Type: Ruin
Parish: St.Mary
Founding date: 1670
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Current Status

It appears that “Muskito Cove” and “Bear Gardens” merged to become one estate now known as “Yorke’s” when owned by William Ogilvie and Walter Tullideph as can be seen from the quotes below taken from exerpts from some of the Tullideph Letters. Nearby Pearne’s Point and Mt. Pearne, west of York’s Mill was also included in the acreage.

Estate Related History/Timeline

1685: Capt. John Lingham (d.1685) seised of a plantation called Blubber Valley and Musqueto Cove.” “Kathryn Lingham in 1688 rated on 850 acres and 78 negroes.” Vere Oliver Vol.II p.187

1688: “1688 Ambrose York was rated on 6 slaves and 20 acres in 1692, on 13 slaves and 220 acres in 1696, on 12 slaves and 152 acres and 7 June 1706 on 56 slaves and 138 acres. (St. Mary’s Vestry Book).

1669: 100 acres to Archibald Cochran, Surveyor General of Antigua and Thomas Conoway.

1676: Thomas Yorke, grant of Tropic Bird Island in 1676 by Governor Williams and 20 acres by Governor Warner.

1672: John Everard sells to Thomas Yorke 10 acres.

1692: Ambrose York was rated on 6 slaves and 20 acres. 13 slaves and 220 acres in 1696 and 56 slaves and 138 acres in 1706. Vere Oliver Vol.III p.280

1718: “Ambrose Pierre York of Antigua, 2nd son and heir, joins the Troop 1718; mortgaged his estates to Valentine Morris Esq. Will dated 5 June 1931; sworn 12 Oct.

1718: Robert Pearne owned Blubber Valley of 1200 acres and Musketo Cove of 60. Vere Oliver Vol.III p.18

1738: In 1852, this Estate, combined with “New Division”, contained 1059 acres and 404 slaves. Vere Oliver Vol.III p.280.

1738: Ambrose Perrie Yorke (d.1738) mortgaged his estates to Valentine Morris Esq. 1743 Robert Pearne contained 600 acres. (York’s bordered south owned by Valentine Morris).

Tullideph Letters (excerpts) Vere Oliver Vol.III p.155

1743-4: March 3. “170? Thomas Trotte, a nephew of mine, was taken by a Spaniard with other passengers.
1744: August 13. Have prevented the forced sale of Mrs. Frye’s estate.
1745: August 8. Robert Martin, manager of Governor Thomas’s estate, is a Creole; he was forced to sell his estate to his brother, a single man.
1745: August 13. Martin Goble’s estate here is a very good one. Mr. James Stevenson has gone into partnership with Dr. Samuel Young*.
1746: August 28. Steven’s estate owes to Capt. Partio’s estate is 4,000 pounds of currency.
1747: Ambrose York, the heir to “Yorke’s” estate, his father’s Executors, believes that the estate owes 5,000 sterling to Mr. Young*.
1747: August 15. I have purchased the equity of redemption of “Yorke’s,” an adjacent estate, for 8,000 pounds from Yorke’s heir.
1747: August 22. John Fyffe died in very bad circumstances ….. his brother James died in Montserrat 18 months agone …. the youngest of John’s daughters and the eldest hath old Jefferson’s estate close by General Mathews.
1747: March 16. Old Colonel Frye died a few days gone. 1748 June 25. a few months agone a Cousin of ours, Dr. James Russell, son to Cousin Betty Tullideph’s at Perth, arrived here. 1748 December. Old Ambrose York died in 1716 and left Thomas Hanson his executor, who ruined the Estate.
1748: February 14. May add the “Bear Garden” to “Yorke’s” which will cost 9,000 pounds currency; it owes Mr. Barrister, our Collector, 5,000 pounds sterling, to whom I have now lent 2,100 pounds sterling.
1749: April 3. The Marshall …. is married to a sister of Francis Farley. As for James Gamble, Mr. Kerby is like to fall in his debt 5,000 pounds this money, which is to be divided amongst his Creditors; his son Ned hath gone to pot, owes 5,000 pounds they say nothing to be got there till Man’s Estate comes to him on the death of his Mother. Col. Martin’s son George dyed about 14 days agone suddenly of a fit, the fruits I fear, of intemperance.
1751: May 12. I have a Refining House. Rum 2s 6d; Sugar 30s to 35s; Double refined sugar 21d per pound; Single refined ditto 15d; Bastards 9d (a large coarser loaf).
1755: February 24th. The Musketo Cove, Charlotte’s estate will make 150 hogsheads.” “My Musketo Cove, containing York’s and Bear Gardens, is for Lady Ogilvy; latter worth 3,000 pounds more than the former. 110 negroes to be mortgaged with Polly’s estate.” Dec.28th – “I could have sold Pollies for 12,000 sterling.” Tullideph letters.
1760: June 4. John King hath sold his estate to Robin Gray and had 60 or 80 negroes reserved for his wife’s Dower.
1760: June 16. Thought to rent Yorke’s and Bear Garden for 1,500 pounds sterling. The number of renters surprised me …. is it 1,400 pounds Sterling Uncle Thibour gets for his estate? 1764 – “I have rented out my Musketo Cove Estate to Dr. Russell for 1,100 sterling for 15 years.
1764: August 3. Offer to sell Yorke’s for 20,000 pounds sterling, 400 acres of good land, 115 negroes, stone mill, works, etc… Have not struck with Mr. Stevens for “Bear Gardens”. 1764 October 27. I have rented out my “Musketo Cove” Estate to Dr. Russell for 1,100 pounds sterling for 15 years.”
1799: July 29. Adam Ogilvie was murdered on his father’s estate. Sir John Ogilvy 5th Bart (d.1802) married Charlotte Tullideph in 1754. In 1829, this estate (Yorke’s) contained 1059 acres and 404 slaves combined with New Division, or Tullideph’s.
1799: Dr. Walter Tullideph Antigua c.1726 owned the “New Division” and “Musketo Cove” plantations Will 1794. MUSKETO COVE. Musketo Cove must have been assimilated into one of the estates in this area, probably York. Mosquito Bay is the bay south of Pearne’s.

1845: The Manager of Yorke’s was Gedney Bispham (Tim Anderson)

1852: In 1852, this Estate (Yorke’s), combined with New Division, contained 1059 acres and 404 slaves.

1878: Almanac shows Yorks of 325 acres belonging to Mrs. Margaret McGuire. Windmill.

1861: April 1861 – Correspondence between Robert Jefferson and his brother regarding Yorks. “Yorke’s – I have carefully read all you have written but I cannot see the Estate now, agree with you that 50 badly planted acres of Canes on such a property will not give more loss than half the quantity well done — I see by the statement sent me which is most acceptable it has at the expiration of 10 years lost us 856 pounds stirling & the buildings & stock depreciated fully 1,000 pounds sterling to say nothing of the increased poverty of the soil — don’t say I am taking too black a view of things for such is the fact — the boiling house wants rebuilding from top to bottom & Nugent says 1,000 thousand pounds at least is wanted to put the Estate in full efficient order with stock etc. & I quite agree with him, so what am I to do but accept a very small sum for it if I can get it — as to ….”

1861: June 1861 “I have ridden over since my last — at the former we have been obliged to stop cutting Plant Canes — they have sprung & are growing & would scarcely make sugar so 19 acres will lay over for a couple of months & 21 acres ratoons will be gone on with — the sprouts here look very middling in spite of the rain and they have bunched very badly & show more forcibly than ever the poverty of the soil.” An Antiguan Trading Company by Mary Gleadall.

Sammy Smith, in “To Shoot Hard Labour p.102”, says, “Many years ago the first bank to be in Antigua was at Yorks and also the first gallows was built there. Massa Shan, one of the most famous slave massas, got permission to bring the Portuguese in as indentured workers. The Peking Chinese and some other Chinese reach here from Shanghai – to help us to get rid of the kooka bendals, for they was the first to build pit latrines in Antigua. The last Chinese man I know – he was a government pensioner for sometime – was the one that use to lay out some of the sidewalks in St. John’s”.

1930s: The Manager of York’s at that time was my great uncle, Darnel Webster, who completed his daily rounds of the estate on a white horse. Due to his ability to show up all over the estate at random, he was referred to as “the White Ghost”. In order to find out who was stealing ground provisions, he would hide in the bushes by the tenants in order to listen in to the conversations. On one particular night, one of the ‘plotters’ left the group to relieve himself in the nearby bushes where Darnel was hiding. Unfortunately, he could not reveal himself, so he suffered a good ‘wet-up’ in silence. Gordon Webster

1943: On August 1st, Gunthorpes Estates Ltd. was restructured (see #64 Gunthorpes) into a ‘new’ company renamed Antigua Syndicate Estates Ltd. The Bennet-Bryson estates were Sandersons, Long Lane/Lavingtons/Ffryes, Burkes/LaRoche/Willis Freemans, Jolly Hill (Jolly Hill, Blubber Valley, Ffryes, Montrose, Yorke’s and the Cove), Hawes and Mercer’s Creek, Cochranes and Thomases, and were bought for 39,000 pounds.

Legacies of British Slave-ownership: Yorke’s was awarded 2342 lsd 2 s 0 d for 146 enslaved. Henry Jefferson and Robert Jefferson were the awardees.

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 began with 78 enslaved people and ended with 146. We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.

Ownership Chronology

  • Ownership from
  • 1670: Capt. John Lingham (d.1685) (Musketo Cove)
  • 1688: Kathryn Lingham (Musketo Cove)
  • 1710: Ambrose Yorke Esq. (b.1678 d.1717) (Yorke’s)
  • 1718: Robert Pearne (Musketo Cove)
  • 1738: Ambrose Pierre Yorke (d. 1738 Yorke’s)
  • 1726: Dr. Walter Tullideph (Musketo Cove & Bear Gardens)
  • 1747: Walter Tullideph
  • 1794: Charlotte Ogilvie. 1777/78 Luffman map
  • 1800: Sir William Ogilvie
  • 1829: Heirs of Sir William Ogilvie, Bart. 404 slaves and 325 acres.
  • 1832: Robert & Henry Jefferson
  • 1845: Robert & Henry Jefferson
  • 1872: R.H. McGuire. 325 acres. 1872 Horsford Almanac
  • 1878: Mrs. Margaret McGuire.
  • 1933: G.W. Bryson & Co. Ltd. 1933 Camacho map.
  • 1947: Antigua Syndicate Estates