Papers of James Scarlett and Eliza Virgo Scarlett (nee Gallimore)

Scope and Content

U DDLA/41/1 - 14 Accounts

U DDLA/41/15 - 24 Correspondence

U DDLA/41/25 - 38 Various

The papers of James and Eliza Virgo Scarlett catalogued as U DDLA/41 were deposited in Hull University Archives in 1974 by Joyce Elizabeth Mary, Countess Fitzwilliam (nee Langdale), as part of a larger deposit of family papers for the Langdales of Houghton Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The papers largely consist of the estate correspondence and accounts of Eliza Virgo Scarlett for sugar plantations in Jamaica. Some accounts and lists of debts pre-date the death of her husband, James Scarlett, in 1798. The collection contains her letter book 1798-1806, when she was conducting her affairs from England. Letters to her 1798-1817 are largely from solicitors and land stewards and agents. Property papers include lists, valuations and reports on slaves, who are named, with their physical condition and other attributes such as reliability (or alleged lack of it) included. For example, a list of 1806 describes Frederick as 'a notorious runaway' while a list of 1816 describes Washington as 'well disposed'. Women's pregnancies are noted along with numbers of children. This collection is a valuable source of information about the ecomomy of slavery and its human consequences in the West Indies. Other items in the collection include the will of Sarah Gallimore (1806) who left to her three daughters, one of whom was Eliza Virgo Scarlett, named slaves and the will of Eliza Virgo Scarlett (1820). There is also a bundle of letters and a press cutting about the sale of the Green Vale estate in 1802.

Administrative / Biographical History

Eliza Virgo Scarlett was married to James Scarlett (d.1798). The latter is not to be confused with James Scarlett (1769-1844), 1st Baron Abinger, who was a first cousin and also owned an estate in Jamaica.

James Scarlett died in 1798 and Eliza Virgo Scarlett returned to England from Jamaica and ran her inherited Thicketts Estate, Peru, and Green Vale Estate, both of which were in Jamaica, from there. The papers in the collection originate from her management of these two sugar plantations. She owned and rented slaves and produced rum. When her husband died he left many debts and she sold the Green Vale Estate to cover these in 1802. Her mother's death in 1806 increased her assetts and what was left when she died in 1821 was passed to her children, Mary James Scarlett and Eliza Virgo Scarlett junior. The latter married General Phineas Riall, who owned considerable estates in Ireland and it may be that the papers passed, like other Irish papers in DDLA of the O'Kelly and Grattan families, to the Langdale family through intermarriage.

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