Contents and Arrangement

Indenture for the Sale of Mount Charles Plantation, Jamaica, to Sir Henry Clinton (1738?-1795), 1774

1 oversize folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of a manuscript indenture in six parts on four vellum sheets (70 x 90cm) recording the sale, for £12,000, of the Mount Charles Plantation in Saint Thomas Parish, Jamaica, to Sir Henry Clinton (1738?-1795), a British army officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1772 and 1795 and served as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces during the American Revolutionary War. The sale included the Mount Charles Plantation (later known as the Middleton Plantation), as well as another parcel of land known as "Middleton Penn," 247 enslaved laborers (all of whom are listed by name and occupation), and all future children born to the enslaved women listed.

The indenture first recites a deed dated September 24, 1768, which was the original document of sale between Charles Pole (seller) and Augustin Gwyn (purchaser). Gwyn, still owing money for the original purchase, sold shares in the ownership of the plantation in order to pay off his debt to Pole. Investors, named as the third party, who paid varying sums directly to Pole, include Simon Fanshawe of Hanover Square, Lewis Vickers of Holyhead, Patty Parsons of Hanover Square, Dorothy Askew of Wakefield, and numerous others. The document then records the sale of the estate by Gwyn to the fourth party, named as General Henry Clinton of Weybridge, and Matthew Brickdale of Clifton. The fifth and sixth named parties are listed as Charles Fanshawe of Inner Temple, William Bond of Walbrook, and Thomas and Clayton Case, who were Liverpool merchants and owners of slave ships. Charles Pole, 1695-1779, fifth son of Samuel Pole of Redbourne Hall, was a Liverpool merchant and Member of Parliament. Matthew Brickdale, 1735-1831, was a Bristol clothier, undertaker, and Member of Parliament who reportedly inherited £100,000 after the death of his father; he also owned the Hope Estate in St. Vincent and another plantation on Nevis. In 1832, prior to the abolition of slavery by the British in 1833, 61 enslaved women and 47 enslaved men were held in bondage on the Middleton Plantation.


Materials are grouped by accession.

Collection History


AM 2018-54

Purchased in December 2017 .


No material was removed from the collection during 2017-2019 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on August 20, 2007. Finding aid written by Traci Ballou-Broadnax on September 5, 2007.

Finding aid revised by Kelly Bolding in 2017 to improve description of enslaved people and separate materials that did not fit within the collection scope. Finding updated with new material by Kelly Bolding in February 2018, September 2018, October 2018, April 2019, June 2019, August 2019, September 2019, and January 2020.

Finding aid updated with new acquisition by Armando Suarez in January 2019.

No additions will be made to this collection. Accessions relating to this topic will be added to the General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection (C0140).

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Indenture for the Sale of Mount Charles Plantation, Jamaica, to Sir Henry Clinton (1738?-1795); Princeton University Library Collection on Slavery in the Americas, C1210, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Separated Materials

During 2017 processing, materials that did not fit into the topical scope of slavery in the Americas were separated and placed into different collections. Simeon Johnson materials (AM 16859) were separated and made into a collection: Simeon Johnson Papers (C1589). Two Frederick Douglass letters (AM 12182), a William Ellery manuscript (AM 2013-59), and military correspondence regarding African American soldiers in Tennessee after the Civil War (AM 12182) were separated and placed into the General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection (C0140).

Clinton, Henry, Sir (1738?-1795)
Van Rensselaer, K. K. (Killian Killian), 1763-1845