Papers of Job Matthew Raikes as executor of the estate of Nathaniel Bayly (1726-98), West Indian plantation owner

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

  • will of Nathaniel Bayly and related papers 1798-99
  • dependencies book containing estate accounts including inventory 1798-1804
  • letterbooks of Job Matthew Raikes as executor 1799-1827
  • correspondence re management of estate and Jamaican plantations 1784-1828
  • estate accounts 1780-1809

Administrative / Biographical History

Nathaniel Bayly (1726-98), although born in England, belonged to a family of colonial plantation owners in Jamaica, West Indies, and spent his youth and early adulthood on the island. He returned to England in 1759 and in 1767 married Elizabeth Ingram. Following Elizabeth’s death he married Sophia Magdalena Lamack in 1773, by whom he had six legitimate children, Charles Nathaniel (who married Lady Sarah Villiers, daughter of 4th Earl of Jersey), Charlotte, Diana, Sophia, Wentworth, and Anna. He also fathered two illegitimate children, Nathaniel Bayly Williams (who became his estate manager in Jamaica) and Eliza Street.

Bayly was active in the often turbulent politics of the Jamaican Assembly in the 1750s, and after his return to England, he was MP for Abingdon (1770-4) and for Westbury (1774-9), speaking often in the Commons on the detrimental effect of the Government’s American policy on the West Indies. Upon the death of his elder brother Zachary in 1769, Bayly inherited four Jamaican estates (Trinity, Tryall, Brimmer Hall and Bayly’s Vale), and he managed these from Britain until 1779 when ‘affairs of consequence’ compelled him to resign his Parliamentary seat and return to Jamaica. These affairs included a long and acrimonious dispute over the administration of Zachary Bayly’s will with another beneficiary of it, Bryan Edwards (1743-1800), nephew to both Zachary and Nathaniel.

Nathaniel Bayly died in Jamaica in October 1798, shortly after the marriage of his daughter Charlotte to Job Matthew Raikes (1767-1833), partner in Raikes & Co, London, bankers. Raikes, who was also related to Isaac Currie, senior partner in Curries & Co, bankers of London, became executor of Bayly’s will, along with Wentworth Bayly, David Shaw and Nathaniel Bayly Williams, and also trustee of his estate with Nathaniel Barton (Nathaniel Bayly’s nephew).

Conditions Governing Access

Historical researchers are welcome to use the archives at our Edinburgh store. Access is by appointment and researchers are required to complete an access form before they visit. Some records are subject to closure periods. For further information please email archives@rbs.co.uk or telephone 0131 334 1428.