Friday, 31 December 2010

The Ford Boys Make Good!

I have not been able to find any evidence that James and Henry Ford had relatives in Jamaica who might have suggested that they emigrate. Most likely they were encouraged to do so through the efforts of the Jamaican government’s immigration policies. One question I had was what became of the Ford family in England.  I could not find Thomas Ford in any census after 1851, so I assume he must have died. The name is a common one, but I believe he may be the Thomas Ford who was buried 24 December 1853 in Highgate Cemetery. His wife, Jessy Maria, had died in July 1846. Two of their children, Martha Cleland and Albert Charles, died in March 1843. I have been unable to find out what happened to the other two sons, Thomas Frederick and William, though there is a Thomas Ford, age 22 in the 1851 English census, whose age matches that of Thomas Frederick, who was born in 1829. This Thomas Ford is listed as a visitor at the house of one William Edwards, a journeyman carpenter in Camberwell. Thomas’s occupation is given as journeyman coach builder, so he may well have left home to find work elsewhere.
By chance, I found that the youngest daughter, Jessy Maria, came to Kingston, perhaps because her father and mother were dead, and Thomas was no longer living at home. It’s possible that James and Henry encouraged her to come to Jamaica to be with them. At any rate she died there, according to the Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies, by James Henry Lawrence-Archer, as excerpted on the Jamaican Family Search website on 23 March 1862 and was buried in the New West Ground “regretted by brothers”.

Family history research is more than just records of birth, marriage and death. We want to know more than just the bare facts about our ancestors –what they were like and how they lived. Without access to such materials as letters or diaries we have to depend on other sources, and one such is the local newspaper. Jamaican researchers are fortunate to have access to the online Jamaica Gleaner, a subscription website. Thanks to the Gleaner online I found several references to both James and Henry Ford and how they had prospered in Jamaica. Henry’s lengthy obituary gave me the date of their emigration to Jamaica, and other items and advertisement helped to portray a picture of both men. From Henry’s obituary, which ran to one and half columns, I learned that he had entered the office of Mr. J. Mais. where he was placed in the counting house under Mr. Newman.    He then moved on to the Receiver General's office where he was appointed acting Receiver of Stamp Duties under Mr. Barclay. After some years in the public service he left to go into business with the said Barclay in St. Thomas-in-the-East. Barclay died in 1860 and Henry continued on in the business. He also bought out the business of Mr. Rouse of Rouse and Gall, becoming a partner in the business which had been carried on by the late James Gall. Henry had also served as a member of the Mayor and Council of Kingston. During the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 his business was severely affected and he went there to serve as a captain of company of volunteers. He built up a business in the parish of St. Thomas but experienced some difficulty because he refused to sell liquor, being a teetotaler. He made an unsuccessful migration to Australia, returning to Jamaica, and by 1878 had assumed the position of Secretary to Jamaica Co-Operative Fire Insurance Company.

James’s obituary, unfortunately, was not as extensive. He died as a result of malarial fever in 1881, at age 56. The following brief notice appeared in the Gleaner of 16 June, 1881:

With deep regret we announce the death of Mr. James D. Ford, at his residence in
Duke Street
, at 3 o'clock this morning. Mr. Ford had been ill only a few days from malarial fever, but his strength gave way speedily. He was 53 [sic] years of age and at the time of death head of the Good Templars of Jamaica. We have been requested to state that in consequence of his death the Congregational Lodge, I.O.G.T., will not meet this evening. The funeral takes place at 5 p.m. today.

Nothing about his business endeavours or even his family! No doubt the obituary was written by a Masonic brother! Fortunately I found other items about James in the Gleaner. I knew from his marriage record that he was a bank clerk when he married Cordelia Henriques. He must have been incredibly industrious as he rose from that position to that of auditor for both the Jamaica Co-Operative Fire Insurance Company and the Jamaica Marine Insurance Company.

The advertisements appeared in the Gleaner in 1879. But other notices about James’s business endeavours were even more interesting. Along with his auditor’s work James ran a school at his home in Duke Street, the Kingston University School. It opened on 2 October 1871 and was described in the first advertisements as offering “a sound, practical and liberal education, based upon high moral and intellectual principles.”

The following is an example of one of the advertisements from the Gleaner of 12 November, 1872.

I was particularly intrigued by the mention of Hebrew as an extra subject.  Did Cordelia help teach that course, or did James hire a Jewish acquaintance to teach the language? Another interesting point is that the school took boarders, which means James’s house at
118 Duke Street
must have been quite large.
Duke Street
would have been quite an attractive neighbourhood to live in, and a sign that James had indeed done quite well for himself.

The purpose of the school seems to have been to prepare young men for the professions, judging by the following advertisement in the Gleaner of 10 June, 1878:

Less than three years later James was dead and one wonders what happened to the school. Cordelia outlived him by a mere seven months. Perhaps Henry took over the operation of the school. According to an advertisement in the Gleaner of January 27, 1902, he had been living at 118 Duke Street when he died and creditors of the estate were instructed to send their claims to his wife. However, I could find no further references to the school in the Gleaner after James’s death and it appears that 118 Duke Street must have been sold and eventually converted to apartments.

James and Henry are examples of immigrants to Jamaica who did very well both in business and in life. Both married and had families. James and his wife, Cordelia Henriques, had ten children. Henry married Ellen Hannah Savage and they had one daughter, Edith. One of James’s sons, Edmund George, settled in Panama and raised a family there. My research into this branch of the Cunha family has been a fascinating one.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Finding Out About the Fords

In my last post I mentioned that I had found evidence in the Gleaner that James Dearmer Ford and his brother, Henry, came to Jamaica in 1840. This information was in Henry’s obituary in 1901 and is really the only evidence I have that the Ford brothers came from elsewhere. I assumed that they had most likely come from England and so my next step was to see what I could find out about them. The International Genealogical Index, known as the IGI, is an excellent Internet resource to get one started in finding out more about one’s ancestors. It is part of the FamilySearch website from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which more in a moment. Since James Dearmer Ford had a rather unusual middle name I started with him. I knew, from the notice in the Gleaner, that he had died in 1881 at the age of 56, so armed with that information I searched the IGI and found his baptism, in 1825, in London, and that his parents were Thomas Ford and Jessey [sic] Maria. Further searching, using Thomas Ford and Jessey (or Jessy) as parents, brought up not only James but his brother Henry and other members of the family.

The IGI is only an index, created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), aka Mormons, as an aid to their members to perform their obligation to research five generations of their family, as part of their religious duties. The IGI includes records extracted from parish registers as well as records submitted by members of the church. It is therefore a good place to start, but one is advised to search for the original record if possible as there might be errors in transcription. Fortunately for me, a great many parish records for London are available on the subscription website, Ancestry, and that’s where I went to find out more about the family of Thomas Ford and his wife Jessy Maria.

Thomas Ford was born in 1802 in Bideford, Devon, the son of a John Ford.

A view of Bideford showing the bridge over the River TorridgeCourtesy of Old UK Photos
At some point Thomas moved to London where he met Jessy Maria Dearmer, who was born about 1804 in Hackney. They were married at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, on 1 May 1824.
St. Leonard's, Shoreditch
Their first three children, James, 1825, Henry, 1826, and Thomas Frederick, 1829, were baptized at St. Leonard’s. After that the family moved to St. Marylebone where William, 1836, and Martha Cleland, 1838, were born. By 1841 the family was settled in Southwark, where Albert Charles, 1841 and Jessy Maria, 1844, were born.

Thomas Ford seems to have tried his hand at various occupations. On the baptismal records for James and Henry he is listed respectively as a carpenter and a sawyer. By the time William comes along he is a clerk, and on Martha’s record, in 1838, he calls himself a timber merchant. By the time Albert is born Thomas is describing himself as a gentleman, but on Jessy’s baptismal record he has become a traveler, presumably a traveling salesman. It’s hard, therefore, to get a picture of how well-off the family was, but there must have been some reason for the two eldest boys, then aged fifteen and fourteen, to leave London and travel to a strange new country to seek their fortunes.

Why Jamaica? It’s entirely possible that Thomas Ford had a relative living there, but I have not been able to find any evidence to support that, though it is the most likely reason for the two boys to have chosen to go there. Another reason, however, is that the Jamaican government at that time was actively encouraging immigration to the island. Slavery had been abolished in 1834 but, in order to appease the planters, a system of apprenticeship for the freed slaves was put in place, so that in fact real emancipation did not come into being until August 1, 1838. It goes without saying that the freed slaves had no desire to continue working for their former slave owners and overseers, and in fact were happy to work their own little plots of land, being so encouraged by the Baptists who helped to set up various villages where former slaves could own and cultivate their own land. The Jamaican government, therefore, was forced to encourage immigration to the island to take the place of the former slave labour. Many schemes were put in place at this time, as per various Immigration Acts passed by the Assembly. The Government appointed an agent to recruit settlers to the island and immigration was encouraged from England, Europe and even the former American colonies. There is an excellent report on this on the Jamaican Family Search website at

As the only evidence I had for the Fords coming to Jamaica in 1840 was Henry’s obituary in the Gleaner I did search to see whether the date was correct by searching for them in England. The earliest nominal British census was taken in 1841.  I found the household of Thomas Ford in the 1841 census, in Christ Church, Southwark. With them were Thomas Frederick and Martha Cleland. There was no sign of either James or Henry, nor could I find them anywhere in the English census records. Nor could I find any trace of William who would have been five years old.  He may have died, but I could not find a record to support that.  However, childhood mortality was high in those days, and sadly, Martha Cleland Ford and her as yet unborn brother, Albert Charles, were both dead by March 1843.

Whether or not James Dearmer Ford and his brother, Henry, were recruited to Jamaica, or else came at the behest of a relative there, is not known, but once there they apparently made a success of it, not on any plantation that I know of, but in the city of Kingston.
Kingston, Duperly, 1850
In my next post I shall describe how the two brothers made a successful life in Jamaica.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Leaving London: the Ford Boys Come to Jamaica

It’s been a busy summer and I’ve neglected My Jamaican Family, but I’m back now, carrying on the story of the Cunha family and their connection to the Fords. I knew nothing about the Fords, and my curiosity about them was stirred by the marriage of Percival Cunha to Marianne Bravo Ford in 1879. Here is a copy of their marriage record.

They were married 27th August 1879 in St George’s Anglican Church by Enos Nuttall, who later became Bishop of Jamaica. Both were listed as of full age, though their ages were given on the record, and the witnesses to the marriage were all from the Ford family – Jas D. Ford, Florence Louise Ford and Henry B. Ford.

So, who were these Fords anyway? The first task was to find out who Marianne’s parents were. Since Percival and Marianne were married in the Anglican Church I assumed that she must have been baptized in that church, since the Cunhas were certainly Methodists. I found Marianne’s baptism in the Church of England copy registers and saw that she was born 5th February 1858, daughter of James Dearmer Ford and his wife, Cordelia and that she was christened Marianne Bravo. So now I knew that the Jas. D. Ford who was a witness at her marriage had to be her father, James Dearmer Ford. My next step, then, was to search for the marriage of James Dearmer Ford to this Cordelia. I could not, however, find any trace of the marriage in the Anglican registers, so moved to the Dissenter Marriage Registers, on the off chance that they were married in another Protestant denomination, and sure enough, they were. I found that James Dearmer Ford and Cordelia Henriques were married by license on December 15, 1852 in St. Andrew’s United Presbyterian Church in Kingston by one James Watson. Here is their marriage record:

James was twenty-seven years old, a bank clerk, and Cordelia was twenty-one, so both were of full age to be married. The witnesses at this marriage were Henry Ford (again!), an M. Mais, Catherine Dean, Mary Ann Melhado and F. G DaCosta. Here is a recent photo of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, now known as Scots Kirk.

The names Melhado and DaCosta are Jewish, as is Henriques, which made me wonder if Cordelia had married outside of her faith. I therefore searched the Jewish records to see if I could find her birth, which, based on her age at marriage, would have been about 1831.

However, I could find no trace of Cordelia’s birth in the Jewish records, the originals of which are in the National Archives in Spanish Town, but which have been transcribed by Mrs. Phyllis Delisser and can also be found on the Jamaican Family Search website. According to Donald Lndo’s CD, Genealogy of Jamaica, Cordelia was the daughter of one Benjamin Quixano Henriques, who had married Abigail Mesquita, though no date for her birth was given. The source for this was First American Jewish Families, a compilation by the late Malcolm H. Stern, originally published in 1960, the third edition of which was published in 1991. It is also online at  Stern gave a list of children for Benjamin and Abigail, which included Cordelia (no birth date) and the notation that she had married “Ford”. I was able to find four of these children in the Sephardic records and noted that the last one listed, Nathaniel, was born in Spanish Town in 1927. It’s possible that the other children born after Nathaniel were also born there and that their births were not sent to the synagogue in Kingston and so have not survived in the records. One curious omission in Stern’s list was that of Amos Henriques, born in 1811, who later became a well-known physician and is written up in the Jewish Encyclopedia. In researching Amos I discovered the notice of his death in 1880 in the Jamaica Gleaner of July 7th of that year, which clearly stated his relationship to Cordelia, thus confirming her paternity.


At 67 Upper Berkeley Street, London, of 5th June 1880, of Paralysis of the Heart, Dr. Amos Henriques, aged 72, formerly of Kingston, and deeply regretted by an affectionate wife and children, his sister here, Mrs. Jas. D. Ford, two brothers in Australia, and numerous relatives and friends here and in London.

So now I knew that James Dearmer Ford had married a Jewish girl, but who was he and where had he come from? Unable to find any information about him in the records I started searching the Gleaner for any stories about James Ford and his brother Henry, and it was through Henry, or rather his lengthy obituary published in the Gleaner on November 18, 1901, that I learned the origins of the Ford brothers.

There it was – James and Henry had come to Jamaica on February 14, 1840! It seemed to me that they had most likely come from England and so I changed course and began researching in English records to see what I could find. In my next post I will describe my research into the Ford family.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Some Thoughts on Violence and its Consequences

It has been a long while since I updated this blog … overtaken by various duties and obligations I’ve neglected my posts, but lately I’ve been paying attention to events in two countries, my birthplace and my present home. As I write this the City of Toronto is reeling from the destruction caused by a small group of anarchists, calling themselves the Black Bloc, who have managed to hijack the peaceful protests against the current G20 meetings taking place in the city. Can such anarchist and nihilist behaviour ever be justified? Not always. I don’t deny the right of peaceful protest to those who disagree with the leaders of the G20, who think that they do not care for the average person, and who deplore the amount of money that has been spent on this summit and the security to protect the leaders themselves. They have the right to express their opinions peacefully, but what we have seen this weekend is not peaceful protest but anarchy.

At the same time, not too long ago, in Jamaica we saw a state of emergency declared and a police and army raid on Tivoli Gardens in downtown Kingston, all in order to arrest one man, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, a notorious gang leader, in order to turn him over to United States authorities. There was violence there too – much more serious than what we are seeing in Toronto at present – as more than 75 people were killed in the raids. “Dudus” has now been captured and extradited to the U. S.

Many of the comments I have seen about the violence in Toronto in the various online news sources are to the effect that this is not how Canadians behave – that it gives Canada a bad name, and so on. But this country has seen violence against authority in the past. As George Santayana said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The rebellions of 1837 are a case in point. William Lyon Mackenzie and his supporters rebelled against the government of the day, the Family Compact, in Upper Canada. For this he was forced to flee the country, many of his supporters were arrested, a few hanged and others transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). The consequences of the 1837 rebellions was the appointment by Great Britain of Lord Durham

who was sent to investigate the situation in the Canadas and proposed changes to the status quo which led to the establishment of responsible government. Not only that, but Mackenzie himself, the Firebrand, became Mayor of Toronto and part of the establishment.

There have been many cases of violence in Jamaican history, some of which has brought changes for the better. I think particularly of the 1831-32 slave revolts, also called the Baptist war, in the western parishes, which was led by Sam Sharpe

and which were to lead eventually to the abolition of that pernicious institution, slavery, in the British colonies in 1834. Reviled as Sharpe was in his day – and he was hanged for his pains – he was declared a National Hero of Jamaica in 1975 and there is a statue commemorating him in the square in Montego Bay.

Nor should we forget the 1865 Rebellion in Morant Bay, led by Paul Bogle, which protested the treatment of a poor black man who had been put on trial for the crime of trespass on a long-abandoned plantation. Here there was violence on both sides but more so on the part of the Government under the leadership of Governor Edward John Eyre who put the rebellion down with the utmost brutality. Bogle and many of the rebels were hanged, some without a trial, and so was a member of the House of Assembly, George William Gordon, who had opposed Eyre but who had not taken part in the rebellion. And the consequences? Well, Eyre was recalled to England, the Jamaican House of Assembly renounced its charter and Jamaica became a Crown Colony. Clinton Black, in his book, The Story of Jamaica (London: Collins, 1965), sees this as a turning point in the island’s history as it gave the governors of this period the opportunity to push through various reforms and improvements. Both Bogle and Gordon were declared National Heroes of Jamaica.

I realize all this is very far from what I’ve been writing about in this blog, My Jamaican Family. One thing I’ve realized is that Jamaica, as it exists now, is not the Jamaica I grew up in. At the same time I feel it is important to remember the past, because we, and Jamaica, are products of that past. I cannot say what the end result will be of the raid on Tivoli Gardens, any more than I can say what may come from the violence in Toronto this weekend. That is probably very far in the future. For now I plan in my next post to return to the 1831 slave revolt and its consequences – the abolition of slavery and what it meant to the family I have been following, the Cunhas and a connected family, the Fords.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Cunha Family -- Louis's Children

Stephen Hopwood pointed me towards the website of the National Library of Jamaica where I found a picture of the Commercial Rooms, at Harbour and King Streets, where Louis Cunha had worked early in his career. Here it is:

The artist was Joseph Bartholomew Kidd, who was born in Edinburgh in 1808 and died at Greenwich in 1889. Between 1831 and 1833 Kidd was engaged by John James Audubon to copy many of his watercolours of birds, Audubon at that time being very involved in finding subscribers for his Birds of America. One such work by Kidd is The Baltimore Oriole.

Kidd also spent time in Jamaica between 1833 and 1840 where he painted many island scenes. Other examples of his work can be found on the website of the National Library of Jamaica, which is currently under construction.

After Louis Cunha dissolved his partnership with Casper Davis in 1879 he continued his operation of the Commercial Exchange. At some point it seems that the Commercial Exchange, or “Commercial Rooms” as they were also known, became the Merchants’ Exchange. In 1885 the Merchants’ Exchange was amalgamated with the newly formed Jamaica Society of Agriculture and Commerce, but by it’s probable that by this time Louis had retired.
Louis and his wife, Elizabeth had six children: Emmeline Isilda, Reginald Granville, Herbert Augustus, Clarence Louis, Percival Charles and Olive Mosse – four sons with two daughters as bookends! All seven were baptized in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, but only Herbert and Clarence were married in that church. They would have been members of Coke Chapel in Kingston.

Courtesy of The New York Public Library.

Coke Chapel was destroyed by the earthquake in 1907 and the current Coke Methodist Church was built on the same site.

Gleaner, Pieces of the Past

Emmeline married Frederick Augustus Autey, a merchant and proprietor of Autey & Company, with operations in both Kingston and Port Antonio. When they married in 1871 Emmeline was twenty-four and Autey was forty-two and a widower, his first wife, Esther Ramos, having died in 1869 at age thirty-three. Autey and Emmeline might have met through Emmeline’s younger brother, Clarence who is listed in the 1878 Directory for Kingston as an accountant with the firm of Autey & Co. at 119 Luke Lane. Autey himself died “of old age” in 1905 and I haven’t so far found any further reference to his widow, Emmeline.
Reginald Granville, the eldest son, married Isabel Martinez Trincoso in Colombia, according to a brief notice in the Gleaner, and I know nothing further about him. Nor have I been able so far to find out what happened to Olive Mosse Cunha, the youngest of Louis’s children. I have been more successful in tracing the lives and careers of Herbert, Clarence and Percival, all of whom I hope to write about in this blog. I found a curious item in the Gleaner of June 20, 1866 about one of Louis’s sons, though which I’m not sure. It might be the youngest, Percival. Here it is:

Louis Cunha died on December 1, 1893 at his home, 136 Church Street, Kingston. Cause of death was chronic cerebritis -- inflammation of the brain. The Gleaner published a brief obituary about him.

His wife, Elizabeth, had already passed away on June 14th, 1884, most likely of uterine cancer.

In my next post I’ll continue the story of the Cunha family.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Cunha Family -- How Did They Fit in?

Some years ago I did a fair bit of research for a Trinidadian friend on his Cunha connections in Jamaica. This was a Jewish family, the name being Mendes Cunha, and it was of interest to me because family story had it that my mother's family was connected to Cunhas through the Browns. According to my Uncle Rodney (many of whose family stories turned out to be incorrect!), a daughter of my great-grandfather, Daniel Elias Brown, had married a Cunha. This was one Sarah Letitia Webster Brown, of whom I knew very little save that she was the third child of Daniel and his wife, Sarah Letitia, born 26 December 1863 and baptized in the Methodist Church on 3 March 1864. All I've been able to find out about her since is that she was the informant when her father, Daniel Elias, died in 1891 and that at the time she was living at 49 Rose Lane, Kingston and was single. I have not so far found a marriage for her nor a record of her death. So, where did the Cunha connection come from?

I have a cousin living in Jamaica whom I've known all my life, but it was some time before I figured out how we were connected. And here again was another Cunha connection, in that her grandmother's maiden name was Cunha! I knew her as Aunt Maud. My research led me to Maud’s parents, Clarence Louis Cunha who had married Marie Louise Sewell in the Wesleyan Methodist Church. And then the penny dropped! For I then discovered that Marie Louise was the daughter of one Augustus Robert Sewell, a policeman, and his wife, Sarah Saunders Brown, and Sarah was none other than the sister of my great-grandfather, Daniel Elias Brown! Augustus and Sarah had married in the Roman Catholic Church, and it was not until I was able to get a copy of the record that I could make the connection. Here is what it said:

On the 6th of January 1845 Revd. G. L. Duquesnay joined in lawful wedlock according to the rites of the R. Catholic Church, Augustus Robert Sewelle [sic], a native of Carlisle, Cumberland, England, and Sarah Saunders Brown, a native of Kingston, in presence of:

[Signatures]: Augustus R. Sewell
Sarah Brown
Christian Glaatz
Sarah Elizabeth Glaatz (her mark)
G. L. Duquesnay

I haven’t so far tried to track down Augustus Robert Sewell in Cumberland, as I’ve been concentrating on Sarah and her descendants. And if all this sounds as if it just fell into place I can tell you that it took me quite some time to get to the above conclusion.

Once I had the connection to Clarence Louis Cunha I decided to find out more about his family to see if they were part of the Mendes Cunha family. If there is a connection I haven’t so far found it. Clarence was one of the children of Louis Charles Cunha and his wife, Isabel (also known as Elizabeth) Ximenes (which was spelled Himenes in their marriage record.) They were married in the Wesleyan Methodist denomination in 1846 and the record gives very little information save their names, and that they were “of full age”, so I don’t know who their parents were. If Louis were the son of one of the Mendes Cunhas he was most likely illegitimate as he does not appear in the Sephardic Jewish records. Based on his age at death he was probably born about 1819. I should add here that during my research I corresponded with other family connections who were certain that Louis Charles Cunha must have been a Jew who converted and changed his Jewish name, but we have been unable to find any evidence for this.

Louis Cunha was from all accounts a highly respected person in the Kingston business community. On Clarence’s baptismal record he is listed as a gentleman and on another record as the manager of the Commercial Rooms. According to Stephen Hopwood, the Commercial Room was
…”rather like a Chamber of Commerce, but with more importance. It was located on Harbour Street (south side) near King Street. A tower over the building was used for sighting of incoming ships and the report given as to friend or foe and report if mail ships were approaching. Before the post office - it served as a mail drop, and had it own hand stamp for outgoing/incoming mail, and generally served as a post office as well. In other words it served a very important function!”
This illustration by James Hakewill, from his Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, shows the corner of King and Harbour Streets as of 1825 and is the closest I can come to a picture of the area.
In researching Louis’s connection to this establishment I researched notices from the Gleaner and found that he eventually started up in a similar business with a partner. But before that I did find references to his employment at the Commercial Room in a Parliamentary Report on Governor Edward Eyre’s handling of the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion. In this report Louis was giving evidence in 1866 in a case regarding a charge of seditious libel printed in a newspaper, the “County Union”;

From reports in the Gleaner it seems Louis decided to go into business with a partner in an endeavor similar to his former position, as per this item in the Gleaner of January 29th, 1878:

The following month the Gleaner reported the opening of the Commercial Exchange:

Success was short-lived however and the partnership did not last. The following conflicting advertisements appeared in the Gleaner of September 26, 1879:

Shortly thereafter the Gleaner published the following notice on January 3, 1880:
According to the advertisements the dissolution was by mutual accord.

Casper Davies (also spelled Davis) was an observant Jew and this would explain his decision to close the Commercial Exchange for the High Holy Days. Apparently he did this without consulting his partner. Did Louis respond the way he did because he didn’t want the public to think he was Jewish, or was it because he had not had a part in the decision? Whatever the reason this was most likely why the partnership was dissolved.

In my next post I will continue the story of the Cunha family.

Arras Memorial

Arras Memorial

Trooper Victor Dey Smedmore

Trooper Victor Dey Smedmore
My uncle Victor