Letter from Malcolm Laing to William Philip Perrin regarding the sale of enslaved people at Hallhead plantation, Jamaica, 21 July 1780
Scope and Contents
Comprises letter from Laing in Jamaica to Perrin in London, with detail of 19 enslaved people to be sold from Hallhead Plantation, adjoining Blue Mountain [owned by Perrin] in the parish of St Thomas in the East, Jamaica. The enclosed note lists the names of individual enslaved people with a valuation ascribed to each.
- 21 July 1780
Conditions Governing Access
Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact email@example.com. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
Biographical / Historical
Malcolm Laing (d. 1781) was a plantation owner and enslaver in Jamaica - the UCL Legacies of British Slavery database (see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146649411), lists him as the owner of Spring Valley estate, St Mary's parish, Jamaica, which produced sugar and rum with enslaved labour. The database provides further biographical detail relating to his family relationships, will and wealth at death. Laing appears to have acted on behalf of the estate of William Perrin, father of William Philip Perrin. The younger Perrin (1742-1820), fellow of the Royal Society and sometime High Sheriff of Kent, inherited five estates in Jamaica from his father. The UCL database (see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146632393) lists these as Blue Mountain, Forest Pen, Grange Hill, Perrins Estate and Vere, all with enslaved labour. Correspondence between Laing and the Perrin family was formerly held at Derbyshire Record Office before being sold. A selection of letters to William Perrin were purchased by St John's College Cambridge, see 'Price of Britain's slave trade revealed' (https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/price-of-britains-slave-trade-revealed).
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased by Cambridge University Library in May 2012.
This entry was revised by Sally Kent on 9th May 2022 as part of the 'Demoncratising description' project to review omissions and absences in catalogue data. A biographical/historical note was added to the description to make explicit reference to Laing and Perrin's slave-ownership.