Founding date: 1667
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The Belmont Estate was located off All Saints Road, but there is nothing left of it except for the name given to the area. As noted above, the sugar mill had been converted to steam power, along with several other estates, in the mid-1800s, when the estate was owned by Mrs. Emma Purvis. The Belmont Clinic, located on All Saints Road, is one notable business in the area.
Estate Related History/Timeline
Lt. Col. Bastian Baijer, the original owner, was granted 500 acres in the St. John’s Division by then-Governor Austin. He also was granted an additional 18 acres by Governor Keynell and obtained 728 acres in Popeshead Division and another 140 acres (location not identified). A surveyor determined that St. John’s had “run out” 25 feet of the Colonel’s land on the south side, which he had owned since April 11, 1688. His counsel (W. Hinde, Esq.) proved he had the land from Robert Hollingworth.
The elder John Otto Baijer was baptized in St. John’s in 1703 and grew to own Belmont, Otto’s Estate (#16), Five Islands (#31), and Cooke’s Estate (#26). Both Belmont and Otto’s were later sold to Daniel Burr Garling. Vere Oliver, Vol. I
In his book Five of the Leewards, author Douglas Hall includes a table of sugar crop production for the six Estates owned by Mr. Shand (Belmont/Murray’s, Belle Vue/Stoney Hill #36, Cedar Valley #42, Will Blizzards (#54), Blubber Valley (#168) and Rose Valley (#216) for the years 1832 through 1847, as follows:
Mr. Shand lived in Antigua from 1832 to 1841. It is interesting to note the years of slavery vs. the first year wages were paid (1835); the years of severe drought; the year that villages started to be built (1842); and the year (1834) when many Portuguese arrived from Madiera for a five-year indentureship.
S. Dobbee & Sons and W. Parker & Co. were small firms that also purchased estates through the court: W. Parker & Co. bought Hawse (#79), Mercer’s Creek (#78), Big Duers (#89), Little Duers (#90) and Lower Freeman’s (#82); S. Dobbee & Sons bought Belmont, Otto’s (#5) and Blackman’s (#63). The two companies sold off these properties to individuals, and both firms were gone by 1891. Susan Loews, Sugar & Empire.
Belmont received a Legacy award from the British Parliament (Antigua 128) of £2,386. 2s. 4p. for granting freedom to 160 slaves. The awards were William Musgrave, William Shand, and Chles Wollaston. Meade Horne Daniell was unsuccessful.
Admiral Tollemach (Weatherill’s #5) sent his nephew William Bertie Wolseley (d. 1881) to run his estates of Weatherill’s, Gambles (#14), Delaps (#137), and several others. Bertie first resided at Weatherill’s, then moved to Belmont/Murray’s in 1828, and may have owned and received compensation in 1835 of £159. 3s. 3p. for granting freedom to 11 slaves.
The Antigua Sugar Factory’s returns from the 1941 sugar crop were estimated at 813 tons from 200 acres under peasants on the Belmont/Murray’s Estate; 569 tons of sugarcane were delivered.
“Joseph Dew & Sons started Antigua’s first dairy milk farm at the Belmont/Murray Estate, where they pasteurized the milk and sold it in old-fashioned milk bottles. They had a milk truck that made the delivery rounds.” Margaret White, Memories of . . .
See Langford’s (#6) for a history of the Camacho family.
Enslaved People’s History
Based on contemporary research, we have little information to share about the enslaved peoples from this plantation at this time. They probably had at maximum of 165 people working at that plantation. Belmont received a Legacy award from the British Parliament (Antigua 128) of £2,386. 2s. 4p. for granting freedom to 160 slaves. We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.
- 1667: Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Baijer d. 1704.
- 1701: Captain Sebastian Otto-Baijer d. 1724. White marble tomb in St. John’s Churchyard.
- 1790: John Otto-Baijer b. 1703. (1777/78 maps by cartographer John Luffman.)
- 1829: John Otto-Baijer 678 acres,165 slaves.
- 1843: Langford Lovell
- 1857: Daniel Burr Garling (1785-1875)
- 1870: Samuel Henry Garling (1836-1892)
- 1872: Mrs. Emma Purvis. She owned 788 acres, which included Belmont, Herbert’s (#20), and Drew’s Hill (#18). Belmont’s sugar mill also had been converted from wind to steam power in the mid-1800’s
- 1878: S. Dobee & Sons
- 1891: Antonio Joseph Camacho d. 1894.
- 1894: John J. Camacho d. 1929.
- 1921: Aubrey J. Camacho
- 1933: W. T. Maloney