Lot 207
  • 207

Tudway family.

5,500 - 7,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • A series of 48 letters (two incomplete) by estate managers responsible for Antigua estates
  • ink on paper
successively to Charles Tudway, Clement Tudway, MP, John Paine Tudway, and Robert Tudway, including a series of letters from the period of emancipation describing its immediate effects on the estate and workers, expressing surprise at the relative ease of moving to the new labour relationship, other letters discussing problems besetting the estate including hurricanes, draughts, and sickness (“…the loss of so many able people in 1829, & the illness which prevailed among the whole of the Slaves that & part of the following year, was an event of sufficient magnitude for throwing the estate out of order…”, 11 July 1830), international affairs including the American Revolution, the regular business of sugar crops, fluctuations in sugar prices, goods required from Britain (Bills of Lading), very occasional sales of slaves (“the disposal of the Mulattoe Man Aleck… worth the sum of one hundred pounds sterling”), and threats of disorder from the enslaved population (“…it was very proper to transport some desperate negroes … from Barbados, as their example might have been fatal there…”, 10 December 1779), several of the later letters on printed forms ("Return of Work and Transactions on Parham Old Work Estate"), one letter enclosing a Weekly Payment List for 11-16 August 1834 (beginning ten days after emancipation) with names of workers, in excess of 100 pages, mostly folio and 4to, most with wrappers or address panels, also including two wrappers without letters enclosed, 25 July 1770 to 23 March 1836, also with three letters to members of the Codrington family concerning their Antigua estates, the letters individually housed in 53 plastic sleeves, postal markings

Catalogue Note

“…The Negroes have hitherto been impelled to Labor by Compulsory measures, and as that system has suddenly ceased, it is to be expected that it will take some time before they will go on steadily under the New system…” (17 August 1834)

The Parham estate in Antigua consisted of between 800 and 1000 acres, mostly given over to sugar. The profits from the estate, derived from the labour of 500 or more slaves, ensured a life of gentility for successive generations of the Tudway family, who were prominent citizens of Wells.