Founding date: 1711
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There is still a mill on this site which is in fairly good condition, showing where the estate buildings were originally located. Set back from the sea, once cleared and under cultivation, would have provided a good view of the surrounding land and the sea to the north. To get to Cocoa Nut Hall one would pass Gilbert’s, Mercer’s Creek and Hawes. At one time there was a burial ground at Hawes plantation which was destroyed by a proposed development that never materialised. Mrs. Henderson of Mercer’s Creek rescued one of the headstones belonging to the Edwards family and placed it beneath a large tamarind tree on her property.
Dr. Reg Murphy advised that the Coconut Hall site has been carbon dated to 910 AD as an Arawak site. A few of the many sites around Antigua go back as far as 800 BC.
Coconut Hall was included in the Dato Tan land sale in 1998 which was to have been developed into an Asian Village to include some of the off-shore islands, in particular Guiana Island. This never came to fruition and the ruins of the initial and only structure Asian style with lily ponds at the entrance, remains visible near the headland.
With the advent of YIDA taking over, supposedly the same development, roads have been cut along the shoreline from Crabbs through to Coconut Hall and into Mercer’s Creek.
Estate Related History/Timeline
1711: Feb.21 Nathaniel Crump stated on Oct. last several French privateers landed at his plantation and took fifteen slaves. He petitions to the Assembly for payment. On 22nd May he is paid 661 pounds for these out of public money.” V.Oliver Vol. I p.186
1729: In 1729, a group of slaves owned by Nathaniel Crump at Coconut Hall Plantation in St Peter plotted to kill their owner and all the other whites in the island; the five ring leaders were executed and a few of their associates transported to neighboring islands.
Nathaniel Crump was a Barrister, Speaker of Antigua at Council 21 July, 1716; President of Council 1735 and a sworn member of the Militia.
1729, Nov.26 – Petition of George Crump and Samuel Redhead, who have a large sloop of 10 guns now fitting for the coast of Guinea, offering to take back 6 free negroes who had been kidnapped from Cape Apollonia for the mate of the sloop “Catherine” which later vessel belonged to Peter Papillon of Boston, merchant, the mate murdered his skipper, but the deed was discovered at St. John’s where he put in for provisions.” V.Oliver Vol.I p.186
George and Nathaniel Crump of Middlesex have sold “Crump’s Mountain Plantation, Crump’s Windward Plantation and Crump’s Steel Plantation, all in Antigua, to Andrew Newton of London. Release of those plantations to serve an annuity of 300 pounds during the life of Mr. Newton. Beineke Collection M198
(Not sure who Andrew Newton was, but the estate went on to be owned by the Edwards family, probably through marriage to Nathaniel’s daughter Elizabeth.)
This is Coconut Hall at Mercer’s Creek of 300 acres. Vere Oliver Vol.I p.185
In the Pedigree of Crump, Vere Oliver Vol.I, it states that Nathaniel Crump inherited Mercer’s Creek alias Cocoa Nut Hall of 240 acres from his uncle Dr. George Crump (as these are two separate estates and are in the same area along with Hawes, it is possible that they were all called Mercer’s Creek).
1745-1793: George and Nathaniel Crump of Middlesex have sold “Crump’s Mountain Plantation,” “Crump’s Windward Plantation,” and “Crump’s Steel Plantation,” all in Antigua to Andrew Newton of London.” M198 The Beinecke Collection
In 1760, contained 240 acres and in 1769, 360 acres.
The Edwards family were from Monmouth, England. Nicolas Edwards had two sons, Thomas Edward of Comfort Hall and Andrew Edwards of Cocoa Nut Hall.
1829: In 1829, this estate contained 247 acres and 145 slaves.
1851: The Antigua Almanac shows Cocoa-Nut Hall of 247 acres and owned by John Edwards
1852: In 1852 Cocoa Nut Hall contained 217 acres and was owned by John Edwards.
1921: The estate contained 257 acres.
This is Coconut Hall at Mercer’s Creek of 300 acres. Vere Oliver Vol.I p.185
In the private burial ground of Coconut hall is an MI or ledger :- “Sacrect to the Memory of/Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards/Wife of Andrew Edwards Esq./ of this island who departed this Life/June 25th 1806 Aged 45 Years/also Mary Hurst Edwards/Daughter of And. & Eliz. Edwards/ who departed this Life Nov.23rd 1792/Aged 4 Years/Also Mary Hurst Edwards/Daughter of the above/whoe departed this Life Oct. 24th 1794/Aged 9 Months/ Also Charlotte their Daughter/who departed this Life Oct.31st 1800’ Aged 3 Years/Also William Lewis Edwards/Nephew of And. & Eliz. Edwards/who departed this Life April 13th 1799/Aged 23 Years.”
William Lewis Edwards (1776-1799) age 23. Burried at Cocoa Nut Hall with his Aunt and Uncle Andrew and Elizabeth Edwards. He was the son of Thomas Edwards of Cocoa Nut Hall.
There is a record of two small headstones:
“George Crump esq. departed this life July 1773 (?) …. years”
“Geo. Crump Esq. died Oct.23 1793 Aged 48 years”
Margaret Adelaide Coates married Joseph Edwards. [date not yet known] (Joseph from Seatons – Cocoa Nut Hall Estate) They lived at Market Street. The property at corner of Market Street & Lionel Hurst St took up a whole block and was the original blacksmith shop. There was the family house which was adjacent to the blacksmith shop. Where the family house is (today 2015 was formerly the Blacksmith Shop. The Rising Star store and a food eatery (now owned by Syrians store) is currently there. Deseire Edwards Family History.
Letters from Yeamons Estate 1850’s:
Yeamans Estate) to Whitehaven, England in April of 1851:
“Referring to your observations about the number of overseers which appear to have been employed in the last quarter, I beg to state that it arose chiefly th[r]ough the unhealthy situation of the Estate. Two overseers, Crook and Williams, having died within that time and the Manager being ill and unable to attend to the duties of the Estate. Mr. Burrows gave up the situation soon after he went on the Estate. Mr. Lake being a man who could be depended upon was sent to me from Cocoanut Hall to superintend the work during Mr. Frew’s first illness and returned after Mr. Frew’s health improved…”
Cocoanut Hall was still producing sugar in 1941 as records for the Antigua Sugar Factory, Ltd. show below. Almost as many acres were being farmed by peasants as those worked by the estate itself.
1941: Antigua Sugar Factory, Ltd. Cane Returns for 1941 Crop.
Coconut Hall estimated 435 tons, 32 acres estate, 30 acres peasants on the estate, tons of cane delivered 511 at 11.25 tons per acre.
Coconut Hall is part and parcel of the land included with Guiana Island and offshore islands that consecutively went through the Data Tan sale, now owned by YIDA and part of an enormous development that is threatening to engulf every square inch of land. (2016)
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 do know that, in 1729, a group of enslaved peoples owned by Nathaniel Crump at this plantation plotted to kill their owner and all other white people on the land. Ultimately, the five ring leaders were executed and a few of their associates were transported to neighboring islands. We also know that the estate contained 247 acres and 145 enslaved people 100 years later, in 1829. We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.
Coconut Hall was awarded L2123 1s 9d for compensation of slaves. Antigua 354
Ownership from 1711 George & Nathaniel Crump
1750: Dr. George Crump (1745-1761) (1773)
1761: Nathaniel Crump Crump’s Windward estate in 1769 contained 300 acres.
1781: Eliz. Crump, dtr. of Nathaniel md.1781/82 Andrew Edwards – living 1798
1790: Andrew Newton
1790: Davis & Edwards 1777/78 Luffman map now called “Crump’s”
1802: Andrew Edwards d.1808
1808: John Davis Edwards bapt. 1785 in Ireland d. Antigua 1815 145 slaves in 1829
1851: John Edwards bapt 1821
1870: W.R. Geddes
1872:Heirs of A. Geddes 1872 Horsford Almanac
1891: Desouza, Jardine Bros.
1933: Eugene F. Jardin 1933 Camacho Map
1958: Antigua Syndicate Estates, Ltd.
1968: Antiguan Government – Crown Land
2000: Dato Tan K. Hock
2010: Reverted back to Government
2015: Sold To Chinese conglomerate YEDA