I am unable to find the parents of James Affleck but from the legal documentation connected to his will, he had a brother David and sisters Rosina and Jean.

On 1 Aug 1752 at Monimail, Fife, Jean Auchinleck married John Wilson, distiller of Cambusbarron, St Ninians, Stirlingshire.

On 25 May 1759 at Liberton, Midlothian, Rosina Auchinleck married Thomas Bennet. The cautioners were James Robison and Alexr Auchinleck.

These dates fit well with the birth date of 1739 of the James Affleck who sailed to Jamaica in 1774. All five of them signed a document in January 1807 by which time, if the above marriages are correct, they would have probably been over 70.

James Affleck 17??-1802

James was a carpenter on Salt Spring Estate in Jamaica. He is probably the James Affleck, carpenter, born 1739, who sailed to Jamaica from London on board The Dawes in November 1774. He also owned a house at Hawthornden in Lasswade near Edinburgh.

In his will he acknowledges he is the father of the listed mixed race children, all who were left legacies.

His final mistress was his slave Nelly who after she was freed went by the name of Eleanor. In the 1823 census Nelly is aged 40 living at Cave Valley in the parish of Hanover, Jamaica.

James had marked up his will in pencil to leave Nelly's children much larger legacies than his other children. He died on 20 October 1802 and his will was proved in Jamaica in 1803 including the pencil markings. He left approximately £4,800 sterling.

The will was illegial under Jamaican law as his son Alexander Affleck, being mixed race, was only permitted to inherit two thousand Jamaican pounds. To prevent litigation, in 1807 in Edinburgh James's brother, David Affleck and his sisters Rosina Bennet and Joan Dickson agreed to honour the will as much as they could and they only shared just over two hundred pounds Sterling between themselves. Money was put into trusts and Sarah and Alexander Affleck were to receive the interest.

In 1818 a copy of the will and a record of the process used to prove it was sent to England. Dugald Campbell the owner of Salt Spring was the chief executor and when he died his executors were his brothers Duncan and John Campbell who took over the administration of the trusts connected with the estate of James Affleck. In 1829 Sarah and her brother's widow, Marion Affleck, took Duncan and John Campbell to court claiming that they were no longer receiving the interest from the trusts. The dispute continued until 1835.

Known children all born Jamaica:-

  1. Molly Affleck

    She had a daughter Mary Spinks, born later part of 1788 baptised in 1791 father Andrew Spink

  2. Alick
  3. Peachy Affleck
  4. Alexander Affleck baptised 31 May 1799 aged 6 months

    According to the register of St James's, Hanover he was baptised at Salt Spring. His mother was Nelly and his godfather was Dugald Campbell, the owner of Salt Spring.

    Alexander was freed from slavery in his father's will and he emigrated to Britain. On 9 February 1820 at Canongate, Edinburgh he married Marion Donaldson, the daughter of George Donaldson, a tailor. The marriage was irregular and they were rebuked by the Kirk session at Peebles which then declared them married. Alexander was given the title 'Esq' suggesting that he had some social standing.

    Alexander was buried on 25 May 1826 and Marion on 29 August 1834 both in Peebles.


    • James Affleck born 13 May 1823 in Peebles

      In 1841 he was living in Edinburgh with his mothers' relatives William and Jean Donaldson. He was a tailor and died of cholera in Edinburgh on 4 January 1849.

  5. Sarah Affleck born September 1800

    According to a transcript of the register of St James's, Hanover, Sarah was baptised at Green Island on 24 January 1801 aged five months, the daughter of Nelly.

    Although her father's will did not explicitly free her it was decided that he intented to do so: so it was agreed to pay for her manumission out of his estate.

    Sarah emigrated to Britain and on 7 December 1816 in the parish of St Cuthbert, Edinburgh, she married Alexander Gray whose occupation was flesher (butcher). The marriage did not last and in 1827 she initiated a 'process of separation'. By 1835 Alexander was a labourer, living in Limehouse, London.

    Sarah was left slaves of her own in her father's will and in 1834, before emancipation, when she would have been due compensation, she wrote to her mother in Jamaica enquiring after them. Her mother's reply survives and she advised that four of her daughter's slaves were still living, all on Salt Spring.

    In 1841 Sarah, of independent means, is living at Scotland Street, Edinburgh. With her is her son, daughter, son-in-law and their young family. In 1861 She is living at 3 Yools Place, Portobello with her grandchildren, Eleanora and Alexander Brash.

    Sarah was found dead on Christmas morning 1864.

    Sarah and Alexander's two children were baptised at the non-conformist St James Place Relief church in Edinburgh:-

    1. Elizabeth Gray born 12 October 1817

      She married Andrew Brash

    2. William Gray born 22 September 1821

      In 1841 he was a medical student living with his mother in the home of his married sister.

      On 13 February 1844 in Edinburgh William married Mary Hill and in 1851 he is a surgeon living with his family at 17 Bristo Street, Edinburgh. By 1871 he had retired.

      William also had an earthenware manufacturing business in which some of his sons and his niece Eliza Brash worked. There is a detailed account of the pottery business on The National Museums Scotland website.

      His wife Mary died on 30 August 1854 and in 1857 in Edinburgh William married Janet Herriot. She died in 1898 and William died on 2 May 1899. He had made a will and his estate came to £34,634 15s 2d.

      Children mother Mary Hill:-

      • Agnes Gray baptised 6 December 1844 Edinburgh

        In 1899 she was living at Cambridge House, Teddington, Middlesex. Agnes died at sea aboard 'SS Paul' while on a voyage to New York on 1 December 1906. Her addresses for probate were given as 11 Hatton Place, Edinburgh: Rathbone House, Portobello: Queen Hotel, St. Colme Street, Edinburgh and Cambridge House, Teddington.

      • Sarah Gray baptised 25 May 1848 Edinburgh

        She married her cousin Andrew Brash on 18 December 1871 in Edinburgh

      • Alexander Gray baptised 25 May 1848 Edinburgh

        In 1877 in Edinburgh Alexander married Emmeline Meldru Knott who was born in Glasgow in 1854. In 1881 he was a pottery owner living at Rathbone House, Portobello employing 32 men, 26 women and 6 boys. He continued to be a stoneware manufacturer at Portobello dying a year after his wife in 1905. There were no children.

      • William Gray baptised 13 March 1850 Edinburgh

        In 1871 at the age of 21 he was a potter in Newbigging, West Vennel, Inveresk employing 14 men, 18 women and 7 boys. In 1878 at Duns, Berwickshire William married Agnes Jane Wood who was born in 1853 in England. They had five daughters two of whom, Beatrice Agnes and Ethel, were made executors of their aunt Sarah Brash's will. William continued in the stoneware business, dying in Musselburgh in 1921 and Agnes died in 1923 in Newington, both testate.

      • James Hill Gray baptised 3 March 1852 Edinburgh

        James was a mariner. He married Ann Hughes in Liverpool on 11 July 1876. James was a retired seaman when he married Bridget Larkins, a widow, on 26 February 1901 at Bootle, Lancashire. She was the daughter of James Lolley a painter. James died in 1909.

      • Mary Cecilia Gray baptised 17 April 1854 Edinburgh

        She died in 1855

      Child mother Janet Herriot:-

      • Mary Anne Herriot Gray born 1858 Edinburgh

    1. Gray v Campbell 1830 - The National Archives, Kew C13/940/8
    2. Gray v Campbell 1831 - The National Archives, Kew C13/961/21
    3. Gray v Campbell 1835 - The National Archives, Kew C13/2380/30