Key Facts

This section provides some facts on the scale of the Dawkins’ slave-owning activities, the wealth generated from their participation in the plantation economy, and the compensatory gains they received upon the termination of British West Indian slavery in 1833.


At the time of his death, Henry Dawkins I (1698-1744) possessed over £100,000 and 1,300 Africans making him the second wealthiest slave-owner and third largest holder of enslaved people in Jamaica during the mid-eighteenth century.


By the late eighteenth-century, the Dawkins family were in possession of three large English country estates (Over Norton, Salford, and Standlynch) that covered almost 5,000 acres.​


A total of £36,000 compensation was awarded to James Colyear Dawkins (1760-1843) in exchange for the “liberation” of the 2,000 enslaved Africans he owned in 1835. This sum is equivalent to approximately £29 million today.


James Dawkins (1722-1757), Henry I’s eldest son, was the fourth largest owner of land in Jamaica and possessed 14,300 acres circa 1750.


Upon his death, in 1814, Henry Dawkins II held a fortune of £150,000, making him one of the 16 wealthiest people in Britain in 1814.


The direct descendants of the Dawkins slave-owners continue to reside on the country estate purchased by their ancestors nearly 300 years ago.


The Dawkins family possessed their own sugar counting houses on the south coast of Jamaica and partially owned a fleet of ships which they used to transport their tropical produce to, and estate supplies from, England.


The Dawkins’ English countryside residence at Standlynch was purchased by the government in 1815 for the sum of £90,000, gifted to the Nelson family and renamed Trafalgar Park in recognition of Horatio Nelson’s war efforts in the Battle of Trafalgar.

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