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Colonial Cases

R. v. Jacob and others [1823]

slave court - running away - rebellion - unlawful oaths - transportation - capital punishment

Slave Court

18-19 December 1823

Source: The Morning Chronicle (London, England) 17 February 1824, issue 17108, from the British Library's 19th Century Newspapers site. See also The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, England) 21 February 1824, issue 3061; The Bristol Mercury (Bristol, England) 23 February 23, 1824, issue 1769

Kingston, Dec. 28. - At a Special Slave Court, held in the Court-house at Manning's Town, in the Parish of St. Mary, on the 18th inst., the following slaves were tried, and sentenced to be transported for life, viz. -

Jacob, to James Deans, Esq., for running away - value £10.

Abraham Davis, to Richmond estate, for ditto - value £50.

Quaw, to Francis Bowen, for ditto - value £50.

London, to Robert Alexander, Esq., for ditto - value £50.

George Bryan, to Agualta-Vale Pen, for ditto - value £50.


The Court adjourned till the next day, for the trial of the following slaves, charged with being concerned in rebellious conspiracies and committing other crimes, to the ruin and destruction of the white people, and others of this island, and for causing, exciting, and promoting others thereto; and also for being concerned in rebellion, and designing to commit murder, felony, burglary, and to set fire to certain houses, outhouses, and compassing and imagining the death of the white people in the said parish. They were all found guilty on the clearest evidence, and sentenced to be hanged:-

Henry Nibbs, to J. Walker, Esq. - value £50; Chas. Brown, to Frontier Estate - value £100; James Sterling, to ditto - value £65; Charles Watson, to ditto, value £80; Rodney Wellington, to ditto - value £70; William Montgomery, to ditto - value £100; Richard Cosley, to ditto - value £100; Morris Henry, to ditto - value £90.

On their defence they denied the charge, and said they were well used, and clothed, and were quite happy. One of them, Charles Watson, declared that he never was punished in his life; that great trust was put in him, and he was as well off as if he was free.

EXECUTION OF THE REBELS. - The above culprits were executed at Port Maria, in the most solemn and impressive manner, on Wednesday, in pursuance of his Grace's warrant. Richard Crossley acknowledged his guilt to the Rev. Messrs. Girod and Cooke. They were unremitting in their attendance on the wretched and deluded beings.

From the evidence, it appeared beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they designed to set fire to the Frontier Works, adjoining Port Maria, and to butcher the whites and free persons of colour, as they came to extinguish the fire, then to come down in the town, and take possession of it, while a detachment seized the fort. - Public Advertiser.

George and Pompey, slaves to Mr. James Graham, a free person of colour, were tried for being present at a meeting, formed for the purpose of administering unlawful oaths, by drinking human blood mixed with rum, and having taken a general oath of fidelity and secresy [sic] to each other; they were found guilty & sentenced to be transported off the island for life.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School