Gale and Morant family papers relating to Jamaican slave plantations: additional papers

Scope and Content

Archive of 104 documents relating to the Jamaican plantations of Edward Gregory Morant-Gale and family before and after the Slavery Abolition Act including: letters; documents relating to William Gale's will; papers relating to York plantation and Gale's Valley plantation 1780-1914 [69 items] and papers relating to Mount Hindmost and St Jago and Paisley Pens, 1783-1887 [20 items]; general papers relating to the Jamaican estates of Edward Gregory Morant-Gale, 1799-1843 [12 items].

Documents consisting of letters, indentures on vellum; lists of slaves; stock accounts; estate accounts; crops and 'boiling and distillery house'accounts.

See also EUL MS 44. These kinds of papers have particular potential for research in cultural geography and area studies, history and medical humanities.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Gale and the Morant families came to Jamaica separately in the seventeenth century soon after the island was seized in 1655. Major John Gale (1637-1689) was buried there, as was John Morant who died in 1683. Various marriages linked their families, as they both acquired plantations, large estates, and great wealth. In 1754, John Morant owned 4,631 acres in Clarendon and 3,582 acres in Vere. Five members of the Gale family owned more than 6,000 acres of the island.

In 1759, John Morant's great-grandson Edward (d 1791) moved to England from Jamaica, where the family had built up extensive estates. He bought the Brockenhurst estate in Hampshire in 1770, and his eldest son John Morant (d 1794) purchased the Manor of Ringwood from Henry 8th Lord Arundell in 1794. The Jamaican estates were handed down to subsequent generations of the family. Edward Gregory Morant (1772-1855) inherited his uncle William Gale's estates in Jamica. Death duties on the death of a later Edward Morant in 1910 forced the family to sell the Ringwood properties in 1916. Many of the Brockenhurst estates were sold in 1951 and 1959.



The Collection has been arranged by the bookseller in an order that reflects the Gale Morant papers already owned by the University (EUL MS 44). The collection has been re-arranged in 2014 according to the structure of EUL MS 44.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply

Acquisition Information

Purchased by Heritage Collections from bookseller Samuel Gedge

Other Finding Aids

The collection has been catalogued.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Christine Faunch 13 Aug 2013. Updated by Christine Faunch 17 Dec 2014; Listed fully by Angela Mandrioli; updated by C Faunch 14 Jan 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply


None expected

Related Material

See EUL MS 44 which contains the principal collection of Gale and Morant family papers, and EUL MS 130 containing Gale and Morant family marriage agreements. Further papers of the Morant family of Brockenhurst Park, 17th century-20th century, are in Hampshire Record Office (ref: 6M80 51M74). See also NRA 24713 Morant. Papers relating to the Townsend family (including some minor references to the Morant family) are held at the Shakespeare Birth Place Records Office (ref. ER3) and at Birmingham City Archives (papers of Messrs Phelp and Savage, solicitors of Evesham, and also the Barnard collection).


It is not known whether this collection has formed part of any publication.