New Yarmouth Sugar Estate-Clarendon Parish

Every day that I spend on my construction project in Clarendon Parish, I look out over the Wray and Nephew New Yarmouth cane fields and in the background the rum distillery. During certain times of the year, when the wind blows from the west (very unusual) and the rum distillery is in operation (part of the year) the distinct smell of fermentation reminds me that a rum distillery is in the neighborhood. This distillery is not a newcomer to Jamaica.

John Carver owned sugar estates in the old Vere Parish in the early 1700s and when John

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By Frederick Christian Lewis, after John Slater

Ward, Second Viscount of Dudley and Ward (1704-1774) married Mary Carver, the Jamaica sugar estates passed onto the Viscounts and Earls of Dudley and Ward. The family owned the New Yarmouth sugar estate in Vere Parish and the Rymesbury and Whitney sugar estates in Clarendon Parish at least until the mid 1800s, well after the slave emancipation. Upon the death of John Ward, the estates passed onto John Ward, the Second (1725-1788). Since John Ward had no sons, the title and the estates passed on to his half brother, John William Ward (1781-1833). John William Ward eventually served as the British Foreign Secretary between 1827 and 1828 and was admitted into the Privy Council as Earl of Dudley. Additional information about the Ward family is easily found online. I find no evidence that the Wards ever visited Jamaica and would therefore be considered absentee landlords.

According to the 1817 Jamaica Almanac, the New Yarmouth Sugar Estate had 220 slaves and 203 cattle. The sugar mill was extensive and the cane rollers were driven by wind power provided by a substantial stone wind mill tower. By 1831 there were 236 slaves, in 1838 there were 186 apprentices and the 1845 Jamaica Almanac reported that the estate consisted of 852 acres.

The ruins of the sugar mill are easy to find today nestled in the shaded hamlet made up of Wray and Nephew employee houses. The stone tower is now used as a water tank tower and the brick and stone sugar works are easily found in the underbrush.

New Yarmouth Sugar Estate Photo Gallery

 

New Yarmouth Sugar Estate Location Map

 

Clarendon-Parish

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About Dr. Raul A. Mosley

Raul is the founder of the Fort Worth Portrait Project (FWPP). He holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs & Issues Management from Purdue University. After teaching for 16 years as a university faculty member at both Purdue and Indiana University, Raul moved to Fort Worth and founded the FWPP in 2014.

9 responses to “New Yarmouth Sugar Estate-Clarendon Parish”

  1. Glenda says :

    I have tried and tried to find a family connection to Wray and Nephew, thinking it would be good for one free drink 😉 but no luck. All the family we seem to have sent to Jamaica were ministers 😦

    Like

  2. jennymein says :

    This article is fascinating. I have been searching everywhere for historical background on New Yarmouth Estate as I spent an idyllic childhood there from 1959 to 1970. My father was a sugar chemist making rum and sugar. It is nigh impossible to find any old photographs of New Yarmouth Estate. In fact, I have my own photos of the sugar mills featured here. Taken when we lived there. These were located near to the Staff Club. I am thrilled to have some idea of the age of New Yarmouth Estate….18th century. I remember people used to say the Green (as in an English village Green) surrounded by staff houses and adjacent to the main gate of the sugar estate and the watchman’s gatehouse used to be a burial ground for slaves. As children we were scared to linger outside on it as the evenings grew dark! thank you so much for the information provided here however, I am still on the hunt for further information and photos……. Jenny Mein

    Liked by 1 person

  3. amazinpats says :

    Great story. I grew up in the last house on Caswell Hill right next to that mill and played on it daily as a child. My father was a shift engineer at New Yarmouth from 1958 to 1969. There was a series of houses on Caswell Hill…I think about four or five of them. There was a well next to the mill which tapped into one of Vere’s great aquifers. They used the water to irrigate the cane fields. I’m sure the houses have undergone several renovations since then. Even in my time, they had taken down some buildings. At the back of that mill are some underground storage facilities. The place used to be Caswell Hill Sugar Estate (not Yarmouth Sugar Estate,) but it must have been bought by the owner(s) of New Yarmouth. I believe the Henriques family owned New Yarmouth at the time. I’m certainly open for more discussion on the topic. I’m just glad the mill is still there. –Paul Maginley pdmagin@accesstoledo.com

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  4. amazinpats says :

    Jenny Mein, we must know each other.

    Like

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