Second Generation
Family of Herbert Newton JARRETT II (1) & ??? KERR
2. John JARRETT II (Herbert Newton1). Born in 1746. John died on 21 Sep 1809; he was 63. Buried in Crawley Parish Church, Hampshire. Residence/Property: Freemantle Park, Hampshire; Portland Place, London; Kent, Golden Grove and other properties in Jamaica.
Ca 1770 when John was 24, he married Sarah REID. Born ca 1743. Sarah died on 16 Jan 1826; she was 83. Buried in Camerton Church, Somerset.
They had the following children:
Ann (Twin) (1771-1791)
Mary Noble (Twin) (1771-1863)
Alice [or Cilicia] (Twin) (1773-1794)
Sarah (Twin) (1773-1867)
Rachel Allen (1777-1853)
Herbert Newton IV (1780-1811)
Frances (ca1789-)

John Jarrett is an interesting figure - the first Jarrett to move to England as an adult and try his fortunes in English society. His wife, Sarah Reid, also came from Trelawny and was presumably related to - perhaps the daughter of - Colonel Thomas Reid3 who founded the parish capital, Falmouth, in 17694. In 1782, when John Jarrett was 36, he was a vestryman of the parish5, which suggests that he was still living in Jamaica. By 1790, he is recorded as having recently bought Freemantle Park near Southampton6. So the move to England must have taken place when he was turning 40.

Within years, he was moving in high circles. WJK tells of the occasion when “Mr Jarrett entertained at dinner, in Portland Place [his London home], the Prince Regent”. The repast was apparently “of such a sumptuous character that His Royal Highness remarked across the table to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was also present, ‘Don’t you think you might raise the sugar duties a little?’” Also among John Jarrett’s circle of friends and acquaintances was the poet William Cowper.

He lavished large sums on Freemantle, whose most notable feature was a 32x21ft dining room (the Marble Room), lined entirely with Italian marble. According to WJK: “Mr Jarrett had the marble specially cut for himself in Italy. When all was ready for shipment, England being then at war with France, he thought that by putting the cargo on board a neutral ship it would be considered safe from the enemy, so a Swedish or Norwegian vessel was chartered, and the Compiler [WJK] has always understood that Mr Jarrett and some of his family were also on board ...

“All went well till they entered the English Channel, when they were captured by a French privateer, and taken into Brest. For some time the ship was detained, there being a dispute as to the cargo; but eventually the vessel was liberated, and the marble brought safe to Southampton.”

Clearly adventurous as well as rich, John Jarrett had a 50-ton yacht, the Liberty, in which, WJK tells us, he “used constantly to take the family to Weymouth, where King George III and Mr Jarrett were often seen walking together. On one occasion, when returning to Southampton, they were chased by a French vessel of war, but they outsailed the Frenchman, and got safely into the Solent.”

Kerr continues: “The boatswain of the yacht was named William Cardwell. This man on some occasion, saved a ship on which Mr Jarrett was on board from being blown up. The vessel had taken fire dangerously near the magazine, and Cardwell, at great personal risk, got the powder up and threw it overboard. For this act of bravery, Mr Jarrett promised to provide for him. This he did, by giving him employment on board the Liberty, and also in his will left him an annuity for life.”

References to John Jarrett’s family consistently suggest people of kindness, warmth and hospitality. At the same time, the lavishness of their life style seems to have overstretched even John Jarrett’s financial resources. When he died, the executors of his will found that “his estates were heavily mortgaged in respect of the marriage settlements on his daughters” along with other expenses.7

“Under these circumstances, in the interests of all concerned, it was decided not to force the sale of the West India estates, but to gradually liquidate the debts, as at this time ... the Jamaica properties were worth about £20,000 per annum.” (As a point of comparison, Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, is reputed to have an income of £10,000 a year.8) Freemantle9 and the Portland Place house were sold, and it “is almost needless to remark that the whole indebtedness was eventually liquidated both principal and interest.”

John Jarrett’s widow, Sarah, outlasted him by 17 years, living in Queen Anne Street, London10, and died at Camerton, the house of her daughter-in-law, Anne Stephens. The Rev. John Skinner, Rector of Camerton, noted in his diary11: “Old Mrs Jarrett, who seemed so well on Thursday when Anna [his daughter] and myself called, dropped down dead suddenly this morning as she was about to set down on her chair.”12 13
Previous · Next