Nicholas Tuite  in the West Indies




The article was first published in Riocht na Midhe's 2018 annual publication.



Nicholas Tuite was a first-generation Caribbean with origins in County Westmeath. In the eighteenth century he came to prominence in the British West Indies’ island of Montserrat, in the Danish West Indies’ island of St Croix, and in the London merchant and banking world. Circumventing institutional hostility to, and legal obstacles against, Irish Catholics, Tuite became a central figure in the development of the sugar industry in St Croix, running and financing operations from his London base. He was also a valued advisor and negotiator in Danish-British affairs.

This paper will be divided into three sections. The first will discuss Tuite’s Irish connections, focusing on his family’s origins in Ireland and the role of Irish families who, from the 1650s, preceded him in the West Indies. The second will examine Tuite’s accumulation of wealth as a trader, agent, banker, and as the principal planter credited with the success of the sugar industry in Danish St Croix. The article will conclude with a discussion of his power and influence in church, business and international affairs.

Figure 1: An artist’s impression of a Motte and Bailey. (Source:


The Tuite name comes from the Danish/Norman ‘tuit’ meaning ‘a clearing’, as in a wood. It can be traced to the tenth century Danelaw1, (the Danish ruled part of England) and to the Seine valley in northwest Normandy from the end of the tenth century.2

Nicholas Tuite was a direct descendant of Richard de Tuit (d.1210), who ‘arrived in Ireland in 1172 with Strongbow’ according to Lodge’s Peerage.3 Hugh de Lacy granted him a large barony in the west of the then Ríocht na Midhe4 in present-day Westmeath and Longford. The early thirteenthcentury Norman-French Chanson de Dermot et du comtenoted:  ‘To Richard Tuite likewise He gave a rich fief’.5 Around 1180 Richard built a castle after which the town of Oldcastle is named, on the north-eastern boundary of his territory.6In 1199 he constructed an impressive motte and bailey in Granard. This facilitated his regional dominance over dynasties such as the Ó Fearghail and mac Eochagáin septs, as well as alliances, most noticeably with the Ó Conchúir kings of Connacht.7 By the late sixteenth century as a result of both intermarriage and New English encroachment the old Gaeil-Seanghaill (Irish-Old English) divide was not as clear as it had been in the twelfth century. For instance, in a 1584–5 pardon to ‘Wm. McGilleroy alias Tuite of Mullingar and Farrall McGilleroy alias Tuite of same, gentlemen’ it is far from clear that there is a divide at all.8 During the Nine Years War (1594–1603), people with the Tuite surname appear as recipients of English pardons on several occasions, implying they had sided with the confederacy of Aodh Mór Ó Néill. For instance, in 1598 five Tuites of Monelea were among those pardoned in connection with ‘treason’, while in may 1601 a pardon was given to Patrick and William Tuite of Coolamber along with many others.9 A May 1602 pardon gives a good insight into familial alliances and networks in north Meath at that stage of the war. It pardoned numerous Plunketts of Newcastle, Loughcrew, Donore, Gibbstown in Meath along with a large number of people with the Ó Raghallaigh and Mac Gafraidh surnames as well as Garrett, Tom and Oliver Tuite of Baltrasna, among many others.10Nevertheless, following the eruption of the 1641 Rebellion in October that year a James Tuite was deemed sufficiently loyal to be made commissioner for martial law for Westmeath,11whereas the Tuites of Tuitestown lost their lands in 1641 for participating in the same rebellion.12 The testimony of a Protestant minister in Westmeath, Randall Adams, is very instructive about the politics of at least some Tuites then. To support his view that the clergy were responsible for the rebellion there he reported on a conversation between some of the ‘chief gentlemen’ of Westmeath and a group of friars. He said he had overheard it on 1 November 1641:

The gentlemen, mostly members of the Tuite family, laid a charge against the friars “that they and their fellows were the cause of this great and mischievous rebellion”.13

This would indicate that the senior members of the family remained very conservative up to a late stage. The economic overthrow of their community in the early 1650s and again in the 1690s consolidated the political overthrow of the community from the 1570s on. By the late seventeenth century the enmities between the old English and native Irish Catholics had been eroded ‘as a result of a shared fate of dispossession and powerlessness’.14

Nicholas Tuite’s branch of the family can be clearly identified. According to Lodge’s Peerage, his grandfather, Walter Tuite, was a son of Sir Edmund Tuite of Tuitestown and Mary, daughter of Sir Oliver Tuite of Sonagh.15 This Edmund of Tuitestown (b. 1612) had forfeited his estates after the rebellion in 1641. Walter married Margaret, daughter of David O’More of Port-Allen, in Laois, and by her he had thirteen sons.16 During the Battle of Aughrim in 1691 between the Williamites and the Jacobeans, some seven thousand soldiers died.17 Walter and his brother Brigadier-General William Tuite fought on the Catholic Jacobean side. William was killed at Aughrim. An astonishing eleven of Walter’s sons also died in 1691.18 Walter Tuite’s lands were confiscated and granted to Joost of Albemarle in 1697.19

The Williamite victory generated a new wave of transportations and voluntary emigration, among them the surviving Tuite brothers, Richard and Robert. They joined thousands of their ‘Wild Geese’ compatriots in leaving Ireland. Richard and Robert chose to go to the West Indies.


For 200 years after 1650 the West Indies were the most foughtover colonies in the world, as Europeans made and lost immense fortunes growing and trading in sugar – a commodity so lucrative that it was known as white gold.20

Figure 2: Sailing time in the 1700s, aided by the trade winds, was six weeks from Europe, eight to ten weeks for the return. (Source:

The Spanish, French, Dutch, British, and Danish variously owned colonies in the West Indian islands of the Caribbean. From 1601 to 1700 it is estimated that 132,500 people left Ireland,21 tens of thousands of whom settled in the West Indies and America. By 1650 Irish settlers constituted more than half of the European population of the English Leeward Islands of St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua and Montserrat.22 most of these, free and servant, had a ‘remarkably hellish’ existence.23 A select few, mostly Hiberno-Normans, and their West Indian-born descendants made their mark in the British and Danish West Indies in this period as planters, merchants, and sugar and slave traders.


Following the Cromwellian Conquest (1649–1653), many people, escaping death and disease in Ireland, signed up as indentured servants. There were two types of indentured servants: voluntary and involuntary. In the first category, indentured servants signed a contract with an employer that lasted for four to seven years labour in the colonies in return for passage, food and shelter, and freedom dues of ten to twelve pounds sterling.24 In the second category people were taken by force to provide necessary labour for the developing colonies. In 1655, for instance, Chancellor Thurloe in Westminster wrote to Henry Cromwell in Ireland requesting more soldiers and one thousand girls not past fourteen for the new colony of Jamaica. Cromwell responded, observing that ‘although we must use force in taking them up … it is not in the least doubted that you may have such number of them as you shall think fit to make use upon this account.’25 The Cromwellian transportations in the period 1652–57, by Aubrey Gwynn’s estimation, resulted in another 50,000 forced transportees, compared to Akenson’s estimate of 10,000.26


Irish fortune seekers had ventured forth to South America by 1612, when James and Philip Purcell led fourteen Irish Catholic settlers to develop a tobacco plantation on the River Tauregue in the Amazon.27 Nini Rodgers gives an example of Cornelius O’Brien ‘a noble gentleman of the house of the Earl of Thomond’ who left Ireland at the age of seventeen and made his fortune in the new world.28 Following capture by the Portuguese, some eighteen Irish colonists escaped to Surinam, and made their way to St Christopher (St Kitts) in the English Leeward Islands, where Sir Thomas Warner was establishing tobacco plantations.29


As early as 1631–2 a group of Catholic Irish led by Anthony Briskett, a discontented New English planter from Wexford, had settled in British-ruled Montserrat. They were given smallholdings of between 25 and 50 acres for tobacco growing.30 Following the 1641 Rebellion in Ireland, and the worsening of the relationship between the English and the Irish on the Islands, the St Kitts governor Warner shipped a group of Irish Catholics, possibly 400 in all, to the still undeveloped island of Montserrat.31 The Irish benefited from the transfer, as everyone could have a piece of land and some freedom fromProtestant English discrimination, under the Protestant but more sympathetic governor, Anthony Briskett.

From 1652 members of prominent Galway families – Burke, Skerrett, Blake, Bodkin, French, Lynch and Kirwan – established themselves as merchants and planters all over the West Indies. They are credited in large part with the conversion of Montserrat from a purely agrarian society producing tobacco, indigo and cotton, to a predominantly cane cultivation and sugar producing economy.32 By 1691 there had been an Irish presence for some six decades. The Irish newcomers represented all classes of Irish society, from indentured servants and smallholders to merchantsand landedgentry. Unusually for adventurers of that period, many of the voluntary Irish seemed to have arrived as family units and set up as smallholders to create a relatively stable environment. (The norm was that most of both voluntary and involuntary immigrants to the colonies were single persons.)33 The presence, and success, of these Irish families was a big influence in the integration and success of the Tuites in Montserrat when they arrived after 1691.

By the early 1700s the Irish accounted for about 70 per cent of the white population in Montserrat, which became known as ‘the Catholic Island’.34This meant that the English administration was obliged to tread softly in their hostility to them as they needed all the co-operating white people they could get to counter-balance the growing numbers of slaves.For instance, Akenson writes of Irish priests holding ‘secret’ religious services in the woods, and ‘so long as they did not become cheeky’ this was tolerated.35Nevertheless as Montserrat was under English control the Irish had to surmount extensive discrimination.36 Hostility was the hallmark of their relationship with the English: ‘Throughout the West Indies, the relationship between the English and the Irish consisted of mutual loathing’.37


Robert Tuite was one of the most successful traders on Montserrat, being one of the few to use his own ships to import provisions from Cork in exchange for sugar, tobacco and indigo. In 1728provisions imported from Cork included 2,157 barrels of beef, 184 barrels of pork, 468 firkins of butter, 265 barrels of herrings and 193 boxes of candles.38

Richard married Eleanor Lynch, a daughter of a well-established Lynch family there. He had sufficient resources, either to hand orthrough credit or marriage to purchase a 100-acre estate. Under his ownership, the estate, though not the biggest on the island, became an important sugar estate with indentured servants and slaves. He was surrounded by a large number of other Irish families; following the 1712 French invasion, for instance, Richard was one of 120 Irish claimants for compensation. Richard and Eleanor had two sons, Nicholas (b.1705) and Richard.39 Richard the elder died in 1718, when Nicholas was about thirteen. Nicholas’s mother Eleanor died in Cork in 1758.40


Matthew Parker observed that in the West Indies wealth was generated not only through growing, processing and exporting sugar but also from importing wine, slave trading and money lending, as well as conventional animal husbandry and crop cultivation. Land speculation and marriage alliances were additional sources of wealth.41 While sugar was a major industry, it was cyclical and subject to various climatic and natural events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Overproduction was another factor undermining its stability. Accordingly, trading and financing tended to be more consistent and profitable sources of wealth creation. For the wealthy Irish, marriage alliances tended to consolidate and promote their businesses and power.


Nicholas Tuite received a good education, as evidenced by his letter in French to Frederick V, King of Denmark.42 This education may have been in St Omer, a Jesuit-run Catholic academy in Belgium. A Robert Tuite was there in 1739.43 St Omer was closed down in an anti-Jesuit purge in 1762 and moved to Bruges, where its alumni included members of the Bourke, Farrell and Ryan families of St Croix.44 Nicholas Tuite’s daughters got their education in a convent school in Paris.

Nicholas Tuite is recorded in the census of 1729, aged 24, living on the Montserrat estate, with no family or servants but with 41 slaves.45 In the early 1730s he married Anne Skerrett, the daughter of a wealthy Antiguan planter from Galway who had relatives on Montserrat and a presence in London, thus increasing his relationships not only with the Skerretts, but also with Galwegians in the West Indies and elsewhere. 46 Nicholas and Anne had a son, Robert, and four daughters, Eleanor, Anne, Winifred and another unnamed who became a nun and died young.47

Nicholas continued his father’s business, expanding and varying his activities with some success. He and his fellow Montserratian Irishmen Laurence Bodkin, Henry Ryan, and members of the Skerrett family had sloops. These were small to medium-sized vessels, fast and manoeuvrable and a favourite of pirates and smugglers. These men had few inhibitions about trading illegally with the enemy, be it French, Spanish or Dutch, during the various wars that took place between them and the English.48

Figure 3: A sloop.

During these wars and other emergencies the English planters and their servants had to devote significant time to militia service to the neglect of their estates while the Catholic Irish, barred from the militia, were free to advance their various businesses. In order to protect their brandy trade, the French did not use molasses for rum distillation and they sold it off at 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the English islands’ price. The Irish traders and smugglers took advantage of this opportunity for extra profits. Rodgers describes this as ‘the trading complex which had so enriched the Tuites, Skerrets and Ryans.49During his Montserrat days Tuite was also involved in privateering, slave trading, and agency work.

To facilitate the policing of the seas, armed private ships (privateers) were licensed by the English Court to intercept ships of hostile nations. Neutral ships carrying enemy goods were also targeted. The privateers got ninety percent of the profits when goods and ship were confiscated, the other 10 percent going to the State.50 In the 1740s Tuite was the principal investor in a privateer called Surprise captained by Joseph Redmond.51 A record from Lloyds in October 1744, for example, recorded that ‘A French ship from Newfoundland is taken by the “Surprise” Privateer, Captain Redmond; but as she is not come into Falmouth, suppose she is gone for Ireland’.52 However it was not uncommon for merchants to obtain a privateer’s licence to enable them to carry contraband safely. These ships were then unlikely to interfere with other vessels. In fact there is no record that Tuite’s Surprise ever made a claim to the Prize Court.53

During the 1720s and 1730s, the importation of slaves from Africa was increasing rapidly, and Nicholas included them as merchandise in his interisland trading, including with the Danish West Indian Islands to which he also shipped Irish provisions.54 While in Montserrat Tuite expanded his international activities with some success, becoming an agent for other planters and merchants, and establishing a base and useful connections in London which were to serve him well later on. He is recorded as being ‘of Lyme Str., London, and a merchant’ from 1747 to 1753.55 All the while he was networking with the West Indies Irish, mostly Galway Irish and their kinsmen throughout Europe. Due to the absence of a sophisticated banking system these trusted kinship contacts in various countries were essential for those involved in international trade.

By the 1740s the English planters’ trading in Montserrat was being damaged by the freewheeling activities of Tuite and other Irish Catholics. In 1749, the authorities introduced additional anti-Catholic legislation to restrict the commercial activities of the Irish.56 They justified this by claiming the Irish Catholics were becoming more open, even brazen, in their religious practice and needed to be reined in.57 Back in Ireland, according to historian W. E. H. Lecky, the Protestant elite were playing the same game:

The Penal Code as it was actually carried out was inspired much less by fanaticism than by rapacity and was directed less against the Catholic religion than against the property and industry of its professors.58

The British issued an injunction against Nicholas Tuite trading in the Leeward Islands in the late 1740s.59 In contrast, the more pragmatically benign Protestantism of Danish St Croix was to become increasingly attractive to the Montserrat Irish. This discriminatory legislation in Montserrat was the trigger for Tuite to orchestrate St. Croix’s first largescale Irish sugar plantation, where they were granted full citizenship and, through the influence and leadership of Nicholas Tuite, freedom of religion.


The Danes had failed to develop a successful sugar industry on St Croix and in 1749 Nicholas Tuite entered into negotiations with them. He offered to bring planters, merchants, servants and slaves in return for citizenship and legal recognition of the Catholic Church on the island.60 Also in 1749 Tuite applied to Rome for the establishment of a Catholic mission in St Croix of which he and his male heirs would be patrons, and would nominate the missionaries.61 With ‘foresight and leadership’, Tuite put together a four-man syndicate of experts in their fields, to drive the success of the plantation. ‘In these developments,’ according to Arnold R. Highfield, ‘Tuite and several well-to-do Montserratians effected a minor revolution in St Croix, which had been predominantly Lutheran from the start, as well as economically stagnant.’62


By good management or great good luck,Tuite’s timing for the St Croix project was perfect, as 1749 to 1775 turned out to be boom years in the sugar business.63 He persuaded three successful West Indian business men to join with him in forming a syndicate to exploit the St Croix opportunity. His collaborators in the commercial syndicate were Laurence Bodkin and Ned Ryan, Creole planters and traders with origins in Galway and Tipperary respectively. The third member was John Baker, a Protestant Englishman married to Ned Ryan’s sister, Mary.64 Baker was attorney general to the Leeward Islands from 1750 to 1752, and the marriage gave him entry to the important West Indian Irish network. The arrangement was agreeable to Ryan since he now had a lawyer in the family, a profession denied to Catholics. Bodkin and Ryan were experienced planters, Bodkin specialising in the general commercial aspects of the business, and Ryan in the nittygritty of growing cane and producing sugar, molasses and rum. Bodkin, ‘bred a merchant’ according to Baker, was an extremely effective partner with Ryan, whom he described as ‘an exceedingly skilful planter.’65 Tuite, once he had set the project in motion, generally left the production and processing to Ryan and the general management and commercial aspects to Bodkin.66 Other members of Tuite’s family – nephews, nieces and cousins – appear to have also looked after his interests in St Croix. Nicholas’s brother Richard had numerous children and grandchildren there, some of whom later married into existing plantation families, such as the de Nullys, Bradshaws and Bourkes. In conjunction with Baker, who was based in St Kitts, Nicholas concentrated on driving the success of the venture internationally from his London base and developing his own separate business as an agent and banker. For instance, when Baker ordered equipment for a new mill in 1752, he arranged for payment to be made on his behalf by Nicholas Tuite in Lime Street.67

Table 1: Sion Farm Estate ownership 1750–1835. (Source: Mudie, Sion Farm to Bugby Hole)


Nicholas Tuite




Nicholas Tuite


10 free; 136 slaves


Nicholas Tuite


4 free; 187 slaves


Nicholas Tuite


9 free; 309 slaves


Nicholas Tuite


5 free; 333 slaves


Robert Tuite


5 free; 302 slaves


Robert Tuite

Sugar (380 acres)

281 slaves


Robert Tuite

Sugar (360 acres)

5 free; 274 slaves


Robert Tuite

Sugar (360 acres)

258 slaves


Robert Tuite

Sugar (315 acres)

2 free; 292 slaves


Charles McCarthy

Sugar (241 acres)

4 free; 292 slaves


Charles McCarthy

Sugar (326 acres)

5 free; 239 slaves


Royal Loan Commissioners by foreclosure




Figure 4: The Longford Connection.


1749 was a busy year for Tuite as he entered into a contract to purchase his first plantation in St. Croix, Sion Farm.68 Initially 450 acres, by 1756 it extended to c. 525 acres. In the twenty-year period from 1750 he owned or had an interest in about twenty plantations.69 His most important plantation, Sion Farm, needed over 300 slaves to operate effectively.70 Included in purchases were some estates bought jointly with Roger Farrell, and true to his Longford origins, Farrell combined two of these estates and called them ‘Annaly’ (the ancient name of Longford).71

And as I rode by Granard moat, right plainly might I see

O’Ferall’s clans were sweeping down from distant Annalee 72

many of the Irish group’s early purchases were at knock-down prices as the aspiring planters who had arrived in St Croix in the 1740s, in response to an offer of cheap land from the Danish West Indies and Guinea Company, failed through lack of expertise and finance.much of these lands, eagerly swallowed up by the incoming Irish and a few English and Danes, multiplied in value within a short time.73 Tuite is also recorded as ‘giving a leg-up’ to aspiring planters, sometimes arranging finance for them. In 1753, for instance, he advanced to Thomas Meade ‘several thousand pounds’ (c.£600k today) to enable him to buy a plantation in Montserrat.74

As residents in Danish territory the newcomers to St Croix automatically became Danish citizensSt Croix was a neutral island among English, Spanish, French and Dutch islandsand Tuite and his fellow plantation owners and merchants took full advantage of this. Theytraded profitably with all of them, and with mainland America, sometimes officially, and sometimes as smugglers, during the various conflicts between these countries, particularly during the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) between the English and the French.75This Seven Years’ War was a period of high risk/ reward as the English ruled the sea and the St Croix merchants and traders had to be not only daring, but smart, in order to outwit them and trade profitably with the French. The Danish State’s laissez-faire attitude to their activities was also helpful.76

In 1756, coinciding with the beginning of the Seven Years’ War, the commercial partnership with Ryan, Bodkin and Baker, which had been ‘a phenomenal success’,77 was wound up and the four of them reverted to individual estate ownership and personal pursuit of the opportunities presented to them by the war. Tuite disposed of five plantations, purchased in 1750/51, to his partners, apparently as part of the agreed dissolution of their partnership.78In 1756 he also celebrated the official opening of his estate house on Sion Farm. This property is now the official residence of the Deputy Governor of The US Virgin Islands. In the early stages of their St. Croix adventure Tuite and his partners multiplied their assets through land speculation, and Tuite was still buying and selling estates two or three years before his death in 1772. 


Nicholas Tuite, meanwhile, with St Croix beginning to generate profits for the king, applied formally in July 1754 for freedom of religion in St Croix. He set out his request in a persuasive letter to the king saying he would bring a thousand people to the island, white and slaves. The whites would be mostly Catholic families which would give stability and good order to society and Tuite pledged ‘that they would comport themselves as zealous and loyal subjects of His majesty’. Tuite also asked that Catholics be allowed to serve the King in the civil or military service, depending on their talents. This would give them additional status and influence.79 The king’s permission, dated 20 September 1754, stipulated ‘with the exception of Jesuits, who must not be found there’.80 Tuite, in fact, had already anticipated this permission and on 3 December 1753 the Vatican’s Propaganda Fide approved his nomination of two Jesuit priests,81 one of whom had arrived prior to the king’s prohibition and could therefore stay until he was replaced by a non-Jesuit.82

Persuading Irish priests to man the mission was more difficult than persuading the King to agree to his ground-breaking request. Irish priests were very conscious of thereputation that the West Indies had as places of transportation and disease, and it was January 1759 before two priests of the Dominican Order, Frs. Allen and Kennedy, were to finally arrive on the island.83 Tuite funded their travel and the purchase of essential priestly supplies, having already built Holy Cross church for them in Christiansted, the capital. These disbursements were made on the understanding that the community would reimburse him when the parish was well established. It was a constant sore with him subsequently that the parishioners did not give adequate support to the priests and to the church. 

Figure 5: Holy Cross Church, Christiansted, St. Croix.

On a visit to the island in 1766 he berated his fellow planters for their lack of support.84 That the Catholic Church existed there, and ultimately became the largest denomination on the island, is due to the influence and support of Tuite in the mid-1700s.85


The priests brought out from Ireland by Tuite reported regularly to Rome. Their letters, published in Archivium Hibernicum in 1962,86 give us a glimpse of how things were on the island. Fr Allen, the Parish Priest of Holy Cross, had ‘a commodious house joining the church with two slaves, etc.’ According to Fr Kennedy, his colleague, Fr Allen ‘was not voluble or versant in the English tongue’ 87– a reminder to us that many of the Irish were Irish speakers. The unfortunate Fr Allen did not last long in the St Croix climate – he died in July 1760, only nineteen months after his arrival. An April 1760 letter from Fr Hyacinth Kennedy to Fr Charles Kelly in Rome, reports that there are about 250 Irish in all on the island. Twelve of them have plantations, about 100 ‘lads of our country’ are overseers on plantations, and in town there are Irish merchants, traders and captains of vessels. He writes that ‘they are anxious to make riches as soon as possible in order to retire to their native country. This design engages all their care’. 88 Fr. Kennedy, who lived at Tuite’s estate, writes that in sixteen months he has already instructed and baptised one hundred and fifty slaves.89

St Croix in the 1750s and 1760s was frontier territory characterised by disease and the scandalous behaviour of many of the Europeans who lived riotously, earning the titles of ‘good Christians in Europe, reprobates here’.90 Fr Devenish complains about being obliged to say mass in a Saloon ‘with naked Venus’s [sic] and sea nymphs bathing in crystal springs’.91 The island was cursed by a mindless exploitation and abuse of slaves for personal gain. The landlords, when they were there, wined and dined sumptuously. Nicholas Tuite was a connoisseur of madeira wines and other beverages, and he had a reputation of being an extremely hospitable host.92 Fr McDonnell, who replaced Fr. Allen as Parish Priest of Holy Cross, summed up his position with a wry sense of humour: ‘When I have money I dine at home. When I have none I look out where the largest smoke is’.93

Figure 6: Sion Farm Greathouse.


The centre of the sugar trade was London, and Tuite, being alert to the need to have a presence there, had been spending time in the city for a number of years. In 1746 his son Robert was born in Isleworth.94 He had offices in Lyme Street and lived in the impressive ‘Syon House’ in Isleworth from 1749 to 1759. By 1752, when the St. Croix project was well established, he was in effect a London-based absentee landlord and merchant, communicating by letter from there with Baker in St Kitts.95 Between 1756 and 1766 he visited the island twice only, for a fortnight.96 In June 1769, Fr McDonnell writes that Tuite, accompanied by his brother-in-law Theobald Bourke and Christopher MacEvoy, went ‘to spend the winter at home and come out in the summer’.97

Tuite and the other successful St Croix and Montserrat planters and merchants socialised actively in London. As is clear from Baker’s letters, the Tuites, Ryans, Skerrets, Kirwans, Bourkes and Bakers maintained close social ties in an inner circle of very rich people who did not gain full acceptance at the upper echelons of London society.98 They were, however, welcomed by English Catholic gentry who were glad to welcome their convent-educated daughters and their dowries into their families. Ireland did not benefit as well as it might have from the wealth of these colonial Catholics as under the Penal Laws they could not buy estates there.


Orla Power details how by the time of the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), Tuite had established himself in London as a West Indian commission agent. In this capacity, he financed Danish shipments and transactions for a fee of 2.5 percent. He not only found a buyer for the products, but arranged insurance and accepted responsibility for shipments until they reached their ultimate destination. An increasingly important aspect of his career by this time was his role as a negotiator for the release of Danish ships from British privateers and as mediator in trade and diplomatic disputes. For instance, during the Seven Years’ War he put his previous experience as a privateer in the 1740s to use as a successful negotiator for the recovery of clients’ ships and goods apprehended by privateers.99

The basic business of counting/accepting houses was that of accepting (guaranteeing) bills of exchange for a commission or discounting them at a rate of interest. The economic historian Patrick K. O’Brien describes the work of such houses thus:

With some, but rarely enough, liquid capital at their disposal, merchants organised and acted as guarantors for deferred systems of payment all along the line from sites of production, through networks of transportation and distribution to points of sale.100

With his connections in Montserrat and St Croix, and his own personal experience in the plantation/sugar business, allied to his acknowledged business acumen, Tuite had little difficulty generating profitable business. Tuite’s Counting/Commission house became one of England’s top twentyfive Counting/Commission houses in the eighteenth century.101Other Irish who had counting houses, if not of the same prestige as Tuite’s, were Hussey fromMontserrat, Kirwan and Skerrett from Antigua, and Bourke from Jamaica.102 John Kirwan (also operating out of Lime Street) became such a close friend and colleague in London that he christened one of his sons ‘Nicholas Tuite Kirwan’.103


From London, Tuite organised transportation of Irish provisions from Cork to the Caribbean during the War of Austrian succession (1740–1748) on his own account and for others.104 Even though he was not Irish born, he had contacts and business agents in Ireland. His mother spent her last years in Cork and, as mentioned earlier, died there in 1758. He also had at least one cousin there (Mary Cahill).105 From the 1600s until 1775 Ireland, mainly through the hub of Cork, was the principal supplier of salted goods to the West Indies.106 Butter, beef, pork, fish, tallow, candles, hide and linen were much in demand. He also sourced and shipped hardware and plantation equipment. This he did legally, but when circumstances required it he was prepared to act illegally and did so. His consignees in St Croix would then re-export some or all of the goods to other islands.107 Foodstuffs and other goods delivered to the French via neutral St Croix and Dutch Eustatius were a vital lifeline to the embargoed French during the Seven Years’ war, and a source of huge profit to the sellers.


It is difficult to discuss Tuite’s career without examining the role of slavery. The prosperity of the sugar business was built on slavery. Although his sugar plantation was not the greatest source of his wealth, it was the basis for the initial prosperity which allowed him to develop trading and financial interests. Sourcing slaves in the growth stages of their St Croix project was a major problem and Baker records how in 1755 he and Bodkin were unable to acquire enough slaves to meet their expansion needs and they were relying on Tuite to source them. Tuite apparently bought them at 75 per cent of the open-market price as he managed to buy a full cargo for distribution among their ‘several concerns’.108 In 1759, during Tuite’s tenure in St. Croix, the slaves plotted a revolt, following two years of prolonged and severe drought. The revolt was discovered before it could be launched and twelve of the plotters were tortured to death.109


Between 1650 and 1800 about four and a half million Africans were forced out of Africa by the British to the West Indies alone.110 Only about half of these survived beyond the settling in period in their new home. William Wilberforce MP for Hull, in addressing Parliament in 1789 estimated that 12.5 per cent of transported slaves died in passage, 4.5 per cent before their sale, and one third died while acclimatising to the Americas.111

While indentured servants on the tobacco and sugar plantations (especially those forced into servitude) had an appallingly miserable existence, legally they were considered to be persons. The slaves, in contrast, were not ‘persons’; they were chattels, recorded in the accounts of the planters under the same category as mules, carts, cows.112 The slaves suffered from ‘overwork, poor nutrition, inadequate medical treatment, and, all too often, death at an early age’.113Matthew Parker describes slavery as ‘a state of total degradation and dishonour’, and ‘that the system, whenever or wherever it was to be found, relied on violent coercion to function, and on the continuing degradation of its victims’.114 As for indentured servants, according to Hilary Beckles ‘most servants experienced servitude as a structured, organised system of Planter tyranny’.115 We should keep these things in mind when we are assessing the role of Irish participants in the sugar business.

Figure 7: Slaves shown as property on Sion Farm, 1791.

Although serfdom was abolished in England in 1610, in the seventeenth and part of the eighteenth century, the concept of slavery was generally regarded in the ‘civilised’ world as being acceptable. Yorke, for instance, notes that ‘at that time, with the exception of some enlightened men, there was a general acquiescence in the system of slavery, which was accepted as being in the nature of things’.116 A 1454 Papal Bull justified slavery that arose from a just war (as the alternative was execution). Before American independence, attempts by some of the early colonies to outlaw slavery were overturned by the King of England, while Jefferson and Washington among many others were slaveholders.117

Enlightenment was slow in coming. The Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel did not emancipate its slaves until compelled to do so by the emancipation legislation of 1833. John Newton, the composer of ‘Amazing Grace’, studied for the ministry while in command of a slave ship.118 In 1789, William Wilberforce, MP for Hull, declared: ‘Posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has suffered to exist for so long a disgrace and dishonour to this country’. In 1790, William Pitt added ‘No nation has plunged so deeply into this guilt as Great Britain’.119 The poet, Robert Southey, described the colonies as ’perhaps as disgraceful a portion of history as the whole course of time can afford’.120


Much of Tuite’s power and status was based upon his ability to influence and assist the Danish Court. The Danish minister for Foreign Affairs, Count J.H.E. Bernstorff, was a friend and their letters display a close relationship.121 The Danish ambassador to London, Baron Bothmer, called on Tuite regularly for assistance in handling problems and in keeping himself informed of English commercial and political affairs.122 Having negotiated the release of several Danish ships from British privateers, it wasn’t surprising that Tuite was Bothmer’s first port of call when one of the king’s ships was seized in 1759.123 The Little Lucy and Sophia,a ship personally commissioned by Danish King Frederick V, was seized and lying up in Cork. Tuite went to Cork and spent a month there negotiating the release of ship and cargo.124

In 1760, after ten successful years in St. Croix, Tuite and Baker paid a visit to Copenhagen where Tuite was feted by the Danish Court. On their way there via Holland and Germany, he met with the Danish envoy in The Hague, the Dutch statesman Count Portland, the Prince of Orange and British Ambassador Joseph Yorke125 They also had business meetings in Hamburg and Flensborg. In Copenhagen they met with the shipping magnate Reinhart Iselin and his brother-in-law Conrad Fabritius of the House of Fabritius and Weever (Denmark’s first banking and commission house). At an important conference in Fredensborg Palace in Denmark he was met by Count Moltke and minister of State, Holstein. Also in attendance were Iselin, Fabritius, British Ambassador Titley, Professor Martin Hubner (author of the tract on the British seizing of neutral ships), Baron Bernstorff, and the King himself. From the composition of the meeting it is clear this was a serious gathering concerned with the seizure by Britain of neutral shipping. He later met with imperial minister Joachim Wasserschlebe, and stayed with the Swedish Ambassador, Sir John Goodricke.126 The King, according to Baker’s account, declared Tuite to be: ‘the founder of the colony, the sole source of its greatness and the first character of the realm’. However, Tuite declined all honours, being satisfied ‘with the character of an honest man.’127


The level of success enjoyed by Nicholas Tuite is best assessed by reference to his will. His wife Anne inherited £310,000 at 2017 values128 plus a similar amount in annual income.129 He left five million pounds between his daughters Eleanor, Anne and Winifred. Part of Sion Farm went to his grandsons Nicholas Tuite Selby and Thomas Stapleton. Other small bequests show connections to his cousin Mary Cahill of Cork, Biddy O’Reilly of Granard, ‘the poor of Montserrat’ and to two Churches in St Croix. The rest of his estate, generating an income of over £3 million per annum, he left to his only son, Robert.130

Tuite’s influence extended into the next generation. His daughter Eleanor married Thomas Selby, a member of a wealthy and titled Catholic Northumberland family. His grandson Nicholas Tuite Selby was a London banker in Wright Selby & Co for some 50 years.131 Tuite’s other grandchildren and great-grandchildren from the Selby line held important positions in Danish and Austrian society. His grandson Charles Selby, who owned a major sugar refinery in Denmark, became a chamberlain to the king in 1806. His great-grandson, Charles-Borré, Baron de Selby, was ambassador to Westphalia and the Netherlands, and a chamberlain, and was endowed with other high titles. Another great-grandson, Nicholas Tuite Selby, was chamberlain to the emperor of Austria in 1809.132 Nicholas Tuite’s daughter Ann married Thomas Stapleton, possibly related to Sir William Stapleton of Tipperary who had been Governor of Montserrat from 1668 to 1671 and subsequently Governor of all the Leeward Islands.133 His daughter Winifred married Justin McCarthy, another Tipperaryman, who was based in Toulouse and who was made a French count in 1776.134 One of their sons, Nicholas Tuite McCarthy, was a renowned Jesuit preacher in Europe who was offered a Bishopric by Louis XVI, but declined it.135 His son Robert had no children by his marriage, but appears to have had a child by a woman in St Croix.136 In Robert’s 1777 application to be chamberlain to the King, interestingly, he provided evidence that he was descended from the Danish de Thott family.137 Robert and Christopher McEvoy, another interesting Irish Crucian, persuaded the King to allow Catholics to practise their religion publicly in Copenhagen.138


Tuite’s leadership and the successful establishment of a thriving colony was remarkable. His achievement in persuading the Protestant King of Denmark to grant religious freedom in St. Croix has been described as ‘extraordinary’.139 His establishment and maintenance of the Catholic Church in St Croix allowed for the emergence of a Catholic community under a Protestant monarch. Tuite networked extensively and intelligently, building upon prior Irish mercantile networks in the West Indies.

Nicholas Tuite, slave trader, planter, churchman, merchant, banker, family man, died in his home in Queen Anne Street in the financial district of London in 1772 at the age of 67. His obituary140 celebrates that ‘such an immense fortune should be acquired by honest Industry only’ and pays reverence to the memory of ‘so great a character, and so good a man’. He is buried in St Pancras Old Churchyard.


  1. The Danelaw was roughly the territory north and east of a line drawn between   London and Chester, which was controlled by the Danes for about one hundred   years from 865AD.
  2. Asé Karl H. Wagner, ‘Les Noms de lieux issus de ’tuit’ dans l’implantation scandinave   Normandie’ in Pierre Bauduin (ed.), Les fondations scandinaves en Occident et les   débuts du duché de Normandie (Caen, 2005), pp 241–51, p. 252.
  3. John Lodge &Mervyn Archdall, The Peerage of Ireland: Or, A Genealogical History   of the Present Nobility of that Kingdom Volume 3, (2nd ed., Dublin, 1789), p. 25; John   Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the   British Empire (11th ed., London, 1849), p .993.
  4. Ríocht na Midhe was the ancient Kingdom of Meath which incorporated Meath,   Westmeath and part of Longford extending to Granard.
  5. See G.H. Orpen, (ed. and tr.), The Song of Dermot and the Earl: an Old French   Poem from the Carew Manuscript no. 596 in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth   Palace (Oxford, 1892).
  6. Philip O’Connell, ‘The parish and district of Kilbride’ in Ríocht na Midhe, iii, (1965).
  7. Mary Francis Cusack, A History of the Irish Nation: Social, Ecclesiastical, Biographical,   Industrial and Antiquarian (London, 1876), p. 548.
  8. Irish Fiants of the Tudor sovereigns (Dublin, 1994), Fiant 4624, 26 Feb. 1584–5, p. 665.
  9. Ibid., Fiant 6220, 18 April 1598; Fiant 6525, 22 may 1601.
  10. Ibid., Fiant 6621, 8 may 1602.
  11. Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640–42, www.british-–421 (accessed 17 August 2017).
  12. John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, or a Genealogical History of the Present Nobility                   of that Kingdom Peerage (Dublin, 1789), p. 27.
  13. N.P. Canny, ‘Religion, Politics and the Irish Rising of 1641’ in J. Devlin and R.   Fanning (eds.), Religion and Identity (Dublin, 1997), p. 61.
  14. Thomas Bartlett, The Fall and Rise of the Irish Nation: The Catholic Question 1690–   1830 (Dublin, 1992),p.12.
  15. Sir Thomas de Tuyt’s estates were divided between his three sons in 1382. Sir John   was ancestor of the Sonagh (or Sonna) branch; James held the manors of   Jordanstown and Tuitestown; and Richard held Ballinsallagh and Stydalt. See   Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, pp. 26–7.
  16. Ibid., p. 27.
  17. There is little agreement among commentators as to the correct number. See Richard  Doherty, ‘The Battle of Aughrim’ in History Ireland, 3, no. 3 (Autumn, 1995), pp 35–42.
  18. Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, p. 27.
  19. British History online: Treasury Calendar: march 1697, 16–31, www.british-history.–441 (accessed 17 August 2017).
  20. Matthew Parker, The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire and War (London,   2011).
  21. Donald Harmon Akenson, If the Irish Ran the World, 1630–1730 (Liverpool, 1997),p.63,   citing L. M. Cullen, ‘The Irish Diaspora of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’   in Nicholas Canny, Europeans on the Move: Studies on European Migration (Oxford,   1994), Table 6.1.
  22. Akenson, If the Irish Ran the World, p. 38.
  23. Ibid., p. 42.
  24. Ibid., p. 53.
  25. Nini Rodgers, Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery: 1612–1865 (Basingstoke, 2007), p. 46.
  26. Gwynn, “Cromwell’s Policy of Transportation- Part 11”, p. 301. Akenson in Ireland,   Slavery and Anti-Slavery seems to infer that that figure may include the 34,000   soldiers who went ‘voluntarily’ to continental armies, see p. 221, note 30.
  27. Akenson, If the Irish Ran the World, p. 15; Rodgers, Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery,   pp. 27–9.
  28. Rodgers, Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery, p.27, citing Joyce Lorimer (ed.), English   and Irish Settlement on the River Amazon 1550–1646 (London, 1989).
  29. Ibid, p. 31
  30. Sean O’Callaghan, To Hell or Barbados (Dublin, 2001), p. 201.
  31. Rodgers, Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery, p. 34.
  32. Nini Rodgers, review of Natalie A Zacek, Settler Society in the English Leeward   Islands 1670–1776 in Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, 7, No.4.
  33. Akenson, If the Irish Ran the World, p. 116.  34.             Ibid., p. 195
    1. Ibid., p. 45.
    2. Orla Power, ‘Irish planters, Atlantic merchants: the development of St. Croix,   Danish West Indies, 1750–1766’, (PhD thesis, NUI Galway, 2011), p. 41: excluded   from formal civic duty, e.g. the legal profession and the militia.
    3. Matthew Parker, The Sugar Barons, p.129.
    4. Thomas m. Truxes, Irish American Trade,1660–1783 (Cambridge, 1988), p. 101.
    5. Svend E. Holsoe, Virgin Island families, (accessed 18 January   2014); Yorke says ‘probably Robert’. 
    6. Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, p. 28.
    7. Parker, The Sugar Barons, p. 223.
    8. Power, ‘Irish planters, Atlantic merchants’, p. 29. Power has done extensive research                    on Tuite in the Danish archives.
    9. Orla Power, Beyond Kinship, p.45; also there were a Skerrett from Ireland, a Carroll                      from Maryland, a Farrill and a murphy from Montserrat.
    10. Ibid., Beyond Kinship, p. 210
    11. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 51.
    12. Power, Beyond Kinship, p. 210.
    13. Philip C. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, Barrister of the Middle Temple, Solicitor  general of the Leeward Islands (London, 1931), p. 62.
    14. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 120.
    15. Rodgers, Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery, p. 57, p.71.
    16. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 15.
    17. Ibid., p. 51.
    18. NL Gen Web, Shipping News,   1743-44.htm (accessed 17 August 2017).
    19. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 51.
    20. Richard B. Sheridan, Sugar and Slavery: An Economic History of the British West Indies,   1623–1775 (Kingston, 1974), p. 444;Howard A Fergus,Montserrat: History of a   Caribbean Colony (Montserrat, 2004), p. 57.
    21. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, p. 62; Svend E. Holsoe, Virgin Island Families, www.

       (accessed 18 January 2014).  56. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 54.

  1. Thomas Bartlett, The Fall and Rise of the Catholic Nation: The Catholic Question   1690–1830 (Dublin, 1992).
  2. Quoted in Bartlett, The Fall and Rise of the Catholic Nation, p. 22.
  3. Orla Power, ‘The “Quadripartite Concern” of St. Croix’, p.7, (citing John Baker to   Nicholas Tuite, 13 October 1753 “Letterbook of John Baker”, BL).
  4. Arnold R. Highfield, ‘The Irish in St. Croix’ in The St. Croix Landmark Society,   celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2008, p. 25.
  5. Hugh Fenning, ‘The mission to St Croix in the West Indies: 1750–1769’in Archivium   Hibernicum, xxv (1962), pp 78–9.
  6. Arnold R. Highfield, ‘The Irish on St. Croix’, p.25.
  7. Richard B. Sheridan Caribbean Plantation Society, 1689–1748’ in P. J. Marshall   (ed.),The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol.11, the Eighteenth Century   (Oxford, 2001), pp 412–4.
  8. Mary Ryan’s niece married William Coventry Manning in 1751 and from this   marriage originated her great grandson, Cardinal Henry E. Manning.
  9. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker P. 62.
  10. Power, The “Quadripartite Concern” of St Croix, p.9.
  11. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 125.
  12. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, p. 261.
  13. Culled from various loose files in The St. Croix Landmarks Society Library on the   Whim Estate. See estate property and transaction records nos. 217–288.
  14. John H. Mudie, Sion Farm To Bugby Hole, St. Croix (Palm Beach, 2006), p. 8 (Year   1772 in a Table of ownership, land use and population of Sion Farm, 1750 to 1963).
  15. The combined estates, now known as Annaly Farms, later, under different ownership,   became famous throughout the tropical world for the breeding of Senepol cattle, a   breed which thrived in tropical conditions
  16. Arthur G. Geoghegan ballad, The Battle of Tyrrellspass celebrating the July 1597 victory of   the Farrells and others under Richard Tyrrell over a force that included “Tuite of  Sonna’s mailclad men”.In Benedict Kiely’s And as I Rode by Granard   Moat, (Dublin, 1996), p. 223.
  17. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p.68, citing a January 1750/1 letter from   John Baker to his brother Thomas in London.
  18. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 8. Historical UK inflation rates can be   found on Historical UK Inflation, (accessed 17 August


  1. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, pp 90–6.
  2. Ibid, p. 18.
  3. Power, The “Quadripartite Concern” of St Croix, pp 1–2.
  4. St. Croix Landmarks Society, Estate Ownership records. (Loose Leaf Files).
  5. Power, ‘The “Quadripartite Concern” of St Croix’, p. 16.
  6. Joseph G. Daly, The Catholic Historical Review, liii, no. 3 (Oct 1967), p. 307.
  7. Archives of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide Scritture Rifferite nei Congressi,   America Antilles, iii, fol.371–374.
  8. Archives of Maryland Province Society of Jesus, Woodstock, Maryland. Old records   in bound Manuscript form, 1724 onwards, p.3.
  9. Fenning, ‘The Mission to St Croix ‘, p. 90.
  10. Ibid., p. 121.
  11. Highfield, ‘The Irish on St. Croix’.
  12. Fenning, ‘The Mission to St Croix.
  13. Ibid., p. 89.
  14. Ibid., p. 84.
  15. Ibid., p. 85.
  16. Ibid., p. 92
  17. Ibid, p. 116.
  18. Orla Power, Beyond Kinship, p. 210.
  19. Fenning, ‘The Mission to St Croix’, p. 122.
  20. Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland , p. 27. See Holsoe for church records of Robert in St.


  1. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, p. 62.
  2. Rodgers, Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery, p. 58.
  3. Fenning, ‘The Mission to St Croix’, p. 121.
  4. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker.
  5. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 88.
  6. Patrick K. O’Brien, ‘Trade, Economy, State, and Empire’ in P. J. Marshall (ed.), The     Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol.11, p. 61.
  7. Sheridan, Sugar and Slavery, p. 299.
  8. Ibid., pp 298–9.
  9. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 187.  104. Ibid., p. 127.
    1. Tuite Will
    2. Truxes, Irish American Trade, 1660–1783.
    3. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 120, p. 128.
    4. Ibid., p. 81.
    5. Harold W.L. Willocks, The Umbilical Cord, The History of the United States Virgin   Islands from the Columbian Era to the Present (2nd ed., St Croix, 1995).
    6. Neil A. Frankel, The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery in America, www.slaverysite.   com (accessed 17 August 2017).
    7. Herbert S. Klein, Stanley L. Engerman, Robin Haines, and Ralph Shlomowitz,   ‘Transoceanic mortality: The Slave Trade in Comparative Perspective’ in William &Mary Quarterly, lviii, no. 1 (January 2001), pp 96–7.
    8. Landmarks society records, Sion Farm balance sheet for 1791 as shown in Mudie,   Sion Farm To Bugby Hole, p.9.
    9. Richard B. Sheridan, ‘Caribbean Plantation Society, 1689–1748’, p. 404.
    10. Matthew Parker, The Sugar Barons, p. 58.
    11. Akenson, If the Irish Ran the World, p. 56, quoting Hilary Beckles.
    12. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, p. 14.
    13. Anthony Iaccarino, ‘The founding fathers of slavery’, Encyclopaedia Britanica, (accessed   17 August 2017).
    14. Vic Biorseth, Catholic American Thinker,   (accessed 17 August 2017).
    15. Parker, The Sugar Barons, pp 349–50.
    16. Ibid., p. 356.
    17. Power Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 107 gives an example.
    18. Ibid., p 26–7, see footnote 89.
    19. Miscellaneous Correspondence, Volume 3, p. 62; Owen’s Weekly Chronicle, ii, no. 44   (27 Jan. – 3 Feb. 1759).
    20. Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants, p. 103.
    21. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, p. 137.
    22. Ibid., pp. 137–143. Baker describes extremely basic lodgings.
    23. Ibid., p. 63.
    24. Conversion table for Historical UK inflation rates can be found on inflation.        
    25. Orla Power, Irish planters, Atlantic merchants pp. 187–8. Orla Power gives some   detail – along with a substantial income he left his wife Anne his coach and her   choice of four horses, his jewels, her choice of linen and furniture from his English   houses, his cellars and interestingly, her own apparel.
    26. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, p.63
    27. Ibid., p. 62
    28. John Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain   and Ireland, Enjoying Territorial Possessions Or High Official Rank (London, 1835),   p. 705.
    29. Akenson, If the Irish Ran the World, p. 100. Akenson was an admirer of Stapleton.
    30. Yorke, The Diary of John Baker, p. 62.
    31. Nicholas Tuite McCarty, New Advent,   htm (accessed 17 August 2017).
    32. Svend E. Holsoe, Virgin Island Families, Tuite, (accessed 18   January 2014).
    33. Power, ‘Irish planters, Atlantic merchants’, p. 187.
    34. Diarmaid Ó Catháin, ‘Féilte Cláirseoireachta Ghránaird, John Dungan, Cóbanhávan,   agus an Rómánsachas Luath’ in Eighteenth-Century Ireland / Iris an dá chultúr, xxii   (2007), pp. 106–32, p. 115.
    35. Joseph G. Daly, ‘Archbishop John Carroll and the Virgin Islands’ in The Catholic   Historical Review,liii, no.3 (Oct. 1967), pp 305–27.
    36. The Scottish journal of topography, antiquities, traditions, &c., I, no. 37 (13 may 1848), p. 187.