This page includes copies of some of the source material I have come across about the Wilkin family.
1. Transcript of papers from the Incumbered Estates Commission
The West Indian Encumbered Estates Act was passed to facilitate the sale of estates that were subject to debts or where the owners were bankrupt. The laws of conveyancing were so cumbersome that it was often impossible to complete a sale of land in a reasonable time.
from interviews by Barbara Cox in 1988
|Emily Wilkin 1869 -1932||The Wilkin family lived on various islands but mostly on Montserrat. Click for map|
||History of Montserrat click on: http://caribbeansupersite.com/montserrat/history.htm|
National Archives at Kew. The following document
includes a list of the children and 2 grandchildren of William
Henry WILKIN (1810-1883). However, I did not have Blanch
recorded as a child of William. It appears that Henry and
William both died in 1883 and the ownership of the various
estates in Nevis had to be resolved. Until I saw this document I
had been unaware of Henry WILKIN.
Transcription of a document found in C0 441/24/2 Papers & Correspondence: Wilkin (deceased) : Clay Gut, etc: Nevis No 208
bundle of papers at the National Archives in Kew covered the
estate of Henry Wilkin deceased (1883). I transcribed two
documents amongst the bundle of papers which were kept
seemingly in no particular order .
"In the matter of the Estates of Henry Wilkin late of the Island of Nevis in the West Indies Esquire deceased.
"I William Henry
Wilkin of the Island of Montserrat, Proprietor but at present
staying at 12 Hobury Street Chelsea in the County of Middlesex one
of the above petitioners make oath and say as follows:
1. I have read the
Petition annexed hereto purporting to be the Petition presented in
the above matter by myself and the other persons therein named for
the sale of certain estates in the Island of Nevis in the West
Indies namely Clark's Estate Clayghaut Estate Hicks Estate and
other Estates the property of the late Henry Wilkin of the Island
of Nevis aforesaid at the time of his death.
2. The said Henry
Wilkin deceased was my Uncle and I believe the Statements in the
said Petition to be true.
3. I am not aware
that any Petition in the matter has been presented before the
Legal Commissioners in the Colony wherein the said Estates are
situate or before the Commissioners in England."
above document was sworn by William Henry Wilkin in London on
29th July 1889. It shows that the family believed that Henry
owned the various Estates and that if Henry was William
Henry's uncle then William Henry's father (also called William
Henry) had a brother.
did not have time to find, read or transcribe the petition
referred to. However, this later petition records the names of
the petitioners two years later.
“In the matter of the Estate of Henry Wilkin deceased ex parte William Henry Wilkin and other petitioners – 2nd November 1891.
“Upon the petition of William Henry Wilkin, Ada Ann Penchoen (wife of King Pitman Penchoen), Laura Howes (wife of Seymour Wylde Howes), Margaret Fleck West (widow), Emily Wilkin (Spinster), York Wilkin, Mary Emry (wife of the Reverend Joseph Emry, formerly Mary Wilkin), Blanch Wilkin (Spinster) and Edwin Blackburn and Ida Blackburn (infants by Sara Evelina Wilkin widow, their testamentary guardian) filed the 17th day of August 1891.”
Under this petition Seymour Wylde Howes (Laura's husband) became receiver and manager of the plantations and estates called Clay Gut – Dacents – Huggins – Clarkes – White Hall – Saddle Hill – Stanley & Bowman Sands – Hicks – Spring Hill all in the island of Nevis and House & Land in Charlestown
Eva Wilkin – from interviews by Barbara Cox in
copyright Brian Bowrin, FLICKR
I was born in Montserrat, October 31, 1898. My mother was born in England and my father in Montserrat. My grandfather came out from Yorkshire and bought land in Montserrat. My father went to England as a young man, met and fell in love with my mother. They were married and came out to Montserrat. They had a terrible time; my mother got typhoid fever, then rheumatic fever, she was ill most of the time. Every year got worse and worse with the cotton and sugar and the price went down to five cents a barrel. They had Dorothy first, then Ruth and then me and then we went to England and my brother Bill was born there.
We went to England and Dad stayed behind in Montserrat for a little time to try to get the estate in order again but he gave it up and he came to England and we tried to have a farm in England but he didn’t know anything about farming. That was in Hampshire. It was a wonderful place to grow up in. I was about two years old when we went to England, I might have been a little older. I remember going to an infant school. Everybody was about six years old and I remember sitting writing in a copy book that Montserrat lime juice is the best and I remember jumping from the desk and running to the teacher and saying, “That’s where I come from."
I went to school all the time in England and then I went to college at Avery Hill just outside London in 1917. That’s where I got fascinated with drawing. As a child I was the best behaved child in the world. If there were a pencil around, I drew people, I didn’t like chairs or anything like that. They gave me a scholarship I was two years at Avery Hill and then I got this scholarship for another year to do nothing but draw and I went to Westminster Central School of Arts and Crafts. I had a smarthing of everything.
Then my mother died in England (1914) and my father came to Nevis; my uncle (her only uncle was William Henry Wilkin 1863-1931. Perhaps she meant her great-uncle Henry who died in 1883) left him this place (Clay Ghaut). His other place in Montserrat got rented. I didn’t come back with him but Ruth did. I was at college then. That was after the first World War about 1919. I remember going down to the Strand. The Principal said we could all go to London on Armistice Day and we were all in the train and I said what’s all that noise, I’ve never heard such noise. It was all of London shrieking. And then we got to Charing Cross and I couldn’t get by the people. Everybody seemed to be out. Oh! It was a wonderful sight.
Then I went to a very lovely college in London, London Chelsea Whitelands Training College, so I could teach anywhere. I liked life drawing; I could do that for the rest of my life. I went to teach for about three months then Ruth told me to come out. My father, Ruth and Bill were here. Ruth had met Norman (Maynard) and I came out for the wedding in about 1925. We worked the sugar mill until 1940, then my father died in 1950.
I used to ride around and look after the cotton. I had a large group of people in this room (the mill) each with a pile of cotton to be cleaned. I had a gramophone and I would put a record on. We got lot of cotton cleaned to the sound of the music.
As long as my eyes hold out I can still do the small children easily. The only time you can do work is when you can sit down and forget about everything else, but I can’t do that because I can’t see for one thing for another thing and I am getting dull mornings. Its’ lovely having people popping in. It would be a month sometimes when Dad and I were here without anybody coming.
Eva died in April 1989
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