Author Topic: Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760  (Read 3827 times)

Offline hailsham

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Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760
« on: Saturday 07 August 10 15:47 BST (UK) »
As I understand it, back in 1920 a Mr. Collins of England, made some enquiries into the ancestry of a Thomas Wenham, born c. 1726 in England, married, c. 1756, and who owned  the "Wenham" sugar plantation in Antigua.

It was reported that the above Thomas Wenham was Collins'  gg-grandfather.  Collins' mother allegedly owned some silver engraved with the Wenham family crest.

Can anyone throw some light on any of this please?

Many thanks.

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Offline Worldwidesearch

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Re: Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 17 May 15 13:36 BST (UK) »
I don't know how recently it has happened, but there are now Caribbean archives to be found on the internet listing abstracts of Nevis wills.   There is one relating to  Thomas William dated 20 September 1766.  The will indicates that Thomas Williams' niece, Martha Sanders was married to Thomas Wenham '"the elder".  There is a record of the marriage between Martha and Thomas in Nevis on 1 Nov 1756.

I believe Thomas Wenham, the elder, and his wife Martha had numerous children; Martha Williams Wenham, Frances Wenham, Margaret Wenham, Mary Wenham and, presumably, Thomas Wenham.
 
In Thomas Williams' will it is mentioned that he "rented part of a plantation of [Thomas Wenham the elder] in island of Antiqua" called Budgeons Plantation.

Thomas Wenham is bequeathed "in fee piece of land, whereon a small square room now stands, in Charles Town, Nevis of about 63sq. ft, which was late the property of the sd. William Woodward."

A picture of the 2-storey Wenham House in Nevis is available online.    Simply type in Thomas Wenham of Nevis.   The house I understand no longer exists.

William Woolward was undoubtedly related to Fanny Woolward who I believe married Horatio Nelson in Nevis.   

The Collins, mentioned in your blog, had thought there was a connection to Rev. George Wenham of Rotherfield (died 1736).    There probably was a connection since it was George's branch of the family that was mentioned in the Visitations of Sussex and who were entitled to use the Wenham coat of arms.




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Offline Worldwidesearch

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Re: Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 28 May 15 17:58 BST (UK) »
The Budgeon Plantation was situated in the south-west of Nevis in the parish of St. John Fig.

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Re: Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 30 May 15 12:33 BST (UK) »
The Budgeon Plantation was situated in the south-west of Nevis in the parish of St. John Figtree.

Offline Suffolkfolk

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Re: Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760
« Reply #4 on: Friday 22 July 16 14:10 BST (UK) »
Thomas Wenham before renting the Budgeon estate  had worked as an overseer and then assistant manager at the Mountravers  Plantation in northern Nevis.    Further details can be gleaned by reading:
 
("MOUNTRAVERS PLANTATION COMMUNITY – PART 2 CHAPTER 2 P a g e | 101 PART 2 The enslaved people Chapter 2 The absentee and his plantation, 1734 – 1761" Copyright © Christine Eickelmann 2016)

Offline Suffolkfolk

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Re: Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 28 July 16 13:10 BST (UK) »
For further details regarding the search by Mr Collins in 1920, as referred to above, please refer to "The Story of Some Wealden Manors" by Catherine Pullein published by Courier 1928.  The relevant passage is on page 210 headed "The Rectors and Ministers of Rotherfield".   What was omitted was that the Rev. George Wenham married first Mary Willett in Jan 1683 in Broadwater, Sussex.   They had a daughter Hannah (1687-1719) who married the Rev. George Lewis in Rotherfield in 1707, a stillborn child in 1692 and a daughter Susannah, birth date unknown but who was presumably still living in 1707 as she was mentioned in the will  dated 1707 of Elizabeth Henly of Robertsbridge.

The next recorded marriage of the Rev. George Wenham was indeed to Dorothy Baker who at the time of her marriage in 1725 was a 60 year old spinster.  But did the Rev. George Wenham perhaps have another marriage between that of Mary and Dorothy?   Maybe but then that does not fit in with the Collins believing that "their Thomas Wenham" was born c. 1726 although he could have been a grandchild of the Rev. George Wenham.   I have not found to date a will of the Rev. George Wenham that might offer up some clues.

The only Thomas Wenham that I know of that is likely to have visited the West Indies including Nevis and Antigua during the late 17c/early 18c is Colonel Sir Thomas Wenham, brother to the Rev. George Wenham, but he died in New York in 1709 and neither his will nor that of his wife Mary (nee Alford) mentions any son named Thomas.

If anyone has any theories about this that they would like to share with me I would be very grateful.

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Re: Antigua: The Wenham Sugar Plantation c. 1760
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 06 February 18 16:27 GMT (UK) »
From  the study named below (1) , which I have only recently come across,  I have learned that the Mr Collins referred to in my previous post was in fact the Revd. Henry (Harry) Rawle Collins and his mother,who was the great granddaughter of Thomas Wenham the elder of Nevis and Antigua, was Martha Hamilton Collins (nee Baker) (1834-1918).

The study suggests that Thomas Wenham born c. 1726 was likely to have originated from Bedfordshire or Cambridgeshire.  However, it was the Sussex branch of Wenhams whose family crest depicted a greyhound on a chapeau (2) and it is for this reason that I believe that Thomas Wenham was from the Sussex line of Wenhams.   

From the chart below it is easy to see how Martha Hamilton Collins  may have come into possession of some of the Wenham silver but no so easy to determine how Thomas Wenham came by it!   

In Catherine Pullein's article mentioned in an earlier post it seems that the Revd. Harry Collins was to some degree certain that Thomas Wenham had a sister Hannah and that they were both the children of the Rev. George Wenham of Rotherfield.   I don't believe this to be true for reasons stated earlier.    I have discovered via the SFHG  website that there was a Thomas Wenham b. 1730 in Ninfield and his sister Hannah Wenham b. 1928  also in Ninfield.  Their parents were said to be Thomas Wenham and Elizabeth.  They fit the timescale mentioned by Revd. Harry Collins .  However it is not clear to me what Elizabeth's maiden name.   Without that knowledge I have hit another brick wall!

                                        Thomas Wenham/Martha Williams (nee Sanders)

                                                               Mary Williams
                                                            m. John Smith (Gent)     

Mary Susannah Wolfe Smith                                                          Martha Williams Smith
m. Henry Wilkinson Baker                                                             m. Walter Lewis Bucke                                         

Martha Hamilton Baker                                                                  Walter Henry Bucke
m. Revd. John Mackechnie  Collins

Revd. Henry (Harry ) Rawle Collins
Eleanor Linda Collins
Zoe Clara Collins

(I suggest reading the Study (1) referred to below to learn about other family connections.   It makes very interesting reading.)

Turning  now to Thomas Wenham’s son Francis Wenham for whom the Study (1) has no details I believe he had at least 2 children,  (a) Francis Herbert Wenham (1789-1841) married to Maria  Sarah Watson with whom he had 9 children including  Francis Herbert Wenham (1825-1908 ) and Horatio Wenham  (1827-1848) and  (b) Thomas Wenham (1792 – 1877), stockbroker, who married  Elizabeth MacDonald and had 3 sons and 1 daughter and also later or earlier had married  Hannah Watson with whom he had one son and one daughter.

Francis Herbert Wenham (1824, Kensington – 1908)  was a British marine engineer who studied the problem of manned flight and wrote a perceptive and influential academic paper which he presented to the first meeting of the Royal Aeronautical Society in London in 1866. Wenham's report, "Aerial Locomotion". (3)  There is a photograph of him online.

 
(1)  Source: The Mountravers Plantation Community - Part 3 Chapter 2
       Copyright: Christine Eickelmann 2016, 2017.
(2)  Source: British herald, or Cabinet of armorial bearings of the nobility & gentry” .
(3)   Source: Wikipedia"homas Wenham of Nevis and Antigua