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The Dawkins Family in Jamaica and England, 1664-1833

Dawkins, JS; (2018) The Dawkins Family in Jamaica and England, 1664-1833. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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This thesis focuses on the Jamaican and English history of the Dawkins’ and explores the relationship between their slave-owning activities and their subsequent entrance into the metropole’s landed ranks. It demonstrates how one particular family were able to establish themselves as wealthy sugar planters on one side of the Atlantic, whilst its later generations migrated to England and drew upon the West Indian fortune to transform themselves into members of elite county society during the eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-centuries. Central to this thesis is an analysis of the Dawkins’ Jamaican plantation papers and their English estate records. It traces their colonial land building activities from the earliest days of their settlement on the island, during the mid-seventeenth-century, in an effort to understand how the foundations of their wealth were established by the first two generations of the family. By the middle of the eighteenth-century they had amassed a fortune large enough to allow the third generation to become absentees. The scene shifts from Jamaica to England where the family, headed by Henry Dawkins II, focussed on becoming part of Britain’s provincial elite after migrating to the metropole in the late 1750s. They engaged in a number of undertakings strategically designed to facilitate this blending which are explored across four chapters. These include the construction and development of country estates, marriage into established landed families, the acquisition of political office, and the re-crafting of their image to that of a refined genteel family. The examination of these undertakings sheds light on the different areas into which colonial fortunes spilled over as the profits from the Dawkins’ slave-based enterprise “came home”.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Dawkins Family in Jamaica and England, 1664-1833
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049467
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