Alleyne of Barbados

In a post of 5 October I mentioned the connections between the Ireland family and the Alleynes of Barbados, hence the fact that the composer’s brother was named Alleyne. Ireland’s great-grandfather on his mother’s side, the Reverend Mark Nicholson (1770–1838), was for much of his working life president of Codrington College, the Theological College of the Church of the Province of the West Indies in Barbados. While living here, in 1807 he married Lucy Reynold Elcock. She was a descendant of the wealthy Alleyne family, most notable among them Sir John Gay Alleyne.Amazing Ocean Views From This LotJohn Gay Alleyne was born on 28 April 1724, at St James, Barbados, dying there in 1801. In 1746 he married Christian Dottin of the Black Rock and St Nicholas sugar plantations. They had one son, Gay Alleyne, in 1747. In 1757 he owned two sugar plantations, Bawdens and the River. He was created a Baronet by George III on 8 April 1769. Sir John’s second wife in 1786 was his cousin Jane Abel (1765–1800), daughter of Abel Alleyne  of the Mount Standfast plantation. They had seven children as follows:

  • John Gay Newton Alleyne (1787–1800), died as a pupil at Eton
  • Mary Spires Alleyne (1788–1862)
  • Sir Reynold Abel Alleyne (1789–1870)
  • Jane Gay Alleyne (1790–1836), died in Clevedon, Somerset
  • Rebecca Braithwaite Alleyne (1792–1846)
  • Christian Dottin Alleyne (1795–1873), moved to Huddersfield, Yorkshire
  • Abel Alleyne (1796–1812)

Sir John Gay Alleyne had other strings to his bow. He was Speaker of the House of Assembly of Barbados (and a member of parliament for over forty years). The oldest surviving brand of rum in the world, ‘Mount Gay’, is named after him in honour of his time as an exceptional manager of the company. He was a popular leader and a great philanthropist on the island, speaking out against slavery and going on to found the pioneering Alleyne School in 1785. More to follow.


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