image courtesy of Boston Public Library | Licence: Public Domain
image courtesy of Boston Public Library | Licence: Public Domain

Williamsfield Estate, St. Thomas' in the Vale


James Hakewill

From the collection


Williamsfield Estate, St. Thomas' in the Vale




From 'A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica' by James Hakewill (1778-1843).

WILLIAMSFIELD ESTATE, in the Parish of St. Thomas in the Vale, according to what can be gathered from the old negroes (there being no early records), was first settled, nearly eighty years ago, by Mr. Needham, who was at that time a large proprietor in the Island; but while in its infancy (within three or four years after it was commenced), it was purchased by a Mr. Harvey, who came from Barbadoes, and was a merchant in Kingston, From Mr. Harvey it became the property of Daniel Lascelles, Esq., brother to the first Baron Harewood, from whom it descended to the present Earl. It contains 2,998 acres of land, including Sandy Gut, a small estate which was purchased and added to it in 1815: something more than 300 acres of this is in canes, about 500 fallow and in pasture; the remainder in excellent negro provision grounds, woodland and ruinate, but a great part of the two latter is incapable of any cultivation, from being extremely rocky and steep: the present crops exceed 300 hogsheads of good sugar, with a pretty good proportion of rum. There are 304 negroes (negroes and people of colour) on the estate. The jobbing, or hired negro labour, is however considerable. The nearest shipping-places to which a waggon can go, are Port Henderson and Passage Fort, both of which are twenty-three or twenty-four miles distant. The principal road across the island, from Spanish Town to St. Mary’s, passes through the estate, on the bank of a pleasant rivulet, between the works and dwelling house: the cane field and pasture land is a continuation of small steep hills with water-courses passing between them; the wood covers the hills towering over these. The soil is in general light and poor, but with a judicious use of manure, which the situation of the cane land renders the application of, a hard task for the stock, gives fair returns.

Nightingale Grove, in St. Dorothy’s, is likewise the property of the Earl of Harewood. At the time of its purchase, by Mr. Daniel Lascelles, it was a penn, but was soon after converted into a sugar estate.—G. W. Hamilton, Esq., Attorney.
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Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica



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