major Thomas Bolling (1735-1804). This William Longmire Jnr., being a son of the convict, William Longmire.
Now, we turn to an earlier time, to the London of 1725-1726. A young man named William Longmire (c.1705-1748 in Virginia), born in the area of St Andrews, Holborn, London, was son of George Longmire and Ann. Young William had siblings George and Ann (who do not figure further in this version of William’s story). Young William had a gift with calligraphy; he wrote a beautiful copperplate hand that attracted legal men and was going to save him as a convict sent to Virginia, though he did not know this in 1725. He stole a hat, it seems, perhaps from someone he knew and disliked. If so, his crime was not much more than a prank. He was sentenced to death in 1725 but from Newgate Prison he wrote a begging letter, for which he was reprieved to transportation for 14 years.
So he sailed in 1726 for Virginia as a convict on a ship named Rappahannock Merchant (Captain Charles Whale?), which was owned perhaps by a merchant of King George Country, Virginia, John King – or his son. (Or, was she owned by Jonathan Forward, a well-known English convict contractor of the day?)
It is not impossible that King’s ship (or Forward’s ship?) carried prisoners who had earlier been troublesome by way of overpowering the ship on which they were being transported, and had been recaptured. Mutiny aboard a ship was always a risk of the convict service (as it was called) and was greatly feared. Once in Virginia, William Longmire found himself employed by a county clerk (probably for King George County), Col. Thomas Turner, probably due to his (Longmire’s) wonderful handwriting, or calligraphy, which indeed made a legal document look even more splendid. Initially though we should not be too impressed by the irony of a convict long ago doing legal work in a North American colony, for there remains to the present day a controversy about which woman William married, who produced his descendants. Some researchers think that Longmire married Susanna Turner, a seamstress-minded daughter of Col. Turner, William’s employer. Another story, which cannot be substantiated, is that convict William married a woman from the family of lawyer John Marshall.
But our informant, Michael Longmire, had cast around more widely for his theories, and thinks it more likely that William married a German woman named Susannah, a servant for Mr Taliaferro, who had a plantation near the Turner house. The Turner plantation was by the Rappahanock River, and Col. Turner had married Martha, a daughter of planter Richard Taliaferro (died 1715) and his second wife Martha Wingfield, and it is plausible that “Turner’s convict” married a servant woman of Turner’s father-in-law. Today, some interested US researchers, but not all, think that her German father, a man originally from the Rhine River valley, moved to North Carolina then to Tennessee; but we do not know the facts of his life.
This German woman seems to have had tree sons; George (1736-died 1785 in South Carolina), William Jnr., and Charles (1739 in King George Country, Virginia-1799 in Tennessee), a Patriot of the American Revolution when it happened). Charles, who married Lucinda, was a Patriot 1775-1783 and moved to Tennessee before it became a state. William Jnr., a Revolutionary dragoon, had one if not two wives, it seems, the first of whom was Hannah Britt (born about 1750), daughter of a planter smaller than Taliaferro, William Britt (1725-1787), husband of Hannah Conoly who was daughter of Brian Conoly. William Longmire Jnr. at one time maintained more than 45 slaves. He moved to Nachez, Mississippi, in 1802-1805, and had descendants who become doctors.
George married Francis Caroline Garrett, the daughter of a local tobacco inspector, John III Garrett (1675 in New Kent County Va-1728). Caroline had five children. We here enter territory dangerous for the researcher, as now we need to herd a story of upward social mobility from an ironic convict, William Longmire, through society in colonial Virginia and in a context often today denied validity in today’s USA – that nameable people had a convict ancestor. But can Longmire’s descendants, or any of their friends or associates, be tied to say, any of the debtors of the London-based merchant and convict contractor named above, John Stewart (died 1772)? 6 The answer is yes, but the narrative is long. Not only do we face some research dangers, but the areas of Virginia to be mentioned are controversial for other and more geographic reasons. Some areas to be mentioned, some of which are entire counties, especially Kent County and New Kent County, may even intrude from Virginia into Maryland, and are notorious for genealogical unreliability. Some areas to be mentioned are also riverine, or coastal, and involved river jetties at which ocean-going ships could tie-up for delivery of cargoes, including humans who were passengers; indentured workers, immigrants, transported convicts, and presumably black slaves. And ships as they took up cargoes, often hogsheads of tobacco, for backloading to England and Scotland. This is the environment into which convict Longmire was pitched – possibly.
Amongst various legal work convict William did, was (1) that he helped write the Will of General George Washington’s father, Augustine, who died 1743. Colonial Virginia despite its multiplicity of counties was a small place. (2) Longmire handled sums of cash, gold, sterling, tobacco payments and settled accounts. (2a) Sometimes he signed for Turner. (3) By about 1730 he watched the prison. (4) He sat on a few juries although he owned no property, a requirement for jurors at the time.
Colonial connections grew suitably. One William Walker was an undertaker to prominent families. His brother Robert was a cabinet and furniture maker who had employees such as the sixteen–year-old later father (Spence [1727-1774]) of the fifth US President James Monroe (1758-1830/1831). Pres. Monroe’s maternal grandparents, Esther Davis and James Jones (died 1744), were friends of convict William Longmire. James Monroe the grandfather had a brother a lawyer, Joseph, who in 1759 once went to Fredericksburg to a court case to defend William Longmire’s son George in a suit brought by one William Payne (Paine.) George won, and William paid Joseph Jones various costs. Long later, in 1770-1771, George Longmire lived with John “Jack” Jouett, who once saved Thomas Jefferson from Tarleton’s forces.
Fix more here from Michael Longmire.
Now, re Gen. Banastre Tarleton and his mission to capture the "rogue" legislators of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, a main target of this escapade. Yes, George Longmire did live with the Jouetts in Louisa County (Trinity Parish) in 1770-1771. Yes, he did win a suit vs William Paine/Payne in King George County, Va in 1759 and his lawyer was Joseph Jones, uncle of President James Madison. However, the suit costs were not born by Wm Longmire - who was deceased by that time - but Mr Paine. The Paines were much intermingled with various Virginia families of note - Woodson, Fleming, and others mainly located in and around Louisa and Goochland Counties, later Albemarle, Henrico, etc.
After Gen Tarleton's failed attempt to capture Jefferson and friends - much due to the heroic actions of John Jouett - he rode back with his forces along the James River. He eventually ran across the old home place of Charles Fleming called Rock Castle. This was located more or less adjacent to Dungeness (Isham Randolph's very large plantation then in possession of his son Thomas) and the Bolling lands, and also a piece of land owned by Wm Longmire's father in law, Wm Britt (the fellow who witnessed Jane Randolph's will in 1760). I believe this is where Wm Longmire Jr lived when he got tangled up in the suit vs Thomas Bolling. But I digress. Gen Tarleton having known of the marriage of a Fleming and a Tarleton was loathe to discover a Tarleton coat of arms in the Rock Castle house and tore it down. He then set fire to the house and trotted off with his men. The house survived by the quick work of the servants in putting out the flames when the forces were at a distance. The owner of Rock Castle at the time was Tarleton Fleming - a Justice for Goochland or perhaps his brother, Col John who died in the Rev War just outside of Princeton.
Tarleton Fleming (d.1778) married Mary, daughter of William Randolph of Tuckahoe, Goochland Co. (Tuckahoe is where Thomas Jefferson received much of his early tutoring. Tarleton in 1773 drew up a deed of trust for 51 negroes to Thomas M. Randolph, George Webb, and Neill Campbell of Henrico County (agent for merchant In Scotland, George Kippen) as security for L2074.16.8 with interest from Feb 3, 1772 - said parties being his securities in a debt to George Kippen and Company. (This Kippen name we remember from the will of William Britt who mentions land purchased (and possibly slaves recorded elsewhere) of Kippen and Company. (And Mchael Longmire writes: Interestingly, Tarleton's daughter, Martha Dandridge Fleming, married one Peter Cottom of Richmond, Henrico Co. in 1817. The lady whom the convict William Longmire wrote to from prison in 1725 was a Mrs Cottum.)
And so, connections of convict William Longmire can be associated with aspects of the lives of three or more early US presidents. ::::::::::::::::::::: Some names of interest are Scott-Berry, and Hodge-Rose.
The North American and mostly Virginian names Scott, Berry, Hodge and Rose were much intermarried (see below). Which is probably why they were employed, in the first instance, by Duncan Campbell as debt collectors. Ironically, and as an overtone, many of the family names we are here treating emanate from Scotland, either in Scotland itself, in Virginia or Maryland in North America, or in England or London. Yet JS&C were anglicized Scots who traded as the British did, and so they were less hated, as traders, than the merchants based in Scotland (or the factors or agents of Scots merchant in American colonies) - who were more hated by Americans because they traded on harsher terms. The Scots merchants were regarded by the Americans as even more exploitative than the English, and to fall into excessive debt to them was regarded as anathema by the Americans. The ironic proof is with the case of that ultra-American, Thomas Jefferson, who had first fallen into the debt-clutches of the Glasgow merchant, George Kippen.
The name Rose comes from the Roses of Ballivant-Bellivant (spellings differ in different sources.) The name Hodge seems to be stand-alone, but probably comes from Scotland and intermarried in Virginia with Rose and Ashton. The name Berry comes from various parts of England including Devon.
Dickson advised, that the name Scott via Garrett via George Longmire contained some names of some descendants of the convict William Longmire. And it does seem as though Colonial Virginia was very much a land of notable elite families (some of who were Patriots of the American Revolution, though their families also produced Loyalists; some of whom produced notable Confederates during the US Civil War (1861-1865), which might also still be called in Virginia, The War for Southern Independence or The War of Northern Aggression.
The Scotts as debt collectors -
The Scott printout is based on a read-out from a genealogical database of 161 individuals and 59 marriages, and includes the following: a Colonel John Scott (born 1632) emigrated to Virginia (from Scotland?) and married Mary Bassett (1632-1643-1673/1676) a daughter of a man from Southampton (England) and/or Newport, Isle of Wight, England, William Bassett and Ann Dickenson/Dickeson. 12 They had Colonel John Scott II (1665/1672-1729) of New Kent County, Va, who married to Judith Dudley (c.1679-1734) a daughter of Ambrose William Dudley and Anne Judith Foster. They had about seven children, including Dr (MD) Samuel Mosely Scott (1708-1741) and his sister, Martha Frances (Patsy) Scott (1716-1783) who married to a tobacco inspector, John IV Garrett (1706-1784) of Stafford County, Va. They had about seven children including Frances Caroline Garrett who married a son of the convict William Longmire, George, and they had five children. While regarding the Stewart/Campbell of JS&C debt-collecting efforts, we found various interesting intermarriages: Scott/Garrett (as noted above), Ware/Dudley, Garrett/Catlett, Scott/Jordan/Rose, Jodan/Cabell, Ware/Livingston (Livingstons of Virginia, not of the New York area), Longmire/Sandidge, Rose/Madison (the family grouping of the later Pres. James Madison), Rose/Pleasants, Rose/Garland (leads to later Confederate sympathizers), and Cabell/Henry (the family grouping of the Patriot of the American Revolution, Patrick Henry (1736-1799).
The Rose/Hodge connection meanwhile, which is based on a database readout involving 224 individuals are 86 marriages, begins with the Roses of Bellivant/Ballivant in Scotland. Then it moves to Rev. Charles Rose (1713-1761) of Westmoreland County, Va., who married Katherine Brooke a daughter of Robert Brooke of Spotsylvania County, Va., and Phoebe Booth. These were the parents of Duncan Campbell’s debt collector, lawyer John Rose (d. 1802/1803, about the same time as Campbell in London); a brother of a Rose woman and a Hodge connection. There were also a connection Rose/Jordan. The Falmouth merchant Gavin Lawson (1740-1806) figures, and also the Campbell agent for sales of transported convicts, Thomas Hodge. There was also a marriage involving a Rose man and a woman named Macomb from the family grouping basing around what was sometimes known as The Macomb land syndicate. We also here found here another Campbell debt collector, Lawrence Berry Jnr., who married Elizabeth Corn Washington. There were more Rose/Madison connections, and some Lawson/Nicholas connections involving the family grouping of a Treasurer of the state of Virginia. And lastly, though we only have them sans detail, there were the final debt collector for Campbell’s estate, John Scott (no details but active as late as 1846), and a Miss Berry, unidentified but a daughter of Lawrence Berry Jnr. (These Stuarts can be seen as debtors of Thomas Hodge/Duncan Campbell.)
On convict contractor John Stewart died 1772 ... We turn now to a deeper analysis of the Stewart/Campbell debt collecting efforts via material made available by Peter Dickson (UK). To 2000, information on Stewart connections remained so sparse than to the end of the writing of The Blackheath Connection, I simply wrote nothing extra around Stewart’s demise in 1772 and got on with Campbell’s life story. By 1999, The Blackheath Connection was already a large manuscript (about 1360 pages).
But part of the story is Matthew Ridley (1746-49/1789 died at Baltimore, Maryland). Ridley as Campbell’s agent (that is, an agent for a British merchant) had found that his sympathies increasingly lay with the Americans and their desires to be rid of the shackles of domination by the British; presumably this transition of allegiances was much to Campbell’s disappointment, although Campbell’s own Letterbooks are quiet on this point. Ridley became a minor diplomat of the American War of Independence, and so is known to US historians of the American Revolution. However, for reasons that still seem complicated, Campbell’s career has until recent years been buried, and remaining inaccessible – the demise of Campbell’s partner, John Stewart, has been even less accessible.
John Stewart’s genealogy is thus. (John died in or near London in February, 1772, his brother James died in Oporto, Portugal, in November 1772.) John and James had a brother based in Maryland, America, in Baltimore, Alexander (died 1769). Alexander can be taken as John’s brother or he need not be so seen. But we do not think, as legends say, that Alexander was a military man with the army of Bonny Prince Charlie and so had to leave Scotland due to the British triumphs in Scotland (in 1745), so he went to Baltimore in Maryland. Alexander seems to have had two wives, Miss Lux (of a convict-handling family) and Sarah Bowley. Various evidence can be gathered around Alexander, who apparently captained convict transport ships.
Meantime, John Stewart of London had married Amelia Vanderstegen, daughter of London (Dutch) merchant and tavern keeper, Henry Vanderstegen (died 1754) and Engletje Boon (died 1763). Amelia was sister of Mary (Maria) (no information) and Elizabeth, who had no children but was one of the two wives of London Lord Mayor Sir Charles Asgill (1713-1778).
Amelia was also sister of William Vanderstegen (1737-1797), a High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1762. William was a Commissioner of the River Thames, 1783-1796. Intriguingly, he was also a godfather to Jane Austen’s brother Francis, who was born in 1774, later, Admiral Austen/Austin. William’s son, also a William, was a school pupil of Jane Austen’s father. William the brother of Amelia and Cassandra Leigh, the mother of Jane Austen, were evidently childhood friends.
John Stewart and Amelia Vanderstegen had two sons and one spinster daughter, Sarah Amelia Stewart (d.1840). The two sons were (probably the elder) Colonel and a Masonic grandmaster of Hampshire (from 1795), Sherborne Stewart 33and John Henry Stewart (d.1838), of Portsea, who married Sarah Desborough.
Question: Matthew Ridley was sent to Maryland in 1770 when William Russell had already been appointed agent for “Stewart & Campbell” in 1768? Why?
[Journals of the House of Commons, 13 Dec. 1680, Vol. 9, p.677] Dirck Vanderstegen (d.1711) naturalised 1680; - by which it seems that he arrived in England well before Dutch William in 1688. fix above
'My very great fortune lies dead in America' - Duncan Campbell’s financial claims on post-war Virginia, 1783-1819.
Bills from John Page were declined in 1773 when that gentleman already had £2,200 owing on bond; Henry Fitzhugh and John Tayloe were also refused further loans, and the Brockenbrough brothers were probably quite relieved that their father, William, was turned down for an advance in 1774.
In early 1775, Matthew Ridley, William Lux, Daniel Bowley and William Russell were joint joint owners of a brig, Nancy. In May, Nancy was chartered by Joshua Johnson to carry a cargo of tobacco to London. Advertised in Maryland Gazette as loading in the Potomac River that summer, it was ready to sail in August. Only it wasn't! The underwater timbers proved to be unseaworthy – so rotten that even copper sheathing was out of the question. Two hundred and seventy hogsheads of tobacco, near half of which were damaged, and eighteen tons of pig iron, were unloaded and auctioned at Baltimore in October. Salvaged parts of the ship, which by this time had sunk in the river, were also auctioned-off “at Drum Point, near Colonel William Fitzhugh's.”
In October 1775, a particular notice appeared in Virginia Gazette. About 120 “healthy servants”, convicts by any other name, were advertised for sale by Thomas Hodge at Leeds Town on the Rappahannock River. They would be indentured for the term of their sentence of transportation in Britain, usually seven years but sometimes longer. Bonds with “approved security” would be accepted by Thomas Hodge, the salaried factor in Virginia for the consigner, the London merchant/convict contractor, Duncan Campbell. All the proceeds were credited to Campbell, Hodge taking no commission. Much of the business relied on credit, as did Campbell's trade in tobacco with gentleman planters in Virginia ...
Some men, women and boys had arrived on the ship Saltspring, Captain Ogilvy. The run might have been - tobacco would have been loaded for London and lumber for Jamaica, its next destination in a round voyage. This time it departed empty, as the Virginian Assembly having already resolved that no further tobacco would be sent to Britain. She was Campbell's ship, named after the Jamaican sugar plantation belonging to his cousin and brother-in-law, John Campbell (1729-1782), who acted as his agent at Jamaica to sugar planters there.
On board this now-captured ship was an ill John Campbell on his way to London intending to see Duncan Campbell ... Before the war with America, Duncan Campbell, in partnership with John Stewart, had exported convicts to Virginia and Maryland and imported tobacco and iron from America to Britain as “Stewart & Campbell”. Two ships used, Tayloe and Thornton, were named after the Virginian families of John Tayloe and Peter Thornton and plied between North America and Britain. Other ships also carried lumber (mostly barrel staves) from America to Jamaica, where several of Campbell's relations held sugar plantations, and returned with sugars and rum. Campbell’s caution was soon interrupted by a letter in September 1783, but action remained tentative. Richard Lee Jr., a loyalist in London, had written on behalf of himself and his father in Maryland offering “kind intentions” should he choose to send a ship to the "Potowmack". It was another offer which Campbell politely declined as being inconvenient, owing to his “very large fortune lying dead in America”.
Virginian tobacco also arrived, the first that he had seen since the Justitia, another of his ships, had returned from its voyage in August 1775. Initially, four hogsheads apiece were sent by Dr. John Brockenbrough (1741-1801) and by his brother Moore, a Colonel (1746-1791). Both had also requested “sundry supplies” which were duly sent. While both had served with Continental military forces, their brother Austin (1738-1810), a loyalist ostracised in 1775, had fled to safety in England. At the end of September 1783, he was ready to return home and sat by Campbell.
1783: The problem however was that Ridley “went native” as a local merchant and became an American supporter of the Revolution - which readjusted his “bread and butter” lines of activity. When he died in 1789, he was heavily indebted to William Vanderstegen (for £5,000), to the State of Maryland (for £1,700), and to several individual people in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. While a Baltimore band of merchants he was associated with appears to have been poor at preparation:
Duncan Campbell, London merchant, and John Rose, a Virginian lawyer, ... the attempt of a British creditor to bring his pre-revolutionary debtors to account. At the end of the war in 1783, debts owing to Campbell from before 1775 were large and a recovery did not begin in Virginian courts until 1796 when most of the legal obstacles facing British merchants had been removed [partly due to the formation of the US Supreme Court].
Some correspondence was in the care of Captain Ogilvy.
The executors of John Tayloe ... Austin Brockenbrough ... In November 1783, Samuel Hodge, the son of his former factor Thomas and already in London, received word from his uncle, John Rose, a lawyer in Virginia whose sister was Hodge's widow, Rose, executor to the estate of Hodge Senior, and in possession of his account books, would act on Campbell’s behalf for the numeration and collection of debts ...
Goodwill was returned to the Brockenbrough brothers in Virginia. A letter was sent to William Russell, the agent for Campbell in Maryland;
Co-incidentally, Campbell’s enquiry of Russell was followed two weeks later by another letter from Richard Lee, Jr. who made the same proposal as before. At this time, Campbell's three seagoing ships were already committed to the Jamaica run - Britannia, Orange Bay and Lynx – the last purchased from the Navy to replace Saltspring. ... The Swift with convicts via George Moore re Maryland (now closed to convict business), any future opening for this enterprise was blocked. In March 1783, Campbell had obliged his former agent in Maryland, Matthew Ridley, then in Paris, with a small loan that Ridley had requested. Receipt of Williamson Ball’s consignment of ten hogsheads of tobacco later in the same year was not acknowledged until 1789.
A letter from John Rose, written in May 1784. While agreement between representatives from Britain and the United States in Paris, in 1783, had seemed to clear a path for settlement between creditors and debtors, obstacles to any resolution were political and practical as well as personal. Rose was with Campbell on what should be the basis of relations between parties “in the mercantile way”.
The Ridley / Stewart family link
1. In March 1782, writing from Rouen in France, Ridley made proposals to recover Maryland debts owing to 'Stewart & Campbell' on behalf of John Stewart's widow.
[Duncan Campbell Business Letter Books, Vol. 4, pp 24-26] 2. In June 1785, Duncan Campbell gave Matthew Ridley a Power of Attorney to enable him to recover the “Stewart & Campbell” credits due in Maryland - albeit Ridley suddenly delayed his return to accommodate business with tobacco merchant Joshua Johnson in London. Campbell wrote at one point, “...your friends and relations, Mrs. Stewart's family have a large stake in these debts and your regard for them … will I have not a doubt call forth your best exertions ...” [Duncan Campbell to Matthew Ridley, 24 June 1785, Business Letter Books, Vol. 5 pp. 54-55]
Rose told of a recent encounter with a son of Colonel Henry Fitzhugh, an executor of his late father's will, who had promised to ship 100 hogsheads of tobacco to London for the credit of the Fitzhugh account with Campbell. But, informed by Rose that the ship Littledale could load his cargo without delay, young Fitzhugh declined.
Faced with the uncertain, William and Moore Brockenbrough answered only on account of their unsolicited consignments of tobacco. In this respect, Rose could regard them as honourable men, like their brother Austin, but unlike those who had yet to reply to his letters directly or through an agent. Info from Austin Brockenbrough and from neighbouring London merchants, about individual large debtors: the executors of John Tayloe and of Henry Fitzhugh were now consigning produce to London (but not to Campbell) from the estates in their charge; moreover, Tayloe’s executors were also drawing bills on London merchant Wakelin Welch. ... A letter from John Rose, recounts further local, factional politics - The other was from Williamson Ball who, in 1786, had sent ten hogsheads of tobacco towards his debt but had yet to receive an account of sale ...
DC had sympathetic but intelligent and practical support from John Rose in Virginia ...
Debt collectors used included: law-respecters John Rose and Lawrence Berry. Plus the Brockenbrough brothers Austin, Moore and Dr. David. (Austin left for Britain to join other individuals whose families had been split by the civil unrest.) The presence in London of Matthew Ridley, Russell's pre-war associate guarding Campbell's interests in Maryland, was welcome ... Ridley had been armed by Campbell with a power of attorney for both he and Russell to act as necessary. But, in late July, the announcement of a sudden and unexpected commercial partnership between Ridley and tobacco merchant Joshua Johnson delayed a return until 1786, although a hastily revised legal paper accompanied a letter to Russell.Two years later, at the end August 1787, Campbell replied to a letter from Ridley, who had only recently returned to Maryland after first keeping himself in New York, where he had had “little opportunity to enquire into [Campbell's] affairs”, but had “promised assistance whenever [he] could be serviceable”. He heard that Russell had not even bothered with “the scrape of a pen” since the power of attorney was despatched, and that Campbell was relying on the promised assistance. Writing to Russell on the same day, Campbell remarked, caustically, that his “silent agent” could at least have told him about the “late law passed in the Maryland Assembly” of which he had “sanguine hopes of favourable affects” in the collection of debts. But any hopes of more detailed and prompt news of Maryland affairs died with Ridley, at the end of a long illness, in November 1789.
A list of Maryland debtors had been sent to London in June 1789 but it was only after Ridley's death that Russell wrote more fully on the state of his factorage accounts; another letter followed in January 1790. At face value, Russell claimed to have received several sums with more yet to come but, with no further news for twelve months ... There was trouble with Russell. London tobacco merchant Christopher Court was approached to enlist the help of his brother Joseph who lived in Maryland near Annapolis. In July 1792, copy bundles of all Campbell's papers on Maryland affairs, together with a power of attorney and a detailed letter of instruction, were forwarded to Court. He was charged with settling matters after specific claims made by Russell in his last letters to London. His claim for “extra services” met with a tart rejoinder about the duty of a salaried employee and a referral to his original contract terms with “Stewart & Campbell” in 1768.
A claim for fifteen percent commission on £3,812 of debts collected to the end of May 1790, and on an individual debt of £2,225 deemed good at the same time, was likewise rejected out of hand ... Russell's offer to buy these debts, paying by instalments, can be read but he was told to agree with Joseph Court “on fair and equitable terms”. Campbell did hear from Russell, in October 1793. His response was not a direct reply to Russell, to whom he would not write again, but a note to Christopher Court in London to recommend his brother “to bring about a final settlement on the best grounds he can”.
But in the Spring of 1789, hopes rose once again when Presley Thornton broke a silence of nearly five years with a first letter to his late father's correspondent after leaving England in 1783. He was the first of Campbell's debtors to raise the subject of an interest deduction for the war years, and also the first to offer to assign lands (in this instance tenanted) in order to discharge the estate's debt. But DC left it to Thornton and the Estate's executors to find a “less objectionable” alternative.
Other debtors were the “gentry” who could at least rely on agricultural produce, or rents, or industry for income. John Tayloe for example had previously shipped pig iron to Campbell from his Neabsco ironwork as well as tobacco from his fields. As the trade had come to an abrupt end by 1776, so too had a regular and steady income for the larger debtors on Hodge's list – during the seven years between 1768 and 1775, Campbell had transported well above 3,500 convicts. Sales off-ship of this number at an average of, say, £12 per head, would have grossed more than £40,000 for Campbell's business, and whatever portion of this figure was purchased by local enterprises for re-sale, a profit would have been made.
Samuel Love, in a letter to Rose, claimed that his debt to Campbell had been discharged when paid into the Virginia Treasury loan office in 1778, under an Act of Sequestration of British property, which Act had the aim of providing funds for the revolutionary war effort.
Sampson and George Matthews asserted the same ... William Fitzhugh of Somerset earned Campbell's approval. In May 1794, Rose accepted from Burgess Ball, an assignment of land in lieu of his debt - 1,500 acres in Kentucky that had been granted to him, part of a survey made ten years earlier “for officers and soldiers of the Continental Army”. In the same year, an account that Rose relayed to Campbell of the “Messrs. Matthews” behaviour in correspondence with him ...
Andrew Leitch, of “Love Leitch & Stuart”, died in 1777 after the Battle of Brandywine. Samuel Love died in 1800.
In the 1780s, if not earlier, William Russell and his brother James.
In 1796, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, a suit was listed in the District Court against William Pollock for non-payment of his bond in the purchase of James Wright from a cargo of convicts imported by Thomas Hodge in 1775 (Hodge died in 1775).
In 1799, similar action was taken against David Blair [see above], co-signee of the joint bond. Between 1797 and 1800 surviving court records in Fredericksburg note Duncan Campbell as the plaintiff in at least ten suits against individuals listed by Thomas Hodge [See Table 4]; all counsel were instructed by John Rose. At the same time, negotiations were opened with “heavy” debtors now that action-at-law was available to British creditors in Virginian courts, if private arrangements with former borrowers failed. Being less costly than litigation, the latter is usually preferred by both parties, except in the claim against Col. Henry Fitzhugh's estate where “a judgment was obtained against the representatives of Fitzhugh ...
When Rose and Campbell died within 12 months of one another, their joint enterprise was handed on to the next generation after a hiatus for the renewal of cases where the plaintiffs were now Duncan Campbell's executors, his sons. The handover in Virginia also became a family affair; lawyer Lawrence Berry, husband of John Rose's niece, Catherine Hodge, being Rose's executor as well as representing the Campbell interests in Virginia. Between 1803 and 1814 were fifteen more suits against Virginian debtors, their successors where they can be traced, or their executors, were filed on behalf of the executors of Campbell’s will; they included Dugald Campbell of Saltspring, Jamaica, and his brother John in England. With his father’s chief clerk James Boyick on hand to advise – a man whose knowledge of Duncan Campbell's affairs reached back more than thirty years - John Campbell took the lead role in giving instructions to Virginia. Somervell and Nobel/Noble were probably connections of Duncan Campbell. Re Somervell & Noble, a occasional partner of them was Hugh Lennox ...
1803 - DC dies.
By 1805, although the Tayloe and Page interests still traded with London. William Murdoch was one of several American merchants in London. If Duncan Campbell had thought John Tayloe II a “worthy and honest man”, his son, John Tayloe III, was cut from quite a different cloth - judging by his remarks to Berry. In mid-May 1806, Berry eventually received from him a payment on account, £100, after “repeated and very earnest solicitations”. In a letter to John Campbell, Tayloe's note enclosed with the bill is quoted verbatim: Tayloe seems to be senseless to the irony of borrowing London money to pay off London money. It is almost certain that John Campbell sanctioned the Page compromise out of necessity, not choice; A copy of the resolution was sent to Berry by Duncan's on John Campbell in December 1809. The commissioners however had doubts about the veracity of Thomas Hodge's position as a salaried employee rather than a mere commission agent ... Page surmised to Campbell in London that John Rose's earlier failure to find persons and property related to such a large claim may have “produced an unfavorable impression of [his] agency” to the commissioners.
Hugh Stuart had assigned to John Rose (d.1785) several bonds from his own debtors, one in particular being Thomson Mason, a former judge and member of the Virginia Assembly during The War of Independence. A judgement against his personal estate having produced little, his real estate became a target in a Chancery suit begun by Rose whose death in 1802/1803 then paused proceedings; near £600 Sterling was due by 1806.
Before resuming the case, however, a speculative letter from Berry to the youngest son, John Thomson Mason, a lawyer known to him by reputation as “a man of the strictest Honor”, was well rewarded. Now Attorney-General of Maryland, and “in possession of a very valuable estate derived from an uncle”, Mason advised that that the case was not worth re-opening as little would be had from his father’s real estate. He did, however, offer to discharge the balance himself, which was almost done, in one lump sum, in the summer of 1810. A £200 (Sterling) contribution to the overall debt was made by a “Judge Stuart”. (This was relatively quick compared with the involvement of Alexander Stuart and Gavin Lawson.) Stuart, having placed his estate in trust, had conveyed land separately to Gavin Lawson “by way of indemnity” for his debts. (Lawson died in 1805.)
Claims were being pursued by Campbell's sons, and a grandson, decades after the British Compensation Commission had closed its books in 1811. By June 1810, Berry (and Botts) could only report to London that the progress of his own suit at the Federal Court was slow “owing to the multiplicity of parties”; chief among these was William Byrd Page.
... An accidental conversation between Berry and an enthusiastic lawyer acting for one side, American barrister Benjamin Botts ... Botts relayed the offer of a compromise by Page's agent, Thomas Swann. Although the death of W. B. Page in 1813 and yet another war between the two countries intervened and the money was not ready for release until May 1817; the balance depended upon Thomas Swann having word on the safe delivery of a cargo of flour to London merchant William Murdoch, the same man on whom John Tayloe drew his bills to Berry. One of Berry's first tasks was to inform him that “desperate cases”, adjourned after his father's death would be discontinued - insolvency, movement, or a simple lack of sufficient assets to liquidate offered little hope of recovery. While this applied to the lesser debts, not all of them were set aside. Judgements were found against the executors of Philip Peed, Moses Green, Jonathan Green and Richard Green, all on Thomas Hodge's list of debtors in 1775. A total of £48 and 11 shillings was collected, including costs, although a ten percent commission due to Berry was deducted. The monies were paid in 1805 but the addition of twenty years interest doubled the three debts, while costs were also added; the smallest claim was for 6 shillings 2d.
Individuals not mentioned by Lawrence Berry between 1805 and 1819 are assumed to have completed some settlement with John Rose before his death, Berry having no subsequent dealings with them. Several of these debtors were prepared to surrender land that had been granted to them for military services during the revolutionary war in lieu of the debt, as Burgess Ball had done in 1794. Sampson Matthews had remained in Virginia but his brother, George, had moved to Nachez, Mississippi. George Matthews Snr (1739-1812) a sometime Governor of Georgia, and involved in the Yazoo land scandal (see the Wikipedia page on it) had taken the title deeds to his grants from his son in Virginia after hearing that John Rose and Duncan Campbell had both died, “thinking that the prospect of completing the negociation commenced with Mr Rose very distant”.
Re James Monroe (President, USA), son of Spence Monroe, which Spence is “entered” by Thomas Hodge on the list of debtors for Duncan Campbell (Of London), re a bond jointly with a Wm. Craighill for 88 pounds Currency. Executor failing to clear the debt, and the debt was finally inherited by James Monroe; in 1818, Lawrence Berry (the USA attorney to the [London-based] Campbell estate) made reference to the still unpaid debt when James Monroe was president.
By 1819 Lawrence Berry Snr. worked for Duncan Campbell's executors. He died in 1822 to be succeeded by his son, Lawrence W. Berry, but not before placing in trust the Kentucky lands taken from Sampson and George Matthews; 400 acres were sold some time after Berry's death but Duncan Campbell's grandson William Campbell (John Campbell's nephew, son of his brother Duncan Jr.) was still the nominal beneficiary of 1,822 acres of this land in Mecklenberg County when he died in 1845 while in service with the East India Company at Madras. When Lawrence Berry died in 1822, his son, Lawrence W. Berry, maintained a correspondence with Duncan Campbell's son, John, although most of the business had been completed by 1819. Kentucky lands granted for American military service during the revolution had been taken taken for the debts of Sampson and George Matthews; by 1846 they still remained unsold.
Amelia Stewart: According to Peter Dickson she appears in the records at The Salters Company, London, in notebooks by Thomas Weston from 1778 as a major supplier of salt to the London market. There may be references to William Vanderstegen for Thomas Weston, in 1794, refuted the charges of corruption in the trade (as far as the Salters Company was concerned) made by W.V. Cf., In May 1780, salt merchant Amelia Stewart of Bloomsbury insured 2700 pounds worth of stock kept in two warehouses in East Smithfield and in June 1780 she insured another 500 pounds worth of stock kept in a warehouse in St Catherine's Court. Nicola Jane Phillips, Women in Business, 1700-1850. Woodbridge, Suffolk, Boydell and Brewer, 2006., (published online by Cambridge University Press.), p. 150, Note No. 16, citing GL Ms 11936, 282/428539, 284/429333.--><--!
Sherborne Stewart, born London 1759 Captain Life Guards, Brevet Major, Lt-Colonel till 1800. retired November 1809 after 21 years a captain.-->