Founding date: 1650
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The mill is in excellent shape but is being infringed on by the growing village of New Winthorpes and is literally in the backyard of one home, as is the gravestone. The top part of the mill was sealed off to provide a gravity-fed cistern for the village which is no longer in use. The mill machinery lies just outside the mill to the west, and several people have wanted to remove it for scrap iron. Janice Fredrick guards it fiercely and advised that the Government has twice had plans to turn the hilltop area into a park, but to date, this has not materialized. Any further sign of this estate has been eradicated by the intrusion of the village. The oval inscription above the door of the mill with a rope pattern border, states “Giles Blizzard est Anno Domini 1778.” One of the original settlers – “At the request of Dr. Henry Stodden we have surveyed the plantation belonging to Capt. Giles Blizard, and now in the possession of his children, of 155 acres.”
Estate Related History/ Timeline
12th December 1688: 1688: “Giles Blizzard, of HMS ‘Dreadnought’ 12 December 1688.” re Oliver Vol.I p.62 1688:
1781: Giles Blizard was a wealthy old man who flaunted his wealth and was known to keep a noble portion of doubloons & joes (gold coins) on hand. He was murdered by two slaves, one of which was his coloured son Geoffrey, who was turned in and hung for their crime. He left 155 acres to his children. Antigua & The Antiguans. Vol II, p.80 “About seventy years ago, a gentleman of the name of Giles Blizard owned an estate in that part of Antigua known as Pope’s Head, which estate at the present day is added to another, and the whole is in possession of the Hon. Bertie E. Jarvis. Giles Blizard was a true planter of the old times. He resided in an old roomy mansion upon his estate where wealth and meanness were strongly contrasted, where the silver flagons and costly salvers glittered amid the coarse earthenware of England, like a proud and high-born beauty, who by some strange chance has been mixed with the common herd. – where the polished surface of the mahogany furniture mocked the unwashed walls and darkened roof of the apartments, whose protruding beams afforded safe protection to innumerable hordes of insects. Surrounded by numerous slaves, the old gentleman exercised the power of a prince and gave no bad idea of the Saxon Thane or a more haughty feudal baron. Everything in his dwelling was conducted upon a scale of heavy munificence; his table groaned beneath the weight of its various viands; but there was no order, no delicacy observed in the arrangement of them. Like the generality of Antiguan planters, he was hospitable in the extreme; his doors were ever open, and every visitor was sure of a hearty welcome. A stranger would have been surprised at having wines of the choicest vintage handed to him by a bare-footed butler, or his every movement attended to by a host of half-naked negroes; but such was the domestic arrangement of the old Antiguan mansions. Giles Blizard was supposed to be exceedingly rich and to keep by him a noble portion of hard cash, which in those golden years was generally in the form of doubloons and joes (a gold coin, of about the value of 3l.4s.sterling. The joe was a gold coin worth about 36s sterling). He was fond of boasting of his ample share of this world’s wealth; and thus exciting the rapacity of two of his slaves, prompted them to murder him, that they might become possessed of his store A convenient opportunity for perpetrating this deed had long been waited for, and was at length obtained. At the close of a gloomy day, in the last month of the year, the old gentleman seated himself on a sofa and prepared to take his evening nap, attended only by a black boy the name of Diamond. The evening was tempestuous; and between the pauses of the storm, the inmates of the apartment listened once or twice, as they thought they heard approaching footsteps; but the wind shook the ill-secured shutters with such violence as to drown out all sounds until at length they supposed that it was nothing but fancy, or the hollow moaning of the blast. The hands of an antique clock, painted in various devices, pointed to the hour of midnight, and once more adjusting his head, the planter sank to sleep. The two slaves, the intended murderers, who, through adjusting a crack in the shutter, had been watching the movements of their master and his youthful attendant, perceiving by his unaltered position and deep breathing that he slept, and from the sound of his nasal organs, quietly took off the shutter, and entered the apartment, armed with a blunderbuss. Placing their hands upon the shoulders of the gentleman, and holding the deadly weapon to his head demanded where he kept his cash. In vain their victim prayed for mercy – in vain solicited the boon of one short hour to collect his scattered thoughts; the murderers were not to be turned from their fell purpose; the finger was pressed upon the fatal trigger, and the deed was done; the soul of Giles Blizard winged its way to the vast shores of eternity, and the sofa where he laid him down in full confidence of safety was covered with his brains, and blood and severed hairs. Shocking as it is to humanity to relate, one of the criminals was the natural son of the old man, who thought he was not the actual murderer, was the instigator of this dreadful act; for when, at his master’s earnest prayer for mercy, the black man seemed to relent, Geoffrey (the name of Mr. Blizard’s coloured son) told him to do it at once and make sure of it, or else he would himself. After the perpetration of this atrocious crime, the murderers placed the blunderbuss upon a table, close to the side of their victim with a glass of brandy and water near it, supposedly when discovered, it would be surmised that it was an act of self-destruction’ but murder is an offense “that’s rank, it smells to heaven,” and, in most instances, the slayer is discovered. The boy, who really slept upon the entrance of the men, was awakened by the noise; but perceiving the blunderbuss, and hearing the conversation that ensued between his master and his murderers, he became alarmed and, to ensure his own safety, counterfeited sleep. Upon the morrow’s dawn, he hastened to relate the circumstances, and by these means the offenders were brought to justice. They were carried before a magistrate, and condemned to suffer death by decapitation on the following day. The culprits were taken down to a spot where such scenes were generally performed, and which was known by the name of Gallows Bay, and there, after being blind-folded, they were bound to the upright post of the gallows and their right hands first struck off, and then their heads. The heads after first being dipped in pitch, were stuck upon spikes and the hands nailed under them, while their bodies were carried down to the water’s edge, and there burned in a lime kiln. This, I think, was the last time decapitation was practiced in Antigua, although in former years that mode of execution was very frequent.” Antigua & the Antiguans by Mrs. lanahan. William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan – Jarvis Family Papers 1790-1884. There is a headstone that was removed from its original site on the hillside when New Winthrope’s was relocated, to the north side of the sugar mill, now in someone’s backyard. That someone I recently discovered is Janice Fredrick (nee Mascal) and she said that the gravestone (MI) was placed near the mill when the village of New Winthorpes was born. The original grave of Rachel Blizard, 1707, was near the water catchment on Mama Marcy’s (Dec.) land opposite the Hampson’s house. Janice keeps a piece of plywood in front of the MI to protect it from the weather because the inscription faces due east. It bears the inscription: “Here lyeth interred the Body of Rachel Blizzard who was born the 27th day of September, 1707. She was her mother’s care, mankind’s delight who by untimely fate Fell in her blooming years Became a victim to relentless Death Sacred to the Memory her Parents Placed this Tomb.” “Giles Blizard owned by John Jarvis Esq. of Mount Jarvis.” Vere Oliver Vol.I p.64
In 1821, the estate contained 830 acres and in 1921, 513 acres.
1851: The Antigua Almanac of 1851 shows Blizard’s, Giles, owned by Bertie E. Jarvis. 1943 There was a sale of land to the Government of Leeward Islands to facilitate the settlement of “Blizard’s” Village (New Winthorpes). 5,388 acres from Cedar Valley estate (formerly called Giles Blizard’s) was sold for a total of £80.16s.5d. Recorded in the minutes of the Antigua Syndicate Estate, Ltd.. The village of Winthorpes’ was displaced from its original site now the runway for the V.C. Bird International Airport by the lease signed by the Government of Antigua and the US Air Base in 1942.
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 the estate contained 159 enslaved people just before slavery was abolished in the Caribbean, and we know that one of the original owners was killed by a few of his slaves: “The two slaves, the intended murderers, who, through adjusting a crack in the shutter, had been watching the movements of their master and his youthful attendant, perceiving by his unaltered position and deep breathing that he slept, and from the sound of his nasal organs, quietly took off the shutter, and entered the apartment, armed with a blunderbuss. Placing their hands upon the shoulders of the gentleman, and holding the deadly weapon to his head demanded where he kept his cash. In vain their victim prayed for mercy – in vain solicited the boon of one short hour to collect his scattered thoughts; the murderers were not to be turned from their fell purpose; the finger was pressed upon the fatal trigger, and the deed was done; the soul of Giles Blizard winged its way to the vast shores of eternity, and the sofa where he laid him down in full confidence of safety was covered with his brains, and blood and severed hairs. Shocking as it is to humanity to relate, one of the criminals was the natural son of the old man, who thought he was not the actual murderer, was the instigator of this dreadful act; for when, at his master’s earnest prayer for mercy, the black man seemed to relent, Geoffrey (the name of Mr. Blizard’s coloured son) told him to do it at once and make sure of it, or else he would himself.” We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.
Legacies of British Slave-owners: Blizard was awarded £2,158 12 s 0 d for 159 enslaved. (could be Will Blizard’s (#54) Hardman Earle was the awardee. Unsuccessful was Bertie Entwistle Jarvis and Charles Turner was the ‘other association.’
- 1670 Heirs of Giles Blizard
- 1729 Bertie Entwisle Jarvis (1793-1862)
- 1740 Giles Blizard (1723-1781 Murdered)
- 1848 Bertie Jarvis
- 1870 Heirs of Thomas Jarvis.
- 1891 John Jarvis et al.
- 1921 C.D. Ledeatt
- 1933 J.S. Macdonald 1933 Camacho map
- 1943 Village of New Winthrops – land sold to the Government for the new village