The Jamaican Diaries of Robert Hibbert 1772–1780 is a deeply personal work that has evolved over the last 15 years. It is intended to foster a greater understanding of a very difficult time in history, in which the enslaved and the enslavers inhabit different, disturbing interlocking narratives, now distorted by time and politics. At its core is the dark stain of an empire and many fortunes built upon the enslavement of the unfortunate.
It contains much thorough research into people, places, events and sources that developed as the author followed the twists and turns of a family history often frustratingly opaque and sometimes sensationally public.
The book is part genealogy and part social history: a previously unpublished diary of a major figure in the West Indian slave trade, with contemporary sources and biographical notes on those that strutted the Atlantic world of the late eighteenth century. It lays down a chronology to allow a picture of the day-to-day happenings in Jamaica to emerge.
This work exposes the deep, raw wounds that have resonated through the centuries, creating a need for a deeper study into many facets of British Atlantic history from a different perspective – one in which the narrative of the enslaved and the enslavers can be read together in both the geopolitical context of the times and the legal, ethical, humanitarian and religious belief systems of those times on both sides of the Atlantic.
In order to consider how the slave trade was run, financed, organised and evolved, the author provides a detailed examination of the Jamaican economy of the time, and offers a better and more balanced understanding of the slave trade’s establishment, adoption, adaption, abolition and, lastly, its legacy, in all its hydra-like forms.
The second volume of this work will cover the years when the Diaries resume, 1787 to 1802. The Robert Hibbert diaries and the family involvement with Jamaica extend past the abolition (1834) and emancipation (1838) of slaves to the middle of the nineteenth century.
About the Author:
Nick Hibbert Steele, born in London but for the last 35 years resident in Australia, has been very active in researching a family history that many would have avoided. When asked about the remarkable likeness of two people united by name manifested in an image 200 years old, he said, ‘When I saw the portrait...I just had to follow the history. Beware of your ancestors. When you start rummaging through your ancestry you must be prepared to confront the unthinkable. Do you rebury the past or do you examine the history through a new lens of previously unseen documents?’ For a number of years Nick has been a contributor to the Slave Voyages Database at www.slavevoyages.org.
He has employed his long experience in business to interpret the commercial practices of the past in this analysis of the slave trade.
About the Author
Table of Contents
General chronology of the settlement of Jamaica and the West Indies, and the abolition of the slave trade, with Hibbert involvement noted
Governors of Jamaica: a rum lot
Notable Players in Jamaica
Colonel Peter Beckford 1643–1710
Speaker Peter Beckford 1672–1735
Alderman William Beckford MP 1709–1770
William Thomas Beckford 1759–1844
William Beckford of Somerly 1744–1799
Captain John Boyd 1734–1819
Lewis Cuthbert 1737–1802
George Cuthbert 1745–1789
George Cuthbert 1767 d. 1835
Bryan Edwards MP FRS 1743–1800
Doctor David Grant 1742–1817
James Hakewill 1778–1843
Edward Long 1734–1813
Doctor John Frederick Nembhard 1711–1777
Ann Peyton Hamilton Nembhard 1737–1806
Prince Eugene of Savoy 1663–1736
Nathaniel Phillips 1733–1813
Teresia Constantia Phillips 1709–1765
Admiral George Brydges Rodney 1719–1792
Hercules Ross 1745–1816
Nathan Sprigg 17xx–1778
Hon. Simon Taylor 1739–1813
Hon. John Tharp 1744–1804
Good Hope Estate
Chapter 2: Kingston and Port Royal
Chapter 3: Jamaican Currency and Finance
Chapter 4: Slave Factors and Finance
Chapter 5: The Establishment of the Hibbert Vertically Integrated West India House
Chapter 6: The Early Hibberts: The Rise to Prominence
Chapter 7: Hibbert Biographical Notes
Identifying the principal Hibberts in Jamaica
Dr Henry Hibbert (Divine) 1600–1678
Robert Hibbert 1654–1709
Robert Hibbert 1684–1762
Margaret Tetlow Hibbert 1690–1759
Hon. Thomas Hibbert 1709–1780
Mrs Charity Harry
Jane (Jenny) Harry Thresher 1755–1784
Robert Hibbert 1717–1784
Abigail Scholey Hibbert 1721–1793
John Hibbert (JH1) 1732–1769
Jannett Gordon Hibbert 1739–1778
Thomas Hibbert 1744–1819
Sophia Boldero Hibbert 1760–1827
John Hibbert (JH2) 1748–1770
Thomas Hibbert Junior (TH3) 1761–1807
Robert Hibbert (RH1) 1750–1835
Letitia Hamilton Nembhard Hibbert 1765–1851
Chapter 8: Setting the Scene
Chapter 9: The Diaries
Appendix: Ships, Captains and Slave Sales Log