Parish: St. George
Founding Date: 1600
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Blackman’s is situated not far from Sir Vivian Richard’s Stadium which is to the south, and lies with its northernmost shores in Parham Harbour. This mill is now owned by the Shoul family and there is no evidence that this estate ever converted to steam. The mill still stands on this site in good condition but is full of honey bees (old deserted mills often house bees and the honey gets collected by those in the know). Up until the late 1990’s the buff house still stood but was badly damaged by termites and crumbled in the last hurricane leaving the stone steps and lower storey with some of the surrounding garden walls. To the east of the main house where the works might have been, was a building that had been repaired and was still in fairly good condition in 2000. The whole area is now completely surrounded by bush.
In the old days this Mill’s location was ideal for the shipping of sugar directly from the estate, instead of using the more laborious route overland by ox and cart. Blackman’s.
Mount Lucy or Blackman’s was awarded £2043 7 s 10 d for 130 enslaved. The sole awardee was William Henry Rowland Irby.
1600’s: “John Blackman (b.1676-1726) took the name “Lucie” from Blackman of Mount Lucie estates in Barbados and Antigua.”
1678: Lucie Blackman, 2nd son Lucie had plantations held in Barbados, Antigua & Jamaica.
1705: John Lucie Blackman Gent. 6 acres of flashes by John Johnson situated on the west side of Fitche’s Creek……” John Lucie married Francis Blackman. Their 6-month old son who died June 1700, is interred in St. George’s cemetery. When John Lucie died, his daughter Elizabeth inherited his plantation in Barbados and ½ of the plantation in Antigua. However, when she married Gerard Napier, all the estates passed by entail to testator’s nephew Lucie Blackman. (c.1686)
1703 Aug.16: Indenture by sale, Richard Scott of Barbados, Esq., for £100 sterling sells a negro to John Lucye Blackman of Antigua, Esq.” 1703 :Giles Watkins Esq., Manager of Blackman’s.
1715/16 March 9: Petition of John Lucie Blackman that he has been seized since July 1760 of a parcel of flashes and mangroves on the Westside of Fitche’s Creek beginning at the old bridge, etc…. patent is also granted a small island. Total 6 acres….etc”. Vere Oliver Vol.I
1724: Will of Hon. Lucie Blackman left to son Rowland, Blackman’s. Also left £20 to purchase a piece of plate for St. George’s Church.” Vere Oliver Vol.I p.44 The 1777-78 map by John Luffman shows that Blackman’s was called Mt. Lucie Plantation and owned by Heirs of Blackman’s.
1784-1842: William Henry Rowland Irby inherited Blackman’s estate through his mother Mary Blackman who was the daughter of Rowland Blackman.
1792: “Thomas Niehell lets to Francis Bell Grant 88 1/2 acres, part of Blackman’s estate in St. St. Joseph’s parish from 26 May last for six years at 104 pounds rent.” Vere Oliver Vol.II p.303
1792: Tyrrell Herbert was Capt. of Fort Byam situated at Barnacle Point. He and William Taylor were appointed executors by Valentine Morris (d.1789) in 1788 for his property in the West Indies. He was greatly embarrassed in his affairs and at the time owned Crabb’s estate, Looby’s which was mortgaged for £8080 and Jolly Hill. For interesting details of a case in Chancery 1844, forty years later, see Ravenscroft vs. Frisby.
1820: In a codicil to his will in 1820, William Henry Irby granted an annuity of £200 per annum to his daughter Augusta Priscilla, widow of Sir William Langham of Cottesbrooke, expressing regret that high taxes following Napoleonic wars and many other calamities attendant upon his West Indian property he was leaving to his son (eg. Poor harvests, hurricanes, etc.) prevented him providing for her more fully without injuring the property he was leaving to his son. He expressed hope that the estate would recover to support the heavy indebtedness on them.”
1829: Blackman’s obtained 330 acres and 138 slaves and was originally known as Mount Lucye. “The ex-slaves of Blackman estate use to make whistles out of bamboo or wild cane. They also use the whistle to make music. That was the way they celebrate first of August. (Independence Day) To Shoot Hard Labour 2.” Legacies of British Slave-ownership. T71/877 Antigua Claims no. 348.
1851: Antigua Almanac shows Blackman’s 230 acres belonging to Messrs. W. & F. Shand. Kean Brown Osborn, M.D. (1770-1852) owned Paynter’s, Orange Valley, Bodkin’s, Blackman’s Mt. Lucy and Room’s. Carlisle’s was linked to Paynter’s in the will.
1870: Solicitor’s Journal & Reporter Dec. 24, 1870. “A conditional order for the sale of an estate called Blackman’s or Mount Lucy, in the island of Antigua, and objections being filed on behalf of the owners The estate formerly belonged to Dr. Osborne who died in 1852 having divided it (with other trustees) to transfer for fifty years in trust out of the rents and profits, to raise and pay certain specified debts in aid of his personal estate. The estate was left to his wife for life and then to pass to their son. Encumbered Estates Court.
1941 : Antigua Sugar Factory, Ltd. Cane Returns for 1941 Crop. Blackman’s. Estimated 2049 tons, 107 acres estate – acres peasants on the estate, tons of cane delivered 1759 at 16.44 tons per acre.
1949: In trying to facilitate the transfer of the estate of Carlisle (#60) and Barnes Hill from Mrs. Camacho, there showed considerable encroachment. It was, however, transferred to the Syndicate Estates on 25th February, 1949 for $2,500.
1951: the owner of Blackman’s was V.C. Gomes. 2016: Blackman’s Estate has been approved by the Antiguan Government for the CIP Programme (Citizens by Investment Act 2013). Approved investment amount for the real estate option is $400,000 US + fees.
1957: Mr. C.T. Michael who was the overseer at Carlisle’s for the Syndicate for the past year, died. Maintenance of the estate houses as residences also fell to the Company.
Enslaved People’s History
Based on contemporary research, we have little information to share about the enslaved peoples from this plantation at this time. We only know that this estate contained 330 acres and 138 enslaved people in 1829, and it was awarded £2043 7 s 10 d for the freedoms of 130 of those people later that same year. We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.
- 1666 John Lucie (d.1725)
- 1686 Lucie Blackman (Lucie is male)
- 1700 Elizabeth Blackman (1/2 the estate)
- 1705 John Lucie Blackman nephew of Lucie Blackman
- 1724 Rowland Blackman (d.1780)
- 1777 Heirs of Blackman
- 1780 Tyrrell Herbert (d.1794) Although the estate appears to stay in the Blackman family
- 1792 Thomas Niehell both these names appear.
- 1829 Hon. William Henry Rowland Irby. (1784-1842) inherited from his mother Mary Blackman, dtr. of Rowland Blackman
- 1843 Heirs of W.H. Irby
- 1851 Messrs. William & Francis. Shand
- 1852 Dr. Kean Brown Osborne, M.D. (1770-1852)
- 1872 Not on the 1872 Horsford Almanac
- 1878 S. Dobee & Sons. Left Antigua by 1881, also owned Otto’s
- 1891 Heirs of Jose Gomes.
- 1921 V.C. Gomes.
- 1933 Valerius C.E. Gomes. 1933 Camacho map
- 1940 Ferdinand Shoul.
- 2000 Heirs of Shoul